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The Sabbath Day
Exodus 20: 8 says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Every Word spoken by Yahweh is important, but this command is distinctive because it is fourth on the list of the Ten Commandments. I point that out so you will understand that the Sabbath day is very special to God, and I want you to know that changing it in any way requires an explicit and unequivocal command from Yahweh alone.
Exodus 20: 9-11 provides details about the Sabbath. In a nutshell, God commanded us to set apart the Sabbath day for rest and for fellowship with Him, and the day He referred to is Saturday — not Sunday. The Sabbath actually begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday because God counts days from sundown to sundown — not from 12:00 midnight to 12:00 midnight.
Between the time God issued that command and the time the Messiah came, Jewish rabbis concocted a lengthy list of “laws” governing the Sabbath day, and Jewish people were required to obey their laws or suffer the consequences. Even today in Jerusalem, if you drive your car through some orthodox Jewish neighborhoods on the Sabbath, you are likely to get stoned, and I mean that literally. They will throw rocks at you because they believe that driving a car is forbidden on the Sabbath.
Ancient rabbis came up with a distance that people were permitted to travel on the Sabbath and referred to it as a “Sabbath day’s journey.” It’s the distance between the top of Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount in Jerusalem) and the top of the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley from the Temple Mount. It’s not very far, and if you went any farther, you were violating the Sabbath.
The ancient rabbis also made up rules about lighting fires or lamps, so many contemporary orthodox Jews refuse to turn on a light switch to avoid breaking the Sabbath. Yahweh did not say these things. They are simply traditions accepted by many Jewish people, and in Jerusalem not knowing about them can get you stoned — literally.
When Jesus came, one of His goals was to explain what Yahweh actually intended when He proclaimed the Ten Commandments, and His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5 through 7) is the best example of this in the New Testament. But He also performed many miracles on the Sabbath to demonstrate that the rabbis had gone far beyond what Yahweh had in mind when He told us to set the Sabbath apart and to keep it holy.
Although the New Testament includes many examples of Jesus challenging the rabbis on the Sabbath, I will present only one. It’s discussed in Luke 13: 10-17. Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath, and a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit for 18 years was in the congregation. When Jesus saw her, He called her over, laid His hands on her, and said, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” (Luke 13: 12)
Her healing was instantaneous. She stood erect for the first time in almost two decades and immediately began praising God. But the “president of the synagogue” (Luke 13: 14 from The New Jerusalem Bible) was indignant because Jesus healed her on the Sabbath, and in his mind that was work and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. He said,
“There are six days in which work should be done; therefore come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Luke 13: 14
Jesus was furious. He looked directly at the rabbis and said,
“You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead him away to water him? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” Luke 13: 15-16
Everyone in the synagogue except the rabbis rejoiced. Luke 13: 17 refers to the rabbis as Jesus’ opponents, or His adversaries, and the Bible describes Satan as Yahweh’s adversary. In this instance, the rabbis were following Satan’s lead. Although the president of the synagogue aimed his remark at the healed woman, Jesus was his real target because He had violated their tradition by “working on the Sabbath.”
With a simple demonstration of Yahweh’s healing power, Jesus showed everyone, including the rabbis, that their traditions were way off base. He was setting the record straight by revealing Yahweh’s point of view on this critical issue, but not once in the New Testament did He challenge their belief that the Sabbath is Saturday.
Charles Ryrie is one of the world’s leading Bible scholars and author of the Ryrie Study Bible. In his note on Exodus 20: 8-11, he says,
“This is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated after the day of Pentecost. The church made Sunday her day of worship (Acts 20: 7), commemorating the resurrection of Christ.”(The Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, Moody Press, Chicago, 1995, p. 122.)
Since Ryrie references Acts 20: 7 as the sole basis for changing the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday, you would expect that verse to be crystal clear on the subject. Take a look at it and see if it provides clear and unambiguous instructions to change the day for Sabbath observance, and keep in mind that this change represents a major modification in one of the Ten Commandments:
“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” Acts 20: 7
As you can see, this verse says absolutely nothing about the Sabbath day. It merely points out that a group of believers, including Paul, gathered together on Sunday to share a meal before Paul set off on a journey. Acts 20: 7 also says nothing about what they did the day before, and it certainly doesn’t qualify as a ringing endorsement of Sunday as the Sabbath day. If you were a lawyer presenting this verse in court as your sole justification for making that change, the judge would laugh at you and throw your case out of court, and you don’t need to be a lawyer to understand why.
