In Genesis 2v2, after God finished His work, He rested on the 7th day; He blessed it and sanctified it because He rested in it. Ex 16:23, this is the 1st time the Sabbath was mentioned for man and it came 2,513yrs after God rested in Gen 2:2. Ex20:8, This is the 2nd of 8 times and all in the Law of Moses that man was commanded to work 6 days and rest the 7th day (16:26, 20:9, 23:12, 31:15, 34:21,35:2, Lev 23:3, Deut 5:13). The 1st of 8 times was when God first gave the Sabbath to man (16:22-26). This particular commandment is not in the New Covenant at all, and so, since the Old or Mosaic covenant has been abolished, it is not in force anymore. Christians are now free to observe any Sabbath of their choice (Rom 14:5, 6, Gal 4:9, 10). The 7th day was not always the same weekday throughout the year, as our Saturday is. The Sabbath or Rest day was on 2 different days of the week. In 1 Year due to a 2nd Sabbath at Pentecost, this changed the regular weekly Sabbath to a day later. Jewish calendar Compared to Ours:
- ABIB (Nissan)………………..March – April
- IYYAR(ZIV) April – May
- SIVAN May – June
- TAMMUZ June – July
- AB July – August
- ELUL August – September
- TISHRI September – October
- MARCHESVAN (BUL) October – November
- CHISLEU November – December
- TEBETH December – January
- SEBAT January – February
- ADAR February – March
It is remarkable and to our advantage that the Law of Religion regarding Days, Weeks, Months, Years, Sabbaths, New Moons, Feasts and various rituals and forms of Worship has been done away with entirely in the NT. No mention of any one particular Month is made in the entire NT as compared to the 149 times in the OT. Paul condemns the observance of Days, Months, Times and Years and having respect of a Holy Day, the New Moon or Sabbath days as essential to salvation in the New Covenant Gospel (Rom 14:5,6, Gal 4:9-10, Col 2:14-17)
FACTS ABOUT THE SABBATHS
The Word Sabbath and Seventh do not come from the same Original Word. The Hebrew for Sabbath is “Shabbat” – meaning Intermission, Cessation, Cessation from work, it is from Sabbaths to Repose, Desist from Exertion, Rest and such rest does not have to be on the 7th day. The Particular does not make it a Rest or Cessation. One can rest on any day, any time he ceases from work. It is the Cessation that causes it to be a Sabbath, not the day or time one ceases from work. Sabbaths were to be a delight instead of a Burden and would have been, if they had been observed lawfully and the true nature of rest and worship maintained (Is 58:13)
SABBATHS WERE FOR ISRAEL ONLY (Ex16:29, 31:14, Ez 20:12) To Israel the 7th Day Sabbath was a memorial of deliverance from slavery under Pharaoh (Deut 8:15), not a commemoration of God’s rest upon completing His work. The fact is Man’s rest could have been the same day God rested, for man was only created the day before God’s Sabbath. He had worked no more than 1 day and 6 days of work are required before a Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11). Because of its being a deliverance memorial, it is meaningless to the Church to commemorate such Sabbath. Man is Lord of Sabbaths; they are not to Lord over man. He was not made for them, but they were made for him Matt 12:8, Mark 2:27-28, Luk 6:5) Therefore man can do and is always free to do which is good and best for man on rest days. In Man’s beginning, he was not required to observe the 7th day which God rested on and sanctified. He, himself did not continue observing such a rest day, because sin was committed by man almost immediately and he began the work of redemption (Gen 3) it was 2.513 yrs after God’s Sabbath, when Israel was commanded to observe any particular day as illustrated by God’s rest. All Jewish Sabbaths were abolished and done away with the Mosaic Law (Acts 15:24). Law and Sabbath keeping were not required by the Apostles (Acts 15:5-29). The New Covenant does not command any particular day to be observed by Christians. Christians are free to choose their own day of rest. They are commanded not to permit any man to judge them regarding a Sabbath (Col 2:14-17).
Rigid Observance of days is rebuked by Paul (Gal 4:9-11). Sabbaths are not named among the necessary requirements of the Gospel (Acts 15:1-29). Real and eternal rest is in Christ, not in a day (Matt 11:28, 29, Heb 4). The 4th Commandment (Ex 20:8-11) concerning the Sabbath was left out of the New Covenant. The 7th day Jewish Sabbath commemorated a deliverance from bondage in Egypt, with which Christians had no part (Deut 5:15). Going under the Law to observe a Sabbath would only obligate them to keep the whole Law of Moses (Gal 3:10-14, 5:3, 9-11, Jas 2:10). Resting and Worshipping on Sunday serve the same purpose as on Saturday.
Early Christians kept the 1st day of the week (Jn20:1,19, 226-29), Acts 20:6-12, 1 Cor 16:1-2) The Lord completed His redemptive work and His victory over death, hell and the Grave on Sunday, the 1st day.
