Friday, September 12, 2008

Jesus' Authority Over the Sabbath


Jesus’ actions regarding the Sabbath seem to point toward making the transition from the Old to the New Covenant. He went out of His way to heal on Sabbath, to “thresh” grain on the Sabbath and to call attention to those acts. Let’s take a look at some of those Sabbath encounters and see what we can learn from them.

“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, ‘Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.’ But He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy and not a sacrifice,” you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’" Matt 12:1-8 (NASB)

Jesus was equating shewbread with the Sabbath, the priesthood, and circumcision all of which were at the same level. They were all temporary shadows of what was to come. The Pharisees rightly accused Jesus and His disciples of breaking (the Greek word luo is also translated: destroy, destroyer, destruction, destructive, dissolve, loose, unlooseStrong's Greek & Hebrew Dictionary) the SabbathJesus Healing a Deaf and Dumb Man by Bartholomeus BREENBERGH. They were outraged because His actions were destroying the authority of the Sabbath of the Law and replacing it with the Sabbath Himself. The disciples were threshing, they weren’t resting and they hadn’t prepared their food on Friday. Jesus’ arguments did not institute Sabbath reform.10 He took authority over the Sabbath by saying that He was Lord of, He was the Sabbath and He defined what Sabbath meant. He was loosing the people from the shadow so they could come to the Substance. The shadow has to give way to the Reality. Remember that the Pharisees were applying the very laws that God had given them regarding the Sabbath. They were not making up added burdens that they annexed onto God’s instructions.
Christ’s arguments in response were that:

1) David had not been condemned a number of times for breaking ritual law (which includes the Sabbath and all other portions of the law that were shadows of the reality, Jesus) but had been condemned for breaking moral law.

2) David was exempt from the rituals because he was the king and his men were exempt because they were associated with him – a foreshadowing of the New Covenant. If the Sabbath were a moral law, Jesus would not have broken it.

3) His statement that the “Son of Man” (Jesus incarnate, the redeemer, Emanuel) is Lord of the Sabbath can be equated with Heb. 10:1 “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves.” Just as His statement that something greater than the temple was there was not a reformation of the rituals surrounding the temple but a replacement of those shadows with the reality, so the statement that the Lord of the Sabbath had come replaced the shadow with the substance.

If the Sabbath were a moral obligation or immutable moral law, then if Jesus had broken it He would have sinned and could not be our Savior.

“Then He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.’" Mark 2:27-28 (NIV) He is Lord of the Sabbath because He made the Sabbath for Israel. In saying that He made it, He was showing that it had to be “made”. An immutable, everlasting principle of God’s character does not have to be made, it “is." This was obvious, because it could be set aside without consequences or sin by both David and Jesus. A moral obligation could not.10


Does the New Covenant Have Commandments?

The primary fear and objection raised when it is stated that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding on Christians is that it will result in lawlessness. The arguments are usually these: 1) Then does that mean that we can go out and steal and kill with impunity? 2) We do not keep the Ten Commandments in order to be saved, we keep them because we love the Lord and want to please Him. 3) If the Sabbath commandment is null and void, so are all the others. But listen to the New Covenant:

"The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant…This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Heb 8:8-12 (NIV)


What laws are being referred to here?

“Do you not know, brothers--for I am speaking to men who know the law--that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is'Withstanding the Flood' by Ramone Romero still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead…we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:1-6 (NIV)

So, it can’t be the Ten Commandments, which are the words of the Old Covenant Law, that are written on the heart in the New Covenant, because Paul says that to continue to hold onto the Old Covenant while moving into the New Covenant is equivalent to committing adultery. In other words, if the Old Covenant is still alive in our hearts we cannot embrace the New. That’s a serious charge and suggests that it does matter to God whether or not we cast off the old in order to belong to another. It is unfaithfulness.5

Adventism has continued to hold onto the Sabbath in spite of its protestations that the New Covenant is understood and practiced. The statements in defense of the Sabbath are:

1) Why not keep the Sabbath? It isn’t sin. We can keep Monday or Tuesday or Friday.

2) We know that our salvation isn’t linked to Sabbath-keeping.

3) We do it as a response of love.

4) We keep it as a sign that we are saved.

