Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Sabbath A Perpetual Sign—Part 3

By Joseph Bates (adapted)

If the Sabbath was not instituted in Eden, why would Moses mention it in his account of the creation of the world? Why not appropriately reserve mentioning it for two or three-thousand years in his history, until the time when manna fell in the wilderness? (See Exodus 16:23.) Then he could state that this was the institution of the seventh-day Sabbath.

I answer (and for the very best of reasons), that he didn't do that, because the Sabbath wasn’t instituted when the manna fell!

Let’s look at that text: “And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice

Thursday, December 29, 2011

God’s Covenants With Man—Part 4

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

Under the Law

Then what of the Old Covenant? Does it serve any purpose at all today?

The Old Covenant stands as a warning to us—showing us the folly of trying to live under the law—something that the New Testament spends much time teaching us:

“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” Galatians 4:21.

Under the Old Covenant, Israel was dependent on the law to declare that they were

Sunday, December 4, 2011

God’s Covenants With Man—Part 3

Part 1Part 2Part 3 Part 4

Ratified Covenant

Paul makes an important point about covenants in Galatians 3:15:

“Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.”

Before a covenant is ratified, you can make changes to it. You can add things to it, and you can take them away from it again. Up until the point it is ratified. Once the blood has been shed in ratification of the covenant you cannot disannul any part of it, or add anything to it.

Since the Old Covenant was ratified in Exodus 24:8, nothing could be added to it or

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God’s Covenants With Man—Part 2

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

Why Another Covenant?

God first made the New Covenant with Adam. Then renewed it to Noah and his children forever:

“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” (Genesis 17:7).

Abraham and his decedents were to be saved under the New Covenant:

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of One, And to thy Seed, which is Christ.” “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.” (Galatians 3:16, James 2:23).

It is obvious that Abraham’s “decedents” would have included the Jews at Mount Sinai. So if they were already offered salvation under the New Covenant, why did God give them another covenant?

Monday, November 28, 2011

God’s Covenants With Man—Part 1

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

Taken Captive

There once was a time and place where everyone was perfect. Everything was very good. And in this land called Eden, Adam and Eve lived. And they would have lived happily ever after, if they had not eaten the forbidden fruit.

This story is about what happened because they distrusted God, disbelieved His Word, and broke His law.

By doing this, they brought the death-sentence upon themselves: “For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. . . . The wages of sin is death.” Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23.

By this rebellion they became subjects of the devil, the prince of this world—controlled by his evil will. Having fallen, it was impossible for them to resist his power. Satan

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Sabbath A Perpetual Sign—Part 2

By Joseph Bates (adapted)

Some have argued that since the Sabbath wasn’t mentioned between the time it was established in Eden and the time the manna fell (Exodus 16:15), that it must have been instituted for the Jews there in the wilderness. But notice what Jesus said to the Pharisees: “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”

If the Sabbath was made for any one man exclusively, it must have been made for Adam, the father of us all (2-thousand years before Abraham—the father of the Jews—was born). John says, the old commandment was from the beginning (1 John 2:7).

But it’s important to notice that the antediluvians did measure time by weeks. In the account given by Noah, when the waters of the flood began to subside, he sent out a

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Sabbath A Perpetual Sign—Part 1

My family and I have been reading the story of Joseph Bates: After spending nearly all his money supporting God’s work, he felt impressed to write a pamphlet on the newly rediscovered Sabbath. At the prompting of God, and at great personal sacrifice, he wrote and then paid for the printing and distributed of this pamphlet: The Sabbath A Perpetual Sign. (This series of articles are rewritten from his pamphlet.)


People who simply read the Bible as it reads, will easily be able to understand something as plain as this: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3.

Moses referred to this verse when he said to the children of Israel, “This is that which the Lord hath said, to-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord." Exodus 16:23.

This means that God established the seventh-day Sabbath in Eden—on the very same day that He rested from all His work. The Sabbath wasn’t established a week later, or a year later, and certainly not 2,500 years later (at Sinai). Isn’t it plain that the Sabbath was established to commemorate God’s amazing work of creation? He designed it to be kept by His worshipers every week.

The Passover was designed to do a similar thing: The Israelites were commanded to keep it every year on the exact date they were delivered from Egypt, and they were to do this every year until the death of Christ.

In the United States, we celebrate our independence every year on the 4th of July. It wouldn’t do to celebrate it on the 5th of August, or the 3rd of June!

As all these celebrations commemorate particular events, so the Sabbath will continue to commemorate creation, even to the “keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God” in the immortal New Earth. (Hebrews 4:9, margin.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Is the Role of Faith in Justification?

Faith in justification fills the same position as faith does in sanctification. (After all, we are justified by faith and we are sanctified by faith.)

What role is that though? Faith fills the same role in justification that works do in salvation. We know that, “While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works.” {FW 111.1}

It would be just as correct to say, “While faith will not justify even one soul, yet it is

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What Is Justification ... It’s Forgiveness, Right?

What does the word, "justification" mean? That's actually a really important question.

Think about it: the Bible says:
  • It was possible to be justified by the Law of Moses. Acts 13:39.
  • We are justified by faith. Romans 3:28.
  • We are justified by Christ’s blood. Romans 5:9.
  • Abraham was not justified by works. Romans 4:2.
  • But actually, he was justified by works. James 2:21. (So was Rahab, vs. 25.)
  • Jesus was justified. 1Timothy 3:16.
Now if I’m foggy as to exactly what “justification” means, these verses will might just seem incomprehensible and even contradictory!