What Do The Holy Scriptures Really Say?
In the following paragraphs the challenge against the Sabbath day is written in pink letters, the answers in white. The statement was made that the Sabbath is Dead. We say the Sabbath is not dead and that Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath. It is our prayer that those who read will understand — for the battle is not between people, the battle is to distinguish between truth and error.
The Old Testament prophesies of the demise of the Sabbath:It is incorrect to assume that Colossians 2:16-17 is the fulfilment of Isaiah 1:13.
Isaiah 1:13, "Offer sacrifice no more in vain: incense is an abomination to Me. The new moons, and the Sabbaths, and your festivals I will not abide."
Compare this prophecy with its fulfillment in Colossians 2:16-17.
We need to read Isaiah's statement in it's whole context to get the right meaning:
What are VAIN oblations?
So we see that this text actually links to Matthew 15:3-9 which is the fulfilment of Isaiah 1:13.
God wants the heart and commitment of His people. A people who exclude HIM from their daily lives, yet go through rituals of worship, are doing an abomination. That's what Isaiah is saying. He is not prophecying the abolishment of the Sabbath any more than he is prophecying the abolishment of prayer.
Notice that Isaiah also says:
Yes, Matthew 15:3-9 is the fulfilment of Isaiah 1:13 for it says:
"Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. In vain they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Jer 31:31-34, "...and I will make a New Covenant...not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers...the covenant which THEY MADE VOID..."It is interesting how people use this verse to try and get rid of the 10 commandments, when in actuality it says,
Didn't we just read in Ezekiel 20:20 that one of the "signs" of the Sabbath was that God is our God. Yes, when God's moral law is in our hearts we will remember the Sabbath day and observe it, in the true spiritual sense--"keep it holy". A special day to come apart for awhile from the daily pressures of life, and spend it with OUR GOD.
Nothing here says the commandments are done away with. God wants to put those laws INTO OUR HEARTS and minds till they become part of our very personality. The law of God is not to be merely on tables of stone, but written upon the fleshly hearts of our souls. Then as we rest with Him on the Sabbath, the Sabbath becomes a delight, a day in which we delight ourselves in the Lord. (See Isaiah 58:13-14)
Hosea 2:11, "And I will cause all her mirth to cease, her solemnities, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her festival times."
We need to read this verse in it's context as well, and we will see that it is not speaking about new covenant conditions.
Any applications other than that would point us to Rev. 18, when God again says He will destroy false religion, which pretends to be true, but is practicing sinful abominations, and all rejoicing and activities will cease for it.The Old Testament does not predict the demise of the Sabbath, but clearly shows it remains the sign. Let's consider an interesting sequence in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah speaks of the destruction and exile of the nation of Israel by Assyria and Babylon, and also gives them the promise that God would re-gather them.
He prophecies that the Messiah would be born to their nation, (chapter 53) and would die for their sins, and that HE would make a new covenant with them, even the everlasting covenant of mercy (55:3)
Then in chapter 56 Isaiah shows that those who were not God's people will be given names better than of sons and of daughter— the foreigners, the strangers, the eunuchs —
He is speaking of the Gospel going to the Gentiles! What are the conditions of these "Gentiles" being accepted into household of God?
ALL who choose the things that please the Lord and take hold of the covenant and KEEP THE SABBATH.
Read it for yourself:
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth.
Jesus Christ rebuked those who criticized Him for doing things on the Sabbath:What did Jesus, Himself, say about the Sabbath :
Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28,3:1-6, Luke 13:14-17. In John 5:5-18, Jesus Himself broke the Sabbath. An imfirmed man was cured by Jesus on the Sabbath, and Jesus told the man to take up his pallet and walk, two clear violations of Sabbath keeping. In verse 10 the man is admonished by others for being in direct violation of carrying his pallet on the Sabbath. Why do you suppose Jesus Himself broke the Sabbath twice? After all didn't He Himself write the ten commandments? Clearly He has prefigured the demise of the "ceremonial" Sabbath here.
