I guess the best way to start answering this question is to first deduce, in a overall sense, whether the Sabbath is still active or inactive. Scriptures most definitely shows that the Sabbath-day (as noted first in Gen 2:2,3, and officially instituted in Exo 20:1-17, Deut 5:6-21) is STILL active, and has not been done away with (Matt 5:17-19) because of the fact that the law of God is "perfect" and holy (Rom 7:12). And we know, any word God makes (i.e. - laws and covenants) cannot be destroyed or done away with (Psa 111:7,8/Rom 11:29). There is also little question as to whether the Sabbath law is still active for the Jews, specifically, because of numerous Old Testament scriptures that note this as a "perpetual" covenant for them (Exo 31:13,16,17), and they still keep the Sabbath to this day in Israel.
But the next question would be, "Is that Old Testament Sabbath (which is active for the Jews) still relevant for New Testament believers also?" Answering this question depends on just what was/is the purpose of the Sabbath, and/or more specifically - the law. The intention of the Sabbath was basically for the purposes of cessation, or, perfect rest from activity. Apart from the continual burnt offerings and feasts, the day was originally in no sense one of worship or service, even though later on it was associated with worship.
The law, which the Sabbath was part of, had one primary purpose in the Old Testament - that was to set the people of Israel apart (or being Holy - Lev 19:2) from the rest of the surrounding nations (Ezek 20:12).
It was similar to the purpose of circumcision (Gen 17:10-14/Gal 5:3), being a symbol or "sign" for the Jews, which was an outward display and witness that they were the people and nation of the one and true living God - Jehovah. With that, both were "conditional covenants" of God that the children of Israel had to exercise - if they choose to be blessed (Deut 28:1-13), otherwise they would be "cut off" or cursed (Deut 27:15-26, 28:1-68/Exo 31:14).
The New Testament points out one other very important aspect of the law, that is, to show the people their sin (Gal 3:19/Rom 3:19,20). It was to be a "mirror" (Jam 1:23,24) for the soul, to reveal what a person really is (i.e. - a sinner in need of a savior.) Being not so much for the righteous, but the "lawless" (1Tim 1:8-10). This gets into the issue of just exactly when or how are we to be justified and/or made righteous before God?
B) TO BE JUSTIFIED
In the New Testament the believer is concerned mainly with one issue - justification. That is, are they justified before God to be either "saved" and/or reconciled with God (Col 1:20,21/Rom 5:1,2). If you're not justified then you are dead in your sins (Eph 2:1/Rom 7:9,10), regardless of whether you are a good person, religious, keep the law, or whatever. Because of that sin issue, the ONLY way to be reconciled with God is by the remission of sin. This was only done by the shedding of the blood of a sacrifice (Lev 17:11/Heb 9:22). In the Old Testament the sin would be revealed to the Jew, by the law, but at that point he would have to then take an animal, being a sacrificial sin offering, to the temple [and priest] in order to receive a "kopfar" (or covering - Lev 4:20-35) for his sin.
A keen observer of the previous scriptures will realize that the law could do NOTHING about the sin issue (other than "showing" the sin), and it could not, nor could it ever reconcile or "justify" that person with God (Rom 8:3).
The law could never then, make a person perfect (Heb 7:8, 10:1) or righteous before God (Rom 3:10). They HAD to take that all important "next step" - reconciliation by atonement.
The apostle Paul noted that no flesh would be justified by the law (Rom 3:20), so what is the answer then? Throughout the New Testament it points out that there is ONLY one way to reconcile (Eph 2:16/Col 1:21), be justified (Gal 2:16,17/Tit 3:7), and be made righteous (1Joh 2:29/Rom 3:22) before God - that is in Christ Jesus.
It's not too difficult to agree and recognize that the Old Testament system of sacrifice and ritualistic offerings were indeed "changed" or done away with. This is because we can plainly see that Jesus was the lamb of God (Joh 1:36), being the ultimate (once for all) sacrifice of God (Heb 9:11-28) his blood being shed for us (Luk 22:20, etc.).
On the other hand, it is very hard to see that the perfect word and commands of God could actually be changed. Jesus says (Matt 5:18) that they didn't change (in the sense of being "eliminated" [key concept] or done away with), so we'll go on the premise that the law did not change - therein lies the problem.
