Recently, I received a letter from a gentleman who said: “Dear Mr. Armstrong. For the past several months I have [been] watching your television program, as well as ordering numerous tapes and booklets. I have certainly enjoyed your insight into the scriptures and do believe God has given you a special gift of interpretation (sic). I was particularly drawn to your publication, WHY KEEP SATURDAY FOR SUNDAY?Like millions of others, I have been taught that ‘Sunday’ is the day for worship. After studying your writing, I was convinced that the Sabbath was that special day. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked for an explanation from a TV program known as Know Your Bible, just to see how they would defend their Sunday church observance. I’ve enclosed their answer. What a totally different take. Unfortunately, as you read their response, it actually begins to make some sense. Many scriptures are quoted and explanations given. I feel as though I’m back to square one. If possible, would there be any way for you to read this and respond to their answer? If what they are saying is basically wrong and distorted, I have been unable to detect it, but I know you could. I would love to settle this issue in my mind once and for all. Thank you for your ministry and your time.”
Sincerely, D.M. Missouri.
I wish to make clear at the outset that I do not have any special “interpretation” of the Bible. The Bible interprets itself. We are not to presume to “interpret” the Bible, or read any meaning into any scripture which is not substantiated by other scriptures.
With this in mind, I will be happy to respond to the publication he received from the TV program Know Your Bible. I had never previously heard of this program; do not know who sponsors it, or who conducts it. None of my responses should be construed as an attack against the program, its sponsors, or its participants. I will deal with issues, not personalities.
The material he enclosed will be highlighted, and will appear, line by line and paragraph by paragraph, in italics, followed by my responses from the word of God, in pica type:
“WHEN, AND FOR WHOM, WAS THE SABBATH INSTITUTED?
First may I note the Genesis 2:2, 3 passage does not say God initiated Sabbath keeping at the time that he rested.” This assertion is wholly unnecessary, and attempts to introduce a negative note into the passage by denying that it “initiates” Sabbath-keeping.
Genesis 2:2, 3 says, “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.
“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.”
If one wishes to argue that this plain statement of scripture shows that Sabbath-observance is not necessary, then why does God go to the trouble to tell us that He CREATED the Sabbath day by resting; that He BLESSED the Seventh day; that He SANCTIFIED it (made it holy; set it apart for a holy use and purpose)? To say God did not “initiate” Sabbath-keeping is splitting hairs, and shows anti-Sabbath bias.
“No where [sic] in the Old Testament prior to Exodus does it even imply that anyone kept the Sabbath. The statement in Genesis 2:3 is a commentary on WHY God selected the seventh day for Sabbath [sic] keeping not WHEN, (Cf. Ex. 31:12-17).
“Not even imply?” This is patently untrue. Notice the following scriptures:
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Therefore, the Bible definition of SIN is LAWBREAKING. The only possible “law” to which John referred is the Ten Commandments of God.
Notice further, “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression” (Romans 4:15). If there is no stop sign, you cannot receive a citation for running a stop sign. If there IS NO LAW, then there can be no SIN, since sin is the breaking of the law.
Now, notice, “But the men of Sodom were wicked and SINNERS before the LORD exceedingly” (Genesis 13:13). In order to be called sinners, they had to be committing sins! But if there was the existence of sin, which was law breaking, then there was also the existence of righteousness, which is law-keeping!
Notice what God said to Isaac concerning WHY He blessed Isaac’s father, Abraham: “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
“And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
“Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (Genesis 26:3-5). Commandments? Statutes? Laws? Then clearly Abraham knew about God’s Ten Commandments, and kept them. The Ten Commandments did not come into existence at Sinai, but were merely CODIFIED in stone, the most durable writing material. There are many scriptures proving the Ten Commandments were in force long prior to the codification of the Commandments on Sinai.
Notice further what a pagan king said when he found Abraham had told him Sarah was Abraham’s sister, instead of his wife, and God had shut up the wombs of Abimelech’s female subjects: “Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done” (Genesis 20:9).
Abimelech knew that to commit adultery was a GREAT SIN; the breaking of the commandment which says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Remember, SIN is the “transgression of the LAW.” But there can be no sin where there is no law! Abimelech knew of God’s Ten Commandments, and feared greatly to break them! He referred to adultery as a “GREAT SIN.”
There are ample examples, therefore, even before the book of Exodus is encountered in the Bible, which FAR MORE than merely “IMPLYING” that God’s laws were in full force and effect, plainly prove they were! To say the statement in Genesis 2:3 is a “commentary on WHY God selected the seventh day for Sabbath keeping not WHEN” is unnecessary, superfluous, and misleading. The WHEN is at creation. The WHY is because the Sabbath is HOLY, SANCTIFIED, and is a part of the first four commandments which show how we are to worship God.
The writer continued, “God instituted Sabbath (sic) keeping with the Israelites just before He appeared to Moses on Sinai. He did it in connection with the sending of the manna from heaven. Read Exodus 16:22-26. Please note that God had Moses explain to the Israelites the meaning of the Sabbath (sic) (vs. 23-26). If God’s people had been keeping the Sabbath (sic) since the creation there would have been no need for this explanation.”
The writer should have known that the Israelites had been in slavery for hundreds of years; that many, many generations had come and gone. Because Moses “explained” about Sabbath-keeping does not remotely imply that the Sabbath was just now being “instituted.”
Read the entire passage carefully, including verses 27 to 30, which the author of the anti-Sabbath document omitted: “And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
“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 remainethover lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
“And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
“And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a Sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
“Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.
“And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, HOW LONG REFUSE YE TO KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS AND MY LAWS? [emphasis added].
See, for that the LORD hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
“So the people rested on the seventh day” (Exodus 16:22-30).
Remember, this is the LORD who gave the codification of the law on Sinai!
Here, God provided an astonishing MIRACLE of preserving the manna so the people needed not to gather it on the Sabbath day, but observe it as a day of REST, as God commanded.
Moses knew all about the entire wording of the fourth commandment, which says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
“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:
“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” (Exodus 20:8-11). Remember, the anti-Sabbath writer attempted to use the creation of the Sabbath as “merely proclaiming the fact that God rested.” But the commandment says “wherefore [BECAUSE HE RESTED] the LORD BLESSED the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
The commandment says REMEMBER! This looks BACK at creation, and clearly shows the commandment did not come into existence at Sinai.
The ancient pre-flood patriarchs knew about, and observed God’s Sabbath day, just as did Abraham. Noah is called a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). David wrote, “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness” (Psalms 119:172).
God’s people did indeed observe the Sabbath from creation! Noah is called “NOAH VIII” as a title. He is called “Noah the eighth.” Translators added an italicized word: “…And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5). Apparently, the translators thought Noah was the “eighth” among the eight persons in the Ark. Not so. The translators placed the word “person” in italics, meaning they supplied it, not understanding the meaning. So far as the people aboard the ark were concerned, he was the first! So if he was “the eighth,” then he was the eighth WHAT?
The answer is he was the EIGHTH RIGHTEOUS PATRIARCH FROM ADAM who clung to the Ten Commandments and the truth of God — who KNEW about the coming Kingdom of God! Notice, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
“To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14, 15). So Enoch is called “the seventh from Adam.” But the seventh WHAT? Clearly, he was not the seventh first-born. Adam’s first-born was Cain, who murdered his brother, Abel, the second-born son. When Cain was born, his parents merely said, “I have gotten a man from the JHVH,” Or, “The Eternal.” This is the equivalent of saying, “Oh, it’s a boy.” Yet, notice the genealogical record: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
“Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth [emphasis added]:
“And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begot sons and daughters:
“And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died” (Genesis 5:1-5). Therefore, Adam lived for more than 90% of the time from creation until the flood during Noah’s day, and was a contemporary with most of the other patriarchs.
