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The Top Fifteen Excuses Used to Avoid the Sabbath(Part 2)

Was the Sabbath abolished?

Many Christians believe that Colossians 2:16, Galatians 4:10 and Romans 14:5 are referring to the Seventh day Sabbath and even some believe that Colossians 2:16 refers to the Ten Commandments rather than the referenced ceremonial law. Before continuing with these three very misunderstood verses, let’s give a quick explanation on how the Ten Commandments and the Ceremonial law relate to each other. If a man sinned, he broke LAW No. 1 - the moral law of the Ten Commandments. So then he brought his offering, according to LAW No. 2 - the law of sacrifices, and he received forgiveness. LAW No. 1 defines sin, for sin is the transgression of the moral law. (1 John 3:4) LAW No. 2 defined sacrifices, the Ceremonial law which was the remedy for sin. When the Israelite sinned, he broke the first law. To secure forgiveness he had to obey the second law. So here are two very distinct laws. This is the biggest area of confusion when it comes to concluding the Sabbath or Ten Commandments were abolished. Law No. 2 was ONLY for the Children of Israel and Jews until the cross while Law No. 1 is eternal and for EVERYONE.

Colossians 2:16 reads, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat (offering), or in drink (offering), or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:” and so the argument is the fourth Commandment was deleted from stone. What was done away with here was called the ordinances (Ceremonial Law). This is seen by noting what Paul said two verses earlier. Colossians 2:14 states, “blotting out the handwriting (Moses) of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.” Paul then goes on to say, so “Let no man therefore judge you…of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:” Luke 1:6 KJV shows that the ordinances and the Commandments are two totally different things. It states, “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the Commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” And Hebrews 9:1 explains that the ordinances of this ceremonial sanctuary system are now gone leaving only the Ten Commandments, “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.”

It was the ordinances that were nailed to the cross, “not one jot or one tittle” of the law. The main differences between the Commandments and the ordinances are that the Commandments were written by God’s finger, written in stone, placed inside the Ark of the Covenant, are love, eternal, for everyone and it is sin to break them. The ordinances were in Moses’ handwriting, written in a book, placed on the outside of the Ark of the Covenant, are not love, not eternal and were only for the Jews and practised because of sin. 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.

Note how every part of these verses in Colossians 2:14-17 refers to the ceremonial law. Unfortunately, most modern Bible translations have translated the phrase meat or in drink in verse sixteen incorrectly. The King James Bible is one of the few translations that has translated these words correctly and is therefore recommended in these studies. So much gets lost at times when translators don’t have a good understanding of Jewish culture and terminology. To be referring to clean or unclean foods here would be totally out of context for the passage but when it is kept in context, every single point here refers to the various feast days that belonged to the sacrificial sanctuary system. Further clarification is found in the book of Hebrews which is believed by most to be written by Paul. You will note that the context of this passage is undoubtedly the sanctuary service in regards to sacrifices and offerings, of which Christ became the One and final perfect sacrifice for us. The meat and drink described in this passage has to be meat and drink offerings by the unmistakable context of this passage in Hebrews 9:7-14 below. Paul speaks of meat and drink offerings and carnal ordinances which were imposed until the time of reformation, being Jesus Christ who obtained eternal redemption for us and brought an end to the sacrifices prescribed by the ordinances of the ceremonial law once and for all. This continues to illustrate the perfect context of Colossians 2:16 and as per Colossians 2:14, we see that everything referenced belongs to the ordinances of the ceremonial law which Paul said was against us and contrary to us and it was taken out the way and nailed to the cross by Jesus’ perfect sacrifice.

Extra verses are given to show context. Hebrews 9:7-14 “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Nowhere in this passage are clean and unclean foods referred to and there never were unclean drinks, only unclean foods and these had no relationship to the ordinances that were nailed to the cross. What is spoken of here in both Colossians and Hebrews are references to meat and drink offerings that were part of the sanctuary service that are in the ordinances of the ceremonial law. This is all that can possibly be referred to and when done so it fits absolutely perfectly into the context of both passages as it remains totally in context with the sanctuary service.

So let’s look at Colossians 2:14-17 again to see if everything does actually refer to the ceremonial law by the fact that the context of the passage remains the same throughout. “Blotting out the handwriting”, the ceremonial law was written in Moses handwriting. “Ordinances”, Strong’s dictionary also directly translates this word to ceremonial law, “that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way”, the ceremonial law is now against us and contrary to us, as Christ has become that One and perfect sacrifice for us. “Nailing it to his cross”, and of course now that Christ has become that perfect sacrifice for us, no longer are meat and drink offerings and animal sacrifices and all associated Holy days necessary, so the ceremonial law was nailed to the cross. Moving onto verse sixteen, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink”, and as we have now seen were part of the ceremonial law. “Or in respect of an holyday”, these Holy days included such days as Passover, Feast of Weeks and many others. “Or of the new moon”, new moon celebrations were also part of the ordinances. “Or of the sabbath days”, Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles and many others were all sabbath days. When spoken of in plural and the context of the passage is the ceremonial law, then the sabbaths referred to can be nothing else but ceremonial. Verse seventeen goes on to say, “Which are a shadow of things to come.” These sabbaths were called a shadow because Passover was a shadow of the crucifixion and Feast of Weeks was a shadow of Pentecost. These Old Testament feasts and holy days were shadows of what was to come and once those things had come and gone then the shadows disappeared. Here is one verse from Leviticus that refers to such feasts and Holy days, which involves meat and drink, that is meat and drink offerings. Leviticus 23:37, “These are the feasts of the LORD, which you 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, everything upon his day.”

