DID GOD CREATE THE SABBATH AT CREATION?

 

By Colleen Tinker

A few weeks ago I read a post in an online discussion group in which the writer, a former Adventist who has seen the fallacy of Adventist doctrine and has understood that Jesus is our Savior and the fulfillment of the law, still argued for a continuation of Sabbath-sacredness based on the creation account in Genesis. Included in the discussion was the common Adventist explanation that the Sabbath is a “memorial of creation”. Additionally, the writer commented that, after a week of creating, God no doubt needed “a little rest”.

I responded to the post, and because I know Adventism tries to establish the eternal significance of Sabbath by attempting to attach it to creation, I will share here what I wrote.

First, the Bible never says God needed “a little rest”. He is the omnipotent, sovereign God, and the assumption that He needed “rest” was not what the seventh day in Genesis 2:2 was about. Second, the word underlying “rest” in Genesis 2 is “ceased”. It does not suggest rejuvenation in any sense. God simply ceased on the seventh day from all His work. Third, the seventh day in Genesis did not have an “evening and the morning” structure identifying it as a period of light and dark distinct from the days around it. It was an un-boundaried day with no “evening and morning”.

In other words, after the six days of creation, God ceased from His work, and that ceasing had no ending. It was indefinite. He did not cease for a day and then return to work. Moreover, God saw that His work was very good; it was complete. Therefore, the seventh “day”, the day following creation, God sanctified. That sanctification was not limited to any rotation of the sun; it was not bounded by the evening or the morning. He sanctified His finished work, and He ceased creating.

Also of huge significance is this fact: the Bible NEVER says the seventh day or the Sabbath was a memorial of creation. Only Adventism makes that claim. In fact, the Adventist emphasis on Sabbath as a memorial of creation misses the scriptural commentary on Sabbath.

First, Adventists teach that the Ten Commandments begin with Exodus 20:3. In fact, however, the words of the covenant begin with Exodus 20:2: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” The beginning of God’s covenant with Israel is actually His declaration of His identity and His right to make this covenant with them. He bases these words of the covenant on the fact of the exodus, on the fact of His identity as Redeemer and Savior.

Second, in Exodus 20:8-11, the fourth commandment uses God’s work of creation as an EXAMPLE of how Israel was to understand their Sabbath-keeping. It is not stating that they are to keep the Sabbath as a memorial of the fact that God created; rather, the words “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth…and rested on the seventh day” is a simple recounting of events. It is not, in context, an argument that Israel was to keep Sabbath as a memorial of creation. Rather, Israel was to rest on the Sabbath as God did on the seventh day. Their work was to cease. Period.

Third, when Moses reiterated the covenant to the wilderness generation before they entered the land and before Moses died, he restated the Ten Commandments (Deut. 5:6-21). In this rendering of the covenant, the fourth commandment never mentions creation. Instead, the Sabbath was to remind Israel that they had been slaves in Egypt, and the Lord brought them out of bondage (Deut. 5:15). Creation is not even mentioned. Clearly, Sabbath was not given for the purpose of memorializing creation if creation is not even mentioned in the second statement of the law. No, Sabbath was a shadow of something far more profound for Israel.

The fact that Exodus (the first statement of the covenant) uses God’s rest after creation as the example of Israel’s rest, and that the second statement in Deuteronomy refers not to God’s rest but to God’s giving them freedom from bondage, suggests that the two—God’s rest and Israel’s rest/freedom from bondage—must be somehow related. And indeed, Hebrews develops this connection.

What was finished?

Hebrews 3:7—4:13 meticulously develops the argument that Israel provoked God in the wilderness and thus, because of their disobedience and unbelief, they never entered His rest. Hebrews 4:3 says something startling. It juxtaposes “we who have believed enter that rest” with a quote from Psalm 95:11 as the evidence of that fact: “As I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest.” I never used to be able to understand that juxtaposition. They seemed opposite, not related.

Then, however, the last part of verse 3 says something that seems at first to be entirely unrelated to “we who have believed enter that rest” and “they shall not enter my rest”: “Although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.”

How are we to understand this juxtaposition of statements about belief, entering and not entering rest, and God’s works being finished from the foundation of the world?

