O ne of the most common arguments advanced by those who teach that God condones the practice of dining out on the Sabbath is that those who oppose this sin are preaching bondage. Mr. Pack is no different when condemning A Sabbath Test. The real question is: Just who is preaching bondage? In other words, who wants God's people to go back into Egypt? Below is Mr. Pack's accusation followed by our response.
David C. Pack:
"The article you have just read was written to give people—both older brethren and those new to God’s truth—an advance warning, so that they will not be captured by the cunning arguments of those who appear to be standing fast for the truth. In reality, the advocates against eating out on the Sabbath are teaching a new form of bondage that appears to follow the letter of the law, while ignoring the weightier matters. As the apostle James wrote, the Law of God is not a surrender of liberty; it allows us to continue in God-given liberty (Jms. 1:25; 2:12)."
This is a very interesting observation. There is only one thing wrong with it. IT ISN”T TRUE! Mr. Pack may shout this accusation until the cows come home but it will not add one ounce to its voracity. Furthermore, he offers no evidence to support his claim. It is simply a tirade cloaked as a voice of authority. However, being that he brought it up, let’s see who is teaching bondage and who is teaching liberty—and when we do, let’s present REAL PROOF..
A World in Bondage
Today, those who work on the Sabbath, whether in a restaurant or anywhere else, are truly in bondage. However, it is a very unique bondage. In truth, they are slaves to sin (Jn. 8:34, Rom. 6:16)—a sin that has been sold by mankind’s greatest enemy (2 Cor. 4:4, Rev. 12:9). This being the case we believe it is reasonable to conclude that those in God’s Church who avail themselves of this sin are condoning both the slavery and the SLAVE MASTER. This is what God was conveying when He gave the fourth commandment.
This Great Lawgiver actually explained why His people were to release their servants from labor on the Sabbath. Notice the commandment:
But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shall not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor your ox, nor your ass, nor any of your cattle, nor the stranger that is within your gates; that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day. (Deut. 5:14-15)
Here, God is telling His people that labor on the Sabbath is a form of bondage. This is the very bondage He freed them from when He delivered them out of Egypt. This being the case, it is hard to understand why anyone would want to return to that bondage—even to look at it. Now think of this in terms of our own lives and what is being taught by Mr. Pack.
The Miracle of Deliverance
The scriptures reveal that just as the children of Israel were enslaved in Egypt until God miraculously delivered them, those whom He has called in this present age were also once enslaved in “spiritual” Egypt. God’s people today were once in bondage. We once believed the things the world believes, taught the things the world teaches, and practiced the things the world practices. We even profaned God’s Sabbath and holy days. We did so because we served the same Slave Master the world serves today.
However, our calling reveals that a Great Deliverer has again rescued His people from a world that does not know Him or His way. For this reason, God’s people today should never compel the unbeliever (a slave in Egypt) to work on their behalf on the Sabbath. We must refrain from this practice because we were miraculously delivered from this very BONDAGE ourselves. Remember God’s words, “YOU were once a SLAVE in Egypt” (Deut. 5:15).
With this in mind, God’s people must understand that their Great Deliverer would no more permit His people today to return to this world and avail themselves of its sin, than He would permit the Israelites of yesterday to return to Egypt and avail themselves of their sin. As much as Dave Pack may want to go back into Egypt, God forbids it and warns of its consequences. Notice what He says.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. (Rev. 18:4)
Consider these words in the context of dining out on the Sabbath. In order to engage in this practice, God’s people must literally return to a world that does not know Him—a world that tramples on this great day. In the Old Testament that world was called Egypt. In the New Testament it is called Babylon. But make no mistake about it; these worlds are one and the same.
When God commanded His people to cease from working on the Sabbath and to not compel others to work on their behalf, He was making a powerful statement. He was commanding His people to COME OUT OF EGYPT, to COME OUT OF BABYLON! In other words, God’s people are not to be a part of the very sin that once gripped their lives. This is because they are now FREE! For Mr. Pack to teach otherwise is to promote BONDAGE!
Proclaiming a Great Hope
Although the world today is truly in bondage, God’s people stand as proof that it will not always be that way. By refusing to allow the slave of this world to labor for them on God’s Sabbath, His people are proclaiming a great hope – a hope that one day all who are enslaved will be FREE. At that time they, too, will “remember the Sabbath and keep it HOLY.”
Unfortunately, those who think that people like the authors of A Sabbath Test are leading God’s people back into bondage, are actually doing that very thing themselves. They are teaching God’s people that it is acceptable with their Deliverer for them to go back to Egypt. We on the other hand want them to COME OUT OF EGYPT!
In truth, God’s word identifies the sins of the world as “things past.” In other words, they are a part of a world that once enslaved His people. Here is how Paul put it.
Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conduct in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Eph. 2: 2-3)
The application of these words to the issue of dining out on the Sabbath couldn’t be more clear. What takes place in restaurants (whether done by personnel or patron) is a sin that was directed by none other that Satan himself. No matter how Dave Pack or others try to sugar coat it, God’s people MUST abandon it—relegating it to a time prior to their conversion.
"Eating is a Necessity"
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