Jesus stripped the man made, burdensome, rules away from the Sabbath, but He did not break it. The Sabbath was made for the "restoration" of mankind, Jesus restored the man to health. The Jewish leaders took the admonition that no one was to transport goods (do business) on the Sabbath, and turned it into petty things where one couldn't even do daily necessary things. Jesus striped away the burdensome petty rules, and showed us what true Sabbath observance is all about. He is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28) and He showed them it was a day of redemption and goodness, not a day of legality.
The Jews had so perverted the Sabbath that they made it a yoke of bondage, rather than a day to delight oneself in the Lord.. Their meaningless requirements hedged in by all manner of senseless restrictions made the Sabbath a burden. It was not to them a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honorable.
Yes, Jesus stripped these from the Sabbath, but He did not abolish the Sabbath, no, He restored it to it's true meaning.
The Old Covenant, and with it the Sabbath, was obsoleted by the New Covenant. It was fulfilled and replaced by the Law of Christ and the Lord's Day: Yes, the old covenant of sacrifices and earthly priests, in an earthly sanctuary was replaced by the new covenant, but most do not understand what the new covenant is. It is part of the everlasting covenant that spans all of earth's history. The new covenant did NOT replace God's ten commandment law which contains the day which God sanctified, blessed and asked us to remember; the day which Christ Himself claimed to be the Day He is Lord of. No! The New Covenant wants to put that law into our hearts and minds and incorporate it into our very personality! The new covenant did not exchange the sanctified and blessed day of the Lord with the sun's day. History recognizes the sun as the lord of Sunday. Whereas, Christ said He is Lord of the day we know is the 7th day Sabbath. (Mark 2:28)
Nor do we read anywhere that God's moral law, the ten commandments, are replaced by the law of Christ. The New Testament repeats over and over that the saints keep "God's commandments". (1 John 5:2,3, Rev. 12:17; 14:12; Matt. 15:3-9, Mark 7:9 etc.) And already in the Old Testament those ten commandments are summed up in the two great love commandments, (Duet. 11:13; 30:6; Lev. 19:18) which many claim are now the new Law of Christ.
The Mosaic Covenant and with it the stone tablets with the 10 commandments were inseparable.
Heb 9:4, "In the ark was a golden pot containing the manna and the rod of Aaron which had budded, and the tablets of the covenant."God's moral, ten commandment law is part of each covenant. It was because God's moral law was broken that a covenant had to be made in the first place. Sin is the transgression of God's law, and results in certain eternal death. Only a covenant could reverse that-- the old covenant was based on animal sacrifice pointing forward to a Savior who would die for them. The new covenant abolished the animal sacrifices because Christ Himself became our sacrifice ONCE AND FOR ALL. The law is to be ON THE INSIDE of us, not inside a golden box.
Yet, when the 24 elders, in Rev. 11, declared the time of judgment is come, what do we see? Rev. 11:19 says THE ARK OF THE COVENANT is seen. The very ark which Hebrews says contains the tablets of the covenant--the ten commandments of God.
2Cor 3:7-8, "Now if the ministration of death, which was engraved in letters upon stones, was inaugurated in such glory that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly upon the face of Moses on account of the transient glory that shone upon it, shall not the ministration of the spirit be still more glorious?"
Yet, Israel could not see Christ and His life changing power in the Bible. They read the Old Testament without seeing Christ in it's pages and that is like reading it with a veil over your face. When we receive the knowledge of Christ, that veil is taken away and we can, "with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (3:18)
Moses is referred to in these passages. His face was glorious as he came down from that mountain with the ten commandments. So much so that the people begged him to put a veil over his face. That glory came from him being in the presence of God! Yet that was only a reflected glory that soon passed away. If that was glorious, think how much more glorious Christ is!
The law is referred to in this passage, but it contrasts the law written upon stone, which only condemns the sinner to death, to the law written upon the heart, making the people the epistles of Christ. It doesn't say anything about the moral law being abolished.
SO WHAT IS MADE VOID IN VERSE 14.
