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BUT THE 4TH COMMAND OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS...


The fourth command of the Ten Commandments is one of the many doctrinal issues which has generated debates and contention in Christendom for many centuries. This is the command:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)
The word 'Sabbath' comes from the Hebrew word 'Shabbath' which basically means 'a day of rest from labour'. This day of rest has it origins from creation.


ORIGINS OF SABBATH

Sabbath was originated by God from the time of creation:
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made (Gen 2:2-3).

Afterwards, keeping of the Sabbath was made a full command when God pronounced it so. It became the fourth of the TEN COMMANDMENTS which God inscribed on the tablet of stone with HIS own finger. Those Ten Commandments were, are and will forever remain the eternal commandments of God:

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. [1]
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: [2]
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [3]
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. [4]
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. [5]
13 Thou shalt not kill. [6]
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.[7]
15 Thou shalt not steal. [8]
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. [9]
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's [10] (Ex 20:1-17).


ARE CHRISTIANS KEEPING THE SABBATH UNDER THE CURRENT DISPENSATION?

YES! BUT with spiritual connotation! How? The keeping of the Sabbath under the Mosaical dispensation was very literal. That dispensation was not spiritual, and it represented a shadow of things to come. The real thing is Christ to whom we were brought by the Mosaical dispensation:
6 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 (Rom 7:6).
Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Cor 3:6).
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:24-25).
This implies that the Christian dispensation has interpreted the Mosaical dispensation in spiritual terms. Few examples of such interpretations are as follows:

  • Christ is the sacrificial lamp to take away our sins, no more animal sacrifices to do that (John 1:29);
  • In Christ, circumcision of the heart matters more than that of the flesh (Rom 2:29);
  • Adultery can be committed in the heart (spiritual) even without physical contact (Matt 5:28).

In the same vein, the keeping of the Sabbath has taken on spiritual meaning has we witness transformation of literal things in the Mosaical dispensation to spiritual in the Christian dispensation. Hence there is no need to keep, literally, the Sabbath, i.e. on Saturdays.
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 (Col 2:16-17).

Jesus Christ did not see the need to keep a literal Sabbath, but a spiritual one:

1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him (Matt 12:1-14).

As Christians under the new dispensation, we are working and labouring for the master:

37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest (Matt 9:37-38).

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matt 28:19-20).

Anyone who labours will certainly rest from his labour. We labour as we do the work of the Lord, and afterwards we shall enter into His rest; rest from our labours. The life that we live represent the 6 days of the week and the seventh day of rest is the one eternal day of rest from all our labours:

1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief (Heb 4:1-11).

HAS THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK MEETING OF CHRISTIANS REPLACED THE SABBATH?

No! Not at all. Christians of today meet on the first day of the week as congregations to break bread and to worship because the early Church did so, and we are emulating them (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2). Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead on the first day of the week:

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay (Matt 28:1-6).

Just like the Passover in the Mosaic dispensation, the resurrection of Jesus Christ marks the victory won over death and acquisition of redemption for all those who believe. Now here is a very important point. The fact that Jesus Christ resurrected on the first day of the week COULD be a reason why the early church worshipped on the first day of the week, but:

  • THERE IS NO BIBLICAL BASIS TO THAT FACT. The Bible is silent on that so why should we blow trumpets on it by saying that Saturday Sabbath has been replaced by Sunday worship in Christianity? The Bible is silent on that so we have just one option on this matter: keep silent!
  • THERE IS NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE WHICH INDICATES THAT THE SATURDAY OF REST AS IT WAS KNOWN IN THE PREVIOUS DISPENSATIONS HAS BEEN REPLACED SUNDAY. So long as that is not in the Bible, anyone claim otherwise is coming sin of adding to the word of God. Christians should refrain from referring to the 10 Commandments and then use BUT only on the 4th command. There is no BUT to the 4th command.

Sunday being a day of rest in most countries is certainly something else apart from the Sabbath. There is no Biblical support to the fact that Sunday has replaced Saturday has a day of rest in the Christian realm; and that view in that sense should remain opinion and not a fact to be taught or publicised in the Church. There is a great controversy surrounding this thought, and it seems never ending because it has no Biblical basis, and it is interfered with by both politics and orthodox manipulations.


CONCLUSION

  • Christians do not NEED to keep Sabbath in the literal sense on weekly recurring Saturdays.
  • There is a rest prepared by God which true and faithful Christians will enter at the end of their labours for the Lord (the labour of winning souls for Christ). It is a spiritual Sabbath which they will enjoy only after their labours.
  • This is not the time to argue unnecessarily about literal Sabbath or as to whether Sunday has replaced Saturday as a day of rest, but rather work and labour for the Master.
  • The fact that Sunday has replaced Saturday as a day of rest is baseless senseless because they are two exclusive entities with different significances. Literal Sabbath is purposefully a day of rest; but Sunday is not necessarily of rest, but a day for Christians to worship and break bread to remember the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the victory He won over it.
  • There is a day of rest for all true and faithful Christians prepared by the Lord. Those who do not work but argue unnecessarily instead of working might not enter into that rest.

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Presenter: Admin Webmaster
Date: 2012-01-10 09:11:53
Viewed: 5259


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