Sabbath in the New Testament

Should we worship God on a specific day?

Remember the Sabbath day

Exodus 20:8  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exodus 20:9  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

Exodus 20:10  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

Exodus 20:11  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Let’s look at what verse 11 is referring to

God Sabbathed

Genesis 2:2  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

Genesis 2:3  Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

It was this way from the beginning! Yet many are very quick to dismiss what the Bible says, and they say God has changed.  The law is a reflection of God’s nature and character; it is a reflection of the love that He expects us to show to one another as well as to Him.  So it is not going to change and neither is He.

God does not change

Malachi 3:6  “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

What is the 7th and last day of the week?

Matthew 28:1  Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

Luke 23:56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

Luke 24:1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning [while it was still dark John 20:1], they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

The Resurrection was not on a Sunday

Let’s go ahead and quickly answer another objection while we are here.  Some say that we are to keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath because Jesus Christ was resurrected on Sunday.  We are to worship Him on the day of His resurrection.

Luke 24:2  But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.
Luke 24:3  Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

Brief synopsis of timeline of death of Jesus Christ:  Wednesday around 3pm He died; they rushed to get Him in the ground before the Sabbath; the High day the beginning of Unleavened Bread; Wednesday to Thursday evening is 1 day; Thursday to Friday is 2 days; Friday to Saturday evening is the end of the 3 days and 3 nights, the sign of Jonah.

So according to their own reasoning then they should be keeping the Sabbath

So, back to the original question of which day is the Sabbath.  It is the 7th day, the last day of the week even in New Testament times

Even in modern times we see it reflected in other languages

Arabic: Sabet        Armenian: Shabat      Georgian: Sabati      Greek: Σάββατο      Indonesian: Sabtu         Italian: Sabato      Latin: Sabbatum         Spanish: Sabado

Some say that they keep a Sunday Sabbath.  That means they keep a Sunday Saturday.  Of course this really makes no sense.  I think what they are doing when they say this is that they view the term Sabbath as holy time, and they believe that they are to keep the holy time on Sunday.  Neither belief is true.  The Sabbath is and has been the 7th and final day of the week, the one that God sanctified and set apart from the beginning.

Sabbath vs Sunday Occurrences in the Bible

KJV Sabbath appears 77 more times than the word Sunday in Old Testament and that doesn’t include Sabbaths or forms of the word or other words like rested and ceased that the translators used… of course you say that’s the Old Testament

New Testament 60 more times than the word Sunday; that’s because the word Sunday does not appear in the Bible at all!

This is very interesting considering that most of the professing Christian world say this is the most important day of the week to God and the day that we should be worshipping God on.

Origin of the word Sunday

Wiki: Sunday, being the day of the Sun, as the name of the first day of the week, is derived from Egyptian astrology

The English noun Sunday derived sometime before 1250 from sunedai

Old English (before 700) Sunnandæg (literally meaning “sun’s day”)

Old Frisian sunnandei, Old Saxon sunnundag, Middle Dutch sonnendach (modern Dutch zondag), Old High German sunnun tag (modern German Sonntag), and Old Norse sunnudagr (Danish and Norwegian søndag, Icelandic sunnudagur and Swedish söndag).

The Germanic term is a Germanic interpretation of Latin dies solis (“day of the sun”), which is a translation of the Ancient Greek heméra helíou.

Celtic Welsh language also translates the Latin “day of the sun” as dydd Sul.

In most Indian languages, the word for Sunday is Ravivāra or Adityavāra or its derived forms — vāra meaning day, Aditya and Ravi both being a style (manner of address) for Surya, the chief solar deity

Its name came from those that worshipped the Sun god on this day and who have been doing it for thousands of years in opposition to God’s commands and in line with pagan worship.

WIKI: Sunday is the day of the week following Saturday but before Monday. For most Christians, Sunday is observed as a day of worship and rest, holding it as the Lord’s Day, the day of Christ’s resurrection. [obviously a commonly held belief that we have already dispelled]

But we come across another commonly held belief, that Sunday is the Lord’s day, the one that was somehow set aside to be the day of worship.  This is also reflected in the name of the first day of the week in other languages

Dimanche; domingo ; (dies) dominica = Lord’s day

It has been taken to mean this is His day the day that we are to worship the Lord on.