The veil is taken away! In verse 16 we read "But when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed." Then we see Christ in the Old Testament, as well as the new. It is only through Christ and the Holy Spirit that God's law is written upon the inner tablets of the human heart. And only when Christ dwells within can we keep that law— for true obedience comes from the heart, not from outward restrictions. When the veil is removed we behold Christ!
2 Cor 5:17, "If then any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the former things HAVE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, THEY ARE MADE NEW!"
The new creature is God's child, who is made new. It does not say "new laws" are made, but "THEY" (that is people) become new creatures .The old carnal things within, which warred against God and His ways, are passed away and the Holy Spirit writes God's law upon the inward parts, upon the heart, and makes us new creatures in Christ.
Eph 2:15, "The law of the commandments expressed in decrees HE HAS MADE VOID, that of the two He might create in Himself one new man and make peace."
It's interesting how texts can be made to fit a persons agenda when taken separately. Verse after verse is used by anti-Sabbitarians to say the Sabbath is not binding. But on closer look, none of these verses have anything whatsoever to do with abolishing the Sabbath of the Lord our God.
Let's take the above verse in context:
Ephesians is speaking about "in times past you Gentiles... were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope...But now in Christ Jesus you were made near by the blood of Christ who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the regulation in the ordinances; so to make in himself one, of the two so he could reconcile both.....
What is being abolished here? This text is simply putting Gentiles and Jews on the same footing before Christ. It speaks of the breaking down of the wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles. In the Jewish understanding Gentiles were not allowed full participation in the worship services, they were not recognized as God's people. This regulation was abolished! Both gain their salvation from Christ. These verses have NOTHING to do with the Sabbath commandment issue.
In fact, when we look in Isaiah 56, we see a prophecy of this very wall of partition being broken down, and the foreigners, and eunuchs are given a place within God's temple and they are called better than sons and daughters and they KEEP GOD'S SABBATH.
However, history records that Christians built an immense wall of partition between Gentiles and Jews-- and that wall included the setting aside of God's Sabbath. The change of Saturday to Sunday came because of the antagonism between Christians and Jews. They wanted a wall of separation!
Heb 4:3-7, "We then who have believed shall enter into his rest, even as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath: They shall not enter into my rest. And indeed his works were completed at the foundation of the world. For somewhere he spoke of the seventh day thus, And GOD rested the seventh day from all his works; and in his place again: They shall not enter into my rest. Since then it follows that some are to enter into it, and they to whom it was first declared did not enter in because of unbelief, HE AGAIN FIXES ANOTHER DAY TO BE TODAY, saying by David after so long a time, as quoted above, Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." What does "He again fixes another day to be today" mean? It means a day other than Saturday.
Again we must take the verses in their full context.
The word for rest in Hebrews 3, is katapausis. In the first verses it clearly refers to the land of Canaan, which was the goal of the Israelites in the wilderness. Turn to Psalms 95:7-11, it's almost the same passage, however, if you read it in the Pentateuch instead of "rest" it refers specifically to the Promised Land. It is clear that God's displeasure with the rebellious Israelites resulted in their exclusion from the promised land. The entry into the promised land would be on "another day" another generation.
The author then applies the situation to Christians. The promised rest still remains (vs.1) He warns against hardening the heart and rebelling and losing out, just as the Israelites had done. The promise to enter rest must at length, find fulfilment. "It still remains that some will enter that rest" (vs. 6) There is a tension in these verses of having that "rest" and the "rest" still being future. All the New Testment writings maintain this tension of "already" but "not yet" of Christ's kingdom. Salvation has come, grace abounds, we can rest assured that Christ has confirmed the covenant of peace with His own blood, but the fullness of the divine purpose still remains to be realized.
The Sabbath continues. The verb "remains" is "(apoleipetai) which literally means "has been left."
The Greek word translated "rest" in every other passage throughout Hebrews 3 and 4 is "katapausis." HOWEVER, the word for
"rest" in Hebrews 4:9 is (sabbatismos). The term (sabbatismos) is seen in the writings of Plutarch, Justin, Epiphanius, and others, and each time the term denotes the observance of the Sabbath. Therefore the text is saying, that Sabbath obsevance remains for the people of God. Later the author tells us what has been abolished BUT FIRST he confirms the SABBATH OBSERVANCE remains behind for the people of God.