So the question then comes to mind that "if" the law is perfect (which it is), and has not changed, then what is the purpose of the law for the "New Testament believer?", or more appropriately - what exactly "happened" to the law when the New Testament came along?
The answer to that question is, plainly - Jesus Christ.
C) A SPIRITUAL PARADIGM SHIFT
The very day that Jesus Christ was born (more appropriately, when he died), something "happened" to the old law that "altered" its very job and purpose. To understand this better I'd like you to imagine a theatrical stage where the law is the main character on the platform. The law has been the main star and character (from God) on that stage throughout the Old Testament. Then there is a scene, titled - "the New Testament", where Jesus comes on the set and takes "front stage" as the main character and actor of the play. The law is still on the stage (in a "minor" role), but it is Jesus who is now the primary focus and motivation. He is the premier "star" over the understudy, who is the law.
This concept is further amplified by the apostle Johns' statement (Joh 1:14) - "the 'law' came through Moses, but (showing a contrast) 'grace and mercy' came through Jesus Christ" (also reiterated by Paul in Rom 6:14 and Heb 7:12.) There is no doubt that scriptures confirm that Jesus is greater than Moses (Heb 3:1-6), and since He is God there's also no doubt that He would have the authority to "alter" the dictates of the law.
At this point most Law keepers would probably come back with scripture that would note that God not only doesn't change, He doesn't even "alter" His word. That scripture is in Psa 89:34, which notes, "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." (KJV)
This scripture by itself would be very formidable, except for the fact of the original Hebrew language. The original word used there, "shanah" translates into anything from meaning: pervert, repeat, again, double, disguise, etc. The literal word translates into a meaning to "fold" or "duplicate." There is no argument from the Author over the clear fact that you CANNOT "duplicate" the word of God.
But God could certainly "alter" His word in another sense. How?, You may ask, did Jesus alter the dictates of the law without changing it? (Matt 5:18)
Jesus accomplished this tremendous feat by "IMPROVING" on the law. In other words, Christ did something that the law never could do (Rom 8:3), that is, Jesus justified and perfected us before God, thereby saving us from sin and death. He came in the flesh (John 1:14) to die on the cross for our sins (becoming a "sin offering") to make a perfect reconciliation with God that was impossible before on an individual level (with the law.)
Why?, because the law is a perfect instrument (Psa 19:8,18:30) that the Jews, nor ANY man, could ever keep (Acts 15:10/John 7:19/Jer 31:32/Heb 8:8,9, etc.)
Our own righteousness certainly couldn't do it (Job 15:16/Isa 64:6). You'd HAVE to be perfect (1Pet 1:19) to keep the law, and only Jesus could attain to that task (Heb 4:15/2Cor 5:21). Many Law keepers have attempted to separate the law by claiming that the "law of Moses" and the "law of God" are different (the "law of Moses" being the ceremonial law, and the "law of God" being the ten commandments.) A majority of scripture would not completely support this theory, and this will be covered more in the report later. A "hint" would be if you studied Nehemiah chapter eight (8) in context, concentrating on verses #1 and 8 (You'll see that there is NO difference.)
Then there is the clear reference by Paul (Gal 4:24) were he ties "the law" directly to the ten commandments. This scripture makes a direct reference to "the law" (in vs. 21), then links the law to the covenant given on Mount Sinai (vs 24, 25).
There is no question that the covenant (or law) given on Mount Sinai was the very ten (10) commandments. This being the case, then there can be no doubt as to what the law means throughout Galatians (and a majority of Pauls writings), and that there is no substantiation to Law keepers theory to a separation in the law, as it is spoken of in context.
But even "if" a separation were true, it would STILL be impossible for imperfect man to keep any of Gods PERFECT law. It's comparable to trying to climb a steep mountain.
If you've ever attempted to mountain climb then you know first hand that it is very hard, strenuous, grueling, and painful. You'd also have to be perfect, otherwise you could die if you were to slip and fall (and it only takes one - James 2:10).
The "mountain" that I'm speaking of is the strict requirements and dictates of the law (and the curse, wrath, and death associated with it - Deut 27:26/Gal 3:10,13/Rom 4:15.) Trying to keep the law is like attempting to climb Mt. Everest everyday.
