Jasmine71's Weblog

November 2, 2009

Sabbath Keeping Was For The Jewish People Only

by David J. Stewart
And God spake all these words, saying…

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
  4. [ Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy]
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. Thou shalt not covet. . . any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Look in Exodus 20:1-17 for the complete text.

 

Commandments four is a “ceremonial law” which was ONLY for Old Testament Israel. Ceremonial laws were a specific set of laws, for a specific group of people (Israel), for a specific time period (Old Testament). When Jesus died on the cross, He became our Sabbath. The six day work week in the Old Testament pictured man foolishly trying to earn salvation through self-righteous good works (which is impossible). The Sabbath day of rest represented our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who died in our place to pay for our sins. 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “For He [God the Father] hath made Him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

We are saved by ceasing from our own self-righteous efforts and resting upon the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay. Only through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ can anyone be saved. Romans 3:25, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Salvation is undeserved and wholly by the grace of God toward us sinners.

Colossians 2:14, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the Jewish temple was torn into two pieces, signifying a new covenant between God and His people. The ceremonial laws were done away with. Ceremonial laws were “reminders” to Israel of divine truths. Please understand that the way of salvation did NOT change, all people of all times have been saved the same way—by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). 

The Sabbath Day is not enforced today, which is why the Bible further states in Colossians 2:16,17, “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: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” It is certainly appropriate for Jews to observe the Sabbath Day in honor of the Lord, but it is not required anymore. The Israelites were forbidden to even light a fire on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:3). Obviously, the Sabbath is not enforced today. Circumcision, the Sabbath, eating of swine, and other Jewish restrictions in the Old Testament were ceremonial laws, which were all done away with at the cross. As we just read in Colossians 2:17, the Bible called the ceremonial laws, “a shadow of things to come.” When the sun is directly overhead, the shadow is gone. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Sabbath, in Whom we rest for salvation.

If the Sabbath were still in effect today, then everyone who worked on the Sabbath (Saturday) would be put to death. Exodus 31:15, “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.”

Also, moral laws are applicable 365 days a year (all the time). We are never to violate a moral law! We are never to commit murder. We are never to commit adultery. We are never to bare false witness, etc. However, the Sabbath Day was ceremonial and to be kept only ONCE a week. This it was not a moral law. 

Also, moral laws apply to ALL humanity, the Sabbath was only for Israel, it was a ceremonial law. As a matter of fact, Jesus broke the Sabbath! Jesus would never break a moral law! Jesus was strict on moral law, but lenient on the Sabbath because He was the fulfillment of the Sabbath. This should make very clear that the Sabbath is not valid today. So when you here people talking about the “Ten Commandments;” in fact, there are only nine remaining, which are moral laws (which do not change). Still not convinced?  The Sabbath Day—Moral or Ceremonial Law?

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There are Hundreds of Commandments!

The words “Thou shalt” appear 965 times in the Old Testament. The words “Thou shalt not” appear 204 times in the Old Testament. Of course, not all of these are God speaking, but most of them are. The Ten Commandments do not forbid homosexuality, but God’s Law does forbid homosexuality in Leviticus 20:13 and elsewhere. It is important that people be taught all of God’s Word.

It is interesting that Jesus summed up all the Law and prophets into TWO commandments . . .

Matthew 22:36-40, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Yet, in the Old Testament God gave Moses TEN commandments to give to the Israelites. And then further still we see that there are literally hundreds of commandments in the Bible for Christians to obey. Jesus wasn’t superceding the whole of God’s Law with TWO commandments; but rather, He was simplifying the Law of God for us to understand. The Bible doesn’t tell us not to hit our neighbor with a baseball bat, but if we love our neighbor as our self as Jesus commanded, then we won’t do that. All of the commandments in the Bible fall under the umbrella of the Ten Commandments. The first five commandments are based upon loving God with all our heart, and the last five commandments are based upon loving our neighbor as our self. This is why Jesus summarized them as such.

A man recently said to me that the Bible only forbids men from committing homosexuality in Leviticus 20:13, but it does not forbid women from doing so. Yet, if people love God then they won’t commit such wickedness. In fact, the Bible does condemn lesbianism, as we read in Romans 1:26, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.” It’s sad how people attempt to justify sin with the Scriptures. We must take the Bible as a whole and not overlook any portions of it. If we take to heart the TWO commandments that Jesus emphasized: 1) Loving God with all our heart, and 2) Loving our neighbor as our self, then we will fulfil all of the Law of God in obeying those two. That is, a man who loves his neighbor won’t toss cigarette butts into his swimming pool, et cetera.

