Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday

All I need say in conclusion is, that if it be necessary to keep Sunday as the Jews were required to keep Saturday by the law of Moses, then those who make so much ado about sabbath-breaking are themselves as guilty as those they denounce for the unholy and profane.

“He that offendeth in one point is guilty of the whole.”

If they do not keep open shop, or perambulate the parks and fields, or take excursions, or go to places of public resort and amusement on the Lord’s day — yet, they light fires in the dwellings and meeting houses, they entertain their friends at comfortable warm dinners, drive to church in splendid equipages, annoy the sick and distract the sober-minded with noisy bells, bury the dead, speak their own words, etc. — all of which is a violation of the divine law which saith,

“Thou shalt not do any work, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle”;

and

“Thou shalt not speak thine own words”.

This would certainly put to silence nearly all the preachers of the day; whose “sermons”, when made by themselves, are emphatically their own in thoughts and words without dispute. It is not only ridiculous, but downright Pharisaism,* the fuss that is made about breaking the sabbath. Let the zealots** “first cast the beam out of their own eyes; and then will they see clearly to cast out the mote from the eyes of others”. If they would “keep the day to the Lord,” let them believe and obey the gospel of the kingdom in the name of Jesus; and then “continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”  on the “first day”; and cease from the works of sinful flesh (Galatians 5:19) every day of the week; and they will doubtless “delight in the Lord, and ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob” in the Kingdom of God, as the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.

Acts 2:42 The Scriptures 1998+  (42)  And they were continuing steadfastly in the teaching of the emissaries, and in the fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.

Galatians 5:19-23 The Scriptures 1998+  (19)  And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery,1 whoring, uncleanness, indecency, Footnote: 1Only Textus Receptus contains adultery.  (20)  idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions,  (21)  envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practise such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.1 Footnote: 11 Cor. 6:10.  (22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustworthiness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no Torah.

Of the things then which have been written under this head this is the sum.

1. The six creation-days were each as long as the seventh, whose duration is defined by the Mosaic law; and consequently the geological notion of their being six several periods of many centuries each, falls to the ground as a mere conceit of infidel philosophy.
2. The Lord God ended His work on the seventh day,. “and was refreshed” by the songs of the Morning Stars, and the joyous shouts of the Sons of God.
3. To celebrate His rest, He constituted it holy and a day of blessing. Hence it was commemorative of the past, and “a shadow of things to come”.
4. The seventh day was observed by Adam and Eve as a day of delight before they became sinners. The immediate cause of their joyousness on the day of rest is not testified. It is certain it was not a burdensome day; for sin had not yet marred their enjoyments. It was probably because of the gracious interviews granted them by the Lord God on that day; and of the revelations made to them of the things contained in the blessing pronounced upon it when He “blessed and sanctified it”.
5. There is no record, or hint, of the existence of a penal statute for not observing the seventh day, from the sanctification of it till the raining down bread from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness of Egypt.
6. The observance of the seventh day by absolute rest from every kind of work and pleasure-taking, accompanied by a peculiar sacrifice on the brazen altar of the temple, and spiritual delight in its blessedness, was its Mosaic celebration enjoined upon the Israelites, and their dependants in Palestine, and upon them alone.
7. Its profanation by citizens of the commonwealth of Israel was punishable with death by stoning.
8. Israel was especially commanded to remember the seventh day and keep it as appointed by the law; because God in creating their world brought them out of Egypt, and rested from the work of its creation when He gave them a temporary and typical rest under Joshua in the land of Canaan.