Humanity's attempts would be like a newborn baby trying to climb Everest (because of our sinfulness), as compared to Jesus (who was perfect), the expert mountaineer who could ONLY conquer that type of Everest. It is a "spiritual" Everest that only he (Jesus) could climb for us all. Even Paul said he himself was "blameless" in keeping the law (Phil 3:6), but counted it ALL as worthless rubbish as compared to what Jesus accomplished (Phil 3:8).
God has said in His word that if you even "attempt" to climb His mountain (the law), and cannot reach the top, then the penalty is eternal death (Deut 27:26/ Ezek 18:4/Rom 6:23).
Because of the improbability of keeping the law many scholar's believe that Jesus simplified the law down into two (2) mere commandments (Mat 22:37-40), for simplicity, and so that we would have less to concentrate on, or to mess up. Did not our Lord say that, "ALL the law and Prophets hang on the two? (vs. 40)" - (with Paul strongly reiterating this in Gal 5:14 ["ALL" emphasized again]). But many people still have a problem keeping even those two commandments!
So when Jesus came on the scene the law was enhanced or improved on (being a "New" law) in the area that it was weak in the Old Testament (Rom 8:3/Heb 7:18), that is - Salvation and Reconciliation, by faith (without which, there is damnation and NO HOPE.)
This point is strongly emphasized in Hebrews (Heb 7:5-28) where it states that Jesus was our new great High Priest (according to the line of Melchizedek) who altered the Old covenant by his sacrificial blood and priestly duties (vs. 12)
Jesus also changed its purpose (not its substance) from one of condemnation and judgment (Heb 10:27/Rom 4:15; 1:32/2Cor 3:9) to a "sign" that points to him, also as a "mirror" that shows us our sins (Jam 1:23), and as a "tutor" (Gal 3:24) that teaches us that we desperately need a savior (Phi 3:20/1Tim 4:10).
Then again, even this point (conviction of sin - John 16:8) was improved on, because from the moment that Jesus died and arose, God initiated His new covenant where He would write His law on our hearts (Heb 8:10) and have the Holy Spirit as an "active" omnipresent declaration of the law and (more importantly) Christ (John 16:8).
This is even more strongly phrased by Paul when he asserts that "if" we are in Christ then the old law is not relevant or valid (Rom 10:4) - that is, when the other "law" of faith, grace, and the Spirit kicks in (Rom 8:2; 3:27,28) - see section O.
And again in 2Cor 3:3 Paul states, "you are manifestly an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart."(NKJV)
Here AGAIN, Paul makes the clear distinction between the old law (on stone tablets) and the new law (of the Spirit, grace and faith - through Christ.)
The coup de grace of this issue comes from Heb 8:1-28, were it states (vs. 13), "In that He (God) says, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away."
Meaning, the old law being obsolete, not in a sense of being annulled but where the new brings something better (Heb 7:22) - Jesus. The vanishing away is speaking of a time in the future when there will no longer be a need for the law because there will no longer be sin (Rev 21:2-8). These last scriptures are strong enough in and of themselves to prove the point that God has given something "beyond" and above the law.
The law is certainly a Masterpiece from our perspective, but the Master could also certainly improve on his original work if He wanted to. This section has most definitely shown that this IMPROVEMENT is Christ. Section K will further prove (from scripture) that there is indeed something (even besides Jesus) that is better, greater, and more powerful than the law.
Mountain Illustration >>>>>>>>
D) JESUS - LORD OF THE SABBATH
Jesus also shows us by his continual challenges of the Sabbath throughout the New Testament that he is indeed the Lord of it (Mat 12:8/Mar 2:28), and thereby revealing the true intention of it.
That is, that the Sabbath was made for men and NOT man for the Sabbath (Mar 2:27) - making man preeminent. In other words, the Sabbath is/was not to "rule" over or to shackle man. That the dedication, holiness, and worship of God is tantamount to ALL things (specifically, to Jesus.)
Paul (again) expounds on this by noting that the Sabbath is a shadow (Col 2:17) of the true goal and substance, which is Christ (that Christ is ALL in ALL - Eph 1:23/Col 3:11). Since Jesus is our all and all, he is also our rest (Mat 11:28) where we come to him to receive spiritual blessings, refreshment, and strength (1Pet 5:10/Eph 3:16) in order to do all things (Phil 4:13) through him.
