W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for this Volume What is New
THAT EXUBERANT DAY OF REST!
Praise for the Day and the Way of
The Author of Salvation
Whose Work completed the Creation
Exposition avoiding the twin pitfalls of two extremes,
and one prodigious heresy – SDA
Christ the Creator, the Acquittal
Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee
Some say, DISMISS the whole concept of the Day of Rest, SKIP the Commandment, and abolish that whole structure of such legislation. Out go the ten commandments, and the word of God ALL of which is NEVERTHELESS available for rebuke, correction and instruction (II Timothy 3:16).
This then is rebellion. With that rebellion, in comes autonomy for man. It is not a good idea. God has spoken on the point most clearly. Lawlessness is not lovely (I Timothy 1) and once sin becomes your new autonomous interest, you get into the embrace of the commandments, their crushing power, and are admonished.
For the godly, law surges below, as you walk in Him, except you slip into its impact; but even then though your pardon is assured, and your repentance will be found. Yet discipline, as David found with Bath-Sheba, can be an exquisite thing: for the Christian is of a new 'seed' (I John 3:9, 1:17ff.) in a divine arena where grace is no fool, though it be profound and glorious. It is no excuse for blemishes, merely the mode of address, the caress not of indulgence but of kindness.
For those whose heart proceeds against the laws of God, for THESE as Paul declares in I Tim. 1, the law indeed applies . How much of it ? To the jot and tittle, to the uttermost point, except for what, of course is actually fulfilled.
Who is the AUTHOR of such a view. His name is Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:17-19).
The law is not meant for the godly but it is MEANT for lawlessness, to combat it and define it. Thus, if you drive well, the laws of the road may scarcely touch you; but just because you ride beyond them with a superior code of insight, which the laws codify, and just because you may currently be showing a good approach, this does not mean you do not 'cop' it when you then brashly ignore the rules, or any of them. Discipline enters as decided by God (Hebrews 12). For this, in doctrine and in rebuke ALL scripture is profitable! (II Timothy 3:16).
Nor does it mean that the rules disappear because of your insights. IF you exalt yourself to move in some fit of mania or elevation of spirit, to be above mere commands, they will not abase themselves to be below you - except for what is fulfilled! The LAW says Paul is for lawbreakers. We ESTABLISH IT (Romans 3:31), he cries (cf. I Corinthians 2:9ff., 14:37).
Avoid these falls and fine; but don't forget yourself by imagining them to have turned into vapour. The morals of God do not change because GOD does not change (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, Psalm 102). These indicate what goodness is and its mangling; He and they do not alter in their moral indications.
Of course, though Himself immutable, HE HAS changed the covenants from the OLD to the NEW, when Christ made the NEW covenant in His shed blood as in Matthew 26:28. All fulfilled by Him then fell away and was enveloped in His actions, the perfect fit for the task of redemption, where HE paid and the debts we owed because of the law, of whatever kind, were deleted (Galatians 3:13).
If however you are pardoned by Christ, does this mean, Sin the more! ignore the law (Romans 6:1)! As we shall see, from Christ and Paul come this message: DO not sin the more! Go and sin no more! He said to one forgiven woman.
Moreover, the law, it is NOT abrogated (expressly from the word of Christ, Matthew 5:17ff.), and it IS established! (from Paul, Romans 3:31).
Grace in which Christ died, does not delete the ground for death at all; it merely allows a heavenly focus on Christ to become the all-surpassing criterion of life. Yet even in this, it is HE who so stressed the word of God, ALL of it right into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17ff.). Minimise His laws and so teach, and you minimise your own position; and vice versa (SMR pp. 1175). It was HE who said it. It is Christ who declared that he who does and teaches the least of these commandments will be called great ... which ? why all not fulfilled, even to the LEAST! where ? why, in the kingdom of heaven (cf. News 23),the very one where it is He who comes as bridegroom (Matthew 25).
Consider the negative. On the other side, said Christ, he who breaks and teaches accordingly, one of the least of these commandments will be called least in the kingdom ... of what ? why, of heaven. We are not dealing with the past, but the future in this application. We are not looking back, but forward in this review. But WITH what are we looking ? why ALL the commandments, greatest to least.
|Let us beware of lawlessness on the mistaken ground
that we are not UNDER it.
It stays under US, where it always was, indisputable principles of truth that last and last
as Peter tells us, when the flower of man, philosophy and all, has passed (Colossians 2:8,
I Corinthians 1)..
|Let us equally beware of clinging to what
IS fulfilled, such as the creation week rest
(cf. Exodus 20), which now is extended for the sake of that person named JESUS CHRIST
who did the greatest work of all as Saviour, providing for the resurrection rest,
the completion of the testimony of what made the Gospel exist,
and the cancellation of the miscreancy of man, when, free to receive the redemption of God,
and exhorted to do so, he receives it.
To fail to follow Christ is His own arisen beauty of holiness,
necessarily commencing on the day of His resurrection when love led Him to appear to them,
and in fact, present on successive Sundays to provide worship (as in John 20),
and so commemorate His rest,
and Paul in his indications of collection day in I Cor. 16:1ff., and the Acts,
in its indication of the day on which the disciples were gathered together (Acts 20:7):
it is blasphemy, degradation of the name and meaning of the work of Christ,
spiritual folly and reversion in direction at least, to those Jews
who refused the full glory to Christ. It is likewise to dismiss the clear indications
of the perspective prominent and vigorous in the early Church*1.
It is time however for us to pursuer such propositions and perspective in some more detail, to see with more abundant reason the grounds of concern. Thus with these considerations of Christ's offering of Himself without spot to God for sinners, let us consider, scrutinise that fellow offering of autonomy of flesh, the concept that despite the New Testament examples and principles, and the attestation of early Church practice, keep the Saturday and give NOTHING in the day of rest, to the work of Christ. Those who honour ME, said God, I WILL honour! This is dishonour to the consummative work of Christ in achieving rest for man, so that the Lord's Supper becomes inseparable from that day as a norm, so replacing the Paschal Lamb on its day, with Him on His day of arising to instal worship in spirit, at His resurrected advent in their midst. For indeed, Christ IS our Passover (I Corinthians 5:7).
This is dishonour, for as Christ is shown to say in John 5 ... "all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him."
Note the JUST AS; for Christ does what the Father does, in the same way! (John 5:19).The work of Christ is to be considered on the same elevated and exalted basis as that of the Father; and the work of redemption on the same transcendent height as the creation, yes if possible more for the glory excels; and the work that rested at the end of creation, is no less to be treasured and acknowledged when Christ rested at redemption and revived in available body in the resurrection, itself the consummation of the work of God. Indeed, in this, in the redemption (in which of course the Father who sent is in the infinite intimacy of the trinity, Himself involved), there is apparent the glory that excels (II Corinthians 3:9); for it would be the mere folly not to recognise this divine work to recreate by personal sacrifice at the infinite level, as that from which the Almighty rested, that through which transfer is made to the highest glory of all (cf. Galatians 6:14).
It is in the cross of Christ (with all it involved, but quintessientally in this work and its environs) that we must glory. The creation was glorious; the cross is more so, and required to receive such elevation. This is the work of works, from which God rested. To ignore it in the RELEVANT memorialisation, is to ignore salvation as the overwhelming finale of the work of God for man, above all, whatever outcomes yet remain from it. In the SDA movement, this is not merely a singular work of defection from the glory of the Lord, but it is linked as we shall DV see, to other such trends in the same direction.
Playing about with the glory of God by demeaning by departing from biblical principle, precept and performance*1 on the Sunday, the new rest, the new day for it, the commemoration both of His resurrection (Romans 1:4), whereby He was authenticated, and of our need to rest which He THEN provided: it is alas bibliclly, a cursed contrivance, failing Christ, the Bible and the testimony of truth concerning both.
CHRIST'S SAVING WORK, His crucifixion and resurrection, and all involved, so far surpassed the time of the creation of man, God here being involved in anguish PERSONALLY, that to revert to that part of the week which betokened the end of creation, and to ignore the end of burial blazoned in His body in this way, that which betokened the basis for regeneration: this is a spiritual tragedy. It is to expose not only an anti-scriptural liberty (very different from liberty in the Lord), but a defilement of the work of Christ. It abuses liberty in the testimony of salvation itself and thus moves to the lowering even of the basis for regeneration, the glory pinnacle in Christ UNTIL THAT DAY (Romans 1:4, Revelation 21-22), when the Father and Son in essence CONSTITUTE the temple!
Instead, SDA has a limited Christ enmeshed in toils to find out things He has knew before the world was founded, as one of the Trinity (Ephesians 1:4, 3:20, Isaiah 48:16, 46:10, Acts 15:18, Colossians 2:3, 9, Psalm 145:3, 147:5). What is limited in power is not God!
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
What then of such a philosophy about the 10 commandments, including the fourth! They surely stand, but is there to be no consummation in Christ, no reckoning with His pre-eminence in salvation and resurrection as the greatest work, so that the actual day memorialising rest is updated in HIM ? Certainly this shall never be, let sects and divisions do and say what they will. Those so treating the day of rest ignore the divinely appointed rest day in its pre-eminent spiritual emplacement and significance, in this moving from the magnificence of the work of God in Christ, back to the creation time, as if the progression had never occurred.
Let us ponder further however the opposite error; for spiritual insight requires the absence of mere leaps and jumps, rather requiring us to compare spiritual things with spiritual (I Corinthians 2:9ff., giving the pre-eminent example).