We know that God’s works were finished at the end of the sixth day of creation. Yet Matthew 25:34 says more about what actually was finished from the foundation of the world: “Then the King will way to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed to My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”

Even the Kingdom was finished on that seventh day! It wasn’t just creation God ceased from making; it was EVERYTHING…even the future kingdom. From God’s perspective, the redemption of fallen humanity, the fulfillment of all His promises, and the creation of the new heavens and earth—it was ALL completed and done, right down to the names of those written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).

God’s rest on the seventh day of Genesis was not honoring the creation; rather, it was His ceasing from all of His work of making and saving us. Yes, details had to play out within time, but the work, the outcome, the salvation of His true sheep, those He foreknew and called and justified and sanctified…it was all done.

That completed work is the “ceasing”, the “rest”, into which we are called. Israel failed to believe God, even though He delivered them from slavery and provided for them during 40 years of discipline in the wilderness.

What about the seventh day?

Hebrews 4 continues by saying, “For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’; and again in this passage, “They shall never enter My rest.” In other words, in Hebrews 4:3–5, the author is contrasting those who believe and enter His rest with those who refuse to believe and remain outside His rest.

The next verses develop the argument further. Verse 6 plainly states that some will enter His rest, but the unbelieving Israelites who wandered in the wilderness did not. Then, in verse 7, the author says that God “fixes another day, ‘TODAY’”. Almost surprisingly, he quotes David—not Moses, not the New Testament—but David. God even called His people to a new day, Today, through David: “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

Next the author of Hebrews connects the idea of Sabbath rest with the historical fact of Joshua leading Israel into the land (v. 8), and he says Joshua did not give them rest. The comparison in 4:7–8  is between unbelieving Israel (who nevertheless still received provision from God under Joshua) and those who believe. Those who believe and trust God’s finished work—God’s completely finished work, both in creating and saving us—enter His rest. Those who do not believe, do not enter. Thus verse 9 can say, “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.”

Finally, the author of Hebrews explains in verse 10 that only those who enter God’s rest (not a memorial of creation but the rest of living in God’s finished work) can rest from their own works—and that reference is not merely to physical works. Rather, the verse is saying that entering God’s rest means resting from our works of trying to please Him—either to be worthy of salvation or to “stay saved”.

Conclusion

The Adventist argument that Sabbath is a memorial of creation really upsets me the more I study Hebrews. It was NEVER a memorial of creation. It was ALWAYS a shadow and reminder to Israel of God’s finished work on their behalf. God’s command to Israel to rest on the seventh day was intended to take them out of their daily grind so they could watch God provide for them. Their pagan neighbors struggled to please their gods, working hard and even giving their own children as sacrifices in order to have successful harvests and fruitful livestock. Israel, in contrast, was to rest one in seven—even when it was time for lentil harvest or lambing season—and watch God provide for them. NO ONE, not the Israelites themselves nor the neighboring nations, would be able to say their success was because of their hard work and acts of sacrifice.

Their success would only be attributable to God’s work on their behalf. Had they believed God would really keep His promises, they, too, would have entered His rest.

And now, TODAY, God asks us to believe in the work of the Lord Jesus and to enter His rest. Because Jesus has completed the physical act of human sacrifice of Himself on our behalf, we no longer need the shadow day to remind us that God’s work is complete. Now we enter His rest TODAY by believing.

The Sabbath was never about “creation”. It was always about God’s completed work that provided everything we ever needed, including life and godliness. We remember the Trinity’s provision for us when we believe, and at that moment, we enter Sabbath rest. Today.

Colleen Tinker

Colleen Tinker

Colleen Tinker, the editor of Proclamation! magazine, and her husband Richard left Adventism in 1998 with their two sons, Roy and Nathanael, who were in grades six and ten. They have co-led the Former Adventist Fellowship since 1999. Colleen, a graduate of Walla Walla University, is a former high school English teacher and also the former managing editor of Adventist Today magazine. Colleen became the stepmother of Roy and Nathanael in 1989, and in 2008 she adopted them. Romans 8:15-17 has assumed new depth and significance for her and Richard since she and her sons chose to claim each other legally and permanently. She and Richard share an office and a commitment to sharing the gospel of the true Jesus with all of those seeking a way out of the bondage of the false gospel of Adventism.
Colleen Tinker

8 comments

  1. To quote one of your most colourful tennis aces, Colleen, “You can’t be serious!”

    The Hebrew word group here is the verb זָכַר [zākar], meaning remember, COMMEMORATE, in the relevant conjunction, and its cognate noun זִכָּרוֹן [zikkārôn], meaning MEMORIAL, remembrance, COMMEMORATION [my stress], both implying honour, worship, and celebration (“Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words”, 2006).