So how many times do we find this term in the Bible.  Let’s look at all of them in:

Revelation 1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,

In fact if this was a reference to a specific day then it would be pointing to the Sabbath:

Isaiah 58:13  “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,

kuriakos hēmera (Lord’s Day) possessive

hēmera kurios (Day of the Lord)

Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: [quoted from Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:]

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
1 Thessalonians 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

2 Peter 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
2 Peter 3:11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

Revelation 1:10 is an obvious reference to the end time and not a specific day.  In fact the Day of the Lord is not referring to an actual literal day, but a prophetic day which is a year.

Bible Mentions “the first day of the week”

So it’s not the day of resurrection or the Lord’s day, neither one of those could possibly refer to Sunday, but some will still say that it is referred to as the first day of the week

We saw two of these in Matthew 28 and Luke 24 and the majority of the references to the first day of the week are to this event

Let’s look at the other two: 

Breaking bread means eating a meal

Acts 20:7  Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. [He was leaving the next day and still had so much to say and I’m sure they wanted to hear]

As we may see, the word “day” is in italics because it does not appear in the original text. Combining this with our knowledge that biblical days begin at sunset we see the timeline of this event began after the customary Sabbath services were over or it was merely a continuation of the days events in light of the fact that Paul would be leaving them the next morning (Sunday morning).

The terminology, ‘breaking break,’ does not refer to the eucharist or communion that is practiced by some denominations as we see in next verses:

Acts 20:9  And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.
Acts 20:10  But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.”
Acts 20:11  Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed.

Now we have a second time that they have “broken bread” — this is not done at one service by anyone but rather simply refers to the act of eating (we even use verbage today).

Notice how it more clearly defines this idiom in:

Act 2:46  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

The disciples did this at each other’s house and it even differentiates this from the temple where “services” were being held.

Continuing back in Acts:

Acts 20:13  Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot.
Acts 20:14  And when he met us at Assos,

Instead of preaching he walked approx. 20 miles. No service, no rest

Acts 20:16  For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.

Acts 20:6  But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

Collection does not mean worship services

1 Corinthians 16:1  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
1 Corinthians 16:2  On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

Many consider this a collection that occurred during Sunday services.  It does not say that.

Nor is it a collection for the church…it is for the saints.

Famine we talked about this last week in Romans 15

Catholic church admits changing worship day

In addition to all of this the Catholic church acknowledges that it changed observance from the 7th day to the 1st  through the authority of their church and not based on scripture

No explicit command to keep the Sabbath in the New Testament

Many have said in that there is no explicit command to keep the Sabbath in the New Testament.

True, but there is no scripture that says thou shalt not do drugs; also there is not one that says thou shalt not worship God on Sunday, but we just went through many scriptures in the New Testament that show Sunday is not the day that God set aside for us to come together on.

We must get together and worship on a specific day

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
Hebrews 10:25  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


The Jews Keep the Sabbath

No doubt they kept the Sabbath in New Testament. We will see this as we go along

Why are the Jews so exacting about the Sabbath?

In Old Testament they were told to keep it which we read in previously in Exodus 20

They were also told what would happen if they did not keep it: Cursings

Leviticus 26:1 ‘You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 26:2 You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD.

They routinely fell down on both of these points: idolatry and Sabbath keeping

How important was this to God that they do this?

Ezekiel 20:1 It came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me.
Ezekiel 20:2 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Ezekiel 20:3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will not be inquired of by you.” ‘
Ezekiel 20:4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Then make known to them the abominations of their fathers.
Ezekiel 20:5 “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God.’
Ezekiel 20:6 On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands.
Ezekiel 20:7 Then I [God] said to them, ‘Each of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ [repeating what He said in Leviticus 26].
Ezekiel 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’
Ezekiel 20:9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
Ezekiel 20:10 “Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.
Ezekiel 20:11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’ [John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.; same personage speaking ].
Ezekiel 20:12 Moreover [now also] I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign [identifier] between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
Ezekiel 20:13 Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’ [He repeats this phrase; John 10:10 …I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.]; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them. [BECAUSE of these things; Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.].

Ezekiel 20:14 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out.
Ezekiel 20:15 So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands,
Ezekiel 20:16 because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.
Ezekiel 20:17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.
Ezekiel 20:18 “But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols.
Ezekiel 20:19 I am the LORD your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them;
Ezekiel 20:20 hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.
Ezekiel 20:21 “Notwithstanding, the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, and were not careful to observe My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; [third and final time to quote from Leviticus 18:5] but they profaned My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness.