Notice that when Cain is born, the parents merely comment that they had “gotten a man” from the Eternal. But when Seth is born, we are told Seth was in the very likeness and image of Adam, who was in the likeness and image of God.
Now, simply count the number of the patriarchs, and while doing so, remember that by no stretch of the imagination was each one the first born son. It is utterly illogical to assume that there were no children born to Eve from the time of Abel’s murder until one hundred and thirty years afterward!
You have seen it proved that Seth was not Adam’s first born. He may have been the tenth, or twentieth. There is no way to determine how many boys and girls were born to Adam and Eve between the death of Abel and the birth of Seth.
Counting, we find the following Patriarchs mentioned: Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, and Enoch, making Enoch the seventh from Adam. But the seventh WHAT?
The key is found in the statement concerning Noah. “And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begot a son:
“And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hash cursed.
“And Lamech lived after he begot Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begot sons and daughters:
“And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
“And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth” (Genesis 5:28-32).
Enoch was “translated, and ‘was not found,’” because God took him. Why? Because persecutors were trying to kill him! Enoch is not in heaven, as millions have supposed. God says, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). And, a few verses later, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13). Therefore, Enoch DIED. He is NOT in heaven today (see John 3:13) Still later you read of Enoch and the other righteous people of God, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise” (Hebrews 11:39).
Perhaps either Methuselah or Cainan were not among those righteous men who clung to God’s commandments and His truth. In any event, it is clear that Enoch was the SEVENTH RIGHTEOUS PATRIARCH from Adam, but was by no means the seventh firstborn son! In each case, the patriarchs are said to have lived for lengthy periods of time, and to have begotten “sons and daughters.” Noah is called the EIGHTH. Clearly, he was the eighth righteous patriarch; a “preacher of righteousness,” who foretold the consequences of SIN upon a sinning, violent, God-rejecting world! SIN is what brought the flood upon the world.
Remember, sin is the transgression of the law, and where no law is, there is no transgression! Those who claim the law did not come into effect until the time of Moses are simply wrong.
The writer continued: “WAS THE SABBATH COMMANDMENT A MORAL LAW?
“No, Sabbath [sic] keeping was never a ‘moral law’ nor was it universal.”
The word “moral” means “Good in character or conduct: virtuous according to civilized standards of right and wrong… capable of understanding right and wrong” (World Book Encyclopedia). There is no need to attempt to set the Sabbath aside by claiming it had nothing to do with “morality.” It is WRONG to break the Sabbath, and it is RIGHT to keep it holy!
His statement that the Sabbath was not “universal” is widely off the mark. Of course it was! It was instituted AT CREATION, and was made known to the earth’s only inhabitants — therefore, the entire population of the world!
His meaning becomes clear later when he writes: “The Sabbath day law was included in the Ten Commandments and was a part of the Law of Moses which was given only to the Jewish nation [Exodus 20-8-11; Neh. 9:13, 14).”
To claim the Ten Commandments was a “part of the Law of Moses” is to attempt to diminish the importance of the Sabbath by making it appear Moses invented it. This is subterfuge, and is not true. While the entire Torah is sometimes referred to as “The Law” (Torah), this by no means sets aside the fact that God Himself created the Sabbath day; that Abraham and the patriarchs kept it; that it was enjoined upon the Israelites prior to Sinai.
There was no such thing as “the Jewish nation” until the time of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, when the northern ten tribes were split off from Judah (the Jews) and smatterings of Levi, Simeon, and Benjamin. That nation was overrun by the Romans, and no “Jewish nation” ever existed from that time until 1948, when the state of Israel was unilaterally declared.
There are four books of the Bible devoted to the SEPARATE national histories of the HOUSE OF JUDAH (the “Jewish nation” of the time) and the HOUSE OF ISRAEL. Jeroboam, Solomon’s servant, took away the northern Ten Tribes of Gad, Asher, Reuben, Naphtali, Issachar, Zebulon, Dan, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh, consolidating them into the “House of Israel” with a capital city in Samaria. The southern tribes of Judah, with most of Levi and Simeon, became the “House of Judah.”
First and 2 Kings; 1 and 2 Chronicles detail the SEPARATE national histories of these two nations; their kings; their wars. Shockingly, the first place in the Bible where the nickname “Jew” (derived from Yehudi, or Judah) is encountered is in 2 Kings 16:6, where the Jews are AT WAR WITH ISRAEL! Read it, “Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz[the king of Judah — the Jews], but could not overcome him.
“At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.
“So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me” (2 Kings 16:5-7). So the Jewish king, Ahaz, attempted to form an alliance with Assyria to help him in his war against ISRAEL!
Those who think the Israelites under Moses were “the Jewish nation” are simply ignorant of biblical history, and do not know any better. Continually, they attempt to make it appear that the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath were “Jewish” and therefore are not to apply to modern day Americans and non-Jewish people. This is a lie, and not true.
The writer then says, “It is very important to note that the law of the Lord and the Law of Moses were one and the same (Neh. 8:1, 8,14).”
Why should this be important? What does he mean? What is his point? Let’s read the scriptures to which he referred. However, let’s read the entire passage, and see how the law was read on the special occasion of the FEAST OF THE BLOWING OF TRUMPETS (Rosh Hashanah), one of God’s seven ANNUAL SABBATHS, and how it was received by the people:
“And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel [the Torah — the first five books of the Bible].
“And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month [see Leviticus 23:24] .
“And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
“And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
“And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
“Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah,Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
“So they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading [the people’s language had become corrupted due to their captivity in Babylon; the priests translated the original Hebrew into the dialect of the people].
“And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law [no doubt they had read Leviticus 23].
“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
“So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
“And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
“And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.
“And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:
“And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.
“So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.
“And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.
“Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner” (Nehemiah 8:1-18).
The anti-Sabbath writer mistakenly committed an egregious error in referring to Nehemiah 8, falling into a trap of his own making, for it proves how the Israelites rediscovered the Laws of God, INCLUDING THE ANNUAL HOLY DAYS; that they REPENTED of not having known this; that they then proceeded to KEEP THE ANNUAL SABBATHS with great joy! The Torah was read commencing on the Feast of Trumpets, and when they learned of the coming Feast of Tabernacles, they immediately set out to KEEP THE FEAST!
The anti-Sabbath writer then asked; “WERE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS TAKEN AWAY? The law of Moses (including the Ten Commandments) were fulfilled by Jesus along with the Psalms and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17, 18; Lk. 24:44-47) and were “nailed to the cross” (Col. 2:14-17. The Old Covenant has been replaced with a new and better covenant (Heb. 8:6-13), Read Galatians 3.
Was the law, along with the Psalms and “the Prophets” fulfilled by Jesus? Let’s study carefully the scriptures he listed: Matthew 5:17, 18 says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The gentleman seems to read this passage, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to destroy.”
The word “fulfil” means “fill up, fill full, do, or perform.” Jesus Christ performed the laws of God flawlessly, setting us an example that we should follow in His steps. When you “fulfil” the laws of your country, your county, your city, you “do or perform” them by obeying them. Obeying the law, such as in never committing arson, burglary, robbery or murder, does not do away with the law, but fulfils it. Jesus Christ plainly said “THINK NOT” that He came to destroy the law! Yet, the gentleman who wrote this anti-Sabbath article thinks He did, and tries to convince others that He did.
That the word “fulfil” cannot mean destroy, abrogate, annihilate, or even “complete” is plain by looking at many of the Psalms, which are prophetic in nature, and looking at the vast majority of the prophets, which are yet future!
