Which are we Christians to keep? Let me say right up front, the Law of Moses was fulfilled in Jesus. We Christians are not to keep the Law of Moses in our day and age. The Jews and we were excused from observing the law because of the death of Jesus. The point I bring out here is, what of the seventh day that God sanctified long before the law came along and had the Sabbath attached to it?

From the World Book Encyclopedia: “SUNDAY is the first day of the week among Christian peoples. It is the day set aside for rest and worship of God. Sunday was the day sacred to the sun among the old Teutonic peoples, and its name means the “day of the sun.” The French…the Spanish…and the Italians (all have their own names for Sunday – emphasis mine – see below). These three names all come from the Latin words dies Domenica, which means Lord’ Day.

The early Christians lived hard lives, and had to work on Sunday as well as other days of the week. But “they” (emphasis mine-see below) made Sunday a day for special worship, because they believed that the resurrection of Jesus occurred on that day. By the 300’s, (thanks to Constantine-emphasis mine) both the church and the state recognized the day as a day of rest in Europe.”

The “they” to which I refer were obviously Roman Catholics, of those various countries and the people that made Sunday the day of rest instead of the Sabbath. Jesus was resurrected late on Saturday, three days and three nights after He was killed according to Matthew 12:40, 16:4 and Jonah 1:17. After the Sabbath had ended, the women came to the grave early in the morning (or late in the day after the Sabbath had ended) and discovered that Jesus had been raised from the dead.

Please read the following scriptures, knowing I am not promoting adherence to the Mosiac Law. Also please notice that the following scriptures are dealing with the importance of the Sabbath and not the other points of the Law.

Genesis 2:1-3

1. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2. And on the seventh day God ended his work, which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work, which he had made. 3. 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.

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

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Notice that these earlier acts were done before any law was mentioned.

Exodus 23:12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
I think this is very interesting. All would agree that having a day off is a great idea. If God set aside the Sabbath for such a use, why would He need it to be changed to Sunday, when the seventh day was sanctified and hallowed from the beginning? Please allow me to say up front, that there were reasons but I wonder if God accepts them.

Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
Nowhere does it say their generations will be done away with. In the major prophets it makes mention of “the nations” worshipping in Jerusalem – in the future. In verse 16, it says, “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” Please consider verse 17. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

If it was good enough for God we should be quite happy to enjoy the same. We are not the children of Israel but in those days if we hung with them we were still obligated to observe what they observed. In the New Testament there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles.

Exodus 34:21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
Even in doing something as important as the harvest, rest is still commanded.

Nehemiah 9:13-14

13.Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: :14. And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
Nehemiah reminds us that the already existing Sabbath, was now added to the law and was given to Israel on Mount Sinai.

Nehemiah 10:31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
This is a very interesting point. We (the people) have the power. If we simply follow God’s Word, they will only try once to sell anything on the Sabbath. If no one buys, they will leave. It’s like dominos, when the first one falls, others will follow. That’s why God is looking for a few good followers. I think this is the bottom line for the people of God. Ecclesiastes 12:13 tells us, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Isaiah 56:1-6

1. Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. 2. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 3. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5. Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
That’s where we Gentiles come in and in point of fact, were obligated to observe the whole law along with the children of Israel.

Isaiah 58:13-14

13. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14.Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
It is His day – let’s bring glory to Him. We don’t even do this on Sunday for more than two to four hours.

Isaiah 66:22-24

22. 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. 23. 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. 24. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
This is very powerful and certainly looks beyond those early days and deep into the future, and into the era of Revelation.

From one Sabbath unto another, all within the sphere of the new heavens and the new earth. Notice the language in verse 24. It’s what Jesus quoted in Mark 9:44,46.

The Sabbath in the beginning was a constant that had nothing to do with the Law or the Jewish Nation. When Christ negated or fulfilled the Law, did He negate the seventh day of rest that God blessed and sanctified in Gen. 2:3? I say no, and considering that he was resurrected on the Sabbath and not Sunday should be the end of the argument.

