Law vs. Lawlessness #6

Matt 24:11 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

 The Sabbath Observance

What about the Sabbath day?  Grace Centered Christians claims it is "an old covenant law," because it was part of the Ten Commandments given at Mount Sinai. They then ask,

"But, is the Sabbath required in the new covenant?  Or, as another possibility, is it transformed, to be kept in a different way? . . . Is it possible that Jesus Christ changed the way we ought to observe the Sabbath?"   People have said...We're not saying it's wrong to worship God on any day of the week.  So lets pick a "traditional" day instead of the one God picked to worship Him and Keep Holy.

    Do you see how insidious this question is? By asking this type of question, Christianity today raises a whole series of questions and creates doubt!   The Preachers of this world say, "The new covenant is based on faith, not on law"  So now this colonizes the picture, and tries to get you to forget that Abraham was justified by "faith AND works" of obedience to God’s laws (James 2:21-24; Gen.26:5).

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.    24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Gen 26:5 "because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."

The truth is, the New Covenant is based on FAITH AND LAW TOGETHER!
It is faith in God and His Spirit that enables us to keep and observe God’s Law! Faith without the "works" of law keeping, and obedience, is DEAD, James plainly said—twice, in fact (James 2:17 and 2:26). Faith without works is like  useless.   —dead, dead, dead!

The truth is, the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments, goes back to Creation, and was given to Israel to remind them which day was the Sabbath PRIOR to the Sinai covenant (Gen.2:1-3; Exodus 16). In fact, in the very Ten Commandments, God said, "REMEMBER the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exo.20:8).
8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
11 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.

This was not a NEW law, but something He was REMINDING them to observe and keep!

But did Jesus come to CHANGE the way we should observe the Sabbath?
Did He say it is all right, now, to work on the Sabbath at a normal, routine job? Did He say it is all right to seek our own pleasure,  on the Sabbath?

Absolutely not! Jesus came to teach us to observe all God’s commandments as God originally intended us to do! He came to rebuke the legalizing Pharisees who were ADDING "man-made traditions" to the laws of God, making them a burden instead of a delight! He said to the Pharisees, "Why do ye transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" (see Matt.15:1-9).

Mat 15:1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,
Mat 15:2 "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."
Mat 15:3 He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Mat 15:4 "For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Mat 15:5 "But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God";
Mat 15:6 'then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.
Mat 15:7 "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
Mat 15:8 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
Mat 15:9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

He warned them, "Howbeit in VAIN do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the TRADITION OF MEN . . ." (Mark 7:7-8).

Mark 7:7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
Mark 7:8 "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men; the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do."
Mark 7:9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

The Sabbath was an example of how the Pharisees had added their own traditions to God’s commandment, and made it a yoke of bondage. Jesus permitted His disciples to pluck ears of wheat to eat as they walked through a field on the Sabbath. This outraged the Pharisees, who accused them of "harvesting grain" on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-24). But Jesus rebuked them, saying, "The Sabbath was made FOR man, and not man for the Sabbath" (verse 27). In other words, God never intended men to bog down in self-important ritual and go hungry on the Sabbath, because of human "additions" to the simple laws of God.

God never intended men to avoid picking an apple to eat on the Sabbath, or a few cherries, or strawberries, or an ear of fresh ripe corn, or a few radishes from their garden, while walking outside and enjoying the fresh air of nature. The Pharisees had added many such stringent additions to God’s wonderful laws, turning them into an onerous and impossible yoke of heavy bondage.

Jesus plainly showed, as the  Church of God has historically taught, that any emergency should be taken care of on the Sabbath, that it is all right to do good on the Sabbath, to visit the sick, to see a doctor if you need to, or to care for the sick and afflicted.

The deceiver attempts to diminish the importance of the Sabbath, by saying it was the sign of the old covenant with Israel, but not the sign of the New Covenant. This is utter nonsense! The Sabbath is God’s LAW—a sign between Him and His people FOR EVER (see Exodus 31:13-17).

Exo 31:13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.....

It is A PERPETUAL COVENANT (verse 16). It is the sign of God’s true people. And so are the annual holy days of God, which also were ordained FOREVER (Exo.12:14-16; Lev.23).

Exo 12:14 'So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.
Exo 12:15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
Exo 12:16 'On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat; that only may be prepared by you.

The worldly teaches:

"The Lord of the Sabbath has come, and the reality has replaced the shadow (Col.2:17). Col 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,  Col 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
The New Testament Sabbath, the Sabbath rest that remains for the people of God (Hebrews 4) is the new life in Christ, the life of faith in Him . . ."  and Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death....
Be sure to read the rest.....

    What folderol and balderdash! The Sabbath is not, was not, and was never intended to be a temporary "shadow"—it is a weekly 24-hour period of time which God declares is HOLY TIME! To desecrate it or work on it or "break" it is tantamount to blaspheming God. It is an ABOMINATION to water down the Sabbath commandment, and call it a mere "shadow."  Christ kept it.  Paul kept it. James kept it.  Peter kept it.   If Christ lives in us, why wouldn't we follow his footsteps?

