Saturday, August 26, 2023



Who Changed the Sabbath, Russell Earl Kelly, PHD


God changed it eight (8) times.

Seventh-day Adventists changed it eighteen (18) times.


The original article appeared in Proclamation Magazine, Spring 2017, Vol 18, Issue 1

Edited September 16, 2023


Adventism claims—indeed, Ellen White declared in her book The Great Controversy—that the pope of Rome changed the seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday. This claim, however, is a straw-man argument. In reality, both God and the Seventh-day Adventist Church have changed His Sabbath Law many times.




The original Sabbath of creation was not a 24-hour day of the week. After God had finished creating various kinds of life, He rested from His creation and only inter-species’ changes have since occurred. God is still resting from His original creation.


“Thus, the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which he had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. This is the account of the heavens and earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven” (Genesis 2:1-3).




1.       Exodus 16:23-29. God Himself made the 1st change of His creation Sabbath. While the original blessed Sabbath was an indefinite time, without the “evening” and “morning” formula defining its boundaries, the Bible specifically states that the first six (6) days all had boundaries of “evening and morning” (Gen. 1:5-31). However, the inspired word does not state this formula for the seventh day—an omission which demands the question, “Why?”


There is an obvious break between Genesis 1:31 and 2:1. The word “day” in Genesis 2:2 refers to the seventh day, but in 2:4 the word “day” does not refer to a 24-hour period. Adventists claim that “days preceded by numbers are always 24-hour days.” Nowhere, however, is this principle confirmed as fact in Scripture. Adventists do not interpret the one-day Day of Atonement as a 24-hour day.


For thousands of years, there is no mention of a Sabbath-day rest between creation week and Exodus 16. Even if one had been instituted, it had been lost to history. In Exodus God taught national Israel which day of the week was the Sabbath and no corporate worship was involved. God changed the Sabbath from an indefinite time period to a 24-hour day of the week only for national Israel to refrain from work and remain in their family tents. No corporate worship was involved.


Ex 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

Ex 1624 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.

Ex 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.

Ex 16:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.

Ex 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.

Ex 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

Ex 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.


2. Exodus 20:8-10.  God changed the Sabbath a 2nd time and made the 24-hour day a memorial of His creation rest only for national Israel.


At Mount Sinai, God changed the Sabbath from merely a family rest day in tents to a “holy rest” day for people and animals within Israel’s gates. He made the 24-hour day a memorial of His timeless creation rest.


“Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”


3. Exodus 23:32/Deuteronomy 7:2.  God changed the Sabbath a 3rd time when He commanded Israel not to share its covenant (including the Sabbath) with other nations.  This removed any option they previously had to share it beyond their own gates.


God’s law to Israel prohibited the Hebrews from sharing their covenant with the Gentiles. Moreover, they were to show them no mercy in war. This prohibition was not removed until Jesus inaugurated the new covenant in Matthew 28:19-20.


Exodus 23:32: “You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods.”

Deuteronomy 7:2: And when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.


4. Exodus 31:15.   God changed the Sabbath a 4th time when He added the death penalty for Israelites who violated the Sabbath.


Exodus 31:15 establishes the judgment of death for Sabbath-breaking. This penalty is part of Sabbath law originating with the Ten Commandments.


“For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 31:15).


5.  Exodus 31:17.   God changed the Sabbath a 5th time when He made the Sabbath a “sign” of national Israel’s unique covenant relationship. Others were excluded.


“It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”


The Sabbath for Israel is very clear in Exodus 16:23; 20:2, 8-11; 31:13-17, and in Deuteronomy 5:1-3, 12-15. It cannot be an eternal moral principle unless it is discernible by all mankind through nature and conscience as demonstrated in Romans 2:14. In fact, the weekly seventh-day Sabbath was not observed by Gentiles and only came via special revelation to national Israel (see Rom. 1:18-20; 2:14-16; Jn. 1:9).


6. Leviticus 23; Numbers 28-29. God changed the sabbath a 6th time when He lessened the importance of the 7th day by creating more important Sabbaths requiring many more sacrifices. Common sense reveals that more important Sabbaths required more sacrifices. See especially the Day of Atonement requirements in Numbers 29:12-38.


Weekly:  2 additional lambs (Nm 28:9-10); new moon additional 2 bulls, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat (Num 28:11-15); Passover: additional 14 bulls, 7 rams, 49 lambs, 7 goats (Num 28:16-22); Feast of Weeks: see Num 28:26-31; Day of Atonement: see Num 29:1-11; Feast of Booths: additional 70 bulls, 15 rams, 105 lambs, 7 goats (Num 29:12-38).


7. Deuteronomy 5:12-15.  God changed the Sabbath a 7th time when He made the Sabbath a memorial of rest from Egyptian slavery. This change of the Ten Commandments is ignored by almost all.


“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore, the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day” (Deut 5:12-15).


8.  Romans 3:21-28.  God Himself changed the Sabbath an 8th time when He ended the letter of the Law for Hebrews at Calvary.


Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


Every jot and title of the whole Law ended when Christ fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law (Rom 3:21-27 compare Matt 5:17-20). Romans 10:4 says “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Galatians 3:19 says “the law was added because of transgressions until the seed should come.” Galatians 3:25 says “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.” Galatians 3:26 says “after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” In Ephesians 2:15 God reconciled Jews and Gentiles by changing the Law. “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” Colossians 2:14 adds “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.” Matthew 27:57 records “The veil in the temple ripped from top to bottom.” Finally, Romans 8:2 says “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”






1. Exodus 23:32/Deuteronomy 7:2. Seventh-day Adventists change God’s law by teaching that the Sabbath should be observed by all nations. In Exodus 23:32 and Deuteronomy 7:2, God commanded Israel not to share its covenant with other nations.  See “God changed the Sabbath -3.”


2. Exodus 31:15. Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 2nd time by refusing to obey God and put Sabbath-breakers to death in their own jurisdiction. Yet no attempt has ever been made to enforce this law in SDA communities.


“For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 31:15).


3.  Exodus 31:17.   Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 3rd time by including themselves and other non-Israelites under God’s guidelines for Sabbath-keeping.


