6. Common Objections For
Not Keeping The Sabbath
1. "All ten of God's Commandments are repeated in the New Testament except the Fourth Commandment. Therefore it is not God's intention that the Sabbath continue in the New Testament era."
This idea is called the "Silent Scriptures" argument, but the New Testament is not quite as silent about the Sabbath as Sunday observers would have you believe. For example, nowhere in the New Testament is the explicit command to tithe repeated. The New Testament tells Christians to support Gospel workers and to support Yahweh's work. But tithe? No. Tithing is an Old Testament requirement which is not even mentioned in Yahweh's Ten Commandments, but tithing is vigorously defended by Christian clergy! Why? Didn't they just say "if something isn't repeated in the New Testament, then we don't have to do it"? Yes. But they admit their argument doesn't hold up when it comes to tithing, and neither does it hold up when it comes to the Sabbath.
What the New Testament does tell us about the Sabbath is that Yah'shua (Jesus) regularly rested and worshipped in the synagogue on the Seventh Day (Luke 4:16). So did Paul and his friends (Acts 13:14). So did all the Jewish and Gentile converts to Christianity (Acts 13:42-44). Then why would anyone expect Yah'shua (Jesus) or His disciples to command these people to do something they were already faithfully doing?
And, by the way, why would a hypothetical first century Sunday-keeping Christian/Messianic insist on a New Testament command to keep the Seventh Day holy when he already worships on Sunday without a single Bible command to keep either the First Day of the week or the Roman 'Sunday' holy? You see, this "silent Scriptures" argument is crooked logic and it flies in the face of both Scripture and the example of Yah'shua (Jesus) and all the New Testament believers. And it flies in the face of the fact that the fourth Commandment is indeed repeated in the New Testament in Matthew 12:12 and Mark 2:27. Also in Hebrews 4:1-11, where it explains how Yahweh limits a certain day of rest so man can cease from his own works, as Yahweh Himself did from His. As a matter of fact, in verse 9, the Greek word for "rest" is sabbatismos, which means "a keeping of the sabbath". This is the only occurrence of this word in the entire Bible. So Hebrews 4:9 specifically states, "There remaineth therefore a [keeping of the sabbath] to the people of Elohim (God)"! Some assume that this "rest" is the heavenly rest, but he speaks of this rest as a present state: "we do [now] enter into rest," (verse 3), which is not consistent with a future heavenly rest.
2. "As Christians, we are under grace and thus aren't supposed to keep the Sabbath."
Think about this; Acts 13:42-44 says interested Gentiles were assembling for worship on the Sabbath (Seventh Day) to listen to Paul's preaching. More than this, they all came back the next Sabbath to hear more. But did you notice Paul did not tell them to come back on the First Day or any Roman 'Sunday' instead of the Seventh Day because they were "under grace"? Furthermore, Paul specifically upheld Yahweh's Torah (Law) and said it was applicable to all Christians (Romans 3:31, 1 Corinthians 7:19). He also said that being under grace does not give Christians a license to sin (Romans 6:15). Paul also said that Yahweh's Torah (Law) is "holy (set-apart, qadosh), righteous and good" (Romans 7:12).
So why would Christians twist his words to mean that being "under grace" gives them a license to break Yahweh's fourth commandment by substituting some other day for the Seventh Day? Would Sunday-keeping Christians use the very same logic and say that being under grace means they can break Yahweh's sixth commandment: "You shall not murder?" Did Yahweh say, "You shall not murder except when you are under grace?" No. Being under "grace" simply means the blood of Christ has forgiven us and we are no longer under the penalties or condemnation of the Torah (Law) - it does not mean we are free to sin by disobeying Yahweh's commandments.
3. "The Lord's Day is Sunday."
Only because of man's tradition is Sunday referred to as the "Lord's Day." However, Christians are not to blindly follow tradition, they are to follow Yah'shua (Jesus) through His Word (Mark 7:7-9). The Word of Elohim (God) says: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col.2:8).
The term "Lord's Day" appears only one time in the entire Bible (Revelation 1:10). It is never associated with any holt day, let alone the Roman Sunday, in this verse, nor any other verse. John, who wrote the book of Revelation, also wrote the Gospel of John after he wrote the book of Revelation. In the Gospel of John he refers to "the first day of the week" (John 20:1,19), and never as the "Lord's day". John didn't consider fie first day of the week as "the Lord's Day", because if he did, he would have said so in the Gospel of John.
The "Lord's Day", if it refers to a day of the week, must be the day that Yah'shua (Jesus) himself claimed as His day. What day did Yah'shua (Jesus) claim was his? Yah'shua (Jesus) tells us "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" (Mat.12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5). So, in context, which day is the "Lord's Day" according to Christ's own words? The Sabbath, the seventh day of the week!