Move back, then for one short time, to those who dispense with the rest day, and do what they will as if they had created themselves, and Exodus 20 had never statedly emphasised that it is BECAUSE of the way we were made IN THE PAST, that we must have one day in seven to commemorate this creation reality in the God who made us in His own image. REST in one day in seven was indeed to recognise and act in ACCORDANCE with this.
That of course makes nonsense of any effort to avoid the text of Colossians 2:16-17, which talks of the fulfilment and removal therefore of sabbaths with a FUTURE reference. Those things, it says, were shadows, those sabbaths it has in mind, shadows of what was future; but Christ is the substance. The relevant Sabbath, that indispensable as part of our design and so stipulated in Exodus 20, this is a matter of the PAST, and interpretations do not well to delete history.
Some semblance of understanding is to be assumed, and a cut-out clause should be sufficient to filter out that to which it cannot apply (Colossians 2:17). Moreover the context of food and drink is in the domain of the relatively minor, whereas the Rest Day is like an engagement ring, a means of specifying the whole covenant (as shown in Ezekiel 20:12-13).
For thoroughness, one should look at a minor point in passing, and this we now do.
The fact that the majority text and indeed the AV reads 'sabbaths' merely emphasises the point. In the text, it is a matter either of a sabbath (minority of texts) or sabbath days (majority of texts in great preponderance and substantial authority cf. On Translations of the Bible, Ch. 1). There were a number of these days, embroiled in other matters to which they contributed), but not at all of THE sabbath. That is fixed. The point is merely the supplemental ones, which might relate to matters as additives.
As to THE SABBATH, there is no possible fulfilment there, so it stays: it relates to HOW WE WERE MADE, so that there is no fulfilment at all relevant. It is the FUTURE reference of sabbaths which is removed from becoming a field for criticism as to opting in or out for a given day: it is this, along with food and drink matters, which in Colossians 2, is not to be bound, allowing liberty.
Indeed, it appears that one of the reasons why Christ did not mention the Sabbath in His binding of this and that commandment (though its status in kind and its being part of the LAW and the PROPHETS as in Matthew 5:17ff., obviously incorporates it), is this simple fact. Though it stayed, and had to stay as the TYPE of rest day, because of creation design and history, it did not stay PUT; for His transcendent work required that it recognise the greatest of the works of God. In this way. Thus were to be honoured BOTH the creation (in the one day in seven aspect), AND the work of redemption have place (because of WHICH day is chosen).
Thus the truth of the Old Testament arises like the sun, and at mid-day there is the extreme beauty of the light, for the New Testament CONSUMMATES it with a new recognition, not abashing the old, but completing it in its own type. This is so typical of the Bible: the more you investigate it, the more like a perfect work of art, you see its precision, its depth, its profundity and its inherent wisdom. It differs in this: it is the very wisdom of God.
Consider further the method of Christ, as we look at His word.
Firstly, He made the astonishing but crucially important statement that HE IS LORD OF THE SABBATH. That alone, in view of its place as the key-signature for the Old Testament cover makes Him Lord indeed, carrying the entire authority of God direct, not merely in message, but in KIND (Matthew 12:8 c.f John 5:19ff.).
Nor is it for nothing that He so spoke; for it was a most functional declaration. It was to be an operative element in the recognition to come of the greatest work of God for and through man, the crucifixion-resurrection labour which replaced the creation labour because of pre-eminence, since firstly it was later, and secondly it was more intensive and a finale of force. IN HIMSELF and IN HIS WORK, both, therefore Christ was to become the operational reality for rest-day recognition; and just as His resurrection day being the greatest labour from which God rested, so its day is the relevant day for overruling what came first, with what being greatest and necessary, came last. Hence the Sabbath is about to be transformed in WHAT work it PRIMARILY signifies as one from which God rested, and Christ's Lordship over it, not Executioner status for it, is what He asserts instead.
What is then the position ? The law is SPIRITUAL (Romans 7:14) and intended for LIFE (Romans 7:10), is not dismissed but ESTABLISHED (Romans 3:31), and every scripture is inspired by God, profitable for instruction, doctrine, while not a JOT or TITTLE of the law will pass till ALL is fulfilled. It is sovereignly declared out of bounds for mere removal, not to be abrogated: thus it is moving out of reference ONLY when fulfilled. Following all scripture, we have this result: not one or the other of the New and the Old, but the Old in its New Testament completion is sustained, the latter given glory in its most clear index to the resurrection which is the most clear index to the preceding work of redemption, being its authentication bringing rest to man.
|It is not as if
the direct words of Christ (Matthew 5), THE LIVING WORD OF GOD,
the ETERNAL, incarnated, were to be ignored,
just as the divine written words from the Spirit of Christ (I Peter 1:11)
are inscripturated, and to be obeyed EXCEPT where fulfilled. Nor is His
taking the post of Lord over the Sabbath to be ignored in His own work's recognition.
|The one group, careless liberals,
act to disregard the biblical direction, in effect,
and grab all days, none left for a day of rest; while the other group,
who keep some of the Old Testament but not the rest in hopeless self-contradiction
(you could be KILLED for picking up sticks, and those who linger ignore this)
act to defile what Christ has done, and demean His glory .
This they do, by letting creation rest supplant HIS OWN memorial in the resurrection
which brought rest, where He exhibited the COMPLETION OF HIS OWN WORK AS SAVIOUR!
This second error fits that the case presented by the Seven Day Adventist movement,
which at various and long times
has sought to curse those who do not keep their creation Sabbath (most of Christendom), although it seems they now have tempered this extreme,
and prefer at this time to apply this hideous abuse of the word of God,
only for some in latter parts of this Age, near the end of it,
who glorify Christ in the New Testament Rest, formally meeting
as has been the norm for the saints for millenia, on the Resurrection Day.
In fact, this amelioriation of their curse is irrelevant, since WHENEVER it is applied, it is
misapplied, being wrong in type, unsound in spirit, unscriptural in kind.
What then do we find ? It is this. As so often, there are the two extremes: forget the commandment as given, or fail to find its New Testament replacement (as when circumcision was replaced by baptism cf. Colossians 2:11ff.*1A).
Some may wish so to treat
the word of God; but to pretend it has something to do with interpretation is
ludicrous. It has to do with repudiation. It is another god, not in the least
GOD, who so speaks, and
another scripture which so demands, not this one; and this ? it is the ONLY GOD
there is, and this Bible, it is the only verified, validated word from the
Almighty in existence
(cf. Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer, and
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ,
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS).
It is a dangerous game, or a dangerous bluff, or indeed a perilous confusion, so to speak.
When therefore we allow ALL scripture to speak and THEREFORE compare one part of it with another (cf. I Corinthians 2:9ff.), we find that Romans 7 is NOT denying the validity of the very words which convicted the apostle, Old Testament moral commands such as "DO NOT COVET". It did not so act as Paul sought to handle the problem of coveting before salvation - or in any episode thereafter, which the spiritual probing of the law exposed all the more. The law hit him justly until near despair, for the apostle it became unbearable in its convicting intensity. Thus he cried out, from his own sinful self, "WHO will deliver me from the body of this death ?" - not from the law! It was from due death for breach of GOD's UNCHANGING MORALS that he cried out!
Thus GRACE is now the pivot of spiritual focus. It was always there (cf. Psalm 32), but now it is a glory which surpasses! (cf. II Corinthians 3:9-10). The Old Testament law was placed to accentuate the TRUTH (not to pervert it), and it is statedly both "good" and "holy". What it shows is to be surpassed in the direct impact of the living Son of God and His own New Testamental actions, just as the day of rest for creation is to be surpassed in the application of the design model, one day rest in seven, is surpassed by the fact that the NEW WORK of GOD surpasses that of creation. Surpassing is not obliteration; completion is not deletion.
As to the Old Testament, its truth is not displaced as if that glorious God who does not change suddenly had new ideas, such as might, for example, relate to the nature of infants relative to the character of the covenant, the old or the new, on salvation, or the nature of sin, or of will, or of the morals which underlie life, or indeed of anything else spiritual and conceptual of the character of God and man. The word of God endures forever (I Peter 1:24ff.), whatever grasses of mortality or its accompanying philosophies might be striving for entry, subversion or self-elevation. These, they and not the word of God, they are as grass, says Peter. Such perishes but the word of God continues for ever. Flesh arises; truth surprises. It is far, far better, as God than man.
REST IN THE LORD -
THE PERENNIAL OPPORTUNITY BY FAITH IN THE REDEEMER
This is not above the law but beyond it
Let us review a little. The law we learn from Romans 7, was good and spiritual and holy and FOR LIFE, that is, to facilitate its attainment. Its emphasis - though animal sacrifices, a picture of the need which Christ would fulfil, did relieve its intensity. It specialised not a little on sin and sentence, judgment and truth, depicting strenuously the exceedingly sinful character of sin.
While sound in spirit, it had a specialised and needful emphasis (cf. Galatians 3:13-14, Romans 7:13). This reality is not now gone, for all scripture is given for instruction and reproof; but its very intensity is magnificently relieved to the point of comfort in uncontained joy (such as David knew in essence in advance - cf. Psalms 34, 40) by the all-encompassing salvation, sin-bearing, work of Christ. Here is the eternal disposition direct, now paid up and total, in the life-for-life transaction with Christ (Romans 3, 5, 8, Ephesians 1:11, Hebrews 11:39-40).
