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The Top Fifteen Excuses Used to Avoid the Sabbath(Part 1)

It is absolutely incredible how many excuses are given by Christians who claim to truly love God come up with to justify why they do not need to obey one of the Ten Commandments that defines what sin is, and is a precious SIGN and blessing from God. As stated earlier, I have been given enough excuses to write an entire book. This is extremely dangerous and the many Christians who have deliberately sought out an excuse as to why they can disobey God are in for a very rude shock. Jesus says that to even those that do miracles in His name and call Him Lord but break any of the Commandments, He will say, “depart from me I never knew you.” Can you imagine the shock of so many Christians in the end that thought they could make excuses to disobey one of God’s Commandments and get away with it?

The words of Jesus on fulfilling the law are all we need to know the Sabbath truth. Jesus said that not even a letter of the Ten Commandments will pass as long as heaven and earth are still here. On the words of Jesus alone it is Ten unchanged Commandments and it is just as serious to worship idols or murder as it is to not keep the Sabbath Holy. This is far too serious an issue not to fully investigate. It is one thing to be ignorant of the truth but to not want to investigate if you are ignorantly living in sin will still condemn you. We must have a love of the truth as Jesus is truth and the Word is truth. Jesus means what He says and says what He means and we are not free to manipulate the words of any of the Ten Commandments to suit ourselves and still enter the kingdom. The Sabbath Commandment says we have six days to do our work but the Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord and we are to keep the Seventh day Holy. The other six days are secular and are not Holy and the Commandment is very clear that we cannot choose our own day. See also Exodus 16.

Here are fifteen responses to the most popular excuses used that all contradict the words of Jesus. Select each link to find the real truth for each excuse or misunderstanding.

-Should we keep Sunday in honour of the resurrection

-Has the Calendar changed the Sabbath day

-How do we know which day is the Sabbath

-Can we keep any day as the Sabbath

-What day is the Lord's Day

-Was the Sabbath only for the Jews

-The Sabbath was Made for Man

-Were the Ten Commandments abolished

-Is Jesus our Sabbath rest

-Was the Sabbath abolished

-We are not under Law but under Grace

-Did Jesus break the Sabbath

-Is the Sabbath in the New Covenant

-How could the majority wrong about the Sabbath

-Was the Sabbath changed to Sunday in the Bible and Sunday Keeping in Corinth

Should we keep Sunday in honour of the resurrection?

Jesus did rise on the first day of the week, but nowhere is there the slightest legitimate hint in the Bible for us to keep this day holy. See also the Sabbath to Sunday change or who changed the Sabbath to Sunday for the first day of the week misunderstandings. History confirms that some Christians around 90-120 A.D. changed to Sunday to avoid the intense persecution for Judaism using the resurrection as their excuse, and there are always those who will do their own thing contrary to God’s Word, but obviously it is not man’s prerogative to change God’s law for any reason. Jesus said, “…Full well you reject the Commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.” Mark 7:9

Many honourable events occurred on certain days of the week, but we have no command to keep them Holy. Jesus died for our sins on Friday. But not one Bible text hints that we should observe this day of such great significance that is probably the most significant event recorded in all history. It marks the moment our death sentence was commuted and our salvation assured. So how do we honour the crucifixion? Do we worship on Friday to honour the crucifixion? No! As long as you break the bread and drink the cup of communion you show the Lord’s death till He comes. Communion is what commemorates the crucifixion on Friday. It was a dramatic moment when Jesus rose from the grave on that Sunday morning, but again there is no biblical evidence whatsoever that we should observe it in honour of the resurrection. Not one instance of Sunday observance has been found in the recorded Scriptures. As with communion, honouring the resurrection should be done how God instructs us, not how man decides. This of course is done through Baptism which is a memorial of the resurrection commanded in the Bible, but it is not Sunday keeping. Paul wrote in Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Communion commemorates the Friday crucifixion and Baptism commemorates Christ’s death, burial and Sunday resurrection.

Those who believe that Sunday observance honours His resurrection cite the upper room meeting of the disciples on the same day He arose from the grave. To them that gathering was to celebrate His resurrection. But when we read the Bible record of the event, we discover that the circumstances were quite different. Luke tells us that, even though the disciples were confronted with the eyewitness story of Mary Magdalene, they “believed not.” Mark 16:12-14 states, “After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” Obviously, none of those disciples believed He was raised, so they could not have been joyously celebrating His resurrection. John explains their reason for being together, “…the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews…” John 20:19. See also “Sunday Keeping in Corinth” and the erroneous Wednesday crucifixion theory pushed by some.

Has the Calendar changed the Sabbath day?

