COG Webcast


March 15th, 2011

The Sabbath is NOT done away with

Blog, Josh Patton, by Josh.

 


The 4th Commandment "Remember the day of rest to keep it holy
This was an open letter that I wrote to BibleED.com after finding one of their articles very helpful. In a response to someone, I came across a not-so-great article on the Sabbath and Sunday, that I thought needed to be countered. Actually their conclusion was rather backwards from what the Bible says. Here is the letter I wrote to them:

I applaud your scripturally accurate depiction of the importance of full immersion baptism and repentance as a requirement for a New Covenant relationship with God the Father. http://www.bibleed.com/bibleteachings/christianlife/baptismandrepentance.asp

However I have this against another article of yours http://www.bibleed.com/bibleteachings/pamphlets/sunday.htm

You claim that the 7th Day Adventists are wrong in their assertion that the 7th day Sabbath is required of New Covenant Christians. Your article claims that the NT does not teach the Sabbath, in fact you say that it teaches the opposite, that in Galatians 4:9 Paul is talking about the observance of the Sabbath. You are incorrect in this assertion as he was talking to people who were previously pagan, in fact by leaving out the surrounding scriptures of Galatians 4 you miss the fact that indeed Paul was speaking of the things of the world, not the things of God (the Sabbath). He was speaking of days and times observed by the pagans, and to the weak and beggarly things that the world has to offer. This does not apply in any way to the Sabbath.

Galatians 4:
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

Paul is saying he feels he has laboured in vain because they were turning back to the world, not that they were turning back to the principles of God. If you do a careful search throughout the whole Bible you will see that there is no contradiction. The Sabbath is upheld, after all it is the 4th commandment, A day to remember to keep Holy. Only God is Holy, set apart, sanctified, and nothing be holy without God. God (The I AM) made the Sabbath Holy. What he had previously setup as the I AM, he would in no way come to destroy as Jesus Christ. This is supported in Matthew 5:17-19.

Verse 17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Clearly Christ himself is saying that his purpose for the law of Moses including the Sabbath, the 10 commandments, and all the teachings of the prophets will not be abolished or accomplished until Heaven and Earth passes away. Last time I checked we are living in very physical world. In verse 19 is a stern warning to those who would teach others to disobey the laws and statutes of our God.

You are right in many ways about the OT meaning and observance, but miss the greater meaning of keeping the Sabbath in the NT. After all Jesus Christ our Lord kept the Sabbath, even though he was lord of the Sabbath. He routinely taught in the synagogues on the Sabbath as was his custom. The greater meaning of the Sabbath is a time to come out of the world and focus on the things of God, for it foreshadows the Millennial reign of Christ on Earth for 1000 years. In essence the 7th Day Sabbath looks forward to the rest that will be instituted with Satan put away for 1000 years before the Great White Throne Judgement. This is the same idea shown in Colossians 2:16-17 where the Sabbath is a shadow (foreshadow) of things yet to come.

Far from doing away with the observance of the Sabbath and holy days, Colossians 2:16-17 is one of the strongest proofs that the early church kept these days and that Paul taught the Gentiles to keep them.

Please consider these things as the Passover draws near to make sure that we examine ourselves (II Corinthians 13:5) “examine yourselves,
whether you be in the faith, prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves,
how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?” reprobates means failing
the test (Hebrews 4:1) “let us therefore fear, less a promise being left us of entering
into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it”.

A servant of Christ,
Josh

At this point I would like share a list of scriptures associated with the Sabbath and how we should observe the Sabbath, which is always a good reminder, not only of the things we should not do, but also of the things we should set our hearts and minds on the Sabbath Day, after all God made it for us.  Here are a few principles to guide us on what we should do the Sabbath:

1. The fourth Commandment, (Lev 23 and Exodus 20) – You shall do no work,
Here is a full excerpt from Exodus 20:
8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10But 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:

11For 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.

So from this part of scripture we learn that:

1 the Sabbath day is Holy Time.

2 We are not to work or labor, neither are our sons/daughters, servants,slaves, or even beasts of burden also Deuteronomy 5,

In modern times we could consider owning a business where it operates on the Sabbath and employs people to be work for our servants, even though we may do no work, it is a business. Therefore it is not lawful.

3 It is my opinion (when considering the context and the rest of scripture) but not the view of others that not causing your servants to work also includes modern daily activities such as shopping, or going out to eat at a restraint or other establishment where you pay money.for services, since you are having people serve you (they are your servants)

4 God himself rested on the Sabbath, to sanctify and make it Holy, so that we would have his example to live by.

Elsewhere in scripture we find:

5 The Sabbath was made for us: Mark 2:27 – “The Sabbath was made for man”  God created the Sabbath to be Holy, and time of rest for us, and to draw nearer to him.

