The Dugger-Porter Debate
THE SABBATH QUESTION
The Scriptures teach that the seventh day of the week as a Christian Sabbath is enjoined upon God’s people in this age of the world.
Dugger’s First Affirmative | Porter’s First Negative | Dugger’s Second Affirmative | Porter’s Second Negative | Dugger’s Third Affirmative | Porter’s Third Negative | Dugger’s Fourth Affirmative | Porter’s Fourth Negative |
We believe the Scriptures teach that Saturday, the seventh day of the week, is the Christian Sabbath to be observed by Christians in this age, for the following reasons:
When the Lord created the heavens and the earth in six days he did not class the seventh day with the other working days which he gave to mankind, upon which to perform his labor. We read in Genesis 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the hosts of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
Here we find that the seventh day was not classed with the other days. It was sanctified. That is, it was set apart for a sacred use. It was God’s day then, while the other six days were given to man to use for days of toil and labor. The seventh day, which is Saturday, still belongs to God. We have no record where he has ever classed it with the other days, or placed it on common grounds with them. It was sanctified, that is, separated from them, for a sacred purpose. We have no record where it was ever placed back with the other six days, or ever given to man for a secular day of use. God told us to keep this day for him in many places throughout the Scriptures. The seventh day was never man’s day to use for himself, but it has always been placed where man could keep it for God, or use it for himself. And the Lord has always tested the loyalty of mankind over the way they regarded that which was not theirs, the Sabbath, which always has, and always will belong to God.
We pass now to the time when God’s people were in Egypt. We find Pharaoh complaining because Moses and Aaron made the children of Israel “rest” from their burdens. We find that this word “rest” is taken from the Hebrew “sabat,” or sabbatize. Israelites were here keeping the Sabbath day, which caused the complaint against them.
Also when God called his people out of Egypt he tested their loyalty to him on the way they regarded his day, the Sabbath. He rained the manna for forty years, but it never fell on God’s day. It fell on the six days given to man, for it required considerable labor to gather it; consequently, the Lord did not rain it on the day that belonged to him.
When the people went out on the Sabbath day to gather the manna the Lord rebuked them saying, “How long refuse you to keep my commandments and my laws” (Exodus 16:28). Hence the seventh day, Sabbath, was in the commandments and laws the Lord had given the people before Israel had reached Mount Sinai. Abraham kept these commandments and laws; hence, Abraham kept the Sabbath day for God, and did not use it for himself. It reads in Genesis 26:5 as follows, “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws.”
God’s people, whoever they have been, have always been known as such because of their separation from the world in fellowship with him, obeying his voice and keeping his commandments. When he wrote the ten commandments on tables of stone, with his own finger, he said: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:8, 9). This Sabbath precept was made a part of the ten commandments, and in this code of law, God said: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God” (verse 9). He confirms the fact again of the proper ownership of this day. It is God’s day, and we only hold it in trust, and are to keep it for God by doing his work on that day, and abstaining from our own secular labor.
The seventh day can be traced down through the Scriptures with peculiar reverence. God’s people of all nationalities, whether Jew or Gentile, were duty bound to observe the Sabbath, keeping it for God, in order to enjoy the blessings of heaven and possess eternal life. In Isaiah 56:6 the Lord says: “Also the sons of the stranger (Gentile), that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant, even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.”
The Gentiles, therefore, in olden times were tested out by the way they handled the day that was not their own, but that of another. It belonged to God, and the Gentiles must realize that divine ownership, and keep God’s day for him and for his service, and not use it for themselves.
Again we find the Lord testing Israel, and bringing rebuke upon that nation because they coveted the Sabbath day, then laid hold upon it, using it for their own secular work. He speaks thus: “Thus saith the Lord, take heed to yourselves and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. Neither carry any burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day as I commanded your fathers. . . And it shall come to pass if you diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring no burdens through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day . . . this city shall remain forever” (Jeremiah 17:21-35).
Jerusalem would never have been destroyed, neither would Israel or Judah been scattered among the nations, suffering such terrible persecutions as they have been suffering, if they had kept the Sabbath as God commanded. God’s punishments upon Judah and Israel are again clearly set forth in Deuteronomy 28th chapter, and the Lord tells us it was because they broke his commandments. The Gentile nations today are suffering God’s judgments, for the same reasons as did Israel; viz., because they are breaking his commandments. The Lord speaks of the world in general in the following language: “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate, therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left” (Isaiah 24:5, 6). The Gentiles today who are boasting themselves against Israel, and at the same time committing the same offenses against God as Israel committed, will soon be victims of his wrath and judgments. God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11 and Ephesians 6:9), and he changes not (Malachi 3:6).
Coming now to the New Testament we are not disappointed in finding that God regards his day just as he did in the Old Testament age. He has not changed, and is no respecter of persons. We find Jesus keeping the Sabbath, and making it his custom to use that day especially for God (Luke 4:14, 16). It says he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as his custom was. Then before Jerusalem was destroyed, we find Jesus instructing his disciples to “Pray that their flight would not be on the Sabbath.” He was telling them about the terrible destruction awaiting Jerusalem, and he knew as the prophet Isaiah had previously said that the city awaited her doom, because of Sabbath desecration (Jeremiah 17:21-35). When a hostile army overruns a country and the people have to flee, there is great discomfort if it is winter because of the cold; and if they flee on the Sabbath, they must labor, carrying their burdens out of their homes on the Sabbath which God forbade them doing. Hence Jesus told them to pray that their flight would not be on the Sabbath. He well knew Jerusalem would not be taken, and the land overrun until long after he died on the cross. The event did not happen until 70 A.D. as all histories affirm. Therefore, Jesus proclaimed the divine importance of that day, belonging to God nearly forty years after he was crucified. As the Sabbath was still holy, and remained God’s day, 70 years after Christ came, there is no distinction today. It is still God’s day, and not man’s day for secular labor, but we are to keep it in trust for God, doing his work, and not our own labor on that day.
The apostle Paul labored among the Jews and went into their synagogues to preach. They were observing the seventh day of the week the same as they do at this time, and they have never ceased to cherish and honor the Sabbath. When Paul went to one of their synagogues and preached to the Jews on the Sabbath the Lord says: “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath day. . . And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God” (Acts 13:42, 44).
This was about 66 A.D. At a still later date when the Holy Spirit recorded the event, we were informed that the day these Jews met on was the Sabbath. Therefore it was the Sabbath then at least 66 years down in this gospel dispensation. The Jews were meeting on the seventh day of the week, or on Saturday as the day is now called. Hence, the Holy Spirit called Saturday the Sabbath day in this age, and surely it is the Sabbath. If the seventh day is not the Sabbath, why did the Holy Spirit deceive us by calling it the Sabbath? As it was the Sabbath then it is the Sabbath now.
Again we find in Acts 16:12-14 where Paul went out by the river side where prayer was accustomed to be made, and preached to people there. Also in Acts 17:2 we read as follows: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” It was Paul’s manner to meet with both Jews and Gentiles, as it says here, on the Sabbath day. Furthermore, in Acts 18:4-11 we read: “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks . . . And he continued there a year and six months teaching the word of God among them.” Here we find Paul making tents during the week, and preaching to both Jews and Gentiles on the Sabbath. He remained there a year and six months; consequently, we have here 76 Sabbath days the apostle Paul preached. It could not be said that he was visiting these synagogues preaching on Saturday just because the Jews met on that day, for he was preaching to Gentiles also. Furthermore, he was an apostle to the Gentiles and not to the Jews; hence, his making it a custom to hold meetings on the Sabbath shows his regard for God’s day, and proves that he was not using it for a secular purpose as he was the other days upon which he made tents. The Sabbath which was the seventh day of the week was consequently observed by Paul and his followers, both Jews and Gentiles, at this period of the gospel age about 66 A.D. It therefore is the day for rest and worship today.
Further evidence, found in the New Testament, that God has not changed by giving another day, in the place of his day, for people to rest upon is found in the following text, “For God spake of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works” (Hebrews 4:4). In verse 8 he says: “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God, for he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works as God did from his” (verses 9, 10).
Some teach that we do not have any day of rest at this time, but the Sabbath still belongs to God, and not to man for secular use. Here we are told that “there remaineth,” a rest to the people of God. The word rest is here taken from the Greek word sabbatismos, which means the Sabbath day rest. The other words “rest” as found in these verses are derived from a different Greek word entirely. It is kataposus, and means rest. It may refer to a rest after fatigue, to the Eden rest, or the eternal rest, but the word sabbatismos of verse 9 does not refer to any of these rests, but to the Sabbath day, and we are told it remains for the people of God. God has not changed, the Sabbath day still belongs to him, and should not be used by man for secular work. At the beginning of the world the seventh day was “sanctified,” that is, it was set apart. Webster’s dictionary gives the definition for the word “sanctify”: “To be set apart for religious use.” This is what happened at creation with the last day of the week, the seventh day, which is Saturday. It was set apart from the other days, for God, as his holy day. Now what right has any man, or set of men, to interfere with God, and attempt to change this divine order. In Isaiah 58:13 it is spoken of as God’s day, thus, “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, holy unto the Lord, honorable” etc. Here the Sabbath is again said to be God’s day. It is, therefore, not ours to use for ourselves in common work. It is the day separated from the other six days at creation, and it is still thus separated. Man has made all manner of excuses, and tried in vain to alter God’s order of things regarding the Sabbath, but dear reader, this day, the seventh, is still God’s day. It does not belong to mankind to use in their common labor, but it is for our worship and service of the creator.
Should someone give you a ten-dollar bill, and tell you to keep that for them until they returned, this money would be in your hands, and in your charge just as the seventh day of the week or the holy Sabbath. You would have the ten dollars. It would be in your power, you could keep it for this person, or you could use it for yourself. God has given the Sabbath to mankind to keep for him. It is within our power, and we can be faithful and use this sacred time for God, or we can take it and perform our own common labor on this day, and use it for ourselves. Before you would take this money and use it for yourself, you would first covet it. You would break the commandment forbidding covetousness. Furthermore, if you would take this money and appropriate it for yourself you would break the commandment forbidding stealing. It is just this way with the Sabbath. This day belongs to God. It does not belong to us. When people get so busy in the things of this old world that they covet more time, and then by taking this day, which is not their own and using it for their own work, they are guilty of stealing. This is the situation of many honest people, to whom the precious truth of the Sabbath has not yet gone. God will forgive them for such action when they ask him in the precious name of Jesus. He is loving and merciful, and this precious truth of the Sabbath day, which is Saturday and not Sunday is going to all the world, and many dear people are seeing the true light and rejoicing to walk in this strait and narrow way.
While holding meetings in London, England, a few years ago, I purchased a little book at one of the great book stores of London which was entitled “The Weekly Cycle.” In this book the “week” is traced down from one hundred years before Christ. Every change man has made in the calendar is mentioned and tables showing that the days of the week are just the same as they were in the time of Christ. This book gives tables copied from leading authorized works on astronomy, and contains copies of calendars from the time of Christ to the present day, showing beyond any question of doubt that the weekly cycle is just the same as it always was. Consequently, time has not been lost as so many affirm, and the seventh day of the week is still just as it was anciently.
As further proof that we are observing the real ancient Sabbath, the same day that God blessed and made holy, we find in Matthew 28:1 as follows: “In the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” Here the Holy Spirit has told us very clearly that in the New Testament times the Sabbath was not “the first day of the week,” but it was the day just preceding it. Therefore, the Sabbath as verified by the Holy Spirit for the gospel age, was not Sunday, but the day before, which was Saturday.
Furthermore, the Sabbath is one of God’s ten commandments, and it is of just as much importance as the other nine. People who confess Jesus, and try to live right, are usually quite strict about keeping all of the other ten commandments, but some seem to believe that the keeping of a Sabbath day of rest as God commanded is not of importance. Yet to covet this time which is God’s time, and then to take it and use it for ourselves, is committing two of the prominent sins forbidden in the ten commandments. The Sabbath is just as important as any of the other nine, and should be kept for God and regarded as his day for worship and rest.
The ten commandments were formerly the standard of right and wrong. To break any one of them in the Old Testament time was such an offense against heaven that something had to die. Either the person offending, or he had to get an animal and have the priest kill it in his stead. The Lord says the blood is the life, and that “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). When any one of the ten commandments was broken under the administration of death at the time of Moses, the man or the woman was stoned to death, when two or three witnesses testified against them. They could have an animal killed in their stead or two turtle-doves (Leviticus 5:7) if the offender was too poor to furnish a lamb. This law of pardon by the blood of the animal was given by Moses to deliver people from the penalty of the ten commandment law, and now we have the new law of pardon through Jesus Christ, known in the New Testament as the “Testimonies of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17).
The entire old system of pardon with its ceremonies, bloody sacrifices, feasts on holy days, new moons, and yearly Sabbaths given to Israel, and spoken of as “Her” Sabbaths were done away with and nailed to the cross. Ephesians 2:15, and Colossians 2:14-16. Paul speaks of this law of pardon in Galatians 3:19 and says: “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgression until the seed should come.” This seed was Jesus, and this law of pardon was only to last till Jesus came when, according to God’s plan, he had provided something better. It was not the same old system of pardon by the killing of animals, but through the precious blood of Jesus, the lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 5:6).
It was not the ten commandment law that was nailed to the cross and abolished through the work and death of Jesus, but it was the old sacrificial law of pardon. The Lord said of Jesus that when he came into the world, he would magnify the law and make it honorable (Isaiah 42:21). Jesus said: “Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets, I came not to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17-19). Jesus did not destroy any law, or any prophecy. His life and work fulfilled the old law of pardon, and also fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, and therefore finished them. But he never destroyed any law or any prophecy. His life which was our example taught us to keep the Sabbath. See Luke 4:14-16, where it says his custom was to keep the Sabbath day. We are told that “In him was life, and his life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Also: “If we follow him we will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus made it his custom to keep the Sabbath, and he also “Kept his father’s commandments,” (John 15:10), and repeatedly tells us to “Keep the commandments of God” (Revelation 14:12; also 12:17 and 22:14). He says those who are saved are the ones “keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
In the New Testament we are repeatedly told to keep the law of God, the ten commandments. Notice the following: “Whosoever therefore shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:10, 11). Here we have the law of ten commandments mentioned and two of them quoted. We also find that in the New Testament gospel age this law of ten commandments is still the great measuring standard of righteousness. We cannot be saved by keeping any law, neither by our own works, but when we are saved before heaven, it will be our very nature to keep all of these holy commandments including the fourth which is the seventh day Sabbath. The Lord says further that the “remnant” of the seed of the woman, or the remnant people called out during the gospel age are those who “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimonies of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17). Here we have the commandments of God as the standard just as it was in the Old Testament time, but we have the new law of pardon spoken of as “the testimonies of Jesus.” It is the New Testament. It testifies of the birth, life and death of Jesus and gives us the new law of pardon.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 and also in Luke 17 that when Jesus returns to earth again, there will be but very few people saved. He compares it to the time of Noah and the days of Sodom. We are now in a very wicked sinful age, as everyone knows, and the great majority of people are traveling the broad way that leads them to destruction. Jesus said that “strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and but few there be that find it, because broad is the gate and wide is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that walk therein” (Matthew 7:13, 14). He also says: “Fear not little flock for it is your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). We are living in the closing days of this age, when Jesus is soon to return and judge the world. There are but few going to be saved compared to the many. Jesus says it is going to be those who “Keep the commandments of God” (Revelation 14:12). John also says: “This is the love of God that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not grievous” (John 5:3, 4).
It gives me pleasure to enter into this discussion with my friend, A. N. Dugger, in an effort to determine by the Bible the day of religious service enjoined upon Christians. While he failed to define the terms of his proposition, I take it that the subject is easily understood, and the important thing is to test the proposition by the things said in the Bible. My friend is undertaking to prove that “the Scriptures teach that the seventh day of the week as a Christian Sabbath is enjoined upon God’s people in this age of the world.” There is no discussion between us as to whether the seventh day of the week was ever enjoined upon anybody as a Sabbath. We both agree that such is true. But the question is this: Is it a Christian Sabbath? Is it binding upon Christians? That I emphatically deny while my opponent ardently affirms. So that is the issue between us. I shall now take up the arguments in order as introduced by him and see if they sustain his proposition.
Our attention is first called to the six days of creation and the Lord’s rest on the seventh day as recorded in Genesis 2:1-3. The seventh day was certainly “classed with the other days” in that it was mentioned as one of the days of the week. I readily grant that the seventh day of the week was sanctified -- set apart to a sacred use -- and in that sense it was not like the other days; but the question that confronts us here is: When was it sanctified? Was it sanctified, set apart, at the creation? Was it sanctified at the time God rested or did the sanctification take place some time after he rested? What does the passage say? “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested.” “Had rested” is past perfect tense of the verb and refers to an action completed sometime in the past. But if we regard it as simple past tense, the fact still remains that the day was sanctified some time following the rest. There is nothing to indicate that it was set apart at the creation. Moses wrote the record of it about 2500 years after God rested, and at the time he wrote the day was sanctified; but it is up to friend Dugger to prove that it was sanctified about 2500 years before Moses was born. Until he does this, the passage is of no value to him. Neither do I agree that “God told us to keep this day for him in many places throughout the Scriptures.” God told somebody to keep it, but Elder Dugger must give the passage that shows that God told us to do it. Nor has he “always tested the loyalty of mankind over the way they regarded the Sabbath.” The loyalty of some men has thus been tested in one age of the world; but when my friend puts “always” into his comments, I deny and call for the proof. Mere assertions are not sufficient in a discussion like this.
The argument that Israel were keeping the Sabbath day in Egypt when Moses and Aaron made them “rest from their burdens” according to Exodus 5:5, is a very weak effort on the part of my friend. The word from which “rest” comes simply means “to cause to cease.” It does not indicate that they were keeping the Sabbath. The work of Moses and Aaron had filled them with a desire to leave Egypt, and as a result they quit their work, or ceased from their burdens. This is clearly shown in verse 4 in which we are told that the king of Egypt said: “Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? Get you unto your burdens.” God did not make known to the people in Egypt anything about the Sabbath, but after he brought them out of Egypt and into the wilderness he gave them the Sabbath law. This is definitely told us in Ezekiel 20:10-12. There in the wilderness, God said, “I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them.” Then he did not give them the Sabbaths in Egypt, and my friend’s argument is all wrong.
That Israel’s loyalty to God was tested in the wilderness in connection with the manna and the Sabbath is readily granted. But I want to remind my friend that the first time the Sabbath is mentioned in all the book of God is in this connection is the sixteenth chapter of Exodus. According to verse 4 it was given to “prove them,” whether they would walk in God’s law. This is sufficient evidence that they had not been previously keeping the Sabbath; for if they had been, they would have been proven already. Also when Moses introduced the Sabbath he said: “Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord” (Exodus 16:23). This manner of introducing it shows they were unacquainted with it; and they had to be instructed in the smallest details of it. When the next day arrived Moses said: “Today is a Sabbath unto the Lord” (Exodus 16:25). All this reveals to us that the Sabbath was now being introduced for the first time; here in the wilderness in the region of Sinai it was first made known. In Nehemiah 9:13, 14 we read: “Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: and madest known unto them thy holy Sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant.” So they did not know the Sabbath through the past years of their history -- it was made known to them in the region of Sinai -- and the argument of my friend fails. But I might grant all he claims for this incident, and it still would do him no good, for it contains no proof that Christians are required to keep it now.
Elder Dugger next assumes that Abraham kept the Sabbath, for God said: “Abraham . . . kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (Genesis 26:5). But he could just as well assume that Abraham was baptized and observed the Lord’s supper, for both of these are commandments of God. However, Abraham did not keep the Sabbath law, for Moses, while speaking of the covenant that contained the Sabbath commandment, said: “The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day” (Deuteronomy 5:3). Abraham was one of the fathers with whom God did not make that covenant; neither was he alive the day Moses spoke. But suppose Abraham did keep the Sabbath. Would that prove that it is binding on Christians now? Abraham kept the law of circumcision (Genesis 17:10-14) and offered animal sacrifice (Genesis 22:13); but my opponent would not be willing to take this as authority to bind such upon Christians.
I agree with my friend that God’s people have always been known by their keeping his commandments; but to indicate that this means the Sabbath is pure assumption. His quotation of Exodus 20:8, 9 in this connection, in which God said, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” with emphasis being placed by Dugger on the word “remember,” is to indicate that they had been long keeping the Sabbath, or they could not remember it. God said to Israel in Egypt: “Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt” (Exodus 13:3). Yet they had never before observed the day. How could they remember this? The explanation of one is the explanation of the other. I do not deny that the seventh day was the Sabbath of the Lord, but it was for the Jews in the Jewish age and not for Christians in this age.
In an effort to prove that the Sabbath commandment is binding on Gentile Christians today, my friend introduces Isaiah 56:6 in which the “sons of the stranger” (Gentiles) were mentioned as keeping the Sabbath. And relative to this Elder Dugger says: “God’s people of all nationalities, whether Jew or Gentile, were duty bound to observe the Sabbath . . . in order to enjoy the blessings of heaven.” But he could have as well said: “God’s people of all nationalities, whether Jew or Gentile, were duty bound to observe the law of circumcision” for the very same reason; for God said: “And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover of the Lord, let all his males be circumcised . . . for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof” (Exodus 12:48). But what did the “sons of the stranger,” mentioned in Isaiah 56:6, have to do to be eligible for Sabbath keeping and entrance into God’s house of prayer? They had to “join themselves to the Lord”; to “love the name of the Lord”; to “be his servants”; to “take hold of God’s covenant.” But in doing this they had to be circumcised, for God said: “No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel” (Ezekiel 44:9). But when Gentiles thus “joined themselves to the Lord” they ceased to be Gentiles and became proselytes to the Jewish religion; then they kept the Sabbath, not as Gentiles, but as Jews. What my opponent needs to find is where any Gentile as such was ever commanded to keep the Sabbath. If he can produce such a passage, let us have it. And while he is looking for that, he might also tell us why, if the Sabbath was of universal application, the Gentiles were called “strangers.” Here is a task for him to undertake. And why did Paul, speaking of them during the Jewish age, say they were “strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world”? (Ephesians 2:12). And why did God, when he gave the Sabbath commandment at Sinai, make it binding only on “thy stranger that is within thy gates”? (Exodus 20:10). Let my friend find where it was binding on the stranger without their gates. All this shows the Sabbath was not of universal application; if it had been, there would have been no “strangers.”
