Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Of the Sabbath day

On the seventh day, which was neither longer nor shorter than the days which preceded it, “God ended his work which he had made”; and because of this notable event, “he blessed and sanctified it”.

A day is blessed, because of what is or will be imparted to those who are commanded to observe it. The sanctification of the day implies the setting of it apart that it might be kept in some way different from other days. The manner of its original observance may be inferred from the law concerning it when it was enjoined upon the Israelites. To them it was said,

“Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy”.

If it be asked, how was it to be kept holy? the answer is,

“in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor any one or thing belonging to thee”;

and the reason for this total abstinence from work is referred to the Lord’s own example in that “he rested the seventh day”. The nature of its observance in the ages and generations, and the recompense thereof, is well expressed in the words of Isaiah:

— “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, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” {Isaiah 58:13, 14.}

"Der Samstug (Sabbath)", Frederich C...
“Der Samstug (Sabbath)”, Frederich Campe, 1800: German Jews, wearing baretta hats, gather outside a synagogue on Sabbath. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this passage, the conditions are stated upon which faithful Israelites might inherit the blessing typified by the rest of the seventh day. They were joyfully to devote themselves to the way of the Lord. They were not simply to abstain from work, yawning and grumbling over the tediousness of the day, and wishing it were gone, that they might return to their ordinary course of life; but they were to esteem it as a delightful, holy, and honourable day. Their pleasure was to consist in doing what the Lord required, and in talking of “the exceeding great and precious promises” He had made. To do this was “not speaking their own words”, but the Lord’s words. Such an observance as this, however, of the sabbath day, implies a faithful mind and a gracious disposition as the result of knowing the truth.

Neither antediluvian nor postdiluvian could “call the sabbath a delight” who was either ignorant or faithless of the import of the promise,

“thou shalt delight thyself in the Lord, and ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob”.

Representation of Sabbat gatherings from the c...
Representation of Sabbat gatherings from the chronicles of Johann Jakob Wick. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man who simply looked at the seventh day as a sabbath in which he was interdicted from pleasures, and conversation agreeable to him, and from the money-making pursuits in which he delighted, would regard the day more as a weekly punishment, than as joyous and honourable. Though he might mechanically abstain from work, he did not keep it so as to be entitled to the blessing which belonged to the observance of the day of the Lord. It was irksome to him, because, being faithless, he perceived no reward in keeping it; and

“without faith it is impossible to please God”.

The reward to antediluvian and postdiluvian patriarchs and Israelites, for a faithful observance, or commemoration of Jehovah’s rest from His creation-work, was

“delight in the Lord, riding upon the high places of the earth, and feeding with the heritage of Jacob”.

This was neither more nor less than a promise of inheriting the Kingdom of God, which is a summary of “the things hoped for and the things unseen”, or the subject matter of the faith that pleases God. When that kingdom is established, all who are accounted worthy of it will “delight or joy in the Lord”; and occupy “the high places of the earth”, ruling over the nations as His associate kings and priests; and share in the “new heavens and earth,” in which dwells righteousness, when Jerusalem shall be made a rejoicing, and her people Israel a joy. The knowledge and belief of these things was the powerful and transforming motive which caused Abel, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. to “call the sabbath a delight, holy of the Lord, and honourable”; and to observe it as the sons of Belial cannot possibly do. But while this was the motive, even faith, which actuated the sons of God in their keeping holy the seventh day, Jehovah did not permit the faithless to transgress or desecrate it with impunity. We know not what penalty, if any, was attached to its violation before the flood; but its desecration under the Mosaic constitution was attended with signal and summary vengeance, as will appear from the following testimonies:—

1. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore: for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” { Exodus 31:12–17.}
2. “Remember (O Israel), that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” {Deut. 5:15.}
3. “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day mere shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the sabbath day.” { Exodus 35:2, 3.}
4. “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.” { Numb. 15:32–36.}
5. “Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem: neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.… And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, to do no work therein: then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and upon horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt-offerings, and sacrifices, and meat-offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the temple of the Lord. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then I will kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” {Jer. 17:21–27.}
6. “Abide ye every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” {Exodus 16:29, 30.}