You can also find the perfect parallel between Colossians 2:16 and Ezekiel 45:17. You will note in Ezekiel 45:17 that this was a sin offering, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel for breaking God’s Commandments as prescribed by the ceremonial law until such time that Jesus nailed this law to the cross. Parentheses are added. This is what Israel had to do to make atonement for sin, which is the breaking of God’s Ten Commandments and of course includes the Seventh Day Sabbath. This clearly demonstrates the issue and leaves no doubt as to what Paul was explaining to the Colossians. Note first the Strong’s dictionary definition for holyday used in Colossians 2:16. You will note that the words “feast” and “holyday” are synonymous and so the following two verses are a perfect match.

G1859 heorte, Of uncertain affinity; a festival: - feast, holyday.

Colossians 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat [offerings], or in drink [offerings], or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”

Ezekiel 45:17 “And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, [holydays] and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.”

Here is a table comparison for those who prefer this format.

Colossians 2:16

Ezekiel 45:17

meat, or in drink,

meat offerings, and drink offerings,

of an holyday, Strong's - feast, holyday

in the feasts,

or of the new moon

and in the new moons,

or of the sabbath days:

and in the sabbaths,

These various Holy days or festivals concerned days that took place at various times of the year as well as yearly Holy days such as the Day of Atonement and monthly like the New Moon celebrations already discussed. As these were a shadow of things to come and those things have past and the shadows are now gone, to still observe these days would be putting us back into unnecessary bondage. This is what Paul is talking about in Galatians 4:9-10 which says, “But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years.” Paul is definitely not saying you can ignore anything that is a day, month or year in the Bible. He is referring to something that includes all of these things, which is and can only be the ceremonial law. Compare with Colossians 2:16. See what is the law in Galatians for more clarity on this very misunderstood book.

The ordinances of the ceremonial law was a law of servitude and bondage. Galatians 4:3 “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:” Paul continues telling the Galatians that they are no longer servants in Galatians 4:7 “Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” God’s Commandments on the other hand are a law of liberty. James 1:25 “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” And for further clarity James 2:11-12 reads, “For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if you commit no adultery, yet if you kill, you are become a transgressor of the law. So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” If we keep these points in mind and explore the context of the chapter when studying the Bible it will help us see what law is being spoken of.

See Colossians 2:16 and Galatians 4:10 Commentaries.

While still on this very misunderstood topic of the ceremonial law, let’s cover another scripture that is frequently misinterpreted. Such misunderstandings are common with God’s Ten Commandment law and this temporary law which pointed the way to Christ. I have chosen to use some Bible Commentaries for this scripture, as I believe they explain it very well. The scripture concerned, is mainly Romans 14:5, but I have given the surrounding verses so the context of the passage can be seen. Romans 14:1-5, “Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God has received him. 4 Who are you that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yes, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one [feast] day above another: another esteemeth every [feast] day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Note that the word “alike” in verse 5 does not exist in the Greek text and is an added word, which tends to convey an idea which the apostle never designed or intended. Parentheses are added.

To begin with, it must be admitted that the word “Sabbath” is very significantly not even found once in this entire chapter. People assume Paul is talking about the Sabbath. But is he really? The chapter begins, “Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations.” Romans 14:1. The NKJV reads, “disputes over doubtful things.” This chapter concerns “doubtful things” and is not a discussion of the Ten Commandments. God’s “Big Ten” are not “doubtful,” but exceedingly dear and written personally with the finger of God on two tables of stone.

It becomes clear from Romans 14 and 15, that many misunderstandings existed between Jewish and Gentile Christians in relation to certain customs, which were sacredly observed by one but disregarded by the other. The main subject of dispute was concerning meats and days and the day issue is not over the Seventh day Sabbath but over the various feast days of the ceremonial law. The converted Jew retaining respect for the Law of Moses abstained from certain meats and observed ceremonial days while the converted Gentile understood that Christianity put him under no such obligation or regard to ceremonial points. It also appears that mutual and heartless judgments existed among them and that brotherly love and reciprocal tolerance did not always prevail. Paul exhorts that in such things no longer essential to Christianity, that even though both parties had a different way of thinking they might still have an honest and serious regard for God. Paul further explains they should not therefore, let different sentiments hinder Christian fellowship and love, but they should mutually refrain and withhold and make allowance for each other and especially not carry their Gospel liberty so far as to prejudice a weak brother or a Jewish Christian.