The calendar has been changed but it was never changed so as to affect the weekly cycle of days or confuse the days of the week. We can be one hundred percent positive that our seventh day is the same day Jesus observed when He was here. Pope Gregory XIII was responsible for a calendar change in 1582, but it did not interfere with the weekly cycle. Our present Gregorian calendar was named after him when he made that small change in 1582.

What did Pope Gregory XIII do to the calendar? Before 1582 the Julian calendar had been in effect instituted by Julius Caesar about 46 B.C. and named after him. But the Julian calendar had calculated the length of the year as 365 1/4 days, which was incorrect as the length of a year was actually eleven minutes less than 365 1/4 days. Those eleven minutes accumulated, and by 1582 the numbering of the calendar was ten days out of harmony with the solar system. Pope Gregory fixed the problem by simply dropping those ten days out of the numbering of the calendar. It was Thursday, October 4, 1582, and the next day, Friday, should have been October 5. But Gregory made it October 15 instead, dropping exactly ten days to bring the calendar back into harmony with the heavenly bodies. Were the days of the week confused? No. Friday still followed Thursday, and Saturday still followed Friday etc. The same seventh day remained and the weekly cycle was not disturbed in the least. When we keep the seventh day on Saturday, we observe the same day Jesus kept, and Luke 4:16 tells us Jesus did this every week.

The U.S. Naval Observatory has also reported that there has never been any change in the continuity of the weekly cycle.

How do we know which day is the Sabbath?

This is a fallacy that has comforted many in their disobedience to the fourth Commandment. Beside the fact that God would not allow the day to be lost, here are four other proofs that identify we still have the correct Sabbath day:

1. Many people today have never given much thought to which is the seventh day of the week. I assumed for many years that Sunday was the seventh day and Monday was the first day. You can imagine my surprise when I found out this was incorrect. An easy way to confirm this is to just look up Saturday in any normal dictionary. Here are two.

Saturday n. the seventh day of the week; day after Friday; day of worship among Jews and some Christians.

Saturday n. the seventh and last day of the week: the Sabbath.

2. The Scriptures say Christ died on Friday and rose on Sunday, the first day of the week. Practically all churches acknowledge this fact by observing Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Here is the Bible evidence: “This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.” Luke 23:52-54. This clearly shows Jesus died the day before the Sabbath. It was called “the preparation day” because it was the time to get ready (to prepare) for the Sabbath. Verses 55 and 56 go on to say, “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the Commandment.” Note that the women rested over the Sabbath “according to the Commandment” and that the book of Luke was written decades after the cross showing the Sabbath unquestionably remained unchanged. The Commandment says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath,” so we know they were observing Saturday. The very next verse says; “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared… And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.” Luke 24:1-2. How clearly these three consecutive days are described for us. He died Friday, the preparation day, commonly called Good Friday. He rested in the tomb on the seventh day, Sabbath, “according to the Commandment.” That was Saturday. Then on Sunday, the first day of the week, Easter Sunday to many, Jesus arose from the grave. Anyone who can locate Good Friday or Easter Sunday will have absolutely no difficulty finding the true Sabbath day. See also Wednesday crucifixion.

3. The third proof lies in the fact that in over 100 languages of the world, the seventh day Saturday is still called the Sabbath. In Italy it is called Sabbato, in Spain Sabado, in Portugal Sabbado, in Russia Subbota and Poland Sobota. All of these names mean “Sabbath” or “rest day” in their various languages. What does this prove? It proves that when those 100 languages originated at Babel in Genesis 11, Saturday was recognized as the Sabbath day and was incorporated into the very name of the day. Except for those languages that have adopted the pagan names for the days of the week, the seventh day is still called the Sabbath as the Lord named it at the time of creation. Strong’s dictionary shows the word translated “rest” in our English Bibles in Genesis 2:3, is actually “Sabbath” in the Hebrew. See who changed the Sabbath to Sunday or what day is the Sabbath for a table of languages.

4. Here is the most conclusive proof of all for the true Sabbath. The Jewish people have been observing the seventh day from the time of Abraham, and they still keep it today. Here is a whole nation, millions of individuals who have been counting off time meticulously, week after week, calendar or no calendar, for thousands of years. Could they have lost track of days? That would be impossible! The only way they could have lost a day would have been for the entire nation to have slept over an extra day and for no one ever to tell them about it afterwards. There is no scientific or astronomical reason for measuring time in cycles of seven days. The origin of the week is found in the creation story and it is an arbitrary arrangement of God and has been miraculously preserved for one reason, which is because the holy Sabbath day points to the creative power of the only true God. It is a sign of His sovereignty over the world and over human life, a sign of creation and redemption. Is this not the reason God will preserve Sabbath keeping throughout eternity? We read in Isaiah 66:22-23 “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” The Sabbath is so precious to God that His true Children will observe it throughout all time to see in the beautiful new heavens and the new earth. If the Sabbath is so precious to God then why isn’t it precious to us? If it was made and kept since creation and we keep it for all eternity, then why isn’t everyone keeping it now?

