PART 4 The 7th Day Sabbath
The Church Age
Well here it is, the current era or dispensation in which we Christians live.
What will the scripture sections we are about to look at tell us about the subject of observing the 7th day Sabbath?
We are about to find out.
From the day of Pentecost to the rapture of the church:
Jesus promised the disciples after he left this earth, that he would send to each of them the Holy Spirit, who is another member of the trinity, to come and indwell them. On the day of Pentecost, this promise was fulfilled. From this time on, the disciples (apostles) mission would be to proclaim the good news that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who is God, came to earth to die on a cross as a substitute for mankind, thus paying the penalty demanded by another member of the trinity, God the Father, for all of the sins that were committed by the entire world, past, present, and future. This payment opened the door for sinful man to have an opportunity to enter into heaven immediately at physical death, provided they repented (acknowledgement of sin) to God the Father and professed belief in this Christ, as to who he is and what he has done, at some point in time during their years on earth.
When any person repents to God the Father and believes in Christ, they will receive the Holy Spirit, who will provide spiritual gifts, divine power, and the opportunity to experience a new way of life that is based upon a new way of thinking, which is delineated in the scriptural sections of the New Testament (e.g. some passages in the Gospels, the book of Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation). Some of these new believers might also receive an office gift, which is a gift that is a calling to a leadership position in the church (e.g. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers), the collective purpose which is for: the perfecting (mending, repair, or correcting all that is deficient) of the saints; the work of the ministry (the work of Christian service); the edifying (to cause to grow strong) of the body of Christ so that every member might become mature or fully grown.
One last reminder:
A non-dispensationalistwill look at the scriptures, in which observing the 7th day Sabbath was mentioned, and will choose those verses that support the perpetuation of this practice throughout human history.
A dispensationalist will look at the scriptures, in which observing the 7th day Sabbath was mentioned, and determine whether it should be observed or not in the dispensation at hand.
What is meant by saying that a Jew could not travel on the Sabbath no more than a Sabbath day’s journey?
16. A sabbath day's journey:
Suggested Reading: Acts 1:12; Joshua 3:3-4; Exodus 16:29; Numbers 35:5
Work was not allowed to take place on the weekly 7th day Sabbath, however, works of worship, mercy, and necessity were allowed. Another interesting restriction on the Sabbath had to do with how far a person was able to travel.
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. (Acts 1:12)
See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. (Exodus 16:29)
On this day, the Jews were not allowed to travel more than 2000 cubits or less than half-a-mile, from their place of dwelling. Anyone caught in violation of this law would receive forty stripes save one; yet in cases when life was in danger, people were allowed to overstep the prescribed boundary.
The Pharisees (orthodox Jews) in the days of our Savior, also contrived other means whereby the fraternity of this order could exceed the Sabbath day's walk without transgressing the law. They ordained that all those who wished to join their social gatherings on the Sabbath were to deposit on Friday afternoon (the day before the Sabbath) some article of food in a certain place which was to be located at the end of a Sabbath day's journey, so that it might thereby be constituted a domicile, and thus another Sabbath day's journey could be undertaken from the first terminus.
In the early church did Christians observe the 7th day Sabbath?
17. They went into the synagogue on the sabbath day:
Suggested Reading: Acts 13:13-52
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. (Acts 13:42-43)
Paul and his company have arrived at Antioch and decided to go into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. After two portions of scripture were read, one from the Pentateuch and the other from the Prophets, they were asked if they were interested in giving the sermon. Paul stood up and spoke concerning Jesus Christ, who is of the seed of King David, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the savior of Israel. After the sermon ended and the people dispersed, Paul was approached by the religious proselytes (circumcised Gentiles), who asked him if he might preach these same words on the next Sabbath.
There are three schools of thought in respect to Paul and his company observing the Sabbath. The first would state that Paul and his company observed the Sabbath, because Christians were under obligation to do so. The second would say that Paul and his company entered the synagogue on the Sabbath as a means to spread the gospel. The third would say that observances by Jewish and Gentile Christians involving certain tenets of the Mosaic Law were being questioned and responded to by the apostles.