Christ’s special manifestations to His disciples after the resurrection were on the 1st day of the week. No recognition was given by Christ or and Apostle to the old Jewish 7th day Sabbath after the resurrection. The Outpouring was on the 1st day of the week – the day after the 7 Jewish Sabbaths (Acts 2:1). After Christ’s ascension the 1st Gospel Sermon was preached on the 1st day and the 1st conversions about 3000, took place on the 1st day (Acts 2:1). The very lack of any warning by Christ and the Apostles regarding it being sinful or “The mark of the Beast” as some teach to observe the 1st day of the week shows that it is acceptable as a day of rest and worship.
Typology of the Old Covenant makes the 1st day of the week prominent. The feasts of 1st fruits and Pentecost were observed on the 1st day as well as the feast of unleavened bread and Tabernacles (Ex 19:1.3.11, Lev 23:5, 6 with Ex 12:2-18). God honoured the 1st day again by giving the book of Revelation on that day (Rev 1:10, Acts 20:7). The N Covenant frees from such bondages of the Old Covenant as penalty of death for cooking, making fires and performing other duties on a Sabbath (Ex 16:23, 20:8-10, 31:15, 35:2-5, Lev 23:3, Num 15:32). Not a passage in the NT ever records a distinctive gathering of Christians on the Jewish 7th day Sabbath. On the contrary the records show that Christians gathered on Sunday the 1st day, which was called “The Lord’s day” Whereas Israel was obligated to commemorate freedom from bondage with a yoke of bondage which included the Law. Christians are free to commemorate their freedom on any day they choose (Rom 14:5, 6) When Christ came to fulfil the law, he went only to Israel (Mt 10:5, 6, 15:24) Christ took the Kingdom of God (Not the Law of Moses) from the Jews and gave it to the Gentiles when Israel made her final rejection of Him and His gospel (Mat 21:33-46, JHN 10:16). Gentiles are now blessed with Israel through the Gospel of the NT and NOT through the Law of Moses (JN3:16, Rom 1:16, 11:1-25, 1Cor 12:13, Gal 3:28-29, Eph 3:1-6, Col 3:11)
Gentiles DO NOT BECOME JEWS OR ISRAELITES BY FAITH (Rom 2:28-29, 9:6-7). Under the Law, Jews had all advantages over the Gentiles, under the NT and the Gospel, this is not true (Rom 10:9-21, 11:1-25, Col 3:11, Gal 3:28). Paul said plainly that the Gentiles did not have the Law (Rom 2:12-16). The Apostles stated that the Gentiles were aliens and strangers from the Covenants of Promises of Israel (Eph 2:12-19). They decided at the 1st general conference of Christians that the Gentiles were not to be required to be circumcised, keep Sabbaths, or observe any other part of the Law of Moses (Acts 15:1-41). The 10 commandments as such were not kept by the early Christians as some teach. Only 9 out of 10 became a part of the NT program. The 4th commandment concerning the Sabbath being omitted from the New Covenant entirely. Christians are not under obligation to keep any particular Sabbath, much less the Old Jewish Sabbath. Early Christians did not keep it, and did not teach others to do so (Rom 14:5-6, Gal 4:9-10, Col 2:14-17). They observed the 1st day of the week not as a matter of commandments or obligation, but for other reasons.
7 COMMANDS – SABBATH:
1. Speak to Israel (Not the Church) saying; you shall keep My Sabbaths as a sign between Me and you throughout your generations.
2. You shall keep the Sabbath for it is Holy to you.
3. Everyone that defiles the Sabbath shall be put to death.
4. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath shall be cut off.
5. On 6 days you shall work, but on the 7th day you shall rest.
6. The children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath for a perpetual Covenant.
7. The Sabbath shall be a sign between Me and Israel forever.
11 Times Israel is referred to here. The Weekly Sabbath of Israel was not only a sign of the Covenant between God and their nation, but also a witness to all other nations that Israel was a special people, set apart from others to receive the Revelation of God and to bring the Messiah into the World. Not once in scripture are the Gentiles and the NT Church commanded to keep any particular day as a Sabbath, or respect one day as being Holy any more than another. The Message of the NT for all men (Jews and Gentiles) is to consider everyday Holy and realize that whatever is sin must not be committed on any day, Saturday, Sunday or any other. It is not the day that makes an act sinful, it is the act itself, regardless of the day it is committed on. Transgression of the Laws is sin, and that regardless of the day the transgression takes place (1John3:4).
NB: It is not the purpose of this work to do away with a day of rest and worship, but to warn against unbiblical claims and show that the observance of days, times and seasons in religion do not merit special consideration from God.
As a matter of practice, Sunday has been observed as the day of rest and worship by Christians from the very first beginning. Acts 15, Peter’s argument for Christian liberty: since God is the one who saved and baptized the Gentiles with the Spirit without demanding of them to be circumcised and keep the law, then it is evident that He does not plan this for them – making them debtors to the whole law (Gal 5:3). Why will you insult God and provoke Him to judge you for resisting His will, ignoring His work and denying the salvation of the Gentiles whom He has already saved without Law keeping? Are you going to undo what God has done? Not circumcision only, but the whole of the Law that God did not give the Gentiles for 1800yrs (Rom 2:12-16) It was a “yoke of bondage” that no man was able to bear (v10). This is the thing that some people want today instead of the Liberty in Christ (2Cor 3:6-17, Gal 2:4, 5:1, 13). That is why salvation cannot be of works (Rom 3:23-31, 4:2, 6, 9:11, 11:6, Eph 2:8,9). Neither does this mean that Jews are saved by the Law and Gentiles by Grace.