For example, should you assume, according to this anti-Sabbath writer, that the prophecy of Isaiah 2, Micah 4, Isaiah 11 and Ezekiel 36 are “fulfilled”? This would be utter nonsense.
Look at Isaiah 2, as just one example among dozens: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:2-4). Obviously, this prophecy and its exact counterpart found in Micah 4 foretell the establishment of the Kingdom of God on this earth, the millennial reign of Christ. To claim that Christ “fulfilled the prophets” is utterly ludicrous.
Now, see if the passage in Luke indicates that Christ “fulfilled the Psalms and Prophets” or did away with the law: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:44-47). Clearly, Christ singles out the scriptures CONCERNING HIM; His Messiahship, His miracles, His teachings, His arrest, trial and death on the tree, and His impending resurrection. Specifically, He pointed out the prophecies about His suffering, and His resurrection, as well as those concerning the future preaching of the Gospel. Nothing here remotely suggests that He fulfilled all the prophecies, or that He did away with the law that He wrote with His own fingers!
The writer then said that the Old Covenant had been replaced with a new and better covenant, referring to Hebrews 8:6-13. Here is that passage: “But now hash he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
“For FINDING FAULT WITH THEM, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord [so the fault was with the PEOPLE, who BROKE the covenant, and not with the covenant itself!].
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
“And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins [lawbreaking!] and their iniquities will I remember no more.
“In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8:6-13). Read my booklet entitled Are Christians ‘Under the Law’?published at our web site: “garnertedarmstrong.org/.”
Obviously, if God places His Holy Law in our very hearts and minds by the power of His Holy Spirit, He is not “doing away” with the law, but making it INFINITELY MORE BINDING, since it is now applicable IN THE SPIRIT; in the INTENT; reaching into every nuance of human behavior, and not only in the letter!
To refer to the New Covenant in an attempt to negate God’s laws is ludicrous, since it proves the exact opposite!
The writer then says, “Read Galatians 3.” By all means do so.
The Apostle Paul was writing to Gentiles in the cities of Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, who were being seriously affected by “Judaizers,” Jewish so-called Christians who were insisting that these Gentiles be circumcised; that they perform all the dos and don’ts of the Talmud, that they become deeply involved in RITUALS, and the “works” of the law.
Paul explained that the rituals were a “schoolmaster” to lead them to Christ; shadows, patterns, types and examples. He wrote, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
“But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:24, 25). There are no points of the Ten Commandments which can be said to bring one unto Christ. Laws against stealing, lying, murder, adultery; laws which require one to honor one’s parents; to avoid coveting, do not portend the need for a Savior.
The specific passages to which the anti-Sabbath writer without doubt hoped would convince the reader the law has been rescinded are as follows: “0 foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified [Greek: Stauroo; an upright pale] among you?
“This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works [Greek: Ergon — physical labor, work] of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
NOTE: No one, by keeping the letter of the Ten Commandments perfectly for a lifetime of 100 years could ever EARN salvation. Salvation is God’s free, loving GIFT, resulting from repentance of SIN (breaking the Ten Commandments); baptism, and having hands laid on for the receiving of God’s Holy Spirit.
“Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
“He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, [Paul, referring to himself], doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
“Even as Abraham believed God [see Genesis 26:5], and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
“So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”
NOTE: Most who read this verse seem to believe it says “Cursed is every one who continues to KEEP THE TEN COMMANDMENTS” Such is the deception of false teachers who “spin” the scriptures according to their own bias. But the scripture says one is under a curse “WHO CONTINUES NOT in all things … in the book of the law!” In other words, certain curses would befall a person who strayed from observing the tenets of the Torah; the book of the law.
A number of examples are found in Deuteronomy 27:15-26: “Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.
“Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Are these “bad” laws, which, IF YOU KEEP THEM, places you under a curse? The anti-Sabbath writer would have you think so. The “curse” was both civil (political) and spiritual. Not only was each action a SIN, which broke one or another of the Ten Commandments, it was also a violation of civil law! Thus, incest or bestiality, or tampering with landmarks, could bring about a civil penalty, including the death sentence, as well as be a spiritual sin.
Such laws SHOULD be upheld today, except for Supreme Court decisions making sodomy “LEGAL,” therefore setting aside a Texas State Law which held it to be illegal!
Continuing in Galatians 3: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, Thejust shall live by faith.” [Of course! The law: either the Book of the Law or the Ten Commandments cannot justify, for justification means the removal of past guilt; the forgiveness of SIN. The law is not intended to forgive; merely to point out WHAT SIN IS.
“And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them [a positive statement, not a negative one].
“Christ hash 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 [of course! Christ’s shed blood atones for our having sinned; broken the Ten Commandments]:
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
The Galatian people were being influenced by Judaizers, who were insisting they must return to the Torah in its entirety, with its meat and drink offerings; circumcision; all the tenets of the ADDED proscriptions which formed the Talmud.
Paul was merely making the distinction between such ritualism and faith; showing that no amount of ritualism can atone for sins; that only Christ’s shed blood can do that! He wrote, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified [NOTE: It matters not which law is being considered, although in Galatians the “Book of the Law” which was a “schoolmaster” is under discussion. Even if the Ten Commandments were a part of such discussion, the same fact remains: No one can ever be justified by keeping the law. Only repentance of sin; the breaking of the law, and atonement through the blood of Christ can forgive sin.
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners [Ten Commandment breakers], is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
“For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor [NOTE: If one had committed a theft, for example, but had bitterly repented and been forgiven; why return to a code which required one on a daily basis to recite the CURSES one would come under for committing such a sin? This would be “building again the things which had been destroyed.”].
“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:16-21). There is not one hint, breath, whisper or inference in all the book of Galatians that the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath are “done away.” The same man who wrote to the Galatians also said to the Romans, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12).
Next, the anti-Sabbath writer said, “We are free from the old law, which included the ten commandments and the Law of the Sabbath. “ Paul says we are free from the law of Moses, that we might be married to Christ (Rom. 7:1-6). Then he clearly shows that the ten commandments were a part of this ‘law,’ from which we are ‘released.’ Paul says, ‘the Law said, YOU SHALL NOT COVET’ (vs. 7). This is clearly commandment #10.”
Let’s see if Romans 7 says we are free to break the Ten Commandments; free from having to keep them: “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
“So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
“For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter” (Romans 7:1-6). Of course! When we are forgiven, we are FREE FROM THE PENALTY (CONSEQUENCES) OF THE LAW! When we are lawbreakers, we are under the sentence of death — death for ALL ETERNITY, not just the “first death” which is the natural end for every person.
But when we are forgiven for lawbreaking, we are considered “dead” to the law, for the penalty for breaking the law has been carried out! But it was carried out on CHRIST, and not on us!
Paul says we should now “SERVE IN NEWNESS OF SPIRIT, and not in the oldness of the letter”! So he is saying we should SERVE the law, not ignore it!
Continue in the context: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet [NOTE: For the anti-Sabbath writer to seize upon this scripture as if proof Paul is doing away with the law (which he would never have had authority to do in the first place) is really ridiculous. Paul is pointing out that the law defines WHAT SIN IS, and showing he would not have KNOWN it was wrong to covet unless the Ten Commandments told him so!].
“But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead [So far as his consciousness was concerned; he would not have known about the proscriptions of the law if he had been ‘without law,’ meaning unaware of it].
“For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came [to his consciousness], sin revived, and I died.
“And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
“For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me [Exactly! “The wages of sin is DEATH” (Romans 6:23)].