The Sabbath Rest doesn’t sound like something that God thought was necessary to change. The first day of the week, the Lord’s Day was given to us by circumstance early on, and by Constantine later on. When you consider it was Constantine that officially changed it, admittedly, to the day on which the early church met, at least on occasion, it makes all the more sense that the Sabbath should have remained the same. I think the fact that the Sabbath was Jewish for so many years also figured into Constantine’s thinking and motives as well as, “them of the circumcision.”

After A.D. 70, and the eventual decree of Constantine around A.D. 313, great numbers of people, saved and unsaved accepted Sunday as the new Sabbath. Halley’s Bible Handbook says, “He (Constantine) made the Christian’s day of assembly, Sunday, a Rest Day; forbidding ordinary work; permitting Christian soldiers to attend church services. This rest for one day a week meant much for slaves.” The day Christ rose from the dead and the day ordained by God as a day of rest in 4000 B.C. are one in the same. Please keep reading.

You may say that we are not Jews and the Sabbath does not apply to us, but what of the stranger within their gates, as mentioned above as well as other references. The only thing I could possibly see as a justification for anyone not observing the Sabbath (back then) is when they are in some sort of captivity. We are truly not Jews but in this day and age there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. Rom. 10:12, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” Also Deut. 5:15, “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” Now remember I am not talking about keeping the Law. The law was done away with, but I think the Sabbath rest day should have remained.

Many people combine the Law to the Sabbath as though it always was. It was roughly 2500 years between the sanctifying of the day of rest by God, until the giving of the Law of Moses, where they were put together. We are not talking circumcision, or the law. We are talking the Sabbath.

Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
There was nothing mentioned here about the law or the first day of he week. The seventh day Sabbath was not good enough for men, they had to make their own. Which is an unceasing message of man following his own will, all in the name of God. I say again, God’s Sabbath was before the Garden of Eden.

In the exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees (Mk. 2:23-28) they carried “servile work” to an absurd extreme. Their zeal for the Law was greater than God’s. Gathering sticks is one thing, eating a bit of hand rubbed grain is another. Moving your mat to another house or residence is one thing, taking your mat back to your house after you have been healed is quite another. When Jesus healed the man with the mat, He was not in violation of Isaiah 58:13-14, “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day;” Jesus was not doing His pleasure He was doing the work of God. The man that was healed, in taking his mat back home was not doing his own pleasure.

Hebrews 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
God did rest on the seventh day and He gave it to us. It was not Him that changed it but man. When the saints gathered on the first day of the week, it was because the Jews were still meeting on the seventh day in the temple. This was done for expedience and safety and not because of a new commandment. I think there were even reasons of compromise concerning the “circumcision.” The thing we Gentiles seem to forget is that in the Jewish world the Sabbath was followed by Sunday (the first day of the week, at sundown) by a heart beat or to be more accurate, the amount of time that it took the sun to set. When they met on the first day of the week it was no doubt a continuation from the Sabbath such as was the case of Acts 20:7-12. The Sabbath had to end before they could break bread because they were not allowed to carry anything anywhere, which would certainly include bread and wine.

Acts 2:46 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.
The transition from the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sabbath should have come into effect over time. The Jews will always meet on the seventh day. The Christians, now knowing the truth about who Christ was, should have gone ahead and started meeting on the seventh day also and quit going to the temple altogether so far as worship was concerned, but they could still go to the temple as a means of witnessing to their fellow unconverted Jews. They met in the temple daily (Acts 2:46) but it is obvious they had to do something different on Saturday. Jesus, speaking on the Sabbath in the temple when He was alive, had to be, because that’s where the people were that needed to hear the Word. He even went to the temple from His early years in observance of the law as well as to worship.

When He died, the authority of the law died, as attested to by the tearing of the veil in the temple as told in Matt. 27:51. Jesus didn’t go to the temple after that, He appeared to the people. His work in the temple was done. His work was now in the churches (body of believers). The disciples had to meet on the first day of the week, instead of on the Sabbath in the temples, because many, if not most of the Jews were still going to the temple first. Also because of the fear of the Jews, these first-day-of-the-week meetings were held. If the Christians would have held meetings on the same day, they could have been attacked by mobs. Many of the Jews wanted to hear about this new way, but they were still socially pressured into going to the temple. The slow transition helped to give credence to the temple meeting continuing on the Sabbath, not to mention the influence of the “circumcision,” further delaying the implementing of the Christian Sabbath on the same day. John 20:19 makes the point; they met behind closed doors in fear of the Jews. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” They were hiding as well as meeting on the first day of the week. The significance of the “first day of the week,” at this point is that Jesus had risen the day before. You can only imagine the daily hubbub that was going on just after the resurrection.