Ezekiel 20:22 Nevertheless I withdrew My hand and acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out.
Ezekiel 20:23 Also I raised My hand in an oath to those in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Gentiles and disperse them throughout the countries,
Ezekiel 20:24 because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My statutes, profaned My Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols.
Ezekiel 20:25 “Therefore I also gave them up to statutes that were not good, and judgments by which they could not live; “

The Jews understood this was the reason that they went into Babylonian captivity for 70 years

Coming out of it they were so determined to keep the Sabbath and not go back into captivity that they went overboard on what could be done on the Sabbath. They did this to the extent that we even see today that they are still, in some circles, enjoining on themselves things which God did not.

The Jews take what is work and extrapolate from it

For instance: Winnowing: Separating chaff from wheat

Jewish definition: Sorting undesirable from desirable via the force of air. According to the Jerusalem Talmud: dispersal via the force of air.

In the Talmudic sense it usually refers exclusively to the separation of chaff from grain—i.e. to any separation of intermixed materials which renders edible that which was inedible.

It also refers to separating things that are desirable from undesirable ones. Example: If one has a handful of peanuts, in their paper-thin brown skins, and one blows on the mixture of peanuts and skins, dispersing the unwanted skins from the peanuts, this would be an act of ‘winnowing’ according to both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud.

According to the Jerusalem Talmud’s definition, the use of the Venturi tube spray system and spray painting would come under this prohibition, while butane or propane propelled sprays, which are common in deodorants and air fresheners, etc. are permissible to operate as the dispersal force generated isn’t from air, rather from the propellant within the can. 

This is what Jesus was combating during His tenure on Earth, it was not whether to keep the Sabbath or not, but how.

First let’s see that Jesus did keep the Sabbath

Christ Kept the Sabbath

Mark 1:20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
Mark 1:22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mark 6:1 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him.
Mark 6:2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!

Luke 6:6 Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered.

Luke 13:10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.

Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

Luke 4:16 (BBE) And he came to Nazareth, where he had been as a child, and he went, as his way was, into the Synagogue on the Sabbath, and got up to give a reading.

Luke 4:16 (CEV) Jesus went back to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and as usual he went to the meeting place on the Sabbath. When he stood up to read from the Scriptures,

People want to make a big deal about the word custom, as if it meant long-established practice that does not carry the weight of law; it is just some long held tradition; ie. like the custom of wearing black to a funeral

So they are saying that Jesus went to the synagogue out of tradition. That is not what this word custom means.

WIKI: Ethos is a Greek word originally meaning “accustomed place” (as in ἤθεα ἵππων “the habitat of horses”, Iliad 6.511), “custom, habit”, equivalent to Latin mores.

Ethos forms the root of ethikos (ἠθικός), meaning “moral, showing moral character”. Used as a noun in the neuter plural form ta ethika (τὰ ἠθικά), used for the study of morals, it is the origin of the modern English word ethics.Ethos will simply mean the disposition, character, or fundamental values particular to a specific person, people.

Put in context

Luke 3:23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son

Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Luke 4:13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Luke 4:14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.

After these most auspicious events what is the first thing that he did:

Luke 4:15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

Luke 4:31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.

Luke 4:44 And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

This is what Christ did and customarily He did it in the synagogues

Christ came for a short time (especially after He had begun His ministry) and came with purpose. Jesus Christ had the power to come whenever He wanted and however He wanted and it was prophesied that he would come as a Jew and that’s exactly what He did.

Why? Through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob / Israel Moses, God had been working. They were His called out people, the church in the wilderness, the ones that He had given His Laws to. He came to continue working with them, first (then the Gentiles later), to show them a more perfect way (magnifying the meaning of the Law and not doing away with it).

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

By coming and dying, He made it possible for them to receive the power of the holy spirit and to understand better His laws ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’

Christ Our Example

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

We are to make His footsteps our pathway Psalm 85:13

Romans 8:29 to be conformed to the image of His Son,

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Is there any doubt that we are to do this?

There is no doubt that Jesus kept the Sabbath

Paul kept the Sabbath

1 Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

Keep in mind that Paul did this after the death of Christ

We will get more into this later, but some say that the Sabbath and/or law was done away with when Christ died, so then why is Paul continuing to observe the Sabbath….

Acts 13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.

Act 13:42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. [the Gentiles were already there listening and keeping the Sabbath]

The Sabbath is not Just For the Jew

I think most everyone agrees that the Sabbath was for the Jew and is binding on them

What’s convenient for their argument is that it is only for them but when we add Romans 1:16 into the mix along with what we just read

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek [Gentile].