Jesus taught that all of the Old Testament Laws were based upon loving God and loving one’s neighbor. If we get those two commandments right, then everything else will fall into place. A man who loves his neighbor won’t deliberately hurt his neighbor in any way. If a man loves God, then he will live for God and keep His commandments.

So as much as we hear about the “Ten Commandments,” the Word of God contains many more commandments than that, hundreds in fact. The Ten Commandments are a symbol of God’s intolerance for sin. Galatians 3:24,25, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” The purpose of the Law was never to get anyone to Heaven, nor to promote better human relations. God gave the Law that “sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful” (Romans 7:13). The purpose of the Law is to show us just how rotten and sinful we are; thus revealing our desperate need for a Savior to redeem us from hellfire. Jesus paid for our sins that we might be redeemed to God. In view of all the possible sins mankind is capable of committing, the Ten Commandments were given as a moral benchmark (a measuring stick) for the Jews to compare themselves against. Everyone has broken God’s Commandments. Those who die in their sins without Christ as Savior will be judged by the Law at The Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

The Sabbath, whenever mentioned in the scriptures, always without exception, designates the seventh day of the week. Clearly, the Sabbath Day was for a specific people (the Jews), during a specific time (the Old Testament), in a specific region (Palestine). Nowhere in the Bible is it affirmed that the first day of the week is given in place of the Sabbath. It is part of the new covenant and with a new significance, the day which our blessed Lord was raised from death according to Mark 16:9, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”

America was a much better nation back when we honored God enough to close our businesses on Sunday, refuse to work on Sundays, and go to church on Sundays. 1st Corinthians 16:2 evidences that Sunday had become the accepted day of going to church in the New Testament, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” Acts 20:7, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Colossians 2:16 says, “Let no man therefore judge you… in respect of… the sabbath days.” This proves that the Sabbath Day is not a command for believers today, for we are not to judge anyone concerning the keeping of it.

Christ is our Sabbath in Whom we rest for salvation. We are saved by HIS righteousness, and not our own self-righteousness! Unfortunately, Catholics don’t believe this and are hellbound in their own self-righteousness. It is not the Church that saves us, nor ourselves; but rather, the blood which Jesus shed for our sins. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9).

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Is the Sabbath for Christians?

By Pastor David Reagan

If recent emails I have received are any true indication, Sabbath worship among those who claim to be Christians is becoming more and more popular. Recently, I have heard that the Sabbath was never changed by God; that we are still under obligation to keep it; that refusal to keep it is the mark of the beast; that it was invented by Roman Catholics in order to worship the Sun god. We will go to the Bible and a little history to get at the truth.

The Heresy of Sabbath-Keeping

The New Testament teachings of Paul, far from teaching the necessity of the Sabbath, show that such a teaching is pure heresy. First, consider this passage:

Colossians 2:16 “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:“ 17 “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

In this passage, Paul says that the keeping of Sabbath days was only a shadow of things to come. He told the Colossians not to let anyone judge them concerning the keeping of the Sabbath days (and other Jewish holy days). Since the Colossians were saved Gentiles who would not have originally kept the Sabbath, Paul is referring to those who would judge them for not keeping the Sabbath. In other words, Paul is clearly saying that the keeping of the Sabbath is no longer necessary. Those who would judge anyone else for not keeping the Sabbath are the ones who are wrong. Here is another important passage:

Galatians 4:9 “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?” 10 “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” 11 “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”

In Galatians, Paul refers to the observing of days (which would include the keeping of the Sabbath) as one of the “weak and beggarly elements” which put men in “bondage.” He is fearful (as he says in many ways throughout the book of Galatians) that they are ready to return to the bondage of Judaism after Jesus Christ has made them free.

The Sabbath as a Sign for Israel

The Bible clearly teaches that the Sabbath was given as a gift to the people of Israel. It was a special sign of God’s covenant between Himself and Israel. Exodus 31:12-18 teaches this special relationship between Israel and the keeping of the Sabbath. Note especially verses sixteen and seventeen:

Exodus 31:16 “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” 17 “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

To require Gentiles to keep the Sabbath is to attempt to make Jews out of them. It is true that in Old Testament times Gentiles went to the Jew to find the way of salvation. However, in this age of grace, the Bible is just as clear that Jews must come to the Gentiles to find the way to God. Peter, in referring to the salvation of the Gentile Cornelius and his household, said, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” (Acts 15:11). In other words, Jews (like Peter) must be saved according to the pattern of Gentiles (like Cornelius).