As mentioned before, if they tried to have their meeting on Saturday, there could have been a riot. Some of these very people were probably going to the temple on Saturday themselves. We know the Apostles and disciples did attend the temple when they went to a new town to tell others about Christ. And if they hoped to get any audience at all, they had to have an alternative meeting time for those that wanted to hear, especially when the followers of Christ were usually kicked out of the temples, so Sunday had to be it. If the New Christians would have gone ahead and worshipped Christ on the seventh day, it could have been considered blaspheme by those that consented to His death, seeing that the three of them that died on Calvary were deemed cursed. Giving honor to someone that was cursed would fly in their face. Gal. 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Quoted from Deut. 21:22-23.

This question of introducing the “WAY” to a world that had been so heavily involved with the nation of Israel and the law is not an easy one. To put up a building and nail up a shingle saying “church,” was not quite that easy.

The following scripture will help illustrate the point:

Acts 13:14-15, 42, 44-45, 50.

14. But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. 42. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 44. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 45. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 50. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
This, and the scripture below, is the kind of thing they had to put up with.

Acts 14:1-6

1. And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. 2. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. 3. Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4. But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 5. And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, 6. They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:

John 12:42-43

42. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
I don’t think you can really say much more than this to prove the point. They had thousands of years of tradition to break. It doesn’t surprise me at all but it is frustrating. The incident concerning Cornelius and the Gentiles hearing the Word of God also serves to illustrate the problem they faced within their own Christian community. Acts 11:1 states that when they of Judea heard the Gentiles received the word, they of the circumcision (verse 2) chided him for eating with them. After Peter explained the whole situation, there was rejoicing. They of Judea still thought in terms of segregation until Peter, led of the Holy Spirit, taught them different, but as we will see, the problem was still there years later. They (the apostles and disciples) were back at the H.Q. in Jerusalem, and they should have been the ones to break the news about salvation for the Gentiles to Peter but the Holy Spirit revealed it to him instead – that should tell us something about the ministry of the Holy Spirit dealing with those out doing the work and not sitting around Jerusalem. They had already been endued with power from the Holy Spirit and at that point, should have been carrying out the Great Commission.

Let me just add this, concerning salvation to the Gentiles: Looking beyond Jesus’ command of reaching out to the Jews first, the foot dragging by the apostles and disciples in bringing Gentiles into the church goes beyond “foot dragging” to pure prejudice and/or fear of the “circumcision.” Christ’s great commission as given in the gospels and Acts says; go preach the gospel to every creature to all nations in the uttermost part of the earth. That commission along with all the numerous O. T. scripture referring to the future blessing of the Gentiles (as well as John 3:16) should tell us that God’s whole desire, and the idea of Jesus coming to this world was to save everyone who answers the invitation. The apostles above all, should have already known this fact and set forth on that very course. Because the apostles feared the “circumcision” more than they trusted God, the Sabbath and salvation to the Gentiles took a back seat. It was the Holy Spirit that told them to reach out to the Gentiles and the fact that Peter, who was out working in the mission field, instead of those “gathered” at Jerusalem, should really speak volumes to us.

At this point I’m not sure of when Paul was told to reach out to the Gentiles, but we can see that Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13:46-49; and Paul in 18:6; and 28:28, had, as a part of his practice, attempted to reach out to the house of Israel first and then the Gentiles. See: Salvation for the Gentiles, for the list of scriptures that pointed to how God treated Gentiles that wanted to follow Him.