This cannot be overemphasized since one of the key elements of the Sabbath law was the "rest" portion. If the spiritual is more relevant than the physical then it would make sense that Jesus (who has given us all spiritual gifts - Eph 4:7,8) would also be our rest which could not be received by other means (Heb 4:8). But God, knowing our weak and limited mindedness, has also allowed us to have the "liberty" to observe a particular day - if a person so wished (see section I.)
Jesus did make reference to the commandments, and listed some for the young ruler (Mat 19:18,19). The question that would arise at this juncture is, "if Jesus was so concerned with the Sabbath specifically, in making it 'preeminent', then why did he not stress it when he had the chance?"
The logical deduction would be that it was not high on his list. Why?, because it was, again, created (and "made") like us. Jesus was more concerned with the "weightier" matters of the law: justice, mercy and faith (Matt 23:23). If the 10 Commandments were weightier then he would have surly mentioned it. Then some might say that it was high on his agenda because he kept the Sabbath day himself (Luk 4:31/Mar 1:21). But the answer to that would obviously be that since Jesus was a good Jewish boy, he was required (as a Jew - see first section [A]) to keep the Sabbath.
Many Law keepers will say that Jesus was proclaiming that he was Lord of the Sabbath to affirm the Sabbath. A logical analysis of scriptures would not support this theory. That's because it was at times when the Pharisees were criticizing Jesus for his supposed breaking of the law (Meaning, if Jesus was keeping the law, as per their standard, then he would not had made them angry.)
The key was not that a person kept the Sabbath. The Pharisees were very good at this and doing many other observances of the law, and Jesus still chided them (Matt 15:1-20). The key is what's in the heart (vs. 10-20), and this is the measure that God will judge primarily on (Jer 11:20/1 Sam 16:7/Psa 7:9), not so much the law. This will be discussed in more detail in up-coming sections.
Lastly, the concept of the heart being foremost is also seen in Old Testament examples (Isa 1:11-15), when the Lord asserts that He was sick of the peoples', "vain" sacrifices" and "Sabbath celebrations" (vs. 13), when they had not dealt sufficiently with the sin issue (i.e. - they were hypocrites.)
God desires for His people to worship Him not with rituals, vain religion, or works (Col 2:20-23) - but more so in spirit and truth (John 4:24), and with a humble and contrite heart (Isa 57:15/Psa 51:17).
One noted Sabbatarian author, S.O. Martin, states the usual and common thinking of most Law keepers. He argues from his writings with scriptures (specifically - Isa 66:23 and 56:2,6,7) noting that ALL men should still observe the Sabbath. Isaiah 66:23 seems to be the strongest of the two, making a very powerful argument for Sabbath worship. But when a one is reading the Bible then a serious analysis will not be limited to just one lone verse in a chapter. In other words, you'd read the latter and prior verses to see a complete picture of what it's saying (called - reading in "context".)
In the verse before (Isa 66:22), it notes, "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain."(NKJV) Besides this verse dealing in some way with the "Levites" (e.g. -"your seed" and "name"), it is also plainly speaking of a "future" event, where a "new heaven and a new earth will be present (reference Rev 21:1).
The latter verse backs this up when it notes, (Isa 66:24) "And they shall go forth (at this time), and look upon the carcass's of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."(KJV) When is this event?, again, in Rev 19:11-21 (more specifically, Jesus own words - Mar 9:44-48, which is directly referring to this event) where it clearly records the triumphant RETURN OF JESUS. The question is, "has Jesus returned yet?"
The next scripture (Isa 56:2,6,7) is of the same result (remember "context"); if you will review these scriptures you'll also notice that "burnt offerings" and "sacrifices" (vs. 7) are required at this time. That being the case (this scripture being a "proof" for Gentile Sabbath keeping), then will Sabbatarian's admit that we're also required (today) to slay animals as a offering for our sins, as these scriptures note?
Will they also admit that we should go to "His House" ( the temple) at His "holy mountain" in Jerusalem? If a person were to believe this then I would challenge them to read the book of Hebrews, which would utterly and immediately destroy this ideology.
