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

Two homemade whole-wheat challahs covered by traditional embroidered Shabbat challah cover

Constantine, though not a Christian himself, paid homage to the truth so far as to compel the world to respect the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead. Hence, in 328, he ordained that the day should be kept religiously, which a Judaizing clergy construed into sabbatical observance according to the Mosaic law concerning the seventh day. This is the origin of that sabbatarianism which so ludicrously, yet mischievously, illustrates the Blue Laws of Connecticut,* the zeal of the Agnews and Plumptres of the House of Commons, and the rhapsodies of the pietists of the passing day. These well-meaning persons, whose zeal outruns their knowledge, seem not to be aware that Christ and his apostles did not promulge a civil and ecclesiastical code for the nations, when they preached the gospel of the kingdom. Their object was not to give them laws and constitutions; but to separate a peculiar people from the nations who should afterwards rule them justly and in fear of the Lord, when the dispensation of the fullness of times should be introduced.

Acts 15:14 The Scriptures 1998+  (14)  “Shimʽon has declared how Elohim first visited the gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name.

1 Corinthians 6:2 The Scriptures 1998+  (2)  Do you not know that the set-apart ones shall judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

2 Samuel 23:3-4 The Scriptures 1998+  (3)  “The Elohim of Yisra’ĕl said, The Rock of Yisra’ĕl spoke to me, ‘One who rules over man righteously,  (4)  “Who rules in the fear of Elohim, Is like the light of the morning when the sun rises, A morning without clouds, Tender grass from the earth From sunshine, from rain.’

Titus 2:11 The Scriptures 1998+  (11)  For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men,

To be able to do this, these peculiars were required to be “holy, unblameable, and unreprovable before God”.

Colossians 1:22-24 The Scriptures 1998+  (22)  in the body of His flesh through death, to present you set-apart, and blameless, and unreprovable before Him,  (23)  if indeed you continue in the belief, founded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the expectation of the Good News which you heard, which was proclaimed to every creature under the heaven, of which I, Sha’ul, became a servant, (24) who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in Messiah’s afflictions, for the sake of His Body, which is the assembly,

1 Thessalonians 2:19 The Scriptures 1998+  (19)  For what is our expectation, or joy, or crown of boasting? Is it not even you, before our Master יהושע  {Jeshua} Messiah at His coming?

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 The Scriptures 1998+  (11)  And our Elohim and Father Himself, and our Master יהושע  {Jeshua} Messiah, direct our way to you!  (12)  And the Master make you increase and overflow in love to each other and to all, as we also do to you,  (13)  to establish your hearts blameless in set-apartness before our Elohim and Father at the coming of our Master יהושע  {Jeshua} Messiah with all His set-apart ones!

To this end instructions were delivered to them, that under the divine tuition

“they might be renewed in the spirit of their mind; and put on the new man which after God’s image is created in righteousness and true holiness ”.

As for “those without” “who receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, God sent them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”, as a punishment.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 The Scriptures 1998+  (10)  and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved.  (11)  And for this reason Elohim sends them a working of delusion, for them to believe the falsehood,1 Footnote: 1Eze. 20:25, John 9:39, John 12:40, Acts 7:42, Rom. 1:24-28.  (12)  in order that all should be judged who did not believe the truth, but have delighted in the unrighteousness.

Ezekiel 20:25 The Scriptures 1998+  (25)  “And I also gave them up to laws that were not good, and right-rulings by which they would not live1. Footnote: 1Ps. 81:12, Isa. 30:28, Acts 7:42, Rom. 1:24-28, 2 Thess. 2:11.

John 9:39 The Scriptures 1998+  (39)  And יהושע  {Jeshua} said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those not seeing might see, and those seeing might become blind.”

John 12:40 The Scriptures 1998+  (40)  “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they should not see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and turn, and I should heal them.”1 Footnote: 1See Mt. 13:15.

Romans 1:24-28 The Scriptures 1998+  (24)  Therefore Elohim gave them up to uncleanness in the lust of their hearts, to disrespect their bodies among themselves,  (25)  who changed the truth of Elohim into the falsehood, and worshipped and served what was created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amĕn.  (26)  Because of this Elohim gave them over to degrading passions. For even their women exchanged natural relations for what is against nature,  (27)  and likewise, the men also, having left natural relations with woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing indecency, and receiving back the reward which was due for their straying.  (28)  And even as they did not think it worth- while to possess the knowledge of Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a worthless mind, to do what is improper,

They are left to govern themselves by their own laws until the time arrives for Christ to take away their dominion and assume the sovereignty over them conjointly with “the people of the saints”. If they please to impose upon themselves yokes of bondage, binding themselves to keep the first day of the week according to the Mosaic law of the seventh day, they are left at liberty to do so. But for this act of “voluntary humility” they are entitled to no recompense from God, seeing that He has not required it of them. The reward due for observing a Judaized Lord’s day voluntarily inflicted upon themselves; or, the pains and penalties to which they may be entitled for its “profanation”, are such, and such only, as result from the will and pleasure of the unenlightened lawgivers of the nations. It is a wise regulation to decree a cessation from labour and toil for man and beast during one day in seven; but it betrays egregious misunderstanding of the scriptures and singular superstition to proclaim perdition to men’s souls in flaming brimstone, if they do not keep it according to the Mosaic law of the seventh day.