Two other passages of Scripture are used frequently to support the argument that Sunday is the Sabbath day: Galatians 4: 9-11 and Colossians 2: 13-17. Let’s take a look at them and see what they say:
“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.” Galatians 4: 9-11
Does Galatians 4: 9-11 sound like an unqualified endorsement of Sunday as the Sabbath day? Hardly.
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Therefore, no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” Colossians 2: 13-17
Again, in Colossians 2: 13-17, does it sound like Paul is saying the Sabbath is now Sunday instead of Saturday, or is it more likely that he is alluding to the fact that we are not obligated to keep all the “laws” regarding the Sabbath day that were made up by ancient rabbis? Jesus addressed that subject, and He made it clear that they went way too far. But Jesus said nothing about changing the Sabbath day and neither did Paul.
Some people believe Hebrews 4: 1-10 suggests that people who are saved (i.e., born again) have entered God’s rest already and that it no longer matters which day of the week they choose to observe the Sabbath. They point to Hebrews 4: 3 as the pivotal verse:
“For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He said, ‘As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,’ although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Hebrews 4: 3
Now let’s consider what Paul said in Hebrews 4: 3. While it’s true that believers have “entered His rest” in the sense that we can look forward to spending eternity with God in heaven, it is a real stretch to think that we’re living presently here on earth in the ultimate rest that He has in store for us. Crime, disease, natural catastrophes, and other hardships we confront here on earth every single day simply cannot be a part of the final “rest” we will experience with Him in heaven.
Genesis 2: 2 is even more telling:
“By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Genesis 2: 2
It is obvious that the “seventh day” is the day of rest that God has in mind when He refers to the Sabbath, and the “seventh day” is Saturday — not Sunday. Saturday is the last day of the week. Sunday is the first day of the week.
Finally, take a look at Matthew 5: 17-19. These verses are part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and they shed some light on this important question:
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5: 17-19
Orthodox rabbis have identified more than 600 Laws in the Scriptures, and the Ten Commandments are without question the most important ones of all. In Matthew 5: 17-19, Jesus said that every Law in the Scriptures will stand firm “until heaven and earth pass away.” Since that hasn’t happened yet, there is no reason to believe the Ten Commandments have changed in any way.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained that the “laws” made up by the rabbis were of no consequence and that they went far beyond what God intended. God’s Laws are a completely different matter, though. According to Jesus, they are binding on everyone. That was a bold statement challenging the rabbis’ authority because they regarded themselves as “God’s police force,” so to speak, and they made Jewish people obey their “laws” as if they had come directly from God. In effect, they built a religion around obedience to man-made decrees which became well-established traditions that superseded God’s Law. Jesus made it clear that the rabbis were dead wrong.
As I said, if Yahweh ordained a change in the Sabbath day, it would be crystal clear in the Scriptures. The command to keep the Sabbath holy is one of the Ten Commandments, and it ranks just below not worshipping false gods and ahead of not committing adultery and not stealing. A change of that magnitude requires a clear and unequivocal command from Yahweh.
Arguments supporting a change in Sabbath day observance are very weak, and they don’t hold up under careful scrutiny. Through prayer, Bible reading, and study, God has made that very clear to me. Even though this view goes against Christian tradition, it does not contradict anything God said in the Old Testament or the New Testament.
This is an excerpt from What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Life?
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“For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”
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Jeremiah 51: 48-52
“Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy over Babylon, for the destroyers will come to her from the north,” declares Yahweh. “Indeed Babylon is to fall for the slain of Israel, as also for Babylon the slain of all the earth have fallen. You who have escaped the sword, depart! Do not stay! Remember Yahweh from afar, and let Jerusalem come to your mind. We are ashamed because we have heard reproach; disgrace has covered our faces, for aliens have entered the holy places of Yahweh’s house. Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “When I will punish her idols, and the mortally wounded will groan throughout her land.”