Now its base, Christ now revealed, foreseen by David (cf. Psalms 2, 40, 69, 22, 16), replete as Redeemer, having seen of the travail of His redeeming soul and being SATISFIED (Isaiah 53:9ff.), lifts us to the overwhelming focus on Him (cf. Ephesians 1:6, 2:6).
As we walk in the Spirit, being children of light (Ephesians 5:8, I Thess. 5:5), sensitive to the guidance provided according to His word, solicitous not to grieve Him, comforted, protected, we find as in I Timothy 1, that "the law is good if one uses it lawfully" (1:8), this being statedly applicable not for righteous people, but for the lawless. Christ, then, to use it lawfully, did not remove the FACT of the way we were MADE (the point in the 4th commandment as in Ezekiel 20:12), demanding one day in seven rest; and the creation work did not supplant the salvation work which followed, which surpassed it in glory as Paul says. Hence it is ever so simple: do as the apostles are seen to have done by the very action of the Lord on the first two Sundays, that of the resurrection and the next, and at Pentecost, and as Paul commanded concerning collections.
REST one day in 7, but giving glory to God for your own salvation, ACKNOWLEDGE now WHEN you rest the surpassing glory of the WORK of salvation, which completes the splendid plan of salvation in its whole basis. In Christ there is to be, we are told by Paul (Colossians 1:18), the PRE-EMINENCE. Depart from this at your peril, for what demeans Christ, demeans your Saviour, if He IS yours!
But look at the moral law, that being the morals of God whose word is TRUTH (and Christ is THE TRUTH - John 17:17, 14:6), unchanging. Examples follow in I Timothy 1's description of lawlessness in detail, as defined by the law. Fornicators, sodomites, the ungodly and the swellingly insubordinate (like the sons of Korah), the unholy and the profane, and anything else involving what is contrary to sound doctrine: this series of practices is condemned, suitable for the ungodly, open to rebuke. Thus we remember that ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for exhortation, rebuke and doctrine (II Timothy 3:16). NOT one jot of it will pass UNLESS fulfilled, and the Sabbath, that day of rest defined as resulting from the MANNER OF OUR CREATION in Exodus 20, from things PAST, that one in seven day, is certainly not fulfilled. Do you fulfil the way you were made ?
But again, do you IGNORE the way you were saved, the WORK of the eighth part, that of Christ, to REMEDY the defilement of the image of God in man! It is customary for non-Christians to debase Christ: it is folly for those who name Him to do so.
Again: Do you fulfil past history by which you were constructed ? Do you fulfil a design specification from your Maker ? That would be mere double talk. As in Isaiah 58:13-14, THIS is a day for NOT doing your own will, speaking your own words, following a pleasurable profile with unrestrained psychic rush. It is holy, and in it you should especially delight in the Lord, because being free from labour, you are apt for spiritual commerce. That is its nature; that is the need for man, A REAL SPIRITUAL REST on a DEVOTED DAY in which the commerce is primarily with GOD direct.
Can you deal with an emergency unexpected, on the rest day ? Of course: Christ showed that very clearly. Can you see the spiritual intent of the law and follow that in essence ? Naturally - indeed, supernaturally - but this is no excuse for NOT doing what you are told in heart and in principle; and what is that ? REST, because you were MADE in such a mould, and it is GOD WHO TELLS you that this being so, THAT is what you must do.
If then the husbanding of the law to make you more fully aware of sin is past, is the law past ? Are Christ and Paul both to submit to the contradiction of sinners ? They may find those who so grieve them; but we do not join them, nor should any one of us. It is enough to be what one is, for we are all sinners, however victorious in our various struggles. It is necessary not to imitate error because someone else commits it. That is always the danger of following any doctrine other than that of the Bible, or any person categorically, but Christ as one of the Trinity, the Word of God who has sent His Spirit, who speaks not on His own authority, but as sent from Christ (John 15:26). Christ is the Word of God, the exact image, the eternal expression. No man on earth is to be called teacher or master, and while we may minister to one another, He is the Incarnate Ruler without adjunct, according to His word (Matthew 23:8-10).
He rules disciples, as well as directing the ultimate course of history, for He is Lord (Luke 6:46). Thus, one may find conviction of one's own slips and failings, here or there, and wonder why one was not more aware sooner of this or that! But when it comes to direct and multiple contradiction of the word of God, then leave that to the crows! Indeed, if you know to do good and do not do it, that is sin. Thus we know because we are told; and being told to rest as a manufacturer's specific stipulation, one day in seven, so we will, who value the Lord in His pre-eminence. Being shown to rest on the first day of the week, after the greatest work of God, we do. THAT has been the way throughout the age, sects and heresies apart. This is foundational.
Will we then say that because grace has abounded and becomes the new focus in the spiritual configuration, the work of love, that we will sin so that it can abound all the more, our sin growing that it may be applied multiply and more ? Hardly. "Certainly not!" exclaims Paul in Romans (cf. 3:31, 6:1). Shall we continue in sin for such a reason as this ? Do we not realise, he thunders, moved by the Spirit of God Himself, that as Christians our status is to be "dead to sin"! Thus how will we live in it any longer ?
Shall we sin, he asks, because we are not under law but under grace ? (Romans 6:15). The topic is sanctification in this chapter, and the question is this: SINCE grace is the new focus, its imprimatur in Christ right down to the nail prints, not for the first time, but now pre-eminently in the New Covenant, and the law's stimulus to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin is now wrought, this part of the teaching having already unfolded, shall we then say: Look, this is good, the grace emphasis means we can forget law.
Hardly! Christ DIED because of law, of righteousness, of the difference which truth would have love face, as it were: that between what man is and what man should be. It is defined. His death was not for a fiction but a fact, divinely declared and determinate.
Is this a mere formality ? No, for in Galatians 5, we find it involves a real battle, the flesh striving against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh in one's life. We must buffet our bodies (I Corinthians 9:27).
Nevertheless, as we walk in the Spirit, guided, goaded, girded, engraced, as in I Timothy 1, the law is not for us, as clamorous mentor. For whom then ? For those who BREAK IT, such as Paul enunciates and lists in a long recitation for which you only need the Old Testament chapter and verse, to detail, as it compiles. WHEN this comes into the light, then although it is not for the RIGHTEOUS person, it is assuredly for the sinner, as Paul declaims. Let one, therefore, like David with Bathsheba, like Asa with Syria, like Hezekiah with the envoys from Babylon (Isaiah 39), let one move into that realm through incredible seeming blindness or feeble faith, and sin indeed comes like a cloud, and the convicting force which the law so greatly emphasises in its instructive epoch, comes back into force (as it did mightily to Paul as seen in II Corinthians 1:8ff.!).
God, therefore, who does not change has given His various instructions to man as individual and society, whatever the form and format; and these reflect this fact. The new society is not a national one but international, and thus civic penalties are not to the point, apart from all else, as if mandated to any government. However, the spiritual principles remain. Righteousness still exalts a a nation, and the 20th century to this present time is making that SO apparent that it is almost like a play on the topic, a heavy, heady drama. Nations are rising and falling, the spiritual who stray and continue to do so, becoming abased so fast that it is all but breath-taking.
To make a 'God' who makes a law which is not right (even if at times for the hardness of heart it may be temporarily AMELIORATED), is not the work of God. Every one of His righteous precepts is seven times refined, and His law is holy in heaven (cf. Psalm 12:6, 119:144, Revelation 15).
What then is being found ? It is this. God is not a man that He should repent of His utterances, though He may put a stay to impending judgment, sometimes revoked on repentance by the wrong-doers, so that the very desire of His heart, fulfilling that mercy in which He delights, may find its targets in blessed salvation. He moves from epoch to epoch, the same, at times introducing, then consummating; but He does not change, nor are His ways less than everlasting (Habakkuk 3:6).
Thus the conclusion of the rebuke at the end of Romans 3, do we make void the law through faith (as if we had temporarily left our senses, such is the force of the apostle's expostulation), is found in its immense and intense clarity. OF COURSE NOT. NO, says he,
"WE ESTABLISH THE LAW."
That is what the Saviour prescribed and it is in vain to use His name for what fails to do this, or departs from it, in doctrine or in practice.
The wonderful law of God (Psalm 119 attests it long and well!) is met by the nature of holiness, not the dismissal of its criterion for checking. "CERTAINLY NOT!" Void the law by 'faith'! what a preposterous idea, the apostle indicates. "ON THE CONTRARY," he persists, "WE ESTABLISH THE LAW."
The law it was that in its eternal truth, made it clear HOW Abraham was justified by faith (cf. Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3), and this is the very principle which is to operate in ALL Christians.
In Abraham's case, it was built around the sacrifice as shown (cf. Genesis 15, 22) and the operation of faith concerning this same God. The case Paul completely parallels for the present (Romans 4:23-25): as then, so now. The law, then, is not avoided, averted, perverted, scarified; on the CONTRARY, Christ was sacrificed, and it was NOT scarified. It was to use the apostle's word, ESTABLISHED, this law. Is there a principle of abolition then ?
No there is a principle of establishment, and it applies in that IN the law, the MEANS of pardon was ALREADY the provision of a sacrifice, as when Abraham found one provided for Isaac, and believing God was already the way in which JUSTIFICATION from sin was given (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:12,23ff.).
