Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday

As I have shown, the observance of the seventh clay was obligatory only upon the Israelites so long as the Mosaic code was in force, being “a sign” between God and them. The sabbaths belong to the land and people of Israel, and can be only kept according to the law while they reside in the country. This will appear from the fact that the law requires that “two lambs of the first year without spot” should be offered with other things “as the burnt-offering of every sabbath”; an offering which, like all the offerings, etc., must be offered in a temple in Jerusalem where the Lord has placed His name, and not in the dwelling places of Jacob. Israel must therefore be restored to their own country before even they can keep the sabbath. Then, when

“the throne is established in mercy; and he (the Lord Jesus) shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness”, (Isaiah 16:5)

then, I say

“shall the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God: and they shall hallow my sabbaths.” (Ezechiël 44:15, 24.)

But these sabbaths will be no longer celebrated on the seventh day. They will be changed from the seventh to the eighth, or first day of the week, which are the same. The “dispensation of the fulness of times”, (Ephesians 1:10) popularly styled the Millennium, will be the antitype, or substance, of the Mosaic feast of tabernacles which was “a shadow of things to come”.

Eph 1:3-14 The Scriptures 1998+  (3)  Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע  {Jeshua} Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Messiah,  (4)  even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be set-apart and blameless before Him in love,1 Footnote: 12 Thess. 2:13.  (5)  having previously ordained us to adoption as sons through יהושע  {Jeshua} Messiah to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His desire,  (6)  to the praise of the esteem of His favour with which He favoured us in the Beloved,  (7)  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of trespasses, according to the riches of His favour,  (8)  which He has lavished on us in all wisdom and insight,  (9)  having made known to us the secret of His desire, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Him,  (10)  to administer at the completion of time, to gather together in one all in Messiah, both which are in the heavens and which are on earth, in Him,  (11)  in whom also we did obtain an inheritance, being previously ordained according to the purpose of Him working all matters according to the counsel of His desire,  (12)  for us to be the praise of His esteem – those having first trusted in Messiah,  (13)  in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your deliverance, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Set-apart Spirit of promise,  (14)  who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His esteem.

In this type, or pattern, Israel were to rejoice before the Lord for seven days, beginning

“on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when they had gathered the fruit of the land”. In relation to the first day of the seven, the law says, “

it shall be a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein”. This was what we call Sunday. The statute then continues, “on the eighth day”, also Sunday,

“shall be a holy convocation unto you, and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein”.

Again,

“on the first day shall be a sabbath and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath” ( Levites 23:34–43)

 

Lev 23:34-43 The Scriptures 1998+  (34)  “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl saying, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Booths for seven days to יהוה {Jehovah}.  (35)  ‘On the first day is a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.  (36)  ‘For seven days you bring an offering made by fire to יהוה {Jehovah}. On the eighth day there shall be a set-apart gathering for you, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה {Jehovah}. It is a closing festival, you do no servile work.  (37)  ‘These are the appointed times of יהוה {Jehovah} which you proclaim as set-apart gatherings, to bring an offering made by fire to יהוה {Jehovah}, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a slaughtering and drink offerings, as commanded for every day –  (38)  besides the Sabbaths of יהוה {Jehovah}, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your voluntary offerings which you give to יהוה {Jehovah}.  (39)  ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the fruit of the land, observe the festival of יהוה {Jehovah} for seven days. On the first day is a rest, and on the eighth day a rest.  (40)  ‘And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of good trees, branches of palm trees, twigs of leafy trees, and willows of the stream, and shall rejoice before יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim for seven days.  (41)  ‘And you shall observe it as a festival to יהוה {Jehovah} for seven days in the year – a law forever in your generations. Observe it in the seventh month.  (42)  ‘Dwell in booths for seven days; all who are native Yisra’ĕlites dwell in booths,  (43)  so that your generations know that I made the children of Yisra’ĕl dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim.’ ”

External aerial view of Sukkah booths where Jewish families eat their meals and sleep throughout the Sukkot holiday

Thus, in this “pattern of things in the heavens”, the first and eighth days are constituted holy days in which no work was to be done. It also represents the palm-bearing or victorious ingathering of the twelve tribes of Israel from their present dispersion to the land of their fathers, “when the Lord shall set his hand a second time to recover the remnant of his people”

Isa 11:11 The Scriptures 1998+  (11)  And it shall be in that day that יהוה {Jehovah} sets His hand again a second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Ashshur and from Mitsrayim, from Pathros and from Kush, from Ěylam and from Shinʽar, from Ḥamath and from the islands of the sea.

Three times in four verses does Zechariah style the yearly going up of the Gentiles to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, there, the keeping of the feast of tabernacles; (Zechariah 14:16–19) an event which is consequent upon the destruction of the dominion represented by Nebuchadnezzar’s image, and the re-establishment of the kingdom and throne of David.

Zec 14:16-19 The Scriptures 1998+  (16)  And it shall be that all who are left from all the gentiles which came up against Yerushalayim, shall go up from year to year to bow themselves to the Sovereign, יהוה {Jehovah} of hosts, and to observe the Festival of Booths.  (17)  And it shall be, that if anyone of the clans of the earth does not come up to Yerushalayim to bow himself to the Sovereign, יהוה {Jehovah} of hosts, on them there is to be no rain.  (18)  And if the clan of Mitsrayim does not come up and enter in, then there is no rain. On them is the plague with which יהוה {Jehovah} plagues the gentiles who do not come up to observe the Festival of Booths.  (19)  This is the punishment of Mitsrayim and the punishment of all the gentiles that do not come up to observe the Festival of Booths.