    This group is applied explicitly to Passover, Exod. 13:3, to Trumpets, Lev. 23:24, and to feasts and festivals in general, Num. 10:10. Its application to the weekly Sabbath takes a little longer to garner, though just as assuredly.

    But first, this question. Since the very same verb zākar is utilised in both Exod. 20:8 and Deut. 5:15, why do you differentiate between them, giving precedence to Moses’ second, verbal alternative to the Fourth Commandment over Yahweh’s original version preserved in stone?

    As Professor Waiter C. Kaiser Jr., states in Expositor’s Bible Commentary: “The reason for MEMORIALIZING this day rests on two works of God: one retrospective (v.11 links it with the creation)…; the other prospective in the plan of redemptive history (Dt 5:15 links it with the exodus from Egypt)…” [my stress].

    You diverge from sacred truth from the very outset with “the word underlying ‘rest’ in Genesis 2 is ‘ceased’… God simply ceased on the seventh day from all His work.” For Exod. 20:11 QUOTES Gen. 2:2-3 with two didactic changes.

    First, although the Hebrew verb שָׁבַת [šābat] is routinely and acceptably rendered “rested” in the former, it means “ceased” far more often. But the latter removes any ambiguity by preferring נָחָה [nāḥâ], meaning “rested”, SOLA.

    Second, there is no explicit mention of the Sabbath in Gen. 2:2-3, although the noun שַׁבָּת [šabbāt] is manifestly cognate with its verb שָׁבַת [šābat].  It has “seventh day”. Yet Ex. 20:11 quite specifically substitutes the noun šabbāt for this expression “seventh day”. So that initial, seventh day of Creation week most certainly was this world’s very first Sabbath.

    You err again with “the seventh day in Genesis did not have an ‘evening and the morning’ structure identifying it as a period of light and dark distinct from the days around it. It was an un-boundaried day with no ‘evening and morning’.” This is an argument from silence which should have been left silent. For, inferring that each day began and ended at dusk, we might reformat the data thus:
    day 1 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 2 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 3 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 4 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 5 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 6 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 7

    Your logical fallacy is readily exposed by the simple fact that every human being upon Planet Earth is borne along incessantly by a stream of time marked off by 24-hour days. Ergo, Adam most assuredly lived through a second week of created time. As for the prior week, this new week is readily summarised as follows, except in reverse order, back into that first week:
    … ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 7 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 6 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 5 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 4 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 3 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 2 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 1 ᵈᵘˢᵏ day 7 …

    In a word, God’s seventh-day Sabbath at Creation must have closed at dusk, just like every one of the preceding six, or there would have been no “Sunday” of the second week, no second week, etc. The complete “omission” of the temporal formula “evening, morning” ensures that the entire Creation narrative closes at its very highest, most climactic point possible, without leaving us with trivial, redundant information.

    Your theological fallacy is simply exposed by paraphrasing God’s Fourth Commandment in your terms: “Keep the seventh, 24-hour day of each week holy as a Sabbath since in six 24-hour days God created the entire cosmos, then rested on the seventh, interminable day, after which he blessed that Sabbath and set it aside for holy use.” Sorry, but this is REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM big time!

    You err yet again with this doozie that “the fourth commandment uses God’s work of creation as an EXAMPLE [sic] of how Israel was to understand their Sabbath-keeping. It is not stating that they are to keep the Sabbath as a memorial of the fact that God created; rather, the words ‘For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth…and rested on the seventh day’ is a simple recounting of events. It is not, in context, an argument that Israel was to keep Sabbath as a memorial of creation. Rather, Israel was to rest on the Sabbath as God did on the seventh day. Their work was to cease. Period.”