1Thessalonians 2:14-16

14. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15. Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
This is why they couldn’t start churches on Saturdays and compete with the temple. If an alternative day wasn’t chosen, there would have been constant war and spreading the Word would have suffered. The Jews were probably content to follow Gamaliel’s advice in Acts 5:33-40, and let this “new thing” run it’s course. Because the populations of the temple were not being diminished to a great degree, they saw no cause for alarm which no doubt kept the conflict to a minimum. I think, at least initially, there were a lot of people attending both services due to the Jews finding Jesus and their reluctance to abandon the temple because of pressure of the “circumcision, and long standing tradition.”

Contrary to the Christian first day Sabbath as mentioned in Unger’s Bible Dictionary and by numerous Bible scholars, teachers, preachers, pastors and commentators galore: Jesus did not rise from the grave on the first day of the week. The grave was already empty on the first day of the week. All the gospels attest to this fact. He rose on the regular Saturday Sabbath after being put to death on (Wednesday) the preparation day, because He had to be off the cross (tree) before the beginning of the special high day Sabbath that the fore-mentioned people get confused with (Not so good) Friday. We have to remember; He was in the grave three days and three nights. He died at 3 P.M. and rose from the grave at 3 P.M. three days and three nights later, just as He said in Matt 12:40. Also see: Jonah 1:17.

The women that wanted to anoint the body of Jesus observed the Sabbath because they could do no work on the Special High Day Sabbath or the regular Saturday Sabbath. And moreover, there were guards at the tomb to make sure no one would steal the body of Jesus, so they couldn’t anoint the body in between the two Sabbaths even if we were talking about parts of days rather than three full days and nights. Please take notice of the following note. In the CEV (Word In Life Bible, published by Nelson (3412) Pg. 570). 2 Ki. 18:10, “Three years later: When the Israelites measured time, part of a year could be counted as a whole year.” Its very interesting that the justifiers of the day and a half death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, always quote this bit of history and totally reject Jesus own words: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. How much simpler could it get? Did Jesus know what He was talking about or not? Using the “parts of days and years” theory is a feeble attempt for Christians to celebrate paganism (Easter) in the name of God. It also aids the usurpation of the Sabbath in favor of Sunday as a day of rest and worship.

Something (the Sabbath) that was sanctified and all by itself and only later, was attached to the law as it passed that moment in history does not get un-sanctified when the law is dropped. The rest, for the sake of the body, is still needed and considering how much weight is put on the resurrection day as being important in that Jesus supposedly rose on the first day of the week, so therefore we can drop the seventh day Sabbath in favor of the first day Sabbath. Or as some are even saying, we can choose any rest day we wish. Jesus rose from the grave toward the end of the seventh day Sabbath. So therefore it stands to reason that we should rest on the seventh day Sabbath as God originally ordained in Gen. 2:2-3. The world, flesh and the Devil had other ideas however. The first day of the week was suppose to have been a very busy one for Jesus and there are some that use this, as well as His supposed first day of the week resurrection, as an example to change the Sabbath day to Sunday.

For another example, look at what Trinitarians did to 1 John 5:7. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” Scofield note: “It is generally agreed that v 7 has no real authority, and has been inserted.” People that believed it was true inserted it. And moreover they had access to the scriptures to such a degree, that they in fact, “added to” the word to reflect their own belief. How many people down through the ages have used that scripture to prove there is a trinity? It has happened in other places in the Bible as well.

Here is another example from the Scofield Bible concerning the woman taken in adultery. “John 7:53 through 8:1-11 is not found in some of the most ancient manuscripts. Augustine declares that it was stricken from many copies of the sacred story because of a prudish fear that it might teach immorality!” If someone was that worried about that, why not the Sabbath, if they in fact thought it would be a stumbling block, which would cause people to go back to the temple at least, and under the law at most. Who are these people and where do they get their authority for changing things? Once again the Holy Spirit has been sidestepped because of the fears of a certain group.

Another one concerns the King James Version in 2 Thessalonians 2:2, where there is a discrepancy concerning the “day of Christ” being a mistranslation for the “day of the Lord.” I always thought it was strange how Paul could start out talking about the “day of Christ” in verse 1, and then switch to “day of the Lord” in verse 2. I personally don’t think it was a mistranslation. I think there are a bunch of pre-tribulation folk (including Scofield) who wishfully think that there is a pre-tribulation rapture and enjoy saying, “Jesus could come back at any moment.” If it truly reads the “day of Christ,” then “that day” ( the return of the Lord) shall not come until the antichrist be revealed, which puts them a little closer to the tribulation than they want to be.