This is a major burden of Romans 4, in answer to the unthinkable blasphemy exposed at the end of Romans 3.
The death, as if exposed by X-ray, shown in the law in the day of Moses, was not wrongly defined, nor were the criteria of condemnation inexpertly shown. On the contrary, the difference between sin as defined and pardon as given freely, was and remains sacrifice, then in figure, now in fact of the Son of God. He did not die in vain or for futility, but in the composition of morality and truth exposed by God, whose gravamen was met by Himself. Moreover and without condition - except that being born again you will be purged, chastened or chastised if like a son or daughter, you need it - it is THIS which Christ covers (Colossians 2:13ff., Ephesians 1:11). Churches may come and go, and the spurious may arrive to depart, but the regenerated, the believing, receiving, word-girt, the children of God, they do not depart. They are HIS CHILDREN (John 10:28-29). As such, they are subject to chastening; and sometimes, when self-indulgence begins to set in, the impact of discipline can be relatively severe. Yet it is in love for growth.
It is, then, emphatically not that the law of commandments is in essence written off, irrelevant, not to be considered: for it occasioned Christ's death, as a salient exposure of what was wrong, intensifying guilt so that pardon should be the more obviously defined and declared, and justice (Psalm 89:7) the more obviously met. Met it must be! The law which it met, driving us to Christ, is WHAT was met. It was not a watered down or written off law.
Quite to the contrary, it was nailed, we read, to His cross (Colossians 2:14), in this, that the entire consequence of our sins was like any other debt, affixed as the custom was, to the door. In this case, it is, through His atonement, affixed as it were to the Cross. Thus, in this case, the bill based on law and action, that to the offending person, is attached to the Cross of a vicarious substitute, here none other than Jesus Christ.
Is then what occasioned His death a mistake, an irrelevance, a gratuitous thing ? Of course not, but naturally, since ALL to the least point must be EITHER fulfilled or continue until it is, when this life is past and all is done, that which is merely sacrificially symbolic is fulfilled in His death, as exhibited in full in Hebrews 7-10. Indeed in the principle of Christ, ANYTHING which is fulfilled is finished. The law, it is NOT! That is the word of the Christ, the living and eternal word of God.
If then the symbols in this and that, indeed in the central configuration of sacrifice and atonement, reconciliation and the restoration based on sacrifice is returned to Christ and met once and for all (Hebrews 9:12-28), then that is the END of that, not because it is wrong, but because it has been SWALLOWED UP in fulfilment.
Thus the shadow in these particulars, in this central component, is replaced by the substance, the photograph by the personal presence. But God is a good communicator. What HE had to say was right to the tittle, and it will be carried on and out to the JOT!
If you want Christ's Christianity, HIS word, that is what it is. ALL scripture is given for doctrine (II Timothy 3:16). If something is to be fulfilled, then OF COURSE that is the end of it. If it is not, then equally certainly, it must remain. It may be adapted as in the Sabbath and circumcision, transformed without denial, as the Gospel grace is more generically applied to mankind. Thus baptism (cf. Colossians 2:11-12, New Testament expression*1A of circumcision) includes men and women symbolically, but its force is not lost; its morality, its perspective, its rightness r emains.
In Romans 5, Paul is considering history. He looks at sin, he looks at the coming of the Saviour, he looks at the offence which means death, and he compares the composure of things: sin meant death and it abounded; death of Christ meant grace, and this abounded: so how shall we continue in sin, as if the death were some windscreen wiper and not the greatest anguish and agony, at the hand of God, to remove the detested thing. It is as defined for Him to meet, under the law, ALL of it, which because real and true, needed a real and true recompense in the atonement for which Christ thus paid.
Was it then something else which He covered ? Far from it. Paul is at pains to show that it was sin as defined by God that was covered. Thus its full force was ACKNOWLEDGED as real enough for death, and certain enough for the TRUTH so to meet it, even Jesus Christ. HE did not abolish it, and emphatically declared that very fact (Matthew 5:17ff.); but instead, He died in its cause, love covering the factual disease in His decease, as it then was. Truth met reality with death. Love through mercy sought it, and gained it at Calvary, the climax and final redemption, the ETERNAL action to redeem once and for all, this in one deed, denoting all, and containing what is needed for completion for ever (Hebrews 9:12, 10:10,14).
THEREFORE, we find in Romans 6, we snap out of the snap of sin, disengage from being between its teeth. It is not that it does not still maul, but that it is COVERED whatever it does.
YET we should be very sensitive to what it cost so to deliver us, and not imagine
|that the whole domain is now inoperative, inactive,|
|that the flesh does not strive against the spirit, or|
|that the law, which as I Timothy 1 shows us is for sinners, is revoked.|
It IS applicable to sin, irrelevant in grace.
It is in that sense we are not under law but under grace. It is not that nothing matters; but that the old emphasis merges into the new, the old focus is like an horizon and sky, leading to vast uplift in the eyes. THAT is why we are encouraged concerning the overcoming of the practice of sin. It is THIS which is the relevance brought in by the apostle, in Romans 6:14. The REASON that sin will not have dominion over you is this: that you are not under law but under grace. It is not saying that you can sin, the law does not matter. Quite the contrary: it is saying that GRACE having secured payment and cover, and being operative in so grand a manner, we SHOULD NOT BE CARRIED AWAY INTO SIN. The cause and effect are somehow often turned around to operate in a way the reverse of what is written!
That is, SIN AS SUCH and defined,is not removed, deleted, revised in essence. On the contrary, it is NOT to have DOMINION over you, a thing which is a threat. The grace poured out for the criterion in the issuance from the Lord's death, stirs the spirit, blesses the heart, strengthens the will, brings new mercies in the tide of the donations of Christ. Thus sin, all too vile, too challenging, is yet met in the new regime, not inventing grace, but focussing it in a certain centrality.
You are no more under law, moving to sacrifices, for Christ in ONE sacrifice has met all; but law both naturally and supernaturally remains in force in its moral code enabling sin to be defined. What Christ met, goes with Him, in Him. What is not fulfilled, stays as the criterion. Grace enables rising above it; but it does not abolish the law, as Christ declares (Matthew 5:17ff.): that, it is no desire of Christ, but rather, the exact opposite was His emphatic declaration.
If you sin more, it is not that it ceases to be sin, because He bore its cost, or that the word of God is NOT profitable for doctrine and reproof, or because grace abounds. How often people become self-indulgent because great grace is shown them; but the PURPOSE of the grace is growth, not spiritual semantics to remove the horizon and make life pleasant without purity. Christ is the WORD of God, not a witness to it.
It is because the COST, though an eternal cover for you, makes your failure the more heinous. Paul argues then in Romans 6, that as having in a spiritual and vital manner, had your sinful self crucified with Christ and your new life arisen from the dead, you are to submit to righteousness in its mastery. It is NOT that you should ignore its requirements, as if righteousness were a tender flower and somewhat fanciful. Fuller understanding gives perspective, not lawlessness. There remain all the definitions ; there remain all the needs to gain mastery over what remains (I Cor. 9:26-27). The law of God, all of it unfulfilled, does not cease to be, nor is it diffused, contradicted or abolished. That would be to make fun of the Cross, of the anguish, and to make little of the truth.
Thus in Romans 7, Paul does not belittle (far less divest) the law: he shows its impact in rendering him so hopeless spiritually that he is driven to the One who did what the Law could NOT DO (Romans 8).
That ? It was the work of salvation. Now that this is done, we focus on it, not to the detriment of the charging law, but to the endeavour so to move from its domain in the walk in the Spirit, that its challenge is overcome by a higher life (sitting in heavenly places - Ephesians 2:6). THIS however is by no means the same as ignoring the testimony of what LOWER LIFE is. THAT, Paul indicates, must be put to death, mortified (Romans 8:13), not left undefined. He is not in the business of denying, defiling or deleting the law, that part unfulfilled, though of course he HATED the insistence on what was completed in other ways, or what was regarded as a METHOD of salvation, which it NEVER was (cf. Romans 4). The Gospel was always implicit.
If you live according to the Spirit you not only put to death what the law has defined as sin (including that other part of it, the law of Christ who insisted concerning every jot and tittle of that which was past*1B), but find life for your mortal bodies. You are disengaged, not from the relevance of that for which Christ died, but from its impact. You are not removed from the blessed necessities of holiness as defined by the word of God which endures forever, but from the both the guilt and the governance of sin such as it has always been, whether expressed in symbols or not.
This, it is not to redefine sin; it is to enhance grace.
It is not to remove what Christ died to meet; it is to improve the occasion
by working not merely 'positively' but IN CHRIST, as call, criterion and focus.
And HE ? It is HE who gave the most intensive requirement regarding every
part of the Bible
that was ever made (cf. The Just One).
Certainly the symbolic apparatus of the law (what is NOT fulfilled - the concept arises from the speech of Christ, a good basis! for Christianity) is fulfilled; and certain symbolisms concerning the severity of the necessity of rest are gone with the other pageantries associated with various sabbaths and symbolic feasts and the like. Yet the FACT of creation in the way it happened, this does not go, and the implication which GOD Himself draws from it in Exodus 20, this is as it was. You CANNOT change the past, and when this is the basis, cannot change history to meet your whim, caprice or desire.