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:7-12). This anti-Sabbath writer has the awkward habit of referring to scriptures which utterly destroy his own theory; scriptures which are powerful reminders that God’s Ten Commandments are to be OBEYED; that to disobey them is SIN; that the penalty for sin is DEATH!
One is incredulous to see the convoluted reasoning of such teachers. How can the same man who said “…the LAW IS HOLY, AND THE COMMANDMENT HOLY, AND JUST, AND GOOD,” be accused of having DONE AWAY WITH THE LAW only a few verses earlier?
Next, the anti-Sabbath writer asserts: “THE TABLES OF STONE WERE TAKEN AWAY.
There can be no mistake (sic) that the phrase ‘tables of stone’ in 2 Cor 3:7 have reference to the Ten Commandments (Ex.24:12; 31:18; 32:15, 16, 19; 34:1, 4, 28; Deut. 10:1, 2).”
Let’s read the entire passage in its context: “But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
“How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
“For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more cloth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
“For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
“For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
“Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
“And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ.
“But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart” (2 Corinthians 2:7-15). Again, Paul is contrasting the “glorious” ministration of death under the Old Covenant and Moses with the much more gloriousness of the “ministration of righteousness” under Christ.
Again, there is NOTHING said about doing away with the Ten Commandments, but rather the gloriousness of the laws of God in human hearts and minds!
Jesus Christ illustrated this point perfectly when He contrasted the letter of the law with the spiritual intent of the law. He said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment [the “letter of the law” under Moses]:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire [the SPIRIT of the law in Christ!]” (Matthew 5:21, 22).
Which is MORE BINDING? Which carries more FORCE? Which has the more fearsome PENALTY? Murder under the letter of the law resulted in death. But this was the first death, which is “given to all men” (Hebrews 8:27). Even HATING your fellow man in your heart, under the ministration of “righteousness” brings the penalty of DEATH IN GEHENNA FIRE — death for ALL ETERNITY!
The anti-Sabbath writer continued: “The apostle Paul, (sic) contrasts the ‘new covenant’ with the covenant of Moses in 2nd Cor 3:1-18. The following is a brief list of these comparisons:
NEW (second) COVENANT, OLD (first) COVENANT (vs. 6) (vs. 14; see Heb. 8 & 9)
- Written on heart (vs. 2) on tables of stone (vs. 3, 7)
- Of the Spirit (vs. 6) of the letter (vs. 6)
- Ministry of Spirit (vs. 8) ministry of death (vs. 7)
- Ofrighteousness (vs. 9) of condemnation (vs. 9)
- Surpassing glory (vs. 7-10) glory (vs. 7-10)
- Thatwhich remains (vs. 11) which fades away (vs. 11).
It is clear from the above that the Sabbath commandment, which was one of the ten commandments, ‘written on tables of stone, ‘was a part of the Old Covenant and has faded away. “
Yes, Jesus said he didn’t come to destroy the law, but He adds that he came to FULFILL it (Matt. 5:17). Yes, Jesus said that ‘till heaven and earth passed away, not the smallest letter or stroke should pass away from the law…’ but he added, “…till all is accomplished” (fulfilled (Matthew 5:18) (sic).
The taking away of the Law and the Sabbaths is not a reflection on the good they served in their day. All of the moral quality of the ten commandments have been (sic) recovered in the New Covenant. They have been improved and enlarged in Christianity. See Matt. 5:21, 22; 5:27, 28; 5:31, 32 and 5:33, 34.”
Such an argument is so shallow it is embarrassing. Naturally, looking at his list of contrasts taken from the scriptures we have already read in 2 Corinthians 3, one would prefer the SPIRITUAL ones, not those of the letter; of the “ministry of death”; of “condemnation.”
But WHAT IS BEING CONTRASTED?
Why, the LAW; THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! The contrast is plain. The law was LIFTED TO A MORE GLORIOUS, SPIRITUAL PLANE by Jesus Christ, making it infinitely MORE BINDING than it was during Moses’ day.
Strange — the gentleman went far out of his way to “prove” a completely irrelevant point early in his paper, claiming the Sabbath, which is one of the Ten Commandments, was not a “moral law.” Now, he claims it WAS a moral law, and that the “moral quality” of the Ten Commandments is “recovered” (an unfortunate phrase, for it was never lost) in the New Covenant!
His final point, “They [THE TEN COMMANDMENTS; THE SABBATH; THE MORAL LAW] have been IMPROVED AND ENLARGED IN CHRISTIANITY!” (Emphasis mine).
Precisely! This is what Jesus Christ plainly said!
“Recovered” in the New Covenant? But what is the “New Covenant”?
Jeremiah wrote, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
This passage says not one word about doing away with God’s laws! Notice that the New Covenant is to be made with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND THE HOUSE OF JUDAH! It says NOTHING about the church!
When Paul rehearses this statement in the book of Hebrews, he explains that there was no fault with the covenant — but that the fault was with the people who BROKE the covenant!
“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” (Hebrews 8:8).
The covenant is not the law! The covenant is an agreement! A covenant requires two parties to enter into an agreement to do or perform something.
Notice the description of how God revealed His righteous laws and judgments to His people; how they AGREED TO OBEY them, and the difference between the law itself, written and engraved in stone, and the covenant, which was the agreement between God and the people:
“Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
“Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
“For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
“And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
“Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.
“And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.
“And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.
“And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone” (Deuteronomy 4:5-13).
The covenant God proposed was His commands that the people MUST PERFORM His law! Notice what happened: “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
“And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD” (Exodus 19:6-8).
Here was the people’s answer! They said “All that the Eternal [JHVH: “Jehovah,” or that member of divine Elohim in COVENANT RELATIONSHIP with Israel] hath spoken WE WILL DO!”
But they did NOT fulfill their part of the covenant! “Finding fault with THEM…” wrote Paul. There was no fault with the law. It was PERFECT, and converts the soul (Psalm 19:7). There was no fault with the covenant, for it was simply the AGREEMENT between God and the people. The fault was with the PEOPLE, who broke God’s Ten Commandments!
Remember, the New Covenant is nowhere said to be proposed to the CHURCH! It is to be made between God and the two houses of Israel (which includes all the so-called “Lost Ten Tribes,” [read my book entitled Europe and America in Prophecy for a complete understanding], as well as the house of Judah; the Jews).
Again, there is nothing whatsoever said in God’s word concerning the Old and New Covenants about any inefficacy of the law; any imperfection of the law; any flaw, or error in the law, or any need for the law itself to be “done away.” Instead, the need is for the perfect, righteous, holy law to be “written in the HEARTS AND MINDS” of God’s people.
Next, notice another argument set forth by the anti-Sabbath writer: “BUT, JESUS AND THE APOSTLES OBSERVED THE SABBATH!
“Yes, Jesus observed the Sabbath and all the Law of Moses because He was a Jew and the Law was still in effect. The New Covenant didn’t take place until after Jesus died and the church was established.”
To allege that the New Covenant has taken place is ludicrous! Clearly, the New Covenant is NOT YET IN PLACE; HAS NOT YET BEEN RATIFIED! Read again the description of the FUTURE EVENT of the coming proposal of the New Covenant, NOT to the church, but to the peoples of the House of Israel (the Ten Tribes) and those of the House of Judah (the Jews).
“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:8-10).
The Jews as a whole have rejected Christ! The so-called “Lost Ten Tribes” represent such nations as the United States, Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Holland, France, Switzerland and Ireland, while the “House of Judah” represents all Levites (there are millions of them in America, Britain, Europe and Israel), those of Judah, and Simeon.
By NO MEANS has the TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD been WRITTEN IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS of all these people!