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat ...
Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat Mordechai synagogue wall in Jerusalem. Top row, right to left: Reuben, Judah, Dan, Asher Middle: Simeon, Issachar, Naphtali, Joseph Bottom: Levi, Zebulun, Gad, Benjamin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9. For an Israelite to remember the seventh day to keep it holy, spiritually as well as ceremonially, so as to obtain the blessing which it shadowed forth, he must have had an Abrahamic faith (Romans 4:12, 18–22. Read the whole chapter diligently)  in the promised blessing, and have ceased or rested from the works of “sinful flesh”.
10. The blessing promised to Israelites, who were Abraham’s sons by faith as well as by flesh descent, for a spiritual observance of the seventh day (and which, until “the handwriting”, or Mosaic law, was blotted out and nailed to the cross, could not be spiritually observed and ceremonially profaned) was, that they should “delight in the Lord, ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob their father”, when the time to fulfil the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should arrive.
11. The blessing pronounced on a national observance of the seventh day was the uninterrupted continuance of the throne of David, and great national prosperity. Its desecration to be punished by the breaking up of the commonwealth of Israel and desolation of their country.
12. The Mosaic observance of the seventh day was appointed as “a sign” between God and the twelve tribes of Israel. It was a holy day to them, and to be observed perpetually throughout their generations. (Matthew 1:17 — the forty-two generations from Abraham to Christ.)
13. It was lawful for Israelites to do good on the seventh day; but they were not permitted to be the judges of the good or evil. This was defined by the law. The priests profaned the sabbath by hard work in slaying and burning the seventh day sacrifices on the altar, yet they were blameless; because this was a good work which the Lord of the sabbath commanded them to do.
14. Having finished the work the Father had given him to do,a on the sixth day of the week, Jesus, while suspended on the accursed tree, cried with a loud voice, “It is finished!” (John 19:28–30) “All things were now accomplished”, so that the Mosaic handwriting was blotted out, being nailed with him to the cross, and taken out of the way as a rule of life. The Lord Jesus, “rested from his labours” on the seventh day in the silent tomb, and “his disciples rested according to the commandment”. (Luke 23:56)

Luke 23:56 The Scriptures 1998+  (56)  And having returned, they prepared spices and perfumes. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the command.

He abode in his place. and did not go out of it until the sabbath was at an end.

Mark 16:1 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  And when the Sabbath was past, Miryam from Maḡdala, and Miryam the mother of Yaʽaqoḇ, and Shelomah bought spices, to go and anoint Him.

But on the eighth day, styled also the first day, God gave him liberty, (Matthew 28:2) he left the tomb, and “was refreshed”. Having “spoiled the principalities and the powers” constituted by the handwriting, he made the spoliation manifest, “triumphing over in himself” (ἐν αὐτῳ̂), that is, in his resurrection; thus, for ever delivering men from the bondage of the law, which, Peter says, “was a yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear”. (Acts  of the apostles 15:10) With the abolition of the Mosaic handwriting the obligation to keep the seventh day as a rule of spiritual life was cancelled as a matter of course.

Acts 15:10 The Scriptures 1998+  (10)  “Now then, why do you try Elohim by putting a yoke on the neck of the taught ones which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

15. The apostles and Christians (Acts 21:20) of the Hebrew nation in Palestine continued a ceremonial observance of the Mosaic festivals (Acts 21:24–26.) (the annual atonement for sin excepted) and of the seventh day, until the destruction of the commonwealth by the Romans, on the same principle that New Testament Christians among the nations now observe Sunday and the laws; not as a means of justification before God, but as mere national customs for the regulation of society.

Acts 21:24-26 The Scriptures 1998+  (24)  “Take them and be cleansed with them, and pay their expenses so that they shave their heads. And all shall know that what they have been informed about you is not so, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Torah.  (25)  “But concerning the gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should keep themselves from what is offered to idols, and blood, and what is strangled, and whoring.”1 Footnote: 1See 15:20.  (26)  Then Sha’ul took the men on the next day, and having been cleansed with them, went into the Set-apart Place to announce the completion of the days of separation – until the offering should be presented for each one of them.

16. Hebrew Christians who proposed to blend the law of Moses with that of Jesus as a spiritual rule, or means of justification, and consequently to keep holy the seventh day, were severely reproved by the apostles, who stigmatised it as “Judaizing”(ʼΙουδαΐζειν).

Galatians 2:14-16: The Scriptures 1998+  (14)  But when I saw that they are not walking straight according to the truth of the Good News, I said to Kĕpha before them all, “If you, being a Yehuḏite, live as a gentile and not as the Yehuḏim, why do you compel gentiles to live as Yehuḏim?

(15) “We, Yehuḏim by nature, and not of the gentiles, sinners,
(16 ) knowing that a man is not declared right by works of Torah, but through belief in יהושע (Jeshua) Messiah, even we have believed in Messiah יהושע, in order to be declared right by belief in Messiah and not by works of Torah, because by works of Torah no flesh shall be declared right.