New Testament Worship on the First Day

These modern Sabbath-keepers teach that worshipping on the first day of the week was an invention of the Roman Catholics when they assimilated many pagan practices. First of all, Roman Catholicism was not really established as such until the fourth century after Christ. Up until that time, there were some minor moves toward giving an elevated place to the church at Rome, but there was nothing approaching Catholicism. In fact, it took several centuries after this time for them to consolidate their power into one head at Rome.

At any rate, worshipping on the first day of the week began immediately after the resurrection of Christ and continued from that time. Consider the following points: 

  1. Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1).
  2. The day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost came down in power, was on the first day of the week (Acts 2:1; Leviticus 23:15-16).
  3. The early church habitually met on the first day of the week (John 20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2).
  4. The first day of every week we remember the resurrection of our Lord as the beginning of a new dispensation in which we are no longer under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14-15; Galatians 4:21; 5:18).
  5. CONCLUSION: The Roman Catholic Church was not established until about three centuries after Christ. Christians meeting on the first day of the week began immediately after the resurrection of Christ.

Historical Support for First Day Worship

Finally, consider how early Christians began to worship on the first day of the week according to the historical records. It was mentioned as the day of worship by the following men or in the following writings:

  • Ignatius in his Ad Magnesios written about 115AD. 
  • An unknown author in The Epistle of Barnabas probably written between 107 and 120AD.
  • Justin Martyr who lived from about 100 to 165AD.
  • Tertullian who lived from about 160 to 220AD.

These are just some of the earliest examples. The evidence to the contrary just does not match up. Before the completion of the New Testament and immediately afterwards, the Christian day of worship was the first day of the week. On that special day every week we come together to worship God and to remember that we serve a risen Saviour. Those who teach otherwise try to bring Christians back under the bondage of the law. Their false doctrine should be rejected. Let us worship our Saviour truly on the day of His resurrection.

SOURCE©2001-2009 Learn the Bible

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April 5, 2009

Back To The Basics- Saving Faith Part 2

This post is due to the fact that many people who visit wordpress and then my blog do not seem to understand God’s great plan of salvation. They still want to believe the spurious doctrine of legalism. Legalism means earning salvation by good works …that’s absolutely wrong. Many cults preach legalism; that in order to have salvation you are REQUIRED to be baptized, Keep the Sabbath, tithe, partake of sacraments, join a specific Church, or confess sins to a priest. A prime example of a legalistic religion/cult is Ronald Weinland ‘s Church of God- PKG . However, salvation is a FREE GIFT which absolutely cannot be merited in any way (Romans 5:15; 11:6; Ephesians 2:8,9). I explain this spiritual fact in my first post Saving Faith . Here is the link if you wish to look at it again. The post is in very plain language. https://jasmine71.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/saving-faith/

That said , lets go back to the basics :

Jesus Christ is the Only Way to God the Father and Heaven

As stated above, there is no other name under Heaven by which man can be saved other than through the name of Jesus Christ! God the Father will not honor any other name, religion or faith!

Please note the extreme power and authority on the first four verses listed below. These first four verses specifically tell us, without any other possible interpretation, that Jesus Christ is the only way to be able to receive eternal salvation from God the Father.

  1. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
  2. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all …” (1 Timothy 2:5)
  3. “There is one body and one Spirit

    one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4)

  4. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
  5. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and find pasture … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:9)
  6. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25)
  7. Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
  8. And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
  9. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
  10. “… whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:15-16)
  11. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
  12. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
  13. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)
  14. “… And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11)
  15. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:14)

I do not see any other interpretation as to what these verses are trying to tell us other than Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father and His dwelling place, heaven! I don’t think God the Father could have made things any more clearer than by the way He has worded all of the above Scripture verses!

Jesus Himself said in the New Testament

that He did not come to bring peace – but division! What He means by this is that He is drawing a major battle line in the sand. You either believe in Him and everything that He stands for – or you do not. There are no middle or neutral grounds on this issue.

If you choose not to believe in Jesus and His message of eternal salvation through His death on the cross, then you will die in your sins and go straight to hell when you die – no if, ands or buts about it! The life that we are living down here on this earth is serious business! The choices that we make in this life will determine our ultimate fate in the afterlife.

Choose Jesus and the blood that He has personally shed for you on the cross – and you will become saved and born again – and you will then enter into the most incredible place imaginable when you die – heaven itself!

