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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : What united Whitfield and Wesley: the forgotten commandment

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 What united Whitfield and Wesley: the forgotten commandment

Here (at sermonindex) and elsewhere (on the internet) the debate that once raged between Wesley and Whitefield continues: election vs. free will (or calvinism vs. arminianism). Sadly, where these men were united we have gone astray.

Deuteronomy warns, "Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of the law to do them." Proverbs 19.6 says "He that keepth the commandement keepeth his own soul." Solomon (1 Kings 9.6) warned, "But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandmentts and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: THen will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them..."

Most leaders in the Christian churches confirm SOME of the words of the law to do them, but few anymore confirm ALL of them. The truth is most churches in doctrine and in practice only have 8 or 9 commandments. When I think about how often the commandments were reinforced, and how often failure to keep the commandments was given as the reason for Israel's troubles and how often even in the New Testament the commandments (1 Jn. 2.3,4; 3.4; 5.2,3, for example) were referred to, I find it frightening how terribly they have been neglected in our day.

Edwin Orr once wrote a book titled "The Church Must First Repent". I believe that if ever we will see true revival in NA he was right: the Church must first repent; and we must repent not only of homosexuality and other current sins. We need, specifically, to repent of our desecration of the Sunday Sabbath.

D.M. Lloyd-Jones once preached a sermon on Jeremaih 6.11 (on the weariness of God), and he warned of consequences for those who would disobey the 4th commandment and teach others to do likewise. It grieved him that in the 20's and 30's the churches were already growing forgetful.

In his day Robert Murray M'Cheyne warned his people of the same, as did J.C. Ryle and Charles Spurgeon after him. So also did men from most denominations whether arminian or calvinist... (Wesley, Whitefield, Brainerd and Edwards included) until the 20th century.

Should it surprise us that the century marked by horrific genocide, massive world wars, tragic doctrinal confusion and increasing immmorality and apathy in the Church should also the be the century to drop the 4th commandment? Many of us look around at the churches in NA and believe that we are in a kind of spiritual captivity. Is it any wonder? Where are the pastors who will call us to obedience to the commandments (let alone people to obey them)?! It was Malachi who once said, "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have mcaused many to stumble at the law..."

How I pray that the Lord would raise up laypeople courageous enough to go to their pastors, take them by the sleeve (as Andrew Melville once took the King's arm!) and plead with them to return to the law and to the testimonies. We need ministers who will keep knowledge.

If ever we will see revival we need the Church to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy!

 2013/11/5 10:35
Heydave
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 Re: What united Whitfield and Wesley: the forgotten commandment

Stephen,

Before I write, this is a genuine question and point I am making in response to your post. It is not made to be argumentative or to prove any point. So with that established here is my question.

Why in the book of Acts do read that when the Apostles had to give a ruling to the Gentiles about keeping the law they only gave the following advice

"For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." Acts 15:28-29

Why did they not just say 'keep the 10 commandments'?

Another thought occurred to me. Do true Christians really need a law to tell them to 'Have no other Gods' or 'to have no idols'?


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Dave

 2013/11/5 11:22Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
the debate that once raged between Wesley and Whitefield



Brother, I believe they never fully reconciled over these things but agreed to disagree on the issue. The true unity was not on obeying the ten commandments but rather on loving Jesus Christ supremely and recognizing they are both part of one body of Christ. The way of Jesus Christ is higher than the ten commandments in that all of his commands in the New Covenant fulfill and walk in the ten commandments.

Another New Covenant truth is that Jesus Christ is our Sabbath. Here is a very good article to consider:

Principle 47 – The Lord’s Day can be Everyday! (pdf)
http://gospelfellowships.net/pdf/principle47.pdf

Also the Sabbath was practiced by the Jewish saints on Saturday. Yet the early Christians (apostles and disciples) met together on the Lord's Day (Sunday) they did not feel the compulsion to continue the Saturday Sabbath.

May our unity be firstly in that we are part of the body of Christ.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/11/5 11:38Profile
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
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 Re:

Greg wrote:Another New Covenant truth is that Jesus Christ is our Sabbath. Here is a very good article to consider:

Principle 47 – The Lord’s Day can be Everyday! (pdf)
http://gospelfellowships.net/pdf/principle47.pdf
_____________

Wonderful!! Yes JESUS is our Sabbath, let us pray that the CHURCH remember that HE is our Sabbath and we need to be living in HIM everyday!! Let us also pray for unity in HIM that HE be lifted up and glorified!!