My opponent next presents Jeremiah 17:21-25 to show that God was “testing Israel and bringing rebuke upon that nation” because of their attitude toward the Sabbath. But that is the wrong reference for my friend’s proposition; for he needs to find the passage where God “tests Christians,” not Israel, by that means. Since, as Dugger tells us, Israel and Judah were “scattered among the nations” because they failed to keep the Sabbath, why did he not, for the same reason, scatter the nations among Israel? It is right in this connection that our attention is called by my friend to Romans 2:11 and Ephesians 6:9 to prove that “God is no respecter of persons.” If the Sabbath applied to all nations, why did not God bring the Babylonians into Judean captivity for their failure to keep the Sabbath? My friend’s position makes God a respecter of persons. He sent the Jews into Babylon because they did not keep the Sabbath; but he did not send the Babylonians into Judea for the same reason. I challenge my friend to clear up this situation in the light of his position on the Sabbath. The statement of Isaiah 24:5, 6, which is introduced to prove the Sabbath of general application, has no reference to the Gentiles. “The earth,” as there mentioned, is used interchangeably with “the land” in verse 3. This refers to “the land of Judea,” “the land of Canaan,” and to punishment upon Israel, as a reading of the entire chapter will plainly disclose.
Following my friend in all the arguments he has introduced, we come now to his references in the New Testament. Luke 4:14-16 is given to show that Jesus kept the Sabbath. Many passages might be given to prove this. But Jesus also was circumcised (Luke 2:21) and kept the Passover (Matthew 26:17-25); but my opponent does not observe these because Jesus did. Why did Jesus observe the law of circumcision, the Sabbath and the Passover? Because “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). And since he lived “under the law” he kept these requirements of the law. But Paul tells us that Christians “are not under the law” (Romans 6:14). So there is the difference.
Elder Dugger thinks that the Sabbath was a holy day in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed long after the crucifixion of Jesus because Jesus told his disciples to “pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day” (Matthew 24:20). But if this passage proves the Sabbath was a holy day in A.D. 70, it also proves “the winter” was a “holy season,” for he told them to pray that their flight be not in the winter. It was not the sacredness of the day or the season that Jesus had in mind, but the safety of his disciples. Flight in the winter time would be difficult. Also the Jews, who had not accepted Christianity, would still be keeping the Sabbath and would have the gates of Jerusalem closed on that day. Therefore, escape on that day would also be difficult; so they were to pray that they not have to flee on the Sabbath or in the winter. You will have to try it over, Elder Dugger.
Then to “the Sabbath” in the book of Acts. My friend finds where Paul went into the Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath day to preach as recorded in Acts 13:14-44. But had it ever occurred to him that the Jews who were conducting their services on the Sabbath were not Christians. There were no Christians in these places when Paul went there. But did Paul keep the Sabbath with them? Not a word said about it. He went there to preach. I have often gone to places to preach on Saturday, but I did not observe the Sabbath. And even those Gentiles who requested “the word to be preached to them the next Sabbath” were not Christians. Let Dugger find where they requested Paul to keep the Sabbath, not to preach, and where he responded. This he cannot find. The same is true of his going out to the riverside (Acts 16:13, 14) and to Corinth (Acts 18:1-11). In both these he preached -- he “spake unto the women” and “reasoned in the synagogues,” but not a word about “keeping the Sabbath.” My friend says he finds “76 Sabbath days the apostle Paul preached.” Well, he needs to find one Sabbath day that he kept holy. But Paul left the Jews and turned to the Gentiles in Acts 18:6 before the “year and six months” are mentioned. Friend Dugger skipped this point. He connected verse 4 with verse 11, ignoring this point altogether.
But “the Holy Spirit called Saturday the Sabbath day in this age” when Luke wrote the book of Acts. And don’t forget that the Holy Spirit still called a certain day “the day of Pentecost” (Acts 2:1) and the Passover week “the days of unleavened bread” (Acts 12:3). Yet Dugger does not regard this as proof that he should keep the Passover and Pentecost. Did “the Spirit deceive him” in thus designating these days in the gospel dispensation? And why does he not keep them? If this plan, on the one hand, proves the Sabbath is binding; on the other, it proves the Passover and Pentecost binding.
In Hebrews 4:9 Paul says: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Elder Dugger thinks this means the Sabbath. But note that it is “a rest,” not “the Sabbath.” But he tells us that the word comes from the Greek sabbatismos, whereas the word “rest” in other connected verses is from the Greek katapausis; hence the heavenly rest, he thinks, cannot be the rest of verse 9. But the word “rested” in verse 4, referring to God’s rest on the seventh day, is from katopausin. So, according to Dugger, verse 9 cannot be the seventh day rest. Besides, the word Sabbath in our New Testament comes from sabbaton, not sabbatismos. They had entered the seventh day rest and the Canaan rest, but a rest yet remained to be entered. It is the heavenly rest, for Paul said; “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:11). This is the rest spoken of a long time after the other rests. Read Hebrews 4:7, 8.
My friend returns to his argument relative to the “sanctifying” the seventh day at creation. But since I have already noticed that, I shall not return to it here. I readily grant that God in Isaiah 58:13, referred to the Sabbath as “my holy day,” but what my friend needs to find is a reference that calls it God’s holy day in the Christian age of the world. In this particular he has failed, but it is the thing he must do to have any support for his proposition.
His effort to prove that those who do not keep the Sabbath now are guilty of covetousness and theft is a complete failure. He tries it by a “ten-dollar-bill” illustration. But for this illustration to serve his purpose he will have to find where the Lord gave mankind the Sabbath “to keep until he returns.” But such a passage cannot anywhere be found. Certainly, God commanded the Jews to keep the Sabbath, but he didn’t even command them to keep it till the Lord’s return. If my friend thinks so, let us have the passage. There is no need to argue that the Sabbath day is “not our own” but “belongs to God” unless he will give a text of Scripture that says the Sabbath is God’s holy day in this age of the world.
Elder Dugger next refers to The Weekly Cycle, a book he bought in London, England, a few years ago, to prove that no time has been lost and that we now may keep the same day that Israel did in the long ago. But, as far as this discussion is concerned, his effort on that is lost, for I can grant him all of that without giving him any support whatever for his proposition. Just grant that the days of the week are the same as they were anciently, would that prove the Sabbath binding on Christians? What my opponent must do is to find some passage in the Bible that requires Christians to keep the Sabbath. His proposition reads: “The Scriptures teach.”
His reference to Matthew 28:1, to prove that Sunday is not the Sabbath but that the Sabbath was the day before the first day of the week, is also a misspent effort. Elder Dugger has had enough debates with my brethren to know that we do not claim Sunday to be the Sabbath. We fight that idea as valiantly as my opponent. Denominational preachers are wrong when they refer to Sunday as the Sabbath; the Sabbath was the seventh day of the week (Exodus 20:10), the day which we call Saturday. On this Elder Dugger and I agree; the fight is over whether the Sabbath requirement extends to Christians today.
And now we are informed by my opponent that the Sabbath commandment is as important as the other nine of the ten commandments, and is, therefore, just as binding on Christians as the other nine. But the burden of proof is on his shoulders. We read in Exodus 31:13-16 that God told Israel to keep the Sabbath “throughout their generations.” This very expression proves the commandment to be temporary -- that it would pass away. Do you ever read of the other nine commandments being thus required? Where did God say, “Thou shalt not kill throughout your generations”? Or, “Thou shalt not commit adultery throughout your generations”? Did God say, “Thou shalt not covet, steal, bear false witness, and so on, throughout your generations”? No, but he did say to “keep the Sabbath throughout your generations.” This proves there was a difference between the fourth commandment and the other nine. Keeping the Sabbath was spoken of in the same terms that God used concerning many of the ceremonies of the Jewish law. The Passover, burnt-offerings, circumcision, the Levitical priesthood, and such like, they were told to keep and observe “throughout your generations.” Just so with the Sabbath, but not so with the other nine commandments of the ten.
And why say that “the ten commandments were formerly the standard of right and wrong”? Notice it: “The standard of right and wrong.” Friend Dugger makes this claim because he finds a death penalty attached to the violation of those commandments. But the sons of Kohath, who did service for the sanctuary, were told that they should not “touch any holy thing, lest they die” (Numbers 4:15). Was this a standard of right and wrong? It was no part of the ten commandments. Even wizards were to be put to death (Leviticus 20:27). If a man should lie with a beast, he suffered the penalty of death (Leviticus 20:15). Other commandments carried the death penalty too. Why, then, say the ten commandments were the standard of right and wrong? They were a part of the standard, but not the standard. Many things were wrong that were not forbidden in the ten commandments. The ten commandments forbade bearing “false witness against thy neighbor,” but they did not forbid bearing false witness for thy neighbor or against thy enemy. So they were not so inclusive, after all.
My opponent claims that the law that was done away was merely the “old system of pardon, with its ceremonies, bloody sacrifices, feasts,” etc., and not the law containing the Sabbath at all: Galatians 3:19 does not merely refer to the sacrificial system, but it was the law which was given “four hundred and thirty years after” God made the promise to Abraham concerning his seed (Galatians 3:17). The promise to Abraham is recorded in Genesis 12:1-3. Check your chronology, and you will find that 430 years brings you to Sinai and the giving of the ten commandments. It was this law that was to last “till the seed should come.” And in Colossians 2:14-16 Paul enumerates the set order of Jewish services: daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, and shows that all of them are done away, for they were nailed to the cross.
I believe, with friend Dugger, that Christ would “magnify the law” (Isaiah 42:21), and that he “came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it” (Matthew 5:17-19). But this is true regarding the whole Mosaic system; he did not dishonor any of it. Does that prove it all to be binding on Christians? But his statement made in Matthew 5:18 shows the law was to cease. He said: “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” This shows it would pass when it was fulfilled, and my opponent says the Lord fulfilled it. That settles it, then; it passed away. When the record tells us that Joseph knew not Mary “till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew 1:25), it does not mean that he never knew her. And when Paul’s enemies bound themselves under an oath “that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul” (Acts 23:12), they did not mean they would never eat or drink any more. So when Jesus said the law will not pass “till all be fulfilled,” he did not mean that it would never pass. One passage shows that Joseph knew Mary after she brought forth her firstborn son; another shows that Paul’s enemies planned to eat after they had killed Paul; and the other shows that the law passed after it was fulfilled.
Yes, Jesus kept his father’s commandments (John 15:10). And we are to follow him (John 8:12). But Elder Dugger does not think this means we should do all that Jesus did. Jesus was circumcised and kept the Passover; but Dugger does not regard either of these as binding on us now. As Jesus obeyed the commandments of the law under which he lived, we must obey the commandments of the law under which we live; in that way we follow him. And then a list of passages from the book of Revelation are given that show the importance of obeying “the commandments of God.” The passages given are Revelation 14:12, 12:17, 22:14. It is claimed that these mean “the ten commandments.” Who said so? Elder Dugger. Let him prove it. I demand that he answer this question: Does God have any commandments besides the ten? I predict that he will not answer the question, but if he does, he will ruin his own arguments. Please, Elder Dugger, tell us if God has any other commandments except the ten commandments. Paul said: “The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (I Corinthians 14:37). I fully agree with friend Dugger that only a few will find the narrow way that leads to life (Matthew 7:13, 14), and that those who do will be those who keep God’s commandments (Revelation 14:12), and that God’s commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3, 4); but I deny that these refer to the ten commandments as such. When he has answered my question, this matter will be fully taken care of in his own answer.
My opponent thinks we must keep the Sabbath because James said: “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). Then verse 11 quotes two of the ten commandments. So my friend says this means all of the ten must be kept. But did he ever notice that in verse 8 James quoted a commandment not found in the ten but in what Dugger would call the law of Moses. Does this mean that all of the Mosaic law is to be kept now? But James did not quote the Sabbath commandment at all. He did not say to keep it. The law he referred to was “the law of liberty” (verse 12).
The distinction which Dugger makes between “the commandments of God” and “the testimony of Jesus Christ” in Revelation 12:17 is amusing. “The commandments of God,” according to Dugger, means the ten commandments, and “the testimony of Christ” means the law of pardon through the sacrifice of Christ. Such reasoning would distinguish between “the word of God” and “the testimony of Jesus Christ” in Revelation 1:9, and would make “the testimony of Christ” no part of “the word of God.” But “the things concerning the name of Jesus Christ” and “the word of God” are used interchangeably by Luke in Acts 8:12, 14. This shows the absurdity of his whole argument.
Having replied to all the arguments introduced by the Affirmative, I now present to you some
1. The Sabbath was given to Israel only. In Deuteronomy 5:1-5 Moses addressed Israel and said: “The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.” And in Exodus 31:13 God said: “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep.” In the same verse God said: “It is a sign between me and you throughout your generations.” How could it be a sign between God and Israel if all other nations were included too? Let my Friend answer this for me. Hence, the Sabbath was never given to Gentiles.
2. Ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was done away. In II Corinthians 3:7-11 Paul refers to that which was written and engraven in stones at the time the face of Moses shone. This refers to Sinai and the giving of the ten commandments. These commandments were placed upon “tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). “The writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables” (Exodus 32:16). This, Paul says, was done away. We hear him say: “For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious” (II Corinthians 3:11). This ends the Sabbath, written and engraven in stones, unless Dugger can find it re-established in the New Testament.
3. Christians are not under the law. Sabbatarians constantly refer to “the law” as meaning the ten commandments, including the Sabbath. My friend has done the same in his argument on James 2:10, 11. But if “the law” means the Sabbath, we are no longer under the Sabbath, for we are not under the law. In fact, “the law” refers to the Old Testament system, sometimes called “the law,” sometimes, “the law of God,” and sometimes, “the law of Moses.” Since the Sabbath belonged to that, we are not required to keep it longer. Note the following facts about “the law.” (a) “We are not under the law” (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:18). (b) We are dead to the law (Romans 7:4). (c) We are delivered from the law (Romans 7:6). (d) Christ is the end of the law (Romans 10:4). (e) “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ . . . we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:24, 25). (f) “The law” has been abolished (Ephesians 2:15).
4. The Sabbath is gone. In Amos 8:5 the Jews said: “When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat?” Two questions are here presented: When will the new moon be gone? And when will the Sabbath be gone? My friend says the Sabbath will never be gone, but God said it would, for in answering their question in verse 9, he declared: “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in a clear day.” This was fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross (Mark 15:33). There the sun went down at noon -- at noon darkness covered the earth and remained for three hours. At that time the feast of new moons ended. My friend will agree to this. But the Sabbath also ended, and since that time, no inspired man ever commanded anyone to keep the Sabbath holy.
5. The Sabbath blotted out at the cross. In Colossians 2:14, 16, Paul makes this statement: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross . . . Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.” We are not to be judged, therefore, concerning Sabbath days, for the handwriting concerning them has been blotted out, just as it has with respect to meat, drink, holy days or new moons. All of these were blotted out when Jesus died. Not one has been re-instituted since his death.
We wish to first notice our friend’s reference to Amos 8:5-9 where he claims the prophet foresaw the time when the Sabbath would cease, but he is mistaken as the entire prophecy of Amos is given. We will begin with verse 5 and quote to verse 9 and let the reader be the judge if this shows the Sabbaths were to cease. It reads: “When will the new moons be gone that we may sell corn? and the Sabbaths that we may set forth wheat making the ephah small and the shekel great, and falsify the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes, yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat. The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works. Shall not the land tremble for all of this, and everyone mourn that dwelleth therein? . . . And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in a clear day” (Amos 8:5-9).
Because Israel became corrupt and wanted the Sabbaths to end, so they could sell and cheat by making the ephah small and falsifying the balance by deceit, the Lord said the land would tremble, and everyone mourn that dwell therein, and this punishment would begin when the sun went down at noon, etc. This was the terminating point of Israel’s sins, and after the crucifixion of Jesus the nation was smitten. The Lord did not promise them that the Sabbath would end and that they could falsify the balances by deceit when the sun went down at noon, but rather that judgment would come upon the nation because of their corrupt desires of wanting the Sabbaths to end and desiring to falsify and cheat.
We next answer his second argument that the ten commandments ended according to II Corinthians 3:7-11 where it says: “The ministration of death written and engraven on stones was glorious,” but that it had no glory by reason of the ministration of the Spirit which was more glorious, and that the ministration of death passed away. We agree that the old ministration of death written and engraven on stones has ended, but this comes a long way from saying that the ten commandments ended and were abolished, as so many people would like to have it say. There is much difference between the words “ministration of death,” and “the ten commandments.” They come far short of being synonymous terms. Everyone knows that the old administration ended, and we have a new and more glorious one through Jesus Christ. This refers to the whole system back there. The ten commandments were written on tables of stone by the finger of God and also the law of pardon by the blood of the animal or the Mosaic law of blood sacrifice was written on stones. Note the following, in Joshua 8:31, 32 the Lord gave instructions for Israel to erect an altar of whole stones and to offer their burnt offerings thereon, and also to write the law of Moses on these stones. Verse 31 reads: “And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.” This was the law of Moses and not the ten commandments. God wrote the ten commandments with his own finger on tables of stone (Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10). God also wrote the second tables (Deuteronomy 10:1-5). Moses wrote the old law of pardon through the blood of animals and this law was written in a book (Deuteronomy 31:24-26). And this is the law that was written on the stones of the altar. Then why say that II Corinthians 3:7-11 teaches that the ten commandments were abolished, when we know the old law of pardon through the bloody sacrifices ended, and that the new order of pardon through the precious blood of Jesus, took its place, which is indeed a more glorious ministration accompanied as it is by the presence of the Holy Spirit, is far more glorious. When the Republican ministration of laws gives away to the Democratic administration, it does not do away with the constitution of our nation, or the fundamental basic laws. Neither did those fundamental, organic, basic laws of heaven end, known as the ten commandments, when the old ministration which was written on stones, cease, and give place to the new and more glorious ministration of the spirit.
Our friend believes because Christians are not under the law, they do not need to keep the commandments, but it is sinners who are under the law. They are under its power, and under its penalties when they break it. Being dead to the law by the body of Christ shows that our sins have been forgiven us, and the law has no more effect upon us. Its grip of death has been released by our acceptance of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:14). Delivered from the law by the body of Christ (Romans 7:6) again shows our release or deliverance from the penalty of death hanging over us while sinners, and while breaking the law. Christ being the end of the law (Romans 10:4), for righteousness, means that the power of the law to condemn and destroy us has no more dominion over us because we have accepted Jesus Christ and his blood law of pardon. Our sins hence are forgiven and the law has no more dominion over us. Notice that Paul is careful to say that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness. If we could break the law because Christ came and was crucified, then he would be the end of the law for wickedness, and acts of violence which the law forbids. But he is the end of the law for righteousness. He has released us from the death cell in which we were bound while sinners. We were waiting our execution, just as the murderer in the death cell of our prisons. When we accepted the pardoning favor (grace) of Jesus Christ we were turned loose and set free, just as the criminal is when granted a pardon by the governor of state. That prisoner set free, by the pardon power of the governor has his freedom, to do acts of righteousness, and not violence. He is under the grace or favor of the governor, and no longer under the power of the law. Just as we who were once sinners, were bound in the death cell awaiting our sentence of judgment, but when we accepted the grace offered by the pardoning power of Jesus Christ we are made free. We are no longer under the law but under the grace or favor of heaven, and are free. Not free to break the law, any more than the prisoner is free to break the law and commit murder again, because he is pardoned by the governor, and under his grace and favor.
These foregoing scriptures, about being dead to the law by the body of Christ, and not being under the law but under grace, etc. are from Paul’s writings. Peter in speaking of Paul’s writings says they are hard to be understood, and “they that are unlearned and unstable wrest them to their own destruction” (II Peter 3:15, 16). We do not believe our friend interpreted these scriptures wrong because he is unstable, for we believe he is honest, but he has surely wrested them in such a way that people believing in them as he herein set them forth will be led to sin and destruction. Those who believe Christ is the end of the ten commandment law, so we can break it, and those who believe because we are under grace, we do not need to keep the ten commandments of God, will surely meet the doom of sinners and are in the category spoken of by Peter, who are “wresting Paul’s writings to their own destruction.”
The last one of our friend’s arguments is found in Colossians 2:14-16, where he again confuses the law of God, or the ten commandments, with the old law of pardon, or law of Moses. It reads: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way nailing it to his cross … Let no man therefore judge you in meats or in drinks or in respect to an holy day, or the new moons, or Sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is Christ.” Whatever this was blotted out it was something against the apostles and contrary to them. How could the ten commandments be against any good men like the apostles were? Notice this was the handwriting of ordinances that was blotted out. It was contrary to the apostles, and the ten commandments are in harmony and not against any good man. Good people with whom the Holy Spirit is dwelling are in harmony with the ten commandments, and they have no desire to commit the acts of violence which that law forbids. Hence, this law nailed to the cross was not the ten commandment law of God, but it was just as these verses say, “the law of ordinances.” It was the old law of pardon by the blood of animals which Moses wrote in a book, and placed in the side of the ark. This law contained over one hundred commandments and was only to last until Jesus came. It was a law against the beloved apostles because they had accepted Jesus, and found no virtue in killing animals and practicing all the ritual and endless ceremonies taught by the old pardoning system of the law of Moses, with its meats, drinks, and new moons, and yearly Sabbath days. In Leviticus 23rd chapter we are told about the holy days, new moons, and yearly Sabbaths, which have no connection whatever with the weekly Sabbath. On these yearly Sabbaths, of which there were many, they had to kill from 18 to 45 animals each day. The blood of these animals pointed forward to the blood of Jesus. When Jesus died upon Calvary and shed his blood, this old system ended. They had no need of these Sabbath days any more because the killing of animals was past. These days set apart for these bloody sacrifices were ended. The apostles understood all of this and that is why the law herein mentioned was against them and contrary to them. Dear reader, the Lord says: “Study to show thyself approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God” (II Timothy 2:15). The holy ten commandments were not included in what was nailed to the cross, neither was the weekly seventh day Sabbath, for it plainly says it was the law that was against the apostles and contrary to them, which was not so with the law of God’s ten commandments. They are not contrary to, or against any good man.