Were the Gentile Christians commanded to keep the Law?
18. The Gentiles are not commanded to keep the law:
Suggested Reading: Acts 14:26-28; 15:1-30
And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And when they were come to Jerusalem, But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. (Acts 15:1-2, 4-5)
Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15:22-24; 29) There were certain men, who contended with Paul and Barnabas, teaching that the Gentiles must be circumcised in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas decided to go to Jerusalem in order to discuss this matter with the apostles and elders, who were there. After much discussion, it was decided that an epistle be written and given in the care of four men, Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas, who would go to the churches of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia and read it to them, which would convey that the Gentile believers did not need to be circumcised in order to be saved, and neither did they have to keep the law of Moses. However, they were instructed to abstain from the pollutions of idols, fornication, from things strangled, and from blood.
Why, if the Gentile believers were not commanded to keep the Law of Moses were they asked to observe the Jewish dietary Laws in respect to blood? The dietary laws of the Jews were to be observed by the Gentiles, because the early church would meet together for group meals, called agape feasts, at which time food was shared amongst one another. Instead of offending fellow Jewish believers, who still adhered to Mosaic dietary Laws, the Gentiles were asked to bring the food of animals that had blood drained from them. Likewise, if they brought something to drink they were to make sure that it contained no blood.
The Jews were not told that they couldn’t continue to practice their customs, which were based on the tenets of the Mosaic Law, but it became abundantly clear that they could neither be saved nor grow spiritually by doing so.
Did the early church decide to gather together for worship on the first day of the week?
19. On the first day of the week Paul preached unto the disciples:
Suggested Reading: Acts 20:6-12
Paul met up with Timothy at Philippi. After observing the Feast of the Passover, they observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which immediately followed and lasted for seven days. After this, they departed and came to Troas.
And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. 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.…and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. (Acts 20:6-7; 11)
On the first day of the week, which is the day that followed the Sabbath, the disciples gathered together to hear the formal preaching of the word by Paul. At midnight, they partook of the agape feast, which was a common meal that took place in the houses of guests or at a particular place of meeting. The observance of the Lord’s Supper took place after the meal. It was a custom that when people had not seen each other for a long time, they would stay up late filling each other in on one another's lives. After the feast ended, Paul communicated to them in a more informal and conversational manner until dawn (sunrise).
How is a believer able to satisfy the moral commands of the Law?
20. For with my mind I serve the law:
Suggested Reading: Romans 7:1-8:3
Before his conversion to Christ, Paul was a Pharisee. This was the strictest sect in Judaism. He adhered to the duties of keeping the Mosaic Law and the interpretive traditions of the scribes without fault (blameless). When Paul became born anew in Christ, he was having a very difficult time in his walk with God. The Law would express to him what he should and shouldn’t do. As he tried to comply or obey the law in his mind, he was aware of another law, which was warring against his mind. This was the law of sin and death; the old nature that has affections and lusts, which delights in breaking the Law.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:22-25)
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (Romans 8:2-3)
Paul asked, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? This is the condition of a mind in deep distress, conscious of its own weakness, and looking for aid. He then answered his own question basically saying I have found the answer. The answer was twofold. The first part of it had to do with believing in Jesus Christ thus becoming born again. The second part had to do with one of the benefits of salvation, which is in the receiving of another member of the trinity, the Holy Spirit, who will come inside the believer and indwell. As a result, when the word is heard by the believer the Holy Spirit will allow him/her to have a renewed mind (to that which is illuminated by the Spirit of God, so that it understands and wills aright). Paul realized it was only by the power of the Holy Spirit that he could be delivered from the controlling influences of sin leading to death.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. (Romans 7:6-8)
For the Law, which could pronounce judgment and inflict penalty upon sin, could not depose it from its dominion31. It is only by means of the power of the Holy Spirit along with a mind that is illuminated by Him, are we able to serve the Law. Serve the Law means, because of the Spirit and a renewed mind, we are able to dethrone the dominion in sin, and thus are able to fully satisfy those moral commands of the Law, such as: thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, etc.