5) I love the Sabbath. I feel close to God when I keep the Sabbath. I’ve done it all my life and I love the break from routine.

6) We don’t need to unnecessarily offend other Adventists. If we don’t keep the Sabbath we can’t have any influence with them.

But what is not acknowledged in such arguments is that Sabbath-keeping is strange fire before the Lord. When Cain brought fruit to the altar, the Lord was displeased enough to send him away. There is nothing wrong with fruit. Cain figured that if he loved and valued fruit and brought it as his offering then God would welcome it as a love offering.

“But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” Gen 4:4-5 (NIV) Why? Because the lamb gave the clearest picture of the coming Savior. It was what God had ordained. Abel brought the lamb and God accepted his sacrifice of praise. But Cain didn’t see anything wrong with his offering and brought it anyway. It was not a true representation of the gospel to come. Continuing to honor the Old Covenant denies the completed work of Jesus on the cross. It is the shadow; the New Covenant is the substance. It is the slave woman; the New Covenant is the free woman.

Jesus told the Pharisees that they were spurning God’s heart by continuing to observe the traditions of man. When we hold onto the practices of the Old Covenant because of our tradition and the tradition of our parents we are in opposition to the move of God into the New Covenant. Paul calls the Ten Commandments a ministry of death and slavery, and the writer of Hebrews clearly calls it obsolete. Jesus says if you love me keep MY commands.

In keeping the Sabbath we are presenting an offering to God that He has not asked for and does not want. We are putting strange fire on the altar. “Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command.“ Lev 10:1-2 (NIV) In the name of God, we are offering the traditions of our parents and our church instead of what He has desired.

A new order began with the announcement of Jesus’ ministry. “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.” Matt 11:12-13 (NIV) All of the Old Testament foreshadows the Messiah. The prophecies iterated in the Law and the Prophets all stopped when John came onto the scene. They were no longer adequate to portray the Lord. When Jesus became incarnate the previous writings became pale next to the living reality of “God with us.” Paul put it this way: “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4 (NIV)

So what laws are referred to that will be written on our hearts in the New Covenant? Jesus introduced a new order by becoming the New Covenant, and endowed the New Covenant with His commandments, “the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2 They are better and more inclusive laws accomplished by faith thru the Holy Spirit and still based on the immutable law of love for God and humanity.

Isaiah foresaw this day in the book of the prophets. "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” Isaiah 42:6-7 (NIV) Jesus Himself is the New Covenant.

On the Mount of transfiguration Moses, standing for the law, and Elijah, representing the prophets (the entire Bible at that point in time), appeared. Peter offered to build three tents to enshrine Jesus, Moses and Elijah. In his mind Moses and Elijah probably took precedence over Jesus. But God wanted to change that. While he was still speaking, God overshadowed them with a bright cloud so that the disciples fell face down. From that cloud God spoke the essence of the new covenant: “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" Matt 17:5 (NASB) And when they looked again Moses and Elijah were gone and “they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.”

Throughout the New Testament Jesus and His followers call on their hearers to establish the Law of Christ in contrast to the Old Law.

“Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6:2 (NIV)

While here, Jesus began delivering the new laws of the New Covenant. God the Father had said, “This is my son, listen to him.” And as we listen to and obey the laws written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant, God says of us “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.” Rev 14:12 (NRSV)

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:10-12 (NIV)

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 (NIV)

Jesus quotes six of the Ten Commandments and other commandments from the book of the law in a pattern that shows that He is introducing a new order of things. In each He says, “You have heard it said…” and then says, “But I tell you…”

"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” Matt 5:21-22 (NIV)

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt 5:27-28 (NIV)

"Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ' You shall not make false vows but shall fulfill your vows to the lord.' But I say to you, make no oath at all…” Matt 5:33-35 (NASB)

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matt 5:38-39 (NIV)

"If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15 (NIV)

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21 (NIV)

“You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14 (NIV)

“This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17 (NIV)

“And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” 1 John 4:21 (NASB)

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:9-12

“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” 1 John 3:21-23 (NIV)

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” Matt 28:19-20 (NASB)

The nine moral commands that existed before the Old Covenant and still exist since its demise are reiterated multiple times in the New Testament, but never is the Sabbath presented as a duty or obligation or expectation by Jesus or by the apostles or in any other New Testament text.