The “weak” brother “eats” some things and “esteems one day above another” while the strong brother believes that he may “eat all things” and “esteems every day alike.” Romans 14:2, 5. The early Church was made up of Jewish believers and Gentile converts. Although Paul did not specify what “days” he was referring to, he could only be talking about the “esteeming” or “not esteeming” of certain Jewish fast or feast days and certain pagan feast days when people were especially “eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols.” 1 Corinthians 8:4.

A “strong” Jew who knew that “an idol is nothing” would have no scruples about eating “meat in an idols temple” on a pagan feast day. 1 Corinthians 8-4, 10. Paul warned these “strong” Jewish believers, “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. [the Gentile convert from idolatry]. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple [on a pagan feast day], shall not the conscience of him that is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; and through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish [if he is drawn back to idolatry], for whom Christ died? But when you sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth.” 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

There is NO evidence that the discussion about “the weak and the strong” in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 has anything to do with the Sabbath. God has never said “one man may choose to esteem MY Sabbath, while another man may choose to esteem Sunday, or every day alike.” He has NOT left it up to us to “pick a day.” Rather, God has commanded, “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy ... the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:8-10. The book of Romans is very clear, “by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20; 7:7, 12

When the context of the passage is about foods or various days and especially things associated with the sanctuary service, then we must realize that it is not possible that the Ten Commandments are being referred to. When God’s Moral law is being referenced, you will always know as the context of the passage will be centred around love, as that is what God’s law is. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8, “He that loves not, knows not God; for God Is Love.” As God is eternal, then Love also must be eternal. 1 John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” Love and obedience are inseparable from God and the true Christian, as God is Love and Love is God. This is why the Ten Commandments are eternal and unchanging, as God changes not, and Love changes not. The Sabbath is a love Commandment!

The remainder of this topic will now be left to some of the world’s best theologians so no doubt can be left as to what the meaning of this passage is all about.

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, Romans 14:5 - One day above another - As new moons, and other Jewish festivals. Let every man be fully persuaded - That a thing is lawful, before he does it.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, Romans 14:5 - One man esteemeth one day above another - Perhaps the word ημεραν, day, is here taken for time, festival, and such like, in which sense it is frequently used. Reference is made here to the Jewish institutions, and especially their festivals; such as the Passover, Pentecost, feast of tabernacles, new moons, jubilee, etc. The converted Jew still thought these of moral obligation; the Gentile Christian not having been bred up in this way had no such prejudices. And as those who were the instruments of bringing him to the knowledge of God gave him no such injunctions, consequently he paid to these no religious regard.

Another - The converted Gentile esteemeth every day - considers that all time is the Lord’s, and that each day should be devoted to the glory of God; and that those festivals are not binding on him. We add here alike, and make the text say what I am sure was never intended, viz. that there is no distinction of days, not even of the Sabbath: and that every Christian is at liberty to consider even this day to be holy or not holy, as he happens to be persuaded in his own mind. That the Sabbath is of lasting obligation may be reasonably concluded from its institution (see the note on Genesis 2:3) and from its typical reference. All allow that the Sabbath is a type of that rest in glory which remains for the people of God. Now, all types are intended to continue in full force till the antitype, or thing signified, take place; consequently, the Sabbath will continue in force till the consummation of all things. The word alike should not be added; nor is it acknowledged by any MS. or ancient version.

Let every man be fully persuaded - With respect to the propriety or non-propriety of keeping the above festivals, let every man act from the plenary conviction of his own mind; there is a sufficient latitude allowed.

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Romans 14:5 - One man esteemeth - Greek “judgeth” krinei. The word is here properly translated “esteemeth;” compare Acts 13:46; Acts 16:15. The word originally has the idea of “separating,” and then “discerning,” in the act of judging. The expression means that one would set a higher value on one day than on another, or would regard it as more sacred than others. This was the case with the “Jews” uniformly, who regarded the days of their festivals, and fasts, and Sabbaths (i.e. ceremonial Sabbaths) as especially sacred, and who would retain, to no inconsiderable degree, their former views, even after they became converted to Christianity.

Another “esteemeth - That is, the “Gentile” Christian. Not having been brought up amidst the Jewish customs, and not having imbibed their opinions and prejudices, they would not regard these days as having any special sacredness. The appointment of those days had a special reference “to the Jews.” They were designed to keep them as a separate people, and to prepare the nation for the “reality,” of which their rites were but the shadow. When the Messiah came, the Passover, the feast of tabernacles, and the other special festivals of the Jews, of course vanished, and it is perfectly clear that the apostles never intended to inculcate their observance on the Gentile converts. See this subject discussed in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians.

Every day alike - The word “alike” is not in the original, and it may convey an idea which the apostle did not design. The passage means that he regards “every day” as consecrated to the Lord; Romans 14:6. The question has been agitated whether the apostle intends in this to include the Christian Sabbath. Does he mean to say that it is a matter of “indifference” whether this day be observed, or whether it be devoted to ordinary business or amusements? This is a very important question in regard to the Lord’s day. That the apostle did not mean to say that it was a matter of indifference whether it should be kept as holy, or devoted to business or amusement, is plain from the following considerations.