Can we keep any day as the Sabbath?

By this argument Satan prepared the world to accept a substitute in place of the Sabbath which God had specifically commanded. Upon the tables of stone God wrote the great unchanging law of the ages with His own finger. Every word was serious and meaningful. Not one line was ambiguous or mysterious. Sinners and Christians, educated and uneducated, have no problem understanding the simple, clear words of the Ten Commandments. So does God mean what he says or not? God does mean what He says and He says what He means. He said unmistakably to keep the seventh day, not any day in seven. No one has tried to void that law as too complicated to comprehend. Some say they keep the Sabbath every day of the week. Is this what God said to do? My Bible says “Six days you shall work but the Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” Can we just respond to God by saying, “You got it wrong God, the Seventh day is not your Sabbath we can just keep any or every day.”  Isn’t that dangerous to mock God and His Commandment like that? God desires us to worship Him every day, doing everything at all times to His glory, however, as to a Holy day of worship, God has commanded only one and has set apart no other day. We worship God seven days a week but if we kept the Sabbath seven days a week, we would not be Holy, we would be lazy.

Most of the big Ten begin with the same words: “Thou shalt not,” but right in the heart of the law we find the fourth Commandment which is introduced with the word, “Remember.” Why is this one different? Because God was commanding them to call something to memory which already existed but had been forgotten. Genesis describes the origin of the Sabbath in these words, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made...And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3. Which day did God bless and sanctify? The seventh day. How was it to be kept holy? By resting. Could any of the other six be kept holy? No. Why? Because God commanded not to rest those days but to work. In Leviticus 10, Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron were supposed to bring Holy fire from the alter but instead brought, as the Bible phrases it, strange fire. Did the Holy fire and the secular fire look the same? Yes. Were they chemically the same? Yes. Was God happy with the secular fire instead of Holy fire? Leviticus 10:2 says, “And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” God was definitely not happy with their strange fire. So how does God feel when we offer Him a secular day instead of His Holy day? How does God feel when we offer a day used for sun worship (Sunday) that God detested? Does God’s blessing have any value or is it worthless? Why do parents pray for God to bless their children? The seventh day is different from the other six because it has God’s blessing and is Holy. Why did God make this day Holy? He made this day Holy because He is Holy and it is for intimate Holy time with Him. Ever heard the expression you can’t change it because it’s written in stone? It is very relevant that the Commandments were written in stone by God’s finger. When God puts it on stone like this it’s solid, it’s eternal and it’s immovable and you can’t change it. God gave many other Laws to Moses at Mt Sinai but they were not written in stone and most of those were nailed to the cross. The Ten Commandments were the only thing God wrote in stone.

Why did God bless the day? Because He had created the world in six days. It was the birthday of the world, a memorial of the mighty act of creation. It is the test Commandment of our love and obedience to God while also celebrating creation and reminding us He can and will do it again. Can the Sabbath memorial be changed? Never. It points backward to an accomplished fact. July 4 is Independence Day. Can it be changed? It can’t change anymore than your birthday. It is a memorial of your birth, which happened on a set day. History would have to run through again to change your birthday, or Independence Day, or to change the Sabbath day. We can call another day Independence Day, and we can call another day the Sabbath, but that will never make it so. It is the day that it is.

Did God ever give man the privilege of choosing his own day of rest? He did not. In fact, God confirmed in the Bible that the Sabbath was settled and sealed by His own divine selection and should not be tampered with. Read Exodus 16 concerning the giving of manna. For 40 years God worked three miracles every week to show Israel which day was holy.

(1.) No manna fell on the seventh day.

(2.) They could not keep it overnight without spoilage

(3.) But when they kept it over the Sabbath, it remained sweet and fresh.

But some Israelites had the same idea as many modern Christians. They felt that any day in seven would be all right to keep holy: “And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my Commandments and my laws?” Exodus 16:27-28. Sadly, these people thought another day could be kept just as well as the seventh day. Perhaps they were planning to observe the first day of the week, or some other day which was more convenient for them. This seems to be the plan for many Christians today. So how did God respond to these non-Jews? God accused them of breaking all His Commandments and laws.