Like we said before, these are the ones that God began working with first.

Now it was being offered on a larger scale to the Gentiles

So if we agree that the Sabbath is binding on the Jew then we see it is now binding on the Greek or the Gentile as a Christian as well. And further to that point:

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.  

So what we see is that we become Jews (spiritual ones) and therefore this means that the Sabbath is binding on Christians today, in this way, since we have already admitted that it is mandatory for the Jews.

Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
Acts 13:44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

[The gentiles in attendance wanted Paul to teach them more about Christ on the next Sabbath which is exactly what Paul continued to do!

He could have just as easily preached to them on Sunday but what did he do –waited until the next Sabbath

Probably in the neighborhood of five years later and about 20 years after Christ we see that is was still Paul’s custom to do the same as was Jesus’ custom

Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
Acts 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom [ethos] was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Acts 17:3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”

He was preaching Christ on the Sabbath, the two go hand in hand. And notice who he was preaching to:

Acts 17:4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

The Gentiles were keeping the Sabbath as a matter of course

Now once again, still some time later, probably a few more years

Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.

For nearly 30 years, the most prolific writer in the New Testament, the Apostle to the Gentiles, kept the Sabbath and never spoke against it.

Some say that there are other teachings of Paul that do away with the Sabbath yet we have the eyewitness testimony of Luke in the book of Acts that is in direct opposition to what many have conjured up.

In going through the book of Romans how many times did we see where Paul had written that the law is not done away with? Paul says in other places that the commandments are all that matter! (1 Corinthians 7:19)

But let’s end with a scripture that is in the same book that shows Paul keeping the Sabbath so diligently so many times and as an example for those in his time as well as for us today

Acts 24:14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.

This is what Paul did, this is what Jesus Christ did, this what all the Apostles and Prophets did, this is what the New Testament church did and this is still what we are to be doing today.



Jesus’ Sabbath confrontations were about how to keep it properly

Not once will you find that Jesus Christ said to them that they didn’t need to keep the Sabbath, nor will you find Jesus Christ not keeping the Sabbath (as we pointed out at length in Part 2 of this series).

Gathering Grain on the Sabbath

Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.

Luke 6:1 Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grainfields. And His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands.

Matthew 12:2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”
Matthew 12:3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:
Matthew 12:4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
Matthew 12:5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?
Matthew 12:6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple.
Matthew 12:7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Matthew 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Mark 2:23-28 and Luke 6:1-5 

Healing on the Sabbath

Jewish rules for healing, or in their case, attending to the needs of someone is whether it is life endangering

Matthew 12:9 Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. [on the Sabbath] Matthew 12:10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him.
Matthew 12:11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?
Matthew 12:12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Matthew 12:13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.
Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Again we see the mercy aspect of the Sabbath

Release from Slavery

Deuteronomy 5:12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
Deuteronomy 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Deuteronomy 5:14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
Deuteronomy 5:15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

The Sabbath is a day of liberty and freedom from our labors whether forced on us or not. It is a liberation from the slavery of sin that binds us.

Liberty: Galatians 5:1; Luke 4:18; Galatians 2:4, John 8:31-32; 2 Corinthians 3:17; James 1:25; James 2:12

When properly kept, the Sabbath is a great delight and freedom from doing our own pursuits.

This man was bound by his condition; Christ showed him mercy and freed him from it.

In the previous account the Pharisees had made the law of the Sabbath a burden to the people. One that was never intended and Jesus Christ came to explain it more thoroughly

Mark 3:1 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand.
Mark 3:2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
Mark 3:3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.”
Mark 3:4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent.
Mark 3:5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.

Luke 13:10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
Luke 13:11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.
Luke 13:12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”
Luke 13:13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
Luke 13:14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”
Luke 13:15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?
Luke 13:16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”
Luke 13:17 And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

Loosed set free / connotation of pardoned (forgiveness/mercy)



Conflict Between Jesus and Jews Regarding the Sabbath

Healing and Carrying your Bed on the Sabbath

John 5:5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
John 5:7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
John 5:8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
John 5:9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
John 5:10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
John 5:11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ”
John 5:12 Then they asked him, [Where is this mighty man of God that has performed such a miraculous healing that we may go and learn at His feet? [sarcasm]] “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”
John 5:13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.
John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
John 5:15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
John 5:16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.

Nehemiah 13:15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.