(1) the discussion had reference only to the special customs of the “Jews,” to the rites and practices which “they” would attempt to impose on the Gentiles, and not to any questions which might arise among Christians as “Christians.” The inquiry pertained to “meats,” and festival observances among the Jews, and to their scruples about partaking of the food offered to idols, etc.; and there is no more propriety in supposing that the subject of the Lord’s day is introduced here than that he advances principles respecting “baptism” and “the Lord’s supper.”

(2) the “Lord’s day” was doubtless observed by “all” Christians, whether converted from Jews or Gentiles; see 1Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10; compare the notes at John 20:26. The propriety of observing “that day” does not appear to have been a matter of controversy. The only inquiry was, whether it was proper to add to that the observance of the Jewish Sabbaths, and days of festivals and fasts.

(3) it is expressly said that those who did not regard the day regarded it as not to God, or to honor God; Romans 14:6. They did it as a matter of respect to him and his institutions, to promote his glory, and to advance his kingdom. Was this ever done by those who disregard the Christian Sabbath? Is their design ever to promote his honor, and to advance in the knowledge of him, by “neglecting” his holy day? Who knows not that the Christian Sabbath has never been neglected or profaned by any design to glorify the Lord Jesus, or to promote his kingdom? It is for purposes of business, gain, war, amusement, dissipation, visiting, crime. Let the heart be filled with a sincere desire to “honor the Lord Jesus,” and the Christian Sabbath will be reverenced, and devoted to the purposes of piety. And if any man is disposed to plead “this passage” as an excuse for violating the Sabbath, and devoting it to pleasure or gain, let him quote it “just as it is,” that is, let “him neglect the Sabbath from a conscientious desire to honor Jesus Christ.” Unless this is his motive, the passage cannot avail him. But this motive never yet influenced a Sabbath-breaker.

Let every man... - That is, subjects of this kind are not to be pressed as matters of conscience. Every man is to examine them for himself, and act accordingly. This direction pertains to the subject under discussion, and not to any other. It does not refer to subjects that were “morally” wrong, but to ceremonial observances. If the “Jew” esteemed it wrong to eat meat, he was to abstain from it; if the Gentile esteemed it right, he was to act accordingly. The word “be fully persuaded” denotes the highest conviction, not a matter of opinion or prejudice, but a matter on which the mind is made up by examination; see Romans 4:21; 2Timothy 4:5. This is the general principle on which Christians are called to act in relation to festival days and fasts in the church. If some Christians deem them to be for edification, and suppose that their piety will be promoted by observing the days which commemorate the birth, and death, and temptations of the Lord Jesus, they are not to be reproached or opposed in their celebration. Nor are they to attempt to impose them on others as a matter of conscience, or to reproach others because they do not observe them.

Notice how the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge, which primarily references other verses that are referring to the same topic, has referenced the passages that Paul discussed with the Romans, Galatians and Colossians regarding the ceremonial law also. This as we have now seen is because these verses are all referring to the ceremonial law.

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge. Romans 14:5 - esteemeth: Gal 4:9, Gal 4:10; Col 2:16, Col 2:17

People’s New Testament By B. W. Johnson. One man esteemeth one day above another. A second difference of opinion is now cited. Some, Jewish converts or Gentiles who did not understand that the old covenant was ended, believed that the Jewish Sabbaths and new moons should be kept sacred. Compare Colossians 2:16, and Galatians 4:10.

This ends the Commentaries on Romans 14:5. You will note that the People’s New Testament commentary above also references Colossians 2:16 and Galatians 4:10. There can be no doubt that the context and the meaning of all these passages is the ceremonial law with all its various holyday festivals, new moons and ceremonial sabbaths.

The following table should clear up any remaining misunderstanding between the ceremonial sabbaths and the Sabbath of our Lord. Please look at this table carefully and give the statements that follow some serious thought.

Sabbath of the Lord

Ceremonial Sabbaths

Spoken by God personally

(Exodus 20:1, 8-11)

Spoken by Moses

(Exodus 24:3)

Written in stone by God Himself

(Exodus 31:18)

Written by Moses hand on paper

(Exodus 24:4)

Placed inside the Ark of the covenant

(Deuteronomy 10:5)

Stored on the outside of the Ark

(Deuteronomy 31:26)

Breaking the Sabbath is sin

(1 John 3:4)

These were kept because of sin

(See Leviticus)

It is a law of love

(Matthew 22:35-40, Isaiah 58:13-14)

They were not love

(Colossians 2:14, Galatians 4:9-10)

It is a law of liberty (freedom)

(James 1:25; 2:10-12)

They were bondage

(Galatians 4:9-10, Colossians 2:14)

Was established before sin

(Genesis 2:1-3)

Were established after sin

(Exodus 20:24)

Was made at creation

(Genesis 2:1-3)

Were made after Sinai

(Exodus 20:24)

The Sabbath is for everyone

(Mark 2:27)

Only for the children of Israel & Jews

(Read Old Testament)

God calls it MY Sabbath

(Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20:20)

God calls it HER sabbaths

(Hosea 2:11, Lamentations 1:7)

The Sabbath is eternal

(Exodus 31:16-17, Isaiah 66:22-23)

Were nailed to the cross

(Colossians 2:14, Ephesians 2:15)

The Facts:

God is all knowing. (Omniscience)

He is a God of infinite wisdom.