However, the book of Revelation is a highly symbolic book, and the "Lord's Day" might not be referring to any specific day of the week at all. The context of John's vision transported him into the future, to the second coming of Christ. Elsewhere in the New Testament, the future coming of Yah'shua (Jesus) has been called the "day of the Lord (Master)" (Acts 2:20, 1 Thes.5:2, 2 Peter 3:10), or the "day of the Lord Jesus Christ (Master Yah'shua the Messiah)" (1 Cor.1:8), or the "day of the Lord Jesus (Master Yah'shua)" (1 Cor.5:5, 2 Cor.1:14), or the "day of Christ" (Phil.1:10; 2:16, 2 Thes.2:2). These terms are not speaking of a specific day, but to the end-time events surrounding the return of Yah'shua (Jesus). This is the theme of the book of Revelation and the Lord's Day John saw in his vision.
By twisting the Scriptures, a deceptive philosophy developed into a tradition claiming Roman Sunday as the "Lord's Day". Never in the Bible is the term "Lord's Day" ever applied to the first day of the week!
4. "The Sabbath was made for Jews."
This falsehood has gained such strength that multitudes of Christians refer to it as the "Jewish Sabbath." But nowhere do we find such an expression in the Bible. It is called "the sabbath of Yahweh (the Lord)," but never "the sabbath of the Jews" (Exodus 20:10). Luke was a Gentile writer of the New Testament and often made reference to things which were peculiarly Jewish. He spoke of the "nation of the Jews" (Acts 10:22), the "people of the Jews" (Acts 12:11), the "land of the Jews" (Acts 10:39), the "law of the Jews" (Acts 25:8), and the "synagogue of the Jews" (Acts 14:1; 17:1,10,17). But please note that Luke never referred to the "sabbath of the Jews," although he mentioned the Sabbath repeatedly.
John also made references to things which were peculiarly Jewish. He spoke of the "Jews' Feast of Tabernacles" (John 7:2), the "feast of the Jews" (John 5:1; 6:4), the "people of the Jews" (John 12:9), and the "Jews' Passover" (John 2:13; 11:55). But please note that John never referred to the "Jews' Sabbath", although he mentioned the Sabbath repeatedly.
But what did Yah'shua (Jesus say)? That the sabbath was made for Jews? No! Jesus said: "The sabbath was made for man" (Mat.12:8/ Mark 2:28/ Luke 6:5), for all mankind. The Greek word translated here as "man" is anthropos meaning "mankind, human beings". The fact is that Adam was the only man in existence at the time Yahweh made the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3). There were no Jews in the world for at least 2,300 years after creation. It could never have been made for them. "Man" is also used in connection with the institution of marriage which was also introduced at creation. Certainly no one believes that marriage was made only for the Jews.
And the fact that Yahweh specifically gave his Sabbath day to the stranger as well as to the Jews is proof that the Sabbath was not given exclusively for Israel, but for whoever else wishes to serve Yahweh (Isaiah 56:1-8, Exodus 20:10).
5. "God gave Israel the Sabbath to memorialise their deliverance from Egypt" (Deuteronomy 5:15, Ezekiel 20:10-12).
Some people draw from this text that Yahweh gave the Sabbath as a memorial of the Exodus from Egypt. But the Genesis story of the making of the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3) and the wording of the fourth commandment by Yaahweh Himself (Exodus 20:11) reveals the Sabbath as a memorial of creation (Psalm 111:4). This verse is not a reason for the sabbath, but an incentive to obey the sabbath. It was not unusual for Yahweh to hark back to the Egyptian deliverance as an incentive to obey other commandments.
In a similar vein, Yahweh had commanded his children not to oppress the stranger in Leviticus 19:33-34, because his children were once strangers in Egypt. Surely this command existed prior to the Exodus, and is not limited only to Jews. Deuteronomy 24:17-18, the command to be just was not given to memorialize the Exodus (neither was the Sabbath) but Yahweh told them that His goodness in bringing them out of captivity constituted a strong additional reason for their dealing kindly with their servants on the Sabbath and treating justly the strangers and widows. Otherwise, you must say that the command to be just was given because Yahweh redeemed them from Egypt. In the same way, Yahweh spoke to them in Leviticus 11:45 concerning holiness. Surely no one would insist that this command to be holy did not exist before the Exodus, or that it would be ever afterwards limited only to the Jews, to memorialize their deliverance. Notice the similar wording between Leviticus 11:45 and Deuteronomy 5:15.
6. "If the Sabbath is still binding today, then so is the penalty for its violation, death!" (Exodus 31:14-15; 35:2).
Dear reader, was it a sin to steal before Yah'shua (Jesus) died? Yes. Was it a sin to steal after he died? Yes. The fact is, it was a sin to break the Ten Commandments before Yah'shua (Jesus) died, as well as after.
Now, what was the penalty for breaking these commandments before Yah'shua (Jesus) died? Death, no matter which commandment you broke. 1st : having other gods before Elohim (Go)d (Ex.22:20, Deut.18:20), or preaching to others to worship other gods (Deut.13:5). 2nd : serving other gods (Deut.13:6-10), or communicating with spirits (Lev.20:27). 3rd : taking Yahweh's Name in vain (Lev.24:16), or trespassing on sacred ground (Exo.19:12). 4th : working on the sabbath (Ex.31:14-15; 35:2, Num.15:35). 5th : not honouring thy father and mother (Exo.21:15,17, Lev.20:9). 6th : killing (Ex.21:12, Lev.24:17,21, Num.35:16-31), even if owner's animal kills someone (Exo.21:29). 7th: adultery (Lev.20:10), homosexuality (Lev.20:13), rape (Deut.22:25), sleeping with animals (Exo.22:19, Lev.20:15-16). 8th : stealing (Exo.21:16, Deut.24:7). 9th : bearing false witness (Deut.19:16-19, Prov.19:9; 21:28). 10th : coveting (leads to above sins). For a complete list and study of all 25 capital punishment sins, see Raised Valleys & Flattened Mountains: The 25 Death Penalties.