The ten commandments were written on tables of stone (Exodus 31:18). The law of Moses, with bloody offerings for pardon of sin was written in a book (Deuteronomy 31:24). God’s ten commandments were written with his own finger (Exodus 31:18), while the law of animal sacrifice, or the law of Moses, was written by Moses (Deuteronomy 31:9). The ten commandments were placed in the ark (Deuteronomy 10:5), while the other law that was against the apostles and contrary to them was placed in the side of the ark (Deuteronomy 31:25, 26). The ten commandment law of God was to continue forever, and not one commandment cease (Psalm 111:7, 8), but the other law, the law of pardon by the blood of animals, ended (Ephesians 2:15). This is why the law of God and the commandments of God are mentioned so often in the New Testament, and we are told to observe them in the following texts (Matthew 5:17, 19; Romans 2:13; Romans 7:1, 12, 22) also Romans 8:7 where it says “the natural or carnal mind is enmity against God and is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” We do not make void the law through faith (Romans 3:31). We are not pardoned or justified by the deeds of the ten commandments, for this law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). New Testament circumcision is keeping the commandments of God (I Corinthians 7:19). We are to keep this whole law and not offend in one point (James 2:10, 11). If we sin, we transgress the law, for “sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4). “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:4). “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (I John 5:3). The remnant church against whom the dragon beast is to make war are the people keeping the commandments of God and having the testimonies of Jesus (Revelation 12:17). Those saved in the judgment are the ones keeping the commandments of God (Revelation 14:12). And those who enter the city of gold and eat of the tree of life are the obedient who keep the commandments of God (Revelation 22:14).
Furthermore, Jesus Christ, knowing that the Sabbath was going to remain, said not a jot or tittle would pass from the law, as long as heaven and earth were here (Matthew 5:17, 19), and he also told his beloved disciples to pray that their flight would not be on the Sabbath day, or in the winter time. It was not because the winter was holy that he did not want them to flee at that season as my friend says, but it was because of the hardships and suffering in the mountains during the storms, snows and rain of that season. I lived in that country myself and therefore know something about the winters in the mountains there. Another very amusing dodge my friend took of this strong text was, that the gates of Jerusalem would be closed on the Sabbath and they could not flee on that day, but if he will examine the text again, and more carefully, he will see that Jesus was telling the people of Judaea to pray that their flight would not be on the Sabbath day, and not to those just in Jerusalem, and there was no wall around the country of Judaea, or no closed gates. Surely he will have to correct this error on his part and find a better excuse for Jesus teaching the sacredness of the Sabbath down in this dispensation.
My friend has agreed that the Sabbath was sanctified, and set apart for a sacred use, by God Almighty according to Genesis 2:1-3, but he assumes that it was thus made sacred 2500 years after creation, because he says it is not mentioned until after Israel came out of Egyptian bondage. Because God says he showed Israel his judgments and gave them his Sabbaths after he had brought them out of Egypt, my friend assumes that God had never given them his judgments and Sabbaths before this time. His assumption, however, is wrong because we find that God gave his laws, statutes and judgments to Abraham long before Israel ever went into Egyptian bondage (Genesis 26:5). While God rested on the Sabbath at the creation of the world, a fact our friend admits, yet he passes this by lightly as only a trifling incident in the concourse of events. Jesus said “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Man was made at creation, and so was the Sabbath, which my friend admits. If his contention is true, dear reader, then God rested on the Sabbath, and the race of men he created failed to follow God’s example, and on for 2500 years they desecrated the Sabbath day until God made a special race of men for the Sabbath which he called Israel. But this is contrary to what Jesus said. He said the Sabbath was made for man, and not a special race of men for the Sabbath. Our claim is that because God set the example of resting from his creative work on the seventh day, he immediately set it apart, or sanctified it for man. Also that God’s people have so regarded it in every age of the world. As God is “no respecter of persons” (Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9), and as he never changes (Malachi 3:6), his divine purpose has remained the same from the beginning, and he never gave Israel any different requirements to meet from what he gave Abraham and all men created from the beginning. That his divine purpose pointed with precision to the birth of Jesus when the system of pardon was to be changed, from the blood of the animal to that of Jesus Christ, but the laws which constituted sin were never changed or altered. His commandments containing the Sabbath were to remain forever (Psalm 111:7-9).
There were more than two million of Israelites who came out of Egypt, from the bondage of slavery, where they could not worship God as they wished to do. Therefore, when God brought them out where they had the liberty to keep his holy day, he gave it to them again for he said “remember.” It was an institution previously given or he would not have said “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Then again when he rained the manna (Exodus 16), and before they had reached Sinai, he did not rain it on the Sabbath which he said was the “rest of the holy Sabbath.” God also said: “How long refuse you to keep my Sabbaths and my laws,” showing that these had been given at some previous date, and they were not keeping them. The reason was they were in bondage, and the word “remember” in this case referred to something they had previously known about, for God said: “How long refuse you to keep my commandments and my laws” (Exodus 16:28). When they broke the Sabbath they broke a law that contained the Sabbath, for God says so. These were the same laws that Abraham kept, because Israel had not yet reached Sinai; therefore, Abraham kept the Sabbath that God blessed at creation. Abraham was chosen because he kept God’s commandments and laws (Genesis 26:5).
There is no question whatever that God has one system of salvation for all mankind. It is the same for the Gentile as it is for the Jew, for God says there is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond or free, but all are one in Christ Jesus, and “If ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28, 29). Just as the Gentiles had to join themselves to the Lord in the Old Testament (Isaiah 56:6), and keep the Sabbath to be saved, so it is in the New Testament. The Gentiles must indeed join themselves to the Lord, as our friend says, and when they do this, they are adopted into the family of Israel, and become Jews, or Israel. No doubt my friend will object to this but it is gospel. Paul says: “He is not a Jew which is one outwardly, but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is not outward in the flesh, but the circumcision of the heart” (Romans 2:28, 29). Then, he further tells us that circumcision is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God (I Corinthians 7:19). The commandments of God are to be written in the fleshly tables of the heart with the spirit of the living God, and then they will actuate our life. It is not in the letter but in the spirit that counts, for the letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life. Salvation is not won by dead works, but it is through the Spirit of God operating on the hearts of mankind through prayer that changes their lives, and they have a desire and possess power to do God’s will, and by nature to keep all of God’s commandments including his holy Sabbath day. In Romans eleventh chapter we are told clearly of how the Gentiles are broken off of the wild olive tree, and as branches they are grafted into the tame olive tree, or adopted into the family of Abraham contrary to nature (Romans 11:24). They no longer bear the fruit of the Gentiles, but resemble the fruit of the stock of Israel. If you graft buds of the peach tree onto the plum, according to nature, the peach will continue to bear the fruit of the old stock while grafted into the plum tree, but Gentiles are grafted contrary to nature (verse 24), therefore they leave off the old fruit of Gentileism and bear the fruit resembling that of the tame olive tree, or Israel, and the Lord said of the Sabbath: “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever, for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:17). The word Israel means an overcomer, and the Lord never intended for sinners to keep the Sabbath. It is for his people.
In Hebrews 4:4-9, we are plainly told that “There remaineth therefore the keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God.” In verse 4 we are told that the Sabbath spoken of here is the seventh day, and it is this Sabbath that remains for God’s people. Our friend says it is the rest in Canaan, but God says it is a Sabbath rest. The Greek word sabbatismos is the same as sabbaton, only used grammatically in the sentence to derive a different ending. It means the Sabbath day rest as anyone familiar with Greek understands, and, furthermore, all we need to do is to believe God. He plainly says here: “There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God, and he that has entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own work, as God did from his,” and we are told that God ceased from his work on the seventh day of the week in the fourth verse of this chapter.
We are commanded many times in the New Testament to keep the commandments of God in order to be saved, but my friend says we are to keep only nine of them. I keep just one more, making ten, and that is the difference between us. If I am under the law for keeping ten, and fallen from grace, then he is nine tenths as bad off, for he claims to keep nine. The commandments of God, mentioned in the New Testament, when referring to our moral duty toward God, mean the ten commandments just as in the Old Testament. When we are told in I John 3:4 that sin is the transgression of the law, it means the ten commandment law, for sin was the transgression of that law in the Old Testament; and just because some other acts were also considered to be sin, this does not do away with the fact that breaking the commandments was sin then, and is sin today. If God gave another law to take the place of the ten commandments, surely we would have some history of the event. Anciently when he gave laws he did it with wide publicity, but no mention whatever is made of any great gathering or event in the New Testament where he gave new laws. The day of Pentecost would have been an excellent opportunity for such a noble work, but not one word is said about any new laws, but it does say that they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42). No new laws or new regulations were given. My friend thinks it would be absurd to think about the commandments of God mentioned in Revelation 12:17, being the ten commandments, but when he believes in keeping nine of these same commandments and claims they are binding on Christians, and we have no record of them ever being done away with, then why does he think it absurd to believe when God speaks of the commandments of God, that he means what he says. Surely the whole world knew, throughout the entire Bible period, that the commandments of God were always spoken of as the ten commandments, and vice versa. We therefore claim that when the Lord tells us to keep the commandments of God in the New Testament he refers to the ten commandments just as he did in the Old Testament. Jesus said: “If you will enter into life keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:16-19), and he meant the ten commandments, for he quotes a number of them to show what he did refer to. He did not mention the Sabbath and our friend may emphasize this point, but if he claims the Sabbath is not binding because Jesus did not expressly mention it here, then he will have to concede that the other commandments not mentioned are equally not binding, and there were several of the others not mentioned also. Jesus again meant the ten commandments when he used the expression “the commandments” in Matthew 22:35-39. Here he said the whole law hung on two commandments, love to God and love to man, and that the first and great commandment was to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul and mind. This takes in the first four of the ten, as they are all love to God, and the Sabbath is one of them. The last six are love to our fellowman, and embrace the second commandment as Jesus says. The whole law of ten commandments hangs on that one great principle, “love,” love to God being first, and love to man, second. Consequently, Jesus teaches us that the commandments of God mentioned in the New Testament are the ten commandments.
We have also shown previously that it was the custom of Paul to preach on the Sabbath day, and he was not preaching entirely to Jews either, for Acts 17:4 says a great company of Greeks or Gentiles believed. Then they were Christians, and Paul made it his custom to preach to them on the Sabbath. In Acts 18:4 we read how Paul reasoned every Sabbath in the synagogue persuading both Jews and Gentiles, and nothing is said about them worshiping or meeting on any other day. In verse 8 it says many of the Corinthians believed and were baptized; hence, there were Christians here, and Paul stayed a year and six months preaching in a house joining against the synagogue. Here he labored making tents (verse 3) during the week, and nothing is said about them holding meetings on any other day excepting the Sabbath. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit said the day they were meeting was the Sabbath day, and my friend admits it was the seventh day of the week; hence, this alone establishes my proposition that the seventh day is the Sabbath in this age. The Holy Spirit would not deceive us by telling us it was the Sabbath if it had ceased to be at the cross. We know that Paul speaks of the Passover and of Pentecost also in the New Testament, as my friend says. Yes, it is evident that the early Christian church observed these seasons by holding meetings, but not as the Jews observed them. Both of these are to be continued in the kingdom as we are plainly told, and so is the Sabbath to continue over there. The prophet Isaiah assures us that the Sabbath will be kept in the new heaven and the new earth (Isaiah 66:23). The Passover was to be perpetuated as an ordinance, just as Jesus introduced it, forever. It was never to end, and Jesus says he is going to eat it anew with the apostles in the kingdom. It was kept once a year, at the time, and on the day Jesus shed his blood up to 321 A.D. when Constantine put Easter or Passover on a fixed Sunday. This anyone can find in different histories and encyclopedias. Paul says: “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast” (I Corinthians 5:7, 8). They kept it once a year on the very night Jesus introduced it, on the very day Jesus shed his blood. These institutions were kept in the New Testament with the Sabbath, but they were all modified and observed according to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught them to keep the Sabbath by performing God’s work and doing good on that day. The old restrictions put on it by Moses in which they were forbidden to kindle fires or pick up sticks, etc., were removed by Christ. It was the same way with the Passover and Pentecost, but they both continued to be kept and observed. When Jesus through the Spirit called the seventh day the Sabbath repeatedly in the New Testament it surely is the Sabbath.
In the New Covenant dispensation, God says he writes his laws on the hearts and in the minds of his people (Hebrews 8:10), consequently God’s laws remain as a part of this covenant. The primary meaning of the word “covenant” is an agreement. This was entered into between Israel and God before Israel got to Mount Sinai. Hence, when the old covenant ended it was the covenant or agreement. See Exodus 19:1-8. In verse 8 it says all the people answered together and agreed. The agreement or covenant was on their part, they were to obey God, and keep his commandments. On God’s part the agreement was that he would make of them a great nation, and continue with them protecting them in Canaan forever. The old covenant passing away was not the ten commandments ending. The ten commandments are spoken of as a covenant, but never as the one that ended. They were what Israel were to keep and they agreed to keep them; then when they failed to keep their part of the agreement, God withdrew his power and protection and they have been scattered all over the earth and lost their Canaan land. God has made a new covenant with his people based on better promises. It is not the land of Canaan we are to possess, but it is an eternal home in his kingdom; but we have to comply with the very same terms, as did Israel. What was sin then is sin now, and all of the commandments are to be kept, for the ten commandments are declared to be a perpetual covenant. They constitute his declared covenant and were given for a thousand generations (Psalm 111:8, 9). There are more than fifty different covenants in the Old Testament and we must not confuse these in a way to do violence to such a righteous code of law as we find in the ten commandments.
Our friend has frankly admitted that the seventh day is the Sabbath; then why not keep it together for the Lord, and not substitute some other day in its place. We appreciate this admission, Elder Porter, for it is right. The seventh day was, and is the Sabbath of God. It is his holy day and does not belong to man to use for himself (Isaiah 58:13; Exodus 20:8-11). May the Lord through the power of his blessed Spirit direct us all and give power to separate from the world and walk as Jesus walked in the way of God’s commandments.
I appreciate the effort made by my opponent in his second affirmative to establish the idea that the seventh day of the week as a Christian Sabbath is enjoined upon God’s people in this age, but the farther he goes, the more apparent becomes his failure. Before replying to the things he has said in this affirmative, I want to call attention to some things he overlooked. These are things of vital importance, and the readers are going to wonder why he said nothing about them.
1. In an effort to prove that the Sabbath was of universal application -- binding on the Gentile as well as the Jew -- Dugger introduced Isaiah 56:6 in his first affirmative. I countered by asking him why the Gentiles were called strangers. He made no reply whatever to my question. Please tell us, Elder Dugger, why the Gentiles were called strangers. Are you afraid to answer?
2. I also asked him this question: “Why did not God bring the Babylonians into Judean captivity for their failure to keep the Sabbath?” My friend says it was as binding upon the Babylonians as upon the Jews. Then why send the Jews into captivity and let the Babylonians go free? Please tell us something about this.
3. In every place in the New Testament where he found “commandments of God” he said it meant the ten commandments. I asked him this: “Does God have any commandments besides the ten?” I predicted that he would not answer. And he passed the matter in complete silence. Elder Dugger, what is the matter with you? Won’t you please answer this question for me? The readers are going to see that you are evading these important matters.
4. I showed from Exodus 31:13-16 that the Sabbath was to be kept by Israel “throughout their generations.” This is the very kind of language used concerning the Passover, burnt-offerings, circumcision, their priesthood, and so on, that proves they were temporary. Such language is never used regarding the other nine commandments. I wonder why my friend said nothing about this.
These difficulties will have to be cleared up by my friend or the readers are going to see his failure. There are other things that he overlooked that I shall emphasize again as I reply to his second affirmative. And now I am ready to make that reply.
My opponent says that Amos 8:5-9 began to be fulfilled at the crucifixion of Christ, but that it refers to the punishments upon Israel and does not mean the Sabbath would be gone. I know there is punishment involved in the prophecy. And it matters not about their evil desires to cheat and defraud. The fact remains that they asked when the new moon and Sabbath would be gone. And God told them when it would be so. My friend admits that the feast of the new moon ended at the cross. Well, when the new moon was to be gone is the same time the Sabbath was to be gone. God said so. Dugger denies it.
His effort to set aside my argument on II Corinthians 3:7-11 is amusing and absurd. This refers to the “ministration of death written and engraven in stones” being done away. My friend tells us that it was the “ministration” that was done away, not the ten commandment law. Well, whatever it was that was done away was the thing “written and engraven in stones.” Dugger, please tell us what it was that was “written and engraven in stones.” Was it the ten commandments? Now, don’t pass this question in silence like you have a number of others, but give us an answer. The thing “written and engraven in stones” was the thing that was done away. The ten commandment law was “written and engraven in stones” (Exodus 31:18; 32:16). I challenge him to find anything else written on those stones. But my friend calls attention to the law that Moses wrote in a book (Deuteronomy 31:24-26) and says: “This is the law that was written on the stones of the altar.” He had just introduced Joshua 8:30-32 to show that Joshua wrote “a copy of the law of Moses” upon the stones of the altar. And he insists that it was this law, instead of the ten commandment law, that Paul referred to in II Corinthians 3:7-11 as being done away. Yes, I know that Joshua wrote a copy of the law of Moses on the stones of the altar. But did Paul refer to that in II Corinthians 3:7-11? Did he say “the law written on the stones of the altar” was done away? What stones did Paul mention in II Corinthians 3? Let us read it in verse 7: “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance.” Was the countenance of Moses so glorious when Joshua wrote the law on the stones of the altar that Israel could not behold his face? Is that the time when the face of Moses shone? If so, then Paul referred to that. But Moses was dead when Joshua wrote the law on the stones of the altar. This was done after they had crossed the Jordan into Canaan (Joshua 4:1; 8:30-32). But Moses died before they entered Canaan (Deuteronomy 32:5, 6). Hence, his face did not shine so glorious that Israel could not behold it when Joshua wrote the law on the stones of the altar. But when and where did that incident occur? We have the record in Exodus 34:29-35. Verse 29 says: “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.” The following verses show that he had to put a veil over his face while he talked with Israel because they were afraid to come nigh when they saw the glory of his face. When did this occur? When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two stones on which God had written the ten commandments. Paul referred to this very incident in II Corinthians 3 and declared that the “ministration of death written and engraven” in these stones was done away. My friend made a colossal blunder when he tried to switch this statement to the stones of the altar on which Joshua wrote. My friend’s illustration of the Republican and Democratic administrations does not fit, for those things are not written in that which contains our fundamental, basic laws; but the ministration Paul referred to was written in the stones.
My friend did as I expected him to do with my argument that “Christians are not under the law.” I showed this by Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:18; Romans 7:4-6; Romans 10:4 and Galatians 3:24, 25. Dugger says Christians are not under the law, and admits that the law embraces the ten commandments, but he says: “It is sinners who are under the law.” Well, that just about fixes things for him. Let us see the consequences of his position. 1. It makes Jesus a sinner. Paul tells us he was “made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). If Dugger’s position is right, the Bible is wrong when it says he did no sin, for he was “under the law.” Dugger says that means he was a violator of the law and, therefore, under its condemnation. 2. It makes Christians irresponsible. In Romans 3:19 Paul says: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law.” According to my friend, this means that the law speaks only to sinners, to those under condemnation. Then the law says nothing to God’s people, to Christians; they are not under the law, and the law says nothing to them. In that case they would not be responsible at all if this law continues in force today. And if the Sabbath is contained in “the law,” and if Christians are not “under the law,” then the law of the Sabbath says nothing to them, inasmuch as it speaks only to them that are under the law. Later on Dugger says: “The Lord never intended for sinners to keep the Sabbath.” Then to whom does the Sabbath law speak? It speaks to them who are under the law, says Paul, but Dugger says Christians are not under the law; so it does not speak to them. Yet sinners were not to keep the Sabbath; so it does not speak to them. I ask my friend to please explain his predicament here. 3. It makes men desire condemnation. Paul said: “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” (Galatians 4:21). According to my friend these people were desiring to be condemned. 4. And finally, when the answer of my friend is carried to its legitimate conclusion, it condemns all Christians, for in I Corinthians 9:21 Paul said Christians are “under the law to Christ.” Does this mean all Christians are condemned by Christ? It must, according to my friend’s position. The man in the death cell who is pardoned by the governor is just as much under the law of the state after his pardon as he was before he committed his crime. The grace of the governor does not remove the restriction of the law. To be under the law means to be amenable to the law. Those who live in Oklahoma are under the law of this state; those who live in Oregon are under the law of that state; those who lived in the Mosaic dispensation were under the law of that age. But we who live in the gospel age are “no longer under the law” that governed men then (Galatians 3:24, 25). And since the Sabbath belonged to that law, we are not under the Sabbath -- it is not binding now. Any man who makes that law binding in this age is the man who is “wresting the Scriptures” to his own destruction. I do not claim, according to Romans 10:4, that “Christ is the end of the law for wickedness.” Anyone knows a man cannot break a law that has been abolished.