God is love. (1 John 4:8, 16)

God’s Ten Commandments are a law of love. (Moral law)

The ceremonial sabbaths were observed as a result of sin. (Are not love)

The Sabbath of the Lord is for personal quality time with our Creator. (A love Commandment)

The Questions:

Why would our omniscient God put His Sabbath in His eternal law of love if it is not eternal?

Why would our God of infinite wisdom put His Sabbath in His law of love if it is not a law of love?

Why didn’t God put His Sabbath with all the ceremonial Sabbaths if it was to end at the cross?

Why didn’t God put His Sabbath with the Jewish ceremonial Sabbaths if His Sabbath was only for the Jews?

The Sabbath truth:

God did not include His Sabbath with the ceremonial sabbaths that ended at the cross because His Sabbath is not a ceremonial Sabbath. And God did not include His Sabbath with the ceremonial sabbaths that were only for the Jews because His Sabbath is for EVERYONE. Why would our God of infinite wisdom place a temporary law in an eternal law or a law that is not love in a law that is love? Our God “is not the author of confusion…” 1 Corinthians 14:33. God put His Sabbath in His moral law because it is a law of Love and a very special one that is a sign that it is God we Love and Worship and that we are His children. It is also a sign that it is God that sanctifies us. What person who truly loves God would not want to be under this sign? It is NOT a sign when we keep another day. To do so is to profane the Holy and to try and make Holy the profane. Only God can make a day Holy.

We are not under Law but under Grace

We often hear this argument in an effort to belittle God’s law, “Well, since we are not under the law but under grace, we do not need to keep the Ten Commandments any longer.” Is this a valid point? The Bible certainly does say that we are not under the law, but does that imply that we are free from the obligation to obey it? The text is found in Romans 6:14-15, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” How easily we could prevent confusion if we accepted exactly what the Bible says. Paul gives a clear explanation of his statement. After stating that we are not under law but grace, he asks, “What then?” This simply means, “How are we to understand this?” Then notice his answer. In anticipation that some will construe his words to mean that you can break the law because you are under grace, he says, “Shall we sin (break the law) because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid.” In the strongest possible language Paul states that being under grace does not give a license to break the law. Yet this is exactly what millions believe today, and they totally ignore Paul’s specific warning. Most do not seem to understand that God’s grace is His unmerited, undeserved favour that is preceded by the act of genuine repentance when we do sin. If there were no law, there would actually be no need for God’s grace.

Suppose a murderer has been sentenced to death in the electric chair. Waiting for the execution the man would truly be under the law in every sense of the word, under the guilt, under the condemnation, under the sentence of death, etc. Just before the execution date the governor reviews the condemned man’s case and decides to pardon him. In the light of extenuating circumstances the governor exercises his prerogative and sends a full pardon to the prisoner. Now he is no longer under the law but under grace. The law no longer condemns him. He is considered totally justified as far as the charges of the law are concerned. He is free to walk out of the prison and not a policeman can lay hands upon him. But now that he is under grace and no longer under the law, can we say that he is free to break the law? Indeed not! In fact, that pardoned man will be doubly obligated to obey the law because he has found grace from the governor. In gratitude and love he will be very careful to keep the law of the state which granted him grace.

Is that what the Bible says about pardoned sinners? “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31. Here is the most explicit answer to the entire problem. Paul asks if the law is nullified for us just because we have had faith in Christ’s saving grace. His answer is that the law is established and reinforced in the life of a grace saved Christian. The truth of this is so simple and obvious that it should require no repetition, but the devious reasoning of those who try to avoid obedience makes it necessary to press this point a bit further. Have you ever been stopped by a policeman for exceeding the speed limit? It is an embarrassing experience, especially if you know you are guilty. But suppose you really were hurrying to meet a valid emergency, and you pour out your convincing explanation to the policeman as he writes your ticket. Slowly he folds the ticket and tears it up. Then he says, “All right, I’m going to pardon you this time, but...” Now what do you think he means by that word “but”? Surely he means, “but I don’t want to ever catch you speeding again.” Does this pardon (grace) open the way for you to disobey the law? On the contrary, it adds compelling urgency to your decision not to disobey the law again. Why then should any true Christian try to rationalize his way out of obeying the law of God? Consider carefully also what 1 John 3:4 says, “Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law, because sin is a breaking of the law.” Are we sinners? If we are not sinners, then why was Jesus nailed to the cross?

Did Jesus break the Sabbath?