Nor can you change the greatest work of
God, the crucifixion and resurrection,
the most infinite in grace, personal in impact, spectacular in conception,
arduous in performance, as if the rest day were forever to be bundled off with creation,
and God's vastest victory were to be deprived of the day of rest,
removed from its celebration,
though it provides a rest which is rest indeed, on a day
far more stupendous that D-day, for in it death was defeated
for all time.
Thus is the need profound, to make such a memorial,
just as the Lord’s Supper is a memorial in kind; and of course
such things, here or there, are seen with some of the early 'Church fathers'*1,
as they signalise and assert
the necessity of realising to the full,
where redemption fits in the glory of God's operations.
He has not ceased to have a day for the way; but He has given it a new emplacement,
where the glory excels.
WHO HAS WRESTED THE DAY OF REST
FROM THE RESURRECTION ?
This is Lèse-Majesté
But what of the movement of the day ? It is as we have just begun to see in the above paragraph, and somewhat earlier!
We move then to this same Christ, and His insistence on the eternal truth of the word, including what came BY HIS SPIRIT before He came to this earth (I Peter 1:11). HE insists that He is LORD OF THE SABBATH, that is the REST DAY, prescribed as a design necessity in Exodus 20, and THAT by the express WILL of God. Looking to the past (not to things future as in Colossians 2), it specifies that being limited and delimited by God, in our very construction, we shall always exhibit this fact and so not, big-headed, imagine ourselves autonomous or gods or some other kind of thing.
We were designed. God laboured to achieve creation in a specific way. This has not changed. We are THIS kind of thing and THUS made and THEREFORE THIS we shall have, one in seven.
But WHICH ONE ? In Deuteronomy 18, we learn that a prophet would come to whose word all must be directed, on pain of exclusion. Was it for the Jew only ? Of course not (Isaish 42:6, 49:6), for that would be far too small, says the word of the living and immutable God. What then DID this Christ say on this topic ? Firstly, He made it clear that the 'rest' did not mean spiritually, when you get beyond the symbolic expressions of its FORCE, that you could not do a good need, suddenly arising on the rest day, but rather you should see to the essence of the rest. Secondly, He showed that HE was LORD of the SABBATH. Now if you are lord of any given domain, then of course what you say, this is what goes! What is said elsewhere is no more to the point. Your authority is in this case ONE, and it is FROM ONE, and it is FOR ONE, and it is the SAME ONE, for God IS one. Your ? nay, it is HIS!
SINCE Christ is taking over what the LORD GOD had said, relative to the Sabbath, the day of rest, it is apparent at once that in Him is the very power to inscribe. But HE says that this is not to be taken to mean that He will abrogate even the SMALLEST part of the law. THAT is not how this authority is wrought, for He and His Father are One. There is no competition, disharmony. That then is all settled. This required a one in seven rest, and it was to commemorate God's rest after the work needed to make the universe, and its focus in man.
What then of the infinitely greater work of salvation, shown when He declared, "It is finished!" on the Cross (John 19:30) ? Is it not a work of God!
Is it not a work of God's heart in history, summarily sentencing Himself in Christ for man; and is it not concerned with creation for man, when it is a new heart that is created, and when Paul expressly declares that just as God commanded light, so He has commanded light now in our HEARTS, and with it regeneration, a RE- generation! (II Corinthians 4:6, 5:17ff,)! This is the express consummation of the category of the work which is commemorated by rest. This is like cattle-rustling, but it is more like Christ-rustling, whatever may have been the intention of any so involved.
In this way, then, we find that "all things are new" and we are thus renewed in the created condition as in Colossians 3:10! What nonsense is this that displaces the greatest with the first!
It is thus the NEW work of creation, RE-CREATION, regeneration, which is in view, and to put the work of first creation as equal to or superior to this, for memorialising divine rest, and human reception of it. To decline so to move the day, it is a work of derogation of Christ, dismissal of His glory and insult to His highly personal work. In ALL things the pre-eminence is not satisfied by this anti-climax, this virtual bathos: indeed both bathetic and pathetic (cf. Colossians 1:18).
Our rest is not now ONLY (what it MUST be by the word of God from the first) a testimony to His way of making us, but also to His way of REMAKING us. His rest from His works is one which is now at the summit of grace, the epicentre for love. It is that which He announced personally. "IT IS FINISHED," He cried! Not a work ? Not a work of creation by redemption, that of a new heart! (Jeremiah 31:31ff., Hebrews 8:7ff.!
It is necessary to come to terms with the Christ if you are to follow Him, and just as HE insisted on the law, which He redeemed us from as far as mortality is concerned, nailing it as a true testimonial to our guilt, on the Cross as shown in Colossians 2, SO He likewise insisted that the work of God was not done for man UNTIL HE DIED. He met the obliterative impact of law, not removing the moral necessity of it, but acknowledging it, while swallowing up symbolism of sacrificial and vast requirements, in His suffering and then RESTING self.
God acted on the Cross; and THEN rested in release, a work now shown to be in the completed within the glorious format of eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12), the putting away of sin by the sacrifice of Himself, ONCE for all. Indeed, the emphasis on ONCE is so intense in Hebrews 9-10, as to form a theme, just as is that on remembering the sins no more, as in Jeremiah 31, cited anew in Hebrews 8:8ff..
IF like the Seventh Day Adventists, you dare to move from the multiply recorded work of God in both the New Testament and early Church in this matter*1, then you not only ignore the instruction of the Scripture, but demean Christ and HIS work, and HIS rest. What then follows ? This readily leads to becoming unsure of salvation (as with SDA), because one then finds that HE is allegedly (contrary to Scripture) not finished with the records determining who is who and what is what. Hence absolute assurance of salvation (Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:16) is not in view.
|Too small a christ then becomes too small a worker, with too small a gift.|
The fact that we are chosen before time began, who are His, the thing infinitely known in all respects by the God who is infinite in understanding, filled with all wisdom, the One who IS alpha and omega and INVENTED time which causes delay to man but not to Him as Author (Romans 8:38-39), is similarly displaced (Ephesians 1:4). Indeed, it is a different God is found, with whom we are to work as co-saviours. What more is needed ? Those His have sin guilt dismissed for ever and not remembered; records ? HIS is knowledge from the first, of the last (Isaiah 46:8), and time is merely as Romans there shows, a creation. HE is not limited by a creation, a specification which is set from the first in His annals to the last who IS the last as well as the first . It is even worse than this, as we shall shortly see.
Thus God, as in II Timothy 1, makes it most clear that so far from some knowledge remaining on the sin matter needing further attention, those who believe were PREDESTINATED to this situation, and have already been saved (as likewise in Ephesians 2:1-12, where they are "having been saved" persons), and that the calling is not at all according to our works, but of Him who so wills it (as in Matthew 11:27). Assessment of those works, is thus not only lèse-majesté as if God did not know all, but an intrusion into free salvation and its scope, depth and height.
This sort of wriggling about with things contrary to the Bible, is a part of the Adventist teaching, just as the failed and futile prophecy of Miller ended empty - one which Mrs White, founder of the Adventist movement, accepted though it was contrary to Acts 1 even to attempt such a prediction, at the beginning. It is NOT for you to know this! Christ indicated. With God is the knowledge of this thing. Get on with the work, through the power of the Spirit. What the Father has set HE KEEPS TO HIMSELF in this matter (Acts 1).
Mrs White however not only followed a false prophecy, and would not let it go. She even moved the simple date of His coming, whenever that will be*1C, a thing carefully hidden on purpose by God, into something else. She went so far as to assert He had come, whereas HE asserted that when He DID come it would not be a matter of looking here or there, or of finding it invisible or anything like it, but a vast epochal thing like blazing lightning across the skies.
She was moved to make this mean something else. Such mutations are not reputable or sound or biblical; and the first because of the last. Thus NOT ONLY was this a false prophecy endorsed by the SDA founder, but a fiction to secure its illusory 'fulfilment', was concocted. As to that, it was one in precise contradiction to the Bible BOTH in detail AND in principle; just as in the very making of it, there was a presumption which Christ forbade! How much further astray is it possible to go...
Let us consider this more. When Christ DOES come, the tribes of the earth will mourn (Revelation 1), and when He comes for His saints, it will be like the lightning dashing from one direction to its opposite, across the earth (Matthew 24:26-27). THEREFORE Christ said, don't listen to those who say, He is here! or there! BECAUSE His coming will be MOST PUBLIC.
We are then in all of this dealing with opposites to the Bible. Indeed, Seventh Day Adventism has over quite a period, presented in its teaching a christ (still called Jesus Christ for some reason), who is a sinner, whereas He offered Himself without spot, and had no sin (Hebrews 7:25-27, 9:14, I Peter 1:19, 3:18). Indeed, not only was He sinless, spotless, but this is stated to be what was fitting for such a high priest as He who offered Himself - and AS offered, the fitting thing was there: NO SIN. This Adventist teaching is found in their publication, Bible Readings for the Home Circle, p. 115, 1915 edition, and as shown in William Irvine's "Heresies Exposed" was confirmed by explicit letter sent in 1927.
This latter, the letter, was cited as from SDA Headquarters. In fact, it even presented an argument. This was to the effect that to be fully man and ready for man, Christ had to share their sin. This is blasphemy itself: man is not as such a SINNER, for this is disease, distemper and wilfulness. Christ REDEEMED from such a condition to bring man back to the righteousness which was His. "WHICH OF YOU" He proclaimed, "convicts Me of sin!" (John 8:46). A man does not have to be a leper to cure one.