From these testimonies it is clear that it was unlawful for servants in the families of Israel to light fires, cook dinners, harness horses, drive out families to the synagogues, or priests to the temple to officiate in the service of the Lord. The visiting of families on the sabbath day, the taking of excursions for health or for preaching, and conversing about worldly, or family, or any kind of secular affairs, was also illegal, and punishable with death. The law, it will be observed also, had regard to the seventh, and to no other day of the week. It was lawful to do all these things on the first or eighth day (some particular ones, however, excepted), but not on the seventh. On this day, however, it was “lawful to do good”; but then, this good was not arbitrary. Neither the priests nor the people were the judges of the good or evil, but the law only which defined it.

“On the sabbath days the priests in the temple profaned the sabbath, and were blameless”; {Matt. 12:5.}

for the law enjoined them to offer “two lambs of the first year, without spot, as the burnt-offering of every sabbath”. { Num. 28:9–10.} This was a profanation of the seventh-day law, which prohibited “any work” from being done; and had not God commanded it, they would have been “guilty of death”. It was upon this ground that Jesus was “guiltless”; for he did the work of God on that day in healing the sick as the Father had commanded him.

“The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore”,

said Jesus,

“the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath Day ”. {Mark 2:27.}

It was a wise and beneficent institution. It prevented the Israelites from wearing out themselves and their dependents by incessant toil; and revived in them a weekly remembrance of the law and promises of God. It was, however, only “a Shadow of things to come”, the substance of which is found in the things which pertain to the Anointed One of God.  (Col. 2:14, 16–17)

14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Let No One Disqualify You
16 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. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. {The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Kol 2:14–19). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.}

It was a part of “the rudiments of the world” inscribed on

“the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us”,

and which the Lord Jesus “took out of the way, nailing it to his cross”. When he lay entombed he rested from his labours, abiding in his place all the seventh day. Having ended his work, he arose on the eighth day, “and was refreshed”. The shadowy sabbath disappeared before the brightness of the rising of the sun of righteousness; who, having become the accursed of the law. delivered his brethren from its sentence upon all.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 13–17). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

+

Preceding: Creation of the earth and man #2 Evil Angels and moments of creation

++

Additional reading:

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Observance of a day to Remember
  3. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Written to recognise the Promised One
  6. The Right One to follow and to worship
  7. Sabbath according to the scriptures

+++

Are people allowed to have doubts

The middle-aged software validation analyst Rob Martin in his Book Review: The End of Unbelief writes

If you frequent enough Christian blogs and websites, you’ll soon discover that there is a perceived threat to Christianity in those people who claim to be either agnostic or atheistic in their view of the divine and faith. {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

English: Promotional for wikimania 2008 banner...
Promotional for wikimania 2008 banner to be added to websites and blogs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can find lots of atheist blogs writing against Christian Faith but also lots of blogs attacking Christian writers from other denominations than theirs. Certain church blogs or church websites are eager to spit on other church websites or to say other Christian websites or blogs are form the devil.

On the net we can find lots of sites which doubt the existence of God and the existence of Jesus.

The typical response to this “threat” is to argue using logical reasoning and rationality to prove God exists, that Jesus is God, and that in order to live a fulfilled life, one must accept Jesus as savior and make that jump from no belief to full belief in Christ. {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

Those who say Jesus is God are pushed in the corner by those who say there is no god and as such Jesus can not have existed, though they forget Jesus is a historical figure like Plato, Euripedes, and others have been historical figures. Though often less is written about them nobody doubt that they existed and that they have done what is said about them. Strange then when we have the Nazarene man who was killed because he was too much of a log jam. The impediment Jew, who was to troublesome for the Romans and for the Jewish higher class, priests and Pharisees, was much more spoken off in his time and afterwards than many other historical figures everybody long after their death still accept that they existed. So why doubting about Jesus Christ, whose real name was Jeshua from Nazareth, from the tribe of king David.

