Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How Much is Too Much?? - Latest Question

Since the Sabbath is rightfully on Saturday, why do Christians continue to celebrate on Sunday? This is a clear change in God's law, which is a sin. It is making man an idol, putting his opinion and traditions above God's written command?

I want to first mention that your question is actually a statement with a question mark ... as it is written ... but I'll address it as a question assuming there may be a typo.  I was actually asked a question on this topic after class the other day at Discover Life.  This is a great question that gives light to a growing division that has been in the church since the beginning, but has always been in a cycle of gaining new ground among groups of believers.

The word "Saturday" does come from the word "Sabbath" so there is a connection.  As far as Christians "celebrating" the Sabbath ... it was never to be celebrated ... the Hebrew word was "zakar" which means "to remember" of "to be mindful of" ... we also see the word "observe" used.  To call the Sabbath Sunday is an error, but merely one of translation, not one that I feel merits idolatry .. a very serious accusation and one that we should not be quick to make.

Under the letter of the Law, the Sabbath was to be strictly "observed" and there were consequences for breaking it.  It is important to know that when Jesus and His disciples were accused of breaking the Sabbath, He did in fact protect them though they were guilty of breaking the letter of the way the Law was written.  Observe:

Exodus 20:8 "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. 

Mat 12:1-14  At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!" 3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." 

Mat 12:9 Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"—that they might accuse Him. 11 Then He said to them, "What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." 13 Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

The disciples picking grain was a clear violation of the Sabbath Law ... healing the man with dropsy was a violation under the letter of the Law.  There are factions of Christianity, elitist groups, who claim to have a secret understanding that we are still under the letter of the Law but also demand that much of Scripture is erred and false ... especially Pauline teachings ... and must do so because he adamantly warns against this.  The Law had its purposes.  First, it was to lay a standard for judgement of righteousness ... one that we could never attain!!!  Jesus made this clear.  Paul repeats it ... under the Law we have no hope!!! (Matt 19, Mk10; Rom 7&8, Gal 2&3).  But that led to the second purpose of the Law, to usher in the need of a Savior ... bringing redemption to the Gentiles ... to the whole world.  If the Jews would have simply kept the Law, the would have been highly favored, completely protected, and ultimately caused all of us to be hopeless.

For a believer who has accepted Christ's deliverance from the weight of the Law to then return to the dominion of it ... and worse to place others under the weight of it ... well ... please read Galations 2 and 3.  Peter's refusal to eat with the Gentiles was according to Jewish Law.  The Law brings a curse ... it is clearly stated.  

I think it would be well to consider the difference between "the letter of the Law" and "the spirit of the Law." Please read:

2 Corinthians 3:2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Holding to the letter of the Law is demanding others hold to a standard that was never meant.  Does the letter of the Sabbath Law justify condemning those who worship on days other than Saturday???  It's a hard pull but if so then get ready for being trapped in the same corner.  How then do you justify killing a robber who has entered by force, because the letter of the same Law says "thou shall not kill."  We substitute murder ... but that is not correct.  According to the letter, we should never kill ... or lie.  So were the Christians who turned over the Jews to the Nazis during WWII justified by hiding behind "thou shall not lie?"  Because this is directly where the letter of the law leads divisions, bickerings, etc that we are also consequently warned against.  Cowards often hide behind the letter of the Law because the Spirit of the Law is deeper and much more complicated ... the letter of the Law incites condemnation outwardly while the spirit of the Law causes us to look deep within ourselves ... the speck vs the log Jesus spoke about.

1 Timothy 1:3 - 7 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

Whoever is the source of this type of accusation is not understanding the law in any way, shape, or form.  The spirit of the law gives life.  The spirit of the Sabbath is that mankind needs rest ... and God desires us to come together to worship before Him.  It also shows that God wants us to spend time with our family and loved ones.  That's the point.  

I would be very careful in accusing scores of people of idol worship because of taking part of something that seems off to you ... that's like seeing someone singing a song and accusing them of being a liar.  I also ask you to consider this thought.  Do you wear clothes made of mixed fibers (ie rayon, polyester, etc) ... that's against the Law.  Do you eat pork (bacon, sausage, etc), chicken, which includes eating at any fast food restaurant (because of the oils used) ... that's against the Torah.  God gave the ten commandments, then issued a whole group of laws ensuing ... (Torah) ... all to be observed ... all ... under the Law.  