John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

Sabbath made for man. Not God. God the Father is accomplishing His work, the Work of God, all the time (bringing many sons to glory). Jesus the God of the Old Testament was doing this as well until He went to earth.

There is profaning of the Sabbath that we were talking about; this is the “work” that can be done on the Sabbath to the glorification of God

John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath [according to their rules which lacked in understanding], but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Christ did not break the law of the Sabbath

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Notice what He further has to say about this in John 7

Circumcision and healing

John 7:21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel.
John 7:22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.

They understood that it was okay to make this cut, this excision, to “save” the child. It was part of the covenant, the further agreement with Moses that was necessary to be a part of the Israelitish nation.

Even though they could not do something like this by their own rules, because it was not for the physical saving of his life per se, they understood that there was a higher purpose in doing it.

This is what Jesus Christ was doing and one of the points that He was trying to get across

John 7:23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?

The Sabbath is a time of healing, today specifically spiritual healing, which is a type of salvation or the saving of man. Christ was healing in a physical way: because it was lawful; because He was compassionate and because He was correcting the Jews concept of how the Sabbath was to be kept…NOT whether it was to be kept but HOW it was to be kept.

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

This is where the Jews fell short. They did not see the whole picture and were judging incorrectly based on their man-made rules.

Healing the Blind

John 9:1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.
John 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
John 9:6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
John 9:7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

John 9:13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees.
John 9:14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
John 9:15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
John 9:16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
John 9:36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”
John 9:37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”
John 9:38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

Jesus Christ had given Him sight physically and spiritually…on the Sabbath.

John 9:39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

This is part of the work that He came to do and it was legitimate. The acts He did and commanded others to do on the Sabbath were not to show that the Sabbath was done away with but to expand their/our understanding of it so that we could better keep it.

Let’s see this principle spelled out in:

Jesus Christ came to expand the understanding of the Sabbath day

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’
Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
Matthew 5:26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.’
Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Spirit of the law

    1. Doesn’t do away with the law
    2. Makes it more full; magnifies it; expands it Matthew 5:17

Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

The Sabbath was not suspended, abrogated, or done away with by Christ as many have said and would suppose.

The Jews understood that they were not to do their own pleasures.

Isaiah 58:13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,
Isaiah 58:14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

We have seen that Jesus expounds the purpose of the Sabbath and shows them/us that it was a time: for healing and loosing physical and spiritual bonds (Luke 13:16); doing good (Matthew 12:12); saving lives (Mark 3:4); of mercy rather than sacrifice (Matthew 12:7); worshipping God (John 9:38); granting spiritual sight (John 9:39)

It was a time for liberation not confinement and restriction

Christ did more healings on the Sabbath than any other day. It foreshadows what would happen in the future. Spiritual healing now and in the future during the Millennium – a type of Sabbath.

There remains a rest for the people of God

Hebrews 3:16 Faithfulness of both Jesus Christ and Moses; Jesus Christ being the more important one of course

The writer of Hebrews begins to make the point of three types of rest and how the first two point to the final one.

First one He begins with is the Promised Land that the Israelites who were coming out of Egypt and out of “sin” were to be given. This was a type of the Kingdom of God, a land flowing with milk and honey, a safe haven where they could live in peace and not fear enemies if they did all that God commanded them to do.

Hebrews 3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “TODAY [there is a lesson in this for the reader, the Christian, us], IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE,

[The adults for the most part who left Egypt did not enter into this promised rest; promised land of rest; a physical and spiritual rest that God was going to provide for them ]

Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; [wrong heart; unbelief; departing from God who called us] Hebrews 3:13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “TODAY,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

He is making it known that what happened then is a lesson for us today. There is an application for us “today.” We cannot let sin reign in our members (Romans 6:12).

Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, [endure to the end] Hebrews 3:15 while it is said: “TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION.”

Once again with the “today.” If we are to fully enter this rest

Hebrews 3:16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?
Hebrews 3:17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?
Hebrews 3:18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?
Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. [lack of faith]

This is why the physical Israelites died in the wilderness and were not allowed to enter His rest then which was a type…which the author tells us in the very next verse:

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

This is why he is saying that we need to take heed and learn the lessons from the past. If we do as they did, we will not be able to enter into His rest that is still to come; the one that the Promised land pointed to.

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them [they didn’t listen], not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. [lacked faith; 3:19] Hebrews 4:3 For we who have believed [Christians then and now; us] do enter that rest, as He has said: “SO I SWORE IN MY WRATH, ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

We begin to enter that rest now and fully at the return of Christ.

