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God´s Seal - A Day or a Person?

God's Seal - A Day or a Person?

 

How do you distinguish between fruit from Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge?

 

From which tree did Seventh-day Adventists get their "seal of God?"

 

In Paul's writings, how many times did he connect Sabbath keeping with the seal of God?
The answer is O zero !

 

How many times did the other New Testament writers connect the two?
Again, the answer is a big O zero! Where, then, did SDAs pick up their seal?

 

It would be helpful if we first find the answer to this question:
Scripturally, what was the status of Sabbath observance after the cross?

 

Let's start with Jesus Himself.
Why did He attend synagogue on the 7th day, or Saturday?
It was because He was born under the Sinai Covenant and lived under it (Galatians 4:4,5) until He nailed that Sinai Covenant, of which the 7th day Sabbath was an integral part, to the cross! Having fulfilled its purpose, Jesus took that Old Covenant, called "the ministration of death" (2 Corinthians 3:7) out of the way by nailing it to His cross. Hebrews 8:6,7,13. 9:1-4, 15. Colossians 2:13-17.

 

Where does the Bible equate the 10 commandments with the Sinai Covenant?
And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant - the ten commandments. Exodus 34:28.

 

Scripture called the 10 commandments the Sinai Covenant.
He declared to you His covenant, the ten commandments, which He commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two tablets of stone. Deuteronomy 4:13.

 

Did you know that Hebrews 9:4 refers to the "stone tablets of the covenant?"

 

For further confirmation that the two were inseparable, please read the following references.
Deuteronomy 5:2,3. 1 Kings 8: 9,21. 2 Chronicles 6:11.

 

What was inside the ark? Why was it called the "ark of the covenant?" Hebrews 9:4. Why was it not called "the ark of the 10 commandments?" Now, next question: What happened to that Sinai Covenant when Jesus nailed it to the cross? Was it all gone, or only partly retired as some insist?

 

We protest! When I first saw this, I felt that the above Scriptures cut the ground out from under my feet! I was trained to defend my turf at all costs, because "the church was always right." Furthermore, neither pastors nor lay people were qualified to evaluate Scripture for themselves!
Israel had struggled fruitlessly under the burden of the Law for centuries, but as a nation they never admitted that they had made a mistake. They even condemned their own Messiah to death as a law breaker, rather than admit they were wrong. It was as though thinking that they were right would change a wrong into a right! Isn't that what many still try to do?

 

But in mercy, God again came to the rescue. The Son chose to take their place as guilty sinners (He assumed their guilt), died the death that they deserved, and to those who accept His sacrifice, instead of acting as Judge, He would now be their Redeemer. All He asks of us today is that we do not repeat the mistakes Israel made, but simply trust and obey Him.

 

What laws were terminated at the cross?

 

2 Corinthians 3:7 tells us that "The ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, " (by God's own hand) " faded away" in the light of Christs' more glorious ministry.

 

These are a shadow of things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Colossians 2:17.

 

Where do we stand now?
Therefore do not let any one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come .... Colossians 2:16 and 17.
What "shadows" were removed?
1. Foods one may or may not eat,
2. Those attaching special significance to worship on Sunday, or
3. On Monday, or
4. On Saturday, or
5. On any other day.

 

Stop judging one another!
One man considers one day as more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord... You, then, why do you judge your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. Romans 14:5,6,10.

 

If Christians were not already moving away from the limited Sinai Sabbath, toward the all-inclusive Sabbath Rest given to Adam before the fall, why would Paul introduce the subject? Then he not only condoned, but he defended their freedom to worship on any or every day of the week! He also chastised the critics of those who saw that the Sabbath Rest was no longer limited to only one day per week. Those critics did not see that the Sinai Sabbath was part of the old "ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone?" 2 Corinthians 3:7.

 

In the Sabbath commandment God told Israel, "six days shall you labor and do all your work." Exodus 20:9. This was the curse God put on Adam after he sinned. The New Covenant Sabbath Rest reaches beyond man's failure, and celebrates the new creation and Rest birthed through the death of Christ. Through the cross, Christ restored the Sabbath Rest God had given to Adam after the work of creation was finished on the sixth day. Genesis 2:1,2. Scripture is clear that the Edenic Sabbath was celebrated after all the work of creation was finished in six days.
That is why God's original Sabbath is broader in scope than the Sinai Sabbath was. Now, the first step to entering into that rest is to stop judging one another.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Verse 13.

 

Paul's summary? If you are comfortable observing Saturday as a special day unto the Lord, God accepts your worship, but don't think that limiting the Sabbath Rest to only one day per week will qualify you to receive the Seal of God!

 

More important, don't get into the judgment seat and condemn your brother to the "Mark of the Beast" because he does not share your conscience. This judgmental attitude is a definite earmark of the legalistic spirit.

 

Anarchy! cries the legalist! Is there no Law today?

 

Of Course there is! Sinners need external laws to keep them from devouring one another. 1 Timothy 1:8-11 is clear that the law was made for sinners, not for the righteous. For the redeemed there is a law of a totally different nature. It is a law that is anchored in the heart rather than merely in the head. In Matthew chapter 5: 28,32,34, 38, Jesus took some of the old 10-commandment Law apart, and replaced it with, "...but I say unto you..." Instead of lowering the standard for righteousness, He raised the bar still higher, far beyond anything that any human can possibly reach. Now, He commands,
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48.

