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By John Davis
There isn’t one verse of Scripture in any of Paul’s letters that states categorically that the church and the Christian are to obey and keep the ‘Saturday Sabbath’, not one.
Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. Romans 14v4-6.
It is a noteworthy fact that the whole of the ‘Ten Commandments’ (Exod 20v1-17) are reaffirmed in the New Testament, except the fourth commandment regarding the Sabbath (Eph 6v1+2, Rom 13v9, 1 Cor 10v14...). There isn’t one verse of Scripture in any of Paul’s letters that states categorically that the church and the Christian are to obey and keep the ‘Saturday Sabbath’, not one.
John 1v17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus
Acts 13v39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which
ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Rom 6v14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the
law, but under grace.
Gal 3v25 – The Christian is no longer under the law – Rom 6v4, Gal 2v20, Rom
6v8-16, Col 2v14, Gal 5v4, Gal 3v11, Rom 10v4, Gal 2v16.
I’ve compiled this booklet because I’ve been asked by many Christians about the Sabbath, and whether we should ‘keep it’ or not, as well as seeing many Seventh Day Adventists fall into the trap of ‘Sabbath keeping’ as part of their salvation (Eph 2v8+9). No ‘work’ will ever save you, or get you to Heaven. No matter what you do, or how hard you work, you can never earn your salvation, get that! Only by putting your faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor 15v1-4), will save you, His blood
atonement (Rom 5v9).
The answer to understanding all Biblical doctrine is found in this verse…
2 Tim 2v15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Rightly divide or you’ll wrongly join!
Let us spend a few moments with a subject that has caused a lot of confusion among the cults and even among "Bible Believing" Christians… the Sabbath. Is it Saturday or Sunday? Should we ‘keep’ it? (For a deeper study on the Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) please read my book entitled The Christian Soldier’s Battle Notes volume one pages 150-152).
To get the most out of this Bible study, you must look up every verse in a King
James Bible (not to be confused with the NKJV).
The Sabbath was a Jewish ‘ceremony’ given as a ‘sign’ to Israel (Ezek 20v20). It has nothing to do with the Body of Christ, the Church, and is certainly not needed to be kept by us Christians. (Rom 10v4, John 1v17, Gal 5v4, Gal 2v16, Gal 3v11+13).
It’s interesting that the Sabbath was never instigated or observed anytime throughout the book of Genesis. After reading Gen 2v2+3 it’s amazing that God never mentioned it to anyone in the entire book there afterwards don’t you think? God never mentioned the Sabbath one time in 2500 years from Gen 3 to Exod 11, as none of these people kept it. God didn’t reveal the Sabbath to anyone until 2500 years after the fall. So why on earth do some Christians keep trying to get you to observe and keep the Sabbath? Because they can’t rightly divide the Scriptures (2 Tim 2v15) and therefore apply verses that are not intended or aimed at the Body of Christ. The Bible is written and directed to three ‘groups’ of people… the Jew, the Gentile, and the Christian (1 Cor 10v32, 1 Cor 12v13, Gal 3v28). Not every verse in the Scriptures is written and directed TO YOU. It could be directed to a Jew, or a Gentile or a Christian… or maybe all three, but if you try to apply every verse just to yourself,
you’ll take a truth out of context, and truth ‘misplaced’ is heresy. Remember, a text taken out of context becomes a pretext. In other words, it’s not the whole truth understood in context. It’s what we want it to say, and how we want to say it. ... It’s us ‘selling’, ‘projecting’ it onto others as to what we want them to hear, calling it the whole truth. Do not take verses out of context, this is what cults do to teach their heresies.
It’s also very interesting that Paul never tells any Christian, not once, to observe or keep the Sabbath (Rom 13v8+9, Col 2v16). When the SDA turn you to Luke 23v56 to try to prove their heresy, just remind them that there are no Christians in Luke 23. Every Jewish disciple (there’s that Jew again) in Luke 23 is an Old Testament, law-abiding, temple-attending (Acts 3v1), pork-abstaining, circumcised, bearded Jew. The word ‘Christian’ is a reference to Gentile disciples outside the land of Palestine (Acts 11v26), and the term ‘Christian’ doesn’t even show up in the Scriptures until the Gospel has gone outside Jewish territory (Acts 1v8). There is not one born-again believer placed into the Body of Christ, the Church, (Eph 1+2, John 3, 1 Cor 12) by the Holy Spirit anywhere in the book of Luke.
The Sabbath is a ‘sign’ – Ezek 20v20. The Jewish nation began with ‘signs’ - Exod 4v28-30. The ‘signs’ begin with Moses (Exod 4v8), so keeping the Sabbath is revealed to Moses (Neh 9v13+14). It was Moses who wrote Gen 2v2+3, so no one from Adam to Moses had any idea of keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath is Jewish. Nowhere in the New Testament is the Christian told to keep the Sabbath. The Gentiles who will keep the Sabbath in the Millennium (Isa 56v6) and after Rev 20 (Isa 66v22+23) are not Christians, and not part of the Body of Christ. When the SDA quotes Isa 56v6+7 to prove that a Gentile Christian in the Church Age should keep the Jewish Sabbath, he completely ignores God’s ‘house’ in the passage, as it is the Temple at Jerusalem (Isa 2v2+3). Don’t try to claim a verse that is directed to the Jew.