Hebrews 4:4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”;

Hebrews 4:5 and again in this place: “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.”

Κατάπαυσις katapausis kat-ap’-ow-sis

From G2664; reposing down, that is, (by Hebraism) abode: – rest.

Hebrews 4:6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience,
Hebrews 4:7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “TODAY,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”
Hebrews 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.

He was quoting from Psalm 95 and the point he is making is that this happened after the time of Joshua now making his second analogy:

Hebrews 4:9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

Sabbatismos; keeping of the Sabbath; only place in the bible

Hebrews 4:10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

This is what we have been talking about, doing our works during the week and doing the work of God on the Sabbath.  If we are to enter His rest, then we are to cease from our works and observe the Sabbath.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that [future] rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

The second rest, the Sabbath, also pictures the millennium ‘rest’ to come.

TYPES of Rest portrayed by Hebrews 3-4.  The first two are symbols pointing to the third

  1. The Promised Land
  2. Sabbath
  3. Kingdom of God on Earth

When we enter this rest, we will completely cease [katapausis] from the works we have done as a human and finally enter God’s rest eternally

Symbol Needed to Show Reality

Without it how do we know what it means / foreshadows?

Example of wine and bread: These symbols help us understand reality

Physical Sabbath helps us to understand the rest to come

Neither one is done away with because we understand them

Without the Sabbath how do we understand what it points to?

We must partake in them anyway

The author of Hebrews makes the point elsewhere in the book that there are things that are done away with yet he takes the time to say the Sabbath remains

  • Other things abolished Hebrews 10:9
  • Obsolete / ready to vanish away Hebrews 8:13

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A NEW COVENANT,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 10:9 then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.



Is the Law Containing the Sabbath Done Away With?

It is reenacted in the New Testament (Paul kept, Christ kept and showed others how to keep it; Sabbath made for all man; Hebrews 4:9)

The “laws” of the Bible

law of the burnt offering; law of the grain offering; law of the sin offering, law of the trespass offering; law of the sacrifice of peace offerings; law of jealousy; the law of leprosy; law of the leper; law of the Nazirite; law of kindness; law of the temple; law of truth; law of Moses; the Law of God; and so on…

Law can refer to a Civil Code, Criminal Code, Administrative law etc

When looking at this in context we need to discern whether it is entire system or a part and if a part, which part?

Look at scriptures today that some believe point to the Sabbath being done away with. As we will see they point to the law of the sacrificial system.

Galatians 3

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “AND TO YOUR SEED,” who is Christ.
Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

Covenant – simply an agreement or contract

There were three with Abram / Abraham

Genesis 12 Abram; Genesis 17 Abram (then changes his name to Abraham); Genesis 22 Abraham (:18 seed = Christ; this is the covenant that was confirmed with the coming of Christ)

The promise is God’s side of the covenant (agreement) and that is not going to go away because of this “law” that Paul is talking about

Abraham was already keeping a different law than the one we are talking about here

Genesis 22:17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
Genesis 22:18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Genesis 26:4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
Genesis 26:5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

Deuteronomy 11:1 “Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always.

We have to be talking about a different law

Added after the 430 Years

Exodus 12:40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
Exodus 12:41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
Exodus 12:42 It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

The passing of this blessing through to his descendants.

Genesis 22:1718

The promise is made regardless of the law in question here that we have identified as the sacrificial system

Galatians 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

So we see that the law was added BECAUSE of transgressions

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. (Same word as used in Galatians 3:19; means “breaking” as in breaking the law.)

We can therefore logically conclude that if there were transgressions (the reason it was added), there was already a law in place and in force. Had there been no law there would have been no transgressions as Romans 4:15 tells us.

Also, we already know that sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4) So, there was law already in existence before the one Paul is talking about here was added.

Note too WHY it was added – this further narrows down what Paul is actually talking about: it was added because people had sinned, they had been breaking God’s law. This is why the sacrificial system was added.

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

Do we understand this? Don’t read over it! The law whether it be this one or any other is not in conflict with the promises of God! The two go hand in hand. The covenants were based on the immutable and unchangeable laws of God.

As Paul is saying here, the law does not give life – what it does is regulate it though

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

So Paul cannot possibly be referring to the Ten Commandments or the “Law” that was in effect and being broken at that time, so it had to be to a different set of rules altogether.