Not Slaves or Servants but Heirs and Friends

As slaves we owe a tax: One dollar out of ten, one day out of seven, the keeping of laws that have specified borders. As sons and daughters, as heirs, we do not owe a tax. We are heirs and the kingdom is ours; we completely belong to the kingdom. When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he must do to be saved, Jesus rattled off several of the Ten Commandments, the dues of a slave. Conspicuously absent is the Sabbath commandment. The young man had always done those things but knew that they had not brought him salvation. Jesus then made the contrast between the two covenants by saying, in essence, “the law says… but I tell you go sell everything, because all you have and all you are belong to the kingdom in which you are an heir. By giving it up you inherit all things.” One tenth is no longer enough. It’s all His.

The Old Covenant sets out multiple and specific rules about sexual conduct but Jesus’ commandments say that to even look and wish does not fit with being an heir to the kingdom. “The law says… but I tell you.” This is the kingdom mentality and it can only be achieved by becoming a new creation. This is the New Covenant. These are the commands that Jesus writes on our hearts. The old is just enough to get by. One dollar out of ten, one day out of seven. The new is all that we are and all that we have. It is more, not less. The new is freedom; the old is slavery.

“After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, ‘Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax ?’ ‘Yes, he does,’ he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. ‘What do you think, Simon?’ he asked. ‘From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes--from their own sons or from others?’ ‘From others,’ Peter answered.” Matt 17:24-26 (NIV) Jesus was revealing to Peter that He did not owe the temple tax because He was greater than the temple, He IS the temple, He is the King of kings and Peter is heir to the kingdom. They were both sons of God.

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ...” Romans 8:14-17 (NASB) Jesus is our brother.

“You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:13-15 (NIV)

We are seated with Christ in heavenly places and only from that place can we take the authority that He intends for His brothers and sisters to use to crush the head of the enemy under our feet. Does it matter? Yes, it is everything. Because those who remain under the old covenant “will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." Gal 4:30 (NIV)

“What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son; God has made you also an heir.” Gal 4:1-7 (NIV)

Summary of Jesus' Authority Over the Sabbath:
1) Jesus went out of His way to demonstrate that He had taken authority or precedence over the Sabbath by breaking or destroying the Sabbath. The religious leaders understood this to the point that they set about to kill Him.

2) The Sabbath was “made” so it couldn’t be an eternal, moral law.
3) The New Covenant speaks of laws written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

4) The New Covenant law is the “law of Christ” which He established during His life on Earth. He replaces the old with the new. “Christ is the end of the law.”

5) Jesus Himself is the New Covenant.

6) The Old Covenant is the covenant of slavery. Slaves owe a tax.

7) The New Covenant makes us sons and daughters of God, heirs of the kingdom who are seated with Christ in Heavenly places.

8) Sons and daughters do not owe a tax, "for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."


Ultimate Rest Table of Contents
The Next Chapter: The Contrast Between the New and Old Covenants
Paul uses strong language when he contrasts the two covenants. He calls one a covenant of slavery (mind you, this is a covenant made by God) and the other a covenant of freedom. Why? Have we moved on into the New Covenant or are we trying to keep one foot on each side of the divide?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, in fact, it means that you follow the Nine Commandments... Hmmm, interesting... (And don't say that you are following the Ten Commandments by substituting another day to the Sabbath because, like it or not, the fourth commandment speaks about the seventh day of the week, not another one).

Also, if you say that there is no obligation to keep the sabbath (in spite of being part of the Ten Commandments), there is surely no obligation to keep Sunday either (because I am sure that you go to church at least one day a week and I am sure it is not on Sabbath, so I assume it is on Sunday). I mean, Jesus never said to keep that day even after his resurrection. So there is no obligation to keep the first day of the week. So we could as well meet on Tuesday. Yes, Tuesday seems to be a good day for me... what? You prefer Wednesday? Okay... You keep Wednesday while I keep Tuesday... Oh, someone else wants Thursday? No problem, he can keep Thursday...

Welcome to the church of confusion...

Gently Broken said...