In Exodus 31:17, God clearly limited Sabbath-keeping to national Israel as a unique covenant sign only for Israel. Contrary to what Adventism teaches, the Sabbath is never called a “seal.” Ignoring Exodus 31:13-17, Seventh-day Adventists (not God) have changed the Sabbath from a unique cultic covenant sign only for national Israel into an eternal, moral principle required for all mankind. This change is serious; the Sabbath cannot be both a sign unique to Israel and also a requirement for all mankind. See “God changed the Sabbath-5.”


4.  Leviticus 23; Numbers 19. Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 4th time when they ignore the far more important seasonal sabbaths which require far more animal sacrifices. See “God changed the Sabbath -6.)


5.  Deuteronomy 5:12-16.  Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 5th time when they fail to adopt God’s new reason for Sabbath rest and change of the Ten Commandments. It is now because of rest from Egyptian slavery.

This “minor” point lessens the emphasis of Exodus 20 on the Sabbath as a memorial of creation.  See “God changed the Sabbath -7.”


6.  Isaiah 66:23. Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 6th time with their interpretation of Isaiah 66:23.


“And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says the LORD (Isaiah 66:23).


By teaching that Isaiah 66:23 proves that the weekly Sabbath will be kept throughout eternity, Seventh-day Adventists err by not teaching the same about the new moon Sabbaths. Furthermore, they ignore the context of Isaiah 66 which is specifically addressing God’s fulfillment of His promises to national Israel during Messiah’s future literal reign on earth. Since SDAs teach that there will be no literal Messianic reign on earth, the text does not fit into their last-day-events scenario of Satan on a desolate planet.


Furthermore, the prepositions “from” and “to” in 66:23 define a range of time. For example, if we say we will be out of town from Saturday to next Saturday, we mean we will be gone for at least a week. “From new moon to new moon” and “from sabbath to sabbath” means “every day of the lunar month” and “every day of the week”. If (as Adventists insist) 66:23 proves that the weekly Sabbath will be observed throughout eternity, it logically must also prove that the monthly new moon Sabbaths will also be kept—but Adventists do not teach the continuation of the new moon feasts.


7.  Matthew 5:17-20.  Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 7th time with their interpretation of Matthew 5:17-19.


Adventists cite Matthew 5:17-19 to teach that the Ten Commandments are in force as a covenant for all mankind; therefore, they argue, so is the Sabbath day.


“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:17-20).


Using Matthew 5:17-19 to support weekly Sabbath observance, however, changes the meaning of God’s word and is self-defeating. The texts literally teach that we are either under all of the 615 commandments of the Law or none of them.


In fact, verses 20-48 include examples from the whole law of commandments (verses 21-30), judgments (verses 31-42) and statutes (verses 43-47), not simply the Decalogue. In other words, the entire law stands or is fulfilled as a whole, and God determines when “all is accomplished.” Therefore, verses 17-19 cannot be used to argue the continuation of the Sabbath. Adventism admits that “the ceremonial law” ended at the cross, but they insist that this passage in Matthew refers specifically to the Ten Commandments, thus twisting the meaning of the words Jesus spoke.


8. Matthew 19:16-21. Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath an 8th time when they use Matthew 19:16-21 to prove that Sabbath-keeping is essential for salvation.


Matt 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

Matt 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Matt 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Matt 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matt 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?


This encounter between Jesus and the rich young ruler occurred before Calvary when Jews were under the full jurisdiction of the Mosaic Law. Although Jesus did not mention the Sabbath, obedience to the entire Mosaic Law, not merely to the Ten Commandments, is in view here. Jesus’ answer was to test whether of not the rich young ruler loved God. Proof that one was a true Hebrew was exhibited by obedience to all of the law and not merely the Sabbath.


Matt 19:21 When the rich young ruler said he kept all the laws, Jesus said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect , go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”


Jesus was saying to this young man that even careful law-keeping [including Sabbath-keeping] could not qualify him to enter into life. Jesus highlighted his lie. Unless he was willing to give up what he loved the most and follow Jesus, he really did not love God or man. This passage is not teaching that keeping the Sabbath is an implicit salvation requirement.


It is also important to note that Jesus commanded His Jewish disciples, before Calvary, to obey the Mosaic law in Matthew 5:23-24 and 8:4. However, He never commanded Gentiles whom He had healed to observe the Mosaic law or the Sabbath.


9. Matthew 22:36-40.  Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath commandment a 9th time when they make the Ten Commandments more important than God’s other commandments.


Matt 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Matt 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Matt 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

Matt 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Lev 19:18)

Matt 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


It is extremely important to note that Jesus did not quote the Ten Commandments here; instead, He quoted Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy 6:5. When referring to “Law,” Jesus included both the ceremonial worship statutes and the civil judicial judgments.


Unlike Seventh-day Adventists, no Hebrew subdivided the Mosaic Law into three divisions (Ten Commandments, ceremonial worship ordinances and civil judicial judgments) for the purpose of discarding one or both of the non-Ten Commandment categories. The letter of the Law was an indivisible whole.


Ironically, the Adventists have made Saturday one of their busiest days of the week. In addition, their Sabbath rest which forbids “secular work” (medical work is allowed) forces non-Adventists to work harder to take up their slack.


10.  Matthew 24:20.  Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath law a 10th time with their interpretation of Matthew 24:20 by removing it from its prophetic biblical context.


“But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.”


Adventists make end-time prophecy all about themselves being able to stand before God without a mediator. National Israel is not part of SDA eschatology.


However, this passage is a prophecy about the future destruction of Jerusalem. The Sabbath is prominent because last-day Hebrews will place themselves back under all of the 615 commandments of the Law. None will be able to flee easily because of their own imposed Sabbath restrictions.


Jesus was not making a statement about a Sabbath requirement that is universal. Rather, Jesus was specifically referring to the earthly city of Jerusalem and saying that, if “the abomination of desolation” (v. 15) came on Sabbath, the gates would be locked, and people would be unable to flee. Since Adventists teach that their own church is now the true spiritual Israel, the context of the Jerusalem temple in Matthew 24 is out of sinc with their theology.


11. Mark 2:27-28.  Seventh-day Adventist change the Sabbath an 11th time when they interpret Mark 2:27-28 (Matthew 12:8) as applying to all mankind.