Would God say the same thing to those who break the Sabbath today? Of course! He is the same yesterday, today and forever, He changes not. God made it clear that, regardless of our feelings, those who work on the Sabbath are breaking His Commandments. James explains that breaking even one Commandment is sin and is to break all of them just as God demonstrated in Exodus 16: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” James 2:10-11.

What day is the Lord’s Day?

The Bible uses the phrase the “Lord’s day” only once in Revelation 1:10, so we know the Lord does have a special day. But there is not one single verse in the whole Bible that refers to Sunday as the “Lord’s Day.” However, the Bible does plainly identify the Sabbath as the Lord’s Day. The only day ever blessed by the Lord or claimed by Him as His holy day is the Seventh day Sabbath. Matthew 12:8 “For the son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” Jesus did not say I AM the Sabbath, or I am LORD Sabbath! Jesus said, “I am Lord OF the Sabbath!”

It was Jesus who made the Sabbath at creation and is the reason for His claim to be Lord of the Sabbath day. (Mark 2:28) If Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath day, then the Sabbath is the Lord’s Day. The vision John had on “the Lord’s day” according to Revelation 1:10 had to be the Sabbath. It is the only day so designated and claimed by God in the Bible. In writing the Ten Commandments, God called it “the Sabbath of the Lord.”

Lucium who was an early church historian wrote, “In the year 325, Sylvester, Bishop of Rome (AD 314-337), officially changed the title of the first day, calling it the Lord’s day.” (Lucium, Historia Ecclesiastica, p. 739) One would ask why Sylvester would make any claim about changing the title of the first day if the term “Lord’s day” was already widespread before his edict.

It was in fact early in fourth century when Sunday was officially named the “Lord’s Day” which was about 200 years after some of the so called early Church fathers in Alexandria and Rome first changed to Sunday in fear of persecution and against God's will. Note carefully the following Catholic quote:

“St John speaks of the Lord’s day (Rev 1:10) but he does not tell us what day of the week that was, much less does he tell us what day was to take the place of the Sabbath ordained in the commandments. St. Luke speaks of the disciples meeting together to break bread on the first day of the week. Acts 20:7. And St. Paul (1 Cor 16:2) orders that on the first day of the week the Corinthians should lay in store what they designated to bestow in charity on the faithful in Judea: but neither the one or the other tells us that this first day of the week was to be henceforth a day of worship, and the Christian Sabbath; so that truly the best authority we have for this ancient custom is the testimony of the church. And therefore those who pretend to be such religious observers of Sunday, whilst they take no notice of other festivals ordained by the same church authority, show that they act more by humor, than by religion; since Sundays and holidays all stand upon the same foundation, namely the ordinance of the (Roman Catholic) church.” — Catholic Christian Instructed, 17th edition, p. 272-273.

Was the Sabbath only for the Jews?

This falsehood has gained such strength that multitudes of Christians refer to it as the “Jewish Sabbath.” But nowhere do we find such an expression in the Bible. It is called “the Sabbath of the Lord,” (Exodus 20:10) but never “the Sabbath of the Jews.” Luke was a Gentile writer of the New Testament and often made reference to things which were peculiarly Jewish. He spoke of the “nation of the Jews,” “the people of the Jews,” “the land of the Jews,” and the “synagogue of the Jews.” Acts 10:22, 12:11, 10:39 and 14:1. But please take note that Luke never referred to the “Sabbath of the Jews” or the “Jewish Sabbath” and we do find that he mentioned the Sabbath repeatedly.

Christ unmistakably taught that “the Sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27. It does not say the Sabbath was made for Jews. Some say since it was made for man we can choose not to keep it. The fact is that all the Commandments were made for man. So does this mean we can choose to ignore all of them? Of course not! Man was made on the sixth day and the only reason that we have a seventh day is because God added it for a Sabbath rest for man. It was made for man at creation so what has changed? Nothing! The Pharisees thought the Sabbath was made just for them so Jesus was correcting them and said the Sabbath was made to be a blessing for ALL man and not a day of legalistic rules that they had turned it into. Picking corn on the Sabbath for a meal was a necessity and not unlawful.

The fact is that Adam was the only man in existence at the time God made the Sabbath. There were no Jews in the world for at least 2,000 years after creation. It could never have been made for them. Jesus used the term “man” in the generic sense, referring to mankind. The same word is used in connection with the institution of marriage which was also introduced at creation. Woman was made for man just as the Sabbath was made for man. Certainly no one believes that marriage was made only for the Jews. The fact is that two beautiful, original institutions were set up by God Himself before sin ever came into the world; marriage and the Sabbath. Both were made for man, both received the special blessing of the Creator and both continue to be just as holy now as when they were sanctified in the Garden of Eden. Note that the “children of Israel” God was angry with for not keeping the Sabbath in Exodus 16:25-30 were not Jews either. They were Abraham’s seed just as we are. Galatians 3:29, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” We are in fact spiritual Jews! See also Romans 2:28-29.