Revelation the seventh chapter shows how the one hundred and forty-four thousand; twelve thousand from every tribe save Dan, will not be converted until they actually see the HEAVENLY SIGNS from God following the Great Tribulation!
Paul describes how Israel and Judah shall eventually be reunited: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
“And so all Israel shall be saved [including the Jews!]: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [Abraham’s grandson, whose name was changed to “Israel,” and who was the progenitor of thirteen tribes]:
“For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
“As concerning the gospel, they [the Gentiles] are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
“For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
“Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
“For God hash concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all” (Romans 11:25-32).
Exactly. The “veil” that is over the minds of the Jewish people today is allowed of God, until the “fullness of the Gentiles” (nations other than Israelites) come in — have the gospel preached to them as a witness!
And what occurs when God eventually proposes the New Covenant to Israel and Judah? He says it will be proposed so they can obtain MERCY; so He can “take away their SIN.” And what is sin? It is the breaking of the Ten Commandments, including the FOURTH one!
Now, notice a description of conditions which are to prevail when Jesus Christ establishes his world-ruling Kingdom on this earth. Speaking of poisonous snakes, as well as wild, predatory beasts, He says, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse [Christ], which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
“And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth [all these peoples are pictured as being in a horrible CAPTIVITY at the time of the coming of Christ].
“The envy also of Ephraim [Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and part of South Africa] shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah [the Jews; modern-day Israel] shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim” (Isaiah 11:9-13).
None of this has happened! It is all yet future! As Paul wrote, even the Jewish people will have their minds opened to receive Jesus Christ as the true Messiah and Savior!
Now, notice once again how the SEPARATE nations of the past, Israel and Judah, are to be reunited in the Kingdom, and in the Great White Throne Judgment, following the millennial reign of Christ. The first part of Ezekiel 37 deals with the famous “Valley of Dry Bones,” which pictures the nations of physical Israel; slain, dead, but to be resurrected: “And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
“And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
“Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
“And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
“And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?
“Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
“And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
“And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
“And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all [David. See Jeremiah 23:5]: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
“Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 37:13-23).
Therefore, the New Covenant IS ONLY BEING PROPOSED BY THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL TO ALL NATIONS at this present time! It is NOT being proposed by Jesus Christ in person, face-to-face, as it will be in the millennium, and the Great White Throne Judgment.
The vast majority of all the nations represented by the House of Israel and the House of Judah HAVE NOT ACCEPTED the terms and conditions of the New Covenant!
Instead, deceived teachers deceive others into believing the New Covenant somehow DOES AWAY WITH GOD’S TEN COMMANDMENTS – ESPECIALLY THE SABBATH!
How utterly false! How totally untrue!
Now, notice the next assertion by the anti-Sabbath writer: “Paul, the apostle, attended synagogue worship on the Jewish Sabbath (sic) to teach the Jews. He honored Jewish customs and practices only that he might influence the Jews for Christ (Acts 28:17; 1st Cor. 9:20-23). But he never ‘observed’ the Sabbath as a religious duty or requirement. (Note his stand on circumcision, Gal. 2:1-5).”
To say Paul never “observed the Sabbath” is utterly ludicrous! Notice, “Now when they had passed throughAmphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
“Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ” (Acts 17:1-3). Of course, false teachers will retort, “Yes, but this merely shows it was Paul’s CUSTOM to go into the synagogues on the Sabbath day, it does not show he was keeping the Sabbath with Gentiles!”
But notice what happened when Paul preached to a mixed group of Jews and Gentiles at Antioch in Pisidia: “Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
“And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.”
These Gentiles were hearing Paul in the late 50s or early 60s AD! This was perhaps THIRTY YEARS after the resurrection of Christ! Now, the Jews were GONE! Only non-Jews remained! Not knowing that the NEXT DAY WAS SUPPOSEDLY THE “CHRISTIAN” DAY FOR WORSHIP, these Gentiles in Antioch pled with Paul to speak to them again the NEXT SABBATH day! But Paul did not say to them, “Why, that will not be necessary. There is no need to wait a whole week in order to hear me speak again on these things. Why don’t you Gentiles just come back TOMORROW, on SUNDAY, and I will speak to you THEN, because we ‘New Covenant Christians’ have been worshiping on SUNDAY ever since Pentecost!”
No, he said NO SUCH THING. Instead, the inspired word, written and completed by Luke in about 65 AD, says, “And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God” (Acts 13:41-44). The next formal meeting was ON THE SABBATH!
Paul was the man, remember, who wrote, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” He also said, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
“But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
“0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:22-25).
To add that we should note Paul’s “stand on circumcision” is utterly beside the point. No Christian believes circumcision necessary. Circumcision was a token of the covenant between God and Moses, and between God and Abraham, and was merely a TYPE of conversion. Paul makes it plain it is not enjoined on Gentiles, and says, “circumcision is nothing.” But circumcision had nothing to do with the Sabbath, and attempting to link circumcision, which truly IS “done away,” with the Sabbath is, at best, ignorant, and at worst, dishonest.
After quoting numerous profane writers, attempting to prove that early Christians observed Sunday, the anti-Sabbath writer then says, “It was the Holy Spirit through the holy apostles of Christ that set aside the Sabbath and set forth the first day of the week’ as a day for Christian communion and worship (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7,- 1st Cor 16:1,2). Sunday, the first day of the week, is the Lord’s Day and the day of worship for Christians… Christians met on the first day of the week for worship (Acts 20:7; 1st Cor 16:1, 2; Rev 1:10).”
It is not surprising that this writer uses the same scriptures as does the Catholic Encyclopedia to justify Sunday worship.
Let’s see if the scriptures to which he referred indicate that the apostles of Christ had “set aside” the Sabbath and “set forth the ‘first day of the week’ as a day for Christian communion and worship.”
Acts 2:42 says, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” To be sure, continuing in steadfast belief, fellowshipping together, praying together, and eating their meals together is a worshipful series of acts. But the scripture SAYS NOTHING WHATSOEVER about any specific DAY on which such things were done. The expression “breaking of bread” has NOTHING TO DO WITH “COMMUNION,” but means, simply, “eating a meal.” Remember, these events took place in the days immediately following PENTECOST, which occurred on the fiftieth day following the Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread — over a month and ten days AFTER the Passover! So this could NOT have been a “Lord’s Supper” celebration, for such could not have been celebrated until the following Springtime, on the fourteenth of Nisan.
Not one word in Acts 2:42 justifies any observance of Sunday.
Notice the next scripture, Acts 20:7. In order to understand the entire context, read all of it to verse 14: “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.
“And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.
“And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
“And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
“When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
“And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
“And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot.
“And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.”
Remember, the days began at sunset. Following the Sabbath, that first day of the week began at sunset. Therefore, the way we count time today, this was a “Saturday night” meeting, which continued until midnight, when the young man appeared to have died, and was revived.
When it came time that evening (at our Saturday night) to eat a meal, and all the disciples (Paul’s disciples, not those of Christ) gathered for the occasion, Paul began to speak, teaching them. Perhaps it was a question and answer session. No matter the format, he continued for several hours, until the stroke of midnight.
The next morning, at sunrise (our Sunday morning), Paul began to WALK across a narrow Isthmus, toAssos, which was approximately nineteen MILES away. The peninsula juts out into the sea. The ship had to tack against the winds, and could not have arrived at Assos much before Paul’s arrival afoot, so Paul decided to make use of the time to remain with the eager disciples until the last moment.
The point is that Paul went to the grueling WORK on that Sunday to WALK MANY MILES. He did not continue speaking on the daylight part of the first day of the week, but set out afoot AWAY from the disciples, on his way to Assos. The expression that, after the young man had revived and was “come up again, and HAD BROKEN BREAD, AND EATEN,” proves that the expression “breaking bread” merely means eating a meal, and has no spiritual connotation whatsoever!