Now, to Colossians 2:14-16. My friend says this cannot refer to the Sabbath law but to a law that was “against the apostles and contrary to them.” This, he says, was not true with the ten commandment law. To what law, then, did Paul refer? Dugger answers: “It was the old law of pardon by the blood of animals which Moses wrote in a book.” And why was this against them? My friend says: “It was a law against the beloved apostles because they had accepted Jesus, and found no virtue in killing animals.” Furthermore, he says: “When Jesus died upon calvary and shed his blood, this old system ended.” And now, of course, since it is ended, it would be against Christians who have reached Jesus the antitype. Well, if that is what Paul had in mind, he should have made a different statement. He should have said this law “is against us and is contrary to us.” Certainly it is contrary to us since Jesus has died. But Paul did not say it is contrary to us; he said it was. That refers it to the past. While it was in force it was against us and it was contrary to us. And because it was against them, it was blotted out. And the “us” referred to Jews, not to the apostles. Paul was not an apostle while that law was in force, but he was a Jew, and he refers to the past and says “the handwriting of ordinances was against us.” This referred to the whole law system of the Jewish age. It was against them because it demanded perfect obedience (Galatians 3:13). But does Colossians 2:14-16 concern the Sabbath law? Read it for yourself. He mentions “the handwriting of ordinances” concerning meat and drink, holy days, new moons and Sabbath days. Yes, the handwriting concerning Sabbath days was blotted out, according to Paul. But Dugger denies it. I prefer to stand with Paul. My friend claims “the Sabbath days” in this passage refers to the yearly Sabbaths. That is untrue, for the yearly Sabbaths are listed as “holydays.” Note the set order of services they had daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Let us read I Chronicles 23:30, 31: “And to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even; and to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the Sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts.” Note the things here specified. There was the service for morning and evening (daily), in the Sabbaths (weekly), in the new moons (monthly), and on the set feasts (yearly). This same set order of services is mentioned in II Chronicles 2:4, 8:13, 31:3; Nehemiah 10:33 and other passages. And that is exactly the same order given by Paul in Colossians 2:16. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day.” Revised Version. Note the order: “in meat, or in drink” (daily), “in respect of a feast day” (yearly), “of a new moon” (monthly), “or a Sabbath day” (weekly). What the King James translation calls a “holyday” the revised translation calls a “feast day.” And that means the yearly services mentioned in Leviticus 23. So the yearly Sabbaths that my friend has in mind are mentioned as feast days, or holydays, and the weekly Sabbath is shown to be abolished. The argument stands that no man has a right to judge Christians with respect to Sabbath keeping, for the handwriting concerning such has been blotted out and nailed to the cross of Christ.
The distinction which Elder Dugger makes between the law of God and the law of Moses is absurd. He calls the ten commandments the law of God and the remainder of the Old Testament system the law of Moses. Hence, he claims the law of God was written on stones (Exodus 31:18); the law of Moses was written in a book (Deuteronomy 31:24); the law of God was written with his own finger (Exodus 31:18); the law of Moses was written by Moses (Deuteronomy 31:9); the law of God was placed in the ark (Deuteronomy 10:5); the law of Moses was placed in the side of the ark (Deuteronomy 31:25, 26). And then he concludes that the law of God is to continue forever (Psalm 111:7, 8), but the law of Moses was done away (Ephesians 2:15).
I shall fully blast this argument he makes on the two laws. Did it never occur to my friend that what he calls “the law of God” was also written in the book by Moses and was placed in the side of the ark? The ten commandments in full were written twice by Moses in the book (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:1-21). So if that written in the book by Moses and placed in the side of the ark was done away, that does away with the ten commandment law too. And the statement in Psalm 111:7, 8 does not specify the ten commandments, but it refers to “all his commandments.” Did God have any commandments besides the ten? But you don’t need be disappointed if Dugger does not answer this question. I predict again that he will not. Now, I want to show you that “the law of God” and “the law of Moses” were the same thing. Consider the following: 1. God gave “the law of Moses” (Ezra 7:6). And Moses gave “God’s law” (Nehemiah 10:29). This ruins my friend’s argument. He claims Moses gave the law of Moses, and God gave the law of God, and they are two separate things. 2. God gave “the book of the law of Moses” (Nehemiah 8:1). Moses gave the “book of the law of the Lord” (II Chronicles 34:14). This shows them to be exactly the same thing. 3. Some things written in “the law of Moses.” Remember that my opponent says the law of Moses refers to all that law of the Old Testament dispensation except the ten commandments. Jesus declared: “Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother.” But this is one of the ten commandments. Again, “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?” (John 7:19). So Jesus refers to the law against murder and says Moses gave it. 4. The things contained in the law of God. Dugger says it contains only the ten commandments. But what does the Bible say? Burnt offerings are contained in “the law of the Lord” (II Chronicles 31:3). The acts of Josiah are written in the same law (II Chronicles 35:26). And Luke makes the following statement: “(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:23, 24). None of these things are in the ten commandments; yet they are all in “the law of the Lord.” 5. The expressions are used interchangeably in the eighth chapter of Nehemiah. The book from which Ezra read is called “the book of the law of Moses” in verse 1. Verse 2 calls it “the law.” Verse 3 calls it “the book of the law.” And verse 8 says “they read in the book of the law of God.” So “the law,” “the book of the law,” “the book of the law of Moses,” and “the law of God” are all the same thing. I challenge my opponent to explain all these things in the light of his position. His reference to Romans 2:13; 7:1, 12, 13; 3:31 and such like to prove the ten commandments binding on us is thus exploded. Yes, “sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4), but this has no reference to the ten commandment law.
My friend mentions again a number of verses that speak of the necessity of keeping God’s commandments, such as I Corinthians 7:19; I John 2:4; 5:3; Revelation 14:12; 12:17; 22:14. He assumes these are the ten commandments. I am asking him again: Does God have any commandments except the ten? I asked him that before, but he wouldn’t answer. I wonder if he will leave it alone this time. If he answers, he ruins his argument.
Jesus did not say in Matthew 5:17-19 that the law would not pass “as long as heaven and earth are here.” But he said it would not pass “till all be fulfilled.” My opponent admitted that Jesus fulfilled it. So it passed away. I gave him a number of similar statements, but he silently passed them by. I call upon him to notice the argument I made on this in my first negative. Will he do it? I seriously doubt it, but we will wait and see.
As to the flight in the winter or the Sabbath day (Matthew 24:20), I am fully aware of the fact that there was no wall around the land of Judea, but it is also true that Jerusalem was not the only city that was walled, and escape on the Sabbath would be difficult because their gates would be closed. Certainly such flight on the Sabbath among Jews who were strict in their attitude toward the Sabbath would be difficult for the disciples of Christ. But my friend surrenders his argument by admitting that the statement, “pray that your flight be not in the winter,” did not make the winter holy. Then to pray that their flight be not on the Sabbath day would not make the Sabbath holy. If such a statement makes the Sabbath holy in A.D. 70, it also makes the winter a holy season, and my opponent cannot escape the conclusion here.
Elder Dugger says that I assume that the Sabbath was made sacred 2500 years after creation, but he must not forget that the laboring oars are in his hands. It is up to him to prove that it was set apart before that time. He is the man who is assuming that during the first 2500 years of the history of the world the Sabbath was kept. Let him produce one passage that mentions such [a] thing! He cannot do it. It was God who said he “gave the Sabbaths” in the wilderness (Ezekiel 20:10-12) and “made known” the Sabbath in the region of Sinai (Nehemiah 9:13, 14). If God made it known then, what right has Dugger to say he made it known 2500 years before then? His dispute is with God, not with Porter. I gave these scriptures in my first negative; why didn’t he pay some attention to them? The race of men could not “desecrate the Sabbath” during 2500 years before it was enjoined upon man; it must be enjoined before it can be desecrated. And my friend cannot find where it was enjoined on anybody during that 2500 years. I do not believe, as charged by my opponent, that God made a special race of men for the Sabbath; but I believe “the Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). However, the Sabbath was not “made for man” until it was sanctified, set apart, or enjoined upon man. In other words, it was “made for man” when God “gave” it to man, but God said: “I gave them my Sabbaths” after he brought them out of Egypt (Ezekiel 20:10-12). This was long after the race of Israel had come into existence. I called my friend’s attention to the fact that God sanctified the seventh day because in it he “had rested” (Genesis 2:1-3), which shows the sanctification of it took place after he rested, not when he rested. But he paid no attention to this fact. He contends that since God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9) and never changes (Malachi 3:6), he has had the same commandments for men in every age. This is not true, however, for God has changed his law (Hebrews 7:12) and has given commandments in this age that he never gave in any other. Did God command Abraham to be baptized? He has commanded men in this age to be. But suppose God did set it apart at creation; that would not make it binding on Christians now, and that is what my opponent is required to prove.
When God said “remember the Sabbath,” did he mean the Sabbath had been previously given? Not at all. The statement simply means “I am giving you the Sabbath; now remember to keep it.” God told Israel to remember the day they left Egypt (Exodus 13:3), but that does not mean they had been previously keeping the Passover. I have already shown that the Sabbath is first mentioned in Exodus 16:23, but my opponent thinks when God said, “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments?” (verse 28), it proves the Sabbath requirement of long standing. But one such refusal would be sufficient to bring forth such a question, especially since they had been rebellious in other matters. Besides, I have already shown that God dealt with them here to “prove them,” whether they would keep his laws. If they had the Sabbath for years before, they would have been proven already.
Reference is made to Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:28, 29), to the “Jew which is one inwardly” (Romans 2:28, 29), to the grafting in of the Gentiles (Romans 11), and to circumcision (I Corinthians 7:19), to prove that Gentiles must become Jews, in order to make the Sabbath binding on them. But one of the references given says that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek” (Galatians 3:28). Why use a passage to prove the very thing the passage says is not true. Certainly Christians are sometimes called Israel, or Jews, but this refers to spiritual Israel, not to fleshly Israel. In Exodus 31:17, the Israel to whom God gave the Sabbath was fleshly Israel. The argument of Dugger, if true, would bind upon Christians every other commandment God gave to fleshly Jews, as killing the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:6), offering other animal sacrifice (Leviticus 17:5), the burning of incense (Exodus 30:8) and so on. Will my friend make all these binding on the Gentiles who “become Jews, or Israel”? If not, his argument is worth nothing.
Again we consider Hebrews 4:4-9. In my friend’s first affirmative he said the word “rest” in all these verses except verse 9 was from the Greek katapausis and meant “rest after fatigue, the Eden rest, or the eternal rest.” Turn back and read his statement. But now he says the “rest” of verse 10 is the Sabbath rest. Yet it is from the Greek word katapausis. Now, which of these positions does Elder Dugger want; in one affirmative he says it is not the Sabbath rest; in the other, he says it is. Both statements cannot be true. Let him tell us which he wants. And he says the Greek word sabbatismos is the same as sabbaton, except the grammatical use gives a different ending. I deny this emphatically and challenge him to tell the grammatical use of the two words. But lest he will not I shall show them to be the same in grammatical use. In Hebrews 4:10, “there remaineth a rest (sabbatismos) to the people of God.” Sabbatismos is a singular noun, third person, nominative case, used as subject of the sentence. In Mark 2:27, “the Sabbath (sabbaton) was made for man,” sabbaton is a singular noun, third person, nominative case, used as subject of the sentence. Their grammatical use is the same. What is the difference? Sabbaton is of neuter gender; sabbatismos is of masculine gender. The word “Sabbath” in the New Testament always comes from sabbaton (neuter gender). The word sabbatismos (masculine gender) is used only one time in the New Testament and does not refer to the seventh day. They are two different words. The rest of Hebrews 4:10 is the eternal rest that we must labor to enter (Hebrews 4:11). And to cease from work “as God did from his” does not say “on the day God did.”
I keep nine of the ten commandments, not because they were in the ten commandments, but because they have been required in the New Testament law in an enlarged form. And if my opponent will show the commandment for keeping the Sabbath, I'll keep that too. But no one has ever been commanded to keep the Sabbath since the cross of Christ. So I am not nine-tenths fallen from grace, for I do not go to the old law for justification. And I John 3:4 does not refer to the ten commandments. The transgression of any divine law was sin. I ask Dugger to answer this: Would violation of other commandments, except the ten, be sin? Watch and see if he answers this. And it is claimed by the affirmative that no new commandment was given even on the day of Pentecost. Read Acts 2:38. This is the first time men were commanded to be baptized in the name of Christ. It was a new commandment. God means what he says when he “speaks of the commandments of God.” But when Dugger says that means only and always the ten, he says something that God neither says nor means. His claim that through the entire Bible “the commandments of God were always spoken of as the ten commandments” is not true. To set fire to Ai was a “commandment of the Lord (Joshua 8:8). To destroy Amalek, their flocks and herds, were “commandments of God” (I Samuel 15:11). Preaching the gospel was a “commandment of the everlasting God” (Romans 16:26). Not one of these is in the ten commandments. And you can find many others by checking your concordance. Dugger is wrong on this point.
Although Jesus did not mention the Sabbath when he told the rich young man to keep the commandments (Matthew 19:16-22), I gladly admit that it was included, for he was still living under the law. But we are living since the law was abolished at the cross (Colossians 2:14-16). The young man was told to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” This is not one of the ten but belonged to what Dugger calls the law of Moses. All those commandments were binding on him.
Neither did Jesus mean the ten commandments when he mentioned the two great commandments of the law in Matthew 22:35-40. The first was: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (verse 37). The second: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (39). No matter if the principle of love is embraced in the ten commandments (it is embraced in all divine commandments), these are two definite, specific commandments, and neither is found in the ten. They are found in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, in what my friend calls “the law of Moses.” In Matthew 19, after naming five of the second group of the ten commandments, Jesus said: “And, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Thus he shows this is not the second group of the ten commandments, but in addition to it. And Paul, in Romans 13:9, mentioned five of that second group, and then said this is “another commandment.” My friend, therefore, cannot make them the same thing. The two greatest commandments of the law were not in the ten commandments.
My friend argues that the only day on which meetings were held in Corinth for a year and half, during which time many believed and were baptized, was the Sabbath day. At first Paul preached in the Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath (Acts 18:4), but after he turned from the Jews to the Gentiles in verse 6, there is not a word said about any Sabbath meeting. Let my friend notice this. And not a word said about Paul’s keeping the Sabbath at any time. I have often preached on the seventh day, but I did not keep the Sabbath. I was a little surprised that Dugger said the Passover and Pentecost are still binding under the gospel, but he was hard pressed. The Passover was a type, and he would have it kept after the antitype, Jesus, our Passover, has been sacrificed. That reverses type and antitype. But, he says, they did not keep these feasts according to original requirements, but in modified form. If they did not keep them as the law said, they did not keep them at all. In Acts 12:3 and 20:6 it was still called “the days of unleavened bread.” That was as the law required. Does that bind it on us? Does Dugger keep it? Let him tell us. I challenge my friend to produce the proof that the Passover and Pentecost are binding on Christians. I Corinthians 5:7, 8 has to do with purging evil characters from the church, and not to a keeping of the Old Testament Passover.
If Isaiah 66:23 means the Sabbath will be binding in the new heaven and the new earth, it means the feast of the “new moon” will be binding too. Read it for yourself. Does Dugger keep the feast of the new moon?
Yes, I know, according to Hebrews 8:10, that God has laws in his new covenant. But that does not say they were the same laws of the old covenant. Verse 9 says the new covenant was “not according to” the old one. And the covenant was more than their agreement in Exodus 19:1-8. God does not refer to their agreement which they made with him, but to the covenant which he made with them. And that covenant which God made was the old covenant that was done away (Hebrews 8:13; Jeremiah 31:31-34). God said in Exodus 19:5: “If . . . ye will keep my covenant.” He did not say: “If you will keep your agreement.” He also said they broke his covenant (Jeremiah 31:32; Hebrews 8:9), not merely their agreement. So their agreement was not his covenant, but his covenant which they broke was taken away (Hebrews 8:7, 11). What was the covenant that God made? Deuteronomy 4:13 says the Lord “declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments.” The tables on which they were written were called “the tables of the covenant” (Deuteronomy 9:9). The ark in which they were placed was called “the ark of the covenant” (Deuteronomy 31:26). The ten commandments are called “the words of the covenant” (Exodus 34:27, 28). And this covenant Israel broke and God took away.
Another negative (Galatians 4:22-31). Abraham’s son by bondwoman represents covenant from Sinai. Isaac represents new covenant. Bondwoman and her son were cast out (verse 30). That ends covenant from Sinai. Children of that covenant are not heirs with son of free-woman. But Christians are not children of the covenant from Sinai (verse 31). Hence, are not under dominion of the Sabbath law.
Before giving further affirmative argument in proof that the seventh day of the week (Saturday) is still God’s time, and holy to him, we will answer the negative arguments set forth by our opponent. He says that I claim the commandment to love the Lord our God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, are separate and do not pertain to the ten commandments. He is mistaken, however, for it is Jesus who made this statement and not myself. Jesus said plainly “On these two commandments hangs all the law” (Matthew 19:16-22). Jesus never did teach the people to keep the old sacrifices of the law of Moses, but his teachings against them was one thing that set the ministers in that day against him (the Jewish priests), for they received their money and their living through this old system which both Jesus and Paul condemned. It was the old law of pardon by the animal’s blood, and the whole system of pardon through Moses that Jesus and the apostles were against. Therefore, when Jesus said the whole law hung on the two commandments to love God, and love our neighbor, he did not include the old animal sacrifices, but the ten commandments. The first four of these are love to God, and the last six, love to man; and if Elder Porter will love God as he should, he will not only try to keep three of these first four commandments, but he will also “Remember the Sabbath day,” which is just as binding on God’s people as it ever was. He said Jesus did not mean the ten commandments when he told us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, which was the first commandment, and to love our neighbor was the second; but Jesus said the whole law hung on these two commandments. Anyone knows that by the very nature of the first four commandments they are love to God, while the last six are love to man. If we through prayer and contact with God, receive enough of that heavenly virtue within our hearts and souls, we will love God, and by nature keep all of these commandments. The keeping of a law will not save anyone, but when the heart is really regenerated by the presence and power of God, then it will be our nature to keep all of God’s commandments whether they be the ten commandments or all that he has given through Jesus Christ. As the apple tree bears nothing but apples, and never lemons, because it is contrary to its nature to bear the lemons, so will we bear nothing but the fruits of the Spirit, because it is our nature to bear nothing else. If we “love God we will keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3). Paul says “the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
Our opponent says Paul never said anything about the Sabbath after he announced that he was going to turn to the Gentiles, but he is again mistaken. Paul makes this statement a number of times when laboring with different Jews. In Acts 13:46 he says: “Lo we turn to the Gentiles.” Then later in Acts 16:12-14, we find him holding meetings on the Sabbath as it was their custom to do out by the river side. This was not a Jewish synagogue either. Then again in Acts 17:4, and in Acts 18:1-4, we find him teaching on the Sabbath, and the Holy Spirit calling it the Sabbath.
Elder Porter says if the feasts are not to be kept according to the old law, then they are not to be kept at all; but this is what he says, and not what God says. God says Pentecost is to be kept. The apostles kept the first Pentecost, and God honored it by sending the Holy Spirit on that day. The Lord also speaking of a time after Armageddon when the wicked powers of earth are to fall, and when the glorified state of his kingdom is established here on earth, and the Lord will be king, that the nations left who will not worship the king the Lord of hosts and will not keep the feast of Pentecost [sic., should be Tabernacles], upon them will be no rain (Zechariah 14:9-17). Now, this is what God says. He also says the Sabbath is to be kept then, too, and calls it the new earth (Isaiah 66:23). If we are to honor God at each new moon time then, it will be fine; and who are we, that we should deny God’s word, and say it is not true, just because we cannot fully understand the significance of it? We know that these services will not be the same as under the old “administration of death” which Paul tells us has been done away. It will be a new order. God’s Sabbath is to be kept now, but not as it was under the old administration when they could not pick up sticks or build a fire. Jesus himself removed those restrictions, when the old Mosaic law was abolished containing these things. Jesus did change the manner of keeping the Sabbath but he never did abolish the institution.
Our opponent says the old covenant that was done away was the ten commandments, and he is positively sure about this; but then he puts back all of this covenant but just one precept and claims we are subject to nine tenths of it just as was Israel. He forgets that if his theory is true, then the “New Covenant” was made according to the old one. But the Lord plainly says the new covenant was “not according to the old one” (Hebrews 8:9). Elder Porter says it was just the same only the Sabbath was left out of the new covenant. Now who are we to believe? If the old covenant was the ten commandments as he seems positive about, then the new covenant with all of these commandments but one, was made very much like the old covenant indeed. Now, the Lord tells us the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant and does not leave us in doubt of the matter. He says: “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their minds and write them in their hearts” (Hebrews 8:10). This is the difference, says God. Under the old covenant, they had the law written on two tables of stone and carried it about the camp in the ark. Under the new covenant, this same law is to be written on the fleshly tables of the heart by the Spirit of the living God. Remember, God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). The English definition for the word “covenant” is agreement, and everyone uses the word this way. The old covenant was the agreement clearly recorded in Exodus 19 where the Lord agreed to make Israel a great nation and continue them as such, if they would keep his commandments. His part of the covenant was to watch over them, bless and protect them on certain conditions. Their part of the agreement was that they would keep all of his commandments. These were the conditions. The ten commandments were therefore the words of the covenant. The ark contained these tables of stone embracing the terms of Israel’s agreement. God did not fail on his part, but they failed and desecrated the Sabbath day, breaking all of God’s commandments by idolatry, blasphemy, and adultery, just like the Gentiles are doing today. God “found fault with them” (Hebrews 8:8) and cast them away as a nation. The covenant ended because they broke their part of the agreement, but God does not change. He requires the same of any nation or people that he required of Israel. He requires obedience to the ten commandments.