Jesus was the One who made the Sabbath in the first week of time. There was a reason for His claim to be Lord of the Sabbath day (Mark 2:28). If He is the Lord of the Sabbath day, then the Sabbath must be the Lord’s Day. John had a vision on “the Lord’s day,” according to Revelation 1:10. That day had to be the Sabbath. It is the only day so designated and claimed by God in the Bible. In writing the Ten Commandments, God called it “the Sabbath of the Lord.” Exodus 20:10. Adam and Eve were not Jewish. “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” Genesis 2:3. Sanctified means “to be set apart for holy use.” This was pre-sin and the only ones in Eden to “Sanctify” the Sabbath were Adam and Eve. The other Nine are not “Just for the Jews.” Does idolatry, murder, stealing and adultery apply only to Jews? The Sabbath is also for the “stranger” who are Gentiles. Exodus 20:10. In “the new earth ... from one Sabbath to another, shall ALL FLESH come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:22-23. Grace saved Gentiles kept the Sabbath. “The Gentiles besought that these words be preached to them the next Sabbath ... Paul and Barnabas ... persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.” Acts 13:42-43. Luke was a Gentile who kept the Sabbath. Luke was the only Gentile writer in the New Testament. He travelled with Paul and wrote, “On the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side.” Acts 16:13. It was the Creation Sabbath. Both Luke and Paul knew it. See also who changed the Sabbath to Sunday or is the Sabbath Saturday or Sunday for further proof that it predates Judaism.

This argument has also led many to believe the Sabbath existed only for a limited period of time following creation. But is this a fact? Actually, the Sabbath could never be just a type or shadow of anything, for the simple reason that it was made before sin entered the human family. Certain shadows and typical observances (ordinances) were instituted as a result of sin and pointed forward to the deliverance from sin. Such were the sacrifices employed to symbolize the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God. There would have been no animal sacrifices had there been no sin. These offerings were abolished when Christ died on the cross, because the types had met their fulfilment (Matthew 27:51). But no shadow existed before sin entered this world; therefore, the Sabbath could not be included in the ceremonial law of types and shadows. The ceremonial laws were temporary but all of God’s moral law is eternal as it mirrors His loving, unchanging Holy character. He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8.

Paul referred to the temporary system of ordinances in Colossians 2:14-16 as being “against us” and “contrary to us.” He tied it to the meat offerings, drink offerings and yearly festivals of the law that were “blotted out.” It is true he referred to sabbaths also in the text, but take careful note that he called them “sabbath days (note also the original Greek here is plural) which are a shadow of things to come.” Were some sabbath days blotted out at the cross? Yes, there were at least seven yearly sabbaths which came on certain set days of the month, and they were nailed to the cross. They were shadows and required specified meat and drink offerings. All of these annual sabbaths are described in Leviticus 23:24-36, and then summarized in verses 37 and 38: “These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: beside the Sabbaths of the Lord...” The Scripture differentiates between the annual, shadowy sabbaths and the weekly “Sabbaths of the Lord.” The ceremonial sabbaths were only for the Jews and were blotted out at the cross as they had been added as a consequence of sin. But the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments was hallowed before sin and Jews and later incorporated into the moral law written by the finger of God. It was eternal in its very nature as love is everlasting. 

The Sabbath was made for man

Christ taught that “the Sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27. Some seem to think that since Jesus said this that we can choose not to keep it or choose our own day. But this is just another excuse for treading the Son of God underfoot. (Hebrews 10:26-29) Note also that Jesus did not say the Sabbath was made for “Jews.” He said the Sabbath was made for “man” meaning all people!

The People's New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson

“The Sabbath was made for man. The Sabbath rest; that is, a rest of one day in seven was made for man, not for Jews only. This implies that it is to be a universal institution; that the good of man requires it, and that it is not an arbitrary enactment, but a wise and benevolent provision for the welfare of the race. Experience shows that men are happiest, most moral, most prosperous and healthiest where it is devoutly observed.”

Man was made on the sixth day and the only reason we have a seventh day of the week is because God added it for a Sabbath rest for man. Hence the Sabbath was made for man at creation so what has changed? Absolutely nothing!

The fact is that all the Commandments were made for man. So does this mean we can choose to ignore all of the other Commandments as well? Obviously not!

So what was happening when Jesus said this?

