The Theology of Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Baptist, Conservative, Dispensational

July 14, 2008


There are no holy days commanded for the church to celebrate in the New Covenant.

Ex 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

Ex 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Ex 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

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.

Ex 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

The Old Covenant holy days, especially the seventh-day Sabbath were only given to national Israel as the sign and seal of the Old Covenant.  Israel was forbidden to share its covenant with other nations. If the holy days were meant for all nations, then they would lose their peculiar function as the sign and seal of the Old Covenant for national Israel.

See my book and web site at: www.exposingseventhdayadventism.com or www.tithing-russkelly.com/sda.

Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest …

The Bible does not tell us how long the first creation Sabbath lasted because it was not bordered by “an evening and a morning” and continued until sin entered.

2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

“In Christ” believers have been restored by imputed righteousness to the sinless perfection of the first creation Sabbath with perfect communion with God 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Jesus rested and taught on the Jewish Sabbath because he was a Jew living under the jurisdiction of the Law. In no instance did Jesus command any of his Gentiles converts to submit themselves to the Law or its priesthood. In fact, they could not have obeyed such a command.

Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.

The Jerusalem church discussed the issue of Gentiles observing the Law in Acts 15 and 21.  In both chapters they concluded that the Gentile converts should not be subjected to the burden of the Law. This included circumcision, Sabbath-keeping, tithing and unclean foods.

The first century was a time of great flux as old traditions were being slowly replaced by new worship traditions. It would take several generations for Jews to accept new modes of worship.

Acts 16:5; 17:11, 17; 19:9 “daily”

1 Cor 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

1 Cor 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

1 Cor 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

Time and again the book of Act depicts Paul entering into a city and taking advantage of the open pulpit in the synagogues on the Sabbath. However, as soon as he had been removed from the synagogues Acts shows that he usually reverted to teaching and preaching every day of the week.

Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Gal 4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

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.

The Gentiles also had been accustomed to many holy days in pagan rites. Paul left the matter of holy days up to the individual believer but feared that both Jews and Gentiles might fall back into placing too much importance to holy days.

Most conservative Baptists worship on Sunday, not because it is a holy replacement for the Saturday Sabbath of the Jewish Ten Commandments, but because it has been freely chosen by the Church as a day to honor the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.