This example of flawed thinking reminds me of an illustration, were a wise man was describing a perfect 14 Karat golden ten (10) link chain. The chain was perfect in every way, form, and structure; each link being perfect in balance and strength. But then one day an apprentice blacksmith came along and accidentally broke the fourth (4th) link. He tried to fix the chain by placing a much larger link in the place of the old (the only spare he could find), but it was never the same. It was still a chain, but it was an awkward, distorted, and unsightly facsimile of the old.
What the apprentice did not know was that the Master blacksmith had seen him break the chain, and had secretly come along later to make a newer improved (and even stronger) 24 Karat gold chain. The Master melted down the whole original chain and "reformed" it into one that required only two links.
The illustration is reminiscent of old and present day Law keeper (the apprentice) who've tried and failed miserably in fixing a perfect law (chain), which is the old law. They even try to make the fourth link a more important aspect out of (and apart from) all the other links (or commandments) - logic dictating that they are ALL holy and deserving of attention. But in the end, the Master (Jesus) made a much more precious and powerful two (2) link chain that only God could form - with love at the foundation and forefront (1Cor 13:13/1Joh 4:7-21) - Which chain will you choose?!?
Warped Chain Illustration >>>>>>>>>>>
E) DO WE JUDGE IN WHICH "DAY" & DOES "HOLINESS" = "WORSHIP" ?
One of the main rebuttals to Saturday keeping that Sunday observing Christian's will give is from Colossians 2:16, where it notes:
Therefore let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths. (NKJV)
Sabbatarian's and Law keepers will counter that this scripture is only speaking of the numerous additional or "extra" Sabbaths which were given. These (supposedly) are the many "non-commandment" Sabbaths that don't have the same power and authority as was the one given directly - written by the finger of God. So these "other" Sabbath's are, of course (as they would claim), not the same as the individual fourth commandment Sabbath; the one that was given in the "law of God" (the tablets) verses the "law of Moses," which are primarily "ceremonial." They will claim that the ceremonial link will be in fact that the terms "festival" and "new moon" are in this scripture.
Two interrelated issues will be covered in this section then. Does this scripture really relate to only "ceremonial" Sabbaths? (which would mean that Sunday keepers have no leg to stand on), or does it apply to ALL Sabbaths (which would mean Sabbatarian's are seriously in error.) In order to fully comprehend this issue we need to understand precisely what the "Sabbath" is, and its true purpose and meaning. Many Jews, Law keepers, and/or Sabbatarian's will claim that the Sabbath is "a day", more specifically, the seventh day - the one true day (as per the ten commandments) that men ought to keep holy and worship on. That the seventh day is the day that "worship" and "holiness" are directly related (as per the commandments), as seen in the fourth commandment statement, "...... keep it holy" (Exo 20:8/Deut 5:12).
The premise will be studied then as to whether "holiness" and "worship" are either equally related, or, have a direct correlation. This issue will be important because it will answer many questions, and will tie into the next few sections. In these next sections we will investigate what exactly is: worship, holiness (as pertains to the law), and finally leading into the area of "which" day it is that is really the true day of worship. This is one of the key concepts of this report because the two (2) main camps believe that you should either worship on Saturday, or on Sunday. So we'll now ask the question of this section, "are 'holiness' and 'worship' equal with one another." Or, another way that this could be asked is, "anytime you worship God, does this act (of worship) make you holy?" Let us first understand what the term "worship" means.
The word for worship is found in three (3) different words [in Hebrew] in the Old Testament, and with six (6) words in the New Testament [in Greek]. The words in the Old are: shachah, rbad, and cegid. The words in the New are: proshuneo, dexa, theosehes, latreuo, sebomai, and selazomai (proshuneo being the most common.) Whether in the Old or New Testaments, worship is a word that means to pay homage, to prostrate before your god, or to give honor to someone (or something) deemed higher than yourself. The act of worship is usually associated with prayer. All throughout the scriptures, the act of worship was initiated in may different ways and forms. It was also done in many areas, and by many different people (Jew and Gentile). In fact, scripture notes that from Noah to the present religions, worship was and is a common and regular everyday practice. The point of this being, that worship (overall) was never tied in any way to a particular people, time, place, etc. Later on, God would directly tie worship to His tabernacle or temple (Psa 132:7) for His people, and more specifically to the temple in Jerusalem (1Kin 8:29/Psa 5:7). But even then, a person could still worship and pay homage to God at any time that they felt inclined.