 

Instead of making it easier for man to reach God's standard of righteousness on his own, Jesus raised the standard to a level so high, that only He could reach it! David was one of the few people in the Old Testament who saw the big picture. In Psalm 19:7 he wrote, "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." The true purpose of the Law as their school master, was to show Israel their inadequacy and lead them to repentance and a true conversion by trusting in what Christ alone can do. Galatians 3:24-26. He is our perfection! Now, instead of focusing on "doing," we are called to focus on "being" who we are called to be in Him! The result will be that our "doings" will be a reflection of our "being!"

 

Notice that Jesus did not negate the prohibitions found in the 10 commandments.
Nor did He condone the sins prohibited in the old Sinai Law!

 

The Law of the Spirit does not require that we try to duplicate or to equal the perfection of Christ. Satan told Eve that she could be like God, but he lied! Some people are still "trying" to prove that they can "keep the Law". Others say they do it to show God how much they love Him. The only righteousness recognized under the New Covenant is that which was attained by Christ. As Jesus said, the emphasis is to begin by cleansing the inside of the cup first, rather than focusing on outward acts while the inside remains dirty. Matthew 23:25,26. The New birth is only the first step in a cleansing that begins in the spirit and is eventually reflected in one's life.

 

Will Christ's love be reflected in our behavior? Absolutely!
By their fruit you will recognize them, Jesus said. Matthew 7:20.
And what is the fruit of the Spirit?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23.

 

But, is that all? you ask. Has any human ever met that challenge? To meet this standard you must be filled with the Spirit of God. There is no other way! Evil acts are only the fruit, or symptoms, of the sin nature. Stealing, lying, adultery, etc. are only the result of sin. As was the case with Eve in the Garden, eating the apple was not the initial sin. It was the result of sin. Her sin was in turning her attention to the Tree of Knowledge rather than keeping it on her Creator. Focusing on what we can do rather than on what Christ has done is the sin that leads to sinful acts.
"Christ in you, the hope of glory," is our only hope!

 

God's own definition of "The Seal of God."

 

In every instance where Scripture speaks of God's seal upon His people, it specifically identifies God's seal as the person of the Holy Spirit. It never indicates a doctrine or a day!
[He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His], putting His seal upon us and giving us His (Holy) Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise]. 2 Corinthians 1:22 (Amp).

 

In Him you also,...were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit. That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance-...the down payment on our heritage... Ephesians 1:13,14 (Amp).

 

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,...by whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured ) for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30. (Amp).

 

Notice John 16:13: The Holy Spirit is not an influence, or an "it." He is a Spirit Person.
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.

 

Inventing a new Seal.

 

It was in the year 1844 that a group of sincere Christians in the United States were misled into believing that Christ's 2nd coming would occur in the fall of that year. Many did not even plant crops because they were told that Christ would return and their efforts would be wasted. Their faith in the return of Christ would be verified by not planning for the next winter, they were told. When that prediction proved false, the embarrassed leaders scrambled to find a suitable excuse for their misunderstanding of prophecy.

 

One sin led to another. That was when the "Cleansing of the Sanctuary" was invented. In effect, this new doctrine said that until after the investigative judgment began, even God did not know whether the saints of old would be saved or not. The future status of saints like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, the prophets and David was unknown to God until 1844! This error was promoted, and accepted by many, in spite of the fact that Hebrews chapter eleven, lists many saints as already having received God's approval.

 

Next, adding to their already flawed record, they began dissecting the 4th commandment as follows: They reasoned that a political, or worldly seal contains three elements:
1. The owner's name, 2. His title, and 3. His domain. Because the 4th commandment appears to have these three elements, the Sabbath must be God's seal, they reasoned. Case closed! Without any Scriptural evidence, another doctrine was invented. Then Ellen White had a dream conveniently confirming their discovery! Now, this theory became their "truth" as Scripture was made to fit "revelation."
Next, a church decree went forth: If you want to be ready when Jesus comes, you had better get His seal on you by keeping Saturday, the 7th day of the week. Next they assumed the role of judges, and told other Christians that, "If you don't keep Saturday, you are going to get the mark of Beast and you will end up in hell!" This continues to be their evangelistic thrust. The so-called "Sunday Law" scare was also invented to give the new doctrine a boost, and the sheep just followed the experts of the law as before.
The fact that the suggested Sunday Laws in the United States would not have forced people to work on Saturdays, was not considered. The powerful Jewish community, and other Saturday- keeping groups, would still be free to worship on Saturday if they so wished. Sunday laws were not intended to coerce people to work on Saturday. They would have simply made Sunday a religious and national holiday so that no business would be conducted on that day. The Sunday law scare is nothing but a red herring designed to win and hold people by fear!
The Adventist definition of "The Mark of the Beast" is just as speculative as their attempt to create a "Seal of God" to suit their theology. However, that is another subject for another time.

 

Let's not take our eyes off the goal!

 

Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13.

 

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30.

 

Warning!

 

It is dangerous to expose yourself to a continual review of error. Satan's strategy is to keep you evaluating his arguments. Remember, you become like what you focus on.

 

If you keep walking near the edge of the ditch out of which Jesus has rescued you, it is only a matter of time before you will slip and fall back in.
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1, (Message).

 

Christ invites you to enjoy a Happy Sabbath every day of the week!

 

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