17. The Judaizing Christians endeavoured to impose the observance of the law upon the Gentile converts, which would have compelled them to keep holy the seventh day. But the apostles and elders of the Christian community at Jerusalem positively forbade it, and wrote to them, saying,

“We have heard that certain who went out from us have troubled you with words subverting your souls, saying, Be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment”.

On the contrary,

“it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 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.” (Acts 15:24–29)

18. Upon the first day of the week (or day after the seventh, and therefore sometimes styled the eighth day), the disciples of Christ assembled to show forth his death, and to celebrate his resurrection; which, with an enduring rest from the works of “sinful flesh”, was all the sabbatizing they practised.
19. There is no law in the scriptures requiring the nations to keep this day in any manner whatever during his absence at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. So long as they continue faithless and disobedient to the gospel of the kingdom, neither nations nor individuals can present an acceptable observance of the day before the Lord; on the principle that “Jehovah is far from the wicked, whose way and sacrifice are an abomination to the Lord”: (Proverbs 15:8, 9, 26–29) — and,
20. The “first day” was Judaized by Constantine, the manchild of sin, (Revelation of apostle John 12:2, 5) and his clergy. His present representative is the Italian high priest of Papal Christendom. When his power, and that of his kings, is finally destroyed in “the burning flame”; when Israel is engrafted into their own olive again, and the nations are subdued to the glorious sceptre of the king of saints — then will this day become the holy sabbath, “blessed and sanctified” of God instead of the shadowy seventh day, which was merely “a sign” of the things which will then have come to pass.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 24–27). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

*

Notes:

  • Pharisaism or Phariseeism: Hypocritical observance of the letter of religious or moral law without regard for the spirit; sanctimoniousness.
  • The Pharisees were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought in the Holy Land during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic beliefs became the foundational, liturgical and ritualistic basis for Rabbinic Judaism (the term ‘Judaism’ today almost always refers to Rabbinic Judaism).
  • Zealots (Judea): Jewish faction traced back to the revolt of the Maccabees (2d cent. BCE) and a political movement in 1st century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Judaea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy Land by force of arms, most notably during the First Jewish–Roman War (66-70). The name was first recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus as a designation for the groups called “fourth sect” or Jewish resistance fighters of the war of CE 66–73.
    The extended sense of zealot as a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals is recorded from the mid 17th century.

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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

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

Creation of the earth and man #7 Of the Sabbath day #5 Respecting the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Related articles:

  1. Holy Sabbath
  2. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  3. Are Christians required to keep the seventh day Sabbath?
  4. The Sabbath: Is it a special day for Christians?
  5. Sunday and the Sabbath (Pdf doc)
  6. Blindness in the Christian world
  7. Self inflicted misery #5 A prophet without a hedge around him
  8. We’re allowed to willfully break the Law of Moses
  9. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  10. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  11. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  12. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  13. Was Jesus Religious
  14. Communion and day of worship
  15. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  16. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  17. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  18. Preparation for unity
  19. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  20. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  21. Hosea Say What?

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Further background articles:

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

Samaritans atop Mount Gerizim in 2006.
Samaritans atop Mount Gerizim in 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The law of Moses was delivered to the Israelites and not to the Gentiles, who were therefore “without the law”. “What things soever the law saith, it says it to them who are under the law”; consequently the nations were not amenable to it; and though they obtained not the blessings of Mount Gerizim (unless they became faithful Jews by adoption), neither were they obnoxious to the curses of Mount Ebal.