Is the penalty for breaking one of the Ten Commandments today, still physical death? No. Why not? Because Christ died for our sins (1 Cor.15:3), and he redeemed us from the curse (penalty) of the Torah (Law) (Gal.3:13). Physical death, the shedding of blood, is no longer required for committing sin, because Yah'shua (Jesus) shed His blood for us (Mt.26:28, Mark 14:24). So if there is no more death penalty for breaking 9 of the commandments, there is no more penalty for breaking the 4th commandment, the sabbath.
7. "The Law did not exist before Moses received it at Sinai."
Wrong! Dead wrong! The Bible tells us "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Torah (Law): for sin is the transgression of the Torah (Law)" (1 John 3:4). When Adam disobeyed Yahweh in Eden he "sinned" (Romans 5:12). How could Adam be called a sinner clear back in Eden if Yahweh had no Torah (Law) back then to define sin? When Cain was thinking about murdering his brother Able, Yahweh warned him: "sin lieth at the door" (Genesis 4:7). How could Yahweh warn Cain he was about to sin, and then place him under a curse for murdering his brother, if Yahweh had no Torahm (Law) back then prohibiting murder? How could Yahweh tell Noah that mankind had become exceedingly corrupt and evil if there was no Divine Torah (Law) that they had broken (Gen.6:11-13)? What justification did Yahweh have for destroying the earth by the Flood if the people were unaware of His Torah (Law)?
How did King Abimelech know adultery was wrong (Gen.20:1-7)? As did Joseph (Gen.39:9)? How did Jacob know stealing was wrong (Gen.30:33; 31)? The answer is obvious, because Yahweh's Torah (Law) did exist before Moses, before Jews existed in the world. Yahweh Himself said of Abraham that he, "...obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Gen.26.5). Did you read that? How could Abraham have obeyed Yahweh's commandments and laws unless Yahweh had already given it to him? Yahweh's Law, His Ten Commandments, did exist before Moses.
How did Yahweh teach the Israelites about the Sabbath? He sent manna six days a week for them to eat (Exodus 16). But He told them to gather twice as much on the sixth day of the week because there would be none on the Sabbath. The Bible tells us Yahweh gave the Israelites manna to determine if they would walk in Yahweh's Torah (Law) (Exodus 16:4). But Exodus 16:27 tells us the very next Sabbath they flunked the test, they disobeyed Yahweh by going out to gather manna on the seventh day of the week - they didn't even obey Yahweh for one week!
So Yahweh asked them in verse 28 "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my torot (laws)?" Yahweh didn't institute the Sabbath and then one week later cry out "How long will you refuse to keep My commands" the very first time they failed! No, Yahweh's commandments had been around for more than two thousand years by then. People had been continually breaking Yahweh's Law from Eden onwards. Even the Israelites whom He rescued from Egypt were breaking His Sabbath Day! No wonder Yahweh said, "How long will you refuse to keep My commands?" The Bible evidence is that Yahweh's Torah (Law) and His Sabbath had been around for thousands of years before they were reaffirmed to the Israelites at Mount Sinai.
8. "It doesn't matter which day you keep, just as long as you keep one."
Really? Then why did Yahweh create "the" Sabbath day? Why did Yahweh bless "the" seventh day? Why did Yahweh sanctify "the" seventh day? Why did Yahweh call the Seventh Day "My" Sabbath day, and "My" holy (set-apart, qadosh) day? Why did Yahweh command His people to remember to rest on "the" seventh day (Exodus 20:8-11)? Notice Yahweh didn't say "Remember one day out of seven, to keep it holy!" He said, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (set-apart, qadosh)".
If the Law of Elohim (God) is something we are to recognise as merely good advice while retaining an inability to follow its precepts, we might more appropriately title that Law, "The Ten Suggestions". Each one of Yahweh's Ten Commandments is very specific. Nothing is left to chance. Nothing is confused, not according to the Bible evidence. There is, of course, no technical difference between one day of the week and another, they are each 24 hours long, except that Yahweh said that we are to keep one specific day. This, like the tree of life versus the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, is a simple test of loyalty to Elohim (God). If all the days are the same, why not keep the one Yahweh said to? If we are going to keep a day holy, why not Yahweh's day?
9. "Redemption is greater than creation; therefore, we ought to keep the day of Christ's resurrection instead of the ancient Sabbath of the Lord."
Where has Elohim (God) said this? It must be admitted that He never did. What right, then, has any man to make such an assertion and then to base the change of the Sabbath upon it? But suppose that redemption is greater than Creation; who knows that we ought to keep the first day of the week on that account? Yahweh never required men to keep any day as a memorial of redemption. If, however, it were a duty to observe one day of the week for this reason, most certainly the crucifixion day presents the strongest claims. It is not said that we have redemption through Christ's resurrection, but it is said that we have redemption through the shedding of His blood. (See Revelation 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12,15) .