There is NOT ONE WORD in Acts 20:7 which justifies abrogating God’s Ten Commandments, or “setting aside” the fourth commandment. This took place about two decades AFTER the resurrection. IF Sunday worship was in vogue, Paul and the others would have slept through that Saturday night; then had their meeting on SUNDAY MORNING, instead of using this first WORK day of the week to go to the arduous task of walking many miles!
Now, let’s see if 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 justify Sunday observance: Once again, let’s read the entire context in order to understand the true meaning: “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.
“And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
“And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
“Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
“And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.
“For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.
“But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost” (1 Corinthians 16:1-8).
How interesting! This book, or letter to the church in Corinth was written to GENTILES in the mid-50s AD, about twenty five or more years following the resurrection of Christ, and the great events of that Pentecost when the Holy Spirit empowered and begat the apostles.
Surely, there had been ample time for Sunday observance to become firmly established in the New Testament church, especially among GENTILES, after twenty five or so years had passed! Also, there had been sufficient time to DO AWAY with all the so-called “Jewish” Sabbaths, including the ANNUAL Sabbaths, or Feasts. Yet, to these GENTILE Christians, Paul says he needs to wait at Ephesus UNTIL PENTECOST! Ephesus was a large and important Gentile city. Pentecost was a NEW Testament occasion; now commemorating the great events of that first Pentecost following Christ’s resurrection, as well as noting the significance of the “firstfruits” to God from among all human kind. Clearly, Paul wanted to be with the large group of people who lived in Ephesus (where John became Bishop of the church) on that important holy day!
The “collection for the saints” was the result of a famine which had afflicted Palestine! Many were on the brink of starvation. Paul was writing about the need to harvest fruits, nuts, grains and all kinds of produce; preserving them by drying or placing them in containers. He urged them to go out into the fields and WORK to harvest this produce, then LAY IT BY THEMSELVES IN STORE, so they would not need to be out in the fields when he arrived!
Lugubriously, many churches have seized upon this scripture, printed it on the backs of little offering envelopes, and placed it in the pews of churches for the use of parishioners when an offertory is taken up. Ridiculous! Not ONE WORD is said here about a religious meeting on Sunday, nor is there any remote suggestion that Paul was speaking of taking up an offering in a church meeting!
Instead, Paul instructs them to use the FIRST WORK DAY OF THE WEEK, placing FIRST the need to alleviate the suffering of fellow hungry Christians by WORKING IN THE FIELDS gathering foodstuffs!
What do you do when you “lay be YOURSELF in store”? Do you hand something of value to someone else, or place money on a plate in a church service? Nonsense! Any housewife who has a pantry knows that layingby herself in store means storing up nonperishable foods such as canned goods or dried goods for future use!
Now, notice the next attempt by our anti-Sabbath writer to justify Sunday observance. He refers to Revelation 1:10, which we will read in its entire context from verse 1: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
“Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy [note that this is not a narrative; not history of recent events, but PROPHECY for the future], and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
“And hash made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen [The prophecies of the book of Revelation lead toward the second coming of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth].
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
“Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea” (Revelation 1:1-11).
So John was commissioned to bear record of three things: The Word of God; the testimony of Jesus Christ, and the things which John was to SEE, in vision.
He then says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…” and tells about having heard a great voice, as if a trumpet, which is the voice of Christ, commanding him to write what he sees in a book, and send it to the seven churches in Asia.
It is utter nonsense to claim John is saying he was in some ecstatic, spiritual mood on Sunday! Such an assertion does violence to the entire context of the book of Revelation, which is a summary of the major prophecies leading to the return of Christ and the establishment of the Holy City, New Jerusalem, on this earth.
Bullinger’s Companion Bible says of this verse, “THE LORD’S DAY = the day of the Lord (Isa. 2, 12 &c.), the Heb. Terms for which are equivalent to the Greek he kuriake hemera, the Lord’s day. Occ. 1 Thess. 5:2, 2 Thess. 2.2 (with texts). 2 Pet. 3:10. Not our Sunday. See Ap. 197.”
Bullinger’s Appendix number 197 says, “2. Its SCOPE &c. The key to unlock the meaning and scope of the book [of Revelation] is found in 1.10. ‘The Lord’s day’ = THE DAY OF THE LORD (Jehovah). See (Isa. 2:12.) John was not in a ‘state of spiritual exaltation’ on any particular Sunday at Patmos, as the result of which ‘he saw visions and dreamed dreams,’ But as we are told, ‘I came to be (or found myself) by the Spirit in the day of the Lord’ (cp. Ezek. 1:1; 8.3 &c.). He is then shown, and both sees and hears (22.8), the things he records.”
“‘The day of the Lord’ being yet future, it follows that the whole book must concern the things belonging to ‘that day,’ and consequently is wholly prophecy. Though partial adumbrations of judgment may be traced in connection with affairs of past history, yet the significant, solemn warning here (1.10) that the ‘judgments’ in Revelation relate to the day of the Lord, ‘the day of vengeance’ (cp. Isaiah 61.2; 63.4 &c.), makes it clear that the book concerns the future, and the day of the unveiling (the Apocalypse) of the great ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords’ (see Ap. 198).”
Review the scriptures our anti-Sabbath writer set forth as proof of “Christians coming together to celebrate communion.” Do you see so much as a HINT that such is taking place? In one instance, they are eating a late meal, when Paul departs on that Sunday morning at dawn for a grueling walk of many miles. In another, Paul tells them to WORK on the first day of the week, harvesting foodstuffs to “lay by themselves in store” so they will not be out in the fields gathering when he comes. In still another, John comes to be “in the spirit” projected forward in time into the “Day of the Lord” which is yet future, whereupon he begins to relate all that he saw and heard, which forms the Book of Revelation.
It is utter nonsense to propose that such scriptures show “Christians taking communion”!
In one of his closing arguments, the anti-Sabbath writer says, “The questions have been raised. ‘Is it a sin to observe the Sabbath?’ Will people be forgiven not observing the Sabbath?’ Based on clear biblical teaching it would not be a sin not to worship on the Lord’s Day (Hebrews 10:24-26; Acts 2:42). I don’t believe it would be a sin to observe the Sabbath (sic), unless one substituted it for Christian worship or commanded others to obey it (Rom. 14).”
What an incredible statement! So the writer says it is not a sin for a nominal Christian to fail to worship on his so-called “Lord’s Day,” but it WOULD BE A SIN TO SUBSTITUTE THE SABBATH FOR CHRISTIAN WORSHIP, OR COMMAND OTHERS TO OBEY THE SABBATH!”
And what IS sin? “Sin is the transgression of the LAW!” This writer goes so far as to accuse Christ, Paul and the apostles of SIN for commanding others to OBEY THE SABBATH!
Think for a moment of this convoluted reasoning! He says it is NOT a sin for an individual to “observe the Sabbath.” But it IS A SIN for some other person to “command others to obey it”! Incredible. Amazing.
Finally, you need to understand just WHO IT WAS who instituted the Sabbath in the first place; WHO “rested on the seventh day” and therefore “blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” You need to know WHO wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger; WHO gave it to Moses; WHO instructed the Israelites to keep the Sabbath!
The answers are found in John 1 and Hebrews 1. Please read John’s first chapter, verses 1 through 14 slowly and carefully. After you do so, I will comment: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
“The same was in the beginning with God.
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
“The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
“He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-14).
Having read these inspiring verses, you should now know and understand that the one called “God” in the Old Testament is the one who BECAME JESUS CHRIST in the New Testament!