Some say Jesus broke the Sabbath so it was not one of the Ten Commandments but a ceremonial law (Mosaic Law) but the Sabbath was never practised because of sin and this was also before the cross where that law ended and so is irrelevant anyway. 1 John 3:4 says that sin is transgression of the law and if Jesus broke the Sabbath then he would have broken His own law and sinned and hence those making this statement obviously have no idea of the implications of their accusation. Be thankful that Jesus only broke the Pharisees rules as breaking the Sabbath is sin and was also made before sin existed. Jesus was there when the Ten Commandments were given, but that does not mean that He can murder or break any one of the Ten Commandments. As a sinner He could not have been our one and final perfect sacrifice and redeemer. Let's look at the verses in contention just to clear up this fallacy anyway. The main passage is found in the book of John where Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, and so the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath. Note that John is quoting the words of the Pharisees in this passage and are not John's personal opinion. We will see evidence of this soon. This is what Jesus said about the Pharisees in Matthew 5:20, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” These are those who also had Jesus crucified. Whose words do you think we should listen to? The words of Jesus or the words of the Pharisees?

John 5:5-18 “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. … 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. … 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. 17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

The Pharisees also accused Jesus of blasphemy because He made Himself equal with the Father. Were the Pharisees correct? They were no more correct on this allegation than they were on their accusation of Jesus breaking the Sabbath. In the book of Matthew, we have another account of Jesus healing someone and the Pharisees once again accused Him of breaking the Sabbath. However, this time we have the words of Jesus to establish if doing good deeds or things of absolute necessity are lawful on the Sabbath.

Matthew 12:10-12 “And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.”

Why do the proponents quote the Pharisees but ignore the words of their own Lord and Saviour? Why would they put their faith in the Pharisees rather than Jesus Christ? Why do they quote John 5:5-18 but never mention Matthew 12:10-12 where Jesus says it was NOT unlawful to heal and do good on the Sabbath?

Jesus thankfully did not sin and so did not break any of the Ten Commandments as He clarifies in this passage when He says “that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath,” such as healing people or pulling an animal out of a hole.

Is the Sabbath in the New Covenant?

Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the law OR the prophets, yet some say that you are putting us back under the Old Covenant and that the Sabbath changed to Sunday with the New Covenant. Not so. Basically, the only change to the New Covenant is the sacrificial Law of Moses ended (Hebrews 9:1) and where God writes His law. God’s law changes not, for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) God also said the fault was with the people in they did not obey it, so He now writes His law in our hearts. (Hebrews 8:8-10) See also “Who is Israel Today and the New Covenant.”

I had just finished preaching on the subject of the Sabbath in one of my evangelistic crusades. As I stepped off the platform to greet people as they left, three young men blocked my way in the aisle. One of them addressed me in quite a loud voice… loud enough to cause about fifty people near the front of the auditorium to stop and listen. “Dear brother” he said, “we were disappointed tonight with the way you put us back under the Old Covenant. Don’t you realize that we are living under the New Covenant now, and should keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath?” Although most of the congregation were leaving the Church, the group near the front gathered closer to hear all that the young men were saying. It was obvious that I would have to take the time to answer this trio’s challenging question. As I suspected, they turned out to be young seminarians in training at a local Bible college. Eagerly they held their Bibles in their hands and waited triumphantly for me to answer. Usually, I do not like to debate controversial matters in a public forum for fear of stirring combative natures, but there seemed no way to avoid dealing with these ministerial students. Anyway, they had my path completely blocked and the circle of listeners looked at me expectantly for some explanation. “Well, it seems as though you have studied the subject of the covenants quite deeply,” I suggested. “Oh, yes,” they affirmed, “we know all about the covenants.” “Good,” I replied. “You undoubtedly know when the Old Covenant was instituted.” One of them spoke up quickly, “It was instituted at Mt. Sinai.” “And how was it ratified?” I asked. Without a moment’s hesitation one of them answered, “By the sprinkling of the blood of an ox.” “Very good,” I commented, “and how was the New Covenant ratified?” All three chorused the answer, “By the blood of Jesus on the cross.” I commended the young men for their knowledge of the Scriptures and asked them to read me two verses out of their own Bibles. Galatians 3:15 and Hebrews 9:16-17. They responded eagerly to the invitation, and read the verses, commenting on each one after reading. “We agree that the New Covenant did not go into effect until after Christ died, and nothing can be added or taken away after He ratified it on the cross,” the spokesman for the group asserted. All three nodded their heads emphatically over this point. I said, “Now you must answer two more questions for me. Here is the first one, and you must think carefully to give me the correct answer: When did Sunday-keeping begin?” There was a moment of shocked silence, and then another, and another. The boys looked at each other, and then down at their feet, and then back at me. I gently prodded them for the answer, “Surely you can tell me the answer to this question. You have known all the others, and have answered correctly. When and why do you think people began keeping Sunday?” Finally, one of them said, “We keep Sunday in honour of the resurrection of Jesus.” I said, “Then I must ask you my last question. How could Sunday keeping be a part of the New Covenant? You just stated that nothing could be added after the death of Christ. He died on Friday and was resurrected on Sunday. If Sunday was added after Jesus died, it could never be a part of the New Covenant could it?” The three young men shuffled their feet, looked helplessly around, and one of them said, “We will study into that and talk to you later.” They then fled from that auditorium as fast as they could go. I can assure you that they never returned to talk further about the covenants.

How could the majority be wrong about the Sabbath?

