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Switch to Forum Live View SHOULD CHRISTIANS KEEP the SABBATH
5 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2009 - 4:53PM #1
The Country Doc
Posts: 44
Hello Friends,

Sorry to have not finished this thread much sooner but I've been recovering from a very bad fall which resulted in me not beingable to sit at the computer. I'll  be back shortly.

Your brother in Christ,
Doc
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2009 - 5:29PM #2
The Country Doc
Posts: 44
Where Did Sunday Worship Come From?

The conclusion is unavoidable: there is no text in the New Testament that explicitly transfers the blessing and sacredness that God placed on the seventh-day Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11) to Sunday. There is however, historical evidence that man attempted to effect such a change, and the Church of the Middle Ages takes full responsibility for such transference. In the Convert’s Catechism Of Catholic Doctrine (Peter Geiermann, Herder Book Co, London, 1931), the question is asked, “Which is the Sabbath day?” “Saturday is the Sabbath day.” “Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?” “We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” Page 50.

Another Catholic author writes, “You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! but by whom? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who shall dare to say, Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shat keep holy the first day in its stead? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer. You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.” Library of Christian Doctrine: Why Don’t You Keep Holy the Sabbath-Day? London: Burns and Oates, Ltd., pp. 3, 4.

Note that Catholicism stands for the principle that the Church is “above Scripture” and thereby has such authority. Those who “protested” against this theology claimed that “Scripture is above the Church” and the Church is shaped by its teachings. Where do “Protestants” stand on this issue today, particularly as it relates to the day of worship?

While Moses was on Sinai receiving the law, the people below were transgressing it. Aaron, under the insistence of the crowd, had fashioned a golden calf and invited the congregation to worship. “And Aaron made a proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.’” Exodus 32:5. Because Aaron, a mere man, said so, did that make it so? Certainly not! We recoil in disbelief at the flagrant disobedience of the Israelites at the foot of Horeb with their idolatrous way of worship, but is there any difference between that conduct and the setting aside of God’s explicit command regarding the day of worship by the professed Christian community now? With respect to God’s designated day of worship, the seventh day Sabbath, it appears there are many “Aarons” today who are teaching, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.”

Someone might ask, “Doesn’t Romans 14 teach us that it doesn’t make any difference what day we keep?” The text in question is dealing with “doubtful disputations.” Romans 14:1. There has never been anything doubtful about what God wrote in stone! There is nothing doubtful about “murder,” “lying,” “adultery” or “coveting.” Nor should there be about the Sabbath.

The subject Paul is addressing has to do with the festival days attached to the Passover, Pentecost and Day of Atonement feasts. We are told specifically that within those festivals there were “sabbaths.” Leviticus 23:24. These could come on any day of the week. They were distinguished from the Sabbath memorializing creation, which came only on the seventh day of the week. This instruction is in parallel with Paul’s letter to the Colossians in which he wrote, “Therefore (because of Christ’s death on the cross) let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.“ Colossians 2:16, 17. The subject matter, as well as the phrase “let no one judge you” is a clear tie to Romans 14:3, 4.

How do we know Paul is not talking about the seventh-day Sabbath in Colossians? First, the word is plural. He speaks of the “sabbaths.” There is a distinct difference between referring to “the Sabbath” and the “sabbaths.” Secondly, there is an phrase which follows which gives clear definition to the “sabbaths” of which he speaks. He does not leave us guessing concerning which sabbaths he is referring. That little word “which” in the text is important! It demonstrates that Paul is not speaking of all Sabbaths; he speaks to those sabbaths “which are a shadow of things to come.”

If someone asked you to go to a parking lot and write down all the license plate numbers of cars which are red, you would not come back with all the license plate numbers (unless by strange coincidence all cars in the lot happened to be red!). Because of that little phrase beginning with the word “which” you would be selective in writing the information down, and pay attention only to licenses of red cars. In the same way, Paul has given us unmistakable evidence that he is not talking about all Sabbaths; just the ones which pointed forward to the cross.

