ChristadelphianBooksOnline
Rick O'Connor
The Things Of The Kingdom And The Things Of The Name
The Bible: The Only Source Of Authority

THE TRUE MEANING OF THE SABBATH

God’s Rest – Commencement of a Great New Work

The Sabbath First Revealed at the Exodus


The Sababth Less in Importance than Circumcision and Animal Sacrifice


Sabbath Observance Passed Away, Superseded by Christ


The Ten Commandments and the Rest of The Law Indivisible


How and Why the Sabbath Should be Kept?

Reading: Deuteronomy 5

Colossians 2:16-17 In Christ we have the reality; the law was but a shadow. v14 the handwriting was taken away. The Law of Moses made salvation impossible through law keeping. The only way to take the law from man was through the death of Christ. To save man it was necessary to get the law out of the way. v16 - Don’t let anyone attempt to regulate your life or criticise your way of life in regard to these things that have been removed. Seventh Day Adventists say that it is not the weekly Sabbath because the word is plural. This is not a case because it is common in the New Testament to describe the weekly Sabbath in plural form. Matthew 12:1-2, 5 (plural), v10 (plural - this time Pharisees speaking), v11 (he replies - Sabbath singular) v12. There is a progression of time in v16 - yearly, monthly, weekly. Luke 6:2, 9 (same incident as Matthew 12 - v2,9 - the term is identical to Colossians 2:16 Sabbaths “days” not in original).

Acts 16:13 (Greek - the day of the Sabbaths). “The Sabbaths” was the normal Jewish term describing the seventh day of the week. Acts 17:2 - yet obviously the normal weekly Sabbath (the word day not in original - so same as Colossians 2:16). Matthew 28:1 Sabbaths - plural, as also Luke 4:31.

Now consider the Old Testament context and compare:

Exodus 20:8-11, although vv8-11 clearly is singular in Hebrew, compare Leviticus 19:3-4 clearly referring to the commandments of Exodus 20. See Exodus 31:13-17 (Sabbaths obviously the weekly Sabbath - the background is Exodus 20 cp. v11) Sabbaths (same in LXX as Colossians 2:16) for IT is a sign. So in the Old Testament they are used in the same way as in the New.

Perpetual does not mean unending without break - cp. Levitical priesthood Exodus 40:15 (same word here translated everlasting). Cp. Hebrews 7:12 because there is a change in the priesthood there must be a change in the Law. Ohlam - time is a length of time to be determined by context. Exodus 31:17 - between God and Israel (and no one else) for the ohlam defined in Hebrews 9:24-26 (note THE END OF THE AGE i.e. of the Law’s duration, Greek AION = Hebrew OHLAM) and for which the Sabbath was instituted. The end of the Mosaic Age from the Exodus until the Roman overthrow. There is a contrast made between the covenant to be made at Christ’s return.

Hebrews 8:13 - the shadow gives way to the object which casts it. The Seventh Day Adventist’s main argument - two types of law - moral which remains and ceremonial which was done away. They say the 10 commandments are the moral and the rest was ceremonial. But the Sabbath is not essentially a moral commandment.

One can work to save on the Sabbath - that is moral. Compare 2 Chronicles 30:16 with 31:3-4 - shows that one cannot divide one as law of God and other as law of Moses (Passover therefore ceremonial says Seventh Day Adventists - but ch.31 says that law of Moses - ceremonial - is law of God).

The word of God doesn’t make the same distinction as do the Seventh Day Adventists, 2 Chronicles 34:14 (the first 5 books). Moses was not its author but God, cp. 35:6. Leviticus 26:46 - obviously God’s law is more than simply the 10 commandments.

Is there a difference between LAWS and COMMANDMENTS? No, they are the same thing, see Exodus 24:12 (speaks of the 2 tables). Cp. 2 Corinthians 3:3, 6-7 (the new covenant, cp. also Colossians 2:13-17).

The law kills but what God writes on your hearts saves, vv 8-9, 14-16 (cp. Acts 15: 21).

Deuteronomy 4:12-13 (two different Hebrew words are translated commandments - here Dabar = word/s). These words constituted a covenant, cp. Exodus 34:28; 2 Corinthians 3:6 7.

Mitzwah - used in Leviticus 21 of the 10 commandments. Compare Galatians 4:9-11. Hebrews 8:6-13 the “fault” was that they condemned rather than saved. The new covenant is of righteousness, forgiveness and grace.

How not to use the Bible!

Deuteronomy 5:22 - Seventh Day Adventists say that since God stopped speaking and added no more - so these are special. But note vv31-33 which shows that argument is obviously unsound. It was only on that time that he added no more. The greatest commandment of all “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart..” is not found in the 10 commandments, nor the second “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. They are in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18 (tucked away with a multitude of what is called by some “ceremonial” laws) yet v30 - Sabbaths mentioned - moral? or ceremonial? The distinction between ceremonial and moral is unscriptural. A typical institution but beneficial when used right to work hard for God (cp. Isaiah 58:6) and as Jesus said compassion can be shown even if it means working hard - e.g. pull an animal out of a pit.

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