Of what kind is a heresy which ever made, let alone sustained and argued for such follies over a considerable period of time: whatever changes, amongst many, are made, here a little, there a little, from time to time as pressure mounts! However much SDA later varied*2 from this, this gross and extreme error, befouling the testimony as much as making Satan the sin-bearer, is in line with its diminution of the power and presentation of God which is found repeatedly in this doctrine.
Let us then revert to Christ's challenge to them, to convict Him of sin.
Christ in so speaking about sin, added a judgment: "He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you are not of God." That is HIS judgment on such things, and His children need to listen to HIM, not another ruler, teacher or pundit (cf. Matthew 23:8-10). Indeed, He declared: "I and My Father are one ..." (John 10:30), a statement for which the Jews attempted to stone Him ON THE GROUND that He was making Himself equal with God. This, indeed He was, in His eternity (John 8:58), though for the work in hand, He accepted a lowly condition (as in Philippians 2). Thus in John 8:29, He declared that "He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that please Him."
The SDA teaching contradicts the central reality of Christ: GOD HIMSELF, not a subordinate: He is God in character, and the precise image of God, not one diseased, partially deleted in nature or enveloped or busy with things He already knows and has summarily dismissed for His saints, in all knowledge and wisdom and overview, having made one sacrifice once which for all time provides all cover, while dismissing the charges so that no more are they remembering. Fancy codifying in any way what is on promise dismissed! How sad it is that so many tend to stop short of absolute assurance of salvation as they abide in His word, themselves a work of His in the field of regeneration, accepted by His blood, engraced by His mercy, HIS sheep for all time (cf. John 5:24, 10:9,27-28, Ephesians 1:11, II Timothy 1:9, Romans 8:29ff., I John 5:1ff.).
HE KNOWS His sheep. He needs no augmentation of knowledge of any type. Let God be God!
It is HE who came (the Bible does not recognise other gods as in Psalm 96; and John 1:1*3 shows that here is God Himself, so that Christ does what the Father does in the same WAY - John 5:19ff.). Does then the Father demean Himself to having to work at things to FIND out what He does not know! What the Father does, Christ, we hear from His lips, does in the same way.
Christ as Messiah voluntarily humbled Himself, and was found in fashion as a man; but exalted above the heavens, He is not to be moved into some ludicrously licensed diminution (Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 7:26), to clerical material, moreover, as if He had not once for all, put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, assuring covenantally to remember it no more (Hebrews 8). Does He not only remember it, but ponder and make records! Is dismissal retrieval, is deletion a matter of precision in recording devices! Is black white ? is zero continuity!
It is vain to tell such things, however much you vary. If a teaching be of God, let it stand.
It is not necessary to have some latter-day doctrine innovators (I John
2:27, Galatians 1);
they are forbidden in advance, and exposed in advance (cf. II Timothy 3, 4, II Peter 2).
|But if it be false, and promulgated, and if as in White's
"The Great Controversy"
Satan is at one place made the sin-bearer, again,
however much efforts be made to vary from this blasphemy and anti-scriptural folly,
as they move spiritual furniture about and confuse Saviour with Satan;
and if they demean the day of His resurrection likewise,
refusing to move to the END of God's work of making and saving man,
the testimonial reality, the appointed day of rest:
then this is no place for biblical people to go.
AT ONCE, they should have REMOVED White as a prophetess, since her doctrines were a departure of prime proportions from the Bible. Indeed, from the first a primary contention should have been discountenanced as a failed prophecy, and indeed as a scriptural error of profound proportions. They have not done so. The erroneous, misplaced, false prophecy from the first with all its intimations and imaginations since, these have to be removed, lock, stock and barrel, before there can be any biblically based credence to such impositions, vary as they might.
Yet still her works are passed around. Until her stand is denounced, they are enmeshed in the liberties which she took, and these, they merely add to the enormities which she advanced. So their christ, misaligned to the Bible, is making an unscriptural excursion*4 to do some book work while results accrue! This appears to replace by diminution the free gift of irrevocable grace (II Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 1:11, 1:1-10, John 10:9,27-28), total deliverance by the all-knowing God who promises to remember no more, for all time. This is to be the result then of such imaginings!
A NEW coming not mentioned in the Bible, contrary to the only actions which Christ described in this setting, this is to be an innovation on which much rests. There can however be no rest in such troubled waters of imaginative devastation of the clear teaching of the Bible on many topics. This visit of Christ in a second coming prediction which by biblical definition COULD not be right, since it was not PERMITTED, is not only error, the conflict with the Bible is only increased by the imaginative reconstruction of some invisible coming*4.
Rest, then, in the Lord, not in this turbulent, undenounced movement of falsity and invention.
IS ONE COMPONENT OF INNOCENCE;
BUT IGNORING SCRIPTURE IS NOT
Be the co-saviour if you will; ignore the express statements of Paul and Christ, if you so desire, by all means dabble in things which conflict with the word of God on predestination, and have a god who has to work at it to find out, coming in a secret way that is not even noticed, to do a work in fact done before time if you must; and if it be your pleasure, derogate the finished work of Christ by not acknowledging either the pattern of scripture or the early Church, which PRODUCED rest on the first day of the week BECAUSE Christ then GAVE them rest, showing that He had indeed brought life and immortality to light.
With this ignore, if you are so inclined in your will, and will to do so, the fact that the first worship after HE had finished HIS work of redemption, to complete the making of man by His restitution, occurred when He came as God on that first day, and that it was repeated on the next Sunday when Thomas there found Him, the next anniversary of the DAY: that great day of the completion of the invasion of the fields of sin so that non-nominal faith should have its reward and sustenance.
Indeed, ignore also, if you will and so desire, the fact that rest to man comes not only to Thomas but to this world (John 20:27-29), that is, to as many as receive Christ as He is. It was on the second Sunday that Christ, having shown Himself for worship on the first, was attested in worship as God, as "the God of me", by Thomas.
This, it was not some substitute moulded by the mind of man - it is God who created us, not vice versa, and where it is vice versa it is not God who is in view! It is He who has not only brought life and immortality to light, but conferred it on those who by faith have been saved (Titus 3:4ff., Ephesians 2:8), and whose inheritance is assigned already (Ephesians 1:11, II Timothy 1:9): as it was indeed, before time began, present faith having in its time, tapped eternal assignment, and received what had been appointed before time started its multiple course.
WHEN death broken, the Christian believer, retrieved, regenerated (I John 3, 5:11ff., John 3) is now placed directly and immediately in the domain of a paid-up eternal life, what was lost at the first in the trial, is now given at the last as a gift! Yet, if it be your will, DO NOT show your gratitude for this day.
Continue if you will, to recognise the Boer war and ignore the World War in your remembrances of the work of war, and so remember on rest day, the creation and not the redemption in your acclaim of the rest which God gives. Yet know that for such distortions and enormities, you demean the Saviour, ignore His doctrine, His actions and the practice of the Lord and His people as in Acts.
It is far better, a far better rest, a far better obedience, a far better life, a vastly preferable point, that you see fulfilled the Old Testament rest (cf. Isaiah 63:14, 30:15ff., Psalm 32), now culminating in Christ through paid redemption, typified in the FINAL WORK for man.
What is this ? It is what maintains the design requirement never changeable in this life of man made in the first place, by acting in our time to give the glorification of GOD's OWN LAST WORK IN REDEMPTION OF SOULS! That ? it is Christ's crucifixion and resurrection to authenticate. There is rest. There is the day of the way which GOD HIMSELF did in HIS OWN vast WORK of saving sinners. God forbid, says Paul, that I should glory EXCEPT in the cross of Christ by which he is crucified to the world and it to him.
THERE is the locus for life, memorialising the day, moving from the Old Testament creation episode and the rest prescribed therefore for man, from what is preliminary to the New Testament recreation, regeneration, completion, to the recognition that THAT rest is but a preliminary. Though a design requirement one day in seven, it is prelude to the perfected performance of Christ on the Cross, restoring man - those who believe - not only to His place for him, but providing at once freely, eternity (Isaiah 55, Ephesians 2, Romans 10:9, John 5:24, 6:50ff.). It is the LAST WORK which brings the final memorial to the power and peace, the completion for man of life, which now is implanted in the structure, and takes the pre-eminence, as in Christ there is in all things, just that.
It is doubtless one of the trends of many to minimise Christ. This is the ultimate in challenging redemption, not finding it. It can occur in making Him a sinner, or some processive agent without total knowledge in His glorification, or having someone else a scape-goat, or in changing the day of rejoicing in His finalised rest for this world, for all believers. Many are they who would demote Him. The Christian on the contrary, promotes Him, for there is nothing better than the best, or greater than God, who has no declivities of knowledge, purity, power or perception. ALL things are exposed to Him with whom we have to do, and indeed they are MANIFEST (Hebrews 4:13). There is no exception to that, Christ in His humiliation now having past to glory, so that in Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
It is the vast omission or diminution of His place in redemption and rest, the completion of what God began in creation, in what GOD completed thus, that is at the heart and base of many of the heresies which confound the path for many.
Thus there is the CONTINUITY of the principle of seven-day rest, in the CONSUMMATION for man of life, in the power of Christ, making HIS work the criterion of rest and HIS resurrection the issue to be memorialised. Just as it is HIS salvation, foreknown, finished, which you accept and receive not only in word but in spirit, resting only on Him, so it is His performance of it as the WORK of God COMPLETED (Hebrews 9) in this way, that provides the transition which He who declared Himself LORD OF THE SABBATH, has made.