This passage does not teach us that the Ten Commandments or the Law has been abolished and in particular the Sabbath

Example: USA founded on laws such as do not kill, steal etc; vehicular law was added afterwards for a reason – no cars before; if for some reason we did not have vehicles any more because we run out of oil or we developed transporter technology or whatever and we did away with the vehicle code would that do away with the laws of the land that the USA originally implemented?

This means that God’s law of the Ten Commandments was already in effect long before Abraham (who kept them Genesis 26:5) and certainly before the codification given to Moses at Mt Sinai.

The Ten Commandments were in force and effect since the creation of man.

Now some will use Romans 5 to somehow “prove” there is no law now. But what we find is proof that the 10 Commandments were in effect since the beginning.

What some use to show that it is gone actually proves that is not.

Romans 5

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Romans 4:15 …for where there is no law there is no transgression.

So we see once again that there was law from before Adam. He could not have sinned if there was no law already in effect. So when Paul says in :13 “until the law” he has to be talking about another one that was added later.

“sin is not imputed” it cannot be put on your account if there is no law; you cannot be held accountable for the death penalty that comes from sin if there is no law. BUT THERE IS!!!

:14 “death reigned from Adam to Moses” this is an allusion to the sacrificial system being instituted, it was the law that was added about a year after the exodus

He doesn’t say from Adam to Malachi or etc or anyone in the New Testament

He says to Moses because he is referring to the Law of the Sacrificial System

The law that was added “because of transgression”—because God’s Ten Commandments had been transgressed was that of the sacrificial system

Hebrews 9-10

Hebrews 9:1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.
Hebrews 9:2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary;
Hebrews 9:9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience;
Hebrews 9:10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Now we come to the part that others use to say that the law is done away with. Not only does it not say or do this, it helps us to define the law in question

Sacrificial System Defined as a Law

Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
Hebrews 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU DID NOT DESIRE, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME.
Hebrews 10:8 Previously saying, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING, BURNT OFFERINGS, AND OFFERINGS FOR SIN YOU DID NOT DESIRE, NOR HAD PLEASURE IN THEM” (which are offered according to the law), [which law not the 10 Commandments] Hebrews 10:9 then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.
Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
Hebrews 10:12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
Hebrews 10:13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
Hebrews 10:15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
Hebrews 10:18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering [sacrifice] for sin.

Paul doesn’t even have the Ten Commandments in mind when he talks about the “law” that “was added because of transgressions”?

This was the law that was added after Israel made a golden calf—after Israel had sinned against God’s Ten Commandments and fallen into transgression. It was laborious work and the people were motivated through this kind of work to avoid sinning, at least to an extent.

Sacrificial System [law] was only a temporary law—until the time of reformation, that is, until the time of Jesus Christ’s perfect life without sin (Hebrews 4:15),

His sacrificial death paid the penalty for our sins through His death, we are no longer under the law, we are no longer subject to the tutor of Galatians 3.

We are no longer under the law that was added for sacrifices, offerings, washings, and other rituals dealing with the flesh.

These temporary, physical laws did not exist prior to the Old Covenant

Jeremiah 7:22 “For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices.
Jeremiah 7:23 “But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’
Jeremiah 7:24 “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

Exodus 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

What was the law:

Exodus 16:25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field.
Exodus 16:26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”
Exodus 16:27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none.
Exodus 16:28 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?
Exodus 16:29 See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”
Exodus 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

This was before the codification of the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20



Judging in Respect of Days

Romans 14

Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
Romans 14:6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
Romans 14:2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
Romans 14:3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

The Sabbath is not mentioned here anywhere in the book of Romans

In direct opposition to what Paul says about the law

Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

All days of “worship” are alike

Outside of Atonement, The bible gives no scriptural commands about when to fast

According to the Talmud, some did it on Monday and/or Thursday. Jesus Christ in a parable talks about the Pharisee who boasts about doing it twice a week. Whether it was about this or another way in which they were doing it, Paul’s point was that doing it on one day as opposed to another was not going to make them more righteous

Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
Romans 14:6 He who observes [fasts] the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

Galatians 4

Galatians 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.

Keep in mind that he is addressing the gentiles

Circumcision being addressed throughout book

Sabbath is not mentioned

Paul uses the phrase to ‘turn again’.  They cannot turn back to what they never knew or observed. So he cannot be talking about the Sabbath or Holy Days.