    PLEASE!! Refer back to my second paragraph for the verb zākar meaning COMMEMORATE in Exod. 20:8. To boot, you quote a REASON clause introduced by the Hebrew conjunction כִּי [kî], the reason to commemorate. In brief, Israel was most certainly directed to observe the weekly Sabbath precisely as God’s sole MEMORIAL of Creation.

    What’s more, the prestigious NET correctly renders this verse thus: “‘Remember the Sabbath day to set it apart as holy’”, since the second verb is קָדַשׁ [qādaš]. And precisely the same verb occurs in Gen. 2:3a, just as quoted in Exod. 20:11b, for God dedicating his Sabbath to holy application. Could it be any clearer that this detail equally locks these two pericopes together inseparably?

    As for your treatise on Heb. 3:7-4:13, the great pity is that you have no access to the NT Greek or, it seems, any of the superb commentaries on this very important pericope. You say many good things, above all about resting in Jesus from our own works, but entirely miss the author’s point that God’s seventh day Sabbath continues as a memorial of conversion, the point in time when we enter God’s spiritual rest, 4:3a.

    In passing, don’t miss the verb “remains” in 4:9. Nowhere in the entire NT have I found a stronger link denoting continuity between the Old and New Covenants. For, although I can’t elaborate here, the rest Israel gained under Joshua, Josh. 22:4, was merely physical. It never achieved the spiritual rest God had intended from the very beginning, as in Deut. 26:16 and often. And that’s the rest that remains “today”.

    By the way, in summary, Jesus’ promise of this supreme, spiritual rest, Matt. 11:28-30, echoes God’s in Ex.33:14!

    With the “now” of Heb. 4:3 clearly in mind, please notice that in v. 9 the all-important Greek noun behind Sabbath rest is σαββατισμός [sabbatismos]. This certainly derives from the verb σαββατίζειν [sabbatizein], as in Ex. 16:30, LXX, and thus simply means “Sabbath rest or observance”, wholly beyond all cogent quibble. Moreover, this precise nuance is consistently attested several times in the works of later, non-canonical Christian authors.

    In closing, we devout Christians joyfully commemorate Christ’s salvific work through the Lord’s Supper, which also foreshadows God’s great feast in his eternal Kingdom. Why, then, should any of us object to commemorating the spiritual rest which is ours in the finished work of Christ by resting each Sabbath day, thus foreshadowing our eternal rest in that blessed Kingdom? There’s not one solitary shred of legalism in that.

  2. Thank you. Colleen! I freely confess that I never thought this would see the light of day! Apologies!

    May I add this one reference to my third paragraph: in Hos. 2:11 and SEVERAL times elsewhere God’s weekly Sabbath is actually included among those feasts and festivals, making the task I mention there even easier than I thought!

    If I may expand this a little, you’ll notice that these views are not my own, but shared time and again by conservative scholars abroad, all NON-Sabbatarian. Here are a few more, this time from the recent, prestigious New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis:

    “Although the Exodus form of the Decalogue uses the vb. נָחָה (rather than שָׁבַת) to indicate that God ‘rested’ from his creative activity on the seventh day, the statement that ‘the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy’ (Exod 20:11) is virtually identical to the words used in Gen 2:3. As the creation story in Gen 1 centers on the creation of mankind on the sixth day (1:26–27), the fourth commandment evidently intends the inauguration of the Sabbath to be seen as the climax of the creation process as it applied to the human beings who had been formed (B. S. Childs, Exodus [1974], 416). Thus the day was regarded as a source of blessing of UNIVERSAL significance and not merely for Israel, and as being coeval with the human race (W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament, 2 vols. [1961–67], 1:133).” [my stress]

    “In the corresponding Deuteronomic passage, by contrast, the reason for Sabbath observance focuses on the relationship between God and his people: the Israelites had been slaves in Egypt, but God mightily delivered them. The Sabbath was to be kept holy because Israel was a redeemed people. Thus creation and redemption are BOTH motives for its observance—the one for ALL HUMAN BEINGS, the other esp. for Israel.” [my stress]