In Galatians 4:22-31 we have the contrast between Abraham’s two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, or Sarah and Hagar. It is the same lesson exactly and shows the contrast between the works of the flesh and the works of the spirit. Abraham through his own works and by a lack of faith in the power of God to perform what God promised, took Hagar to obtain the promised seed. As a result we have today the Arabs or Canaanites possessing the old promised land, as the offspring from Hagar. Hagar represents the futile efforts of man through his own strength and power, which gendereth to bondage. It represents Israel’s fleshly effort to keep God’s commandments without prayer and without seeking God for help. It resulted in failure. Israel broke the commandments. Their fleshly weakness was manifest immediately, when they worshiped the golden calf, and there were slain in that day about three thousand (Exodus 32:28). But under the administration of the Spirit through Jesus Christ the descendant from Isaac, there were saved and baptized on the day of Pentecost three thousand souls. The old covenant from Sinai, wherein Israel entered into the agreement with God, is represented by Hagar. They promised and in vain attempted to keep the commandments of God in their own strength. They failed on their part of the agreement, as everyone will fail when vainly trying by human strength to obey God and do his will. “The carnal mind (natural mind) is enmity against God. Is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
The new covenant was made with Israel, the Lord says, and not one word is said about the Gentiles in it. The Gentiles, as Gentiles, cannot be saved; but they must become Israel, as we have shown. This is why the ancient Babylonians were not condemned because they did not keep the Sabbath. There always has been one salvation for all men, not two ways. It was so then, and is true today. The Gentiles who came into the salvation of God did keep the Sabbath then, or they had no promise. See Isaiah 56:6 as given previously. He says I did not answer these questions as to why the Gentiles were called strangers, etc. The Lord says the Gentiles were strangers because they had no hope, and were without God in the world (Ephesians 2:11, 12). The Lord says there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile (Romans 10:12). To Abraham and his seed were the promises made. (Galatians 3:16). The Lord said the Gentiles were strangers, having no hope; consequently, they were not expected to keep the Sabbath. It is the same way today; if they want salvation they must come and accept a Jewish Christ, and an atonement by Jewish blood, and be adopted into the Jewish family through Jesus (Romans 2:28, 29 and I Corinthians 7:19 and Romans 11).
Now, we have set forth certain definite arguments for the continuation of the Sabbath day in this age of the world for God’s children, and every argument thus far set forth stands. Elder Porter tries in vain to explain them away, and tells us that he has blasted them, etc. But God’s word reads just the same. God tells us to “Study to show thyself approved of God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the scriptures of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).
1. We set forth the truth that God gave a law of ten commandments which he wrote on tables of stone, and one of these commandments tells us the seventh day is God’s time, and holy to him, commanding it to be kept holy, as a day of rest. Furthermore, it has been clearly proven that this was the only portion of the Bible God wrote with his own finger on tables of stone, and that it is repeatedly spoken of in the Old Testament as the commandments of God and the law of God; that it was the law measuring sin in that time and, furthermore, that these same commandments are spoken of repeatedly in the New Testament, just as they are in the Old, and called the law of God and the commandments of God. We have given already many scriptures in proof of this. As the Sabbath was part of this law then, it is part of it now; and wherever we are told to keep the commandments of God in the New Testament, these ten are included, and we are commanded, therefore, to keep the seventh day Sabbath many times in the New Testament.
His only answer to this is to challenge me to prove that the commandments of God in the New Testament mean the ten commandments. I have given much proof, and it is now up to him to prove the Sabbath is not included as one of the commandments. This he has failed to do so far.
In James 2:8-11 we have two of the ten commandments mentioned; and then we are told that if we keep all of this law and offend in one point we are guilty of all. Our opponent, therefore, in breaking the 4th commandment which enjoins rest on the seventh day, is breaking one of these commandments. In Romans 7:7 Paul is discussing this same law, for he says: “I would not have known lust except the law had said, thou shalt not covet.” It is, therefore, this same ten commandment law he is speaking of and his conclusion is found in verse 12 as follows: “Wherefore the law is holy and the commandment holy and just and good.” Our opponent says the law is done away with and is no good anymore. Now who shall we believe? Paul says it is holy and just and good.
Again Paul discusses the law in Romans 2:21-25 and mentions stealing, blasphemy, adultery and worshiping of idols, and says: “Thou that makest thy boasts of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God?” This surely fits all who boast themselves above the law, just to get rid of the one precept, God’s true Sabbath day. God says those who break the law dishonor God, so, reader, be very careful how you deal with Paul’s writings, of which Peter says some are wresting to their own destruction. Paul says here if we break the law that contains these commandments we dishonor God.
He attempts to answer my arguments on this by stating that the ten commandments were also written in the book of the law, but this does not erase the fact that God did make a distinction between the two, even if our opponent denies the fact. Had we been there and seen God write the ten commandments on two tables of stone and then write the other in a book there would be no further doubt, for we would know that God divided the law into two distinct codes. Their very nature is also different. One was a law that constituted sin, and the other was to pardon the transgressor, as we have clearly shown. We gave Psalm 111:7, 8 where God says all of his commandments are sure, that they stand fast forever and ever, and he challenges me to prove that this is the ten commandments; but he is the one to prove they are not the ten commandments. I affirm they are, for the ten commandments are the commandments of God, and this says all of his commandments are sure, etc. Certainly a code of outstanding commandments like all of the ten would be in this category and would be included in all of his commandments. He puts in one whole page endeavoring to show that God speaks of the law of Moses as his law, and endeavors by this to prove that they were all one and just the same; but the facts remain that God separated them himself when he made them, and when he gave them to Moses, and furthermore, their very nature separates them into two separate codes, which every reasonable mind will easily acknowledge. Those given through Moses would of course be God’s law too, but one ended and one continued.
Our proposition is forever sustained in the one fact that there were two separate and distinct laws given at the beginning, the very nature of one being a temporary means for pardoning sins, while the nature of the other is absolutely perpetual and everlasting. The principles involved in the ten commandments are organic principles of righteousness expressing the true relationship between man to his God, and man to man. They stand by reason of their nature, regardless of his efforts to put them all together and erase them. Then the New Testament abundantly sustains our claim, in the following scriptures and many more. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth the law, for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4). “This is the love of God that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3). “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God” (I Corinthians 7:19). “The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid, yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art a transgressor of the law” (James 2:10, 11). Of those who are saved at the judgment, it says: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). Those that the beast makes war on, who, we are told, are the remnant of the seed of the church, are those who “keep the commandments of God, and the testimonies of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17). Now if this is not that special law of ten commandments occupying such an outstanding position in the Old Testament age, he must prove positively it is not. This he has failed to do. One of the commandments of this law enjoined rest on the seventh day of the week, and that law being binding on both Gentiles and Jews under the New Testament order, they are both alike duty bound, to keep God’s Sabbath day if they are recognized as his children. Yes, we surely admit that God has given different commandments at different times, but never did he give such a law as this, either before or since. He wrote these ten commandments with his own finger on tables of stone and spoke them with a voice that shook the earth. They constitute the complete relationship between man and man, and man and God. The law of ordinances, the law that was “against the apostles,” is the law that was done away, as previously shown with Israel’s yearly Sabbaths.
He says I admit that Jesus fulfilled the law which my opponent says concluded or abrogated it, but he is mistaken. I said that Jesus fulfilled the bloody sacrificial law of pardon given through Moses, and he did when he shed his own blood for our sins. What he fulfilled in this way, of course, brought it to an end; but he said himself he came not to destroy. Hence, he did not destroy anything that his mission into the world did not complete. As he completed the old Mosaic law of pardon it ended. Paul said this law was added because of the transgressions of the people until the seed which is Christ should come. See Galatians 3:19. Not one jot or tittle was to pass from the law as long as heaven and earth is here, says Jesus (Matthew 5:17-19). His conclusion of this saying is found in the context, that for this reason anyone breaking the least one of the commandments and teaching men so will be the least in the kingdom. My opponent better take earnest heed to this warning, for he is surely teaching men to disregard these commandments, and the least in the kingdom are to be gathered out as tares and cast into the fire.
2. The command that Jesus gave to honor the Sabbath down on this side of the cross, also stands just as he gave it in Matthew 24:20. My opponent has come far short of explaining away this solemn warning and command of our Saviour. Jesus told his followers to pray that their flight from Jerusalem would not be on the Sabbath day or in the winter. Jerusalem as Jesus knew would not be destroyed until long after his crucifixion. It was not destroyed until 70 years down in this age. Therefore, the Sabbath by a command of Jesus was regarded and observed by his followers then. Why does not our opponent just admit this, and tell the people that the Sabbath is still holy, and that God still wants us to regard it? He has tried to answer this, first by saying the gates of Jerusalem were closed on the Sabbath was why Jesus told them to pray that they would not have to flee on that day. Then we showed that Jesus was speaking of the land of Judea and not of Jerusalem, and there was no wall around Judea; but now he vainly tries to make it appear that if it were because the Sabbath was holy that Jesus did not want his followers to flee on that day, that the winter would also be holy as he also mentioned the winter, but surely the readers will be able to see the folly of such an answer. His people would be subject to wind, rain and snow and have much suffering in the winter, and he knew God’s Sabbath was still the Sabbath and therefore commanded them to pray that they would not have to break it by fleeing on that day, and having to carry burdens from their homes, which God had repeatedly forbidden them to do on the Sabbath.
3. Another argument fully sustaining my proposition has not been overthrown; viz., That the seventh day Sabbath is traced through the scriptures from the beginning of the world, and even into the age to come, is proof that God still regards this time holy and expects us to regard it as such for him, not using it for our own selfish purposes. Elder Porter seems to believe that the prophet Amos spoke of a time when the Sabbath would end (Amos 8:5-9), but the prophet did not say the Sabbath would end when the sun went down at noon. This is a far-fetched conclusion. God spoke definitely here of when his judgments would come upon the Jews because they wanted the Sabbath over that they might sell and get gain through deceit. Amos was not speaking here of when the institution would end. The people were wicked at heart, and keeping only the law according to the letter. They could hardly wait until the sun went down, ending the Sabbath day, so they could open their stores and go on with their dishonest business. Please read this scripture, and prayerfully judge for yourself, if God promised them the Sabbath would end when the sun went down at noon, or if He promised to bring judgments upon them for their wickedness, when the sun went down at noon. The judgments upon the Jews and persecutions ever since is proof that God still regards his Sabbath and commandments, and now destruction is coming upon the Gentile nations for the same offenses. The Jews, however, are returning to Jerusalem and keeping the Sabbath and accepting Jesus as their Saviour. He also claims that as the Sabbath is not mentioned from Adam to Moses it was not kept as an institution during this period, but the Sabbath is not mentioned either from Moses to Elijah which is a longer period than from Adam to Sinai, but he will not deny that it was observed during this time. The Passover is not spoken of either for over a thousand years after being given; circumcision from Joshua to John the Baptist; sabbatical year for 900 years; then why assume that because the Sabbath was not mentioned from Adam to Moses it was not kept then? It is up to him to furnish proof that it was not kept. The fact that God made the Sabbath and blessed it at creation (Genesis 2:1-3), and then Jesus tells us it was made for man (Mark 2:27, 28) is sufficient proof to those who want the truth. Jesus did not say it was made for the Jew, but for man, and man was made at creation. The Sabbath was observed by Jesus and all of his apostles and is to be observed in the new heaven and earth (Isaiah 66:23); therefore, this evidence still stands and the Sabbath should be kept, and is being kept by God’s children today, as he leads them into the light. Many are accepting the true Sabbath all over the world, and many more are going to do so, as the Holy Spirit takes up its abode in their hearts and leads the honest ones into this precious truth.
4. Another argument set forth for the continuation of the Sabbath commandment in this age is found in Hebrews 4:4-9. Our opponent claims this does not mean the Sabbath of the commandments, but as we have shown that the word sabbatismos is used in verse 10 which refers to a Sabbath rest, we have the word of God on our side in this point of contention. He admits that the word sabbatismos is used here instead of katapausis, but concludes by saying, “it does not refer to the seventh day.” He does not deny it refers to a Sabbath rest, for the marginal reading says “the keeping of a Sabbath.” Hence the text does teach that there remains the keeping of a Sabbath for the people of God. It does not remain for anyone else, and when the Gentiles take hold of the covenant relationship with God that gives them life eternal, they will keep this Sabbath “that remains for the people of God.” He cites Mark 2:27 where sabbaton is used and says it is the subject of the sentence, singular number, third person, and nominative case, the same as the word sabbatismos in the text under question; and then he admits that one is neuter gender, while the other is masculine. The fact remains exactly as I stated previously that this word refers to a day of rest, and my opponent will not deny this. The next verse then tells us to enter into this rest as God did his. The 4th verse tells us that God rested on the seventh day; hence, we are here commanded to do likewise and to rest on the Sabbath day, the seventh day of the week in this age. He says the rest spoken of in verse 10 means the eternal rest. How does he know? The margin of my Bible says it means “the keeping of a Sabbath.” Why and on what authority does he say it means something else? This text is such strong argument that he must put forth great effort to destroy it. It adds great weight in sustaining my proposition. What he says about it meaning the future rest does not change the reading of the scripture, for it says God entered into his rest on the seventh day of the week (verse 4); so it is the seventh day of the week God is talking about, for that is what he says. Then he tells us to enter into our rest as God did his, because there remains a rest for the people of God. Dear reader, if you are one of the people of God, you will be spending some time every day in prayer and thanksgiving to God, seeking him for wisdom and power, and you will be led into keeping all of God’s commandments. The natural mind is not subject to the law of God and cannot be (Romans 8:7), but the spiritual mind is subject to the law, and it does not find the commandments of God to be grievous (I John 5:3).
The ten commandment law, of which the Sabbath is one precept, stood out prominently in the Old Testament above everything else in the religious rites pertaining to salvation. It was the dial around which true relationship between man and man, and man and God rotated, and there is nothing in the nature of any part of this law that would give it a limited jurisdiction, or necessitate its abolition. Every text of Paul’s writings which might at first seem to teach that the ten commandments were made void through Jesus Christ will have an entirely different setting when given careful study and consideration. Peter is right when he says Paul’s writings are hard to be understood, and certain ones wrest them to their own destruction. Anyone knows that to interpret Paul’s writings of the law in such a way to make it void would increase wickedness, but to interpret them as I am doing which shows the perpetuity and binding force of the ten commandments will increase righteousness and godliness. Paul’s teaching throughout the New Testament is that sinners are under the law, and those who keep the law are not under its condemnation. He speaks to sinners who desire to be under the law, and we have many of them today, who walk after their own lusts because they enjoy this life. These are the ones the law was made for. The Lord plainly says the law was not made for a righteous man but for the sinner. If all were righteous, there would be no need for the law, as Paul says. Our opponent does not like this explanation, and as negative argument gives the text where Jesus was made under the law. Now, it is true that Jesus was not a sinner, but the Lord does say plainly that Christ was “made to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Corinthians 5:21). In Galatians 4:4, 5 it says: “Jesus was made of woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law.” This does show clearly that he died to redeem sinners, and that sinners are the ones under the law, and not the righteous people. Righteous people have been redeemed from sin by the blood of Jesus and brought out from under the law. Be careful, reader, that we do not wrest these writings of Paul to our destruction, as Peter gives us warning. Why did not our opponent refer to all of the text instead of just part? The rest of it shows clearly why Jesus was made under the law, or made sin for us, that he might redeem them that are under the law. Christians are not under the law but under grace, as Paul says, because they have been brought out from under it, from under its penalties. Paul says “The flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would, but if ye be led by the spirit ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:17, 18). In the next verse he gives a list of the manifestations of the works of the flesh, adultery, murder, hatred, etc., which when people do they are under the law, for when they by following the spirit bear the opposite fruit they are no longer under the law. This is absolute proof that my explanation of Paul’s writings on this law subject is correct, and that I am not wresting them to my destruction. We will now examine his other negative text: “And unto the Jew I became a Jew that I might gain the Jews: to them that are under the law as under the law that I might gain them that are under the law.” This proves that it was another class other than the Jew as a nation who were under the law, and again confirms the truth of my interpretation of the law question. Paul goes right on in the next verse as follows: “To them that are without law, as without law (being not without the law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them.” This further establishes the strength of this truth, as those under the law to Christ are lost, for Paul says he desires to save them. Hence, being under the law, as expressed in the New Testament does not mean being under its dominion or jurisdiction, but it means more than that -- it means under its power and condemnation because of having broken or disregarded it.
5. We have previously proven that the Holy Spirit, in this age, called the day the Jews were worshipping on “The Sabbath day” (Acts 13:42, 44; also Acts 17:2, and 18:4 and other scripture). Furthermore, the Holy Sprit spoke in this age as follows, telling us definitely that the day preceding the first day of the week is the Sabbath. It reads: “In the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre” (Matthew 28:1). Hence, the day before the first day of the week is the Sabbath in this age just as it was in the old. It was because of these scriptures and others equally as strong, that Elder Porter, in his previous negative, admitted that the seventh day of the week was the Sabbath, and that it still is the Sabbath. A frank admission indeed. As he now agrees with us on the Sabbath question, surely he will keep it. His objection has been that he could not find a command where we were told to keep it in the New Testament, but now we have given him an abundance of scripture showing:
1. That Jesus kept it (Luke 4:14-16), and commanded it to be regarded and kept in this age (Matthew 24:20), when Rome conquered Palestine, 70 A.D.
2. Paul commanded us to enter into our rest as God did his, after telling us plainly that God rested on the seventh day of the week (Hebrews 4:4-9).
3. Paul made tents on the other days of the week, but kept the Sabbath and preached to both Jews and Gentiles on that day (Acts 18:1-11; also Acts 13:42, 44 and 16:12-15 and 17:2).
4. We are commanded to keep the commandments of God in this age, and the law of God of which the seventh day Sabbath always composed a prominent part, since God’s commandments were given (James 2:10, 11; I John 3:4 and 5:3; Revelation 14:12; 22:14). We have given abundance of proof that it was the law of pardon through Moses with many yearly Sabbaths and bloody sacrifices that ended and not the ten commandment law of God, and have thus made harmony and not contradiction in the New Testament teaching regarding the law.
I did not say that Elder Dugger said the two commandments -- to love the Lord, and to love thy neighbor -- were separate from the ten. But my friend says that “Jesus made this statement.” I thank you, Dugger, for that admission. That is the very thing I was contending for and the thing you deny. So Jesus made the statement that you deny. You say reference is made to the ten commandments but that Jesus made a statement to the contrary. That is true, of course, and you could not meet the arguments I made. Jesus mentioned five of the second group of the ten commandments, and then added “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” as a distinct commandment (Matthew 19:18, 19). And Paul called it “another commandment” after specifying five of the second group of the ten (Romans 13:9). Why didn’t Dugger make an effort to answer these arguments? He knew it was better to let them alone. Neither commandment is contained in the ten, as Dugger well knows, but they are distinct, separate commandments found in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, in what Dugger calls the law of Moses. So the greatest commandments are not in the ten. “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:40). He did not say “these two commandments make all the law.” And where can Dugger find room for “the prophets” in the ten commandments, if that is all Jesus referred to? He’ll not answer; so don’t be disappointed. Certainly love for God and man is embraced in the ten commandments, but love is included in all of God’s commandments; and Jesus and Paul distinguish between “these two” and the ten commandments. Dugger is hopelessly lost at this point.
My friend says: “Jesus never did teach the people to keep the old sacrifices of the law of Moses.” When Jesus cleansed a leper, he told him: “Go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded” (Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14). The sacrifices required by Moses can be found in Leviticus 14. Elder Dugger, read these verses and be ashamed of yourself! Jesus did not teach against the sacrifices of the law during his personal ministry. Sacrifices were made for him (Luke 2:21-24) and he told his disciples to observe the requirements of Moses (Matthew 23:2, 3). He lived under the law (Galatians 4:4). He was subject to the law. And I challenge my friend to prove that the Jewish priests were against him because he opposed the sacrifices required by Moses. He said such was true; now let him prove it! But I’ll not be disappointed if he fails to produce the proof, for I know he cannot find it.
Neither did I say that Paul never mentioned the Sabbath after he announced that he was turning to the Gentiles. I said that no mention is made of any meeting in Corinth on the Sabbath after Paul turned from the Jews to the Gentiles (Acts 18:4-6). The Sabbath meetings in Corinth were in the Jewish synagogues, and if such meetings were held on the Sabbath there after he turned to the Gentiles, why did not my friend give us the proof. Certainly Paul mentioned the Sabbath on other occasions. It was after this that Paul said the Sabbath had been taken away and nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14-16). The meeting by the riverside (Acts 16:12-14) was not in a Jewish synagogue, Dugger claims. I gladly admit that. But they were Jewish worshipers -- not Christians -- for they had never heard the gospel. Paul preached to them and converted them to Christ after they had been holding such meetings on the Sabbath. Why can’t he find a group of Christians who were keeping the Sabbath? It is not on record.
Friend Dugger still claims Christians are required to keep the Old Testament feasts. He says: “The apostles kept the first Pentecost.” My! My! What is the matter with my friend? The first Pentecost was kept in the days of Moses, hundreds of years before the apostles were ever born. But perhaps he meant the first Pentecost after Jesus arose. But he will have to prove they kept that. His reference, Zechariah 14:9-17, to prove Pentecost will be kept in the new earth, does not even mention Pentecost. It mentions “the feast of tabernacles” -- not Pentecost. My friend must be excited. But the application he makes of this passage will require the re-establishment of those shadows and figures in the eternal age that belonged to an age and a system that was inferior even to the Christian age. He reverses type and antitype. He would re-institute the old Jewish system, inferior to the gospel, for the eternal age. Any man’s position is wrong that demands such an interpretation of scripture. Neither does Isaiah 66:23 give him any help. This was formerly introduced to prove the Sabbath binding in the next age. If so, it binds also the feast of “new moons.” Dugger is willing to have the new moon feast over there if he can manage to get the Sabbath in. But Paul says the “new moon” was done away, and that it was a shadow of things to come (Colossians 2:14-17). Dugger said it belonged to the law of Moses. But now he thinks it will all come back in the next age. Well, verse 21 mentions the priests and Levites. Will Dugger say the Levitical priesthood will be brought back? If so, what about animal sacrifices that go with it? You can see my friend’s position will require a “let-down,” a returning to an inferior system, in the eternal age. “From one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another” does not mean that either will be kept. But “from one to another” may easily include all the time between them; hence, a daily, a perpetual service, instead of Sabbath keeping.