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

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Notes

Numbering of days:

  • According the country one is living and which sort of calendar one is using the first day of the week may be different, being either the Sunday, Monday or Saturday, being named after the classical planets in Hellenistic astrology, a system introduced in the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and for the worshipping of those gods, sun (Sunday: Old English Sunnandæg), moon (Monday: Old English Mōnandæg), thunder (Thor Thursday: Old English Þūnresdæg), etc..
  • Saturday: the only day of the week to retain its Roman origin in English, named after the Roman god Saturn associated with the Titan Cronus, father of Zeus and many Olympians. Its original Anglo-Saxon rendering was Sæturnesdæg (pronounced [ˈsæturnezdæj]). In Latin it was dies Saturni, “Day of Saturn.” The Scandinavian Lørdag/Lördag deviates significantly as it has no reference to either the Norse or the Roman pantheon; it derives from old Norse laugardagr, literally “washing-day.” The German Sonnabend and the Low German words Sünnavend mean “Sunday Eve”, the German word Samstag derives from the name for Shabbat.

Sabbatarianism:

  1. Constantine decreed limits of Sunday work (321). Sabbatarianism was uniquely enforced by 17th-cent. English and Scottish presbyterians, especially in the Interregnum.
  2. Strict observance of the sabbath (Hebrew shabath—to rest) as a rest-day in accordance with the fourth commandment ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy’. Christians transferred commemoration from the traditional seventh day to Sunday to honour Christ’s resurrection—by worship rather than absence of work.
  3. Movement within Protestantism whose proponents advocate that certain observances, specifically enumerated in a code of behaviour or law, are required for Christians to properly observe the Sabbath or Sabbath principles. Its historical origins lie in Puritan Sabbatarianism, which delineated precepts for keeping Sunday holy in observance of Sabbath commandment principles.
  4. Today we do find Christian protestant groups who hold Sabbath observance on the Sunday and do find no work may be done on that day.
  5. In Christendom there are also groups like the Seventh-day Baptists who leave most other Sabbath considerations of observance to individual conscience.
  6. The Seventh-day Adventist Church considers that Christians must follow the Mosaic Law in rigorous Sabbath observances based on the Hebrew Sabbath, Friday sunset through Saturday sunset.

Blue Laws of Connecticut:

  • * By these a woman was forbidden to kiss her child on the sabbath!
  • harsh, puritanical laws that regulate public morality.
  • Gov. Theophilus Eaton with the assistance of the Rev. John Cotton in 1655 regulated activities on Sunday for the Colony of New Haven, now part of Connecticut. After the laws were approved, they were printed in London, England, in 1656 and distributed to households in New Haven.
  • Reverend Samuel Peters, an Anglican forced to leave America during the Revolution. He made up examples of “Blue Laws” in a booklet in order to make America appear backwards and fanatical. List of examples of such laws were published in a book in 1782 titled A General History of Connecticut.
  • Repeal Day, as Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill Monday to end our state’s archaic Blue Laws.

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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

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. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2

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

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

The ordinances of the law of Moses are styled by Paul “the rudiments”, or “elements of the world”, which, in Galatians, he also terms “weak and beggarly elements, whereunto they desired again to be in bondage”. They evinced this desire by “observing days, and months, and times, and years”;(Galatians 4:3, 5, 9, 10) not being satisfied with the things of Christ, but seeking to combine the Mosaic institutions with the gospel.

Gal 4:3-5 The Scriptures 1998+  (3)  So we also, when we were children, were under the elementary matters of the world, being enslaved.  (4)  But when the completion of the time came, Elohim sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under Torah,  (5)  to redeem those who were under Torah, in order to receive the adoption as sons.

Gal 4:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  But now after you have known Elohim, or rather are known by Elohim, how do you turn again to the weak and poor elementary matters,1 to which you wish to be enslaved again? Footnote: 1See v.3, Col. 2:8 & 20.  (10)  You observe days and months and seasons and years.