Dear Anon, your comments are appreciated because they bring up some important questions on the subject of the Sabbath. I hope you have read or will read the remainder of the studies on this blog. If you do you will find that these questions have been addressed. But if you are pressed for time I'll be happy to synthesize those points here.

The Ten Commandments are a Reader's Digest Condensed version of the covenant that God made with Israel. 1 Kings 8:9 & 21 In the New Testament this is known as the Old Covenant. Heb 9:1-4 Please read the study on "The Old or Sinaitic Covenant" which establishes this beyond question.

The Old Covenant, including the Ten Commandments and therefore the Sabbath, was given to Israel and to no one else. Deut 4:12-14, Ex. 20:2, Ex 31:12-16, Mal 4:4, Deut. 5:1-4.

Paul calls this covenent (and specifically names the Ten Commandments) a ministry that brought death. He also said that it was a temporary measure put in place to lead people to Christ and to last UNTIL Christ came. Gal 3:19

So could the Ten Commandments be changed for something else? Yes. Heb 7:12 says that when the Priesthood was changed with Christ as the Ultimate priest that the law also changed. Heb 7:12. When Christ came the Old Covenant (including the Ten Commandments) was nailed to the cross and the New Covenant was inagurated. Please read the study on "Are the Ten Commandments Immutable?" He set aside the first to establish the second. Heb 10:8-9.

This New Covenant is also known as the Law of Christ. Gal 6:2. The first law was set aside because it was "weak and useless." Heb 7:18-19.

So, no, we do not follow nine or ten commandments because that is not our covenant. I would guess that your mind will real at that statement because the question will arise, "well, then, is it OK for a Christian to kill, commit adultery and steal?" No? Then why not if the Ten Commandments are no longer valid? The answer is that we have been made a New Creation with the mind of Christ. Our desires and thoughts are changed to be like Him. Will we always line up with that ideal? No. But those things are no longer salvational issues since we are "in Christ" and "nothing can snatch you out of His hand."

Obligation suggests a work-based approach to salvation. There is only one salvation issue for a Christian, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." Acts 16:31 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

Christians do not "Keep" the Sabbath on Sunday. There is no Sabbath command in the New Covenant. You mentioned that Jesus never commanded Sunday-keeping. You are right. Neither did he or anyone else command Sabbath-keeping in the New Testament. Jesus was even found breaking the Sabbath at every turn, showing that the shadow, pointing to the reality of Himself had come. Jesus IS our Sabbath rest. He is the reality that the Sabbath pointed forward to and we dwell in that Sabbath rest every day since the resurrection. Heb 4:9-10 Hallelujah.

Certainly we are free to worship on every day. But going back to the very beginning there is good evidence that Christians have gathered on Sunday to commemorate and celebrate the resurrection. Please read the study on "The Christian Church and the Lord's Day" for further corroboration.

There is no confusion in the New Testament about this subject. I hope you will allow yourself the freedom to actually step back and look at it all again without fear or prejudice. I welcome further comments or questions even if they are out of frustration or anger. Those emotions often are the first indication that somehting is wrong and needs a second look.

Blessings to you. To me you are anonymous, but to Jesus you are known and cherished.

In His love, Cherry Brandstater, moderator, Gently Broken

Anonymous said...

Cherry,
I appreciate your response to the above post. That tells me a lot of which "Spirit" does possess, influence you. Jesus said that you will know them by their fruits. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I see the fruit of the Spirit being manifested through your response to the above post and also throughout your teachings.
I am a sixth generation SDA and have recently gone through some incredible things that have begun to open my eyes to things that I have been blind to as a christian. It's interesting to me that one of the things Jesus counsels us to do in the message to the Laodicean church is to anoint our eyes with eye salve so that we can see. I believe that we are in that era and its time to anoint our eyes so that we can see the True Gospel as it is in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
Thanks for sharing what you have been given and not keeping it to yourself. Thank you thank you thank you. And above all I thank Father God.
In Christs love,
Lynn Golden

Gently Broken said...

Thank you, Lynn, for your kind words. I would LOVE to know more about your journey and the "incredible things" you have been experiencing. I believe that when we share the individual stories of God's amazing grace in our lives it shines a beacon light on Jesus' glory and helps to build faith. If you would prefer to do so privately send me a note at contact@gentlybroken.com. I look forward to hearing from you and pray for continued revelation and wisdom to be poured out on you in Jesus' name.