“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27-28).


Ex 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

Ex 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.


God had previously given the Sabbath solely to national Israel as its special old covenant sign (Exodus 31:13-17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20) and commanded them not to share their covenant (Ex 23:32; Deut 7:2).


In context, the “man” of Mark 2:27-28 is the Hebrew man under the jurisdiction of the Mosaic Law. The seventh-day Sabbath was made for the Hebrew man who is under the Sabbath-keeping law (Ex 20:1-2; 31:17; Deut 5:1).  Again, as discussed earlier, it is impossible for the Sabbath day to be, at the same time, “for all mankind” and also to be a unique sign of the God’s old covenant solely with national Israel as stated in Exodus 31:13-17.


12. Acts 13:42-44.  Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 12th time when they cite Acts 13:42-44 to prove that Paul always observed the Sabbath.


Paul did not first enter Jewish synagogues because he carefully observed the Sabbath commandment for Hebrews. Instead, as a Jewish rabbi, Paul took advantage of the open pulpit afforded Jewish rabbis. In addition to Paul’s burden for his own, his decision was common sense.


“And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).


Adventists quote verses 42-44 to prove that Paul did not change the worship day when only Gentiles asked him to continue. Those were God-fearing Gentiles who had already accepted the Sabbath. Being rejected by the Jews, Paul turned to the Gentiles on other days after Acts 13:46.


Paul followed his pattern of going first to the Jews in each new city he entered. Consistently, after the Jews would throw him out of the synagogues, he went to the Gentiles, and he did not preach to them on Sabbaths exclusively. He preached every day of the week (Acts 16:5; 17:17; 19:9). It is amazing how conveniently Adventists forget to point out that all of their Sabbath-day illustrations involving Paul intended to validate Sabbath sacredness actually end with Paul’s going to the Gentiles and preaching to them daily. Clearly no sacred day is in view in any of these accounts.


13. Acts 15:19-20.   Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath commandment a 13th time when they twist Acts 15 to include Sabbath-keeping.


In Acts 15:1-5 Paul was opposed by Christian Pharisees who wanted Gentile

converts to observe all the Mosaic Law, including circumcision and Sabbath-keeping.


In Acts 15:10 Peter rebuked the Christian-Pharisees in Jerusalem, “Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear.”


Peter was referring to the entire law. Furthermore, Peter had witnessed how God saved Gentiles by faith alone who had not observed the Mosaic Law (Acts 10) and he realized that salvation by faith alone—not the law— also saved the Jews. He knew that the Pharisees’ insistence on circumcision and Sabbath-keeping had lost its value.


Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.


James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, was still confused at this point in time. In an unwise compromise, he confirmed that the church in Jerusalem had no intention of expecting its Gentile converts to observe the Mosaic Law, including Sabbath-keeping (Acts 15:13-29). In fact, he said such a requirement would be “unsettling [or subverting] your souls” (v. 24). Finally, these “necessary things” laid upon Gentile Christians did not include Sabbath-keeping (Acts 15:20, 28). Seventh-day Adventists twist these texts out of context.


14.  Romans 3:21-28. Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 14th time when they ignore Romans 3:21-28 and retain the Sabbath for all mankind. See “God changed the Sabbath -8.)


15.  Romans 14:5.  Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 15th time by twisting the very obvious Sabbath-day reference in Romans 14:5 into ceremonial sabbaths.  Pauls’ disdain for holy days after Calvary in Galatians 4:10-11 and Colossians 2:16-17.  In Galatians the sequence is clearly from weekly, to monthly, to seasonal to yearly; in Colossians the sequence is clearly from seasonal, to monthly to weekly Sabbaths.


“One person regards one day above another; another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind” (Rom 14:5).


Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Gal 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.


Col 2:16 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:


Paul never taught that Sunday replaced the Saturday Sabbath. Instead, he taught that there were no longer any holy days; all days were equal opportunities to preach the gospel. In fact, in Galatians 4:10-11 he opposed any holy day.


Again, the Adventist’s challenge to “Sunday-keepers” to find the text where the Sabbath was changed to Sunday is a straw-man argument. Rather, it was fulfilled in Christ. He has taken the place of the shadows of sacred days (Col 2:16-17). Even though the Catholics claim to have changed the Sabbath, it was God who changed the seventh day from a holy day to merely one more day of which every one is alike. In honor of the resurrection of Christ, most Christians have freely chosen to worship on Sunday.


16. Revelation 9:4.  Seventh-day Adventists changed the Sabbath a 16th time when the change the New Covenant seal of God from the Holy Spirit to the Sabbath Day.


Rev 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.


Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.


Adventtists teach that the seal in Revelation 9:4 is the Sabbath. In fact, the Sabbath is never called a “seal” in the Bible. Yet Adventists ignore the two things which are called seals—circumcision and the Holy Spirit. Circumcision was the seal of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 17), and that seal was replaced for the church by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 2 Cor. 1:22). The Bible clearly teaches that believers in the Lord Jesus and His finished work are sealed with the Holy Spirit who is a guarantee of believers’ security.


17. Seventh-day Adventists change the Sabbath a 17th time when they twist the word of God to make it appear that the entire early church worshiped on Saturday.


History affirms that only the Eastern Roman Empire worshiped on Saturday for several centuries. They did so, moreover, because they misunderstood the law and its lack of application to the church (Acts 21:20-21). However, God’s word affirms that Gentiles in the East were not required to worship on Saturday because the law was not required of Gentile believers (Acts 15:28; 21:25; Gal 4:10-11).


Adventists do not want others to know that Christians in the Western Roman Empire (before the Catholic Church existed) very early worshiped on Sunday. Most church historians except Adventists state this fact correctly. Although Catholics claim to have changed the Sabbath, they distort the truth that Constantine made the decision apart from pressure from the Western papacy. Still unbaptized, Constantine did not institute Sunday as a day off to obey the papacy; rather, he declared Sunday a legal holiday to bring unity to his empire.