The passage warrants no proof for Sunday observance. The "another day" of 4:8 has nothing to do with Sabbath or Sunday, but rather, it ties in with the discussion about "today", in 4:7. The Israelites missed entering the Promised Land-- Today is another day, in which we can enter into the assurance of someday entering that glorious promised land.
The seventh day Sabbath is an illustration of that rest. It has the quality of that rest. It is the sign of that rest. It is a taste of that rest when all earthly things a placed aside and we rest in Christ.
Our rest in Christ has the quality of the Sabbath. It is like the Sabbath. Thus Sabbath observance remains a sign that we are God's people and He is our God Who sanctifies us.
See Hebrews 3 and 4 for more information
Gal 4:8-11, "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by nature are no gods; but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days (sabbaths), and months, and seasons, and years! I am afraid I have labored over you in vain." Compare these verses with Col 2:13-19 below. Observing days is observing Sabbaths, observing months is observing new moons, observing years is observing festivals. And what does St. Paul have to say regarding this? He said he has labored in vain for those who continue to observe these things!
Paul uses the term "elementary spirits of the world" several times in the chapter. The "stoicheia. Paul calls the stoicheia weak and beggarly. In Col. 2:20 he adds regarding these elements ordinances that say "handle not, nor tast, nor touch" and defines them as being AFTER THE PRECEPTS AND DOCTRINES OF MEN.
These stoicheia were not the law itself, but the ritual rules and regulations with which the law had to do. The Jews were given the gospel in symbols, but they multiplied the rules governing them, laying all the stress on the "beggarly things" and lost sight of the meaning and purposes of God, of the promises, the spiritual inheritance.
The Galatain Christians were in danger of simply substituting Jewish rituals in place of their idol rituals and going back to their pagan ways. Any worship that is based simply on rituals and isn't focused on our Redeemer is barren and destitute of salvation.
This is exactly what happened in the Christian church centuries later when Christianized cloaks were thrown over pagan practices. The weak, beggarly elements took over. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstituions were incorporated in the worship service of the profesed people of God.
Historians reveal that people living in the area of Galatia observed sacred times motivated by superstitious beliefs in astral influence. This is supported by Paul's reference that in their adoption of these practices they were in essence returning to their former pagan subjection to false gods. The Galatians in adopting the ceremonies of Israel which were calculated by watching the movements of the moon, etc. could discern nothing more than religious veneration paid to the celestrial objects in space.
The Seventh-day SABBATH is the only recuring Holy Day which stands totally apart from astral events! It's foundation is the Creation WEEK!
the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God...
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. Ex. 20:8-11
Col 2:13-19, "(13) And you, when you were dead by reason of your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh (failing to follow the Old Covenant), He brought to life along with Him, forgiving you all of your sins (bypassing the O.C.), (14) canceling the decree against us (the O.C.), which was hostile to us. Indeed, He has taken it completely away, NAILING IT TO THE CROSS (the O.C. was nailed to the cross, effectively ending it, and with it the Sabbath)... (16) Let no one call you to account for what you eat or drink or in regard to a festival or a new moon, or a SABBATH." That says, just what it says, DO NOT ACCOUNT FOR A SABBATH.Wait a minute here: Let's go back,
What written record is against us? It's the record of our transgressions!
With a little twist and their own interpretations they say that means the Sabbath is ended?
How can anyone come to the conclusion that Christ nailed his moral law to the cross? For the Sabbath is part of the decalogue which God spoke from Sinai with His own voice, and wrote on those stones with His own finger. If Old Covenant means the Sabbath is done away with, it means the whole decalogue is done away with. Yet no one who has honestly studied Paul's writings can come to that conclusion.