As Ruckman says ‘Once you refuse to believe that the Sabbath was a ceremonial observance given to Israel as a ‘sign’ by Moses in 1500 B.C. (and he was the author of Genesis) you force the born-again Christian back under the Mosaic Law’. In the Old Testament (OT) if you broke the Sabbath you were stoned to death – Num 15v32-36. All SDAs are hypocrites as they travel on the Sabbath (Acts 1v12, Exod 16v29), they cook on the Sabbath (Exod 35v3), and some ‘work’ on the Sabbath (Num 15v33). Why aren’t they stoned?
The Law, the Ten Commandments, keeping the Sabbath (Saturday) and water baptism, have absolutely NOTHING to do with New Testament salvation – John 1v17, Acts 13v39, Rom 6v14, Gal 3v13, Titus 3v5. The Sabbath was never given to the Gentiles or the Church (Exod 31v13, Ezek 20v12+19-21).
Larkin writing in 1920 regarding ‘the Sabbath’… ‘It is now in abeyance (a state of temporary disuse or suspension) as foretold in Hosea 2v11. It is to be resumed when the Jews are nationally restored to their own land – Isa 66v23, Ezek 44v24, Ezek 46v1-3’. The ‘Sabbath Day’ is part of the law and is not binding on the Christian (Gal 3v10, Rom 6v4, Gal 4v9-11, Col 2v16).
After the Resurrection, Christ and His disciples never met on the Sabbath, but on the ‘First Day’ of the week – John 20v1+19, Acts 20v7, 1 Cor 16v2. It is true that they went into the Jewish Synagogues on the Sabbath, but not to worship, only to preach the Gospel. The ‘First Day’ of the week is the day to be observed for rest and worship by the Christian Church. It is prefigured in the OT as the ‘eighth day’ or the ‘day after the Sabbath’ (Lev 23v10+11).
What did that ‘first fruits’ typify? Read 1 Cor 15v20. When did Christ rise from the dead and become the ‘first fruits’? Not on the Sabbath, for He lay dead in the tomb on that day, but on the ‘first day’ of the week, on the ‘morrow after the Sabbath’. The Jewish Sabbath links man with the old dispensation, under the old covenant, the ‘first day of the week’ links man with the new dispensation,under the new covenant.
As previously stated, the whole Ten Commandments (Exod 20v1-17) are reaffirmed in the NT, except the 4th regarding the Sabbath. Rom 13v8-10, Eph 6v1+2, Jam 5v12, 1 John 5v21. The Christian is not told to keep the Sabbath, therefore we don’t.
Extra notes that will help you in your own Bible study…
No-one from Genesis to Malachi had anything more for a blood atonement and redemption, than the blood of bulls and goats (Heb 10v4). No-one in the Old Testament (OT) was cleared of their sins, even after their sins were forgiven (Exod 34v7) and righteousness was imputed to them (Rom 4v1-6). No-one in the OT was placed into the Body of Christ. No-one in the OT was spiritually circumcised; none of them were born again, and none of them went to the
third Heaven when they died (2 Cor 12v1-4). OT and NT salvation are certainly not identical. Not one man in the OT had his sins paid for permanently, or was redeemed (Rom 3v24, Heb 9v24), until after Mat 27. Up until Mat 27v50 everything is standing doctrinally in the OT. The NT is not even instituted until Mat 26v28, and even then, it was not in effect, for it cannot come into effectuntil the death of the testator (Heb 9v15-17). Technically, Mat 1-27, Mark 1-15, Luke 1-23, John 1-19 are in the OT. Note… everyone in those passages is under the OT Jewish law and commandments, as given to Moses. Not one ‘Christian’ is anywhere to be found in the above verses/chapters of the Gospels. Not one‘Christian’ was found on earth during Christ’s lifetime or even in the first 10 chapters of Acts. The early Christians in the Scriptures are nowhere in evidence until Acts 11v26 and then none of them are like any disciple of Christ before Acts 2. Christians are converted Gentiles who do not attend the temple (Acts 3v1), are not circumcised (all the apostles were), and they do not observe the
Jewish Sabbath. (Rom 10v4). Be very careful quoting Scripture, and building your doctrine on Pre-Crucifixion verses, as things changed after the Cross.Any man in any dispensation is saved by doing what God tells him to do –John 5v24, Acts 16v30+31, Acts 8v37, Gen 15v1-6, Gen 6v14 etc. God tells men different things, on different occasions.