This was Judaizing, and the first step to that awful apostasy by which the world has been cursed for so many ages. When the Mosaic constitution, as “the representation of the knowledge and the truth”, had “waxed old” by the manifestation of the substance to a sufficient extent to nullify it, it “vanished away” by being “cast down to the ground” by the Roman power, and with it the law of the seventh day.

The Disciples Eat Wheat on the Sabbath
The Disciples Eat Wheat on the Sabbath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even before its abolition, Paul expressed his fear of the Galatians, “lest he should have bestowed labour upon them in vain”, seeing that they were becoming zealous of the ordinances of the law. They seemed not to understand that the Mosaic economy was only a temporary constitution of things, “added because of transgressions, till the seed should come”; that when he came, “he redeemed them from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them”; and that therefore they had nothing to fear, nor to hope for from keeping, or transgressing its methods. They had got it into their heads that “except they were circumcised and kept the law of Moses”, as well as believed and obeyed the gospel of the kingdom, they could not be saved.

Mat 12:5 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  “Or did you not read in the Torah that on the Sabbath the priests in the Set-apart Place profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?

Therefore they “desired to be under the law”, and began to busy themselves about “keeping the sabbath”, and doing other works which Moses had enjoined upon Israel. Paul was very much distressed at this, and describes himself as “travailing in birth again until Christ be formed in them”. They had been delivered from “the yoke of bondage”, by putting on Christ; but by seeking to renew their connexion with Moses’ law, they were selling their birth-right for a mess of pottage.

“I say unto you”,

saith Paul,

“that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace”.

A partial observance of the law can do no one any good. If he kept the sabbath in the most approved manner, but neglected the sacrifices, or ate swine’s flesh, he was as accursed as a thief or a robber; for to one under the law it saith,

“Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which axe written in the book of the law to do them”;

hence even the sinless Jesus was cursed by it, because he was crucified; for it is written,

“Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”

Gal 3:4 The Scriptures 1998+  (4)  Have you suffered so much in vain – if indeed in vain?
Gal 5:4 The Scriptures 1998+  (4)  You who are declared right by Torah have severed yourselves from Messiah, you have fallen from favour.

What hope then is there for Jew or Gentile of escaping the curse of the law, seeing that from the very nature of things connected with the present state of Jerusalem it is impossible to observe it, save in the few particulars of “meat and drink, or in respect of the sabbath” partially, etc. The observance of the seventh day was regulated by the Mosaic law, and the penalties due to its “desecration”, or “profanation”, are pronounced by it alone; but it is dear that the law being taken out of the way, or abolished, by Jesus, who nailed it to his cross, there remain no more retributions for the non-observance of its appointments; and therefore there is no transgression in working or pleasure-taking, or in speaking one’s own words on the seventh day.

On the first day of the creation-week God said,

“Let there be light, and there was light”;

so on the first day of the week “The True Light” came forth from the darkness of the tomb “like dew from the womb of the morning”. It is a day to be much remembered by his people, because it assures them of their justification “in him”, of their own resurrection to life, and of the certainty of his ruling or “judging the world in righteousness” as Jehovah’s king, when they shall also reign with him as kings and priests to God.

Rom 4:22-25 The Scriptures 1998+  (22)  Therefore also “it was reckoned to him for righteousness.”  (23)  And not because of him alone was it written that it was reckoned to him,  (24)  but also because of us, to whom it shall be reckoned, to us who believe in Him who raised up יהושע  {Jeshua} our Master from the dead,  (25)  who was delivered up because of our trespasses, and was raised for us to be declared right.

Rom 8:11 The Scriptures 1998+  (11)  And if the Spirit of Him who raised יהושע  {Jeshua} from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you.

1Co 15:14 The Scriptures 1998+  (14)  And if Messiah has not been raised, then our proclaiming is empty, and your belief also empty,

1Co 15:20 The Scriptures 1998+  (20)  But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep.

Act 17:31 The Scriptures 1998+  (31)  because He has set a day on which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed,1 having given proof of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Footnote: 1See 10:42.

Rev 5:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  And they sang a renewed song, saying, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals, because You were slain, and have redeemed us to Elohim by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,  (10)  and made us sovereigns and priests to our Elohim, and we shall reign upon the earth.”1 Footnote: 1Dan. 7:18-27.

This day is also notable on account of the special interviews which occurred between Jesus and his disciples after his resurrection.

Joh 20:19 The Scriptures 1998+  (19)  When therefore it was evening on that day, the first day of the week,and when the doors were shut where the taught ones met, for fear of the Yehuḏim, יהושע {Jehsua} came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace to you.”