Nor can it be urged that the resurrection day is the most remarkable day in the history of redemption. It was as far exceeded by the day of the crucifixion as the wonder of the act of Yahweh in giving His beloved and only Son to die for a race of rebels exceeds that of the Father raising that beloved Son from the dead. It was not remarkable that Yahweh should raise His Son from the dead, but the act of the Father in giving His Son to die for sinners was a spectacle of redeeming love on which the universe might gaze in wonder throughout all eternity. Who can wonder that the sun was veiled in darkness and that all nature trembled at the sight! The crucifixion day, therefore, has far greater claims than the day of the resurrection; but Yahweh has not enjoined the separate observance of either on extra days even if they do correspond with two of Israel's festivals - Passover and the Day of Firstfruits and may be commemorated then.
If we would commemorate redemption, there is no necessity of robbing Yahweh's rest day of its holiness in order to do it. Elohim (God) has already provided us with memorials for this event (1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Romans 6:35, Colossians 2:12).
10. "Sabbath-keepers are working for their salvation, they're on the 'wrong side of Calvary."
Keeping the Sabbath holy has absolutely nothing to do with earning our salvation. It has everything to do with obeying Yahweh out of our great love for Him. In our loving gratitude to Him for saving us we eagerly praise and worship Him on the day He set aside for us to fellowship with Him. Because we recognise Him as both our Savior and our Master, we do not try to countermand what He has commanded.
Anytime we break Yahweh's Torah (Law) we sin. When we sin, Yahweh's kindness leads us toward repentance. Can a Christian, a professed follower of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), do less than repent of his sins? Sin is transgressing Yahweh's Torah (Law), any part of Yahweh's Torah (Law). And that includes deliberately disobeying Yahweh's fourth commandment to "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (set-apart, qadosh)" (Exodus 20:8). Don't you love Yah'shua (Jesus) enough to follow His example, and obey Elohim (God) by worshipping and praising Him on His Sabbath Day??
11. "The word 'Sabbath' doesn't appear in Genesis 2:2-3, therefore, God did not make the Sabbath on the 7th day of creation".
Actually, the word Sabbath does appear in this verse. The word "rested" in verses 2 and 3, is the Hebrew word shabbat, which is the root word for "Sabbath." Shabbat means "to cease, or rest", and it is from this that the Sabbath gets its meaning as "a day of rest." To paraphrase the account in Genesis 2:2-3, "Elohim (God) sabbathed on the seventh day from all His work, and Elohim (God) blessed it and sanctified it". The Hebrew language is clear and unambiguous in its intent.
There are many different Hebrew words for the word "rested", but the only time shabbat is used is in reference to the Sabbath Day. For example, the very next occurrence of the Hebrew word shabbat is in Exodus 16:30, when the people sabbathed on the seventh day. Verse 29 mentions the sabbath specifically. The final occurrence is in Exodus 31:17, which explains that the sabbath was made at creation, and even quotes from Genesis 2:2! These are the only times shabbat is used for "rested".
To show the other Hebrew words for "rested", that could have been used in Genesis 2:2-3, but weren't, here are all other uses:
Nuwach (Gen.8:4, Exo.10:14, Num.10:36; 11:25-26, Esther 9:17,18,22); Chanah (Num.9:18,23); Shaken (Num.10:12); Sahqat (Josh.11:23); Achaz (1 Kings 6:10); Camak (2 Chron.32:8); Daman (Job 30:17); Yahweh chose to cease from His labour, not because He was tired (Isaiah 40:28), but because He wanted to set an example for all mankind.
12. "There's no biblical evidence that the Sabbath was observed before the Ten Commandments were given at Mount Sinai."
Actually there is. Exodus 16 describes the Sabbath being observed before the Ten commandments were given! As a matter of fact, this was the only commandment Yahweh specifically mentioned by which He would test their obedience (Exodus 16:4). There is also indirect evidence of its observance, as the intervals between Noah's sending forth the birds out of the ark, an act naturally associated with the weekly service (Genesis 8:7-12), and in the week of a wedding celebration (Genesis 29:27-28).
13. "Is not the rest of the Sabbath a symbol of our rest in Christ?" (Matthew 11:28).
Yes, but this does not obliterate the Sabbath day (Luke 23:56). Marriage is said to be a symbol of the relationship between Christ and the Messianic Community (Church) (Ephesians 5:31-32, 2 Corinthians 11:2), but no one thinks that this gets rid of marriage in the Christian era. Scripture also declares that in Christ "there is neither male nor female" (Galatians 3:28), but again, this does not obliterate gender or holy wedlock. The Sabbath is a memorial of creation, and a provision for the learning of Yahweh's will through regular worship, as well as a restorative agency for body and mind and soul. Obviously, Christ's labours for us do not make unnecessary our labour for six days each week. Neither does His rest from the work of redemption make the rest of the Sabbath unnecessary.
The fact is that two beautiful, original institutions were set up by Yahweh Himself before sin ever came into the world - marriage and the Sabbath. Both were made for mankind, both received the special blessing of the Creator and both continue to be just as holy now as when they were sanctified in the Garden of Eden. People rested in Yahweh in the Tanakh (Old Testament) also (1 Kings 8:56-61, Psalm 37:7).