Your Bible says, “In the beginning God created…” The Hebrew word for “God” is ELOHIM, which is a PLURAL word, meaning more than one, like “group,” “club,” “assembly,” or “church.” Notice the proof, with the Hebrew word supplied: “And God [Elohim] said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26).
Now, notice John’s inspired statements again, this time with commentary: “In the beginning [this is the SAME “BEGINNING” as in Genesis 1:1. There cannot be two beginnings] was the Word [Greek: Logos,meaning “Spokesman”], and the Word was with God [Greek: Theos which is a PLURAL, the Greek equivalent of Elohim], and the Word was God [the Logos was Theos].
“The same was in the beginning with God [the divine SPOKESMAN was there in the very beginning with the great ELOHIM; “God,” meaning more than one].
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made [so the CREATING was done by the one who said “Let there be light!”].
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
“And the light shineth in darkness [spiritual darkness, as in the case of those who deny the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath]; and the darkness comprehended it not [they are “blinded” as Jesus Christ said].
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
“The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light [John’s ministry fulfilled the prophecy of the “Elijah which was to come,” preparing the way for the ministry of Christ], that all men through him might believe.
“He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
“He [Christ; who was the Logos whose divine commands brought about the creation] was in the world, and the world was made by him [He created the earth, and all life upon it], and the world knew him not.
“He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name [one of Dr. Billy Graham’s favorite scriptures; an OBVIOUS reference to Jesus Christ!]:
“Which were born [Greek: Gennao, meaning “begotten”], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
“And the Word [the Logos; the Spokesman of divine Elohim] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Here is a profound truth, as plain as the nose on your face. But the CONSEQUENCES of believing and accepting it are just too painful for nominal Christians who, while professing the “name” of Christ, REJECT HIS LAWS and His MESSAGE!
To admit that the Ten Commandments were written by the finger of the one who became Jesus Christ is just too bitter a pill to swallow for deceived, deluded, blinded people who have not REPENTED OF BREAKING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS!
Now, notice further corroboration: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hash appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [so the creating agent was the SON of God; Jesus Christ; the Logos of divine Elohim!];
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person [Christ said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father], and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1: 1-3). Can anyone in his right mind deny this is speaking of Christ? Can anyone be so rebellious against God as to DENY THE PLAIN TRUTH OF THESE SCRIPTURES?
“And, Thou, Lord [REFERRING TO JESUS CHRIST!], in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
“They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
“And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail” (Hebrews 1: 10- 12).
The person of the Godhead who spoke to the patriarchs; who brought the flood upon the ungodly; who called Noah; who called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah; who called Moses and Aaron; who gave Israel His law; who inspired the prophets, is the SAME person of divine Elohim who BECAME JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH!
When Christ was about to be condemned to death, He prayed, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gayest me to do.
“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:4, 5).
Jesus Christ plainly referred to the glorious condition in which he dwelt, as a part of ELOHIM (Theos – God) with the Father even before the universe was created!
Now, review in your mind facts from the inspired word of God, which will JUDGE us in the judgment:
(1) Jesus Christ was the one who was the God of the Old Testament.
(2) He was, in the form of divine Elohim, the person of the Godhead who “blessed the Sabbath Day, and sanctified it.”
(3) He wrote the Ten Commandments, including the fourth one, with His own finger.
(4) The Ten Commandments were in full force and effect from the time of Adam; a series of righteous patriarchs, including Enoch and Noah, knew of the coming Kingdom of God, and were preachers of God’s laws.
(5) The men of Sodom were SINNERS exceedingly before God. Sin is the transgression of the LAW. Where no law is, there can be no transgression.
(6) Abimelech knew it would be a GREAT SIN to take Sarah as one of his wives.
(7) Abraham was blessed of God because He “kept God’s commandments, His statutes, and His laws.” Abraham is the “father of the faithful.”
(8) The Sabbath was reintroduced to the Israelites after four hundred years in slavery; it was introduced by the one who became Christ, through Moses, BEFORE Sinai!
(9) The decalogue merely codified in stone what had been in force and effect for centuries!
(10) The Ten Commandments are MORAL laws, as well as spiritual laws.
(11) God [the one who became Christ] said, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). He also inspired Paul to write, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).
(12) Jesus Christ said He did NOT COME TO DESTROY THE LAW.
(13) Christ told the young nobleman, “…if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).
(14) Paul said the “…the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12).
(15) John wrote, “ For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).
(16) There is not one scripture in the entire Bible which commands Christians to “keep Sunday.”
(17) The final remnant church is described as being persecuted by Satan: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).
(18) The final chapter of the Bible describes those who have a “right” to enter God’s Holy City: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
(19) Jesus Christ IS LORD OF THE SABBATH DAY — the true LORD’S DAY: “And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man [not “the Jews”], and not man for the Sabbath:
“Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27, 28).
(20) The first great edict the returning, conquering Christ will issue to all nations is to OBSERVE HIS ANNUAL SABBATHS! “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
“And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
“And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
“This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16-19).
(21) All flesh shall worship God and Christ in the millennium from Sabbath to Sabbath:
“ For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 66:22, 23).
It is one thing to be DECEIVED. God says Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). It is axiomatic that a deceived person can be HONEST; can be SINCERE; can be completely UNAWARE that he or she is deceived. What you don’t know — you don’t know that you don’t know it! If God has not opened the mind of a sinning human being, that person simply CANNOT see the truth.
Christ said, “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
“And And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matthew 13:13-15).
Yes, it is one thing to be deceived. But it is another thing entirely to be rebellious against God; against His Commandments and His Sabbath, with a nagging conscience which continually makes one rely on the millions in Catholicism and Protestantism; on one’s religious upbringing; on one’s family and friends, attempting to quiet that nagging conscience by saying to one’s self, “Surely all these churches can’t be wrong.”
But the Hindus outnumber all those churches, and all those churches know the Hindus are WRONG!
Could YOU have been WRONG and didn’t know it?
It’s a possibility worth considering.
You grew up in a “ready-made” world. To illustrate the point, a radio station manager once said to me, “I was born a Catholic.” Of course, people are born of their parents; born in a certain country, of a certain race. No one is “born” into a particular religion. The man meant to say “My parents reared me as a Catholic.”
Had the western world of professing Christianity never become completely oriented toward Sunday observance, its attitude toward God’s Holy Sabbath day would be quite different. But when all commerce, industry, education, government and even the military are oriented toward Sunday observance, it seems to the majority that any one observing the seventh-day Sabbath is out of step with the rest of the world around them.
This is why I chose the title, Why Would Anyone Keep Saturday For Sunday? for my booklet on the subject. It seems strange — even cultic — to most.
Therefore, the Sunday-observing world looks askance at the Sabbath — desiring to connect it with the “Jews, who rejected Christ.” Most, without ever really thinking it through, look at Sunday as “liberty,” and the Sabbath as “bondage.” The exact opposite is true.
The Sabbath day was set aside by your Creator — the member of the divine family called Elohim who became Christ — as a day of REST from your labors. In the commandment itself God gives an explanation as to WHY we are to rest: “…for in six days the Eternal [Christ in His pre-human state] 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” (Exodus 20:8-11)
The Sabbath is both a MEMORIAL, looking back at, and acknowledging Elohim [Christ] as the Creator of all things; of all life; and is also prophetic, in the sense that it looks forward to the millennial reign of Christ!
Few know there is a scripture the translators did their best to conceal which CLEARLY SAYS THE KEEPING OF THE SABBATH REMAINS FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD!