When we do call ourselves Christian, which means a disciple of the Christ Jeshua, Christ Jesus, the Messiah or anointed)  we should do everything to know who Jesus was and do everything to follow up his teachings, and not that of other human beings.

Being a Christian we should believe in him who was so many years ago a living soul on this earth. We cannot

fault the belief that Jesus is the way to truth and fulfillment.

Living in this world we can not ignore it and should see what is happening in it and how people are behaving. In this world we also do have to not only observed the world around us, interact with people on a personal level who don’t believe as we do,we shall have to make choice and have to decide how much we would like others to know about our own faith.

We can spent time listening to and reading on different viewpoints of current culture and philosophy, and as Rob Martin points out

the trend towards agnosticism and atheism in Western culture today is not just simply a lack of belief in Jesus. It is much more fundamental than that and requires a different approach than the traditional “believe in Jesus” rhetoric of the past 60 years. {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

Shane Hayes in his book The End of Unbelief: A New Approach to the Question of God writes

The trend toward agnosticism, atheism, and other forms of unbelief is gathering force, especially among the young. And churches simply don’t know how to counter it.

and presents in this book a fundamentally different approach to apologetics. It is true that the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities may not be known with certainty, that first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge, but that when we look around us and feel in our inner-being we can feel the ‘instinct’ and have that only one divine doctrine: to believe that there is A Divine Creator God. And that is really the only doctrine we should speak of, because all other matters are spoken of in the Bible and can be checked and proven.

Rather than defending Jesus as God, he brings a perspective where in the argument starts, first, with simply taking the step towards believing in a god. His argument is that it is not necessarily so much the existence of a deity that so much prevents people from converting to Christianity but the deity that is so frequently presented as the Christian God. {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

Problem with many atheists but also with many Christians is that they cannot see the difference between divine, divinity and the Most High Divine. they also do not see to understand that there are titles being used in the world which may not be taken as name or as limited to only one individual, be it someone from this earth or some extraterrestrial being if there may be such beings.

Shane argues not from a perspective of a Christian who is trying to convince atheists to believe but from an agnostic who actually understands this perspective of skepticism and doubt and presents an argument that one can be a theist, even a Christian, and still be an agnostic. This is probably one of the most intriguing arguments that I’ve heard and it makes sense. From Shane’s perspective, there is a lot about believing in the divine and believing in the Christian God that is difficult to swallow from a purely logical and rational stand point. And, based upon some of the more “fundamentalist” arguments of needing to believe in certain literal interpretations of scripture, it seems that one needs to completely suspend their reason and logic in order to believe in the Christian God.

Christian Atheist (Peter Lumsden, d. 2007)
Christian Atheist (Peter Lumsden, d. 2007) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We also do believe Shane is right, that there can be a theist and a atheist, both doubting about matters of religious views and wondering about the or a divine God. Shane also speaks about a Christian God but does not say what he thinks Christians believe to be God or does not specifies the sort of Christians he is talking about or “which Christian God”. The anabaptist writer Martin does not specify that either.

To Martin, Shane and us it makes sense and it is okay to maintain doubts and scepticism.

As a creature, literally one who is created, for me to be able to fully comprehend the Creator and all of the Creator’s reasons and plans and purposes would mean that I would need to be on the level of the Creator myself, which I’m not. So, it makes perfectly rational and logical sense to admit that there are many things that we do not know for certain. And, as Shane points out, this is where faith steps in. {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

We not only should come to understand our limitations of knowledge, we also should come to live with the acceptance of our limitations and our restricted views on certain matters. For man this is not so simple as it looks at first site. We mostly want to have an high esteem about ourselves and do not want to have others see our limitations and shortcomings. We even less want them to point them out to us. We mostly are too pride to admit that we have limitations and still have very much to learn.