The simple answer is because Satan nearly wiped out the fourth Commandment during the dark ages through the death of millions. And by the time Protestant reformation began, all the Protestant Churches continued keeping Sunday in ignorance. It is always harder to restore a lost truth and even more so when people do not want to know because it would disrupt their Church or lifestyle. See a true story on how the Sabbath was nearly lost.

And in Christianity especially, the majority is hardly ever right. How many were right in the time of Noah? Only eight! Revelation says that God is going to destroy a Church for its abominations and yet the majority of Christians belong to this Church. The majority are wrong because Satan works hard to keep this truth from Christians and this is his BEST accomplishment on the Christian Church and the majority have no idea. Why? Because Satan has the majority busy making excuses or perpetuating the last persons excuse instead of studying this out. Sadly, the majority are not searchers of truth and don’t study the Word or see only what they want to see.

2 Timothy 4:3 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

After the Sabbath and other truths were revealed to me in my search, I attempted to share these truths with large numbers of people and was astounded to find more than 98% would not even consider the possibility because they said how could so many be wrong or they just simply did not want to know. This is sad when you consider God created us, sent His Son to die for us and we can’t be obedient to Him in love as it would mean some sacrifice on our part. It is no longer a mystery to me why the majority are wrong. It is because our adversary still has Christians perpetuating those same excuses they were previously told because it means changes they don’t want to consider or they are ignorant of the fact that Satan accomplished the change by the death of millions of Christians over several centuries. Hence the majority continue to stay wrong and only five hundred plus Sabbath keeping Churches of different denominations remain obedient to God in love. Until the majority stop making excuses and start saying let’s investigate this, the majority will remain wrong. Many also do not know that the attack on this Commandment and Sun-day worship actually began with the worship of Satan as early as 2000 B.C. See the Sabbath to Sunday change or who changed the Sabbath to Sunday and how 666 relates to this change.

Was the Sabbath changed to Sunday in the Bible?

Read the Sabbath to Sunday change for a very detailed account on how and who changed the Sabbath to Sunday. Did God amend the original stone tablets Sabbath Changedthat John saw in heaven in Revelation 11:19 to, “Remember to keep the first day”? Never. You can’t change a memorial day of creation. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:19, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but obeying God’s Commandments is everything.” Paul plainly identifies here how important God’s Commandments are in comparison to circumcision. Yet this law of circumcision that was changed, and does not have the importance of the Ten Commandments, Paul mentioned more than 33 times and up to 10 verses at a time, and they were not verses you were left to make assumptions on. Yet there is not one clear verse in the whole Bible that says the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. Paul’s letters always had plenty to say when people needed correcting or misunderstood the scriptures but the Sabbath was so ingrained in the culture that Paul never had to correct them. Observing the Pharisees reaction to breaking the Sabbath clearly shows this also but they went overboard and turned the day into a burden instead of a blessing, which Jesus found need to correct them on several times. In John 5:18 they accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing a man on the Sabbath. Jesus said that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whose words should we trust and listen to? The Pharisees or Jesus? In Matthew 12:10-12 Jesus heals a man and He says to them, “…it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Jesus shows that they misunderstood the intent of the Sabbath day, not the day to keep it. Imagine if Jesus had proposed changing the Sabbath, what a dreadful uproar would have ensued by the Jews that would be heard in several books of the Bible. View a short video of a Sabbath miracle.

When Christ was in the flesh, and lived on this earth, how did He regard the Sabbath? Luke 4:16, “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as HIS CUSTOM was, He went into the synagogue on the SABBATH DAY, and stood up to read.” Jesus made the seventh day Sabbath and He also kept the seventh day Sabbath. He is our perfect example. We also find after the cross that Sabbath observance continued as we see by Paul’s example. In Acts 13:42-44 there is no conflict between Jews and Gentiles over the day to keep the Sabbath. The Jews of course still continue to keep the seventh day Sabbath today. What a perfect opportunity for the Jews to bring a valid accusation against Paul. But the allegations against Paul were always false and never involved an accusation for breaking the Sabbath such as those the Pharisees falsely brought against Jesus.

Acts 13:42-44 “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”

Again in this example, we find no conflict between the Jews (who still keep Saturday today) or Greeks in regard to the day. Paul “came to Corinth ... he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” Acts 18:1, 4. “He continued a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them” (verse 11). Paul did not preach the traditions of men, but only “the word of God.” “Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized,” including “Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue” (verse 8). Crispus was a Sabbath keeper who probably became one of the leaders (see 1 Corinthians 1:14) of the early New Testament Sabbath keeping Church of Jesus Christ in Corinth. Paul’s letters, First and Second Corinthians, were written to this Church.

After Paul was finally arrested in the Temple in Jerusalem, in his trial before the Sanhedrin, even the Pharisees said, “we find no evil in this man” Acts 23:9. Before Felix, Paul declared, “so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” Acts 24:14. Before Festus, “Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at the Jews have I done no wrong” Acts 25:8, 10. Before Agrippa, “I continue unto this day ... saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come” Acts 26:22. The prophets and Moses did not say that “Sunday keeping should come.” Finally, Paul spoke to the Jews in Rome, “persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening” Acts 28:23. During all his trials, the Jews NEVER once accused Paul of breaking the Sabbath. Why? Because he NEVER did! Paul was a Pharisee since his childhood.