The word “Easter” in the KJV is another good example of the church fathers and translators taking liberties with the Word of God in favor of their individual man made and man taught beliefs. There are all kinds of educated people saying that Christ died on a Friday and rose from the grave on Sunday (one and a half days later). That is clearly a lie that has been passed down from one generation to another, kind of like the (not necessarily) “three wise men” being at the manger scene.

Could it be that since the scholars believed these aforementioned untruths and unscriptural changes to the Word of God, that they left out the Sabbath, not understanding that the law died and not God’s day of rest? Or more important, could Jesus have not stressed it because it should have been so obvious that it belonged in? I’m quite sure a lot of the scholars are the ones that have changed things in the Bible to fit their own needs and beliefs.

It has been noted that the fourth commandment (Sabbath) is not found in the New Testament. As mentioned before, could it be scriptural manipulation by concerned scholars, that thought we could not handle the truth – that the Law died but God’s sanctified day of rest went on? The Sabbath abolitionists are using Matt. 12:1-14, (along with the omitted commandments in Matthew, Mark, Luke and Romans – See below) as proof that Jesus (who fulfilled the Law) is dropping the Sabbath; when all He was doing is saying that eating a few kernels of grain is not working – especially when you compare it to the priest working in the temple and a person pulling an animal out of a pit on the Sabbath. Why were they so sensitive about the Sabbath being part of the law and not the other commandments not mentioned in the three gospels and Romans? Were they not considered part of the law as well?

H. H. Halley says, “The Ten Commandments were the basis of Hebrew Law. Four of them have to do with our attitude toward God; six, with our attitude toward our fellow man.”

Some of the argument made for doing away with the Sabbath is that it is not mentioned in the New Testament recap of the 10 Commandments. If that’s the case, then according to the four scripture references below, we don’t have to not only, not keep the Sabbath, we can use the Lord’s name in vain, worship idols and have all the other gods we want. What about the other-God centered commandments that are missing? I don’t recall reading any commentaries that deal with anything but the Sabbath. Why are Christian scholars picking on the Sabbath and not dealing with using God’s name in vain, etc.? I think it is unconscionable to “think” that the first four commandments even need to be mentioned in the New Testament, (which they aren’t) let alone to entertain the idea that any one of them has been tossed out. Why were the church fathers and subsequent scholars so eager to throw out the Sabbath?

I am including the following summation, for an easy reference in comparing the Ten Commandments with that of the abbreviated versions found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Romans. The fact that the scriptures that have to do with our attitude toward God are missing only proves to me that “they” were so much of a “given” that it wasn’t even necessary to mention them. It should be obvious to anyone that our allegiance to God and His Sabbath is first and foremost. In these abbreviated new testament Ten Commandment scriptures, Jesus was stressing the point of how we deal with other people, not God. It is interesting to note that of the four commandments left out of the NT, the one dealing with the Sabbath is the oldest.

The Sabbath spans from the end of the creation to the end of the kingdom age and only time will tell if it goes into eternity or not. I suspect it would, because God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Sabbath is the one constant – like a big umbrella covering all humanity for all those years. Eliminating the Sabbath for two thousand years is like removing one of the umbrella’s panels. It just doesn’t make sense.

This is a condensation of the 10 Commandments found in Ex. 20, from Halley’s Bible Handbook:
1. Thou shalt have No Other Gods besides Me.
2. Thou shalt not worship any Graven Image.
3. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy Father and thy Mother.
6. Thou shalt not Kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit Adultery.
8. Thou shalt not Steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear False Witness.
10. Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s.

Matthew 19:18-19

18. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
There are six mentioned here.

Mark 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Here are another six.

Luke 18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
Here are five.

Romans 13:8-9

8. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Five are mentioned here.