But we should not be ashamed that we do not know everything and that we do still have to learn a lot. Better is to admit that and try to learn more instead of confiding and to be happy with what we think to know already.

When going to start to look for reasons why and how to live, to look for the beginning of life, God and the matters or stories around God His son Jesus we do have to look at the beginning of the world and have to find our place in it.

According to Shane

the best path from atheism to Christianity is not in the immediate jump but to simply take the small step towards a “pure” theism, that being in the belief that there is a deity but that it does not need to be, specifically, the Christian God (or any specific god for that matter). {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

Undoubted we do have to find the Creator or the starting point first. When we want to know more about Jesus we shall also get to know what he believed how the world came into being, Who is behind everything and what is going to happen next. We shall have to look to the first cause.

Shane his primary argument for theism comes also from the idea of a first cause.

No matter your belief in the beginnings of the universe, at some point there is a first cause is Shane’s argument. Logically speaking, it is just as plausible to believe in a deity as a first cause as any other force.For me, Shane’s most powerful chapter was the trial between faith and reason. This was a very well written allegorical representation of some of the more classical arguments for and against theism with the pro-theist argument taking the perspective that the good of the universe greatly outweighs the bad as an argument for a benevolent deity. {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

We could say we should first come to the knowledge about the beginning of the universe and about the well or not being a Divine Creator. But that are aspects we leave mostly to be examined by other webpages, because here on this platform we go already one step further, though at certain points we shall not be able to go around the facts to discuss the Creator Himself as well. But our main focus here on this site shall be on Jesus. Because he was already spoken of by the creation of man we shall not be able to skip this facet of his life, plus it will be also very important to brake with the very big misunderstanding of lots of Christians who want to believe in many gods having taken part in the creation (see later in the posting “The very very beginning”)

The onset of this site is not to go deeper into theism. For that there is “Stepping Toes” a.o..

To argue for a theism perspective rather than simply giving a defense for Christianity seems to work best for our post-modern/post-Christian cultural trend. With all the Christians out there who are giving Christianity a bad name in their efforts to re-Christianize society, in their rather prejudiced and unloving ways of interacting, and in their schizophrenic reading of the Bible with Jesus preaching one thing and the Old Testament preaching another, it seems best that if anyone is going to journey away from atheism towards theism, they should first take the relatively small step towards simply believing in a deity. {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

Today we are too often confronted with Christians giving Christianity a bad name. They often give each other bad names and shout horrible things to Christians who do not believe the same as they. Often they also soon menace the other and threaten with hell, for them a place of damnation and eternal torture. Many people noticing that going on on the worldwibe web, start loosing their interest in the Christian community, considering them a bunch of little children fighting and quibbling all the time with each other.

Today on the net lots of things are presented as

rather matter-of-factly and “well, it’s obvious that…” A true skeptic and atheist would rankle at that kind of presentation and be turned off by it. Perhaps this is part of the problem with all apologetic literature in this post-modern era. Relationships are treasured over rationality and it is difficult to build a relationship with an author when all you have is text on the page. {Book Review: The End of Unbelief}

On this site are focus is only going to be mostly on one part of believe matter in the Christian Faith, namely on the person of Jesus Christ and what he said and how his followers have continued or not in the tradition of this Jewish Master Teacher and how by time several teachers used the teachings of that rabbi in a different way, altering what he said but also altering the person himself as well. We shall see that even the majority of Christians do not any more belief what God the heavenly Father said about His son and what the son himself said about himself and about his heavenly Father. that has become the whole problem of Christendom and making it so much more the difficult for people to find the true path, or the Way Christ Jesus prepared for them.