We also see Paul going into a Jewish synagogue in Thessalonica and “as his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the scriptures…” Acts 17:1-4. As already stated, all practicing Jews still keep the seventh day Sabbath today, always have and undeniably did then and so there is no mistake as to what day Paul kept the Sabbath on as was “HIS CUSTOM” as this was a Jewish synagogue. As for his custom, Paul was a Jew and a Pharisee since childhood. Acts 26:5-6 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.”

Jesus also said in Matthew 5:18, “…Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law...” Not even a comma of the law will be altered. We never have to make assumptions when it comes to important issues in God’s Word. When anything significant changed we were always told. The Ten Commandments are the only thing that God personally added to the Bible. There is no way in this universe that God would not unmistakably tell us in His Word if He were to alter the Ten Commandments by even the smallest amount.

Now for that one verse assumption that some use to argue that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. In Acts 20:7 we find a religious meeting on the first day of the week but it was not a Sunday meeting. It was after sunset, prior to midnight on the first day of the week. At that time in history the first day of the week did not start at midnight but at sunset. All Bible days begin and end at sunset. Therefore this meeting and Paul’s preaching took place on what we call Saturday night. It was not a Sunday meeting at all. Regardless of this fact anyway, breaking bread is commonly understood by the Jews as having a meal together and was not the Lord’s Supper. Note how the Good News Bible translates it “The fellowship meal.” Here are examples using the King James, Good News and the New English Bible.

(Acts 20:7 King James) “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

(Acts 20:7 Good News Bible) “On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day.”

(Acts 20:7 New English Bible) “On the Saturday night, in our assembly for the breaking of bread, Paul, who was to leave next day, addressed them, and went on speaking until midnight.”

(Acts 2:42 King James) “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

(Acts 2:42 Good News Bible) “They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers.”

The following verse shows not only that breaking of bread was having a fellowship meal but also demonstrates that this breaking of bread was done every day of the week! Therefore, even if it was the Lord’s Supper, which it is not, it was done every day of the week making the argument of the Saturday night meeting irrelevant anyway.

(Acts 2:46 King James) “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

(Acts 2:46 Good News Bible) “Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and they had their meals together in their homes, eating with glad and humble hearts,”

Sunday keeping in Corinth?

In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul wrote: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come...whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.” Please carefully notice what the apostle said, and also, what he did not say. Many have assumed that a religious meeting was held and a collection plate passed. This is not the case. Paul was writing special appeals to the churches in Asia Minor, because many of the Christians in Jerusalem were suffering greatly for lack of food and daily necessities. Paul asked the church at Corinth to gather food, clothing, etc., and store it up at home until he could send men to transport it to Jerusalem. The expression “lay by him in store” in the original Greek gives the clear connotation of putting aside at home. Even Sunday advocates agree to this. There was no service held on the first day of the week. The gathering up and storing was to be done on that day. Why did Paul suggest that this work be done on Sunday, and what was involved in getting it done? First of all, the letter would have been shared with the church on the Sabbath when they were all gathered for worship. The first opportunity to do the work would be the next day - the first day of the week. Keep in mind that there was an apparent food shortage in Jerusalem, and the need was not primarily for money. Such famine conditions were not unusual in areas of the Middle East, as Luke reminds us in Acts 11:28-30. Paul urges them to return carnal, or material, gifts in appreciation of the spiritual truths received from them. This throws light on Paul’s counsel to the Corinthian Christians to do their work on the first day of the week, “so that there be no gatherings when I come.” Such work as gathering and storing up produce from the field would certainly not be appropriate on the Sabbath. Sunday is identified again as a day for secular activities and gives no indication of religious observance.

Besides the two assumptions that are used to try and justify Sunday keeping, the Bible and history show them not to be correct. We have already seen that both Jesus and Paul kept the Sabbath and there can be no doubt that it was the seventh day Sabbath that Paul kept as he was a Jew and a Pharisee and kept it as was his custom since childhood. It has also been established by many historians and theologians holding PhD’s in their field that Matthew and Luke were written between 60 and 80 A.D. and there was never a better time for Luke to tell us of a day change but instead he states in Luke 23:56, “…And they rested on the Sabbath according to the Commandment.” Jesus also showed that the Sabbath would still be kept after the cross and speaks of no day change when He is talking to the Apostles about the destruction of the temple in about 70 A.D. Jesus says in Matthew 24:20, “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.” Read Sabbath in the New Covenant for more information on this verse and topic. World leading historians also confirm this and that the Sabbath was kept by Jews and Gentiles till about 90-120 A.D. where persecution of the Jews became so great that some Christians changed to Sunday using the justification that it was in honour of the resurrection in order to avoid persecution and death. Later you will find out how the Sabbath got changed to Sunday and was made law about 364 A.D. As a result it was early in the fourth century when Sunday was officially named the Lord’s Day.

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