Deu 27:9-26 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  And Mosheh and the priests, the Lĕwites, spoke to all Yisra’ĕl, saying, “Be silent and hear, O Yisra’ĕl: This day you have become the people of יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim,  (10)  and you shall obey the voice of יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim, and do His commands and His laws which I command you today.”  (11)  And Mosheh commanded the people on that day, saying,  (12)  “These are to stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have passed over the Yardĕn: Shimʽon, and Lĕwi, and Yehuḏah, and Yissasḵar, and Yosĕph, and Binyamin.  (13)  “And these are to stand on Mount  Ěyḇal to curse: Re’uḇĕn, Gaḏ, and Ashĕr, and Zeḇulun, Dan, and Naphtali.  (14)  “And the Lĕwites shall speak with a loud voice and say to all the men of Yisra’ĕl:  (15)  ‘Cursed is the man who makes a carved or moulded image, an abomination to יהוה  {Jehovah}, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amĕn!’  (16)  ‘Cursed is he who makes light of his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (17)  ‘Cursed is he who moves his neighbour’s boundary.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (18)  ‘Cursed is he who misleads the blind in the way.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (19)  ‘Cursed is he who twists the right-ruling of the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (20)  ‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s bed.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (21)  ‘Cursed is he who lies with any beast.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (22)  ‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (23)  ‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (24)  ‘Cursed is he who smites his neighbour secretly.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (25)  ‘Cursed is he who takes a bribe to slay an innocent being.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’  (26)  ‘Cursed is he who does not establish the Words of this Torah.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amĕn!’

The faithless Jews and Gentiles are equally aliens from the precepts of Christ and his apostles. What these prescribe is enjoined upon the disciples of Jesus. They only are “under law to Christ”.

“What have I”

says Paul,

“to do to judge them that are without? God judgeth them.” (1 Corinthians 5:12, 13.)

He has caused the gospel of the kingdom to be preached to sinners “for the obedience of faith”. When they are judged, it will be for “not obeying the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”, (Thessalonians 1:7–10.) and not because they do not “go to church”, or do not keep a sabbath instituted by a semi-pagan emperor of the fourth century.

2Th 1:7-10 The Scriptures 1998+  (7)  and to give you who are afflicted rest with us when the Master יהושע  {Jehsua} is revealed from heaven with His mighty messengers,  (8)  in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know Elohim, and on those who do not obey the Good News of our Master יהושע  {Jehsua} Messiah,  (9)  who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Master and from the esteem of His strength,  (10)  when He comes to be esteemed in His set-apart ones and to be admired among all those who believe in that Day, because our witness to you was believed.

The sabbath God requires sinful men to observe is to cease from the works of the flesh, as completely as He rested from the work of creation on the seventh day, that they may enter into the millennial rest that remaineth for the people of God.

Heb 4:9-11 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim.  (10)  For the one, having entered into His rest, has himself also rested from his works, as Elohim rested from His own.  (11)  Let us therefore do our utmost to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.1 Footnote: 1See 3:18.

Men frequently err in their speculations from inattention to the marked distinction which subsists in the scriptures between those classes of mankind termed “saints” and “sinners”. They confound what is said to, or concerning, the one, with what is said in relation to the other. Relatively to the institutions of God they are as near or afar off as are “citizens” and “foreigners” to the laws and constitution of the United States.

“What the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law.”

This is a principle laid down by Paul concerning the law of Moses, which is equally true of the codes of all nations. “Citizens” are the saints, or separated ones, of the particular code by which they are insulated from all other people; while “foreigners” or “aliens” from their commonwealth are sinners in relation to it; for they live in other countries in total disregard of its institutions, and doing contrary to its laws, and yet are blameless: so that if they were to visit the country of that commonwealth, they would not be punished for their former course, because they were not under law to it. Let them, however, while sojourning there continue their native customs, and they would become guilty and worthy of the punishment made and provided for such offenders.

It is a fact, that “God blessed and sanctified” or set apart, “the seventh day”; and doubtless, Adam and his wife rested, or intermitted, their horticultural tendance upon that day. Yea, we may go further and say, that it is extremely probable that “the sons of God” before the flood, worshipped God according to “His way” upon that day; but in all the history of that long period, which intervened from the sanctification of the seventh day to the raining down bread from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness, (Exodus 16) there is not the least hint of any punishment for breaking the Sabbath day. Guiltiness before God cannot therefore be argued against the Gentiles so as to entitle them to death or reprobation, predicated on the threatenings of the patriarchal code. Whatever the appointment might be, it was no doubt significative of the blessings to be obtained through observing it; not alone, but in connexion with the other matters which made up “the way of God”.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 20–21). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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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

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Additional reading:

  1. Genuine message of salvation
  2. When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation
  3. On the Edge of Believing
  4. Imitate prophets and Paul
  5. Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats
  6. Sabbath according to the scriptures

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Further related writings:

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