Did the Jewish Christians of the early church observe both the Sabbath along with meeting with their fellow believers in the evening on the first day of the week for worship?
21. As God hath prospered him:
1 Corinthians 16:1-3
The Christians at Jerusalem needed financial assistance. On the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s Day (the day of the Lord’s resurrection), the day following the Sabbath, church meetings were held in Corinth and Galatia. In the early days of the Messianic Community, Jewish believers continued to observe Shabbat (Saturday) as a day of rest and met for Messianic worship in the evening after it was over. The evening was considered part of the first day of the week as the Jewish day began at sunset (6:00pm).
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 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. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
Money was set aside for the assistance of the Christians at Jerusalem. This money was to be placed in a Poor’s box or alms purse. The apostle followed the rules of the Jewish synagogue concerning the collection for the poor. It was a regular custom among the Jews to make their collections for the poor on the Sabbath day, so that they might not be without the necessities of life. Each member of the church was commanded to continually lay aside on the first day of each week a contribution for the assistance for the Christians at Jerusalem, as God had prospered him/her.
What have you learned so far about this dispensation concerning the observing of the 7th day Sabbath? Is a Christian obligated to keep it? We have a few sections to look at, and then we will summarize.
Can a Christian become righteous by keeping any aspect of the Mosaic Law?
22. Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Suggested Reading: Galatians 3:2-29
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?(Galatians 3:2-3)
Paul was writing this epistle to the Galatian churches, which were comprised of converts from heathenism and Judaism. The Jewish converts, possibly under the influence of Judaizing teachers, were teaching that a man was righteous by the keeping of the Mosaic Law. Paul was saying that no man was righteous by the keeping of the Law, because after having received the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith, he was to be in dependence upon the indwelling Holy Spirit, who was to rule his spiritual life as its active principle.
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
The Law was the preparation for the nation of Israel until the coming of the promised Seed, Jesus Christ.When the Jew believed that Jesus was the Messiah, then he/she obtained eternal salvation in the kingdom of God. Now that he/she was made right with God, they were free from the burdensome rites of the Law and this is true of all converts to the faith of Christ.So, if this is the case how does a believer become sanctified?
A believer becomes sanctified by having a renewed mind and surrendering themselves to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit?
Is a Christian subject to the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic Law?
23. Let no man therefore judge you of the sabbath days:
Suggested Reading: Colossians 2:4-3:2
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 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. (Colossians 2:13,16-17))
Paul was saying to the Colossians, let no man sit in judgment upon you or make rules for you to obey concerning: the distinction of meats and drinks, what was clean and unclean; observing the annual festivals; celebrating the new moon; and being attentive to observing the weekly 7th day Sabbath, which things are a shadow of the body which cast them and the reality behind them, which is of the Messiah.
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (Colossians 2:20-22))
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)
In view of the fact that you died with Christ and are no longer under rules and regulations, then why are you still subject to the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish religion, which now perish into destruction, having accomplished the end of their institution, namely to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith?
What is the Sabbath a type of?
24. For we which have believed do enter into rest:
Suggested Reading: Hebrews 4:1-11
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:9-11)
There remains a “rest” for us. A foretaste of this rest is given in the inward rest which the believer's soul has in Christ. The word “rest” points back to God's original rest and speaks of the ideal rest. It is a type of the Sabbath rest because the believer reaches a definite stage of attainment and has satisfactorily accomplished a purpose, as God did when He finished the work of creation. It is not the believer's rest into which he enters and in which he participates, but in God's unique, personal rest in which the believer shares. This rest will result in a cessation from toil and a rest similar to that of God – of the same kind of enjoyment, the same freedom from care, anxiety, and labor. How happy then are they who have entered into heaven! Their toils are over. Their labors are done. Never again will they know fatigue. Never more will they feel anxious care.