The Pharisees assumed the Sabbath was made just for them so Jesus corrected them stating that the Sabbath was made to be a blessing for ALL man and not a day of legalistic rules that they had enforced. They had accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by picking corn for sustenance and so Jesus pointed out that the Sabbath was made to be a blessing to man and not a burden.

This statement of Jesus in Mark 2:27 is not some magical subclause that annuls the fourth Commandment!

Picking corn on the Sabbath for nourishment was a necessity. It was not wrong for Jesus to heal the sick and to meet human needs on His Holy Day. (Matthew 12:10-12) Jesus said that not even a comma of the law is going to change (Matthew 5:17-19) and Isaiah prophesied “The LORD … will MAGNIFY the law…” (Isaiah 42:21) not make the law less strict by allowing us to pick and choose if we want to obey a Commandment or not. God Commanded, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy ... the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:8-10.

Were the Ten Commandments abolished?

It grieves me to say that it is commonly taught, without any scriptural authority, that the Ten Commandments were abolished at the cross. Proponents of this belief never stop to realize that, if there is no law, there is no transgression as Paul plainly states in Romans 4:15. This would mean that no one has sinned since Christ’s death, and therefore, we would have no need for a Saviour! God’s law is a gift to mankind, yet humanity thanklessly rejects it. As good and glorious as this law is, human nature is hostile to it. (Romans 8:7) Selfishly, it wants to have everything which God’s way of life brings but it rebelliously resents travelling the road God demands one should take to obtain His blessings. Paul writes in Romans 7:12 that “…the law is holy, and the Commandment holy and just and good.”

Notice how God’s moral law (The Ten Commandments) is a reflection of God’s most beautiful and Holy character. To declare that the God’s moral law is no longer relevant is an insult and attack on God, His Holy character and love. See more detailed chart on the Ten Commandments Compared to God's Character.

God’s Law equals God’s Character

» Romans 16:26: God is Eternal

» Psalm 111:7-8: The law is Eternal

» Luke 18:19: God is Good

» Romans 7:12: The law is Good

» John 4:24: God is Spiritual

» Romans 7:14: The law is Spiritual

» Deuteronomy 32:4: God is Just

» Romans 7:12: The law is Just

» Psalm 145:17: God is Righteous

» Psalm 119:172: The law is Righteous

» 1 John 3:3: God is Pure

» Psalms 19:8: The law is Pure

» Matthew 5:48: God is Perfect

» Psalm 19:7: The law is Perfect

» I John 4:8: God is Love

» Romans 13:10: The law is Love

» I John 1:5: God is Light

» Proverbs 6:23: The law is Light

» Psalms 48:1: God is Great

» Hosea 8:12: The law is Great

» Deuteronomy 32:4: God is Truth

» Psalm 119:142: The law is Truth

» Isaiah 5:16: God is Holy

» Romans 7:12: The law is Holy

When God led the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, He delivered to them in fiery majesty the Ten Commandments. This holy law was spoken by God, written by God, recorded on tables of stone, and is of eternal duration. At the same time another law, of temporary usage, was also delivered to the children of Israel. This law dealt with the ceremonial rites of the Jewish sanctuary service, and concerned itself with a system of religion that passed away at the cross. Large sections of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy describe in detail this temporary ceremonial code. This Law can easily be identified in the Scriptures. It talks about circumcision (a religious Jewish rite), sacrifices, offerings, purifications, ceremonial holy days, and other rites associated with the Hebrew sanctuary service. Let the Bible explain itself and clarify the differences between these two laws. See a more detailed chart on the Ten Commandments and the Ceremonial Law.

The Moral Law

(The Ten Commandments)

The Ceremonial Law

(A temporary Jewish law)

1. Spoken personally by God. Exodus 20:1-22

1. Spoken by Moses. Exodus 24:3

2. Written by God's finger. Exodus 31:18

Exodus 32:16

2. Written by Moses hand. Exodus 24:4

Deuteronomy 31:9

3. Written on stones. Exodus 31:18

3. Written in a book. Exodus 24:3, 7

Deuteronomy 31:24

4. Handed by God its writer to Moses.Exodus 31:18

4. Handed by Moses its writer to Levites. Deuteronomy 31:25-26

5. Deposited by Moses "in the ark." Deuteronomy 10:5

5. Deposited by the Levites by the side of the ark. Deuteronomy 31:26 ARV

6. Deals with moral precepts.

Exodus 20:3-17.