- God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This [Yahweh] is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3: 15)
- “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My name is Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 16: 21)
- “Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)
Hosea 4: 6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
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Top 5 diggtm articles yesterday:
- Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits
- Obama says no to legalizing drugs
- Obama’s Clueless About Job Creation
- Illinois Is Pension Basket Case You Forgot About
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- Senior IDF officer taped beating activist with rifle
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- Israel pleased ‘flytilla’ fails to disrupt airport
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- Bewildered fly-in activist makes it to Bethlehem
- Yair Lapid looks to the future with new Atid party
- Analysis: The anti-Sarkozy wall
- Syria says it must be involved in monitors’ mission
- Israeli official: 40% of names on Shin Bet fly-in blacklist were not activists
- Israel needs public sector reform
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- UN cease-fire monitors arrive in Syria, as heavy clashes erupt on Turkey border
- Netanyahu condemns beating of pro-Palestinian activist by IDF officer
- Beitar soccer fans march in Jerusalem chanting racist slogans, allegedly beat woman
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- New Israeli study finds signs of trauma in grandchildren of Holocaust survivors
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- Egypt presidential elections likely to be delayed by months
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- For ‘assistance in Afghanistan, Iraq,’ IAF chief gets USAF medal
- Lapid’s ‘Future’ now depends on his newly formed party
- Report: former Hamas leader kidnapped in Damascus
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- TURKISH-ISRAELI RELATIONS IN THE SHADOW OF THE ARAB SPRING
- SYRIA’S 31 PERCENTERS: HOW BASHAR AL-ASAD BUILT MINORITY ALLIANCES AND COUNTERED MINORITY FOES
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What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Life? deals with a question that every Christian has to consider: what should I do with my life? Click here to order the eBook. Click here to order the paperback.
- German Bund yields hit record low as Spain fears grow
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- Oil falls to near $102 a barrel in Asia after Iran nuclear talks
- Does Going on Return Filing Extension Increase IRS Audit Risk?
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- Q+A: The ‘Buffett Rule,’ a minimum tax on the rich
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- Katie Pavlich: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal
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- John Ransom: The Pee Wee President’s Awfully Big Campaign
- Lurita Doan: Obama’s Regulatory Puffery
- Bruce Bialosky: Why Obama Is Wrong
- Daniel J. Mitchell: Time to Follow Sweden’s Lead on Fiscal Policy
- Michael F. Cannon: No Obamacare Exchanges
- Dan Holler: Governing As a Conservative
- Mike Shedlock: Sarkozy Comeback Bid Falters as French Economy Hits the Skids
- Jeff Carter: This Is Not The Silicon Prairie
- Doug French: Shadow Labor
- Stewart Scott: Why U.S. Bounties on Terrorists Often Fail
- Douglas MacKinnon: It’s Always Open Season on the Christian Faith
- Tad DeHaven: Welfare and Private Charity
- Bernard Goldberg: Kissing up to the Rev. Al
- Jackson Diehl: Obama’s delay defense
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- Competitive bidding drives GSA inquiry
- Obama concludes Summit of Americas on defensive about inviting Cuba
- President calls for thorough inquiry in Secret Service prostitution scandal
- Moroccan teen girl’s suicide, uproar over law tests new Islamist regime
- Taliban calls strikes in Kabul, other cities beginning of its spring offensive
- Obama still has electoral advantages despite a much-changed map from ’08
- On Emancipation Day in D.C., two memorials tell very different stories
- N. Korea’s Kim speaks publicly for first time
- Carlyle Group pricing shares between $23, $25
- Obama pushes back at Israeli criticism on Iran
- Egypt’s top general calls for constitution
- Tough tasks await U.N. observers arriving in Syria
- Huckabee: Rubio should be Romney’s VP choice
- Second trial of Roger Clemens to start Monday
- 1 dead, 4 missing in yacht accident in Calif. race
- ‘Intl. community should listen to voice of Bahraini and Yemeni people’
- Leader highlights police’s responsibility to maintain security
- Mortazavi agrees to quit, impeachment of labor minister cancelled
- Iranian specialist hacks accounts to show vulnerability of banks’ security systems
- Tripoli to release new information about Imam Sadr’s fate: Libyan official
- Lifting sanctions to be on agenda of Iran-5+1 talks in Baghdad: MP
- Iran has no intention to halt 20% enrichment: Jalili
- Bus crashes into horse, 7 killed
- Iran plans to boost oil output in Persian Gulf by 100,000bpd
- South Pars phases 15 and 16 to start early production
Falsely Accused is a true story about a young woman who was accused of committing a double homicide. It’s about a travesty of justice, and it reveals Yahweh intervening in the life of a believer to rescue her from danger in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Everyone will enjoy the book, but young people in particular need to read it because the mistakes made that led to the problem could have been avoided. They were the kinds of mistakes that young people are prone to make. As they say, forewarned is forearmed. Click here to order the eBook. Click here to order the paperback.