The Sabbath of course is a TYPE of the millennial rest, the 1000 year reign of Christ which comes at the end of 6,000 years of man’s rule on planet earth (Rev.20:4). Therefore, it is a "shadow" of the 1,000 year millennial "Sabbath." All of God’s Holy Days are shadows in the sense that they "foreshadow" something in the Plan of God. But that fact does not lessen their importance—it should strengthen their significance and increase their importance, in our eyes!

The world tends to minimize the Sabbath and all the commandments of God. But Isaiah foretold of the Messiah, "The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will MAGNIFY THE LAW, and make it honorable" (Isaiah 42:21).

Isa 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for His righteousness' sake; He will exalt the law and make it honorable.

The world  is looking at the Law of God through the wrong end of a telescope! They shrink the importance of the Sabbath—he is the incredible "shrinking man"! But God says Christ came to MAGNIFY the Law—as a telescope magnifies the image of stars and planets in outer space! The Hebrew word for "magnify" is gadal and means "to twist," and in translated "to make large, advance, honor, bring up, boast, exceed, increase, lift up, magnify, be much set by, nourish, promote, tower" (Strong’s #1431). Says Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, "to twist together, to bind together, to twine a cord," whence "to wrestle, to contend," "to be or become great, to grow," "to be greatly valued," "to be celebrated with praises," "to cause or take care that anything shall grow and become great," "to make much of, to value highly," "to make high, to lift up."

This world's preachers encourage people to violate the Sabbath by working on it if they feel or believe they should to support their family. To him, the Sabbath is no longer the "test commandment" to see whether a person will obey God or not.   Admittedly, emergency work or work that serves God may be done on the Sabbath.   Even in Old Testament times, the Levites offered animal sacrifices—hard work—on the Sabbath, and every day of the year.

But This World's Preachers calls the Sabbath "Old Covenant," says it is not a sign of the true Christian, and diminishes its importance in every way. He then says it is all right to work on the Sabbath if you believe you ought to—it is your own decision to make. Notice what is often stated:

"If  the choice is between working on the Sabbath and providing food for the family, it is not a sin to work on the Sabbath. . . . Some people might call it a lack of faith, but other people might call it appropriate.  One person sees it as an ox in the ditch . . . Another person sees it differently, but I hope that one person doesn’t judge the other.

"Therefore we will not disfellowship a person who WORKS to feed his family" .

     There you have it. Since obviously everybody who works say they work to feed their family (unless they are already rich!), this means that  it is now all right to work on the Sabbath day—to trample on, desecrate, and do your own work on God’s Holy day!

Does God’s Word agree with this assessment? Isaiah the prophet wrote plainly, by God’s direct inspiration:

"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, honorable; and shalt HONOR 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, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isaiah 48:13-14).

    Often preachers add, "Being Sabbath-keepers does not make us more righteous than other Christians." Presumably, he means Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians—he now believes they ALL are "Christian." They go on,

"If some, even most, Christians don’t keep the Sabbath, then that’s their loss. It’s true that keeping the Sabbath is not commanded as part of the new covenant in the way it was under the old covenant. Not keeping it doesn’t make them ANY LESS CHRISTIAN, as I’ve tried to make plain"

     Whereas Jesus Christ came to magnify the Law, and expand its forcefulness and power, and exalt its beauty and glory, The Deceiver has come to diminish and shrink the Law, and the Sabbath commandment, to nullify and destroy it, when you look at their teachings in the final analysis. For when you excuse and justify "working" on the Sabbath, the very thing God forbade, aren’t you in effect DESTROYING the LAW? You are certainly not "fulfilling" it, or "filling it full" and up to the brim!

God says, in the basic Sabbath commandment:

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, 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" (Exo. 20:8-11).

    The Sabbath was given to mankind as a BLESSING. God hallowed it and sanctified it at Creation. It is a wonderful day of rest. To work on it, at our normal, routine occupation, is to desecrate it, to dishonor our heavenly Father, and to despise His commandments, statutes, and judgments. To trample on God’s sacred, holy day is an abomination before God. Those who knowingly violate the Sabbath will have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone—Gehenna Fire!

Many Protestants and Catholics believe that Christ came to do away with the Sabbath command, and all the Laws of God. What difference is there, really, in The worldly new view, which permits working on the Sabbath, and says we must not judge one another in these things, and the viewpoint of the world’s churches? Very little. When you make the Sabbath no longer a commandment, you violate it—you "trash" it—you destroy it, for all practical purposes.

The world emphasizes a "grace based" religion.  Grace is unmerited pardon.  You have to ask from what?   Unmerited pardon, from what?  Sinning Maybe?

Well then, what is sin?  Is it not the trangression of the Law.   So therefore there is the law, and it is holy just and good.  So Unmerited pardon is underserved when you trample a law that you should be keeping.  You then ask for forgiveness and Our Savior is more than willing to extend His grace to us.   If you consider yourself called or chosen of God then you should know that the law is for you.   It is magnified in you and you make it a part of your life just like Jesus Christ made it part of His life.  So Keep the sabbath of the Bible to love the Lord your God.  Don't do servile work.


More to come later as this developes.    jw   12/00
Stressing Christ Does not "water down" the law.  Next.