The Sabbath Day
Most of the statements made in the Dake's Bible concerning the validation of the Sunday sabbath remind me of witnessing to Mormons out here in Utah. They, too, attempt to authenticate the Mormon religion by quoting Mormon authorities. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia goes on to say that ... "A given day as a matter of divine obligation is denounced by Paul as forsaking Christ [Gal. 4:10]." I have covered this quite thoroughly in the Messianic Apologetic Series. However, a brief comment is in order here. The immediate context of Galatians 4:10 is Galatians 4:8.
"Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years."
This letter is addressed to the Galatians. Remember those guys? Galatia is in Asia and dominantly gentile. Paul was the apostle to the gentiles according to this same bible encyclopedia. Paul is speaking to those who 'knew not God' and formally worshipped 'those' who were by nature no gods. The Galatian culture, as most of the Roman empire, was saturated with a multitude of religious rituals and observances. It would take the greatest of ignorant anti-Jewish stooges to conclude that observers of days, months, times, and years, were only Jews. America, hardly a Jewish nation, has more observances of days, months, times, and years, than Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists put together. Once again, an absurd statement.
This encyclopedia next quotes Colossians 2:16 as an attack on the Sabbath and that it is condemned explicitly by Paul.
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:"
This section of Colossians has also been covered in much detail in our MA series. There is so much to be gleaned here, but I will focus on the historical meat of Paul's statements. Once again, history and context plays a major role here. In the time in which Paul lived, when a thief was convicted, he served time in jail. On the outside of the cell was a document declaring the penalty and the crime for which he was convicted. When the prisoner served his time, the penalty was blotted out and he was set free. Now just prior to Paul's direct reference to this in Colossians 2:14, Paul reminds us that because of Y'shua's crucifixion and resurrection from the dead, that our trespasses have been forgiven. Messiah died for ALL our sins. It is the PENALTY He has paid for. Paul uses the analogy of a Greek penal system to teach this truth. Those who have been set free from the penalty of sin and now have eternal life (Romans 6:23), are free to serve the God of Israel now (Romans 6:22). Now we follow the God of Israel rather than our own ways that only lead to bondage and death. Without going into detail at this point, the reference to judging over food, drink, and sabbaths is actually quite the opposite of what the Sabbath forsakers are suggesting. Those of us who are now free to serve YHVH are not to be judged, because we have been set free of the traditions of MEN and the rudiments of the world (Colossians 2:8)
The Dake's bible then quotes a number of excerpts from the writings of the so-called early church fathers. I will not address these commments for the reasons I stated at the beginning of this teaching. These comments only serve to prove that the prophecies of the Tanakh and Paul's comments in Acts 20:29-31 were already in full swing by the time Constantine wrote it in 'official' stone. I will continue to address the scriptures that this commentary depends upon. The following is their next claim:
[Ed. note: typos are included in copying this from what was sent us!]
SABBATH NOT FOR GENTILES CHURCH
Not once in scripture are the Gentiles and the N.T. church commanded to keep any particular day as a Sabbath, or respect one day as being holy any more than another [Rom. 14:5-6; Gal. 4:9-11]. The program of the N.T. for all men [Jew and Gentiles] is to consider every day holy and realize that whatever is sin must not be committed on any day, Saturday, Sunday or any other. It is not the day that makes an act sinful; it is the act, itself regardless of the day it is committed on. Transgression of the law is sin and that regardless of the day the transgression takes place [1 John 3:4].
It is here that we get to the real source of the matter. The first statement begins with a presupposition, taken as a matter of fact, not substantiated, and then set in place as the first domino in their game. This is precisely why an overall knowledge and chronology of the entire Bible is so crucial. A grasp of prophecy and history of God's people, from the beginning, is imperative to proper exegesis. Where do we get the phrase 'the Gentiles and the New Testament church'? It is difficult to decide where to begin here. An entire system is set up here, based upon foundational principles, that are nowhere found in scripture. They should have just simply said "Not once in scripture are the Gentiles and the New Testament church..." and stopped there. It is the Christian religion in concert with traditional Judaism that started this rumor. To properly comment on this ignorant statement alone would take volumes of time. The whole background of the 'two house' teaching is for the express purpose of addressing this fundamental flaw. Once this fallacious pillar is removed, the entire religious system comes tumbling down. I will be as succinct as possible. From the beginning, God's commandments have always been for God's people. In God's kingdom there NEVER has been a difference between Jew and Gentile. It is man that has divided God's people into numberless sects and denominations. From the beginning, you either follow the God of Israel or you do not. God's called out people (KJV translators choose to call 'church' in the NT and 'assembly' or congregation in the Tenakh) have existed from the beginning. These truths are covered quite extensively in the Teachings/Archive section on this web site.
I find the comments on sin in this Bible encyclopedia equally provocative. It is clearly seen by these 'commentators' that sin is not to be committed on any day of the week. A strange comment to say the least. Are they implying that followers of the God of the Old Testament considered sin on the Sabbath to be different than sin on Tuesday? Or are they intimating that Jews were only to be holy on Sabbath? Or that in the Old Testament it was the day on which you sinned and not the act itself that was taught? These statements are no more than just incredibly stupid comments. If Y'shua came to free mankind from the 'law', then how can sin be transgression of the law, when there is no law to transgress? 1 John 3:4 does indeed stand against these people. The wages of sin are death, and Messiah came to free us from those wages. He had to be speaking of spiritual death, because everyone still physically dies. Sin is defined as rebellion against Torah, the result of which is separation (death) from God.
"Behold, YHVH's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
The Tanakh teaches precisely the same thing that Paul teaches. Y'shua came and obeyed all of God's commandments because He did not sin. He did not transgress the law. Then He said that we should take up our cross and follow Him. Sin is transgression of the law, a statement which condemns their premise and the next one as well.
SABBATH SIGN OF OLD COVENANT
Ex 31:13 The weekly Sabbath of Israel was not only a sign of the covenant between God and their nation, but also a witness to all other nations that Israel was a special people set apart from others to receive the revelation of God, and to bring the Messiah into the world.
I am afraid that I cannot disagree with any part of this statement. Israel IS God's nation. Israel IS God's people. Israel IS set apart from the heathen nations. Israel IS to be a witness to the gentile nations, and Israel IS a special people above all the other nations. Israel DID bring Messiah into the world. However their domino falls in the FACT that God's Israel is not separate from God's church. Religions and systematic theologies separate the two, but the scriptures do not. The essence of my statement lies in the fact that the renewal and fulfillment of a covenant does not constitute a new body of believers or new rules. As I have stated so many times, from the beginning there has only been one seed, one body, one faith, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one baptism, one God, one Father, one church, one Israel. To attempt to run from the commandments and covenants of God by ascribing or assigning them to someone else is the act of a child.
"Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am YHVH that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people."
Here is how the 'convenient' reasoning of Christian teaching goes. The Sabbath was given to the children of Israel. We are not the children of Israel, we are the church. Therefore, the Sabbath is not for us, for nowhere in the Bible is the weekly Sabbath given to the church. It is not difficult to imagine how pogroms, inquisitions and gas chambers sprang forth from this view of scripture. Ever since the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. there has been a great gulf fixed between those whom God calls Israel, and the church. Christian nomenclature has always spouted the difference between Israel, the Jews, you know, THOSE PEOPLE, and the New Testament church, the body of Messiah. Next time I would like to address the important question of who are the children of Israel.