Sabbath rest vs. Sabbath day- Is there a distinction?

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I believe that Scripture draws a clear distinction between the eternal Sabbath rest of our Lord, which was lost for mankind in the garden, and the Sabbath day which is enjoined to the Mosaic covenant found in Exodus chapter 20. There are some who argue that there is a permanent obligation to uphold a Sabbath “day” observance instituted at creation by God Himself as one of the creation ordinances supposedly prescribed for the people. This appeal is based upon Genesis 2:2-3. Yet these verses neither prescribe nor command adherence to a Sabbath “day” of rest for man. Therefore the principle of a weekly Sabbath day of rest cannot be based on the so-called creation ordinance. I’ll do my best to explain my hermeneutical reasoning in a moment.

Historically, the institution of the Sabbath day comes with the travel to the promised land (Ex. 16:23) and the Sinai legislation (Ex. 20:11). This covenant was given by God to Moses on tablets of stone. There is a highly significant passage which buttresses Duet. 5 and Exodus 20 and confirms when the Sabbath command (not the promised Sabbath rest) was instituted:

You came down also at Mt. Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them just ordinances and true laws, good statues and commandments. You make known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses, your servant. Nehemiah 9:13,14 (See also Ezekiel 20:12).

This text confirms that the Sabbath day of rest command was instituted with the giving of the law by Moses. In fact the context immediately preceding and following these verses gives a brief synopsis of the Israelite forefathers beginning with the creation of the world, then the Abrahamic covenant of grace, then also the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai, followed by the disobedience which led to bondage in Egypt and so on.

Moses makes it quite clear as to who the Sabbath was given to, what it represented and once again a reference to Genesis 2:2-3 is made:

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. Exodus 31:16

(Please note Genesis 17:13 states that circumcision is stated as an “everlasting/ perpetual covenant“. Certainly proponents of an eternal sabbath day since creation should also argue that we are yet still bound to the covenant of circumcision, as well as the Sabbath command, because it’s also designated as perpetual throughout their generations……correct?)

At this juncture it’s vitally important to observe that mention of any command to observe the Sabbath day is conspicuously absent from any of Moses account throughout Genesis and even then not until Exodus chapter 16. After Exodus 20 the floodgates of Sabbath observance commands flow forth from the same author who penned the entire Pentetuch. Certainly a command so integral and holy to the Israelite forefathers would have been mentioned with the same frequency both before and after the Mosaic covenant took effect. Nehemiah 9:13,14 provides us with a clear explanation as to why Moses never mentions it.

So what of the Sabbath rest mentioned in Genesis 2:2-3. It was a permanent rest God entered into after He finished His creation. It is the only day of the seven which has no evening. It was also the rest that Adam and Eve enjoyed for an unknown period of time in the garden until they sinned. Following the fall, the effects of sin produced “hard” work and banishment from the garden where they had previously walked with the pre-incarnate Christ. A seventh day of rest for Adam and Eve prior to the fall can neither be implied nor logically deduced since they were presently already enjoying God’s rest.

After the fall, Scripture is almost entirely silent concerning the Sabbath until the giving of the law. Most assuredly there were laws and regulations that reflect God’s holy nature that were passed down from generation to generation, some of which are not recorded in Scripture since they were most likely orally communicated. Moses also records various offerings given unto the Lord. Almost certainly there was a weekly time of worship, as present believers now enjoy, that was manifest in some manner, this is not in dispute.

I believe the New Testament illuminates and typifies the pre-Mosaic view of Sabbath rest. We need only to look at the very heart of the law, Christ Jesus. For presently even believers in our Lord Jesus Christ remain under the Law of Christ instead of previously being under the supervision of the law (Gal. 3:19-25) which included the Sabbath day. The law of Christ reflects His very nature and is indeed eternal. Yet we are justified by grace as was our forefather Abraham, who also was not under the covenant of law, but enjoyed and was justified by a covenant of grace. Scripture says that through the Law no one will be justified (Gal. 2:6). In fact, Paul goes on to say that all who rely on the law are under a curse (Gal. 3:10). This includes the Ten Commandments. If you are in doubt about this then I would invite you to delve into 2 Cor. 3:7-18 which talks about the ministry that brought death engraved on letters of stone. This law was added until Christ would fulfill (not abolish) its requirements (Gal. 3:15-25). Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus. Christ forgave all our sins, having cancelled the written code and nailed it to the cross (Col. 2:14). Therefore we are not to judge anyone in regards to any Sabbath day, which was a shadow of things to come. The substance/ reality is found in Christ. Scripture also says that the righteous will live by faith and that the Law is not based on faith (Gal. 3:11,12). This includes any commandment including the fourth one as Paul makes clear in Romans 7:7,8 where he quotes and argues straight from the decalouge.