Cherry Brandstater

krisjamel said...

Hello,
Can you tell me why the fourth commandment isn't considered a moral law? Also, if the fourth commandment weekly Sabbath was a shadow, why didn't God lump it in with the Mosaic laws which were done away with at the cross? In other words why didn't He just create the nine commandments? Thanks.

Gently Broken said...

Hi, Kris and thank you for your thoughtful questions and observations. They are certainly at the heart of every Adventist who values the Sabbath. I don't know how much of the studies you've had a chance to read so far. I know it's a lot of content to get thru. It's also a new way of thinking for those of us who grew up being schooled in the belief that the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Mosaic law are two separate entities. I hope you will take the time to read thru the whole study on the Sabbath here. The answers to your questions are there and are dealt with.

I am going to have to let you find them that way for the next two or three weeks because I am going to have very limited access to a computer and even more limited time to answer in more depth. But as soon as I can I will try to synthesize the response to your questions in a more succinct way.

Probably, like you, I used to think that the objections you raise were unanserable. I didn't even want them to be. Some of that mindset comes from having those thoughts imprinted over and over throughout ones lifetime without any balancing viewpoint.

I really look forward to discussing this with you forward and hope you don't give up on me while I take just a little hiatus here.

The Lord bless you for reading and for questioning.

Gently Broken said...

Will try to get back to you the weekend of August 12.

Gently Broken said...

Hello, again, Chris, As I mentioned, I have been out of the country and unable to spend the time to respond to your thoughtful questions before this time. All of those queries have been mine at some point in time, so I am pleased to get back to you on your concerns.
Let’s take your questions one at a time:
Is the fourth commandment a moral law?
I believe that the answers to that question are adequately dealt with on So Gently Broke, but here are some arguments from a great website, http://www.bible.ca/7-sabb=moral.htm:
The Sabbath is not a moral law because:
1. The Sabbath is not a moral law because the priests were allowed to profane it: Matt 12:5; Num 28:9-10; Josh 6:15; 1 Ki 20:29; Jn 5:10
2. The Sabbath is not a moral law because a man could break it without sin to save an animal from a pit.
3. The Sabbath is not a moral law because Jesus broke the Sabbath without sin in John 5:18.
4. The Sabbath is not a moral law because God never intended for all mankind to keep it: God NEVER charged the Gentiles with breaking it, much less even keeping it. Only the Jews were expected to keep it. Interesting that God charges the Gentiles many times for breaking all the 9 moral commandments on the tablets of stone, but NEVER ONCE says anything about breaking the Sabbath!
5. If the Sabbath is moral, then why did God grow weary of them keeping it? God never said he was weary of them NOT stealing or NOT committing adultery. But God did say he was could not endure their keeping the Sabbath: Isa 1:13-14 "Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and Sabbath, the calling of assemblies- I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts. They have become a burden to Me." Such is never said of any moral command anywhere in the Bible! Think about it!
What laws were done away with at the cross?
Again, if you read this blog carefully you will find the answers to that question. Colossians 2:14-16 clearly states that God DID, in fact, “lump” the Sabbath in with the other laws that came to an end with the death and resurrection of Christ: “having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. Col 2:14-16 (NIV) There is a much more in-depth discussion of this in the studies contained in this blog. Please read them.
It’s not easy to relearn what one has been taught since birth. The earliest songs of our childhood in Sabbath School Cradle Roll were primarily about Sabbath-keeping. It was instilled in us as gospel. But it was wrong. Give yourself permission to really look at the subject with fresh eyes and a heart opened by the Holy Spirit. Best wishes on your quest.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent appraisal of the Sabbath question. It brings together the main arguments for and against the Sabbath and shows it to be, what we all know it to be, a shadow of Christ. Of course, for Sabbatarians will reject it out of hand. My experience is that irrespective of what evidence you present from scripture or history or even reason itself, Sabbatarians will not be persuaded because it is simply too much for them to bear. Tragically, like the Pharisees of old, they will shut their eyes and their ears to the Spirit of Truth.

Gently Broken said...