I don’t know where in the Bible, Unger was quoting from, when he made this statement: (pg. 420 of the 1976 Moody edition) “The relation of the gospel to the law of Moses has been a source of much confusion. Under grace the Ten Commandments are all presented, except that involving the observance of the seventh day.” (Emphasis mine) And on pages 646-647 of the same publication, “In the gracious dispensation inaugurated as the result of the atonement of Christ, all the Ten Commandments appear in the epistles except that regarding the seventh day and are operative not as stern “thou shalt nots” but as gracious duties and privileges of a redeemed people…” (Emphasis mine)

The Commandments quoted above, (from the New Testament) are the only references I have been able to come up with that even come close to naming the Ten Commandments in their numerical order.

If Halley’s statement is from a compilation from various books of the N. T., I wished he had quoted them individually.

I am going to quote and paraphrase a Scofield note from Matt 12:1, note 3: “(1) The Sabbath (“cessation”) appears in Scripture as the day of God’s rest in the finished work of creation (Gen. 2:2,3). For 2500 years of human life absolutely no mention of it is made.” I am going to break in here for a moment. The Sabbath was next seen in Ex. 16:23; Neh. 9:13-14. And I have to quote them: Exod 16:23. “And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” This one’s even better: Neh 9:13-14. 13. “Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: 14. And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath,” (that, for whatever reason, God practiced for 2500 years before revealing it to them) “and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:” This is the end of the injected scripture and continuing with Scofield, “made part of the Law (Ex. 20:8-11);…” Ex. 20:8-11 8, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The fact that the Sabbath was around from just after the finish of creation proves to me that those silent 2500 years doesn’t change a thing about the importance of the Sabbath rest. Just because it wasn’t revealed (that we know of) doesn’t change a thing either. Quoting further down Scofield’s notes: “The sabbath will be again observed during the kingdom-age (Isa. 66:23).” Doesn’t it seem a little funny that the Sabbath was canceled in the church age and will be restored in the kingdom age?

Point (3) of Scofield’s notes: “(3) …One is the seventh day, the other is the first. The sabbath commemorates God’s creation rest, the first day Christ’s resurrection. On the seventh day God rested, on the first day Christ was ceaselessly active”… I have to stop quoting here because the rest of the note is based upon (as discussed earlier) the falsehood that Christ was resurrected on the first day of the week. This is clearly not true. Please read all the gospel accounts. To put it in a nutshell, Jesus had to come out of the grave three days and three nights later than the day He died. He died at three p. m. Therefore He could not have come out of the grave until three p. m. on Sunday, if Sunday (morning) was the day of the resurrection, which has been proved to be false.

The Apostles said nothing to the Gentiles about celebrating the Lord’s Supper or even baptism, when they told them (in Acts 15:20, 29) “That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” Are we to suppose that we Gentiles do not need to keep either of those ordinances (baptism and The Lord’s Supper)? It could be argued that they were subtly teaching the Gentiles that there was a difference between the Christian Jews and the Gentiles and that is just what the “circumcision” wanted everyone to believe and why Peter was shy about being seen with the Gentiles when the “circumcision” was around. We know there isn’t a difference. But from the whole tenor of Acts 15:28-29 some would try to make a case.

This whole flap (Acts 15:2, 5-7. much questioning and discussion) proves my contention that there were huge pressures on the early Jewish converts to stay with the temple worship on Saturday and then meet on Sunday with them of “that way.” This way, the new converts could witness to those in the temple on Saturday and exclusively fellowship with Christians on Sunday and not step on the toes of those that wanted to stay under the law of Moses, which as mentioned before, could have caused riots. Acts 15:21. “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” Even with the discussion mentioned in Acts 15:5-7 and the admission of vs. 11, (“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they”) it was still hard to let go of life long traditions and religious habits. Let’s not (as mentioned before) forget Paul rebuking Peter for separating himself from the Gentiles at meals in Gal. 2:11-14. 11. “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12. For before that, certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them, which were of the circumcision. 13. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”

You may want to read this in a version other than KJV. Also please, do not forget verse 1. “Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.” If I read this correctly, after fourteen years, this “fear” of the “circumcision” was even then, quite prominent among Peter, Barnabas and others, also including Paul. This proves that this is exactly why they (the early Christians) dared not set up churches to directly compete with Jewish temples. Considering this, and the fact that Titus in A.D. 70, was the one responsible for blasting the man-made church H.Q. out of Jerusalem and causing them to get on with the Great Commission, it’s no wonder that Sunday was the prominent day of worship amongst the founders (true and false) of the Christian faith.