The other issue is that of holiness, or to keep one (or something) holy. The question might then be posed about whether "worship" and "holiness" are the one-in-the-same. Scriptures would indicate that they are not (in a direct way.) But they can also have some association, but only in an indirect way. In other words, you don't have to be holy necessarily to worship, nor do you have to worship in order to be holy. For example, the heathens would "worship" their pagan gods, but that wouldn't make them holy before Jehovah God - but an abomination (so "worship" is a generic term, and could mean "worship" of any thing or deity.) Then again, the Pharisees of Jesus day were considered very holy, but their worship unto God was considered worthless (Matt 15:3-9) in His sight.
One the other hand, the term holy (or holiness) means to keep or be pure, and/or to separate or "keep apart" from something else. When God says that He is holy, He is communicating that He is above and separate from the sin of mankind (Lev 19:2/Isa 6:3, etc.) When we are called to be holy (Matt 5:48), then God is calling us to be apart from the rest of sinful mankind. Not that we're "sinless," but that we won't blatantly do the same and similar sinful task that the rest of the world is doing. There is one more consideration when we think about holiness. That is, not only can a person be called to holiness but tangible items can be deemed "holy." (as can be seen with the holy implements of the tabernacle and temple [Exo 30:26-29, 40:9-11])
Lastly, we can see that not only can items be deemed holy, but even "time" or occasions can be called holy. This is the case with the Sabbath day commandment. God called the Israelites to "set aside" or to keep the seventh day holy. The scriptures clearly indicate that the act of keeping the Sabbath holy was to separate it for "rest", or not do any kind of work on this day. Was there any "worship" as part of the "resting" festivities? That might have been the case since this was a day you could bring sacrifices to the temple, but there is no "specific" reference in scriptures (Old or New) that would verify that the you had to worship specifically or only on the Sabbath.
What is this is leading to, and why this issue is so important, is because of the main argument Sabbatarian organizations give to Sunday keepers about worship on a particular day. They will say that because of the fact that God made the Sabbath "holy" then this necessitates "worship" on that day. In other words, Sabbatarian's make a DIRECT link to the holiness command and worship observances. As was stated in the beginning of this section, the scripture in Colossians 2:16 clearly notes that no one should judge in regards to Sabbaths. Sabbatarian's will (again) counter that this scripture is not referring to a regular Sabbath. There over fourteen scriptures throughout the whole Bible that would dispute this theory. Two scriptures in particular (Isa 66:23 and Ezek 46:3) note a direct link between "New moon" and "Sabbaths." The word for "Sabbath" in those scriptures is of the SAME Hebrew word (shabbath) that is in the ten commandments (and most other references in the Old Testament dealing with the fourth commandment) - isn't that strange! The scriptures are also the only two (2) in the Bible that make a reference to both the Sabbath and worship. With that in mind, Sabbatarian's will have to decide whether to drop the worship link, or, they'll have to accept the fact that Colossians 2:16 is speaking of the fourth commandment Sabbath, and would thereby have to stop judging others about non-Sabbath keeping.
We've already seen by scriptures (and common sense) that "holiness" is not necessarily tied to "worship." We will further cover this issue in the next section, were we will see (once and for all) which day we should worship on (Saturday, Sunday, or whatever). Scriptures most definitely and clearly reveal (by God Himself) at which time we should worship. Both sides should carefully follow along with the scripture references to see (for themselves) as to when we really should worship God.
F) WORSHIP - WHICH DAY?
So if the Sabbath is for rest primarily, and law not certain anyway, then on which day do we worship? There might still be the question of "worship" as part of the Sabbath - "Surly we should still worship on the Sabbath since the Lord says to keep it holy, and the Jews still hallow the 7th day", one might steadfastly proclaim (as seen in the last section.)
Some might even stretch this point by using the theology that we are now the "spiritual" Israel (so must keep the law), or that it's better than Sunday because of the fact that it was a "manmade" change. But we're all aware from Jesus encounter with Satan, where just because something has a small "element" of truth doesn't make it totally true.
As I pointed out in prior sections, the issue IS NOT about the "change" from Saturday to Sunday (this is true, and has already been established as a valid fact in history) - but rather, is it (the "day") relevant at all!?! In other words, does it really matter if we observe or worship on a particular day? If we establish that fact, then it WON'T matter whether the day was changed or not! (See next section also.)