Adventists have often invited discussion by asking, “Who changed the Sabbath?” Their answer to that question has historically been, “The pope.” We have seen, however, that Sabbath laws and applications have changed many times. God Himself expanded and explained Sabbath law throughout the history of Israel. The Lord Jesus revealed the truth of His superiority over the Sabbath, and the New Testament writers explained how Jesus Himself fulfilled the law—including the Sabbath. In the new covenant, the Holy Spirit replaces the law as the rule of godly living in the lives of believers (2 Cor. 3).


Finally, Adventists themselves have changed the biblical account of Sabbath. They have twisted the words of the New Testament to retain the Sabbath as a mandate for Christians. This misuse of Scripture, however, suppresses the truth and places adherents back under bondage to the law. In the words of Paul:


“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4).” †


Russell Kelly, has a Minor in Chinese Mandarin  from Yale University (1963), a B.A. from Southern Adventist University (1972), and a PhD from Covington Theological Seminary (2000). A former Adventist pastor, he has written on many subjects including Adventism, tithing and the resurrection. His writings can be found at internet book stores and You may email him at

Tuesday, August 01, 2023




Russell Earl Kelly, PHD, 706-401-1276, August 1, 2023


Rather than divide this study into categories, I implore the reader to very carefully and prayerfully digest each text one at a time and catalog it. Forget the jargon and non-biblical terms of theologians and attempt to discover the will of God.



In order to be honest to God’s Word, the tremendous number of participles inspired in God’s Word must be interpreted aS continuous actions. Because of this common omission, this author is convinced that salvation is not the result of either predestination or a one-time profession of faith --- it is conditional. Ignoring the true meaning behind most “eth” and “es” verbs damages our spiritual growth.


I place much emphasis on Greek participles because God did. Yet these gems of inspiration have been lost in the true meaning of “eth” and “es” words. As participles, God intended them to be understood as continuing action and not one-time professions of faith. This discovery has radically changed my life.





John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which is continually seeing (participle) the Son, and is continually believing (participle) on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Like scores of other verses with particiles, this verse teaches conditional salvation. It is the will of the Father to give to the Son those whom He foreknows will continuously see (participle) the Son and continuously believe on Him (participle). Compare John 5:21; Romans 4:24



Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

The choice to serve God, or not to serve God, was given to every Israelite. If no choice existed, this would make no sense.

Ezekiel 33:11… I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways.

God pleads with every wicked person to turn from his evil way and live.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jesus offered salvation rest to every person. He would not have offered it if it were not available.

Mark 16:16 He that continuously believeth (participle) and is baptized shall be saved; but he that continuously believeth not (participle) shall be damned.

            While initial faith justifies, continual faith maintains justification.

John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

There remains some of the image of God in fallen man. .

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the

Sons of God, even to them that continuously believe (participle) on his name.

The participle means that believers must continue believing in order to continually have the power to be Sons of God.

John 3:15 That whosoever continuously believeth (participle) in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Only continual believers are promised eternal life.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever continually believes (participle) in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Those quoting these verses usually omit the participle. One must continually believe in order to continually have everlasting life.  Also, the subjunctive “should” implies that not all will continue believing.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus’ mission was to die in order that every person in the world might be saved. Such is the love of God for sinful man.

John 3:18 He that continuously believeth (participle) on him is not condemned: but he that continuously believeth not (participle) is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

            The participle means that only continuous believers are not condemned.

 John 3:36 He that continuously believeth (participle) on the Son is having (present tense) everlasting life: and he that continuously believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

            Having everlasting life in dependent upon continuous believing.

John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

And it is the Father’s will to quicken those who continuously believe (John 6:40).

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that continuously heareth (participle) my word, and continuously believeth (participle) on him that sent me, is having (present tense) everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 

Again, “is having everlasting life” depends upon the believer continuing to hear God’s word and continuing to believe. God knows who they are by foreknowledge.  

john 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that continuously cometh (participle) to me shall never hunger; and he that continuously believeth (participle) on me shall never thirst.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that continuously cometh (participle) to me I will in no wise cast out.

The verse is true when the conditions are met.

John 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

The Father has given to the Son all those who continuously believe (John 6:40).

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The Father only draws those whom He foreknows will continuously believe on the Son (Jn 6:40).

John 6:45 … And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, is coming (present tense) unto me.

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that continuously believeth (participle) on me is having everlasting life.

John 6:54 Whoso continuously eating (participle) my flesh, and continuously drinking (participle) my blood, is having eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

If God forces this spiritual action, the texts have no meaning at all.

John 6:56 He that is continually eating [participle] my flesh, and is continually drinking [participle] my blood, is continually dwelling [participle] in me, and I in him.

            The Greek participles teach conditional salvation.


John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

            Foreknowledge, not predestination.

John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Again, the Father gave to the Son those whom He foreknew would continuously believe on Him. Continuous believers are elected to be saved. Thus, election is conditional and faith is the condition.

John 7:38 He that continuously believeth (participle) on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of running-living (participle) water.

Continuously running living water is a good illustration for those who continuously believe.


John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which continuously believed (past participle) on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

Dwell on this text.


John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not …

John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

Calvinists teach that they did not believe because God had not predestined them to be saved. Arminians teach that they did not believe because of their own free will choice.

John 10:27 My sheep are hearing my voice, and I know them, and they are following me:

Jesus’ sheep are continually hearing (present tense) His voice and are continuously following (present tense) Him. When they cease following Him, they cease being His sheep. All verbs are present tense.

John 10:28 And I am giving (present tense) unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish (subjunctive), neither shall any man pluck (future) them out of my hand.

Jesus is continuously giving eternal life to those who are continuously hearing His voice and continuously following Him.  The verb actions are inter-dependent. As in Romans 8:38, 39, it is certainly true that God will not allow those who are continuously hearing His voice and are continuously following Him to be plucked out of His hand.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Tthe Father “gave to Jesus” those whom He foreknew would continuously believe on Him (John 3:16; 6:40) and continuously love Him (Rom 8:28).

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that continuously believeth (participle) in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 11:26 And whosoever is still living (participle) and is still believing (participle) in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

John 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that continuously believeth [participle] on me, continuously believeth not [participle] on me, but on him that sent me.

Jn 12:45 And he that continuously seeth me seeth him that sent me.