I want to re-state the fact that Peter and Paul as well as all the rest of the disciples fell to the intimidations of the “circumcision.” The “circumcision” could have been the ones that insisted that Sundays be the meeting day if there was in fact a notable switch, so that the Jews would tend to leave them alone. I believe (at the least) it was a sort of compromise that was agreed to by Peter, Paul and the rest. Even though Paul rebuked Peter for the above mentioned inconsistency (Gal. 2:11-14), Paul circumcised Timothy so he wouldn’t get in trouble with the Jews when he brought Timothy into the temple, Acts 16:1-3. He compromised Timothy’s foreskin so he could take Timothy where he had no real need of going.

Because there were more non-Christians than Christians, I could easily call them gutless compromisers, but they had to do what they had to do. I think we have to, if not respect, at least understand the struggle and time it would take for people to accept the “New Way.” By using Sundays, they were maximizing the ability to attract the timid believers and the curious-potential Jewish converts, to hear the Word. Seventy years was a long time and it (that duration of time) for right or wrong, firmly established Sunday as the meeting day for Christians, even before Constantine came along.

To further illustrate, let me ask a question concerning the names of the twelve apostles that will be in the twelve foundations of the Holy Jerusalem. Let’s also remember that it doesn’t matter if this is literal or figurative. Whose name will be on that twelfth foundation; is it Judas or will it be Matthias or Paul? The Apostles cast lots for that decision, but may have been out of order and premature, and doesn’t mean that God wanted it that way. It was Peter that spearheaded the action that brought about Matthias as Judas’ replacement. Peter is impetuous, this we know (wanted to walk on water (Mat 14:28), sliced off the ear of the servant of the high priest (Lk 22:50), I’ll never deny you (Mat 26:33), and let us make three tabernacles (Mat 17:4), etc. I say it was Peter and not God that was in a hurry to replace Judas. God, it appears, had His own choice and His own time. The choice that keeps the important number at twelve seems to have been Paul.

In Luke 22:30, speaking of the twelve Apostles, He (Jesus) says, “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” This proves that the office of Apostle was not to be re-filled except for Judas’ position. Twelve is the standing number. Acts 1:20, “For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

If Nicolaitanism is what I think it is (according to Scofield and some others), and the dropping of the Sabbath, the selection of Matthias as Apostle in place of Judas, and Jerusalem becoming a H.Q. instead of the Apostles going into all the world, someone will have a lot to answer for.

I inject this next couple of scriptures concerning marriage into this chapter because it serves to illustrate a very important point. The point is; that man has always injected his will into God’s business when it serves his personal interests to do so. This act can be done, in and with, as well as outside of God’s permissive or divine will.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19:7-9

7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
Once again, marriage that God started from the “beginning” of Adam and Eve was set aside by man. Just because God sat back and watched should not encourage us to do similar things. We are to rightly divide the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15.

Does not Easter prove the depths of paganism to which we will bow? Who was responsible for the paganizing of the Passover into the worship of Ishtar (Easter)?. When did they replace roasted lamb with ham? When did they replace bitter herbs for chocolate Easter Bunnies? Who introduced all the other things most Christians use to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Christ? Please read the selection of the following scriptures from Luke 22. I will delete the scriptures that don’t pertain to the point I’m making.

Another one I have to inject is, Matt 24:20. “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:”

I have read this scripture many times since 1971 but while I was eating breakfast this morning, Matt 24:20 came to me and I have injected it into this chapter, having never realized it seems to teach that we should be keeping God’s (not the Law’s) Sabbath.