6. Deals with ceremonial ritual matters. (See Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy)

7. Reveals sin. Romans 7:7

7. Prescribes offerings for sins. (See Leviticus)

8. Breaking of the law is sin. 1 John 3:4

8. No sin in breaking, for now "abolished." Ephesians 2:15. (Where no law is, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15)

9. Should "keep the whole law." James 2:10

9. Apostles gave no such commandment to "keep the law." Acts 15:24

10. Because we "shall be judged" by this law.

James 2:12

10. Not to be judged by it. Colossians 2:16. See also what is the law in Galatians.

11. The Christian who keeps this law is "blessed in his deed." James 1:25

11. The Christian who keeps this law is not blessed. (See for example, Galatians 5:1-6)

12. "The perfect law of liberty." James 1:25

(Cf. James 2:12)

12. The Christian who keeps this law loses his liberty. Galatians 5:1, 3

13. Paul said, "I delight in the law of God."

Romans 7:22 (Cf. verse 7)

13. Paul called this law a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1; 4:3, 9 (See Acts 15:10)

14. Established by faith in Christ.

Romans 3:31

14. Abolished by Christ. Ephesians 2:15

15. Christ was to "magnify the law and make it honorable." Isaiah 42:21

15. Blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. Colossians 2:14

To the unbiased reader of God’s Word, it becomes more than clear that the Ten Commandments are binding upon all men for all time in every place, whereas no man is bound to keep the Ceremonial Law, often referred to as the ordinances that were fulfilled in Christ. The Ceremonial Law with its sacrificial system pointed the people to the coming of Christ. Every time the blood of a beast was shed in the old Jewish temple, it was a dramatic reminder to the onlooker that One would come and die for his sin. Hence, John the Baptist pointed to our Lord and declared the significant words, “Behold the Lamb of God.” When He died on Calvary’s cross the veil of the great temple curtain was torn from top to bottom, to signify that the entire ceremonial system was forever finished. Matthew 27:50-51. No longer do the priests need offer up sacrifices. The One great and perfect Sacrifice was offered that Friday afternoon, when the true Passover Lamb bowed His head and died. When He cried out, “It is finished”, the old Ceremonial Law that pointed the people to His sacrificial death was nailed to the cross. But NOT so with the Ten Commandments. There was nothing temporary about them. They are to last as long as heaven and earth. Matthew 5:17-19

This is how Matthew 5:17-19 reads, “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. Therefore whoever shall relax one of these Commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least [by those] in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.”

Jesus certainly did not have any intentions of making any change; in fact, Jesus condemned men who taught that it was acceptable to break God’s law, and commended those who taught the necessity of keeping it. This one passage alone is the absolute proof that the Sabbath was not abolished or the day changed and everything else has to be misunderstandings or intentional excuses to justify why we don’t need to obey one of God’s Commandments. Jesus said, “…Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law…”

This is what The People’s New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson comments in regards to the meaning of a “Jot” or “Tittle.”

One jot or tittle. Jot means the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, while tittle refers to a simple turn by which one letter is distinguished from another. The expression, “jot or tittle,” was proverbial for the smallest part.

Some say, “To fulfil the law is to bring an end to the Ten Commandments and abolish them.” There is overwhelming evidence that proves this is absolute nonsense, such as this passage would contain more contradictions than we could count. If fulfilling the law ends the law then the law is destroyed, yet Jesus declares in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to destroy the law. Not only did Jesus not come to destroy the law but He actually came to magnify it. We should not be strangers to this fact as we are given a Messianic prophecy that tells us that Christ would in fact do exactly this. Isaiah 42:21, “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will Magnify the law, and make it HONOURABLE.” In the remainder of Matthew chapter 5 we see how Jesus has without a doubt magnified the law. We note the following; Matthew 5:19 from not only obeying the law but teaching it also, 5:21-22 from do not kill to not being angry with your brother without cause, 5:27-28 from do not commit adultery to being guilty of adultery if you look at a woman lustfully, 5:31 from divorcing by a letter to any man who divorces his wife except for sexual immorality, causes her or anyone who marries the divorced woman to commit adultery, 5:33-37 from not breaking oaths made to the Lord to do not swear at all, either by heaven or earth or by Jerusalem. And do not swear by your head, let your Yes be Yes, and your No, No, 5:38-42 from an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth to turning the other cheek and if someone sues you for your coat, give them your cloak also, 5:43-45 from love your neighbour and hate your enemy to love your enemies and bless them that curse you and pray for those that are spiteful and use you.

Does this give the impression that Jesus came to destroy the law or that fulfilling the law ends it? What truth seeker could possibly come to that conclusion after reading this passage? If this was so, then all the following things have also ended. Clearly this is NOT possible! These scriptures also use the same Greek word G4137 used in verse 17.

Matthew 3:15 “…it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.”