This national confluence of the Gentiles to Jerusalem is characteristic of Messiah’s times; and of the true or real festival tabernacles, when he will “confess to God among the Gentiles, and sing unto his name”, and “they shall rejoice with his people”, Israel.

Rom 15:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  and for the gentiles to praise Elohim for His compassion, as it has been written, “Because of this I shall confess to You among the gentiles, and I shall sing to Your Name.”  (10)  And again it says, “Rejoice, O gentiles, with His people!”

Referring to this time, the Lord says,

“the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name shall the House of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.… They have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever”. (Ezechiël 43:7–9)

This is clearly a prophecy of what shall be hereafter, because the House of Israel still continues to defile God’s holy name by their abominations; but when this comes to pass they shall defile it “no more”.

After the declaration of these things, Ezekiel is commanded to show them the description of the temple which is destined to be “the house of prayer for all nations”, with the ordinances, forms, and laws thereof. The Lord God then declares,

“the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it”,

and when the Levites of the seed of Zadok shall approach unto Him. The “cleansing of the altar”, and the consecration of the priests, is then effected by the offerings of seven days.

“And when these days are expired, it shall be that upon the eighth day, and So Forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you (O Israel), saith the Lord,” (Ezechiël 43:27 27)

Thus, the day of the Lord’s resurrection from his seventh-day incarceration in the tomb, becomes the sabbath day of the future age which shall be hallowed by the priests of Israel, and be observed by all nations as a day of holy convocation in which they shall rejoice, and do no manner of servile work at all.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 21–23). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Note:

The phrase “They will be changed from the seventh to the eighth, or first day of the week, which are the same” could give the impression we believe the Sunday came in the place of the Sabbath, which is not.

elpis_israelWe want to remind our readers that “Elpis Israel – An Exposition of the Kingdom of God” (commonly called “Elpis Israel” (English transliteration of Greek for “the hope of Israel”, taken from Acts 28:20)) is a theological book written by John Thomas, founder of the Christadelphians, in 1848-1849 and published in 1849. It predated the coining of the name “Christadelphian” by a decade and a half, but sets out in a logical manner the distinctive and fundamental beliefs that the Brotherhood, all these years afterwards, still upholds.

The original manuscript was essentially the substance of a lecture series delivered by Brother Thomas during a visit to the United Kingdom from the USA in 1848. After being encouraged by many who heard these lectures to put them into a more permanent form, Brother Thomas stayed for a time in London, and in a feverish period of activity centred mainly on six weeks when – to use his own description – he oscillated like a pendulum between his desk and his bed, he produced this important work.

Before the author’s death in 1871, the work went through four editions, the last of these incorporating some changes, mostly in the third and last part. As he explained in the Preface to that edition, he was agreeably surprised that so few changes were necessary: less than a dozen altogether in the first two parts of the book. Those in the last section were occasioned mainly by developing international events, but also by a more detailed consideration of the subject of resurrection.
In the light of changing times and modern discoveries, especially in the field of textual knowledge, several visions got changed. Where there is some doubt regarding the scriptural support for any point, this has generally been covered by a footnote in the later editions, and not by amending the text.

At first you could receive the impression Dr. John Thomas is for the replacement of the Sabbath with the Sunday, but as you will see later and in texts of his works he first stated what he got to see in his time, wanting to observe a Judaized Lord’s day (p. 23).  For him it was a voluntarily inflicted case and restriction upon themselves, bringing on them selfinflicted limitations or pains and penalties to which they may be entitled for its “profanation”. Later the vision on Sunday as observance day became much more clear and the new light or insight on the Sabbaths made it clear that we do not have to have Sunday as the specific day of worship for God. Any day of the week can be used. The same for work and rest, each person can work on any day or night and take some rest on whatever day of the week, as long as he provides enough rest for himself to recuperate from his duties.

You may find more about the Sabbath and Sunday in later writings on this site (a.o. when we shall discuss Jesus’ saying on this subject.) or in previous writings on our other sites. Please do find also our article: Sabbath according to the Scriptures.

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Preceding articles:

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

Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50

Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Related articles:

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  3. Hellenistic influences
  4. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  5. Communion and day of worship
  6. Christmas and other feasts or holy days in certain Christian groups – Kerstmis, Katholicisme en heidense feesten
  7. Old orthodox Dissenters and Unitarians in 19° Century London
  8. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  9. To find ways of Godly understanding

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Further reading:

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Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

Sardis synagogue courtyard. Remains of the Sar...
Sardis synagogue courtyard. Remains of the Sardis Synagogue at the archaeological site of Sardis, near present-day Sart in the Manisa province of Turkey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the time of the second temple (c. 516 BCE to 70 CE) Gentiles were excluded from entering the Temple past the outer court (which was known as the Court of the Gentiles). But there are numerous cases in Scripture of Gentiles attending synagogues around the Roman world. Of course, there could well have been some synagogues that did not allow Gentiles, but Scripture, as far as I can see, doesn’t mention any.

Here are some passages from Acts showing that gentiles did attend the synagogue:

Acts 13:14-50

(14) but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. (15) After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.”

(16) So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. …

(26) “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. …

(38) Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, (39) and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

(43) And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. (44) The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. (45) But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. (46) And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. (47) For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

(48) And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. (49) And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. (50) But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.

Acts 14:1-2

Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. (2) But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.

Acts 17:1-4

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. (2) And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (3) explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” (4) And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.

Acts 18:4

And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.

– Sheryl Downs