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: Which are a shadow of things to come... Colossians 2:16-17
I hear the following sentiment often--
"Nice website, but you've forgotten
to tell people that they must keep the Sabbath."
What the writers are referring to is their belief that we must keep the Saturday sabbath just like the Jews did in the Old Testament. These people are dead wrong and they are out in droves. By and large they belong to a cult called Seventh Day Adventistism. Their founder is a false prophetess named Ellen White.
As with a number of other articles that I have written on this site, the one you are now reading was born out of hearing the same old false doctrine over and over--in this case, sabbath-keeping. I hear from the Seventh Day Adventists and I hear from the Christian babes who are too weak in the word to withstand their assaults. When I got up this morning, 2/22/99, it was in my mind to go ahead and write about it.
The only way to determine if something is right or wrong is by the Bible. It is our only source of truth. I cannot stress the importance of Bible reading enough. When you know the Book, people can't fool you. You won't be tossed about with every new wind of doctrine. You won't be unsteady, unsure and gullible. People tell me, "What they are telling me sounds right." Forget about sounding right! What does the Bible say, my friend? "Let God be true and EVERY man a liar." Don't be lazy, read the Bible. The sluggard will pay dearly.
When someone tells you some doctrine, compare it to the scriptures. Isaiah 8:20--
if they speak not according to this word,
it is because there is no light in them.
How can you know if they are speaking according to God's word or not? You've got to read and study it for yourself. The best thing a Christian can do for their spiritual growth is read the word of God and obey it! If you do these two things you've got the best you can get as a Christian. You'll be a strong built up soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will hear from the Lord.
The commandment we are looking at is--
Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Seventh Day Adventists will tell you that you can't be saved if you don't worship on Saturday which is ludicrous. They desire to live under the Mosaic Law, yet they do not perform the hundreds of ordinances that it includes. Even if they did try to live by the whole Mosaic law they would fail. If they trust it for their salvation they will go to hell. God has made only ONE provision--Jesus (see John 3:36).
The SDAs keep selected portions of the law based on the writings of their false prophetess Ellen White who supposedly got a new vision. There are no more new visions--we will be judged ONLY by what God has revealed from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus said, "...the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48)
As you read through this treatise look for these points:
- The sabbath is a symbol/shadow/type of the heavenly rest--book of Hebrews
- It does not matter what day you worship--don't let man judge you in sabbath days--Colossians 2:16
- Gentiles not to be yoked down in Mosaic law--Acts 15
- Christians met on the first day--Acts 20:7, I Corinthians 16:2
- Jesus said the sabbath was made for man's use, not man for sabbath--Mark 2:27
- Galatians is for those that would be under the law
- Sabbath keeping is the only one of the ten commandments that is not exhorted in the New Testament
I will include some excerpts from e-mails exchanged with a person coming out of Seventh Day Adventism. This person's comments will be in italics. Also included are some relevant scriptures along with short expositions.
I read that it doesn't matter what day we keep the Sabbath, and felt freedom for a short while and then thought about how Jesus was keeping the Sabbath still.
A couple of things:
- Jesus was Jewish and He kept the whole law as His fathers according to the flesh did. He kept the law perfectly so He could die in our place. The law could never save anyone. In fact, it killed people--Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
By the law came knowledge of what sin is. The law kills, it does not make alive. Without the law, no sin would be imputed. How would I know I was breaking the speed limit if there was no sign? I could not be arrested for there was no written law there. But as soon as there is a sign and I exceed its limit, I am a convicted as a lawbreaker.--2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Does this mean that the law is bad?Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Let me give you an analogy. The law is like a mirror. When I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror I see that I need to comb my hair and brush my teeth. I need to wash my face. Do I then take the mirror and proceed to brush my teeth with it? Do I take the mirror and wash my face with it? No. The purpose of the mirror is to show me what kind of shape I am in. Likewise the law showed us that we look terrible spiritually. Every one of us has transgressed God's standards. When we look at the commandments we know in our hearts that we have broken them.
But God did not just show us our filthy condition and leave it like that. In the fulness of time, God sent forth His Son Who is the answer to our sin problem. Jesus Christ is the One that does the cleaning up--the law could never clean you up. Just as a mirror cannot brush your teeth, the law cannot cleanse your spirit and make you righteous before God. Only the blood of Jesus can do that.Galatians 3:10-13 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse... But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
To be cleansed, you've got to be washed in the blood. The law can't cleanse you. It can only condemn you and curse you.
We have all transgressed the law--that is why it was given to us, so that we would see that we were unclean and needed a Saviour. The whole purpose of Jesus' sacrifice was to redeem us from the strict Mosaic law. THAT is the new covenant in His blood. We Christians are now free from the schoolmaster that brought us to Christ and we are now under the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25, 2:12)--we are free to do righteousness.Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
In Acts chapter 15 we find out about Jews who tried to make the Gentiles keep the law of Moses--Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Acts 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
The holy men got together to consider the idea that Gentiles should keep the law of Moses--Acts 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
Peter rose up and said that even the Jews couldn't keep the law, why yoke the Gentiles down with it?Acts 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said...
15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
James then gave his judgment concerning what part of the law Gentiles should observe--Acts 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me...