14. "Christ abolished the law. He broke the Sabbath and justified His disciples in doing the same" (Matthew 12-1-4, Mark 2:23-26, Luke 6:1-4).
Those who hold this view are really taking the same ground as did the caviling Jews and the Pharisees. In this, they contradict the testimony of Christ Himself, who declared, "I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love" (John 15:10). Neither the Saviour, nor His followers, broke the law of the Sabbath. Christ was a living representative of the Torah (Law). No violation of its holy precepts was found in His life. Looking upon a nation of witnesses who were seeking occasion to condemn Him, He could say unchallenged, "Which of you convicteth Me of sin?" (John 8:46).
Yah'shua (Jesus) and the disciples plucked corn on the Sabbath day because they were hungry (Matthew 12:1), not because they were harvesting the field. Yahweh made specific allowance for picking handfuls of corn from another person's field (Deuteronomy 23:25). This was a command from Yahweh, and a provision for Christ and his disciples. Yahweh even told His people to leave portions of their fields unharvested so the poor and travelers would be able to eat what was left (Leviticus 19:9,10; 23:22).
Yah'shua (Jesus) pointed out that King David and his hungry followers, when they were fleeing King Saul's armies, were given bread that was normally to be eaten only by priests, yet they were guiltless in Yahweh's sight (Mark 2:25,26). He also pointed out that even the priests serving in the temple of Elohim (God) laboured on the Sabbath by conducting worship services and performing sacrifices, but Yahweh held them blameless (Matthew 12:5).
In both examples, the spirit and intent of the Torah (Law) were not broken, and both instances were specifically allowed by Yahweh for the greater good, Christ said. He emphasized that Yahweh's Torah (Law) allowed for mercy (Mark 3:4,5, Matt.12:10-12, Luke 6:6-10), and the Pharisees were completely wrong in elevating their harsh, humanly devised regulations above everything else, including mercy.
15. "Whatever day one chooses to rest and worship is irrelevant, so long as one is 'fully convinced in his own mind' and 'observes it to the Lord'" (Romans 14:5-6).
Does this mean that the Sabbath is no different from any other day? Or that we are free to choose whatever day we wish to observe? To come to that conclusion, one must read it into the verse, because the Sabbath is nowhere mentioned here. In fact, the word 'Sabbath' or references to Sabbath-keeping are not found anywhere in this epistle. The reference here is simply to "days," not the Sabbath or any other days of rest and worship commanded by Yahweh.
It is important to notice the context in which Paul is writing. Romans 14:1 says to accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. A matter on which Yahweh himself has spoken and given instruction is not disputable. Therefore, the days that one might or might not consider sacred in Romans 14:5 do not include the seventh-day Sabbath.
Keep in mind that Paul, earlier in this same epistle, had said: "The Torah (Law) is holy (set-apart, qadosh), and the commandment holy (set-apart, qadosh) and just and good" (Romans 7:12); "The doers of the Torah (Law) will be justified" (Romans 2:13), and "I delight in the Torah (Law) of Elohim (God)" (Romans 7:22). If he were saying here that Sabbath observance is irrelevant, such an assertion would be completely inconsistent with his other statements in this same letter. What are the days Paul mentions here? We must look at the context to find out.
Paul was writing to a mixed assembly of Jewish and gentile believers in Rome. In verses 2 and 3 Paul discussed vegetarianism ("he who is weak eats only vegetables") and continued this theme in verse 6 ("he who eats...and he who does not eat"). The passage in question about days is in verses 5 and 6, immediately between references to eating meat and vegetarianism in verses 2, 3 and 6. There is no biblical connection between Sabbath observance and vegetarianism or meats, so these verses have to be taken out of context to assume that Paul was referring to the Sabbath. It is apparent that Paul was discussing special days during which feasting, fasting or abstaining from certain foods was practiced.
In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul addressed the issue of eating meat that may have been sacrificed to idols and consequently could have been viewed by some members as unfit to eat. Paul's point in that chapter was that any association of food with idolatrous activity had no bearing on whether that food was otherwise suitable for eating. Paul's advice in 1 Corinthians 8 was the same as his conclusion in Romans 14:15: Be especially careful not to offend a fellow member, causing him to stumble or lose faith over the issue of meats.
In no way was this related to Sabbath observance. The Sabbath is nowhere mentioned in Paul's letter to the Romans; it simply wasn't the issue. The "days" mentioned here are obviously connected with avoidance of meat, indicating that they are Roman or other observances, and not any days of worship commanded by Yahweh.
16. "The Sabbath is a weak and beggarly element which puts you in bondage" (Galatians 4:9-10).
Those who would argue against Sabbath observance see Paul's reference to "days and months and seasons and years" (verse 10) as pointing to the Sabbath, festivals and sabbatical and jubilee years given in the Old Testament (Leviticus 23, 25). They view these Yahweh-given observances as "weak and beggarly elements" to which the Galatians were "turning again" and becoming "in bondage" (verse 9).