These are not the words that Paul uses when he is refers to the holy days, new moons and Sabbath, as we will see in Colossians 2

Sabbath is not mentioned anywhere in the book of Galatians

Nor, in terms of years, was the the Jubilee being kept in Paul’s day or the sabbatical year being kept outside the land of Israel, ie in Galatia

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

Without getting into what they possibly could have been in terms of the Roman zodiac or pagan days of their times, suffice it say that Paul was saying to come out of the bondage that the false gods had you in previously and to which you were returning.

Colossians 2

The issues in Colosse

There were some problems that Paul wanted to address and we see that he continually, not just here, but elsewhere in his writings, points the readers back to Christ. Then in :4 he begins to characterize those that are causing the problems locally.

How Paul characterizes the men

Colossians 2:4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—

Basic principles: rudiments KJV [same word as element in Galatians 4:3, 9; foundational makeup of the world; the works of the flesh, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life]

Colossians 2:22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

false humility (2x), vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, self-imposed religion, no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

False doctrines

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Colossians 2:21Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,

Colossians 2:23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence [satisfying] of the flesh [there are things that your body needs and it is even okay to have things that you want; scriptures re: Feast of Tabernacles; whatever your heart desires].

These men were into self-denial of food etc and the worship of other spirit beings outside of God

So now we pick up the story in difficult scriptures:

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
Colossians 2:14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements [KJV: handwriting of ordinances] that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

KJV: Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,

Cheirographon: only place this word is used

Thayer: cheirographon: a note of hand or writing in which one acknowledges that money has either been deposited with him or lent to him by another, to be returned at the appointed time [IOU or a debt]

In other literature around this time the word was used as a record book or a written account of sins.

Dogmasin: ordinances, decree

Acts 17:7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.”

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

Every where that this word is found, it is a reference to what is done by men (Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4; 17:7; Ephesians. 2:15). Nowhere in the entirety of the Bible does dogma, “decrees,” refer to any part of the law of God

Blotting out the “written pronouncements [decrees] against us”

Which was contrary to us: opposed; standing in opposition

And He has taken it out of the way: mesos: middle or midst

Legal connotations all the way throughout this verse

Acts 4:6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
Acts 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst [mesos], they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”

Court had the judge, accusers, witnesses and you in the middle.

So what the verse is saying that we had a legal documentation of our sins against, that put the accuser who was standing opposed to us, on solid legal ground, but Jesus Christ came in and blotted or wiped away all the evidence against

Acts 3:19 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,

We do have this debt against us or “contrary to us” Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death and this is the debt we now ask God to forgive us of and He does

Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
Colossians 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Colossians 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [soma] is of Christ.

A shadow of things to come:

Hebrews 3-4 Sabbath points to the Kingdom of God in the Millennium

Feast of Tabernacles foreshadows 1,000 year reign

Feast kept during the Millennium (Zechariah 14:16-19)

Sabbath Kept in the Future

Matthew 24:20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

Isaiah 66:23 And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.

Is the Law a Burden?

Paul didn’t think so…

Acts 24:14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. [many years after the death of Christ]

Paul was adamant about what was right and had to be done or didn’t: circumcision, gentiles. He even called out Peter.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD!

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

Psalm 119:29 Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously.

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:44 So shall I keep Your law continually, Forever and ever.

Psalm 119:51 The proud have me in great derision, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.

Psalm 119:53 Indignation has taken hold of me Because of the wicked, who forsake Your law.

Psalm 119:70 Their heart is as fat as grease, But I delight in Your law.

Psalm 119:72 The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of coins of gold and silver.

Psalm 119:77 Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; For Your law is my delight.

Psalm 119:92 Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.

Psalm 119:97 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

Psalm 119:113 I hate the double-minded, But I love Your law.

Psalm 119:126 It is time for You to act, O LORD, For they have regarded Your law as void.

Psalm 119:127 Therefore I love Your commandments More than gold, yes, than fine gold!

Psalm 119:136 Rivers of water run down from my eyes, Because men do not keep Your law.

Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.

Psalm 119:150 They draw near who follow after wickedness; They are far from Your law.

Psalm 119:153 Consider my affliction and deliver me, For I do not forget Your law.

Psalm 119:163 I hate and abhor lying, But I love Your law.

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.

Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight.

The Sabbath was kept in the past, clarified in Christ’s time, kept after Christ’s death and resurrection, will be kept in the future.

There is one thing that professing Christians agree on; that is, that we are to meet on a day of the week and what even the New Testament shows is, that day is the Sabbath. So let’s not forsake the assembling of ourselves on the Sabbath, which God gave as a sign to His people.