My friend is still in trouble about the two covenants. He thinks my position would make the New Covenant nearly like the Old Covenant, for only one commandment would be left out; but God said the New Covenant was “not according to the old.” Since, then, Dugger would have the same ten commandments, he would have the new covenant exactly like the old. The ten commandments were the very heart of the old covenant, but there were many commandments in that old covenant besides the ten. So my position does not even make the new resemble the old. The difference between the two, Dugger says, is that laws of God were written in stone under the old, but written in the heart under the new. That is one of the differences. But Hebrews 8:9-12 shows a number of other differences. Dugger says: “Under the new covenant this same law” is written on the heart. That is the point he must prove. The Bible says “God’s laws” would be written in the heart, but where does it say, “this same law”? Dugger said that; the book of God says no such thing. If so, let him give it! He still contends that the covenant done away was Israel’s agreement in Exodus 19. I showed him that God said: “If . . . ye will keep my covenant” (Exodus 19:5). God did not say: “Your agreement.” Furthermore, God said they broke the covenant which he made with them -- not the agreement which they made (Jeremiah 31:32). And it was the covenant that God made -- not Israel’s agreement --that was done away (Hebrews 8:7, 13). I introduced all of these points in my other negative. What did my friend say about them? Absolutely nothing! He knew the argument was unanswerable. But the reader will wonder why he did not at least try. His utter silence with respect to many of my arguments will react upon him when the discussion is read.
We are informed that Jesus removed the restrictions concerning the Sabbath and changed the manner of keeping it. Indeed! What, then, must men do to keep the Sabbath? Let Dugger tell us the new manner of Sabbath keeping since all the restrictions are removed. Watch and see if he says anything about it.
My opponent’s position of Galatians 4:22-31 is amusing. He says: “Hagar represents the futile efforts of man through his own strength and power.” But Paul says Hagar is the covenant from Mount Sinai (Galatians 4:24, 25). Now, take which you will. I believe Paul is right. And regarding that covenant from Sinai, Dugger says in this third affirmative: “The ten commandments were therefore the words of the covenant.” But the new covenant, according to Paul, was represented by Sarah. And he says, “We are not children of the bondwoman (the covenant from Sinai) but of the free” (Galatians 4:31). However, my friend and his people are children of the Sinai covenant, and are, therefore, not heirs with the children of the freewoman. Hagar was cast out; and the old covenant was done away. No need to still hold to it.
My opponent tells us that the Gentiles, as Gentiles, cannot be saved today. They must first become Jews. There is not a passage in all of God’s book that even intimates that Gentiles must become fleshly Jews in order to be saved. Romans 10:12 is given to prove “there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile.” I fully accept that, but it upsets my friend’s argument. He is insisting that there is a difference; that the Jew is favored and the Gentile must become a fleshly Jew. If that is so, there is a difference and Paul was mistaken about it. The New Testament plainly teaches that fleshly Jewish relationship means nothing under the gospel. Paul said: “There is neither Jew nor Greek....for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Dugger says: “Paul, you are mistaken. There is no Gentile in Christ, but all are Jews.” Well, I’ll take Paul; you can take Dugger if you want to. Both Jews and Gentiles become spiritual Israel in Christ; but the Jew, as a fleshly Jew, is no more that than is the Gentile in the flesh. Both Jew and Gentile become “Abraham’s seed” by being baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27-29). But neither Jew nor Gentile is Abraham’s spiritual seed until baptized into Christ. Both must do the same thing and become “Abraham’s seed” in exactly the same way. Hence, there is no difference between them. But there is a difference, according to my friend. “The seed of Abraham” to whom the promise was made, according to Galatians 3:16, was Christ. The very verse says so; so it fails to help my friend Dugger. At last Dugger tells us why the Babylonians were not sent into Judean captivity for failing to keep the Sabbath. It was because they were not Jews, and the law could not apply to them till they became Israel. Good! That ruins all of his arguments regarding the Sabbath requirement being of universal application. In his first affirmative, Dugger said: “God’s people of all nationalities, whether Jew or Gentile, were duty bound to observe the Sabbath.” But now he backs out of that and says that no such duty existed unless they first became Jews. I wonder which of these positions he wants. Likewise he said in his first affirmative: “The Gentiles must realize that divine ownership, and keep God’s day.” Were the Babylonians Gentiles? Then they had to keep the Sabbath or suffer the consequences; but Dugger said they did not have to suffer the consequences because they had not become Jews! My friend is so terribly mixed he will never get straightened on this proposition until he gives up his false theory. He also said in that affirmative: “The Gentiles today . . . will soon be victims of his wrath” because they are failing to keep the Sabbath. Why subject Gentiles today to his wrath and let the Babylonians go free? Is God a respecter of persons? The Gentiles were strangers, my friend says, because they had no hope, “Consequently, they were not expected to keep the Sabbath.” God does not say in Ephesians 2:12 that the Gentiles were strangers “Because they had no hope.” Rather, they had no hope as a result of being strangers. They “were strangers from the covenants of promise.” This shows they were not included in the covenants then. And Dugger admits all of this by saying “they were not expected to keep the Sabbath.” That being true, he gives up his former arguments that the Gentiles were to keep the Sabbath day. If it applied to them, why did not God expect them to keep it? I challenge him to answer this question.
Dugger says the ten commandments are included “wherever we are told to keep the commandments of God in the New Testament.” That is his statement -- not the word of God. He wants me to prove the Sabbath is not included, and he seems to forget the laboring oar is in his hand. He must prove that it is included! He has admitted that God had other commandments beside the ten. Then why is the Sabbath always meant? I might as reasonably say: “To destroy Amalek, their flocks and herds, were commandments of God. Therefore, wherever we are told to keep the commandments of God in the New Testament these are included.” That would have just as much sense and reason in it as the argument of Dugger for the ten commandments.
But “James 2:8, 11 mentions two of the ten commandments.” Yes, but it does not mention the Sabbath. Besides, it mentions one of the commandments in “the law of Moses” (verse 8). Compare Leviticus 19:18. So if mentioning two of the ten binds all the ten on us, then mentioning one of the commandments of Moses would bind all the law of Moses on us. There is no way to escape this conclusion. Although I called his attention to this fact in my first negative, Dugger has passed it by in utter silence. He feels the force of it and knows he cannot answer it.
In Romans 7:7 is found the statement: “Thou shalt not covet.” Then in verse 12 Paul says: “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Dugger thinks this binds the Sabbath on Christians, although not a word is said about the Sabbath. All commandments that God gives are holy, just and good. And “Thou shalt not covet” is a holy commandment. It is a part of “The law of liberty” now (James 2:12), and the law that contains it is holy, just as the law that contained it in the Old Testament was holy then.
Paul’s reference to the law in Romans 2:21-25 was for the purpose of showing the Jew that his attitude was wrong even while he was under the law of the Old Testament, for he was then a violator of the law, but claimed justification on the mere fact that he had the law. The context clearly shows this. But just admit for argument’s sake that reference is made to Christians. What then? Not a word is said about the Sabbath. However, it refers to the Jewish attitude under the law. Verse 25 says: “For verily circumcision profiteth, if thou keep the law.” Is my friend willing to bind circumcision on men because of this statement? Paul says that circumcision in this age avails, or profits, nothing (Galatians 5:1-6). Hence, the statements of Romans 2 refer to the Jewish attitude while he was under the law.
I have already shown that Psalm 111:7, 8 cannot be limited to the ten commandments, but it refers to “all his commandments.” I have two questions for my friend. 1. Did God have any commandments besides the ten? 2. Has any of God’s commandments ever been discontinued? I demand that he answer these questions. He has one more chance to do so. But if he answers them, he ruins his argument; so watch him ignore them as he has so many others.
Friend Dugger dies hard on the “two laws.” He has affirmed that the ten commandments was the law of God, and all the rest was the law of Moses--that the law of Moses was done away, but the law of God remains. I showed that God gave “the law of Moses” (Ezra 7:6). And Moses gave “God’s law” (Nehemiah 10:29). I also showed that God gave “the book of the law of Moses” (Nehemiah 8:1). And Moses gave “the book of the law of the Lord” (II Chronicles 34:14). I proved from Nehemiah 8:1, 2, 3, 8 that the two expressions are used interchangeably; therefore, mean the same thing. I gave II Chronicles 31:3, 35:26; Luke 2:23, 24 to prove the law of God included many things besides the ten commandments. What reply did he make to all of these arguments? Absolutely none! He insists there is a distinction between the two laws but made no effort to meet my arguments. He does admit this: “Those given through Moses would, of course, be God’s law too.” This admission ruins his whole argument. If that given through Moses is “God’s law,” as Dugger now admits, then that fanciful distinction he has tried to make between “the law of Moses” and “the law of God” blow up from within. Thank you, Dugger, for bidding your argument “good-bye.”
My friend claims the ten commandments “constitute the complete relationship between man and man, and man and God,” but “the other was to pardon the transgressor.” Note the words “complete relationship.” That means it covers the whole thing. Dugger, answer this: Is it wrong for a man to “bear false witness for his neighbor”? Is it wrong for him to “bear false witness against his enemy”? Don’t dodge now. Come right on and answer. If you don’t answer, the reader will think you are afraid. Here is a relationship between man and man, and I challenge you to find it in the ten commandments. You know you can’t do it, and the reader will know it when you fail to answer. God said in the law of Moses: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind” (Leviticus 18:22). Did that “pardon the transgressor”? Or did it not constitute sin? Don’t answer, for if you do, you will ruin your entire argument. All this shows how badly mixed my friend is about the “two laws.”
He returns to I John 5:3; I Corinthians 7:19; Revelation 14:12 and Revelation 12:17, which show the importance of keeping the “commandments of God.” Then he says I must prove this is not the ten commandments. But he immediately says: “Yes, we surely admit that God has given different commandments at different times.” It took me a long time to get him to say whether God has any commandments beside the ten, but he has finally said, “Yes.” That puts the burden of proof right back on him. As he admits God has other commandments he will have to prove these passages refer to the ten. That is his task, and it is begging him to begin. I deny that the ten are referred to. Let him offer his proof. Reference is to the commandments of the gospel--not to Old Testament commandments.
A return is made to I John 3:4; Romans 7:12; Romans 3:31 and James 2:11, 12 to prove “the law” is binding. One question will settle this. Does “the law” in the new Testament always mean the ten commandments? If he answers this, his argument is gone. Just note how he lets this question alone.
Dugger now insists that the law that Jesus fulfilled, and therefore ended, was the bloody, sacrificial law of pardon. Well, the law that Jesus said he “came to fulfill” was the same law about which he said “one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from” it “till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17, 18). If the reader will read this passage, he can easily see that. My friend says that Jesus said one jot or one tittle would not pass from the law “as long as heaven and earth are here.” But Jesus did not say that. He said “as long as heaven and earth are here” (till heaven and earth pass), “one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” But my opponent leaves out the modifying clause, “till all be fulfilled”; and when he leaves that out, he changes the meaning of the passage completely. Saying it will not pass “till all be fulfilled” is saying that it will pass when fulfilled. And the text says that Jesus “came to fulfill” that very law. If he did what he said he came to do, that law was fulfilled, and then it passed. Dugger admits that whatever law Jesus fulfilled passed away. All right, then, Jesus said he “came to fulfill” this law that Dugger says would never be done away. I called his attention to the meaning of “till” in such expressions, in my first negative, but so far he has never had enough courage to try to answer the argument made. Joseph knew not Mary “till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew 1:25). Does this mean that Joseph never knew Mary? Tell us Dugger. And Paul’s enemies bound themselves under an oath “that they would not eat nor drink till they had killed Paul” (Acts 23:12). Does this mean they would never eat nor drink? When Dugger leaves out “till all be fulfilled” from Matthew 5:18, he changes the Lord’s meaning; when he leaves it in, he ruins his argument.
And he is still ruined on his argument on Matthew 24:20. If “pray that your flight be not on the Sabbath” makes the Sabbath holy in A.D. 70, then “pray that your flight be not in the winter” will make the season holy too. Dugger thinks the reader can see the “folly of this answer.” Well, it is a poor rule that won’t work both ways; and if it makes one holy, it makes the other holy. But Dugger says it means there would be difficulties in the winter. Exactly so. And there would be difficulties facing them if they had to flee on the Jewish Sabbath. And the passage proves neither a holy day or a holy season. And the argument is still lost to Dugger.
I am perfectly willing for the reader to decide if Amos 8:5-9 says the Sabbath would “be gone” when the sun went “down at noon.” Read it for yourself and compare Mark 15:33.
Dugger now admits the Sabbath was not mentioned from Adam to Moses, but he says it was neither mentioned from Moses to Elijah, a longer period; nor was the Passover mentioned for over a thousand years after given; and circumcision was not mentioned from Joshua to John the Baptist. This is a wonderful (?) argument. Any one knows that a law once given remains in force till repealed, even if it is never mentioned again, but that does not prove it was in force before it was given. My friend reasons the Sabbath was in force for 2500 years before mentioned and tries to prove it by its not being mentioned any more from Moses to Elijah. By the same argument you can prove the Passover existed during the first 2500 years of the world’s history, for Dugger says it was not mentioned for a thousand years after it was given. If it existed during that thousand years, it would prove, according to Dugger, that it also existed during the 2500 years in which it was not mentioned before Moses. If it works this way on the Sabbath, it will work the same way on the Passover and on circumcision. So we could prove circumcision existed for two thousand years before Abraham’s day. A man is hard pressed for an argument to depend upon a matter of this kind. Not only is the argument weak, but my friend shows a lack of Bible knowledge in making it. Is it true that the Passover is not spoken of for over a thousand years after being given? It was given in Exodus 12. In Numbers 9:1-5, in the second year after it was given, it was mentioned and kept. In Deuteronomy 16:1-5, shortly before Israel entered Canaan, it is mentioned again. And in Joshua 5:10, 11, forty years after it was given, it is mentioned again. My opponent should compare his ideas with the Bible before making such reckless statements and save himself some embarrassment. And what of circumcision? He says it is not mentioned “from Joshua to John the Baptist.” However, Jeremiah, who lived about 800 years after Joshua and 600 years before John the Baptist, mentioned it (Jeremiah 9:25). Hence, Dugger’s argument, besides being weak, is based upon a misstatement of facts.
Yes, Mark 2:27, 28 says “the Sabbath was made for man.” But it does not say it was made when man was made. And I wonder if my friend thinks the Jew was not man. When made for the Jew it was made for man, for the Jew was not a horse or a turkey gobbler, but he was man.
As to Hebrews 4:4-9 my opponent says that Paul “commands us to enter into our rest as God did his.” There is no such commandment found in this text. The statement of Dugger is a perversion of what the passage says. Here is what it says: “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (Verse 10). Can’t my friend distinguish between this and a commandment? On another occasion God said: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13). So the man who thus “hath ceased from his works,” according to Paul, “is entered into his rest,” even as God entered into his rest when he ceased from his work. Our attention is called to the marginal reading of verse 9, “the keeping of a Sabbath.” But to help my friend it would have to read: “The keeping of the Sabbath.” that is what even the marginal reading does not say. But it is claimed that I will admit that this refers to a day. I will admit that it refers to “the day of eternal rest” but not to a 24-hour day. It is that rest that we must labor to enter (verse 12), which we may fail to enter just as Israel failed to enter Canaan. This is the rest that remains for the people of God. No man would ever have thought of anything else if he had not been searching for proof of a theory that lacks New Testament sanction.
If any man ever wrested the writings of Paul, Elder Dugger has done that regarding the expression, “under the law.” Paul said Christians “are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Dugger says “under the law” means under condemnation for violating the law. In John 1:17 we read: “For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” So the law means the system given by Moses, and grace means the system that came by Jesus. If “under the law” means under condemnation of the law, then “under grace” means under condemnation of the system Jesus gave. If not, let Dugger tell us why. So his interpretation of Paul’s writing puts all Christians under condemnation. Of course, Christians are not under the law, because the law has been abolished (Colossians 2:14-17). And Dugger makes Jesus guilty of sin, for he was “under the law” (Galatians 4:4). He tries to fix this by an appeal to II Corinthians 5:21 that Jesus “was made to be sin for us.” Jesus was made to be sin for us when he bore our sins on the cross, or became our sin-offering. However, the word “made” in Galatians 4:4 is from the Greek genomenon, which means “born.” He was “made of a woman, made under the law” -- born of a woman, born under the law.” So Jesus was under the law as soon as he was born, and not merely when he became our sin-offering on the cross. Dugger has not even touched the argument. To be under the law was to be under its jurisdiction, or authority, and Christians thus are not under the law. Certainly those “under the law” needed to be redeemed, according to Galatians 4:5, for that law could not give them life (Galatians 2:21; 3:21). Hence Jesus died “for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament” (Hebrews 9:15), as well as for others. And when a man goes back under the law now, he still needs redemption. I agree with Paul’s statement in Galatians 5:18 that “if ye be led of the spirit, ye are not under the law.” That proves that Dugger and his people are not being led by the spirit, for they desire to be under the law (cf. Galatians 4:21). In I Corinthians 9:20-22 Paul clearly showed that wile “to them that are without law” he became “as without law,” yet he realized that he was “not without law to God, but under the law to Christ.” If “under the law” means condemnation, then Paul stood condemned, for he referred to himself as being “under the law to Christ.” He mentions the Jews, them that are under the law, them that are without law, and the weak. If the Jews and them that were under the law were not the same people, let Dugger tell us who they were, and then tell us who the other two classes were. But I want to give my friend a question that will settle this matter. Paul said: “What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law” (Romans 3:19). Hence, the law says not one thing to any body except those who are under the law. I ask my friend: Does the law say anything to you? No evading this question. It will clarify the whole situation. So tell me, please. Does the law say anything to you? If not, then upon what principle do you claim the Sabbath to be binding on you? If so, then you are under the law; and you will have to admit you are under condemnation or change your position on the meaning of these words. So face the question with courage and give us an answer. I don’t believe you will answer the question, for it is a death blow to your theory if you do. But I am willing to be surprised and I await your answer. If you don’t come through with an answer to this question, the readers will easily see who is wresting the writings of Paul to his own destruction.
The fact that the seventh day of the week still retained the name, “the Sabbath,” after the cross of Christ does not prove it still binding. The Passover and Pentecost still retained their names, but they are not binding on men.
Yes, Jesus kept the Sabbath, but he was under the law (Galatians 4:4). For the same reason he was circumcised. But that does not bind it on Christians.
And Paul did not command any one “to enter into rest as God did” in Hebrews 4:4-9. Read this for yourself and find the commandment. This has already been discussed.
Dugger says: “Paul kept the Sabbath and preached on that day.” His references say he preached; not a one of them says he “kept the Sabbath.”
And I agree that we are “to keep the commandments of God in this age.” But my friend has admitted that God has many commandments besides the ten. So it is up to him to prove that any of these references, James 2:10, 11; I John 3:4, 5:3; Revelation 14:12, 22:14, include the ten. This he has failed to do.
Now for another negative argument. Paul speaks of “the law” which was given “four hundred and thirty years after” the promise, or covenant, made with Abraham regarding his seed (Galatians 3:17). Then he tells us “the law.... was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made” (Galatians 3:19). But in verse 16 he said the seed was Christ. So “the law” given 430 years after the promise to Abraham was to last till Christ should come. But what law was given 430 years after the covenant with Abraham? The promise to Abraham was given in 1921 B.C. (Genesis 12:1-3). Then 430 years later than that would be 1491 years B.C. At that very time “the law” from Sinai was given (Exodus 20:1-17). And this was to last till Christ should come. He came and fulfilled it (Matthew 5:17, 18) and took it out of the way (Colossians 2:14-17). That ended the Sabbath unless Dugger can find it given this side of the death of Christ.
I said it was Jesus that made the statement “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22). On the commandment to love the Lord our God, etc. Elder Porter misquotes me by saying I said the ten commandments hung on the two commandments of love to God and love to our neighbor, but this was Jesus who said this instead of me (Matthew 19:16-22). Now for Porter to deny that the whole ten commandment decalogue does not hang on these two principles of love, is to deny the plain statement of the Lord Jesus.
Elder Porter makes another mistake by saying “to love God” is not mentioned in any of the ten commandments. Let us quote a part of one as follows, “Showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.” This shows that the principle of love is the foundation of all the ten commandments just as Jesus said. The trouble is that people are “lovers of their own selves,” as Paul said they would be in the last days (Timothy 3rd chapter), and they do not care for God, and will not honor his holy day. The carnal mind is “enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). This is why people fight the law of ten commandments is because they are carnal, and cannot be subject to the fourth one, or keep the Sabbath, for it is too unlike the popular customs of the world. Porter says, “Certainly love for God and man is embraced in the ten commandments.” Then we ask why leave out the ten commandments, and take only the two commandments “love to God and love to man”? The only reason is to try to get rid of the Sabbath of God, the day our heavenly Father blessed. But Jesus said the whole law and prophets hung on these principles. Then neither the law or prophets were done away with. Now we know fully that God has frequently commanded the people to love God and love their neighbor. Also that these are mentioned separate and apart from the ten commandments. But when Jesus gives them again and plainly says the whole law and prophets hang on them, and the greater is love to God, let us believe just what he ways. Yes, Paul mentions five of the ten commandments, and then says, “If there be any other commandment it is briefly comprehended in the saying, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Romans 13:9, 10). God is included here as our neighbor, for surely one so good and one who has done so much for all of us would be included as our neighbor, and if we love him as we do ourselves, we will not commit any of the deeds against him such as taking his name in vain, worshipping other gods, or using the day he blessed and sanctified for our own personal secular work. We are commanded to keep it for God, and God has repeatedly said he never changes, but is the same yesterday, to-day and forever.