Thank you for also sharing the link to the article.

God bless
maryjane

 2013/11/5 11:44Profile
amranger
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Posts: 71
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 Re: What united Whitfield and Wesley: the forgotten commandment

Quote:
We need, specifically, to repent of our desecration of the Sunday Sabbath.



Sunday is not the sabbath, and it never was. Having said that, sabbath-keeping in regards to a specific day is never commanded in the new testament. Hebrews does speak about entering His rest but that's not in regards to a specific day.

If I feel led to I may post later on what I believe is the hindrance to revival and spiritual awakening. But I wanted to clear that up about the sabbath.


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Andrew

 2013/11/5 11:45Profile









 Re:

Brothers (and sisters!) I want to plead with you to weigh very carefully the testimony of Church history. This site is evidence of the value we place on the teaching and preaching ministry of godly men. We all testify that the Scriptures alone are our rule, but we do go to others to help us to grow in our understanding of those Scriptures. Do consider reading what men like John Elias and Ryle and Spurgeon and M'Cheyne (ed. and Leonard Ravenhill - http://media.sermonindex.net/4/SID4361.mp3 or here for some of the transcript: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=48290&forum=34) said about the Christian Sabbath. They were familiar with all the arguments now being made against the keeping of a particular day, including the argument posed by brother Greg that every day is now a Sabbath - but they argued cogently and from the Scriptures that the first day of the week (which Scripture gives the name Lord's Day) is a day that we are to set aside particularly and especially for worship.

Greg, I read through that document. One of the arguments made against fighting over the day of worship is the persecutions of Christians in places like China. Lets admit, brother, that we would never allow such an argument to have any part in a discussion over the first commandment. Men and women and even children have laid down their lives rather than disobey God for centuries. The question isn't "how does this doctrine/ethic work in the persecuted world"? Rather, we ought to be asking "What is God's will?"

Of course, if we were contending for the Sunday Sabbath based on personal preference, we would be foolish to foist those preferences on the persecuted - but if Sunday is the Lord's Day and therefore to be given to Him (as the Saturday used to be) then persecution (or consequences) are quite irrelevant. As our forefathers used to say, "duty is ours, events are God's."

Let me add that the early Christians did not continue to keep the Saturday Sabbath because they were now keeping the first day of the week.

I think we need to keep in mind that the OT believers were required to love God with all their heart mind and soul, which is no more than what the NT says. They were to love Him and worship Him and serve Him every day of the week just as you (Greg) and others are arguing... still, God wanted them to specially set aside one day a week for Him.

Heydave, the church in Acts 15 met specifically to address whether or not the ceremonial laws should be required of the Gentiles. The 4th commandment is not a ceremonial law. It was observed and obeyed before the fall! [edit: Which is why Colossians 2 is not relevant. Colossians 2 is a reference to the ceremonial days that came with the 4th commandment including the additional sabbaths. These are done away with because they were shadows. The Sabbath itself was instituted at creation before the fall and therefore cannot be included among the shadows which must be done away with. So also Romans in its discussion of days is a reference to ceremonial days and other kinds of days like our Christmas and our Easter - a very different thing from a commandment]

Greg, you observed: "May our unity be firstly in that we are part of the body of Christ." I wholeheartedly agree with you, but I would add that when men claim to be part of the body of Christ and live in sin we have trouble with that. We have trouble uniting with 'gay Christians' and 'idolatrous Christians' because we recognize that something very fundamental is wrong. To preach Jesus is to preach Him in all His offices, prophet, priest and King, and when He is not obeyed all the body of Christ ought to mourn.

I think part of the difficulty with this commandment is that the hermeneutic of the contemporary church is so different from that of our forefathers. We want to see it in plain language in the New Testament because we have so divided the New from the Old. But I would contend that if we are to walk as Christ walked and follow the example of the apostles we have enough. They called it the Lord's Day. Calling a meal the Lord's Supper is enough to indicate to everyone it is not an ordinary meal and that treating it as if it were ordinary can lead to serious consequences. The very designation of the day as the Lord's Day ought (I think) to be argument enough. But we do have the example of our Lord in John 20, we have the pattern of the apostles, and we have the many foreshadowings in the OT of the coming 8th day.