Joh 20:26 The Scriptures 1998+  (26)  And after eight days His taught ones were again inside, and T’oma with them. יהושע {Jehsua} came, the doors having been shut, and He stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”

He ascended to heaven on this day, even the forty-third from his crucifixion; and seven days after, that is the fiftieth, being “the day of Pentecost”, the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles, and the gospel of the kingdom preached for the first time in his name.
Power being in the hands of their enemies, the Christians of the Hebrew nation still continued to observe the seventh day according to the custom. Hence we find the apostles frequenting the synagogues on the sabbath days and reasoning with the people out of the scriptures.

Act 17:2 The Scriptures 1998+  (2)  And according to his practice, Sha’ul went in unto them, and for three Sabbaths was reasoning with them from the Scriptures,

Act 17:17 The Scriptures 1998+  (17)  Therefore, indeed, he was reasoning in the congregation with the Yehuḏim and with the gentile worshippers, and in the market-place daily with those who met there.

Act 18:4 The Scriptures 1998+  (4)  And he was reasoning in the congregation every Sabbath, and won over both Yehuḏim and Greeks.

Act 19:8 The Scriptures 1998+  (8)  And having gone into the congregation he spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the reign of Elohim.

 To have done otherwise would have been to create an unnecessary prejudice, and to let slip one of the best opportunities of introducing the gospel to the attention of the Jewish public. They did not forsake the synagogues until they were expelled. While they frequented these, however, on the seventh day, they assembled themselves together with the disciples whose assemblies constituted the churches of the saints and of God. They ordained elders over these societies, and “taught them to observe all things whatsoever Jesus had commanded them”.

Mat 28:20 The Scriptures 1998+  (20)  teaching them to guard all that I have commanded you. And see, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Amĕn.

Act 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.

Act 14:21-23 The Scriptures 1998+  (21)  And having brought the Good News to that city, and having made many taught ones, they returned to Lustra, and Ikonion, and Antioch,  (22)  strengthening the beings of the taught ones, encouraging them to continue in the belief, and that through many pressures we have to enter the reign of Elohim.  (23)  And having appointed elders in every assembly, having prayed with fasting, they committed them to the Master in whom they had believed.

In his letter to the Hebrew Christians, Paul exhorts them “not to forsake the assembling of themselves together”

Heb 10:19-25 The Scriptures 1998+  (19)  So, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Set-apart Place by the blood of יהושע {Jeshua},  (20)  by a new and living way which He instituted for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,  (21)  and having a High Priest over the House of Elohim,  (22)  let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.  (23)  Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without yielding, for He who promised is trustworthy.  (24)  And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works,1 Footnote: 1Mt. 16:27.  (25)  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the Day coming near.

Such an exhortation as this implies a stated time and place of assembly. On what day, then, did the churches of the saints meet to exhort one another so as to provoke to love and to good works ? Certainly not on the seventh day, for then the apostles were in the synagogues. What day then more appropriate than the first day of the week ? Now it cannot be affirmed that the saints were commanded to meet on this day, because there is no testimony to that effect in the New Testament. But it is beyond dispute that they did assemble themselves together on the first day of the week, and the most reasonable inference is that they did so in obedience to the instruction of the apostles, from whose teaching they derived all their faith and practice, which constituted them the disciples of Jesus.

To keep the first day of the week to the Lord is possible only for the saints. There is no law, except the emperor Constantine’s, that commands sinners to keep holy the first, or eighth, day, or Sunday, as the Gentiles term it. For a sinner to keep this day unto the Lord he must become one of the Lord’s people. He must believe the gospel of the kingdom and name of Christ, and become obedient to it, before any religious service he can offer will be accepted. He must come under law to Christ by putting on Christ before he can keep the Lord’s day. Having become a Christian, if he would keep the day to the Lord, he must assemble with a congregation of New Testament saints, and assist in edifying and provoking them to love and good works, in showing forth the death of Jesus, in giving thanks to the Father, in celebrating the resurrection of Christ, and in praising and blessing God. Under the gospel, or “law of liberty”, he is subjected to no “yoke of bondage” concerning a sabbath day. It is his delight when an opportunity presents, to celebrate in this way the day of the resurrection. He requires no penal statutes to compel him to a formal and disagreeable self-denial, or “duty”; for it is his meat and drink to do the will of his Father who is in heaven.

Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 17–20). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Preceding article:

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

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Additional reading:

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. First Century of Christianity
  3. Hellenistic influences
  4. The early days of Christianity – Position and power
  5. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  6. Sabbath according to the scriptures
  7. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  8. Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled
  9. Raising digression
  10. Object of first woe
  11. Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH
  12. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  13. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  14. Speaking in tongues
  15. Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing
  16. Meaning of “speaking in tongues”
  17. Remember the day
  18. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  19. Reasons to come together
  20. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  21. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  22. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  23. Communion and day of worship

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Further reading of interest:

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