Is this Paul's meaning? There is an obvious problem with viewing these verses as being critical of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not even mentioned here. The term "sabbath," "sabbaths" and any related words do not appear anywhere in this epistle.
To argue against keeping the Sabbath, some assume that the "years" referred to in Galatians 4:10 are the sabbatical and jubilee years described in Leviticus 25. However, the jubilee year was not being observed anywhere in Paul's day, and the sabbatical year was not being observed in areas outside Palestine (Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol.14, p.582, and Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 666, Sabbatical Year and Jubilee). The fact that Galatia was in Asia Minor, far outside Palestine, makes it illogical to conclude Paul could have been referring here to the sabbatical and jubilee years. The Greek words Paul used for "days and months and seasons and years" are used throughout the New Testament in describing normal, civil periods of time. They are totally different from the precise terms Paul used in Colossians 2:16 specifying the sabbaths, festivals and new-moon celebrations given in the Bible. He used exact terminology for biblical observances in Colossians, but used very different Greek words in Galatians - a clear indication that he was discussing altogether different subjects.
To understand what Paul meant, we must examine both the historic and immediate contexts of these verses. The Galatian assemblies were composed mostly of members from a gentile, rather than Jewish, background. Paul made it clear that they were physically uncircumcised (Galatians 5:2; 6:12,13), so they could not have been Jewish.
This background is important in understanding this controversial scripture. In Galatians 4:9-10, Paul said that the Galatians were "turning again to the weak and beggarly elements," which included "days and months and seasons and years." Since Paul's readers were from a gentile background, it is difficult to see how the "days and months and seasons and years" they were turning back to could be the Sabbath and other biblical festivals, since they could not turn back to something they had not previously observed. This is made even more clear by the immediate context. In verse 8, Paul said, "When you did not know Elohim (God), you served those which by nature are not gods." Paul referred clearly to the idols of paganism, which, in typical Jewish idiom, Paul termed 'not gods'. The Jewish people knew Elohim (God), the gentiles did not. So, again, this is not referring to the Jews.
Is it possible that these "weak and beggarly elements" they were returning to (verse 9) could be Yahweh's laws, sabbaths and festivals? The word translated "elements" here is the Greek word stoicheia, the same word translated "elements" earlier in verse 3. There Paul described his readers as having been "in bondage under the elements of the world." For this to refer to Yahweh's Torah (Law) in verse 9, it would also have to refer to His Torah (Law) in verse 3, since the same word is used.
It would seem that in Paul's time, this exceedingly early and primitive view had been expanded to the point at which the stoicheia also referred to the sun, moon, stars, and planets - all of them associated with gods or goddesses and, because they regulated the progression of the calendar, also associated with the great pagan festivals honouring the gods. In Paul's view these gods were demons. Hence, he would be thinking of a demonic bondage in which the Galatians had indeed been held prior to the proclamation of the gospel.
In the verses that follow, Paul goes on to speak of these three crucial subjects in quick succession: (1) "those who by nature are not gods," presumably false gods or demons (verse 8); (2) "those weak and beggarly elements" (verse 9); and (3) "days and months and seasons and years" (verse 10). No doubt Paul would think of these demons in ways entirely different from the former thinking of the Galatians. Thus, this whole issue takes on a cosmic and spiritual significance. The ultimate contrast to freedom in Christ is bondage to Satan and the evil spirits. Whatever "days and months and seasons and years" the Galatians were observing in their false calendar, they were apparently observing them in a superstitious manner, as they had observed days and times before their conversion.
From the context, we see it is illogical to conclude that Paul was criticising the observance of the biblical Sabbath and festivals, since they were not even mentioned. Instead, he was attacking misguided efforts to attain salvation through unnecessary superstitious observances. Besides, the Sabbath is a commandment, and Yahweh's Commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).
17. "When the one hundred and twenty were gathered in the upper room and the Holy Spirit came on them, it was Pentecost Sunday. This is yet another evidence of the change of the day."
Once again, there is no Bible text stating the disciples had gathered here to change the day of worship from the first day of the week to the first day of the week, let alone the pagan Roman 'Sunday' and the whole pagan Roman calenderic system (Julian, later to become our own Gregorian one). Instead, before Yah'shua (Jesus) returned to heaven, He commanded His disciples to wait for the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to come to them (Acts 1:4). After Yah'shua (Jesus) was gone they went to the upper room to wait. Acts 2:1 informs us that "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place." Notice they had remained there in the upper room every day of the week including the first day of the week and and the first day of the week.
Now, Pentecost was a special High Sabbath because Pentecost and can fall on any day of the biblical week, because that is how Yahweh instituted it through Moses, fifteen centuries earlier. It was never celebrated specifically on the first day of the week, let alone the Roman 'Sunday', or on any other specific day, including the regular Seventh Day Sabbath. It was the Roman Catholic Church, using its pagan calendar, that invented its own 'Pentecost' and appointed it to be observed only on a pagan 'Sunday'.
18. "First century Christians were worshipping on Sunday."