I would consider relaxing a little ... enjoying the fellowship ... and respecting variation.  Remember, the letter of the Law (legalism) brings death, but the spirit of the Law brings life.  The letter demands the "what" and the "how" ... the spirit looks for "why" ... which is also what the Spirit does ... looks to the thoughts and intents of the hearts of humanity.  We do need to adhere to the Spirit of the Law ... the commandments are not null and void ... but we are under grace and need to stay there.  We need to try with all of our ability to protect a day of rest, and to rest from our work, to rest in our family, and to rest in the Lord with other believers.  But that does not have to be on a certain day for those who cannot meet because it is just not possible ... so then we must be creative.  There are always believers on any specific 

That's my take anyways ... awesome question. So what are your thoughts?

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  1. Where in the law does it say you can't pick food to eat on the Sabbath and where in the law does it say you can't heal on the Sabbath? If you can cite the verses then please add them to this post, if you can not, then out of respect for the Creator you should take down this page.

    1. First of all, check out the purpose of this blog ... your tactful input (even if in opposition to mine) is invited for the questioner to gain multiple perspectives ... but if for any reason you assume to hold any weight on what and how I answer questions you are terribly misled. To the point:

      Here are some of the rules concerning the Sabbath:
      You cannot do any work of any sort
      You cannot collect food for yourself
      You cannot cook any food for yourself
      You cannot even start a fire in your home or keep a fire
      You cannot gather food for yourself

      Everything was supposed to be done the Friday before ...

      You ask for verses??? A simple Bible research will answer that but here are some that may help make it easy:

      Exodus 16:23 Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD has said: 'Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.' "
      Exo 16:24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it.
      Exo 16:25 Then Moses said, "Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field.
      Exo 16:26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none."
      Exo 16:27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none.
      Exo 16:28 And the LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?
      Exo 16:29 See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day."
      Exo 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

      Exo 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
      Exo 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
      Exo 20:10 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.
      Exo 20:11 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. 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.
      Exo 31:14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
      Exo 31:15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
      Exo 31:16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.

    2. Exo 35:1 Then Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said to them, "These are the words which the LORD has commanded you to do:
      Exo 35:2 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.
      Exo 35:3 You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day."

      Deu 5:12 'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
      Deu 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
      Deu 5:14 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 ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
      Deu 5:15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. Neh 10:31 if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year's produce and the exacting of every debt.

      Neh 13:14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its services!
      Neh 13:15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.

    3. 2Ki 11:2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed.
      2Ki 11:3 So he was hidden with her in the house of the LORD for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
      2Ki 11:4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of hundreds—of the bodyguards and the escorts—and brought them into the house of the LORD to him. And he made a covenant with them and took an oath from them in the house of the LORD, and showed them the king's son.
      2Ki 11:5 Then he commanded them, saying, "This is what you shall do: One-third of you who come on duty on the Sabbath shall be keeping watch over the king's house,
      2Ki 11:6 one-third shall be at the gate of Sur, and one-third at the gate behind the escorts. You shall keep the watch of the house, lest it be broken down.
      2Ki 11:7 The two contingents of you who go off duty on the Sabbath shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD for the king.
      2Ki 11:8 But you shall surround the king on all sides, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes within range, let him be put to death. You are to be with the king as he goes out and as he comes in."
      2Ki 11:9 So the captains of the hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each of them took his men who were to be on duty on the Sabbath, with those who were going off duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.

      ***Notice in this situation Jehoiada the priest commands the soldiers to break the Sabbath ... was he guilty??? This is what Jesus was saying. You misunderstand my words when I say Jesus was guilty ... I have made it clear that He was guilty in their eyes ... their version of the Law ... but of course He was not truly guilty!!! Jesus never sinned ... He was the payment for it. The Law says though to kill someone for doing any work on the Sabbath ... you obviously are not Jewish so I don't expect you to have any reliable information on this matter aside from your own self taught beliefs.

      Many Christians decide they have become subject matter exerts on Judaism bc they now refer to God or Jesus in their "original" Jewish names (though they are not) ... that is a huge mistake.

      As per taking this page down??? I neither asked your permission to start it nor give any weight to your request to shut it down.