Many will say that this scripture was written to the Jewish Christians of the first century and therefore does not apply to Gentile Christians in the 21st century. In all honesty, this was written to people that were expecting its fulfillment to be very soon. The only problem with this (early return) interpretation is; when it was given by Jesus, God knew (if not Jesus) that Jesus’ return would not be until after, let’s say, the year 2003 since 2003 has not yet passed as of this writing. One thing we can be sure about-Jesus was talking to Christians. They (the disciples) were converted Jews. Since His return has not yet occurred, it seems to me that this scripture was truly written to Christians of all generations.

Whether this is literal or figurative for our day doesn’t matter. If in fact, we are to pray that our flight will not occur on the Sabbath; (because transportation as well as gas stations, food stores and all other related businesses will not be working or it will involve more than a Sabbath’s days journey, or all of the above); then it tells me that the Sabbath is or should be an everyday part of our lives from then until now. If not now, maybe in the near future when Christians come to realize the Sabbath is the day we should have been observing all along, and not Constantine’s Sunday.

Luke 22:1-15

1. Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. 7. Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover that we may eat. 9. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10. And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? 12. And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover. 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:
Why wasn’t the Passover dropped when the Law and the Sabbath was? This would have been a great time to introduce just the bread and wine. Passover was for the Jews and demanded by the law, was it not? Could it be that it was kept because it involved food: a favorite pastime of Christians? Which could explain why Paul had to pass along his stinging admonition, in 1 Cor 11:27-30, 34. 27. “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 34. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.”

I think it’s fair to say that this is about the last time we see any roasted lamb. When the pork came along, I have no idea, but I don’t think it was God’s idea. It’s like spitting in the face of the Jews and asking them not to be offended. This tantamount to the Ugly Americans – move over brothers, we’ll show you how to do it.

Acts 18:21 But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

Acts covers approximately 30 years. From the beginning of Acts to where Paul returns to Jerusalem is approximately 21 years. If this feast is Passover and he still celebrated it, why shouldn’t we today? If it was one of the other feasts, which was celebrated on a High Day Sabbath, then they must not have quit doing those celebrations, as some people say?

The following Scofield introduction note to Hebrews ties in with this very well: “Theme. The doctrinal passages reveal the purpose of the book. It was written with a two-fold intent: (1). To confirm Jewish Christians by showing that Judaism, had come to an end through the fulfillment by Christ of the whole purpose of the law; and (2) …the danger ever present to Jewish professed believers of either lapsing back into Judaism, or of pausing short of the true faith in Jesus Christ.”

I want to close this with another note from Scofield. “…The seventh day Sabbath was never made a day of sacrifice, worship, or any manner of religious service. It was simply and only a day of complete rest for man and beast, a human provision for man’s needs. In Christ’s words, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” ”

“Simply and only,” doesn’t describe the fact that it also commemorates the cessation of God’s creation and the rest God took, and if we are to imitate Jesus and God and follow them, then there is, not only nothing wrong with observing the Sabbath, we should be eager to do it because God did it. All this, tied to the fact that Jesus didn’t rise on the first day of the week, should make it all the more imperative that we follow God in doing this, just as we follow Jesus in baptism.

Galatians 1:15-19

15. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them, which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.
You may think that I don’t give respect to the H. Q. in Jerusalem, and you’re right. Jesus through the above scriptures doesn’t seem to either. You would think God would have sent Paul to Jerusalem. Later on you would have thought they would have sent Peter to Cornelius, but “they” didn’t. This Christian hierarchy seems to be a conspiracy against the Holy Spirit. My contention is that Christian mankind has said, “Move over Lord, we will handle the church age ourselves.

I’m not telling anyone that they should or should not be celebrating any of the former Sabbath day holidays. I am saying; we should rest on the same day that God did, long before the law came into effect. The question begs to be answered, if God rested on the seventh day and sanctified or hallowed it, when in the subsequent history of Israel and/or the church, did He un-sanctify it? And as noted above in a Scofield note, will be resumed in the kingdom.

If the Sabbath was hallowed after creation and will be observed again during the kingdom, where did it go in the church age? Doesn’t it tell you that the Roman dominated Gentile church not only did away with it, but that we (the rest of so-called-Christendom) were in league with them? It was not a positive move. We are to follow the Word of God, not the word of men.