15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
The holy men then wrote letters of instruction--Acts 15:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
To think about: What four things were Gentiles commanded to keep from the law? If the sabbath is so important, why didn't they mention it? I Cor. 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 talk about who will not inherit the kingdom of God...non-sabbath keepers are not mentioned. In fact there is no condemnation in the NT of people who do not keep a Saturday sabbath. Read Romans 14 and I Corinthians 8 to learn about Christian liberty. The following table shows how nine of the ten commandments are exhorted in the New Testament. The only one that is not exhorted AT ALL is the fourth commandment, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." Search the scriptures for yourself and see.
New Testament Exhortation The Ten
Matthew 4:10 ...Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
I am the LORD thy God...Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Revelation 9:20 ...they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
Romans 2:22 ...thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
Romans 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these... Idolatry...as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.
Matthew 6:9 ...Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Matthew 5:34-35 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
There is no commandment exhorting sabbath keeping in the ENTIRE New Testament. Rather, (1) we find that we are to let no man judge us when it comes to sabbath days (Col. 2:16), (2) we find Jesus saying the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27), and (3) we find that the seventh day sabbath is a shadow of the true, heavenly rest (Hebrews 4:4-4:11).
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
Honor thy father and thy mother.
Revelation 21:8 ...murderers...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these...murders...they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer,
Thou shalt not kill.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery...
Romans 2:22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?...
13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery...
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a...thief...
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more...
Romans 13:9 ...Thou shalt not steal...
Romans 2:21 ...thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
Thou shalt not steal.
Revelation 21:8 ...all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Revelation 22:15 For without are...whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
1 Timothy 1:9-10 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for... liars...and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry Romans
Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness... covetousness...
Romans 7:7 ...I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Romans 13:9 ...Thou shalt not covet...
I Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be ..covetous...with such an one no not to eat.
I Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous...shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Ephesians 5:3 ...covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
1 Timothy 3:2-3 A bishop then must be blameless...not covetous;
2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous...
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness...
Thou shalt not covet.
For those that would understand the true meaning of the Old Testament ordinances, feast days, sabbath days, etc. there is the book of Hebrews. It contrasts the old covenant with the new and shows us how the old was simply a shadow of heavenly things. Hebrews shows the superiority of Jesus Christ in every aspect and how His sacrifice did away with sundry washings, etc. Jesus is better in every way--
- He is a better sacrifice than animals (9:23-10:12)
- He is a better Priest than the Levitical priesthood (6:20-7:24)
- He is better than Moses (3:3)
- He is came by a better tabernacle (9:11)
- He brings a better covenant. (8:6, 7:19)
- He offers better promises (8:6)
- He offers a better country (that is, an heavenly Heb 11:16)
- He offers a better sabbath (4:4-4:11)
- He is better than the angels (1:4)
The whole of the Christian life is about Jesus Who is the Best. Our true sabbath, our true rest, comes when we pass to the other side.
- The religious people said that Jesus' disciples broke the sabbath by picking corn on the sabbath day. Jesus responded by saying that man was not made for the sabbath, the sabbath was made for man. In other words, God made the sabbath so that we could rest, not so we could be under a whip to observe it.Mark 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
I have read what the SDA's say about the scripture too. They are so good at covering the beliefs. I just learned about the new covenant and the freedom last week.
Glory to God. May you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
When I read Matthew 11:28,29,30 I stopped and said to myself. " his yoke is easy and his burden is light. I want to know more.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaamen! These are some of my favorite verses. We are not all yoked down by the divers ordinances, we are come into a living breathing relationship with Jesus Christ. We love Him and show that love by serving Him, He loves us and helps us as we walk this pilgrim way.
I can see I have to leave the church now. How does one leave a Sabbath that I have been keeping.
If you want to observe Saturday as your day of rest, go ahead. It is not a crime. But you must realize that every Bible believing church that I know of goes to church on Sunday so you will probably have to change the day that you worship. In time, as you grow in knowledge (start by reading the book of Galatians), you will see that the Sabbath was only a shadow or a figure or example of our heavenly rest that we will enter into one day (read the book of Hebrews).
The SDA believe that since the Pope wrote out a 46 page letter on keeping the Sabbath last year that the Sunday laws will go into effect on the Dawn of this next new years . I have read part of the popes letter, and since this is one of the things that is coming true it is scary to quit keeping the Sabbath.
As I said before my friend, forget about what man says and look at what the Bible says! Jesus said, "...the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48) He didn't tell us to listen to what men say outside of the Bible. He said "Sanctify them with thy truth THY WORD IS TRUTH." The Bible says "Let God be true and every man a liar." Believe the Bible and make no provision for the influence of man's doctrine.
Why does God say "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" Ex 20:8 ?
The sabbath was given to man so that he would get some rest from his labors and worship God. But more importantly than our physical rest, it symbolizes when we leave our labors here on earth and enter into our heavenly rest. Read the book of Hebrews which opens up the meaning of the entire Old Testament.
Another writer asked me a question about sabbath keeping and then said, "In Romans 14:5-6, Gal.4:10-11 and Col. 2:16-17 Paul had splendid opportunities to the tell the gentiles to always keep God' s Sabbath and His ordained, appointed feasts but he did not."
I responded, "The scriptures you list answer your question completely. Let's take Colossians 2:16 for example, '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.'" Romans 14 and I Corinthians 8 are excellent expositions of Christian liberty. I have freedom, bless God."
I do indeed have respect to the concept of the sabbath and on Sunday, I rarely do more than go to church, cook, and relax. Nevertheless, the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. I have some flexibility. Jesus is about freedom not about being yoked up to a 10,000 pound wagon.