    “[T]he OT regards the Sabbath as a divine ordinance that was UNIVERSAL but esp. relevant to Israel as a redeemed people. Negatively, it was observed by a cessation of labor… Yet, positively, it was to be viewed not as a burden but as a joyful feast, an opportunity to concentrate in private and in public on the things of God. It was a delight, holy to the Lord (Isa 58:13). Special blessings were attached to its observance (56:2).” [my stress]

    “Christians acknowledge that they are not free to disobey the other commandments of the Decalogue (‘You shall have no other gods before me’; ‘You shall not commit adultery’; etc.). Moreover, the rationale that the Decalogue itself gives for the fourth commandment, far from being CEREMONIAL in nature, involves the great theological themes of creation (in Exod 20) and redemption (in Deut 5).” [my stress]

    “[T]he Sabbath concept includes both a national aspect, as part of the covenant relationship with the Jews, and a UNIVERSAL aspect, as a spiritual and humanitarian benefit FOR MANKIND AS A WHOLE.” [my stress]

    There are MANY, MANY more, but this will do for now. Hope this helps. Thank you for your patience.

    1. “In the corresponding Deuteronomic passage, by contrast, the reason for Sabbath observance focuses on the relationship between God and his people: the Israelites had been slaves in Egypt, but God mightily delivered them. The Sabbath was to be kept holy because Israel was a redeemed people. Thus creation and redemption are BOTH motives for its observance—the one for ALL HUMAN BEINGS, the other esp. for Israel.” [my stress]

      It should be noted that Deuteronomy 5 is NOT the words of God. Neither is it a second phrasing of the Ten Commandments. It is rather Moses (v. 1) reminding the children of Israel why they should keep the ten “words” of the covenant (cf. Deut. 4:13). Thus, Moses paraphrased the commandments, as we can see throughout. His comment that they should remember being slaves in Egypt and being rescued by the LORD God (v. 15) is nothing new, nor does it as a motivation have to do with the Sabbath itself. (The Sabbath is not the memorial of the Exodus. They did not leave on the seventh day of the week.) It is the reason for their keeping ALL of the commandments–the fourth commandment as much as any of the others. It is part of the preamble to the LORD God’s wording of the commandments in Exodus 20.

      I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Exod. 20:2)

      1. Thank you, Kevin. I’m not thinking that you agree with everything I say or quote. But it can get pretty lonely if one has no company within the likes of LAM. Or Facebook, for that matter, where dissidents in certain vehemently loquotatious, anti-Sabbatarian groups will BLOCK you as soon as you begin to counter them, without notice or appeal, even in America the supposed home of the free. May our good Lord continue to keep your Berean boots in excellent condition, Bro.

  3. Regarding, “the Bible never says God needed ‘a little rest’.”

    One might think that God’s Sabbath was merely “ceasing” (the literal meaning of SHABAT). However, the witness of Scripture is: “On the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” This collides with the notion that there was no benefit to God in resting.

    1. I agree; Exodus 31:17 does use the same Hebrew word, “naphash” as Genesis 2:2. I will quote from Sabbath-scholar and never-Adventist Terry O’Hare: “This rare Hebrew word (naphash) means ‘to take a breath’ perhaps deepening the analogy between God’s rest and that now required of laborers indeed, such as animals and servants, who would benefit from a cessation from labor.”

      Nevertheless, our omnipotent Creator is not physically wearied by His work; indeed, “God is spirit”, not body, as Jesus stated to the Samaritan woman at the well as recorded in John 4:24.

      In short, Sabbath is not mentioned in Genesis, and God did not create it at creation. We cannot understand God by looking at humanity, and we cannot conclude the purpose and meaning of Sabbath from the books of Moses. The New Testament is necessary for us to understand how the Sabbath is related to the Lord Jesus, and only the New Testament clearly explains how the New Covenant replaces the shadow of the Mosaic covenant.

      Hebrews, Galatians, Roman, Colossians, Ephesians, in fact, the whole New Testament are windows into the eternal reality of the Lord Jesus, His fulfillment of the law, and His opening the new and living way to the Father through His blood.