His finished work completes the covenant, disjoins guilt, decrees sin remembered no more, provides eternal life, set finished to doctrine adders (Galatians 1, 3, 5, Revelation 22), and leaves the people of God in no need of such instructors (I John 2:19). Thus the heresies can readily, by contrast, allow one to realise the very wonder of the reality of the GODHEAD in Christ, one of the Trinity, not to be differentiated as something less (He was LOWERED specifically for the Messiah role, but exalted as at the first, equal with God - Philippians 2). Thus in the end, God is glorified, for examination of the evil brings more acute knowledge of His glory, and in their rejection, there is growth! (I Corinthians 11:19).
After all, if you have to work your way to it and through it, as judgment pends, then it depends not on faith through grace, but containing in part the idea of your own works, it depends on you. The weakest link is the point, and you are then that. The salvation of God is BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH and this whole thing, says Ephesians 2, is NOT OF YOURSELVES. It is CONTRARY to YOUR works entirely (II Timothy 1:9, Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2, Romans 10). If then it could fail because of you, as such heresies as these teach, then it is ACCORDING to you. Let then grace have its perfect work, and following the many promises and the vast premises of the Bible, the word of the immutable and always perfectly wise God, rest in Him and commemorate that rest where it belongs, both in heart and in worship.
God be praised, it DOES belong just where the day says: in HIM who gives it (Matthew 11:27ff.), and is memorialised on the day when He wrought it, and in the way which He completed in His death and manifested in His resurrection. There was the achievement to crown all time: and this He wrought by His own work, a finished work in which Christians rest, being enlivened by His Spirit, but admonished by His word, ALL of it profitable for doctrine, it being FOR EVER (I Peter 1).
As to early Church practice, apart from the fact that the FIRST Sunday faced after the resurrection was not only in fact, but by necessity, the FIRST time they all met for worship and praise, since then Christ appeared resurrected in their midst, was on the day of its occurrence in the flesh; and the SECOND was the second recorded occurrence of such general appearance in their midst, when Thomas was converted to the realisation of the reality of the bodily resurrection, that which made death irrelevant to fear and a conquest provided to faith. This was that glorious evangelical meeting, when the very principle of faith was announced (John 20:27-29) for all time; and its occurrence on the Sunday was matched by that of the Pentecost anointing, at that birthday of this particular aspect of the work of God in the Christian Church.
It is therefore not surprising that in The Didache, or Teaching of the Apostles, a document whatever its origin, of some historical interest, which has been dated from about 70 A.D., we find this: "On the Lord's own day, gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks."
Similarly, in the Epistle Barnabus, dated in the first century, we have this: "Wherefore we keep the Lord's day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose from the dead."
Ignatius, a prominent figure, whose work included the period just after the turn of the first century, declared this: "Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace... If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's day, on which our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death ... how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves by the Spirit did wait for Him by the Spirit."
This is found in his letter to the Magnesians, Chapter 9.
Here as in Acts 15, Jewish ceremonial is lifted, what Christ specifically adhered to himself, like paper with glue to a core, which make them fulfilled in Himself, and which He replaces therefore; and in the process we find likewise that the Lord's day is so closely affiliated with Himself, in His consummation of the covenant IN Himself, that to move from this, as the normal day when the communion occurs in the Church, is part of moving away from Him!
Ignatius was a very influential person, whose words or name have been cited by some of the best known 'early church fathers.'
Justin Martyr (around A.D. 138) had this to announce: " On the day called Sunday there is a gathering in one place ... and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are studied."
Irenaeus may be cited likewise: "The mystery of the Lord's resurrection may not be celebrated on any other day than the Lord's day, and on this alone we should observe the breaking off of the Paschal feast..." This in particular stresses the resurrection as demanding worship on the day after the earlier creation-style rest day.
Clement (late second century): The old sabbath day has become no more than a working day."
These include very conspicuous leaders, writers, teachers of the early Church.
See Questions and Answers
Know the Lord Ch. 25, *1 ;
News 51, The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 5, esp. *1;
Of the Earth, Earthy Ch. 12,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat Ch. 1;
Deserts and Desserts Ch. 4 (and Romans 6);
The Desire of the Nations Ch. 4;
Jesus Christ for the People, but Not for This World Ch. 2
See SMR Appendix D, and more particularly pp. 1175 for more on this.
The region of time may be indicated, and indeed is, but only when it is NEAR; and the unexpected nature of it is preserved, as in Acts 1, Matthew 24, I Thessalonians 5. God authenticated the Messiah by foretelling His death date, but defied hypocrisy by preserving unknown the RETURN date of regality, of the crucified and resurrected Christ, to rule, so that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
On the nearness, see Answers to Questions Ch. 5 and SMR Ch. 8 with 9.
In 1945, this doctrine from the domain of false prophecy was expunged.
Also the movement has removed the Satan-sin-bearer spiritual atrocity, demeaning the salvation of Christ to the uttermost.
These are mere exemplifications of its confusion, abuse of terms, failure to be scriptural and the evasions an confusions resultant upon its insistence on a false prophetess as founder, one not denounced as a heretic, in the presumption of whom they therefore continue.
The diminution of Christ, whether by the omission of the day of rest from resurrection completion, or by the foolish notion of His being limited by time for some sort of processing of sin, a thing invented by Mrs White, when once for all by one offering He has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9) and will remember the iniquities no more by covenant: what must be said of this ? It is in fact so demeaning as to be contradictory of the infinitude of wisdom of deity, of Christ as in Colossians 2:3,9. The SDA movement is engaging in much change, this way and that, but until it repudiates the heresies of Mrs White so that she is not regarded as a significant source of spiritual wisdom but a false prophetess, whose contentions were those of one whose expectation of the coming of the Lord was both contrary in PRINCIPLE to what the Bible permits and in practice, in its timing, it remains a work of the kind she instituted. It fails the test of the Bible multiply, one error leading to another, as in heart fibrillation, however much this or that change is made.
See The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10, for detail on John 1:1.
The idea of Christ doing a spot of homework on the files or records, and assessing things, is merely part of the sinful, incomplete, very limited being she creates. In fact, it comes ostensibly from Daniel 8, and in particular, 8:14.
THE FALSE PROPHECY
There was a prophet, Miller by name, who saw a second coming at hand, and predicted its date. He was wrong and admitted it; it did not happen. In addition, ANY such prediction is not only forbidden (as in Acts 1 where neither the time nor the season of these end matters is allowed to be known, by divine decree, far less any specific date), but it is certain to be wrong, since God WANTS it unknown (as in Matthew 24:45ff.). Life on earth has in part a testing status, and when servants begin to fight and be immoral, not knowing when HE will COME, they are to be found out. That is the divine procedure as stated, both negatively and positively.
The time to wait is long before Christ's return (as in II Peter 3:9), and that part is now fulfilled; and some get edgy, and worse, presumptuous, and even start denying the flood and considering it all a sort of semi-automatic thing: God is not going to do anything, this is their worldly and witless cry. That is as II Peter 3:5 forecast. It has happened with a vigour approaching vengeance.
Thus the prophet, Miller, was wrong, realised his error, and confessed the same. He was now out of it.
THE FALSE PROPHETESS
Mrs White, founder of the Seventh Day movement, however continued to hold to it. She decided that Christ had REALLY come, but in an invisible way. That certainly is one way out of a failed verbal experiment. It does not however meet the case since as the lightning move flashing, from East to West, so is the coming of Christ to be, AND its time CANNOT be known. Thus she not only erred in fact, but in principle, and in using the name of Jesus Christ, brought to the extent possible in such a case, dishonour to His name.
How does one know this, concerning the non-disclosure of His return date ? It is that He has said so, always a good way to know a thing, when THE TRUTH speaks (John 14:6).
First however let us look specifically in Acts 1:7ff.. There we learn that it is NOT FOR THE DISCIPLES to be told the time of these last things. Just as surely as God wanted man to know the date of Christ's FIRST coming to SAVE (as in Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, shown from the Bible), He did NOT want the date of the return to be known. It was not for them to know such things. That is what is written.
NOT to know, this is a type of knowledge: YOU KNOW WHAT you are not allowed to know, just as in a TOP SECRET document; except that in this case, that document is not permitted to be written, so that it is not there for man at all. What IS there is His coming when unexpected (cf. I Thessalonians 5). Not even the time or season of it may be known, far less the year. WHEN Christ came, the date sealed who He was and what He did, a chronological index. This was fair and proper for beings made with minds and directed to check what God does and believe! (as in Amos 3:7, Isaiah 44-45). NOW the thing is no more that data are needed; they are not needed in this time field. He intends to come unexpectedly, taking guilty, striving servants by surprise. He is not going to have them clean their finger nails and wash their hair, as it were, put their crooked dealings straight, and smile.
They are going to be found out. There is an element of test in life, and this is it here. Thus there is even a DIVINE MOTIVE for this foreclosure on time for return. He came as Saviour, and was identified. He will come as Judge, and will inspect without warning. To be sure, there will general indications which could go on for quite some time. These as in Luke 21, show that the time is NEAR. But when it actually will be, this is as carefully hidden as the time of coming to save was revealed!