Notice the following scriptures with comments: “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
“When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
“So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) [Moses chided the Israelites at the waters of Meribah for rebellion. The older generation all died in the wilderness. The Promised Land was called the “rest” of God, and was a type of the Kingdom. See Joshua 1:13-15].
“Take heed, brethren [connected to “wherefore,” at the beginning of the verse, following the parenthetical insertion], lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day [remember this! It points out a specific DAY which is called “To day”]; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
“While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
“For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
“But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief [the Greek word for “rest” here is katapausis,2663 in Strongs, and means “reposing down,” “abode,” … “rest”].
“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest [katapausis], any of you should seem to come short of it.
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 3:7-19; 4:1, 2).
Now, notice how the passage continues toward a conclusion concerning the Sabbath day:
“For we which have believed do enter into rest [as a custom; as habit. This is not saying we sleep at night, or that we look forward to the kingdom, but describing how believers REST each week], as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest [the force of the sentence is “Shall they enter into my rest?” his oath delivered in wrath at their disobedience]: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world [important reference to what is to follow].
“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 [Genesis 2:2; Exodus 20: 11].
“And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest [at Meribah; repeated by Joshua].
“Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in [to the promised land; a type of the Kingdom of God] because of unbelief:
“Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
Study this carefully! He LIMITS a CERTAIN DAY; meaning He points out, selects, indicates, specifies a particular DAY. Why? Because he is introducing a logical conclusion concerning the fact that Joshua did NOT “give them rest,” which is why “another day,” the specified, or selected day, is discussed.
The scripture continues, “For if Jesus [Joshua: the Hebrew name Joshua is exactly synonymous with Jesus. The translators erred. See the Diaglott and Bullinger’s Companion Bible. See also Acts 7:45, where the same error is made obvious in the context] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”
So a DAY is the subject here. What day? Which day is a type of God’s kingdom; the millennial reign of Christ?
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). The Greek word throughout the previous verses, and in the two verses following for “rest” is katapausis, meaning a “downsitting,” or “reposing down.” But here, in verse nine, the original inspired Greek is Sabbatismos, a derivative ofSabbaton, which means “the Sabbath; i.e., Shabbath, or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself) … Sabbath day.” The transliteration in the Diaglott reads: “Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9). The margin of the King James Version in the large type “Philadelphia Press” Bible reads, “Or, keeping of a Sabbath.:
The term Sabbatismos means, literally, “keeping of a Sabbath!” Even as biased translators deliberately substituted the word “Easter” in Acts 12:4 for the original Pasch, or “Passover” (as all versions, including the Diaglott have it, with the exception of the KJV), so biased translators, influenced by the Roman Catholic doctrines, as well as centuries of Sunday observance, sought to obscure this strikingly UNIQUE WORD (it occurs only once in the New Testament) by rendering it “rest” as they had rendered “katapausis” so many times.
The force of the original writing is clear. Since Joshua could not have given the Israelites any kind of permanent “rest,” ANOTHER DAY is specified — which is why a “KEEPING OF THE SABBATH REMAINS FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD.” Now, notice the ensuing verses:
“For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10). So the Sabbath rest pictures how God “rested on the seventh day” and blessed it; hallowed it; set it apart as holy!
Those who obey God and rejoice in the joys of the Sabbath are picturing God’s own rest; which was CREATIVE acts. Creation was not finished in six days. God was not through creating until after the SEVENTH day. He CREATED the Sabbath day by RESTING upon it.
Christ said, “And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath:
“Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27, 28).
So WHICH DAY IS IT OF WHICH CHRIST IS LORD? Which day, after all, is the true “Lord’s Day?” Why, the SABBATH! He is “Lord also of the Sabbath”!
Notice that the Sabbath was made FOR MAN, not “for the Jews.” The subtle attempt to make it appear that it was “delivered to the Jewish nation” when no such “Jewish nation” existed; the attempt to make it appear “Jewish,” and therefore repugnant is at best ignorant, and at worst, dishonest!
The Sabbath was something which was MADE – created! It was made FOR man; for his delight; his enjoyment; his blessed rest!
Now, notice how the passage in Hebrews concludes, following the statement that a “keeping of the Sabbath remains for the people of God:
“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). It certainly does! The discerning of the very thoughts and intents of the hearts of many who are rebelliously hostile to the Sabbath stems from their lifelong traditions, together with the customs of all nominal Western “Christianity,” which has been locked into “Sunday” observance for so many centuries!
The Sabbath is to be a day of JOY; a day of thanksgiving; of day of rest, relaxation, recreation, contemplation, prayer, happy fellowship and assembling with brethren — a DELIGHT!
God says through Isaiah “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 [doing your own will; going about your own business], nor speaking thine own words:
“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” (Isaiah 58:13,14).
Some, in their eagerness to place rigid obedience into their lives, tend toward making the Sabbath a day of duty; of strictness; of many constraints. Some go so far as to fear to turn on an electric range to cook breakfast, thinking it is they who are causing someone in the electric company to “work.”
But this is turning the Sabbath into an impossible burden! Should such an one throw the master circuit breaker, and have no lights, heating, or air conditioning in the home? What about the coldest day in winter, or the hottest day in summer?
Such people make the Sabbath a yoke; a burden to be borne, and not a “delight.”
The Sabbath should be the primary day for church attendance! Thousands, beleaguered by the Sunday-observing world around them, are constrained to worship at home, among their own family, or gather in small groups for viewing a video-taped sermon; for Bible study and fellowship.
God commands us, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
The Sabbath is a day for sleeping in; for a leisurely breakfast; for reading, relaxing, and for extra time for prayer. It is a day to “smell the roses,” to walk in the yard, or go to a park, or take the children to the zoo if convenient, to show them the marvelous creation of God. It is a day to sunbathe, or to watch a documentary about fish, animals and insects (weeding out the pro-evolutionary comments which are always present). It is a day for sending a card of love and appreciation to a friend; making a phone call to a lonely person; visiting a sick person in the hospital or nursing home — a day of service, consideration, sharing and giving.
Families should find ways to teach their children about the creation; about biblical history; about their own family roots.
God told His people, “Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it [this chapter follows Deuteronomy 5, where the Ten Commandments are reiterated]:
“That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
“Hear therefore, 0 Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
“Hear, 0 Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
“And these, words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart [harbinger of the “New Covenant,” in which God’s laws will be written in the hearts and minds of Israel and Judah]:
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:1-7).
How many families set aside the Sabbath day for explaining one of the Ten Commandments to their children? Perhaps a father should explain how he HONORED his own father (or failed to do so?); their grandfather. Perhaps a mother should tell them what a wonderful mother she had — what a fine person their grandmother was; get out an album, show them their heritage!
Children should be taught to look happily forward to the Sabbath, because it means special things of interest; special treats; special experiences, such as a trip to a nearby lake for a relaxing family outing and picnic. Very young children should be provided with coloring books about animals or nature to take to church services with them if there is no organized “Sabbath school” for them because of the size of the group.
While riotous, noisy play is not to be desired, children will be children, and sometimes they need to socialize in playful ways following a church service they are too young to really understand.
The Sabbath should be FAMILY day — a day for rejoicing, thanksgiving, happiness, and family worship of God and His creation.
The time is coming when this entire world will call the Sabbath day a DELIGHT!
God says, “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” (Isaiah 66:23).
This is a prophecy for the distant future — the “New Heavens and the New Earth.”
Then, far into the future, all those who today hold anti-law, anti-Sabbath feelings in their hearts will joyfully observe God’s Holy Sabbath day!
Those who repent of their anti-Sabbath bias and begin KEEPING the Sabbath holy will find great joy in knowing, in their innermost being, “God is happy with me today!”
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