  2. Patrick, I enjoyed reading your blog about the Sabbath, and I must say u and I have varying opinions on the subject.

    "Since the Sabbath is rightfully on Saturday, why do Christians continue to celebrate Sunday?"

    They do so in error. Sunday worship is a Catholic tradition alone, as decreed by the Roman Emperor Constantine who officially declared that Sunday was the "Christian" Day of worship in 325 A.D.

    Unfortunately, many of the Protestant Churches still subscribe to this pagan practice today.

    Christians need to be mindful that there are distinct differences between GOD's 10 commandments and the Law(s) of Moses, and its important not to mix the two.

    The Sabbath (4th commandment), along with the other nine Divine commandments are a perpetual covenant with the children of Israel (people of GOD), as they were written in tables of stone with the fiery finger of the ELOHIM HIMSELF. Contrary to the heretical teachings of today, none of them were changed, outmoded, or discarded when Christ shed his blood on the cross at Calvary.

    What was done away with was the 613 handwritten ordinances written by Moses (aka Book of Law).

    Why were the Mosaic Laws 'done away with'? Because the original laws of Moses were replaced by cumbersome human inventions [creations] that the Pharisees and the scribes themselves could not keep (Mat 23:1-4), which in later times formed the bulk of the Talmud, essentially crushing spiritual liberty in the days of Christ.

    Christ removed the burden or millstone that hung around the necks of the children of Israel as illustrated in Matthew 11:28.

    We can talk about the differences between "the letter of the law" and "the spirit of the law" all we want, but we must realize that the law not only condemns but "through the law cometh the knowledge of sin." The Law reveals righteousness, the Law demands righteousness, the Law condemns for unrighteousness.

    If there is no law, there is no sin. Thus, there is no need for a Savior. Sin is the transgression of the law.

    The sum of all law-keeping is love of GOD and love of the brethren. If you do these things, the "spirit of the Law" has been kept.

    The fallacy permeating the church today is that following the 10 commandments is legalism. This is far from the truth. We, at all times, should strive to adhere to the commandments of GOD. And when we break them, knowingly or unknowingly, just realize that we intercessor between GOD and man that will forgive us for our transgressions if we repent with a contrite heart.

    The righteous men (Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & Joseph) of GOD were blameless in their day. Why were they considered blameless in the eyes of GOD? Because they obeyed GOD's commandments including keeping the Sabbath. Not only did these men keep the 4th commandment but so did Moses & the Israelites; Christ and his disciples; and so should we.

    1. I appreciate your comments. I have stated many times before that the point of this blog is to create a forum for information ... for the questioner.

      I do agree that we over label "legalism" ... that the 10 Commandments are still to be adhered to. But I do differ in your take over the Spirit of the Law/Letter of the Law.

      I am aware of the history ... thank you for posting it though ... that's always the desire.

      I do ask you to consider the apostles response to the pressing of the Gentile believers to follow the Law .. you speak of the difference between the Law of Moses and the 10 Commandments yet the Law of Moses was also given by God ... not man made.

      Act 15:24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law"—to whom we gave no such commandment—
      Act 15:25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
      Act 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      Act 15:27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.
      Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
      Act 15:29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.

      The phrase "you will do well" is not an order, it is a suggestion ... let's go back to the topic that I am responding to ... the accusation of believers being idol worshipers ... that is my biggest concern. That is too far reaching.

      Do I feel we should keep the Sabbath? Absolutely ... I do. I rest in the Lord with my family ... but I also do what must be done without any fear of retaliation or condemnation bc I serve the Lord of the Sabbath. I also worship with my local family of believers on Sunday ... and on Tuesday ... and on some Wednesdays and Thursdays .. even Monday nights.

      I do also think it relevant to remind that Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph didn't have the Law ... it had not yet been formalized.

      Thanks for your input, it is invited and appreciated.

  3. It seems that there are still disagreements with the scriptures. I think the Apostle Paul said this was a sign of immaturity. Some day this will all be cleared up. Come Lord Jesus come!

    1. Thank you for your comment!! I don't however think that disagreements are the definitive proof of immaturity ... but definitely conflicting views. It's how we handle them (I think) that lead to immaturity. I do look forward, with you, to the day that this is all in fact "cleared up." Come Lord Jesus come!