Jn 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever continuously believeth [participle] on me should not [subjunctive] abide in darkness.

The abundant use of present active participles must be correctly interpreted as “continuous” actions. This very strongly teaches that salvation is neither a one-time profession of faith nor a predetermined calling which does not require free will.

Jn 12:47 And if any man is hearing my words, and is not believing, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 

Jesus’ mission was to save every person in the world.          

John 15:2 Every branch in me that continuously beareth [participle] not fruit he taketh away …

Does “taken away” refer to death, or falling from grace?

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that continuously abideth [participle] in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

This kind of exhortation is totally meaningless if it were not possible to cease abiding in Christ.

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Since “burned” is a strong implication of either the fires of Hades or Gehenna, the texts most likely teach that one can fall from grace.

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

John 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me.

The Holy Spirit (1) reproves the world of the sinfulness of sin and (2) convicts sinners of the need of righteousness in Christ. This would not be necessary if God had predestined individuals to salvation before they were born. Salvation is available for all.

John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Jesus was praying for His believing disciples who could conceivably cease believing and fall from grace. Again, the request makes no sense if it were not possible to fall from grace.

Jn 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

The Father gave to the Son those whom He foreknew would continuously believe in Christ (John 6:40). Only the one whom God foreknew would not continuously believe in Hm would be lost.

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet “having believed [aorist] and continue believing” [participle].

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that continuously believing [participle] ye might have [subjunctive] life through his name.

If individual salvation were a pre-determined choice of God not involving man’s free will choice, there would be no need to write anything.

Acts 2:44 “All who had believed [aorist] and continued believing” [participle] were all together and had all things common.

Acts 4:32 And the multitude of “the ones who had believed [aorist] and continued believing” [participle] were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.   

This is a turning point in the entire Bible. Peter realized that God loved all his create humans equally, wanted all to be saved and wanted all to hear his preaching. Salvation is available for all. Calvinist election and predestination make God a respecter of persons.

Acts 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number “who had believed [aorist] and continued believing” [participle] turned to the Lord.

Acts 13:12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

            A conditional free will choice was made after hearing the gospel.

Acts 13:39 And by him “all continuously believing” [present participle] “are being justified” [present passive] from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Justification by faith is conditional to those who continue believing.

Acts 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, “the ones who had believed [perfect] and continued believing” [participle] helped him much through grace.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that continuously believeth [participle]; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

It is God’s will to predestine and call to salvation everyone who freely continuously believes.

Rom 1:18 … men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Total depravity does not totally erase the image of God. Even the unbelievers are described as “holding the truth in unrighteousness.

Rom 1:19 that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Though totally depraved, the unrighteous still know enough of God’s truth to know they are sinners and deserve His wrath.

Rom 1:20 … invisible things … are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Though totally depraved, unbelievers know God exists.

Rom 1:21 … when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 1:23 … changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image …

Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up …

God gave up unbelievers because they used free will to reject Him … not because He predetermined not to elect them.

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie

Rom 1:26 … God gave them up … even women …

Rom 1:27 … also the men

Rom 1:28 … did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over … reprobate mind

Rom 1:29, 30 haters of God, disobedient to parents

Rom 1:31 Without understanding … without natural affection

Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (also 3:10-19)

Having foreknowledge of who would reject Him, God gave them up.



Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 

The Calvinist doctrines of election and predestination makes God a respecter of persons.     

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.

All who have a conscience may be excused and saved by continuous believing.

***Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that continuously believe [participle]: for there is no difference.

The righteousness of God is only upon those who continuously believe. It is not upon those who make a one-time profession of faith and stop believing.

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

It is God’s gracious will that those who have continuous faith in Jesus Christ be justified through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.  John 6:40.

It is God’s will that the payment for sin (the remission) be accomplished through faith (continuous believing) in Christ’s blood.  John 6:40.

***Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which is continuously believing [participle] in Jesus.

It is God’s will to declare His own righteousness and to justify those who continuously believe in Jesus.

Romans 4:3 Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (Gen 15:6)

It was God’s will to save Abraham because He believed God (continuous faith faith). By Omniscient foreknowledge, God knew Abraham would be faithful and continuously believe. This would have been a good opportunity to teach predestination --- that God caused Abraham to believe God.


***Rom 4:5 But “to the one not working” [participle], but to “the one continuously believing” [participle] on “the one continuously justifying” the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

God’s grants righteousness by faith to the ones continuously believing.

Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of “all the ones continuously believing” [present participle], though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.

God only imputes righteousness to those continuously believing.

Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Romans 4:16 Therefore it [the promise made by God to Abraham] is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

It is God’s gracious will that everybody be saved the same way, through faith. The promise made to Abraham was not because of predestination.

Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, “to the ones continuously believing” [present participle] on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.

Paul identified with those who are continuously believing.

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience [Adam] many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Christ] shall many be made righteous.

God willed it that all men might be saved through Christ’s substitution, but His will is not irresistible.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who “are continuously walking” [present participle] not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

God does not condemn those who are continuously walling after the Spirit.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Those who are called according to God’s purpose are those who continuously love God.


Oikamen    de       hoti  

We know   and     that


tois                agapoosin                     toon theon,

to the ones continuously loving    the God,


panta         sunergei                     eis   agathon

all things  He works together   for   good



tois                kata                   prostheisin kleetois  ousin

to the ones   according to purpose       called      being


This is the most important text in God’s Word which clearly defines “the called.” While Romans 8:29-30 are quoted to support the Calvinist viewpoint, Romans 8:28 is not.


1. Romans 8:28 has two equal parallel phrases beginning “to the ones.”

2. “Loving” and “being” are present tense participles meaning “continuously loving” and “continuously being” called.

3. “Those continuously loving” are those “continuously being” called.

4. The free will act of continuously loving precedes God’s call.

5. The order of salvation in 8:28 is: (1) free will loving God, (2) God’s calling, (3) foreknowledge and (4) predestination.

6. The order of salvation in 8:29 is: (1) foreknowledge, (2) predestination and (3) calling.

7. Since God, in His Omniscience, foreknows the future, He predestines those whom He foreknows will “continuously love Him” to be called and saved.

8. “Continuously loving” makes salvation conditional.


Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

“Foreknowledge” is the dividing word between Calvinists and Arminians. Calvinists teach that God knows the future because He is sovereign and causes everything to occur before it occurs. Arminians teach that God knows the future because He exists in all time, including the future. Arminians teach that, knowing the choices free will mankind will make allows Him to guide His own will. God works the circumstances of a believer’s life for good.

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Since this is an important text for both Calvinists and Eternal Security advocates, a thorough study is required. The question is “Who is ‘us?” Does it refer to predestined believers or to those who have only made a one-time profession of faith?

In 8:1 Paul is referring to “them which are in Christ Jesus, who are continuously walking (participle) not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

In 8:4 “us” refers to those “who are waling (participle) not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

In 8:5 “us” refers to “they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

In 8:6 “us” refers to they who are “spiritually minded.”

In 8:9 “us” refers to those in whom “the Spirt of God dwells.”

In 8:14 “us” are being “led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

In 8:15 “us” as newborn babes, call God “Abba, Father.”

In 8:16 “us” are those in whom the “Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

In 8:17 “us” are Christians who are prepared to “suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

In 8:19 us” cannot wait to see God; “the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

In 8:23 “us” are “we” who “ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

In 8:25 “us” are those who “patiently hope for that we see not.”

In 8:26-27 “us” are those whom the Spirit perfects our prayers.

In 8:28 “us” are those whom God calls because they continuously love God.

In 8:30 “us” who are “called, justified and glorified.”

In 8:33-34 “us” are those who cannot be charged with anything.”

In 8:35 “us” are those who cannot be “separate from the love of Christ.”

In 8:37 “us” are “more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


In Romans 9, as in 2:28-29, Paul anticipates and answers objections from Jewish Christians living in Rome. Is God unrighteous for rejecting Israel? No. God never promised that all Israelites would be saved, but only spiritual Israelites (whom He foreknew would remain faithful).

Romans 9:1-4 [Prayer for natural Israelites.]

Rom 9:6 … For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Rom 9:7 Neither, because they are the [physical] seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

As in Romans 2:28, 29, true Israelites have always only been spiritual Israelites, and not those of the flesh.

Rom 9:11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

It was never the purpose of God to fulfill the promised spiritual blessings of Abraham upon all the literal physical seed of Abraham.

Rom 9:13 Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Being Omniscient with foreknowledge, God knew that Jacob would eventually continuously love, believe and serve Him (Rom 8:28), God elected Jacob instead to Esau. God did not “hate” Esau concerning salvation; this was an election to receive, or not receive the promises made to Abraham. Esau was greatly blessed and did not accept gifts from Jacob (Gen 33;1; 36:1-7).

Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

God is not a respecter of persons (Rom 2:11). The justification of Jacob over Esau was due to God’s foreknowledge. Esau died a very wealthy and very blessed man (Gen 37:1-7).

Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

While it is true that the sinner cannot “will,” or choose, to be saved, it is also true that the sinner can yield to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:8,9), believe in Christ and continue believing in Christ. John 6:39-40 and Romans 8:28 are key to understanding Romans 9:16. It is God’s will to shew mercy to those who freely chose to continuously love Him.

Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

In context, the mercy of God towards Jacob and away from Esau related to the birthright promises; God chose whom He would bless and be merciful towards. The Calvinist explanation of these texts depicts God as a respecter of person. The word, “sovereign,” does not mean that God created mankind as robots without free will.

Rom 9:19 Thou [Jewish Christian] wilt say then unto me, “Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?”

The objection of the Jewish Christians was anticipated. The reply is “If we cannot resist God’s will, how can God condemn us?

Rom 9:20 [The answer] Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

As with Job, God does answer the question. God merely replies, “Who are you to question Me?”

Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Again, as with Job, God’s reply is “Do I not, as the Creator, have power to do as I choose?”  Contrary to the teachings of Calvinism, God is not asserting that He actually does exercise His sovereignty over His creation and causes everything to happen!!! He can do so if He so if and when He chooses. However, in His gracious mercy, God wills to predestine and elect those who freely choose to continuously believe in Him to salvation (John 6:40; Rom 8:28).

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Still answering the Jewish Christians’ objections, God has been patient (longsuffering) with the disobedient nation of Israel.

Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

God has (temporarily) discarded national Israel and (temporarily) replaced it with the Church comprised of both Jews and Gentiles.

Rom 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

Rom 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

Rom 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.

This should not be a surprise; the prophets taught it. National Israel rejected Jesus as its Messiah and God (temporarily) replaced national Israel with the Church.






Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

Rom 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

Rom 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone;

This is the conclusion of chapter 9. God knew through His Omniscience and foreknowledge that national Israel would eventually reject its Messiah and the Church would accept Him. Rather than stressing God’s sovereignty, it stresses righteousness by faith.

Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling-stone and rock of offence: and whosoever continuously believeth (participle) on him shall not be ashamed.

Instead of ending the chapter with a strong emphasis on election, predestination or sovereignty, Paul ends it with universal appeal for “whosoever continuously believes in Him to be saved.


The decree to save or damn particular persons was based on God’s foreknowledge of their faith or unbelief. God elects and rejects whom He pleases. God rejected Israel because Israel rejected salvation by faith (9:30). God has not rejected believing Israelites. The present rejection of Israel opens the door for Gentiles and is not final. The purpose of 9:30+ is to show that the sovereign God, who saves and damns who He pleases, is pleased to save believers. When God saves believers, He is choosing whom He will.

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end [GOAL] of the law for righteousness to “all continuously believing,” [present participle].

The participles never cease in God’s inspired Word. Salvation is conditional.

Rom 10:10 For with the heart “righteousness is continuously being believed upon” [present passive]

Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, “every one continuously believing” [present participle] “shall not be ashamed.”

Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

God is not a respecter of persons. While Israel was His chosen nation, He held them to a greater degree of accountabliy.

Rom 10:13 For the ones continuously calling (participle) upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Both Jew and Gentiles had the same standard of salvation.  See Romans 2:14-15.

Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. …

Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

This seriously disagrees with Reformed Theology which teaches that the church is spiritual Israel which has permanently replaced national Israel as God’s chosen nation. Since God foreknew and predestined national Israel to be His chosen nation, why has He replaced it with the Church? Chapter 11 proves that God has not discarded national Israel but will reconstitute it with believing Israelites.