There is simply no Bible evidence of that assertion. Even church history records that the majority of Christians were still worshipping on the Seventh Day Sabbath three hundred years after Christ. But, what if some did worship on either the first day of the Hebrew week or even on the Roman 'Sunday' in the first century, just as many do now. No doubt there were also some Christians/Messianics back then who lied, murdered, stole, and so on, just as some do now. Does someone else's disobedience justify our breaking one of Yahweh's specific Ten Commandments? No. The Bible says: "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to [do] evil" (Exodus 23:2).
19. "The Sabbath was nailed to the cross" (Colossians 2:16-17). The Sabbath was abolished.
Many people assume that the "handwriting of ordinances...nailed...to the cross" (Colossians 2:14), was Yahweh's Ten Commandments, New Moon and Festival observance. But this is not what Paul meant. The Greek word translated "handwriting" is cheirographon, and this is the only place the term is used in the Bible. It meant a handwritten record of debt, or what we would today call an IOU. In contemporary apocalyptic literature, this word was used to designate a "record book of sin," meaning a written account of our sins.
Paul was not saying that Yahweh's (Law) was nailed to the cross. What was nailed there, he said, was all record of our sins. Because Yahweh's Torah (Law) required the death penalty for sin (Romans 6:23), this record is what "was against us, which was contrary to us", not the Torah (Law) itself. He has forgiven us all our sins (Eph.1:7), and redeemed us from the curse (penalty) of the Torah (Law= (Gal.3:13). Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over His own head on the cross. It is the evidence against us, not the Torah (Law) itself, that was nailed to the cross, enabling us to be forgiven.
This becomes clear when we read the rest of this chapter. It is apparent that other issues were involved that had nothing to do with Yahweh's laws given in the Old Testament. Among these were "principalities and powers" (verse 15), "false humility and worship of angels" (verse 18), forbidding to touch, taste and handle (verse 21) and "neglect of the body" (verse 23).
Further, Paul referred to the false teachings in Colosse as rooted in "enticing words" (verse 4), "philosophy and vain deceit" and "the tradition of men" (verse 8). He also referred to submitting to "ordinances" of this world (verse 20) and "the commandments and doctrines of men" (verse 22). Could Paul, who in Romans 7:12 said the Torah (Law) is "holy (set-apart, qadosh) and just and good," possibly be referring to the same law here, or is he addressing an entirely different issue?
Yahweh's Word tells us that His commandments are never burdensome (1 John 5:3) They are not meaningless or arbitrary. They were given to humanity in love from an Elohim (God) of infinite wisdom and knowledge (Isaiah 55:8, 9). They were given to be a benefit to mankind, bringing blessings when obeyed (Deuteronomy 4:40; 5:29, 33). These commandments include Yahweh's Sabbath. Matthew 5:19 is Yah'shua's (Jesus's) message to those who teach the Sabbath was abolished.
Paul said: "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ" (Col.2:16-18). Does this mean that the Seventh Day Sabbath and Yahweh's Holy Days are no longer to be observed? Or does this mean, as those (like the Seventh-Day Adventists) who observe only the Ten Commandments but not the festivals and new moons, mean that the "sabbaths" are just the extra 'high sabbaths' like Pentecost?
The Colossian assembly was being led astray by teachers who were trying to introduce their own philosophy by "empty deceit", who were trying to create a "human tradition" under the inspiration of "elemental spirits" or demons, denying the plain teachings of Christ (v.8). His audience clearly understood the Torah (Law) since he speaks of the inner circumcision that they had received (v.11). He explains how these demonic "principalities and powers" have now been disarmed (v.15).
Hebrew Christians are being deceived by false teachers. Who were these false teachers and what was their deception? What was the heresy they were teaching? As we look at the major heresies that the apostles were combatting in New Testament times we see that, for the most part, the problems lay with a group of people called Gnostics who believed that salvation was through acquired knowledge and not the atonement of Christ. Indeed, they denied that Christ had any real physical substance at all but was a phantom. Accordingly, the cross had no meaning for them and they denied the deity of Christ (v.9). The Gnostics, who thought that the flesh was evil, were aesthetics who did all in their power to deny the hold of the physical body on them and longed for the day when they would be pure spirits again. They disdained sex and therefore discouraged marriage and viewed with disdain anything physical. The teachings of these heretics had a profound influence on the Catholic Church that was to emerge later.
Paul says: "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink and with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath". The gnostic elements were aesthetic -- they rejected the physical -- anything that could be handled, tasted or touched (vv.21-22), believing that by denying the material world they could thereby become more spiritual. Though believing there was much spiritual merit in such behaviour, Paul strongly disagreed saying that "these have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor and devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh" (v.23). Like the Catholics after them they would beat the flesh, indulge in long fasts to show their contempt for the body, and in so doing believed they were becoming more spiritual. They considered the Hebrew sabbaths and festivals "too physical" and wished to make them purely spiritual.
But the Colossian saints were obedient to the Torah (Law) of Elohim (God) - they observed the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Festival Days of Israel (Dt.16:10-11,13-14). It is a point of interest that the false teachers did not object to the holy days themselves, merely in the manner in which they were observed, for they despised anything involving physical pleasure - they wanted nothing to do with rejoicing and feasting. To which Paul replied: "So let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding [Gk.meros, meaning "part" or "regarding any portion of"] a festival or a new moon or sabbath" (Col.2:16, KJV). He was telling the saints to ignore the heretics' demands to abstain from from the enjoyment of the eating and drinking aspects of the festivals of Yahweh.