Do not worry when you have many doubts and question about Jesus and God, the Bible and what is going to happen to the world. If you are also troubled by the many different visions of the many denominations and are disgusted how certain church people behave, like the abusing priests, a.o., always do know that you are then looking at man, human beings with their own faults and limitations. Do not concentrate on their words as always having to be true. Compare all the sayings of people, churches, with what is really written in the Bible and listen to your heart.

By regularly reading the Bible you shall be able to find out a lot. All answers are in it. You just have to look in it, put all human doctrines aside, and believe the words written in the book of books.

We are pleased to find you here and do hope you shall join us in the quest for life, the Way, the path of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

+

Related articles:

  1. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  2. Written to recognise the Promised One
  3. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  4. Challenging claim 3 Inspired by God 2 Inerrant Word of God
  5. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  6. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  8. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  9. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  10. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  12. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  13. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  14. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  15. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  16. Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus
  17. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  18. Christianity without the Trinity
  19. Church sent into the world
  20. Disscusion Questions
  21. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  22. The Way to life

+++

  • True Image of Jesus Christ Revealed & It’s Not What You Ever Imagined! (therebel.website)
    There are many images put before us that condition our minds about the appearance of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look, Biblically and historically speaking, at what Jesus Christ would have really looked like.
  • How a 35 Year Old Jewish Lawyer Finds Jesus (therecoveringlegalist.com) Originally posted on Truth in Palmyra:
    A….35 year old…..Jewish….lawyer…finds Jesus. If the emphasis on those three things seems a bit much, allow me to explain. We all know that the older one is, the more resistant one tends to be to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most people, if not converted by 35 will not be.
  • Religious But Lost (altruistico.wordpress.com)
    The man was lost. That is, he did not have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. As a Pharisee, Nicodemus adhered to strict Jewish codes and laws, so he was certainly religious. But the problem of the lost person is not attitudes, conduct, or even character. We can change and control those through sheer determination, and many folks do. What people really need is a change of condition. We come into this world with a sinful nature that is bent away from God.
  • Atheists have more problems than just God (dvorak.org)
    Christians who turn Atheist seem to think that getting rid of God is the cure for what ails them. That becoming an Atheist means that you have arrived at the Truth, But you haven’t.
  • A quick thought on labels (freethoughtblogs.com)
    The previous discussion on the varieties of New Atheism had me thinking. We’ve already tried contriving a new label for those of us who think atheism should be broad and dedicated to more than just rejecting deities and intersectional — that was Atheism+.
  • Atheists and proud of it … young Britons lose faith in God (thetimes.co.uk)

    Almost one in five Britons is now an atheist as a generational shift away from religion gathers force, a poll for The Times has found.

    Experts said that the country was becoming more comfortable with atheism than with faith after the data revealed that public figures win approval for questioning the existence of God, while Christians are more than twice as likely as atheists to say that they struggle to speak openly about their beliefs.

  • Morer Questions For The Atheist. (debatepolitics.com)
    Although the literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who believes that God does not exist,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, 14% of those who call themselves atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit.
  • Stand Tall In Faith (mylordmyfriend.com)
    There have been many challenges to the Christian Faith, down through the centuries, and there are likely to be many more before Jesus returns. There are numerous statement of faith, put out to counteract challenges, to the basic essentials of our faith.Jesus answered Peters confession, “That Jesus is the Christ, and the Son of The living God”Matthew 16 verse 16: Jesus declares that upon that Confession, the He is The Christ, He will build His Church.

    That is the concrete slab of faith, what Jesus came to do and what He did through the Cross. One of the statements of faith, that was established, by the forefathers, to counteract, heresies and mysticism which tried to wrongly attach themselves to the Truth, about Christ Jesus was, The Nicene Creed. It is a wonderful statement of faith.

  • Uncovering the Jewish Context of the New Testament (roshpinaproject.com)
  • Christian Leaders See Faith Under Fire. You Can Probably Guess the Source of the Flames (joeforamerica.com)
    Christianity is under fire.  Christian leaders are starting to recognize the signs of states trying to squelch the faith.  After all, it’s happened before.