Jesus did not teach the keeping of the old law of animal sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins, for he and the apostles always taught the people to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and to keep the commandments to be saved. In the case of healing of the leper he did refer him to the priest. Elder Porter knows that with the preaching of John the Baptist, we were entering a new order of things, and a new system and plan for pardon was being established. It was through the blood of Jesus and not by the blood of animals, that people were to receive pardon and forgiveness of their sins, but the ten commandments of God are mentioned over and over again in the New Testament as the standard of right and wrong, and as the foundation of sin. Porter admits he keeps nine of them, then why not just go one step further and keep them all? Why leave just one out? We know why. It is because Sunday is the popular day of rest, and it is easy to be with the world and keeping the fourth commandment is too much of a cross, too much of a separation from the world, and he cannot bear it. We have shown plainly that Gentile as well as Jewish Christians held meetings and observed the Sabbath in the New Testament and previously given many passages in proof. In Acts 18th chapter Paul stayed a year and six months in one place and preached every Sabbath to Jews and Greeks, and worked on the first day making tents. Surely this is sufficient proof.
Elder Porter claims that I am teaching the binding of the Old Testament feasts on Christians now, but he again misquotes and misrepresents me. Please re-read what I did say previously about this. The old feasts will not be kept as they were under the Mosaical order; far from that. God has his own plan about these things, and let us not question the word as he gives it. I said the apostles kept the first Pentecost, meaning of course the first one after the crucifixion of Jesus. I proved this by giving Acts 2nd chapter. Then again to prove that another would be kept in the kingdom I simply gave the scripture. If Elder Porter wishes to deny this scripture as he has done, he must bear the responsibility of the matter. It is there, and it is God’s plan, not mine, but I have shown that the services would not be the same, that blood sacrifices have ended and all the yearly Sabbath days whereon they offered these things have also ended according to the law of Colossians 2:14, that was against the apostles. This was the old law of pardon that was against them, and not the law of ten commandments. This Porter well knows.
As to the covenants, again we repeat, that the word covenant means “agreement” according to the English definition of words. We showed from the scriptures (Exodus 19) that God and Israel did make an agreement, or covenant which Israel broke and became scattered among all nations as a result. The agreement between God and Israel was the old covenant. They were to obey his voice, and he was to make of them a great nation. They failed to obey just as Adam and Eve did, and Israel was cast off. In this gospel age in the new covenant relationship God says he writes his laws in their minds and hearts (Hebrews 8:8-10). Hence, God’s laws (not animal sacrifices) but the ten commandments which included the Sabbath, God writes on the hearts and minds of his people. Be careful, dear reader, lest you are cast off for the same reason that Israel was -- disobedience. He repeatedly says I will not answer his argument. I am answering every argument he has put up, but they have been so few, and so flimsy, in his futile attempt to do away with God’s law and God’s Sabbath, that we have had much repeating to do.
Yes, Jesus taught us to do good on the Sabbath day, and not to carry burdens out of our houses or out of Jerusalem on that day. He told the apostles to pray that they would not have to flee from Judaea on the Sabbath, when the land was surrounded by hostile armies.
Hagar represents the covenant from Sinai, because Israel tried to obey God in her own strength, and failed; thus she was cast off. This is how the comparison is made and Paul is exactly right about it too. The covenant from Sinai was the agreement between God and Israel. Israel agreed to do all that God commanded them to do, but they tried in their own strength just as Abraham tried to bring about the promised seed through Hagar instead of believing and trusting in the power of God. Had Israel prayed for the Holy Spirit to give them strength and power to do all that God commanded them to do, they could have kept their part of the agreement, and not been cast off as a nation. Gentiles today, who have become Israel through adoption, will also be cut off and cast away if they depend on their own strength to stand, for they will fail. The carnal mind is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be, and that is why people want to get away with the ten commandments; and then when pressed admit they keep nine of them. Admitting they oppose the law because of the Sabbath precept that separates them from the world. May God have mercy and give them the spirit of prayer that they may find grace and power and be found keeping all of the commandments and be saved, and not cast off as was Israel.
As to Gentiles being saved, we gave just what the New Testament said about this matter and no more. Elder Porter makes all kind of fun and ridicules what he says that I said, but is only scripture. Anyone knows, however, that Gentiles do not become fleshly Jews. I never said they did, but when God says we are Jews inwardly, and we are Israel, why try to deny it and make fun of it, and ridicule the gospel teaching? Elder Porter, this will get you nowhere with the readers of this book, and much less with God. In Romans 11th chapter we are plainly told how the Gentiles are saved. It is by adoption into the family of Abraham through Jesus Christ, and then we are Israel by adoption, and spiritually. The promises to Israel are ours, and the law to Israel is for us, and the Sabbath to Israel is for us, for there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile; we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-29).
Everyone acquainted with the scriptures knows that the ten commandments of God occupy a prominent and outstanding place through the entire Bible. These ten commandments was the only part of the Bible God wrote himself and they were written on tables of stone as we have previously shown. They measured sin throughout the entire Bible and occupying, as these ten precepts do a very prominent place, then why try to put them down on an equality with a local commandment given at a special time and for a special war to “destroy Amalek,” as Porter mentions. This comes far short of proving that in the many places throughout the New Testament where we are told to keep the commandments of God that the Sabbath is not included. You have failed, Elder Porter, to prove that the seventh day Sabbath is not included, when I have positively proven and shown from many scriptures that the seventh day of the week was always included as one of these ten commandments of God. You must prove beyond any question of doubt that the Sabbath is not included when the commandments of God are mentioned in the New Testament, or this argument stands just the same as other arguments you fail to disprove.
In James 2 the Royal Law in verse 8 is the ten commandment law, and not the law of Moses. Elder Porter, you know that the apostle James would not be teaching people to observe the law of Moses with all of its ritual and bloody sacrifices. You know they were ended, and why infer such a ridiculous thing, or accuse this beloved man of God of such. The prophet James speaks of this same law in chapter 1:24, 25 comparing it to the looking glass. The ten commandment law always held this position and place, and it always pointed out sin. Then the Lord tells us if we keep the whole law and offend in one point, we are guilty of all. He means the very law he is speaking about, and from which he quotes two of the commandments; hence, the seventh day Sabbath is included, and you better be careful, and get lined up with God. Jesus says if you break the least of these commandments and teach men so, you will be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-19), and the least are the tares to be plucked up and burned, he says. You are teaching men to break the fourth commandment which tells us plainly to keep the seventh day of the week, for God, as it is his holy day. You are therefore guilty before heaven, and will surely be one of the tares, according to the words of Jesus, unless you repent and change your ways.
He claims I have bidden good-by to my argument that there are two distinct laws set forth in the Bible. But, dear reader, how could I do this, when we read that God wrote one law on tables of stone with his own finger, and then wrote the other through Moses, by dictating it to him. I have given these references repeatedly (Exodus 24:12, 31:18 and 32:15; Deuteronomy 10:1-4). How deceptive are the tactics of the enemy to blind the eyes of God’s children to the truth. The history of the giving of all of these laws shows that God did make a separation. God did it, and not Dugger. Now Porter, or millions like him, cannot change it, and God’s true children who pray to him daily for wisdom and guidance will see and understand it. Those who lean on their own understanding and do not seek God for wisdom will be deceived and lost. They will not be subject to the law of God, neither can be (Romans 8:8). Now Porter says I have bidden good-by to my argument on the two separate codes of law, just because I admitted a truth I have always taught and always known, that God speaks of all his laws as his laws, for they are his laws, but the two were separated when given. Their very nature makes them different and separates them. The ten commandments stand forever just as Jesus and all the apostles teach us, and they will always stand; but the law of pardon under the Old Testament by the blood of animals is what ended. We have always known and taught that God had other commandments besides the ten, and have given scriptures to prove that many of his commandments ceased. Their very nature limited their period of service, and they were given only until “the seed should come” (Galatians 3). The commandments against the apostles ended at the cross as we have shown (Colossians 2:14-16). The ten commandments were not against the apostles, and they are not against any other good person; hence, they were not the commandments or not the law that ended at the cross. As some law did end, and some commandments did cease, why claim it was the ten, or that the ten were even included, when God did have other commandments and other laws that were of a limited nature, and given only until Jesus came? Why mix them all together? Why try to do away with such just and righteous commandments as the ten? It is just to get rid of the 4th, and keep a day popular with the world, the counterfeit day of rest Sunday. There is no other motive that could be back of such an attempt. He admits that God brought back nine of these commandments. It seems strange indeed that he would blot out a law, and then resurrect all of it but just one commandment.
When the ten commandments of God were written with the finger of God on tables of stone, and are just seven times so declared in the Bible; when they constituted the fundamental basic law of mankind; when they measured the guilt of the transgressor all through the Old Testament age, and stood out pre-eminently above all other laws, as determining sin, and when every offender of any one of these commandments was stoned to death for the offense unless he had the priest kill an animal and use its blood for a means of pardon, anyone knows that these ten commandments stood out pre-eminently above all other laws and commandments. Therefore, when they are mentioned in the New Testament as the law of God and as the commandments of God just as in the Old Testament, and people are determined righteous for keeping them and as unrighteous for breaking them, Porter is the one to prove that when the commandments of God are mentioned in the New Testament they do not include the Sabbath just as they did in the Old Testament. I have already proven that in every place where the law or commandments are spoken of as being abrogated in the New Testament, it always means the law of pardon, the law of animal sacrifices, and not the ten commandments. Therefore, as far as any evidence remains that any law is done away, there is none whatever that the ten commandments are abolished. He must therefore prove that the commandments of God, mentioned in the New Testament are not exactly the same ten commandments as mentioned the same way in the Old testament. This he cannot do, for he had failed to give even one text teaching they were abolished. In I John 3:4 it reads: “This is the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous.” Anyone knows the commandments referred to here were not those Paul said were against the apostles and contrary to them, containing the yearly Sabbath, and new moons, meat offerings, drink offerings mentioned in Colossians 2:14, 16. Therefore, these commandments, spoken of here, and in the following texts, were the ten commandments which God said were to stand forever, and which Jesus said would not pass away as long as heaven and earth were here. This law remains and Elder Porter will have to prove beyond any question of doubt that these commandments are not the ten, and that the weekly Sabbath is not therefore one of them (Romans 7:13 and 3:21; also James 2:10, 11; Romans 2:13, etc.).
He quotes the scripture that “Joseph knew not Mary till she had brought forth her first born,” and then asks: Does that mean that he never knew her? No, dear reader, it does not. He gives this to answer the argument set forth by Jesus himself (Matthew 5:17-19) where he says not one jot or tittle will pass from the law till heaven and earth pass away. Joseph did not know Mary till she brought forth her first born, but she brought forth her first born, then he knew her. The difference is that heaven and earth have not yet passed away, therefore every jot (abbreviation like a period) and every tittle (the smallest letter) of the ten commandment law remains. Jesus says those who teach anyone to break the least of these commandments will be the least in the kingdom. Porter is guilty, and he better repent, or he will be one of the least, that is, one of the tares to be gathered out and burned in the fire. The expression “Till all is fulfilled” which he tries to make us believe refers to Jesus fulfilling the law and thus ending it, is another deception. If fulfilling means to end the law, then when Jesus was baptized it means baptism and all righteousness is ended, for the exact expression is used. See Matthew 3, last verses. The Lord does not teach that baptism is ended, and all righteousness is gone; neither does the same expression teach us that the law of commandments ended. Remember heaven and earth are still here.
Those who follow Jesus in daily prayer, for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:11-13) will not want to do away with the ten commandments; neither will they rebel against the Sabbath day that God blessed and made holy, but will find joy in doing God’s will in every precept. Paul tells us that the natural mind is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can be (Romans 8:8). This is why so many people want the law done away with, to get rid of the Sabbath day, which is not popular to observe.
We have fully established the fact that the Sabbath of God was instituted at creation (Genesis 2:1, 2), and that it was made for man (Mark 2:27, 28), and not for the Jew or any other special race. The scriptures from beginning to end mention this weekly Sabbath as God’s day, as belonging to God exclusively, and that he has given it to man to keep for God, and for his spiritual work here on earth. We have shown that God has tested man’s loyalty to heaven and to God by their treatment of this particular day, blessed and made holy by the divine touch of the Almighty.
We have shown that Israel while in Egyptian slavery could not keep it, but as soon as God brought them forth from there, thus delivering them from bondage, he told them to keep his holy Sabbath, and rained manna from heaven for forty years every day of the week, but the Sabbath. Thus showing Israel what day the Sabbath was, and proving that the entire system of God recognized this day as holy, by stopping the flow of manna on the Sabbath for 40 years (Exodus 16th chapter). He thus proved again that this was not the day for temporal gain, or for obtaining the things needed for physical food, but it was, and still is, the day to receive spiritual refreshment from heaven, and engage in the work of God. It is not our day to use for personal work in any way, for it belongs to God, and we are to keep it for him.
We have shown that when the people went out on the seventh day to gather the manna they found none, and God condemned them saying: “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws” (Exodus 16:28). Israel had not yet reached Sinai; therefore, the ten commandments had not yet been given in their written form on stones. This proves therefore that the Sabbath of creation, on the seventh day of the week was part of that law existing before Sinai, because in breaking the Sabbath, Israel had broken God’s commandments and laws.
We have shown also that over 400 years before Sinai, Abraham was chosen because he kept God’s commandments (Genesis 26:5). This scripture reads: “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws.” The commandments and law which Israel broke when they went out to gather manna on the Sabbath, was the law of commandments existing before Sinai; and as it was these commandments, and this law which Abraham kept, what right has anyone to say with certainty that Abraham did not also keep God’s Sabbath, which is God’s day, blessed and hallowed at creation? Such statements without scriptural proof come with rather an ill-grace to praying men and women who commune daily with their God, receiving divine power and heavenly wisdom, with which to judge and decide spiritual matters.
The very nature of every one of the ten commandments is such that those who love God will rejoice over them instead of finding them grievous. They cover fundamental, organic principles of righteousness that never can be altered or changed. This perfect relationship between man and God, and between man and man, set forth in this code of law is marvelous. The Sabbath is the central hub around which the others cluster, for if we remember God’s day and keep it for him, praying, studying, talking to neighbors about God, doing acts of brotherly love and kindness on that day, and worshipping God on the day he made holy, we take our minds away from the worldly cares, we rest our bodies physically, and have time to love God and think about him and eternity; and thus coming in contact with heaven’s influences, we become magnetized more and more with his goodness and love, so the keeping of the other nine commandments becomes our very nature. We thus find ourselves doing God’s will from the heart, and keeping the commandments because we are in a saved condition, and not trying vainly to keep them to get saved. It was evidently the same law of commandments which Abraham kept, that certain ones of Israel broke when they wanted to gather manna on the Sabbath. As many scriptures tell us that God never changes, but is the same yesterday, today and forever, let us be careful, for if we even want to carry on our own work for temporal or physical gain, we may be sinning against God as Israel did when they wanted to gather more manna on his Sabbath day. The ten commandment law evidently existed from the beginning of the world, because the same acts and deeds of mankind then against one another and against God would have been offensive to him just as they were a thousand or two thousand years later, because of his unchanging nature. He was just the same then as he is now. When Cain killed his brother he committed a sin. This sin is forbidden in the ten commandments. When Joseph first went to Egypt he was made overseer of a rich man’s house, whose wife tried to entice Joseph to lay with her, but Joseph refused saying: “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). We find another of the ten commandments which was generally known to God’s people to be a sin to transgress. It is further evident that Joseph and all other good men kept every one of these ten commandments at that time, for the acts these commandments forbid and condemn are such that all mankind knows them to be wrong, against one another or against God.
Now Elder Porter’s argument is that because the Sabbath is not particularly mentioned from Adam to Moses it did not exist, but we only have a very few pages of Bible history during this period, and we have shown that a number of other things required in the law of pardon under Moses were not mentioned either during long periods, even longer than this, yet they existed; therefore, such argument is not dependable, and makes nothing certain. Other evidence, some of which I have given, shows that the Sabbath by its very nature, and being placed in the law and with other commandments of an unchangeable character did exist and was a part of the law and commandments that preceded Sinai.
I said the Passover was not mentioned for 1000 years after it was given but it existed just the same. Now Porter gives texts to show it was mentioned 40 years after it was given, and vainly tries to destroy my argument, but reader, what is forty years in comparison to 1000 years. I knew it was mentioned for a brief period after it was instituted, but when mention of it ceased in the holy scriptures after it was given, it is not spoken of again for around 1000 years, and this is true. Circumcision he says was also mentioned (Jeremiah 9:25, 26), but here you will find it is not the old law of circumcision of the flesh, but the prophet promises punishment for those who are uncircumcised at heart. This is also true today. In I Corinthians 7:19 we are told that circumcision is the keeping of the commandments of God, and those today who are uncircumcised at heart, will not have these commandments written there, and will claim they are abolished. Those who teach as Elder Porter does the abolition of the ten commandments, and tries to get others not to keep this law, it is surely evident that he is uncircumcised at heart, because he does not have the commandments of God written there. While he may say he has some written there, but James says if you keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, you are guilty of all (James 2:10, 11); therefore, he is guilty of their violations, as he is not keeping the fourth; and being guilty of all, he is uncircumcised at heart, and bound for punishment by the Almighty, unless he repents and keeps God’s Sabbath.
Porter admits that a law is in force until it is repealed, but he has not found one text yet showing the ten commandments of God were repealed. Therefore, they stand, and those breaking one are guilty. The seventh day Sabbath is one of them, and for anyone to rebelliously break it in willful defiance of Almighty God, will surely suffer the penalty of sinners, for “Sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4).
We have proven, furthermore, that Jesus commanded the Sabbath to be kept when he commanded the apostles to pray that their flight from Judaea would not have to be made on the Sabbath. This also he has utterly failed to explain away. He made the ridiculous answer, that if this proved the Sabbath to be holy, it also proved the winter was holy. There is no answer to this statement of our Saviour, only to leave it as it is, that the Sabbath was still God’s holy day just the same as it always had been, and Jesus did not want his followers to have to break it by packing up their belongings and flee on that day. Every reader who has been seeking God for the Holy Spirit to lead him in the ways of God’s will, and to eternal life, will not only see that the Sabbath is still holy, but the Holy Spirit will give him joy and boldness to keep it for God, and to teach this great truth to their friends and neighbors.
We have further proven beyond any doubt that the expression “under the law,” means under the condemnation of law. Mr. Porter has tried in vain to show that Paul condemns all who try to keep the law by saying they have fallen from grace, but Mr. Porter seems to forget that he himself is keeping nine of these same ten commandments; hence, he is nine-tenths fallen from grace too. If I am fallen from grace because I keep the Sabbath, the 4th commandment, then surely he is also fallen from grace when he keeps the other nine. How absurd and ridiculous is such argument. Jesus teaches us that we are all born in sin; hence, we are all under the law, and sinners by nature, being human, and we need the grace of God. We need the pardoning power of the blood of Jesus to bring us up out of the death cell, forgiving our transgressions of this law, putting us right before God. Then we stand no longer under the condemnation of law, but under the grace and favor of God.
We have proven that the Jews, and all others not accepting the grace of God through Jesus Christ, were under the law, and that the other class who are without law, are the Gentiles (heathen), who have never heard of any law; consequently, they were without law (Romans 2:13 to 16). And, furthermore, that the ten commandments stand as a looking glass (James 1:22-25 and 2:10-12) given for sinners. It reads: “Whatsoever the law saith it saith to them that are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh justified (or pardoned) in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” This proves that the law was made for sinners to show them their guilt, and it shows all Sabbath breakers their guilt too, but many will not heed. How sad it will be in the day of judgment for such. They will surely be condemned for not having done the will of the Father in heaven. I know you will feel more secure, dear reader, when you know you are keeping all of God’s commandments instead of just part of them. The Lord tells us further: “Know this that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless, and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane,” etc. (I Timothy 1:9, 10). This shows conclusively that it is the ten commandments in question and it is this law that shows people their guilt. Sabbath breakers can see in this law what God’s will is concerning the day he blessed and reserved for himself, and the Holy Spirit will give you strength and boldness to keep the Sabbath day.
Since no new matter can be introduced in this final negative, it will be devoted to a final look at things already introduced. A number of times in his final affirmative Dugger has passed judgment on me and consigned me to hell (which, according to him, wouldn’t last but a minute anyway) because I do not keep the Sabbath. But this passing of judgment on me does not disturb me, for Paul: “Let no man judge you . . . in respect of . . . the Sabbath days” (Colossians 2:16). So “I’ll just take my stand with Paul and be satisfied. Also his constant quotation of Romans 8:7 that “the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” serves him to no purpose. He assumes that “the law of God” means the Sabbath; yet he has admitted that God has given laws that did not include the ten commandments. This admission is fatal to his argument.
My friend insists that I misquote him, saying he did not say that the ten commandments hung on the two commandments mentioned in Matthew 22:36-40, but that it “was Jesus who said this.” But Jesus did not say it; Dugger is the guilty man. Read it for yourself. “On those two commandments hang the ten”? Is that the way it reads? No! Jesus said: “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” “All the law” means much more than the ten commandments. And there were “the prophets” too. The statement shows that love is included in all of God’s commandments. I did not say “to love God” is not in the ten -- I said the specific commandments that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 22:26-40 are not in the ten, and Dugger did not produce them. They are found in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, in what Dugger calls “the law of Moses,” which he says was abolished. So the “two greatest commandments” were not in what he calls “the law of God.” This fact he can never set aside. But if love is embraced in the ten, as I have said, Dugger wants to know why I don’t keep them all. For the same reason that Dugger does not keep many of the commandments given by Moses in which love was embraced. Either love to God or love to man was embraced in all Old Testament commandments, but there are many of them that my friend does not try to keep. But he makes himself amusing and ridiculous when he tries his hand on Romans 13:9, in which Paul said to “love thy neighbor as thyself” was another commandment distinct from the second group of the ten. Dugger says: “God is included here as our neighbor.” If that is so, then why did you say before that this referred to love to man and the other to love to God? If what you now say is true, both mean love to God must refer to the first four of the ten commandments, and that cuts you loose from the last six. Where will you get them in? Furthermore, to love our neighbor as ourselves is to have the same amount of love for him that we have for ourselves. Is that the way we are to love God? God must be first; we must love him more than we love ourselves. But I wonder what wild statement my friend will next make.