      1. Of course God did not need physical rest. But Colleen, don’t let the entire world of CONSERVATIVE, NON-Sabbatarian, SCHOLARLY theology pass you by in some back water. You are ignoring ALL of my other comments, which thoroughly dispute yours, especially that, if it needed to, Ex. 20:8-11 PROVES beyond the remotest cogent question that the seventh day of Creation week was most decidedly a SABBATH—twice over, first by reference to setting the day aside as holy and then by specifically labelling that day THE SABBATH.

        Of course the entire NT speaks at length about Christ. But even Paul is at great length to set you straight about the reality of God’s law way beyond its abuse, which he constantly chides. And believe me, I can most certainly demonstrate, for example, that even your favourite proof-text, Col. 2:16—usually devoid of its illuminating context, v. 17—is of NO assistance in proving that God’s actual Sabbath was MERELY a shadow, having faded in Christ.

        But for now, here’s a corrective from renowned Professor Troy Martin about another of your proof-texts, Gal. 4:10. As I say, his world goes on and on, leaving you far behind. He also wrote a full book on this subject, “By Philosophy and Empty Deceit: Colossians as Response to a Cynic Critique”:

        “The present essay argues that both of Lighfoot’s conclusions are misleading since the two lists are parallel neither in content nor in function. The content of the list in Colossians is exclusively Jewish while the list in Galatians could be either Jewish or pagan. Functionally, the Galatian list describes a calendar categorically rejected by Paul whereas the Colossian list represents a calendar not so easily disassociated from the Pauline communities. Consequently, this essay contends Gal 4.10 cannot substantiate that the calendar in Col 2.16 belongs to the opposition and neither can Col 2.16 establish the Jewishness of the list in Gal 4.10.… [T]his essay carefully examines the content and function of each list within its own context before comparing one list with another.”

  4. It’s amazing how God’s word, read IN CONTEXT and taking each word to mean it’s normal meaning, reveals itself to be internally consistent. If we approach it without an agenda and read it as we would read a normal book, it would end up showing itself to be teaching a consistent stream of truth from Genesis to Revelation.

    Of course, one must approach this Book using its own claim for itself: it is living and active, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, able even to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

    We at Life Assurance Ministries are not debating that all of Scripture is the inerrant, infallible, sufficient word of God. That is our bedrock. Every word is God-breathed and useful for correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). The restatement of the law in Deuteronomy, for example, is the word of God exactly as is the statement of the law in Exodus 20. There is no distinction between the Exodus statement being God’s word and the Deuteronomy statement being Moses’ word. God has declared the entire opus of Scripture to be HIS living, enduring word, and Jesus Himself, God the Son, treated the Old Testament as completely accurate and authoritative.

    Scripture cannot be yanked out of its context and recombined with other passages in order to create a new body of teaching. It must be read first and understood as it would have been understood by its first audience. It must be understood IN CONTEXT, and no verse can be interpreted out of context. Then it must be read in the context of the entire book, then in the context of other books by the same author, and then in the context of the testament in which it occurs.

    Application to ourselves must come last, but the application for us cannot have a different meaning than the passage had for the first audience. The different application may be different for us, but not a different meaning. Only contextual, consistent study will yield the meaning of Scripture.

    So, for example, when the wilderness generation heard Moses reiterate the law as recorded in Deuteronomy, they understood that to be God’s own word to them, not Moses’ word. We cannot take the reiteration of the covenant in Deuteronomy and say it was merely Moses’ word, that the REAL, authoritative word was Exodus. In fact, our books of Exodus and Deuteronomy were both recorded by Moses as God inspired him. The one to whom the tables of stone were given recorded the law, and he did not record different laws. He gave Israel the law God gave him, and he was God’s mouthpiece, the prophet who foreshadowed the “prophet like [him]” who would come to whom Israel should listen: the Lord Jesus.

    All to say, we can create a lot of confusion by throwing texts and proof texts around, but the context of any verse determines its meaning, and Scripture is consistent. God cannot lie, and He does not trick us.

    We can trust His word, and His word explains in detail how the new covenant is the reality that emerged by Jesus’ blood as Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant. He was the Perfect Israel who did what Israel could not do: He fulfilled the law in every respect. He took became its curse and took its death sentence, and He broke the power of the curse by shattering death.

    He alone is our Lord. He alone is the One to whom we listen. The law is alive IN HIM. He is our King!

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