Thank you, Anon. for you observations. You are right, it is extremely difficult for a sabbatarian to be dissuaded from that stance. For most, it includes a cultural connection that would be very painful to leave. It is not just a theological question. It involves family, culture, lifestyle and deeply inculcated teaching over a lifetime. The songs about the Sabbath begin in Cradle Roll before a child has any ability to evaluate what is being taught. But I continue to believe that the Holy Spirit is able to convict of truth. I also continue to pray for revelation and discernment, courage and integrity in the hearts of the people Jesus loves.

Anonymous said...

my question is about Jesus keeping the sabbath after He died on the cross. Adventists routinely tell me that he was resting and still keeping God's commandment when He was in the tomb. How can this be? Can the dead keep the sabbath? Or are they teaching that He didn't really die? Or did He die and come back to life before the sabbath was over, so he waited till the sabbath was over until he appeared in order to keep the sabbath? why do they teach that he kept the sabbath even though Jesus was dead, and as we all know the dead know nothing?

Gently Broken said...

Back to you, Anon, regarding your question and comments regarding Jesus' death. I would strongly suggest that first of all you go on thru the studies to those dealing with spirit (after the studies on the Sabbath). Your question is dealt with in depth there.

You bring up a very interesting conundrum for an Adventist. When the Bible speaks of Jesus dying, of course, Christ’s body died, but His spirit could never have died because He is God. God cannot die. Some allege that Christ actually faced the second death and was annihilated, or at the very least, went into soul sleep. For an Adventist, death equals soul sleep and represents some sort of resting in God - though it is, in essence, non-existence except in the memory of God.

Think thru the implications of that concept. To assert that the second person of the Godhead went out of existence would require that, for a time, there was a binate Godhead not a trinity. Then at the resurrection He would have to have been reconstituted, making Him a creature from that point forward.

And if it were asserted that only the human part of His being went into soul sleep or temporary non-existence, it would destroy the unity of Christ’s nature requiring a second incarnation. But Jesus Himself says, “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.” John 5:26 (NIV) So soul sleep was an impossibility for Christ. Putting the thoughts in Matt. 10:28 together with this text, we see that the body can be killed but the spirit can be injured, lost or ruined.

Moving on, there are a number of references to Christ’s entry into Hades that are distinct from being in the tomb, “Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, 'He was not abandoned to Hades, (where souls are in the lower parts of the Earth) nor did his flesh experience corruption (in the grave).'” Acts 2:31 (NRSV) If He was not abandoned in Hades, it means that He was there - and was not left there. In 1 Pet. 3:18-22 Jesus goes into Hades to announce the completion of the atonement, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison…” 1 Peter 3:18-19 (NASB) In the same book, Peter says, “For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.” 1 Peter 4:6 (NIV) This is an interesting text to ponder. It suggests that those who died having believed what they did know of God, may have died without knowing the full extent of the gospel. When all things were accomplished, Christ went to them to reveal the rest of the story of salvation, announcing also to them, “It is finished.”

Anonymous said...

interesting! thank you for your answer.

Anonymous said...

doesn't Hebrews chapter 11 say otherwise about those who have died without the full gospel being saved?

Gently Broken said...

Anon, I'm assuming you are referring to this comment: "It suggests that those who died having believed what they did know of God, may have died without knowing the full extent of the gospel. When all things were accomplished, Christ went to them to reveal the rest of the story of salvation, announcing also to them, 'It is finished.'"

If I'm assuming correctly I'm still guessing at what you are asking. What I understand your question to be is this, "Didn't those in Hebrews 11 have a full understanding of the gospel before they died?"

Hebrews 11 refers to Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab among many others. In Hebrews 11:13 it says, "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance."

This would suggest that they "saw through a glass darkly." They, along with all those who lived before the incarnation, had shadows and illustrations, not the final story. I would be very doubtful that Rahab, for one, had a clear vision of Jesus Christ: His crucifixion and resurrection before she died. But the faith she did have was counted to her as righteousness. So as I read Hebrews 11 it is very consistent with the above statement.

Please clarify your question. What aspects are you considering and what are your thoughts. I'd love to hear them.

Gently Broken said...

As I re-read your question I'm wondering if you are asking if I believe that those who died without the full knowledge of the gospel were saved. Absolutely! Yes.