4 LAWS FOR GENTILE CHRISTIANS:
- Abstain from Pollutions of Idols
- Abstain from fornication
- Abstain from things strangled
- Abstain from blood
V28 – Many commentators seem to have missed the full and simple truth about the Law being abolished. They emphasize that it was not the Moral law that was abolished, but the ceremonial law. The truth is that the whole law was abolished and only 9 of the 10 commandments were re-instated in the New Covenant.
10 REASONS WHY CHRISTIANS KEEP SUNDAY:
1. to commemorate the resurrection and the finished work of Christ in His victory over death, hell and the grave (Mat 28:1, Mark 16:9, John 20:1)
2. The Lord’s manifestations to His disciples were on Sunday.
3. Christ ignored completely the Old Jewish Sabbath.
4. The 1st day is the prominent day after resurrection.
5. The outpouring came on Sunday. Pentecost was the 1st day after 6 Jewish Sabbaths (Acts 2:1, Lev 23:15-21)
6. Christ or no Apostle commanded to keep the old Jewish Sabbath, but did command all men not to be bound by any particular day (Rom 14:5,6, Gal 4:9-11, Col 2:14-17)
7. The Jewish Sabbath was a changeable Sabbath, changing at Pentecost every 1 year to 1 day later until each day of the week was observed every 7 years
8. The Feast of First fruit came on Sunday – typifying the resurrection
9. God Honoured Sunday by giving the Law on that day (Ex19:1,3, 11 and Ex 12:2-18)
10. God again honoured Sunday when giving the book of Revelation (Rev1:10)
Constantine and the Pope did not change the Sabbath!!. The reason the new Covenant excels the Old is that the old was only for a time, a place and a people. The new Covenant is for ALL times ALL lands and ALL people. Gal 1:9”As we said before, so I say now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (The Other Gospel) – Was the Law which:
v Could not justify and brings only a curse
v Is not of faith
v Cannot give an inheritance
v Was added only to make sin sinful.
v Was given only until Christ came
v Could not give life
v Could not give righteousness
v Was a schoolmaster to lead to Christ
v Is not in force for Christians
v Contrast of the Law – Gospel
v Makes servants not sons
v Brings bondage
v Was a religion of days, feasts etc
v Could not give new birth
v Was cast out
v Demanded circumcision
v If observed cancels grace
Going back under the law and submitting it for the Gospel is perverting the Gospel of Christ.
THINGS THE LAW COULD NOT DO:
v Could not impart the Holy Spirit
v Couldt not bring perfection
v Could not work miracles
All who seek salvation by the works of the Law are under the curse, because it is impossible for the people to keep the Law and keep up to its standards. The Law pronounced all cursed who could not continue in “All things that are written in the books of the Law to do them all things of the Law must be practised if one is under the Law”
This not only means the 10 commandments but all the Rituals, Feast, sacrifices and all the things that are written in the book of the Law. Jesus Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant whereas Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant. Gal 4:9 “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” v10 “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years” v11 “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (to lapse into legality is to go back to elementary religion and bondage to sin) All observance to days, months, times, seasons, years, etc tend to make men feel religious and justified, because they are doing religion and not necessarily living Godly. Such as a substitute for the Gospel and in vain. Col 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, for in Him dwell all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” Philosophia – only here it refers to the mosaic institutions, human traditions of the Jews and their vain reasonings in religion.
The whole law of Moses was against us and contrary to us and had to be taken out of the way or redemption could never have been experienced. The Law made no provision for redemption, it only cursed and killed all men because all broke the law and could not possibly keep it. Jesus took the Law of Moses out of the way so we do not have to remain under its curse and eternal death penalty, since it is out of the way, let us not stumble over it again
THEME OF COLOSIANS;-
Freedom from the Law, All outward forms of religion, rituals, human Philosophies and false mysticism and complete and real union with Christ in life and conduct. Paul contends that we died with Christ, and that oridinances, rituals, dead forms of religion, observance of Sabbaths and Holy days and mystical rites are of no use to dead persons. Moses’ Law Annulled – Col 2:14. This is how He took the Law of Moses out of the way; He simply nailed it to the cross and annulled its penalty, so we could have a new start in life before God again. Figuratively, He killed the killer; He crucified the thing that brought guilt and death to all men. All Sabbaths were a shadow of the rest we now have in Jesus Christ v 17. Remember that justification is by faith alone without law works (Gal 2:15, 3:29).
My Prayer and heart’s desire is that whosoever read through these pages will find it as liberating as it was meant to be. And that the eyes of your heart will be opened as the veil of religion is removed, and you come to know what it means to be FREE!!!!!!!!!