This rest is a rest that we are to enter into on a day to day, moment by moment basis.
Is a Christian obligated to keep some of the commands of the Old Testament legal and ceremonial system?
25. A change also of the law:
Suggested Reading: Hebrews chapters 7,8, & 9; Genesis14:20-24
For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. (Hebrews 7:1-8)
After four Mesopotamian kings had taken Lot captive, along with all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and his armed servants attacked them, recovering Lot and all of the booty. Following this victory, the king of Sodom and Melchisedec came out to meet him. Initially, Abraham decided to give a tenth of the spoils to Melchisedec, priest of the most high God. This tithe was from the spoils of battle, and not from the soil of the land, flocks, or herds. The rest of the booty was given to the king of Sodom, because not only was it his to begin with, but also because Abraham didn’t want the king of Sodom telling everyone that he became rich, because he took the rest of the spoils for himself.
Melchisedec, a priest, who lives forever, received tithes of Abraham. Likewise, the sons of Levi (one of the sons of Jacob, a grandson of Abraham) also received tithes, because they received the office of the priesthood during the institution of the Mosaic Law. Tithes were given to someone who lived forever and to others who didn’t.
Melchisedec’s priesthood was to continue in the antitype of the person of Christ. Tithing to Melchisedec from the spoils of battle didn’t change the reality that the Levitical priesthood with all of its conditions to follow could not remove the obstacle, sin, which kept man from God, and make a way of access for man to God.
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (Hebrews 7:11-12)
Eventually, the priesthood being changed from the Levitical priesthood to the priesthood of Christ necessitated a change also of the Law. This meant that one entire legal system, the old covenant, would be changed to another, called the new covenant, which is a covenant of another character. This new covenant involves: a law written in the heart; eternal blessing; eternal salvation; eternal redemption, and being able to have an intimate relationship with God. The old covenant is no longer of any force. That which was growing out of date and waning of strength is ready to disappear, which is used of laws which are abolished or which fall into disuse.
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:6,13)
What the unbelieving Jews did not realize was that their "solid religion" had grown old and was about to vanish away. In A.D. 70, the city of Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by the Romans, and the Jews no longer had a temple or a priesthood to serve them ever since.
When God said that he would put his laws into the mind of those who were in the house of Israel and with the house of Judah was he talking about laws pertaining to the Mosaic Law?
26. I will put my laws into their mind:
Suggested Reading: Hebrews 8:1-13
Jesus is the mediator (the one who deals impartially with two parties who have made a contract) of a new covenant, which is a new law, the perfect law, the law of liberty that is established upon better promises (promises to enjoy greater benefits).
For if nothing was lacking in the first covenant, the covenant made under the Mosaic Law, then no place should be sought for another covenant, the covenant of grace. But the first failed to provide an atonement that would pay for sin, once and for all. It also did not provide for enabling the people to live up to the terms or conditions of it.
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:6-13)
Therefore, the Lord decided to make a new covenant (one that is fresh and different) with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. God will put his laws (these laws do not pertain to external rites and ceremonies, but to the inner man, and are designed to control the heart) into their minds (causing them to think about my ways) and write them (to fix indelibly) on their heart, which is the center and seat of the spiritual life.
Is the Lord’s day a Sabbath?
27. I was in the spirit on the Lord's day:
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
John, the apostle, was on the island of Patmos, where he had been banished by one of the Roman Emperors. On this particular day, the Lord’s day, the day of Christ’s resurrection, the first day of the week following the Sabbath, he received visions, being overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s day is not a Sabbath.