Choose anyone or anything else, and you will cross over into the most horrible place imaginable when you die – hell itself, and then eventually into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone after the Millennium has taken place, where the Bible says that the smoke of your torment will ascend forever and ever!

We Are Saved by Grace Through Faith – Not Works

The gift of eternal salvation is a free gift given by God to all those who will believe on Jesus and what His death on the cross really means for all of us. These next 3 verses will specifically tell us that good works will not get us into heaven.Works are needed after salvation.The Bible says that faith without works is dead – but that is after you have received God’s gift of eternal salvation. After you get saved, God has a plan and a purpose for your life, and this is where you will go to work for God into whatever your calling is going to be in Him.

But to initially receive the gift of eternal salvation from God the Father is simply done through faith and belief in accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Here are the verses:

  1. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)
  2. “… knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ … for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
  3. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:20,23)

The Bible specifically tells us in that last verse that all men and all women have sinned and have fallen way short of the glory of our God. The Bible says that there are none that are righteous before the eyes of God the Father.

As a result, none of our fleshly works, no matter how good we think they may be, will ever be good enough to get us into heaven or back into the good graces of our Lord and Savior.

The Gift of Salvation Now Makes Us Righteous Before God the Father

Once you become saved and born again by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, the Bible says that we are now made perfectly righteous before the eyes of God. The righteousness of Jesus has now been imputed to us. This means that we are now free to approach the throne of God for intimate prayer and communication, and when we die, we will all go straight to heaven.

Even though we will continue to commit sin from time to time, God will always forgive us as long as we properly confess each sin when it does happen. We will never become totally sinless or perfect. No one will ever become the fourth person of the Holy Trinity. Only God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are totally perfect in Their actual natures and in all of Their ways. Humans and angels are not!

The Bible says that all men have sinned and will continue to sin, and thus will fall way short of the glory of our God. That is why Jesus had to come and die for all of our sins – which will include all of the past sins that we have ever committed, all of the present sins we are now committing, and all of the future sins that we will ever commit.

As a result of Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins, God the Father now sees us as righteous and justified before His very eyes – now and for all of eternity, even though we are all still sinners! Talk about an incredible pardon!

Here are two very powerful verses showing us that we have now all been made perfectly righteous and perfectly justified before God the Father as a result of Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins.

  1. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  2. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:8)

So not only do we get a full pardon and a full remission for all of our sins, but we now get to be made perfectly righteous before God the Father Himself. Righteousness and Redemption – what more could we ask for!

How to Become Saved and Receive the Gift of Eternal Salvation

The Bible makes it very clear as to how to receive the Gift of Eternal Salvation from God the Father:

  • Admit that we are sinners, be willing to confess our sins before God, and be willing to repent and turn from those sins.
  • Be willing to accept the fact that Jesus Christ came to our earth in the flesh to die on the cross for all of our sins, that He rose from the dead on the third day, and then be willing to formally accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

This acceptance of Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior must be confessed out loud before God the Father. It does not have to be done in a church. This can happen to anyone at anytime at any place. It can be done in the privacy of one’s own bedroom. Here are three specific verses showing all of the above points.

  1. “REPENT THEREFORE and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)
  2. “IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
  3. “… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” (Romans 10:9)

Notice the last verse says to confess with your mouth, and with the mouth confession is made to receive salvation. This means just saying a good, basic salvation prayer out loud direct to God the Father from your heart.

Below is a good, basic salvation prayer to give to someone who wants to get saved by accepting Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Some people call this the “Sinners Prayer.” Others call it a basic salvation prayer. Either title will work.

Basic Salvation Prayer

Say the following prayer out loud, believe it from your heart and you will be saved.

Dear Father,

I now believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son, that He came to our earth in the flesh and died on the cross to take away all of my sins and the sins of this world. I believe that Jesus Christ then rose from the dead on the third day to give all of us eternal life.

Lord Jesus,

I now confess to You all of the wrong and sinful things I have ever done in my life. I ask that You please forgive Me and wash away all of my sins by the blood that You have personally shed for me on the cross. I am now ready to accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I now ask that You come into my life and live with Me for all of eternity.

Father, Jesus – I now believe that I am truly saved and born again.

Thank you Father. Thank you Jesus. —————————————————————–

Bottom line – God’s free gift of eternal salvation can only be received by accepting His Son Jesus Christ and the blood that He has personally shed for each and everyone of us on that day He died on the cross.

There is no other way into the kingdom of God! We either come through the blood and the cross – or we don’t come through at all!

I rest my case for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


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