Thus the idea of this prediction was anti-biblical in this case, a piece of presumption in direct antagonism to the express and expressed will of Christ, through revelation. Mrs White should have repented, and none should have followed this evil thing; but she did not, instead creating what is neither biblical NOR permitted in any case. Let us look at her other error, which appears to take the form of a cover-up.
What then of its purported base, Daniel 8, and in particular 8:14, where the arithmetic comes in, misused as it is ? What of this, occurring when that biblical prophet had divine vision accorded to him ?
In Daniel 8, we learn that this vision is looking into the future, and we find in Chapter 9 that it goes on to the death of the Messiah. As in Daniel 2, and 7, there are four kingdoms to come after that of Babylon, in which Daniel was then living. Daniel 8 deals with the second and third. The second is statedly (v. 20) that of Media and Persia. Historically this indeed followed that of Babylon, so that the case is clear. It is as in Daniel 2, a statement of things moving towards the end, which will come in the fourth kingdom's time. Daniel 7 and 9 expressly deal with that time (and the foothills that preceded it). Each in Daniel 7 is clearly specified. It all starts with the kingdom of Daniel's day, in power at that time: Babylon. It is there that he sees a ram charging.
Daniel 8, then, moves to this first exhibit, as Persia and Medes, which of course followed Babylon where Daniel lived in his own time. This is shown by a twin-horned ram acting with force, Media on the one hand, Persia on the other. One was the more powerful in the vision, as was the case in the history which fulfilled it. All would fall before this militant power, and Babylon was the main impacted item! Daniel 5 speaks of this event. It duly happened.
However, this is still not the actual end, though as a line of progress, it does RELATE to it, as the angel indicated to Daniel (Daniel 8:17). The next kingdom, the third therefore of the 4 to be found in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, is that of Greece (8:21). Here we find a male goat coming, without touching the ground. In other words, this is a rapid, rampant assault, precisely as Alexander the Great from the area and arena of Greece (Macedonia) exhibited in his manner and facility. In his 'rage' - for Alexander was insatiable against Persia, refusing treaty and rushing on to India with much ado - the goat moves with his salient ONE horn! He broke the two horns of the ram, of Media and Persia as was fulfilled. He trampled on him - just as Alexander seemed to have an almost anti-Jew type of passion, to take a more modern parallel - against Persia, perhaps with some revenge in mind. This is all precisely defined and completely specific.
The goat, Alexander grew very great (8: 8), but its horn was broken. Alexander died young, in early thirties, and his empire was dissolved, becoming four departments. This happened also.
One of the departments, divisions of that, his empire, the four 'horns' which grew up in place of the big one, produced a 'little horn' which grew great and sought to attack the prince of princes (Daniel 8:25) and he cast stars to the ground. The precise location which God had made for His express revelation of Himself being Israel, and the temple being the holy site, we learn that this is where the attack has one focus. He seeks to deceive, mislead and distress the people of God in Israel, and of course, this too happened. Antiochus Epiphanes, who deemed himself a god, god manifest, not only did this, he defiled the temple, stopping sacrifices for a number of years, and the total time is given as 2300 days.
This period relating to various phases of the assault on the administration and practice of the temple, one in excess of 6 years, is dated in J. Barton Payne's Encylopedia of Prophecy, from 171 to 165 B.C.. These things are given in detail, with distinctions made carefully, in Highway of Holiness Chs. 2, 3, 8; and especially note the biblically derived perspective in the last of these. The things which characterised the period of 2300 days were from first to last, a trampling under foot of the temple, a cessation of sacrifices, a transgression of desolation. This period of sacrilege and evil assault on the prince of princes (Daniel 8:25) was fulfilled in these ways.
First, an idol of Zeus, a pagan, mythical god, was to be placed at the location of the altar, a thrust so fatal as to be a symbolic effort to displace the God who made heaven and earth with a human imagination roving the skies of fantasy. Also occurring - the cessation of sacrifices and even the stealing of sacred vessels from the Temple at Jerusalem by Lysimachus, brother of the evil high preist, Menelaus, so that the sanctuary was trodden under foot. Thus, its very symbolism was both removed and replaced in an ascent of conflict with the Lord, prince of princes, lord of lords; and it is this which was to be purged, and was in history as in prediction. It was historically wrought by famous Judas Maccabeus. The start, mid-171 with the removal of the sacred vessels by theft from the Temple, led on to the end, 165.
Thus the effort to make this simple, clear, fulfilled, precise prophecy refer NOT to the empire noted, in the empire noted, that is the third, the one before that in which the Messiah was to come, but to something far later, long after Jesus Christ came is a gigantic manifestation of confusion and error.
It becomes ludicrous, a fantasising without warrant and contrary both to prophecy and to history. The time is EXPRESSLY set to be in a period AFTER the fall of the Greek kingdom, that of Alexander the Great in fact, in the succession of Empires which ruled, and WITHIN the time of the four segments of that empire into which it broke up. It is further specific: it comes within ONE of those segments, in particular the one involving Jerusalem, which was the Syrian one, famed in the First Book of Maccabees, for just these events. Indeed, so vast is the confusion that in Highway of Holiness Ch. 8, it is spelled out in each of its errors, making perhaps one of the greatest follies of interpretation ever made. It just does not fit where it is pushed, by thousands of years, by putting long after Christ what was long before.
There is nothing whatever for the dream of Mrs White that there is any such event as her addition to the Bible, this imaginary and blasphemously demeaning idea that Christ needs to be PROCESSING things in heaven: that is events and accounts concerning things relating to good and evil and judgment, as if these were not known as with all the results, before the creation of the world as the Bible teaches (Ephesians 1:4, Acts 15:18, Isaiah 46:8, Romans 8:26ff.). Is Christ then without a Cray computer, rather than far transcending all the works and ways of man, so that He MIGHT predict where ANY ONE error would throw much out!
Is He to be esteemed without all the riches of wisdom and knowledge, tied to time: is this the way for Him who MADE time (John 1:1-3), making of Him an Author who does not know how His book ends when He IS the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Revelation 2:8)! It is thus not only an addition to history, an abuse of prophecy, but a demeaning of Christ, a degradation of deity (which HE is - John 8:58, Philippians 2), and a farce (therefore) built on an imaginary base with a delusive outcome.
If that is the sort of god one desires, here it is. This is not to say how much anyone in that field KNOWS about what is being done: it is the scriptural attestation of it. Sin blinds; and Christ even at His crucifixion was proclaiming this in crying out: Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing. But it is another thing to follow them. If HE had followed His detractors at the time, then He would have come down from the Cross.
The imagination that Christ is OCCUPIED in blotting out sins from various files or accounts or records, and that this is not yet done, prevents the knowledge in the believer of all that concerns what is not yet finished, and hence assurance of salvation without question, condition, development, personal or other, is not in view. Thus in "Christ's Object Lessons," p. 153, we have what is in fact a co-saviour concept that those who "accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or feel that they are saved." This is misleading. It is a grievous failure to realise the significance of Christ, and however many fall here, to compound it is neither wise nor necessary, neither scriptural nor safe.
All these false teachings link together to form a very different religion, based on an imagined Christ without knowledge such as He has, without power as the ONLY Saviour (not linked to fallible flesh to get the job done) so that by grace through faith you are saved persons, as Ephesians 2:1-8 teaches: such that indeed, the whole thing is not of yourselves! as the Greek necessarily indicates through the grammar involved.
Again, not only does the Bible in such makes make it clear that salvation linked to eternal inheritance is sure (Ephesians 1:11) and already possessed by faith for those who follow the word of God (I Peter 1:1-8, John 5:24), but likewise does Titus 3, which tells Christians that
"when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to His mercy He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit".
Thus I John 5:11ff. tells us that the apostle, speaking from the Lord, wants Christians to KNOW that they have eternal life (as in 5:24, 10:9,27-28). It is APART FROM WORKS (Romans 3:23ff.), for assuredly if OUR works were involved, their very imperfection would grievously remove us from consideration. It is not of the will of man or his blood that salvation is obtained, says John 1:12, but of God, and as to that, it is a "gift" as in Romans 6:23, and a gift by grace, as in Romans 5:15, predestinated for those who believe in Him, as in II Timothy 1:9. This calling, says the apostle in this same II Timothy 1:9, is such that God
"has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus
before time began, but now has been revealed
by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ
who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light
through the Gospel."
Distancing of salvation and the entire purging of sin once and for all, so that it is REMEMBERED NO MORE because of Christ's abolition of its guilt and power on the Cross, is distancing from God who did it, and a heinous intrusion into His word, by the thoughts of a sinner not sent (cf. Jeremiah 23:16-26), a false prophetess whose imaginary talk of a purging merely covers the FACT that at the date in view, Christ did NOT return AT ALL. The addition merely mangles MORE scriptures than those simply prohibiting predictions of the date of His coming. It is false prophecy unredeemed by a whole series of false teaching which interfere with the majesty of the Lord, His knowledge, His salvation and its method.
If anything therefore could be false teaching, this is such. In the Old Testament, such action of making predictions or forwarding them, when they were unfulfilled, was death. In the New Testament, we no longer have a theocracy, such as occurred in Israel, when civil laws were in religious control; but the idea of having a 'church' which teaches such things as if they were BIBLICAL, is something that any faithful pastor, in any way involved, MUST expose (cf. Acts 20:25-29, II Peter 2:1ff., II Timothy 4); and those deceived by this are not wise.