In his third affirmative my friend said: “Jesus never did teach the people to keep the old sacrifices of the law of Moses.” But he got into trouble for Jesus told the leper to go and offer for his cleansing the things Moses commanded (Mark 1:44). He also told his disciples to observe all the requirements of Moses (Matthew 23:2, 3). Dugger admits that Jesus did refer the leper to the priest. Yes, and he told him to make the offering also -- a thing you say he never told anybody. And why didn’t you say something about Matthew 23:2, 3? Were you afraid of it? Certainly you were; you knew you couldn’t meet it, for Jesus told them to observe all the requirements of Moses, and that included the offering of sacrifices. My friend is lost at this point. But he tells us that it was through the blood of Christ, not the blood an animals, that pardon was obtained. Certainly so, but the typical sacrifices continued till Jesus fulfilled them by his death. Jesus never a single time opposed such sacrifices during his ministry before his death. My friend would have produced such evidence if he could have found it; he needed it badly.
Dugger wants to know why I keep nine of the ten commandments and leave just one out. I am not afraid of his questions. I’ll not treat them with disdainful silence like he does mine. I keep nine of them because they are given in the teaching of the apostles since Jesus died. I leave the one out because Paul said it was blotted out at the cross and to let no man judge you in respect of it (Colossians 2:14, 16). The Sabbath has never been commanded since Jesus died.
He found where Paul held meetings on the Sabbath. Yes, but he failed to find where he kept even one Sabbath holy. Neither does the record say that he “worked on the first day making tents.” That is the language of Dugger.
As to the feasts of the Old Testament my opponent still says Christians are to keep them, as well as the Sabbath, but not according to the law -- that all restrictions have been removed. I do wish he had told us how they kept them then. As to his scripture, Zechariah 14:9-17, which he says I deny, it does not even mention Pentecost, but the Feast of Tabernacles. Yet it proves Pentecost is to be kept by Christians! That is as near as he can get to it.
Dugger still thinks the covenant that God abolished was Israel’s agreement made at Sinai in Exodus 19. But in verse 5 of that chapter God said: “If . . . ye will keep my covenant.” Not your agreement, but my covenant. Moses said “his covenant” was the “ten commandments” (Deuteronomy 4:13). And God said: “My covenant they brake (Jeremiah 31:32). And that covenant which they broke God took away (Hebrews 8:7-13). Certainly God would not abolish their agreement -- they did that themselves; but God took away his covenant. Right in this connection my friend said he was answering all of my arguments, but he has never said a word about these facts given to him in my second negative. He worries because I didn’t give him more arguments and that he has had to repeat. I wonder if he forgot that he has been in the affirmative. Yet there are many arguments that I have made that he has not even mentioned.
I did not make fun of the idea that Gentiles must become spiritual Israel to be saved. I affirmed that. But I contended they do not become fleshly Israel. Dugger now admits that. All right, why take laws given to fleshly Israel and apply them to spiritual Israel? That is the mistake my friend has constantly made. Galatians 3:27-29 shows that both Jews and Gentiles become spiritual Israel -- the seed of Abraham. Fleshly Jews are no more spiritual Israel than are fleshly Gentiles; they have to become such in exactly the same way that Gentiles do--by obedience to the gospel. But the Sabbath was given to fleshly Israel. And the readers of the book will see Dugger’s blunder here.
I know that James in James 2 did not teach that the law of Moses must be kept, and I did not even accuse him of so teaching; but Dugger’s argument would prove it still binding. He argues that all the ten commandments are included because James quoted two of them. Well, in verse 8 he quoted from what Dugger calls the law of Moses. So if his argument means anything, all the law of Moses will have to be included too. This point he has definitely evaded.
I am surprised that he had the nerve to refer again to “the two laws.” Any commandments that God gives constitutes law, but none of the references given by Dugger, nor any that he can find, calls the ten commandments “the law of God” in contrast with “the law of Moses.” That, however, is my friend’s position. Yet he bade good-bye to that argument when he admitted that the law given by Moses was also the law of God. Then there can be no such distinction as Dugger makes. No, God did not make that distinction; it is purely the distinction of Dugger and his people. If there is a verse in the Bible that says this, he would have given it, but he didn’t. The two expressions, “the law of God” and “the law of Moses,” are used interchangeably in Nehemiah 8:1-8. Read it for yourself. This shows them to be exactly the same. And Ezra 7:6 tells us that God gave “the law of Moses.” And Moses gave God’s law (Nehemiah 10:29). God gave “the book of the law of Moses” (Nehemiah 8:1). Moses gave “the book of the law of the Lord” (II Chronicles 34:14). I showed also that there are many things included in “the law of the Lord” besides the ten commandments (II Chronicles 31:3, 35:26; Luke 2:23, 24). Although Dugger has claimed he has answered all of my arguments, he has never even referred to those points, except to admit that I am correct. So his argument on the two distinct laws is hopelessly gone.
He refers again to “the commandments against the apostles” as ending at the cross (Colossians 2:14-16). Paul said the handwriting “was against us.” While it was in force it “was against us.” That included Paul. But he was not even an apostle while that law was in force. So the “us” did not refer to the apostles but to the Jews. I called his attention to this in my second negative, but he has never said one solitary word about it. Yet he has answered all of my arguments.
Dugger says the ten commandments “stood out preeminently above all other laws.” Jesus said the greatest commandment is this: “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:36-38). And the second greatest: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39). Just make your choice between Dugger and Jesus.
He comes back to a study of “the commandments of God” and insists that the expression always includes the Sabbath. When he reads of “the ten commandments” in the Old Testament, that includes the Sabbath; so why not the same in the New Testament? Well, when he reads of “the ten commandments” in either the Old or New Testament, that does include the Sabbath; but when he merely reads of “the commandments” or “the commandments of God,” that does not necessarily include the Sabbath, even in the Old Testament. In his final affirmative Dugger says: “We have always known and taught that God had other commandments besides the ten.” So that puts the burden of proof right back on him, for the New Testament passages, as I John 3:4; Revelation 22:14, etc., do not say “the ten commandments.” they simply say “his commandments,” and inasmuch as Dugger has always known that God had other commandments besides the ten, how does he know that these are not some of “the other commandments”? The passages do not say “the ten commandments.” Of course, references are made to God’s commandments in the gospel of Christ, not to the commandments of the Old Testament. Dugger insists that the ten commandments must remain because “God never changes.” Yet he tells us that “some commandments did cease.” Well, if some of his commandments ceased without making him a changeable God, why could not the Sabbath also cease and still God be unchangeable? His attention was called to these matters in the early part of the discussion, but he has never mentioned them. He just comes back and says that God never changes, so we still have the Sabbath.
At last he comes to consider the meaning of the word “till” in connection with Matthew 5:17-19, after I had repeatedly begged and challenged him to notice it. I am glad he finally got to it. But what a mess he made of it. He admits that the statement concerning Joseph and Mary that “he knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew 1:25) does not mean that he never knew her, but that it means he did know her after the birth of Jesus. Good! That’s exactly right. But he tells us that Jesus said: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law,” and that heaven and earth are still here; consequently, no part of the law has passed. But Dugger broke off the Lord’s statement at a comma and changed completely the meaning of the Lord. His attention was called to this before, but as usual, he answered with silence. Jesus did not say that no part of the law would pass as long as heaven and earth remain, but he declared that as long as heaven and earth remain no part of the law would pass, “till all be fulfilled.” And that is the part Dugger left out because it ruined his argument to leave it in. Put the two statements side by side. Joseph knew not Mary till she brought forth her first born son; so when she had brought him forth, Joseph knew her. Dugger admits this. Then the law will not pass till all be fulfilled; hence, when it is fulfilled it will pass. No other meaning can be given to it and retain common sense. If it is not fulfilled before heaven and earth pass away, it will remain that long; but if it is fulfilled before heaven and earth pass, then it will pass away and heaven and earth can still remain. So the only question is, Has it been fulfilled? Jesus said he came to fulfill it. If it has not been fulfilled, Jesus did not accomplish what he came to do. But Dugger admits that Jesus fulfilled it. So it passed away, and Dugger hasn’t even touched the argument. He ignored completely the word “till” in “till all be fulfilled,” and that is where the argument was made. But he claims that “fulfilled” doesn’t mean “passed away,” for if so, then all righteousness passed away when Jesus fulfilled it in baptism. No one has been so foolish as to claim that “fulfilled” means “ended.” But the cases are not parallel. Jesus did not say “all righteousness will not pass away till fulfilled. If he had said that, then it would have passed away when he was baptized. But he did say the law would pass when it was fulfilled. And remember this, the passage does not say “the ten commandments” but it says “one jot or one tittle of the law.” That includes all of the law. So if no part of it has passed, all the law remains, including all that God gave through Moses, and my friend should offer animal sacrifice and burn incense and practice circumcision. He has been afraid to say whether “the law” means simply the ten commandments, although I have begged him to answer. I am willing for the readers to judge who is the deceiver here.
Genesis 2:1, 2 does not prove the Sabbath was instituted at creation. The passage says God sanctified it because in it “he had rested.” This is past perfect tense and shows the sanctification took place after God rested, not at the creation. I pressed this in my first negative but he never even mentioned it, although he says he has answered all my arguments.
He now says Israel could not keep the Sabbath while in Egyptian slavery, but in his first affirmative he introduced Exodus 5:5 to prove that they did keep it while there. I wonder which position he wants.
Yes, God gave the Sabbath to Israel shortly before it was presented to them in written form, but this was after they left Egypt (Exodus 16:4). If they had been keeping the Sabbath for 2500 years, they would already have been proven. I gave this point in my first negative. What reply did Dugger make? His usual silence.
Abraham kept God’s commandments (Genesis 26:5). My opponent says this proves he kept the Sabbath. By the same method of reasoning I can prove that he was baptized and ate the Lord’s supper. These are God’s commandments too. But Dugger’s brethren have “divine power and heavenly wisdom” that enable them to see what the Bible does not say.
Again he says the ten commandments sets forth a “perfect relationship between man and God, and between man and man.” Before he has claimed that all sin is measured by the ten commandments. Is it a sin for a man to bear false witness for his neighbor? Is it a sin for him to bear false witness against his enemies? Are these relationships between man and man? Not one word of the ten commandments covers these relationships. They forbid false witness “against thy neighbor,” but not against thy enemy, or for thy neighbor. His attention was directed to this in my first negative and in others that followed. How did Dugger answer? His usual silence prevailed.
My friend thinks all the ten commandment law existed from creation because he found that Cain killed his brother and Joseph was tempted to commit adultery. Both these acts are described as sin. These certainly show that it was a sin to commit such acts at that time. He found the Scriptures that said so. Now, if he will find the Scripture during that period that says some one “broke the Sabbath” and sinned in doing so, he will have his case made out. But the Scripture regarding the Sabbath is lacking. No one knows it better than Dugger.
He got into trouble on his Sabbath-Passover-circumcision argument. He tried to prove the Sabbath existed for 2500 years before it was mentioned because there is a long period after it was given during which it was not mentioned, and that for long periods the Passover and circumcision were not mentioned. There is really no argument to it. After a law is given it remains in force whether ever mentioned again unless repealed, but that does not prove it existed before it was enacted. But that is the very thing Dugger tries to prove. That argument would prove the Passover existed 2500 years before Moses and that circumcision existed 2000 years before Abraham. If it would prove it for the Sabbath, it would prove it also for the Passover and circumcision. What reply did Dugger make to this? He just called it a vain effort but didn’t show why it was vain. The readers will see his failure here. But he admits he was wrong about the Passover not being mentioned for 1000 years after given, for it was mentioned forty years afterward. But as to circumcision, he says Jeremiah 9:25, 26 does not refer to fleshly circumcision, but to circumcision of the heart. Well, verse 25 says: “I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised.” Did God mean he would punish those who were circumcised in heart? Those are the very ones he would not punish. But the circumcised were to be punished with the uncircumcised. This refers to fleshly circumcision. Verse 26 mentions heart circumcision, but verse 25, fleshly circumcision. Neither does I Corinthians 7:19 say that “circumcision is the keeping of the commandments of God.” If so, then the keeping of God’s commandments is nothing, for the passage says “circumcision is nothing.” What blunders a man will make when he tries to defend a false doctrine!
As to whether I have given any text that shows the repeal of the Sabbath just read Colossians 2:14-16 again. This settles the matter.
Jesus did not command his disciples, in Matthew 24:20, to keep the Sabbath in A. D. 70. He warned them of the difficulties of escape either in the winter or on the day that unbelieving Jews would still be keeping. Dugger says this is ridiculous, but admits that it is true regarding the winter. If it refers to the difficulty of escape in winter, it refers to the same about the Sabbath; and if it makes the Sabbath holy in A.D. 70, it makes the winter a holy season in the same year. It’s a poor rule that won’t work both ways. You can’t get out of it, Dugger, and the reader will see your predicament.
I am asked again why I am not nine-tenths fallen from grace when I keep nine of the ten commandments. Simply because I do not turn to “the law” for my authority, but I observe these because of gospel requirements. But you have to go to “the law” to get your Sabbath requirement and are therefore fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4), provided you have ever reached grace in the first place.
He still contends that “under the law” means under condemnation for sin. So he says: “Jesus teaches us that we are all born in sin, hence we are all under the law.” Of course, Jesus teaches no such thing. The text was not given that so teaches. But Dugger says we “are born in sin, hence we are under the law.” I see. We are under the law, under condemnation, because we are born in sin. So we were under condemnation when we were born. Little infants, as soon as they are born, are under condemnation, according to Dugger. And that isn’t all of it. Jesus was “made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). The word “made” is from a Greek word that means “born.” So Jesus was “born under the law.” So the infant child Jesus was under the guilt and condemnation of sin as soon as he was born. Dugger, the more you have fooled with this, the worse you have made it. What straits men are driven to when they undertake to defend the doctrines of men! Why has Dugger gone to such straits? Because Paul said Christians “are not under the law.” Why not just admit the facts of the case, that “under the law” means under its dominion?
James 1:22, 25 and 2:10-12 do not say “the ten commandments are a looking-glass to sinners.” Reference is made to “the law of liberty” (James 1:25), which is “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ” that makes free (Romans 8:1, 2), and not the Old Testament law that brings into bondage (Galatians 5:1-4).
When Dugger quotes I Timothy 1:9, 10 about the law not being made for a righteous man, I wonder if he means to imply that it does not apply to him. If so, why is he trying to keep the Sabbath? If he admits he is embraced, then, according to his interpretation of it, he will have to say that he is not righteous but lawless and disobedient.
Throughout the discussion I have asked Dugger many questions that he made no attempt to answer. I want to call attention to some of these.
1. I have repeatedly asked him: Does the law say anything to you? I have begged, coaxed and challenged him to answer this question, but I could never get him to say one single word about it. It is too late now, but he had plenty of time. It would have been better for him if he had had less time, for then the reader might think he accidentally overlooked it. But it has been pressed too often. His failure was not an accident. He saw it would not do to answer for if he said “yes,” he would be “under the law” (Romans 3:19), and according to him, under condemnation. If he said “no,” he would be without any authority to keep the Sabbath. So he saw his doom, backed down and said nothing.
2. In view of his position that from the beginning the Sabbath requirement was of universal application, to Jew and Gentile alike, I asked him: Why were the Gentiles called strangers? He could never find a satisfactory answer.
3. And from the same viewpoint I asked: Why did God command “the stranger within thy gates” (Exodus 20:10) to keep the Sabbath? Why not also the stranger without thy gates? He answered this, as usual, with utter silence.
4. With the same idea of a universal application of the Sabbath, I asked him, since God sent the Jews to Babylon for failing to keep it; why did God not send the Babylonians into Judean captivity for the same reason? His only answer was: They had not become Jews and God didn’t expect the Gentiles to keep it. So that brought forward the following question:
5. If God gave the Sabbath to the Gentiles, why didn’t he expect them to keep it? I begged him to answer, but predicted that he would not, and that the reader would see he was afraid of it. He never said a single word in answer to it. He was afraid of it; he knew he couldn’t answer it and hold to his position; and the readers are able to see his predicament.
6. This question also was totally ignored: Does “the law” always mean the ten commandments? It wasn’t an oversight. He had my copy right in front of him, and the question was strongly emphasized. Why didn’t he answer? If he said “yes,” he feared the passages that show “the law” was done away. If he said “no,” he would have no way to get the Sabbath into his arguments where only “the law” was mentioned. So he said nothing.
7. How could the Sabbath, according to Exodus 31:17, be a sign between God and Israel if all other nations were included too? He finished his part of this proposition with no answer ever being attempted. More silence. Silence is a very effective way to answer questions, if your opponent will keep still; but I haven’t kept still, and the effect was lost.
8. If the ten commandments constitute the “complete relationship between man and man,” as you have contended, is it wrong for a man to bear false witness for his neighbor? or to bear false witness against his enemy? Neither of these is covered in the ten commandments. But no answer ever came.
9. If the restrictions concerning the sabbath have been removed, how should the sabbath be kept today? We were never told.
Other Points Proven
1. I showed that the sabbath law was given, made known in the wilderness in the region of Sinai (Ezekiel 20:10-12; Nehemiah 9:13, 14). This shows that it was not given at the creation of man, nor was it known prior to the wilderness journey of Israel. Although I gave this as a major argument, my friend never offered any discussion of the passages. They stand unnoticed and untouched.
2. I proved that expressions regarding the sabbath showed it to be limited to the Jewish age. It was ordered to be kept “throughout their generations” (Exodus 31:16). It was a temporary commandment; it would pass away. You never read: “Thou shalt not kill throughout your generations.” God did not say: “Thou shalt not commit adultery, covet or steal throughout your generations.” But the sabbath, like the Passover, burnt-offerings, circumcision, the Levitical priesthood, etc., was to be kept “throughout their generations.” I was never able to draw any comment from my opponent on this. It was unanswerable.
3. I showed that the sabbath was also limited in its scope, for it was given to Israel only. This is definitely shown in Exodus 31:13, 16, 17. No Gentile was ever included. No Gentile as such was ever commanded to keep the sabbath.
4. From II Corinthians 3:7-11 it was shown that the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones was done away. The ten commandments were written and engraved in stones (Exodus 31:18, 32:16). Dugger applied this to the writing of the law on the stones of the altar by Joshua in Joshua 8:30-32, and claimed that was what was done away. But I showed him that Paul referred to the stones associated with the shining of the face of Moses and the veil over his face. Did this occur when Joshua wrote on the stones of the altar? Moses was dead when that even occurred. But Exodus 34:29-35 shows that the face of Moses shone when he came down from Sinai with the two tables of stone containing the ten commandments. That is the writing that Paul says was done away (II Corinthians 3:7-11). Dugger saw his blunder in applying this to the stones of the altar on which Joshua wrote and never again mentioned the matter.
5. I proved by Romans 6:14 and many other passages that Christians “are not under the law.” Other references were Galatians 5:18; Romans 7:4, 6, 10:4; Galatians 3:24, 25. To be under the law means to be under its province or dominion (Romans 3:19). Hence, Christians are no longer subject to the law of which the sabbath was a part.
6. From Amos 8:5, 9, I showed that God declared the sabbath would be gone when the sun went down at noon and God darkened the earth in a clear day. This occurred at the crucifixion of Jesus (Mark 15:33). There the sabbath ended.
7. And Paul decided the sabbath was blotted out at the cross (Colossians 2:14-16). The handwriting that concerned meat and drink, the new moons, holy days and the sabbath day was blotted out. Hence, to “let no man judge you” in respect to these things. My friend has claimed that the “sabbath days” blotted out as here mentioned were the “yearly sabbaths.” But I showed the set order of feasts that were here enumerated -- daily, weekly, monthly and yearly -- prove the sabbath days were the weekly sabbaths. In I Chronicles 23:30, 31; II Chronicles 2:4, 8:13, 31:3; Nehemiah 10:33 we have the set order of feasts given as kept by the Jews. In these references we have their services specified as morning and evening (that was their daily service), in the sabbath (their weekly services), in the new moons (their monthly feasts), and their solemn feasts, or set feasts (which referred to their annual feasts, or yearly sabbaths as outlined in Leviticus 23.) In Colossians 2:16 Paul refers to the same order. He said: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink (this was their daily service), or in respect of an holy day (Revised Version says “feast day.” So here are the yearly sabbaths (or annual feasts), or of the new moon (their monthly feasts), or of the sabbath days (their weekly sabbaths). So the yearly sabbaths that Dugger talks about are mentioned as holy days, or feast days. When Paul, therefore, referred to the sabbath days he did not refer to yearly sabbaths but to weekly sabbaths. Consequently, he declares that the handwriting of ordinances concerning their daily offerings, their yearly feasts, their monthly feasts and their weekly sabbaths has all been blotted out and nailed to the cross. And that today no man is to be allowed to judge you in respect to any of these things. In the early part of the discussion I called my opponent’s attention to this set order of feasts, but, like so many other things, he passed it by in silence. He cannot make “the sabbath days” mean the yearly sabbaths, for they were already mentioned as “holy days.” And the only thing to which they can refer is the weekly sabbath. So the handwriting concerning weekly sabbaths has been blotted out at the cross of Christ. It has never been reenacted in the gospel of Christ.
This will do for my summary. My work on this proposition in this debate is done. I am willing to meet God in the judgment with respect to the things I have taught thus far. I have been conscious of no other purpose but to please him and to get the truth concerning this subject before the reader. So read your Bible carefully in connection with these things; don’t let any man deceive you by teaching things not found in the gospel of Christ; don’t bring yourself under condemnation by turning to an abrogated law; but strive to keep the requirements found in “the perfect law of liberty.”
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