 2013/11/5 12:09
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings Greg

Got to read over the article at the link posted. I often wonder why some would stop at meeting just one day a week, when JESUS calls us to live each day in HIM. JESUS is my rest, and everything else, I need to live that every day not just one day. I also look to the book of Acts and see that they met one to another daily from house to house loving and caring for each other as each had need. They were the CHURCH meeting daily, loving one another in HIM daily, submitting to HIM daily that is what church is. Its not a place we go on a special day of the week, its a way of life we live each moment of every day.


God bless and thanks
mj

 2013/11/5 12:47Profile









 Re:

Hi MaryJane, did you read my post? As I explained there

"I think we need to keep in mind that the OT believers were required to love God with all their heart mind and soul, which is no more than what the NT says. They were to love Him and worship Him and serve Him every day of the week just as you (Greg) and others are arguing... still, God wanted them to specially set aside one day a week for Him."

I have work to do and chores to do that have to get done sometime. God in His wisdom and kindness has given us a day in which we are allowed and commanded to be shut up with Him.

The difference is between my enjoying fellowship with my wife at the kitchen sink vs. going out for dinner where we have each others time and attention. We love both, but we especially love that one on one time specially devoted to enjoying each other.

 2013/11/5 12:52
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

by Stephen2 on 2013/11/5 9:52:13

Hi MaryJane, did you read my post? As I explained there

"I think we need to keep in mind that the OT believers were required to love God with all their heart mind and soul, which is no more than what the NT says. They were to love Him and worship Him and serve Him every day of the week just as you (Greg) and others are arguing... still, God wanted them to specially set aside one day a week for Him."

I have work to do and chores to do that have to get done sometime. God in His wisdom and kindness has given us a day in which we are allowed and commanded to be shut up with Him.

The difference is between my enjoying fellowship with my wife at the kitchen sink vs. going out for dinner where we have each others time and attention. We love both, but we especially love that one on one time specially devoted to enjoying each other.

___________________

Greetings Stephen

I did read your posts, thanks for sharing what the LORD has placed on your heart. I understand for you this is a conviction that you feel led to follow so I think that is awesome, for me it is not. I have read much on this as well. I have prayed and sought the LORD for understanding and for me living unto HIM every moment of every day is what it is all about not one day a week.JESUS is my all, HE deserves my attention in all things. IF I am doing the dishes and JESUS shows me something then I love the fact that I can stop what I am doing and spend time with HIM. I also see the benefit of spending time with other believes as often as possible, for some I know this means they meet every single day, their lives are intertwined one to another and JESUS is lifted up. I think that is what we saw in ACTS and it was clear the love they had for each other and HIM. I get what you are saying and if that is where you are being led then you need to follow HIM in that, but for me I am just so thankful I can have that intimate time with HIM every moment of the day.I can pray, speak with HIM, and sit and hear from HIM as well, daily I can read my WORD and share with others.

Thanks again for sharing how the LORD is leading you in your walk with HIM.

God bless
maryjane

 2013/11/5 13:14Profile









 Re: Stephen

Brother I post this with reservation as I see how the other thread on the Old Covenant vs the New Covenant has progressed.

But that is the heart of the matter. To put it simply. The Old Covenant was given to Israel. The Sabbath was a command for Israel to keep.

We are under the New Covenant. As others have said Christ is our Sabbath rest. Everyday is to be a Sabbath rest to Him.

I do agree with the wisdom that one should set aside a day to reflect upon Christ and His word and be refreshed in Him. But that day need not be Sunday. It could be any day of the week. And what I am suggesting is Christ centered wisdom and not command.

I believe the reason we are not seeing seeing revival on a national level is not because we are keeping Sunday as the Sabbath. It us more that the church had turned sway from Christ.

One other thing. Believers in the 10/40 window are being persecuted because of their faith in Jesus. Not because they fail to keep Sunday as the Sabbith.

Bearmaster.

 2013/11/5 15:36





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