●On the Sabbath, the Jews were not allowed to travel more than 2000 cubits, or less than half-a-mile, from their place of dwelling. Acts 1:12; Joshua 3:3,4; Exodus 16:29; Numbers 35:5
●Some infer that because Paul and his company observed the synagogue worship on the Sabbath, they were confirming the idea that the Sabbath is the day of worship for Christians. It is true that Paul and his company continued to: observe the Sabbath, attend the yearly feasts, etc. However, were these observed by them for salvation or sanctification or were they observed in order to reveal to the Jews that the fulfillment in these areas could only be found in person and work of Jesus Christ, the Messiah? Acts 13:13-52
●The Gentiles did not need to be circumcised in order to guarantee their salvation. Neither were they obligated to keep the Law of Moses. However, they were asked not to bring blood drink or the meat of animals, which had blood in them, when they attended the agape feasts and shared a meal with their fellow Jewish Christians. By the way the Jewish Christians were not told that they couldn’t continue to practice their customs. However, they became aware through instruction that these practices would not secure for them salvation and neither would they bring about personal sanctification. Acts 14:26-28; Acts 15:1-30
●On the evening of the first day of the week, which followed the Sabbath, the disciples gathered together to hear the formal preaching of the word by the apostle Paul. At midnight, they partook of the agape feast, which was a common meal that took place in the houses of guests or at a particular place of meeting, and after which they observed the Lord’s Supper. Many of the Jewish Christians not only observed the Sabbath, but when this day ended they participated in the assembly of the Gentiles during the evening (after sunset) on the following day. Acts 20:6-7
●For the Law, which could pronounce judgment and inflict penalty upon sin, could not depose it from its dominion. It is only by means of the power of the Holy Spirit along with a mind that is illuminated by Him are we able to serve the Law. Serve the Law means that, because of the Spirit and the renewed mind, we are able to dethrone the dominion of sin, and are able to fully satisfy the commands of the Law, such as: thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, etc. Romans 7:1-8:3
●Each member of the church was commanded to continually lay aside on the first day of each week, the day of the Lord’s resurrection, the Lord’s day, the day following the Sabbath, a contribution for the assistance for the Christians at Jerusalem, as God had prospered him/her. 1 Corinthians 16:1-3
●Jewish converts, possibly under the influence of Judaizing teachers, were teaching that a man was righteous by the keeping of the Mosaic Law. Paul response was that no man was righteous by the keeping of the Law. As they had begun in the Spirit, having received Him at salvation, they were instructed to be filled with Him. This relates to being in dependence upon the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who is to rule our spiritual life as its active principle. Galatians 3:2-29
●Paul was telling the Christians at Colossee that when they believed in Christ they identified with him in his death, burial, and resurrection. They have now become a new creature. So why is it that they were continuing being subject to the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish faith, which had accomplished the end of their institution, namely to lead them to Christ, that they might be justified by faith? Colossians 2:4-3:2
●There remains a “rest” for the people of God. A foretaste of this rest is given in the inward rest which the believer's soul has in Christ. This rest will result in a cessation from toil and a rest similar to that of God - the same kind of enjoyment, the same freedom from care, anxiety, and labor, when he finished the work of creation. This rest is a rest that we are to enter into on a day to day, moment by moment basis. Hebrews 4:1-11
●One entire legal system, the old covenant, was changed to another, called the new covenant, which is a covenant of another character. This new covenant involves: a law written in the heart; eternal blessing; eternal salvation; eternal redemption, and being able to have an intimate relationship with God. Hebrews chapters 7- 9; Genesis14:20-24
●The Lord decided to make a new covenant (one that is fresh and different) with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. As a result, He will put his laws (these laws do not pertain to external rites and ceremonies, but to the inner man, and are designed to control the heart) into their minds (causing them to think about His ways) and write them (to fix indelibly) on their heart, which is the center and seat of the spiritual life of the soul. Hebrews 8:1-13
●John, the apostle, was overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit on the Lord’s day, the day of Christ’s resurrection, the first day of the week following the Sabbath, and received visions. These visions were written in a book and sent to the seven churches, which are in Asia. Revelation 1:9-11
Here we are. This is the culmination of this study. If those who are in the leadership of the church you are attending are dispensational, then they will use only those verses found in some of the sections of the Gospels, the book of Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation to support their view as to whether Christians are obligated to observe the 7th day Sabbath. If those, who are in the leadership positions of your church are non-dispensational, who believe that a Christian is obligated to observe the 7th day Sabbath, then they will use scriptures from throughout the bible to support their view. With this in mind let’s see how each leadership type would state their case.