6 Some take this scripture to mean we can choose to keep it or not. However take a look at these scriptures – Matthew 5:17-19 (not one comma the smallest part of our language, or Hebrew dot from the law will pass away until heaven and earth pass away) That has not happened yet!

Also Isaiah 42:21 is a prophesy talking about Christ: the Lord will Magnify the Law, not do away with it

We find Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:19, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but obeying God’s Commandments is everything. (Spiritually speaking circumcision does not matter, however there is proof that physical circumcision on the eighth day after birth for male babies is beneficial, and later in life, as it reduces susceptibility to disease such as HIV, and is cleaner) . Paul taught to the gentiles, the Jew and the Gentiles did not have any issue with keeping the Sabbath. Acts 13:42-44 After Paul was arrested the Sanhedrin did not find fault or evil with him, they were the religious leaders/Judges of the Jews – Acts 23:9.

7 There is also the OX in the ditch(pit) principle, Such as if your OX fell in the ditch you would pull it out, we take this to mean, extraordinary circumstances where you have no other option. If an Ox fell in a ditch and was not pulled out, it would probably die for lack of water.

8 It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath – Matthew 12:10-12 including Miracles,

9 As well as the temple service principle, where it is accepted by God that the Priests, or God’s Ministers can work their duties for the God’s Glory on the Sabbath, even though they are breaking it by doing work. – Matt 12:5,  Christ was Lord of the Sabbath (I might also point out he was preaching the gospel on the Sabbath which was work, but it was as our High Priest – Luke 4:16)

10 The Sabbath is a time of prayer, Acts 16:13.

11  The Sabbath is a time of healing, Matthew 12, Mark 1, 3, Luke 13, 14, John 5

12 The Sabbath is a time to reason with others about spiritual principles, and for ministers to teach the word of God, Acts 17:2, 18:4, 11.

13 The whole lighting a (industrial) fire thing  has probably been misunderstood by most of the Jews, in context lighting a fire was more of an industrial process, it was someone’s lively hood, their job, it was used to do their customary work. God was not prohibiting eating food, but rather promoting rest on the Sabbath, getting out of your daily work routine, and focusing on Him and the scriptures or teachings  – Exodus 35. The Eternal’s intent is to allow us to be free to rejoice and rest on the Sabbath, unburdened by routine physical responsibilities

14 The Sabbath is an holy convocation. We should meet with others in worship if at all possible, Leviticus 23. We should read the Bible aloud, study God’s laws and statutes, Nehemiah 8, Luke 4, Acts 13. Staying at home is not a Biblical Sabbath rule. In Exodus 16:29, God said, “abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” This refers to going outside the camp to gather manna, to do physical work of gathering food. It is not a general prohibition against leaving one’s abode on the Sabbath.

14 Heavy food preparation is to be done on the day before the Sabbath so that there is no baking or heavy cooking on the Sabbath, Exodus 16, It is ok to eat, just not to harvest on the Sabbath, and when in dire need it was ok to do so Matt 12, Mark 2:23-28 and 3:1-6, also Lev.24:5-9, there is more to these scriptures for the reader to understand.

15. The Sabbath is a day to realize that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.- Matt 4:4, The Sabbath should be a day of delight and rejoicing, a day which we forsake our thoughts and think God’s thoughts, Isaiah 56, 58.

17 Singing is a part of Sabbath worship, Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16, Psalms 33:1-3, 92:1-4, 95:1-7, 96:1-3, and 98:1-9. Psalms 92 is called the “Sabbath Psalm” and it speaks of singing on the Sabbath.

16.The Sabbath is from Friday Sunset to Saturday Sunset as in the Hebrew calendar (God’s calendar), not midnight to midnight as in the Roman calendar.

I hope this clears any doubt about the Sabbath and its observance, and if, not I am always available to answer questions. Don’t forget to leave a comment, and follow us on Twitter @COGWebcast

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  • CGP

    Good job, Josh, in bringing a short, precise summary of the continuing validity and observance of God’s day of worship, praise, service, and rest.

  • Thank you,

    May I also say that Jeff did a very well put together sermon on the subject after the blog entry here: http://cogwebcast.com/archives/sabbath-and-saviour/

    Josh

  • Is the Sabbath primarily a monologue ? Or have we made it so?

    • CGP

      The dialogue on the Sabbath is between God and the believer. The role of the teacher is to comfort the weary with God’s word, and make plain the meaning of scripture in a culturally relevant way. Of necessity this is a monologue on-line, unless you are chatting afterwards with us or join us in our home congregation for discussion. The role of the listener is to be like a Berean, to test what is said in terms of the scriptures, and thus dialoguing once more with God through reading and prayer, on whether what is being taught is true according to the biblical record. I hope that for most Sabbath keepers, God’s Holy time offers more than “monologue” but is rich in both the opportunities to be taught and have questions answered and to teach or encourage others.