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. …

Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

The remainder of the chapter proves that God has not permanently (in the first century) rejected Israel, but believing Israelites will again be grafted in.

Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

God foreknew that national Israel would reject its Messiah and the church age would follow. He also foreknew that the Church was temporary and would be removed before God finished His plans for national Israel (Dan 9:24-27).

Rom 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

Rom 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Rom 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

National Israel comprised of believing Israelites will attain its fulness after the church has been removed during the Millennium (Rev 20).

Rom 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.

Israel did not fall because of predestination. Israel fell because of unbelief.

Rom 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Rom 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

It is possible to fall from grace. If believers do not continue in God’s goodness, they will be cut off.

Rom 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

Unbelieving Israelites can be grafted in if the consistently believe.

Rom 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

It has always been God’s plan of salvation to save those who freely chose to continuously love God and believe the gospel Rom 8:28; 1:16).

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

God’s gifts and calling of believers in national Israel has not, and will not, change. He keeps His promises.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Rom 10:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

The roles have been reversed. Instead of believing Israelites taking the gospel to unbelieving Gentiles, now believing Gentiles are to take the gospel to them.

1 Cor 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel …

1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are continuously being saved [present passive participle] it is the power of God

If election and predestination were predetermined by God apart from the free will of mankind, the preaching of the gospel would not be necessary. Salvation is an ongoing present process to those who are presently consistently believing in Christ.

1 Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that continuously believe [present active participle].

            Only those who persevere by continuing to believe will be saved.

1 Cor 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness.

Preaching “Christ crucified” convicts unbelievers and draws them to Christ to be saved. It is unnecessary if predestination were true.

2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

According to Reformed Theology, God Himself has blinded unbelievers. Why does the Bible tell us that Satan has? Did God give Lucifer free will, or is God the cause of unbelief.

2 Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

2 Cor 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

            Christ died for every person who has ever lived.

2 Cor 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

            Christ’s atonement was sufficient to save every person who ever lived.

Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to “the ones continuously believing” [present participle].

God wants to save everybody, but does not force the will. (2 Pet 3:9)

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

            Not by predestination. (John 6:40; Rom 10:28).

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

Similar to the “us” of Romans 8:35-38, the “us” are “the apostle Paul, the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus.” (1:1) Was Paul “chosen by the will of God” because God “caused” him to be saved, or because God, in His Omniscience, foreknew that Paul would faithfully serve him?

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

In Romans 8:28-29, it is the will of God to elect and predestine those who continuously love God. This text is very similar.

Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

The elect (those who choose to continuously love God, are predestined to praise the glory of His grace. They are described as “accepted in the beloved.”

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Eph 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Everything the believer has is because of Christ.

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Similar to Romans 9:30, Jews, Gentiles and even heaven itself is united by the blood of Christ.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Similar to Romans 8:28-29, it was God’s will that “those who first trusted in Christ” also have an inheritance in heaven.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard and kept on hearing [past active participle] the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed and kept on believing [past active participle], ye were being sealed [past passive] with that holy Spirit of promise.

Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Literally, “After believers have heard and keep on hearing and have believed and keep on believing, they are being saved and sealed.”

God may act unconditionally or on the basis of conditions He sovereignly establishes. God’s plan of salvation is wholly gracious --- of grace and from grace. Faith (which comes by hearing (Rom 10:17) is the condition for experiencing salvation. The decree in eternity was one to administer salvation conditionally by faith. In Ephesians 1 faith is presupposed for predestination. For no one but a believer is predestinated through adoption through Christ.

Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power “to the one continually believing” [participle] according to the working of his mighty power.

Phil 3:9 And be found in him, “not continuously having” mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but (continuously having) that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

1 Thess 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in “the ones continuously believing” [present participle].

The word of God works in those who are continuously believing.

2 Thess 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in “all the ones who have believed [aorist] and continue believing” [participle] in that day.

God will be admired by the one who have continuously believed when Jesus returns.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

***1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

It is God’s will to save all men, but He does not force His will; it is resistible.

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Calvinistic predestination removes the need for a mediator because mankind has no free will choice concerning salvation.


**1 Tim 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

            Christ’s atonement was sufficient for every person who ever lived.

***Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.

            Every person who ever lived is given sufficient grace to be saved.

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

            Christ’s atonement was sufficient for every person ever born.

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open sham.

Only an incredible twisting of the Scriptures denies that this is a description of a true believer who turns and denies the gospel and Christ.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for “the one continuously coming” [participle] to God must “be continuously believing” [present tense] that he is, and that he is a rewarder of “the ones continuously seeking” [participle] him.

1 Peter 1:1 Peter … to the …

1 Pet 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Calvinists teach that the elect are those whom God has forced His will upon and predestined. Arminians teach that the elect are those whom God foreknows will continuously believe and persevere.

***2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

2 Pet 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

2 Pet 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

            These texts prove that it is possible to resist grace and fall from grace.

***2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

God is not willing that any should perish, but His will can be resisted.

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

            Jesus’ death was sufficient to save every person.

1 John 5:1 “The one continuously believing” [present participle] that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that continuously loveth [present participle] him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Only those who continuously believe and continuously love Him are born of God.

1 John 5:5 Who is he that is continually overcoming [present participle] the world, but “the one continuously believing” [present participle] that Jesus is the Son of God.

Only those who continuously believe are continuously overcoming the world.

1 John 5:10 “The one continuously believing” [present participle] on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: “the one not continuously believing” [present participle] God hath made him a liar; because he “has not believed” [aorist] the record that God gave of his Son.

Those who continuously believe have an inner witness that they are saved.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto “the ones continuously believing” [participle] on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye “are having “eternal life, and that ye “may” (not “will”) believe [subjunctive] on the name of the Son of God.

Only the ones continuously believing now they are Sons of God.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

It is possible to fall from grace. A name must already be in the book of life in order to be blotted out.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

 Salvation is available to any person.


Reader’s Note: Most of the following individual statements are from Grace, Faith and Free Will, by Robert L. Picirilli




CALVINISM: NO FREE WILL: The Spirit graciously causes the pre-elected sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. 