By the commandment law sin is defined. (Romans 7:7) We are sinners. The wages of sin is death.(Romans 6:23) So Christ took upon Himself the wages of OUR SINS and was nailed upon the cross, so that we could live! So that all who confess their sins, will receive forgiveness and cleansing (See also 1 John 1:9) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness. (Romans 6:22)
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, (transgressing God's commandment law) that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2)
Do we then make void the commandment law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Romans 3:31)
So would Paul, in Colossians 2 support the popular interpretation that the "written document, the "cheirographon" that was nailed to the Cross is the law, in general and the Sabbath, in particular? That's what people try to tell us, that God set aside and nailed to the Cross the Old Covenant law, and thereby, the Sabbath.
"Christ died for OUR SINS according to the scriptures." (1 Cor. 15:3)
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. " (1 Peter 2:24)
Colossians brings that same message. Paul is talking about forgiveness of sins (2:13; of dying to those sins (2:12); of putting off the body of the sins through Christ (2:11) of being established in the faith (2:7).
Far from destroying the Sabbitarian understanding of the Sabbath, this message in Colossians, is a safe guard against the agenda of those who would force upon God's saints their man-made regulations, such as the Catholic Church. For centuries they have told the world they have the power to forgive sins, and determine who is worthy of heaven. For centuries they pretend to re-sacrifice Christ, claiming they have the power to create the Creator and thus say they can produce him as a bloodless sacrificial victim to offer to God. They have played god on earth, pretending they have the power to absolve people from their sins or bar them from heaven. They have established and enforced Sunday as the day of worship along with many religious "holy days". Then they sent out the inquisition and the papal armies to subdue all "heretics" who understood the truth, that sins can only be forgiven by Christ and that the ONLY ONCE AND FOR ALL sacrifice was completed at the cross. And that the ONLY priest who can apply that blood is Christ our high priest in the heavenly sanctuary, which He entered with His own blood. HE ALONE CAN BLOT OUT OUR SINS.
Then they tell us this verse says the 4th commandment was nailed to the cross and Sabbath keeping is abolished? Yet they ignore the full intent of the message and turn around and do exactly what the chapter warns against!
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, teaching you the traditions of man, of the world, not of Christ." (Col 2:8)
It is the commandments of men that will perish! (Col. 2:22)
Don't let anyone judge you — just as in Paul's day, people were judging others spirituality by enforcing the commandments of men, so a religious/political ecclesiastical body wants to judge the world by enforcing holy days, penances, sacraments, which either have no bases in scripture, or are a distortion of scripture. But worst of all is that they set aside the commandment of God so they can observe their tradition. They set aside the plain commandment to keep holy the day God blessed and sanctified, and replace it with the day of the sun. Now the papal "Sunday Letter" called upon their members to urge for political legislation to support their "holy" day of worship. History shows what will happen once government joins with religious powers.
Verse (16) clearly says it, it says just what it says, DO NOT ACCOUNT FOR A SABBATH. Yet no Sabbatarian can explain this verse. It is ignored by them, as it is not in line with their teaching.
Here, the Sabbath is ended, and further on in this file you will see where Sunday worship begins.
Again we must read the surronding verses which are never quoted by anti-Sabbitarians, but which show the full context! Taken all together, this is what it actually says,
"Let no one judge you"...according to HUMAN TRADITION, according to the elemental spirits of the universe AND NOT ACCORDING TO CHRIST (2:8) He, Christ, disarmed the principalities and powers and ...triumphed over them. Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. Let no one disqualify, you insisting on self-abasement (acts of penance) and worship of spirit beings, (praying to saints and venerating Mary) taking their stand on their own senses... Why submit to regulations that have an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement ...but which all perish according to human precepts and doctrines for they are based on human commands and teachings."
No, Colossians doesn't do away with God's Sabbath day.
Colossians is a clear warning that people will try to implement counterfeit Sabbaths.
May we be strong and not succumb to the judgment of man, for we serve Christ, Who said, "I am Lord of the Sabbath day, the Sabbath was created for man."(Mark 2:27,28)
"Remember My Sabbath Day to keep it holy, for I am your Creator, without ME nothing was created that was created." (Paraphase of Ex. 20:8,11 with John 1:3 ) May we say with Peter and the other apostles:
" We must to obey God rather than men." Acts 5.29