- The Democrats’ Biggest Lie: Larrey Anderson
- Calming the Storm of Martin/Zimmerman-Related Racial Violence: Lloyd Marcus
- War on Women? Count Me for the Defense!: Luba Sindler
- The Decline of Greenism: Bruce Walker
- BrightSource and the Fracking Task Force: Jeffrey Folks
- If I Were Black: Eileen F. Toplansky
- The President and His Secretary: A Study in Tax Demagoguery: George Harbison
- I Hardly Know Myself
- Kabul, 3 eastern provinces, hit by coordinated Taliban attacks
- High Gas Prices and The Fed
- World Powers to Iran: Keep Building Nukes: P. David Hornik
- Witness for the Defense?: Bruce Bawer
- Obama Revives an Old Feminist Myth: John Perazzo
- The Deadly Consequences of Being Pro-Israel in the U.K.: Daniel Greenfield
- The Devil We Don’t Know, Part II: Mark Tapson
- A Death Bounty and an Attorney General: Arnold Ahlert
- Why the Left Loves the Titanic Disaster: David Paulin
- Muslim Persecution of Christians and Media Whitewashing: Raymond Ibrahim
- If Jordan Falls: Joseph Puder
- Abbas Threatens Something or Other: ELLIOTT ABRAMS
- Assad’s Violence Continues: LEE SMITH
- New York Times Speaks Ill—and Falsely—of Andrew Breitbart: WILLIAM KRISTOL
- Former Dem. Congressman Kennedy Alleges ‘Quid Pro Quo’ for Access to White House: DANIEL HALPER
- Class, Gender, and One Hundred Years After the Titanic: JEAN KAUFMAN
- Largest Obama Super PAC Donor: ‘Ann Romney Has Never Gotten Her A– Out of the House to Work ‘: DANIEL HALPER
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- Breivik goes on trial for Norway massacre
- UN monitors begin work in Syria
- Taliban assault in Kabul ‘ended’
- US and Philippines in sea drills
- Malian gunmen abduct Swiss woman
- Asian glaciers ‘putting on mass’
- French poll rivals rally faithful
- NZ to build cardboard cathedral
- Australia eases Burma sanctions
- No Americas consensus over Cuba
- E Timor votes in president poll
- UK peer suspended after bounty claim
- Israel arrests pro-Palestinian activists, bans dozens from entry
- Collective punishment: Mubarak loyalist, key Islamists banned from presidential race
- Defiant North Korea stages huge fireworks show as world fears nuclear crisis (VIDEO)
- Belarusian thaw: Lukashenko pardons ‘political prisoners’ amid EU pressure
- Afghan Taliban bombs diplomats & NATO HQ in revenge to US (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
- Cold shower report on Libya war: NATO can’t fight without US
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- Kabul fighting is over, all attackers killed: Afghani gov’t
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- What’s The Proper U.S. Middle East Policy? It’s Simple Though Not Easy: Barry Rubin
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- ‘These Boys Better Watch Out’: Roemer’s Third-Party Run for the White House: Bridget Johnson
- Running on Empty: The Cliché Candidacy of Barack Obama: Rich Baehr
- Stalked by Stupidity: Roger Kimball
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- The Trayvon Martin Case and the Growing Racial Divide: Victor Davis Hanson
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- And You Shall Tell Your Children
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If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You’re Not a Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You’re Not an Idiot explains why voters in the United States need to elect someone besides Barack Obama to lead them. Whoever is elected President of the United States in 2012 will have to contend with the monumental problems that Obama’s misguided policies have caused both at home and abroad. One thing is certain, though. It should not be Barack Obama. Click here to order the eBook. Click here to order the paperback.