ARMINIANISM: God has determined to save those who through the grace of the Holy Spirit shall believe and shall persevere to the end. (PIC13). John 6:40




Man has no saving grace of himself; concerning salvation, he cannot think, will or do anything to be saved.  Everything involved concerning salvation is by grace.



CALVINISM: Since God is Sovereign, He causes everything to happen. If He could be resisted, He would not be Sovereign.


ARMINIANISM: Grace can be resisted. Sin exists because Satan successfully resisted God.



ARMINIANISM: God’s foreknowledge allows Him to be both Sovereign and Omniscient. Being Sovereign does not mean God created robots who cannot choose to freely love Him. Love does not exist unless freely given and God is love! Sovereign kings on earth have not controlled the thoughts of their subjects. God created mankind with freewill but His foreknowledge allows Him to know which choices man will make all still allows Him to fulfill His purposes.

Fallen man is not capable of any good to justify himself. Fallen man continues in some of the image of God and receives common grace and general revelation, but is always falling short.

All future events are in accord with God’s overall plan and purpose; nothing ever happens that is outside His knowledge, control or thwarts His ultimate plan.

God really does know which way man will choose.

God has unconditionally decreed to administer salvation conditionally.

Sin originates in the free exercise of the will of the creature.

God decreed to justify believers in, or through Christ.

Faith is the condition for election. If salvation is by faith, election is by faith. If salvation is conditional, election is conditional.

As believers alone are saved, believers alone are predestined to salvation.

The individual faith (or unbelief), while truly contingent and free, is certain.

Election and reprobation are parallel opposites. Election is gracious and eternal founded in Christ, and conditional and personal in application.

Sin is the sole meritorious cause for God’s wrath and condemnation.

Reprobation is just and eternal punishment for sin and conditional and personal in application. The Bible teaches salvation by faith rather than salvation by unconditional election. The Bible condemns the dammed not merely for their sins, but for rejecting Christ’s redemptive work.

Christ died to provide salvation for al, a provision that is effective only when applied to those who believe PIC100

By His redemptive work, salvation was made accessible to all.  PIC104

God’s will that all people make their own free choice takes precedence over His will that all be saved. We might call this a distinction between His absolute will and his conditional will. PIC112

The Calvinist has problems making the universal call sound real since they do not accept it as forceful. To them, “will not” means “cannot.”  PIC117

Man’s will is no longer naturally free to choose God apart from the supernatural work of the Spirit of God.  PIC149

Arminius held with total depravity in respect to the need for grace. PIC150

For Calvinists regeneration solves the problem of depravity; for the Arminian, prevenient grace solves the problem.  PIC153

For Arminius, prevenient grace precedes actual regeneration and, except when finally resisted, invariable leads on to regeneration. PIC153

Pre-regenerating grace means that the Spirit of God overcomes man’s inability by a direct work on the heart, a work that is adequate to enable the unregenerate person to understand the truth of the gospel, to desire God, and to exercise saving faith.  PIC154    Drawing faith of John 6:44.

When used in its fullest sense, salvation is election. If election is not by faith, then neither is salvation.   PIC169

Final salvation is for those who persevere in believing. The intercessory prayers of Jesus are for believers. Jn 17:11, 12   PIC190

The continuing work of the Holy Spirit is conditional on continuing faith. PIC191



(1) Exe 32:32, 33), (3) Eze 3:20; 18:24, (4) Matt 5:13, (5) Matt 5:27, (6 Matt 6:15), (7) Matt 10:33, (8) Luke 8:13, (9) Luke 9:52, (10) Luke 13:8, (11) John 15:1-6, (12) 1 Cor 3:17, (13) 1 Cor 8:10, (14) 1 Cor 9:27, (15) 1 Cor 10:1-4, (16) Gal 3:1, (17) Gal 5:1, (18) Gal 5:4, 19) Gal 5:19,21), (20) Gal 5:24, (21) 1 Tim 1:18-20, (22) 1 Tim 4:1-2, (23) 1 Tim 2:12, (24) 1 Tim 4:10, (25) Heb 3:12, (26) Heb 3:18, (27) Heb 4:1, (28) Heb 4:6, (29) Heb 4:11, (30) Heb 6:4-6, (31) Heb 10:38-39, (32) Heb 12:8, (33) Heb 12:13, (34) Heb 12:14, (35) Heb 12:15, (36) Heb 12:17, (37) Js 5:12, (38) 1 Pet 5:8-9, (39) 2 Pet 2:1, (40) 2 Pet 2:20-22, (41) 2 Pet 3:17, (42) 2 John 8-9, (43) Jude 5, (44) Jude 6, (45) Rev 2:4-5, (46) Rev 3:2, (47) Rev 3:5, (48) Rev 3:16-17



They quote Matthew 13:11 it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” but do quote Jesus’ explanation in 13:15 “because their heart is gross, their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed.” Neither do they quote John 9:39, “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.”


 ETERNAL SECURITY TEXTS:  Jn 10:28; Jn 3:36; 4:4; 5:24; 6:54 PIC195

God will not fail to keep any promise. PIC194


CALVINISM: Faith is a part of the work of salvation wrought for the elect rather than a condition the individual must meet in order to be saved.  Berkoff PIC146

Since election is unconditional (and must be for God to be sovereign, it follows that salvation -- in the broadest sense of the word – rests in the decree of God and not on the individual’s faith. PIC169

ince the atonement was intended to save only the elect and is applied efficaciously to them by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit, it follows that salvation –still in the broadest sense—is by atonement and grace rather than by faith. PIC169

The seed of faith is implanted in man in regeneration … It is only after God has implanted the seed of faith in the heart that man can exercise faith. PIC170

Limited atonement is required by the fact that saving faith is a gift of God given only to the elect. The atonement also secures the fulfillment of the conditions that must met in order to obtain salvation. Rom 2:4; Gal 3:13,14; Eph 1:3,4; 2:8; Phil 1:29; 2 Ti 3:5, 6    PIC96

he doctrine of limited atonement is implied in and logically necessary to the Reformed teaching about unconditional salvation.