John 17:13 “…that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

2 Thessalonians 1:11 “…and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.”

Philippians 2:2 “Fulfil you my joy, that you be likeminded, having the same love…”

John 17:12 “…that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

Colossians 1:25 “…which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God.”

2 Corinthians 10:6 “…having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Thayer definition for G4137:

1) to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full.

2) to render full, i.e. to complete. 2a) to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim. 2b) to consummate: a number. 2b1) to make complete in every particular, to render perfect. 2b2) to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking). 2c) to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise. 2c1) of matters of duty: to perform, execute. 2c2) of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish. 2c3) to fulfil, i.e. to cause God’s will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment.

The most relevant part for the word “fulfil” in Matthew 5:17 in the Thayer dictionary is “2C3.” Jesus did not come to destroy the law; He obeyed and carried out the law to the full and magnified it! Jesus never contradicts Himself. If this word “fulfil” meant destroy, Jesus would be saying “I did not come to destroy the law I came to destroy the law!”

So is the law only for the Jews? Does it apply to New Covenant Christians? Notice Acts 7:38-39 five chapters after the start of the New Testament church. This is Moses who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us, whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. Speaking to the Jews, Stephen, a converted Christian, says that God gave these “living us,” Christian and Jew. They are still in effect today as a complete spiritual law, and we Christians and or Jews do not have the authority to choose which ones we want to obey. This event on Mount Sinai was the basis for making the Old Covenant, but what is the basis of the New Covenant? “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Hebrews 8:10 (quoting Jeremiah 31:33).

From all the above proofs, two points are clear.

1. God’s Ten Commandments (not the Nine Commandments and one suggestion) is not a temporary law designed to end or become obsolete at the cross or any other time. God’s moral law can no more change than God’s character can. He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8.

2. His law is not a special law for one nation only. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Romans 1:16). Neither Gentiles nor Christians are excluded from the laws of God. (e.g., Exodus 12:38, 48-49; Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-7)

Is Jesus our Sabbath rest ending the Sabbath?

Jesus cannot give us physical rest. We get this rest by keeping the Sabbath as God Commanded, not how we decide is acceptable. The proponents typically use the passage below but usually stop before verse nine. If they don’t, then they certainly never give you the honest meaning, if any, of the word translated “rest” in the KJV Bible.

Hebrews 4:1-5 “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.” Below is the remainder of this passage.

Hebrews 4:6-9 “Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a [Sabbath] rest to the people of God.”

The word “rest” in Hebrews 4:9 is the Greek word “sabbatismos.” The King James and New King James Version and a few other Bibles render the word as “rest” while the Amplified Bible the ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV and NRSV and several other translations somewhat more correctly render that word as “Sabbath rest.” A few Bibles such as the Darby translation transliterate the word as “Sabbatism.” Its literal translation however, is “Sabbath observance” and “The Scriptures” translated by The Institute for Scripture Research render it as such while the Thayer dictionary and the Bible in Basic English give the equally literal phrase “Sabbath keeping.” See also “the Sabbath from creation to eternity.”

Speaking of the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. which was nearly forty years after the cross, Jesus says pray that you do not have to flee persecution on the Sabbath day. (Matthew 24:20) Why would you need to worry about physically fleeing on the Sabbath if it was just resting in Jesus? See Sabbath in the New Testament or Ten Commandments and the Sabbath in the New Testament for more.

The following facts prove the Sabbath does remain a physically rest and that the excuse Jesus is our Sabbath rest is just one more fallacy from our adversary.

1. The Greek word for “rest” (sabbatismos) in Hebrews 4:9 unquestionably refers to a physical rest and a literal “Sabbath keeping” or “Sabbath observance.”

2. It was more than 30 years after the cross that Luke wrote that when the body of Christ was being prepared, “they rested the Sabbath day according to the Commandment.” (Luke 23:56) The New Covenant was sealed by the blood of Jesus on Friday night when He died on the cross, and yet Luke says they were still physically keeping the Sabbath according to the Commandment and after the New Covenant had begun. Any lawyer and the Word will tell you that it cannot be changed after the death of a testator. This one alone kills this appalling excuse!

3. Isaiah 66:22-23 says we still physically keep the Sabbath in the New Heaven and Earth.

4. Jesus words show that everyone would still be physically keeping the Sabbath at 70 A.D. (Matthew 24:20)

5. The Sabbath cannot be a spiritual rest if one had to worry about physically fleeing on this day.

6. Our Creator knew man needs a physical rest at least one day a week and Jesus as our Lord does not change that requirement.

7. God and His law changes not. Hebrews 13:8, Psalms 111:7-8, Luke 16:17.

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