First off, to say that we (present Christians) are spiritual Jews, so that hereditary Jews are exempt or voided by God because of their rejection of Christ is to avoid the blatantly obvious, and numerously unmistakable scriptures, Old and New Testament (Jer 46:28,31:37/Psa 94:14/Rom 11:1-36) that would note otherwise.
Many Sunday keepers would answer the second objection (of the Sunday change) by noting that patterns of the apostles (specifically, Paul - 1Cor 16:2) which would dictate the change to Sunday.
The Author would take a slightly different (and much more powerful) approach - that is, the words of Jesus himself to prove the point of which day to (present Christian's) worship on - if any.
Jesus points out the answer to this question in a very interesting dialog with the woman at the well (John 4:7-24). The woman noted, "Our father's worshipped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." (NKJV)
The woman acknowledges that the Jews worship (on the 7th day) in Jerusalem, because God promised He would honor Sabbath worshipping Jews who would worship towards (1Kin 8:30/2Chron 20:9) the location where He placed His name. So not only was it the "day" but it was also the "place."
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father." (NKJV)
Jesus asserts that the "HOUR IS COMING, AND NOW IS that true worshipers of God (emphasized in vs. 23) will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him" (NKJV) - (and reiterated in vs. 24.)
What these scriptures are clearing emphasizing is a time (which most believe is the ascension of Jesus into heaven, and the coming of the Holy Spirit - as seen in vs. 23) when there will be NO LIMIT set (either in a "place", "day", etc., etc.) on worshipping the Father, because the Holy Spirit (who is limitless) will assist believers to worship. This can be clearly seen and verified by the continual context throughout the New Testament (Rom 8:26/Eph 6:18/Jude 1:20/etc.)
Yes, the Sabbath (and the law) is holy - but the infinite, awesome Holy Spirit is much more "Holy" (2Cor 3:9) - which will be explained further in section J. In other words, looking at the complete picture, it does not matter on what day, or, in what place we worship because, if done in the Spirit, we'll be worshipping God in spirit (which He is [vs. 24].)
This would also indicate Gods desire to "unshackle" the limits of worship (as it was in the Old) to an everyday 24 hour (i.e. - continual) basis, where a person would place Him in the highest position (Mat 22:37/Col 3:2) in their life, even above spouse or family members (Mat 10:37/Luk 14:26) whom you would surely give daily attention.
So the answer to the question, "which day" would be - EVERYDAY, and at ALL times.
So the more relevant question should be, "Are you a true worshiper of God? (John 4:23)" - if so, then it will not matter what day!
G) WHAT'S IN A DAY?
Continuing on from the last section of "which day", I'd like to pose the question, "What's in a day?" In other words, does a "day" really make a difference, and/or is it that significant?
Let us now look at exactly what a day is. It is a measurement of time, a 24 hour period in which man can track the rising of the sun and moon, as it (the earth) rotates around the orbit of the sun. It is a finite display of the time domain in which man lives in the time line.
God, on the other hand, lives "outside" the time domain in a infinite, unlimited realm in which there are no constrains (Isa 57:15). When we look at time, as in our minutes, hours and days, we are looking at a very small window in the overall spectrum of what we call the universe.
So when one concentrates on a "day" (the limited) they're in all actually not focusing on the spiritual (the unlimited - Col 3:2), but on the finite. We are actually displaying "tunnel vision" on a finite measurement of time, which is useless as compared and viewed as to the limitless Spirit of God.
God cannot be measured in seconds, minutes, or in a "day". There will even be a point in the future when we will reign with God in a true (physical) timeless state. Where God will dwell with us, and there will be no sun or moon (i.e. - measurements of time, or even "days"), because God will be our light (Rev 21:23). When we look at the fact that God dwells within us now, He is giving us an eternal "piece" of Him, where we should recognize more the spiritual over the natural (time being a finite creation of God.)
So when we say that we are in the Spirit (Phil 3:3/1Pet 4:6/Gal 5:16), or worshipping in the Spirit (Eph 6:18) then we are saying that we're FAR beyond a "time measurement" (of any DAY). We are much higher (in the spiritual - Col 3:1,2) than the level of human thinking which says that we have to limit ourselves to a time.