The Sabbath of the fourth commandment gives clear indication of its purpose. It directs our attention backward to the creation of the world. In the commandment itself God explains why it is to be honored. We are enjoined to observe it, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Is Paul speaking about the Sabbath which, according to the language of the Lawgiver pointed back to creation? No, he is addressing those sabbaths that were as “shadows” (or “illustrations, types”) pointing forward to Calvary, where “good things” took place for our redemption.

In the Old Testament, every sacrifice was an arrow pointing to the cross. In every sacrifice there was a promise of Calvary. Every time a lamb’s blood was shed it illustrated what God would do through the death of Jesus the Messiah. These sacrifices, and the festival sabbaths that were part of their ceremonies, came to their rightful end when the true Lamb of God paid for our salvation on Golgotha. Therefore, the festival sabbaths were optional for New Testament believers. If a person observed the Passover sabbath “to the Lord,” that was okay. If, given his faith in Jesus as the Passover Lamb, his conscience led him to disregard the festival sabbath, that also was okay. This might be similar to one who chooses not to observe Christmas or Easter recognizing that the roots of many of the customs associated with those events come from less than desirable soil.
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Next: Can We Be Sure Which Is the Seventh Day?

Your brother in Christ,
Doc
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2009 - 5:35PM #3
The Country Doc
Posts: 44
Can We Be Sure Which Is the Seventh Day?

Wasn’t the calendar changed and hasn’t time been lost, so that we don’t know what the “seventh day” is today? It is true that periodically changes have occurred to the calendar to make adjustments, but the weekly cycle has never been changed! We make an adjustment when we insert an extra day every four years and call it a “leap year,” but the weekly cycle isn’t altered. In 1582 the Gregorian calendar eliminated ten days from the month of October, but the days of the week remained intact. Does it really make sense that millions of Jews are mistaken as to which day is the Sabbath, and billions of Christians are confused as to which day is the day on which Jesus rose, but that this mistake has somehow resulted in all Jews recognizing that the seventh day is the Sabbath and all Christians pointing to the first day of the week as being the day on which Jesus was resurrected?

For believers, there should be no ambiguity as to which is God’s Sabbath. Luke 23:54-56 makes it clear that the day between the day that Christ died (acknowledged by almost everyone to be Friday) and the day He rose again (acclaimed by all to be Sunday) is the “Sabbath according to the commandment.” Take note that Luke wrote this many years after the death of Jesus. If a change in the day of worship had been instituted by Christ and observed by the apostles, Luke would have declared it to be so.

In over 100 major languages of the world, including Greek, German, Russian and Spanish, the word for the seventh-day is “Sabbath.” In the case of Spanish, we’re told that now there is a separate word to designate “Sabbath” in a religious sense, but there can be no question where the term “sabado” came from. More than that, the word for the sixth day of the week today in Greek is “preparation” (paraskeue), hearkening back to God’s instruction that adequate preparations be made before the Sabbath, so that no work be done during holy hours. See Exodus 16:5; Luke 23:54.

In this enlightened age, will God accept the reasoning that “everyone else is doing it” as a reason to disobey His commandments? Will the excuse “it doesn’t matter,” when God wrote it in stone carry weight? When we stand before Him in the day of Judgment, will it suffice to call on a few instances that identify the day when Jesus rose as the first day of the week, when the disciples met “for fear” not worship, a Saturday night farewell speech by Paul or his advice that believers lay aside (“at home”) an offering for future collection, as being sufficient authority to justify the substitution of another day for His Sabbath? Conspicuously absent from these Scriptures is a definitive “Thus saith the Lord.” Behind all of these excuses lurks the shadow of the arch deceiver, whose intent it has always been to wage war against God and His law.

Today the voice of God asks, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? Exodus 16:28. That question was originally asked when the Israelites disregarded God’s instruction regarding keeping the Sabbath, an event which took place before the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai, recorded in Exodus 20. In these last days of earth’s history obedience to God will define the true disciple. In times of ignorance, God “winked,” but now commands all men and women to repent and acknowledge Him as Lord by obedience to all His commandments.

We come back to our original question. Should people honor their Maker? Should believers submit to His will? Should one who calls himself a follower of the Lord obey Him in all things? Should Christians keep the Sabbath? Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!
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This concludes this study.

Your brother in Christ,
Doc
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