The dispensationalist would use the following info. to support their view that a Christian is under no obligation to observe the Sabbath.
~ Paul and his company observed the 7th day Sabbath, the yearly feasts, etc. of the Law not out of obligation, but to be a witness to the Jews that the fulfillment of the Law was found in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
~ The Gentile believers did not need to be circumcised in order to be saved, and neither did they have to keep the Law of Moses. The Jews were not told that they couldn’t continue to practice their customs. However, none of them could secure salvation or provide personal sanctification.
~ The newly converted Jews would observe the Sabbath, and then on the following day, the first day of the week during the evening (after sunset) they would join their fellow Gentile brethren in worship.
~ The moral tenets of the Mosaic Law (e.g. thou shalt not covet; thou shalt not steal, etc.) were no longer to be observed by means of self-effort, but will be satisfied when the believer operates in a renewed mind and the power of the Holy Spirit.
~ Believers, whether Jew or Gentile, are no longer under the Old Testament legal and ceremonial system, but under the new covenant of grace.
~ Christians (Jewish) are not under obligation to continue to observe the laws under the Old Covenant, but God will put his new laws (the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus) into their minds and write (to fix them indelibly on) them on their hearts. These laws involve a new way of thinking about ourselves and others.
The non-dispensationalist would use many scriptures from throughout the bible in support of their view that Christians are under obligation to observe the 7th day Sabbath.
~ The keeping of the Sabbath was prophetic of God resting on the 7th day of creation.
~ The Jews observed the Sabbath during their wilderness wanderings and when they entered the land of Canaan’
~ Jesus observed the Sabbath during his incarnation.
~ The Jewish Christians and the apostles of the early church observed the Sabbath thus confirming that it is still the day of worship for Christians.
~ The observance of the 7th day by God for the Jews was to be for perpetuity, which is still binding today.
~ When the early church assembled on the first day of the week it was simply because it was another day to gather for worship.
~ The Jews were not told that they couldn’t continue to practice their customs, which were based on the Mosaic Law, because these observances were to be continued to be kept by the entire Christian assembly.
~ There is a rest to the people of God, which is found in observing the 7th day Sabbath.
~ Since the temple was destroyed in 70AD by the Romans some of the Laws have fallen into disuse, but not all.
~ God will put all of the Mosaic Laws into the mind of the New Testament believer and write them indelibly on their heart.
Before I leave you with some final thoughts, I thought that you might be interested in this.
How did the idea of the observance of the Sabbath come to America?
The rigid and scrupulous observance of the Sabbath as a divinely ordained day of rest arose out of the Scottish and English Reformation and was transferred to the New World by the Puritans. In both England and the American colonies, Sabbatarianism was intended to glorify God and enhance the covenant blessings which he promised to his people.
The origin of Anglo-American Sabbatarianism can be traced to the publication of Nicolas Bound's True Doctrine of the Sabbath (1595), which advocated a strict Sunday Sabbatarianism. Many Puritans embraced its ideas and sought to impose them on England and, eventually, on colonial American society. In England, the Puritan Sabbath was enforced by successive acts of legislation (1644, 1645, 1655) which prohibited any kind of work or recreation on Sunday. After the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy (1660), restrictions on recreation were relaxed when Parliament passed the Act for the Better Observance of the Lord's Day (1677). Following the evangelical revival of the eighteenth century, however, Sabbatarianism regained its vigor in the Lord's Day Observance Act (1781), which prohibited any entertainment or debate involving an exchange of money. In the colonies, the first generation of Puritans enacted legislation against the desecration of the Sunday Sabbath and imposed severe penalties for violations. Contemporary Sunday restrictions and so-called blue laws in various states reflect its long-term impact upon American society.
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