Of course, God will certainly give us the choice to chose to worship Him on a certain "day" as Paul notes (Rom 14:5), but Paul also asserts that we should desire a "better" gift (1Cor 12:31) - and what is more better than the Holy Spirit of God? In the Old law God gave the Jews a "day" until something better could be given (Jesus and the Spirit) in the New.
Many Sabbatarian's would still loudly proclaim "we should keep it [Sabbath] holy!, as the commandments say! (Exo 20:8)" Many Christians would state they have a hard enough time keeping themselves holy (Matt 5:48/1Pet 1:16) let alone some day. The Author is in this crowd, where I'd rather have the Holy Spirit make me holy (Phil 1:6/1Thes 5:24/2Thes 3:3) than I "try" to keep something holy (remember the mountain illustration earlier.) Then again, keeping something "holy" (as relates to worship) is another entirely different and separate issue (as noted in the prior section.)
I recall an incident with a Sabbatarian where he vigorously proclaimed (about the Sabbath) in a loud voice, "it's the day, the day, the day!" I then responded to him, "it's the Spirit, the Spirit, the Spirit!"(and Christ) But this is similar to the Jewish thinking in Jeremiahs' day, when they proclaimed, "The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these" - (God even referring to this saying as "lying words"- Jer 7:4.) Where they trusted in the "temple" rather than the God who the temple represented.
But is it any different today?, where many Sabbatarian's may fanatically and blindly trust in "a day" rather than, or in concert with, the creator - Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (for a further illustration of this see the next section.)
So in summary, the key point of this section is to emphasize that we have the choice (i.e. - time) when we ought to worship, and at any time we wish. Where we are unshackled to a "clock", and can worship our God (whom we love) at anytime we may feel inclined.
Think about this, if you were to receive a blessing from God on Tuesday, would you wait all the way until, or up to Saturday or Sunday, to worship and praise Him? Of course not!
So please unchain your mind and thinking from this moment to think on the "eternal." Unlock your spirit to a state of loving and worshipping (again, John 4:23) the Lord in Spirit and in truth, recognizing that you have an unlimited God dwelling within you (1Cor 6:19) who gives you the gift of His infinite perspective.
Unshackle yourself - Today!
Hypnotized man glaring a an "Saturday" medallion Illustration >>>>>>>>
H) KISSING THE SHADOW - AN EXAMPLE IN FUTILITY
I would like you to take a moment to consider an illustration. Using your imagination, say that you could go back in time to visit Jesus. You see Jesus from afar, and you run to meet him. But instead of greeting him with love and maybe a hug, you instead stop a few feet short of him, falling down to the ground, and begin "kissing" his SHADOW. My question is, "might you think the people around (the apostles, disciples, etc.) would think you were a little crazy! - kissing the dirt!"
The thought seems beyond comprehension or thinking, and something you would never do (seeing that you love him), but in fact, that is exactly what many people are doing today. How, you may ask?, well, the scriptures note (Col 2:17, and verified in Heb 10:1) that the "Sabbath" is only a SHADOW - but the substance, significance, essence and very core of God is in Christ.
Meaning, Gods primary and central emphasis and concern (in the New) is to communicate Christ (not the law), because Christ is His living Son (verses a "written" document - Rom 7:6.) Could you imagine comparing your own child or loved one to a "written" document?
Sure the document is important, and may have relevant things to say, but YOUR SON would be a thousand times more important and relevant than that piece of paper. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a "thousand" words.
A picture is also worth MUCH more than a written document. Well, Jesus Christ is Gods LIVING picture, who lived and taught the life that we should live (and one we NEVER could live.)
So what do we accomplish when we follow, esteem, give credit, or pay more attention to the Law verses the Son - Jesus. We are KISSING only the SHADOW of JESUS - what a vain thing! We are concerned more with "works" (like Martha [Luke 10:38-42]), verses sitting at the feet of the Master. Should this thing be?, that we love or esteem the paper over, or, even "equal" to the person who wrote on the paper? (or stone)
If Paul were alive today, I'm 100% sure that he'd agree and say, "God forbid!" If you don't think so then I'd challenge you to thoroughly read the book of Galatians (the Law-vs-Grace book.)
Shadow kissing Illustration >>>>>>>>
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