These predominantly gentile Colossians (Col.2:13) were observing the weekly Sabbath and the Holy days of Yahweh according to the commandments more than three decades after the death and resurrection of Yah'shua (Jesus). Had they not been doing so the false teachers would have had no basis for objecting to the eating and drinking aspects, that is, the feating portion, of the Sabbath and Holy Days.
The heresy of these false teachers was great. They despised the physical body and worshipped angels, boasted about their personal revelations and visions which contradicted the Word, and were loosing their grip on the central doctrine of the Messianic Community, the deity of Christ, and so demonstrated that they were being led by demons (vv.18, 9, 20). They were inventing new rules: "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch" (v.21, RSV).
The solution to the problem of the carnal nature is not the rigid aestheticsm of the heretics but "putting to death the earthly parts of your nature" (Col.3:5, JNT). Denial of the body never achieved anything worthwhile - we must get to the root, to the fallen nature itself, for which the only treatment is death - not mortification of the body but a supernatural act of spiritual surgery on the part of the Messiah (Christ). "We know that our old nature was crucufied with Him [Christ] so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin" (Rom.6:6-7, RSV). The heretics were, in effect, saying thay any kind of physical indulgence was a sin -- eating and drinking -- for these were, and are, a part of Yahweh's Holy Festivals. In their teaching they declared that they were yet alive in sin and had not come to the foot of the cross to the Man-God to have their sinful nature expunged. They had not died with Christ (Rom.6:7) for they had, in truth, already denied His Deity and the provision for the atonement of their sins (Col.2:9). Their aestheticism was "another Gospel" (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:6) and was dividing the peace of the Colossian saints, a 'gospel' that has survived throughout the centuries in one form or another in the churches. And in its most successful manifestation it has denied the veracity of Yahweh's Sabbath and Festivals in the flesh. It is a most subtle heresy, outwardly convincing and "spiritual" but fundamentally denying Yahweh's pronouncement of "good" on many of the pleasures of His created world.
20. "Don't you realise we are living under the New Convenant now, and keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath?"
We are living under a New Covenant not a new Torah (Law) but rather a completed, filled-up or fulfilled Torah (Law) with better promises than the Old Covenant (Heb.8:6)! In order to properly understand this distinction, please now carefully study Dr.David Perry's book, Covenants of Promise.
Question 1: Where was the Old Convenant started?
Answer 1: At Mount Sinai. (Exodus 19:11; 31:18).
Question 2: How was it ratified?
Answer 2: By the blood of oxen (Exodus 24:5-8).
Question 3: How was the New Covenant ratified?
Answer 3: By the blood of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) (Hebrews 12:14; 13:12,20).
Now read the following passages carefully:
Question 4: Are we in agreement that the New Covenant did not go into effect until the moment Christ died?
"For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives" (Heb.9:16-17, NKJV).
"Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case" (Gal.3:15, NIV).
Question 5: And that nothing can be added or taken away from this Covenant after Yah'shua (Jesus) ratified it on the cross?
Answer 5: Yes.
Question 6: Why did Sunday keeping begin?
Answer 6: In honour of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Question 7: When did Sunday keeping begin?
Answer 7: It must have been sometime after He died...at the very least maybe 2 or 3 days after He died?
Question 8: Then how could either First Day of the Biblical Week or Roman Sunday-keeping be a part of the New Covenant? The Bible states that the testator (Yah'shua the Messiah/Jesus Christ) died to confirm the New Testament (Hebrews 9:16). And that nothing could be added to this New Covenant once it was confirmed, when Yah'shua (Jesus) died (Galatians 3:15). Yah'shua (Jesus) died on the Sixth Day, so the New Testament went in force on the Sixth Day (Hebrews 9:17). Yah'shua (Jesus) was resurrected on the First Day. First Day-keeping did not exist before the New Testament was confirmed. So if First Day-keeping (let alone Roman Sunday-keeping) was added to the New Testament after Yah'shua (Jesus) died, that means it was added after the New Testament was confirmed. So, according to the Bible, it is not part of the New Testament. Is it?
Answer 8: (Please fill in the blank space below)
You now have overwhelming and conclusive proof that neither biblical First Day nor Roman Sunday (which claims to be First Day) worship cannot possible be a part of the New Covenant and must there be fraudulent. The Seventh Day Biblical Sabbath was, is, and always will be the one and only Yahweh-authorised day of rest and worship. It is as much a part of the New Covenant today as it was of the Old.
If you are now satisfied that the Seventh Day of the Biblical Week is the true Sabbath Day and Scripture-mandated day of rest and assembly for worship then to finally put this matter to rest you must be sure that this Biblical Seventh Day is not the Roman pagan 'Saturday' and can not be discovered or known using our modern Roman Catholic Gregorian calendar!
To learn more about Yahweh's system of time-keeping and how to know what the Seventh Day Sabbath really is, please read our series at The Creation Calendar where you will learn all about the CREATION SABBATH OF YAHWEH!
This page was created on 27 June 2000
Last updated on 27 January 2013
Reproduced and adapted with Thanks