Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Sabbath

Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

The Sabbath was a ceremonial commandment given to the Jews. It was not a moral commandment.

Exodus 34:18 "The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt. 21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest. 22 And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end."

It was also a sign to the children of Israel. The definition of the Sabbath is defined in Exodus 31:12-18.

Exodus 31:17 "It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."

Ezekiel 20:20 "And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God."

Since signs are for the Jews and not Christians, Christian are not commanded to keep the Jewish Sabbath. The Jews require a sign because their nation began with signs (Exodus 4).

1 Corinthians 1:22 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:"

The Sabbath sometimes is falsely believed to be on Sunday, but it is actually from 6 P.M. Friday to 6 P.M. Saturday. Cults such as the Seventh-Day Adventists believe that one must keep the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath to be saved. They teach that if a person does not keep the Sabbath, they will lose their salvation. The verses that were shown above prove this heresy wrong. We also know that salvation is by faith alone, not works (Eph. 2:8-9).

Now the questions arises, "Why do we go to church on Sunday then?"

New Testament Christians do not meet on the Jewish Sabbath. Christians meet on the first day of the week, which is Sunday (Acts 20). They also took up collection on Sunday.

1 Corinthians 16:1 "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 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. 3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. 4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me."

They also preached on Sunday.

Acts 20:7 "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."

Why did they do all of this on Sunday? Because Jesus Christ, the Saviour rose on Sunday (Luke 24, Matt. 28) and the Holy Spirit also came down on Sunday (Acts 2:1-6).

Back to the Jewish Sabbath and why we as Christian do not keep it. As said earlier in the article, the Sabbath is a ceremonial law for the Jews (Lev. 19:30). The New Testament forbids anyone judging in respect to ceremonial observances of any day.

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

Also, notice how Paul purposely omits the Sabbath from the moral laws in the below verses. Paul preached Christian doctrine and we are to follow him, not Jewish ceremonial laws in the Old Testament.

Romans 13:8 "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

In conclusion, the cults like the Seventh-Day Adventists are wrong for teaching that Christians must keep the Sabbath. Anyone who believes that the law is justifying him is unsaved according to Galatians 5:4. We are justified by faith alone.

Galatians 2:16 "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."