The Lord Jesus Christ initially came only to Israel – Mat 15v24, but knowing all that would happen, He came to save Gentiles also – Luke 2v25-32. The OT saint under the law must perform the works (Deut 28v14) as an evidence of his faith (James 2v21). These works do not justify him (Gal 3v11) unless faith accompanies them (Heb 11v39+40). He lives by doing (Ezek 18), and when he quits doing (Ps 51v11), he has had it! (Judg 16v20). God can take the Spirit from him permanently (Saul), or temporarily (Samson), or not at all (David), but even under the law exceptions are made (2 Sam 12v13). Grace is everywhere manifest in the life of Samson who never repents, confesses, or restores anything one time in a lifetime of continued transgression. But eternal security is unknown in the OT apart from the Psalms of David (Ps 91v14-16), who was given sure mercies (Acts 13v34) that other men were not given (2 Sam 7v14).
Even in the OT ‘the just’ lives by faith, but it is his faith (Hab 2v4), whereas the NT believer is living by the faith of the Son of God (Gal 2v20). The differences are in the dispensations. You need to understand that. Another example would be regarding forgiveness… Read Mat 6v14+15 – here you are only forgiven if you forgive others, yet the Christian has already been forgiven of all his sins – Eph 4v32, Col 2v13. Our salvation does not depend upon any form of works.
The key to understanding the Scriptures is to rightly divide them – 2 Tim 2v15.
You will get things wrong regarding doctrine if you…
1. Add words to a verse that are not in the verse.
2. Subtract words from a verse that are in the verse.
3. Take a verse out of context in which it appears.
4. Confine the words in a verse to the context only, so it will have no application to anyone or anything, outside of its context e.g. the Hyper- Dispensationalists do this, as they don’t understand dual-application.
5. Interpret a passage allegorically or spiritually to get rid of the doctrinal teaching found in the verse. Calvinists do this all the time, along with Roman Catholics.
6. Run to the ‘original Greek’ (there isn’t one) or the ‘original Hebrew’ (there isn’t one) and add, subtract, or distort the words of the text. There are over 100 Greek ‘texts’. How do you know which one is the right one?
The difference between OT and NT righteousness…
Ezek 3v20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Salvation in the Old Testament is a combination of faith and works. The righteousness of a righteous man here in Ezekiel is personal righteousness which he has done, not imputed righteousness which he has been given (Rom 4v1-8). There is a huge difference here and you need to understand that. (See
the difference between these verses to help – Hab 2v4, Rom 1v17). In the NT there is no such thing as a ‘righteous man’ (Rom 3v10) apart from the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1v30). In the OT a man can forsake ‘his righteousness’ and ‘die in his sins’. In the NT, a man dies in his sins when he does not trust Jesus Christ (John 8v24), and if he has trusted Jesus Christ, he can’t die in his sins (Rom 8v29-39) because he has been regenerated and placed into Jesus Christ (Col 2v11+13). Now if you can get that you’d be way ahead of 95% of Christians who haven’t a clue about rightly dividing the Scriptures. Have a look at these two verses also, and see the difference… Ezek 18v20, Deut 6v25.
What is Dispensationalism?
In essence, it is God dealing with different people in different ways at different times. There are different Gospels in the Scriptures (1 Cor 15v3+4, Acts 2v38, Gal 3v8, Rev 14v6+7, Mat 4v23), they are not the same. The Kingdom of God is not the same as the Kingdom of Heaven. The Sabbath is not for the church and never has been – Num 15v32-36, John 1v17, Rom 10v4, Ezek 20v12+20. You were not saved by grace through faith (Eph 2v8+9) under the law, it was by faith plus works (Hab 2v4, Ezek 18v5-9+18+22+24), and you are not saved by grace through faith during Daniel’s 70th week, aka the Tribulation, Jacob’s Trouble –
Rev 12v17, Rev 14v12. If you don’t understand the differences, you’ll never understand the Scriptures and you’ll try to apply verses to yourself that are not directed to you. Heresy
is truth misplaced. Not being able to rightly divide the word of truth is where Calvinists, Post-Tribbers, Hyper-Dispensationalists, Pentecostals etc. and all the cults go wrong. JW’s are trying to bring in ‘the kingdom’ now. They have taken a truth and misplaced it, therefore they teach heresy. Mormons teach ‘faith plus works’ for now. They have taken Scriptures from James (notice to whom this book is written - James 1v1) and put them on the Christian in the Church Age, and they’re not for us. One Scripture taken out of context can change everything.
Dispensations can overlap one another, with two different dispensations applying to two different groups of people. Acts 21v20+21 – during this time the Jews in Israel were still under the Law… but in Eph 3v2-5 – the Gentiles and Jews living outside of the land of Israel were already under grace, the dispensation committed to Paul.
Adam wasn’t saved the same way as Moses, and Moses wasn’t saved the same way as Paul. God dealt with them differently, at different times. No-one in the OT understood that the Son of God would leave Heaven, take the body of a human being and die on a cross, rising from the dead on the third day. Noone in the OT was looking forward to the cross, no matter what your pastor, teacher or preacher tells you. No-one in the OT was placed into the Body
of Christ, or spiritually circumcised as they are today at conversion. You get imputed righteousness and justification as soon as you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for your sins forgiven, back then they received them at separate times e.g. Abraham got imputed righteousness in Gen 15 and justification in Gen 22.
The differences are in the dispensations, understand that. To help locate these time periods you need to look at the different covenants in Scripture…
Covenants also overlap and some go right through other covenants while still
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