 

In summary, if a distinction between the eternal Sabbath rest of God and the Sabbath day of the Mosaic covenant is not made then Christians who worship on the first day of the week are guilty of abandoning an ordinance declared from the beginning of creation. Seventh Day Adventists would argue that the Sabbath day (Saturday) is morally binding not only until Christ returns but for all eternity. Yet in fact the New Testament clearly demonstrates that the first day if the week is the day of worship for the early church. This can be demonstrated easily by a quick perusal of the early church history which is very well documented. However, it is never called the Sabbath by the Apostle Paul, Peter, James, John, Timothy or anyone else. It is instead referred to as the Lord’s Day. The Law, the whole Law, was the schoolmaster that brought us to Christ. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law (Gal. 3:23). There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God, for anyone who enters God’s rest, also rests from his own work, just as God did (Genesis chapter 2). Let us then make every effort to enter that rest and be not like our forefathers who were unable to enter His rest due to unbelief (Heb 3,4). They kept the Sabbath day yet never entered into His Sabbath rest (which is found in Christ) thus the distinction which I have posited from the very beginning.

How then is the Christian walk accomplished without the Law and the fading ‘ten’ one will most certainly ask? Scripture tells us: Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. If you are led by the Spirit you are not under Law. (Gal. 5:16, 18). For what the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son to be a sin offering (Rom. 8: 3,4). Christ in the end of the (entire) law so that there might be righteousness for everyone who believes (Rom. 10:4)
I welcome your thoughtful comments.

Jim Richardson

Bonus passage: Exodus 12:16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

Now what’s going on here…..a holy convocation on the first day of the week?

For further research:

Con Sabbath: http://www.ukapologetics.net/07/sabberror.htm

Pro Sabbath: http://www.nisbett.com/sabbath/history/hos08.htm

You decide!

Jewish thoughts as to when the Sabbath command was first instituted (Hint: He being a Jew, says it wasn’t in Genesis): http://www.jewfaq.org/shabbat.htm

Additional Jewish sources concerning Sabbath institution:

G-d appears to Moses in a burning bush and empowers him to take the Children of Israel out of Egypt. After ten plagues and much nudging, Pharaoh finally lets them go. They cross the (miraculously split) Sea of Reeds and come to Marah. “There G-d gave them statutes and laws” — including the commandment to observe the Shabbat. (Exodus 15:25; Talmud, Sanhedrin 56b)

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/519613/jewish/A-Brief-History-of-Shabbat.htm

When Moses told the Jews about the forthcoming Manna, he said (Ex. 16:26), “You shall gather it for six days, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there shall be none.” This also answers another important question. How do we know which day was the Sabbath? Who counted it from the time of Creation? The answer is that G-d Himself revealed the exact day of the Sabbath in giving the Manna. Thus, the Torah says (Ex. 16:29), “See, G-d has given you the Sabbath. Therefore, He gives you two days’ food every sixth day … let no man go out on the seventh day.” From then on, for over three thousand years from the Exodus until our own day, the Sabbath has been faithfully kept.

http://www.ou.org/holidays/article/why_the_sabbath/

 

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35 Responses

  1. Thanks for your comments on my site. I think you have articulated this very well

  2. Rest or no rest is up to you. Seriously, I dont think any human body is made to work 7 days a week, 365 days a year…

    Jesus said “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ” Matt11

    This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Heb10

  3. Are you implying that the other nine commadments are also abolished?
    isnt it true that the sabbath was changed in 321a.d by Constantine to accomodate the pagans?
    I know that the Sabbath was instituted in the garden of eden.
    what i understand from you is that the week suppose to have 6 days since there was no evening mentioned for the seventh day,it really sound like an eternal rest from your point of view.
    can you explain to me why would Christ warn his disciples about not fleeing in the winter nor on the sabbath day.
    I have searched the whole bible on the subject of the first day and there is no reference to it as being changed to be the new sabbath. Christ also told his disciples that the comforter wil bring to their remembrance all things that he taught them, but still they did not make any reference to any change to the Holy sabbath day.
    God actually wrote the commandments on tablets of stone with his own finger and when Moses broke it, God instructed Moses to hewn two tablets of stone and bring them up to the mountan and he again wrote the commamdments with his fingers.
    He didnt let moses write them by himself because he couldn’t trust man to tamper with his holy and etrnal law.
    The fact that he wrote them on stone indicate that the law is forever and
    good and holy. The law also reflect the character of God.

    Awaiting your comment.

  4. Greetings,
    Have you ever been presented with Isa 66:23 from anyone who believes in Sabbath keeping? What are your thoughts? thanks.

    becky

  5. Lynn,

    Did you read any of my initial post? It would by kind of you to respond to my post directly rather than give me a link to a website filled with arguements that I was resonding to in the first place!!!!

    I.E.= Can you narrow it down to a question/ rebuttal or two of your own?

    God bless, Jim

  6. Becky,

    Isaiah 66:23 reads:

    “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.”

    The signifcant part of this passage that will dismiss it quickly as an arguement for present day Sabbath-keeping is to recognize that both “new moons” and “sabbath days” are mentioned together. The New Covenant certainly dismisses the keeping of “new moon ” days (as well as all Sabbath days). You can’t have one without the other according to this passage. Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest, which is a 24/7 enjoyment of salvation atonement through His blood by grace, through faith!

    Blessings, Jim

  7. Jerry,

    – Scripture declares that the Mosiac covenant is no longer binding on believers. In fact we are commanded to: “Cast out the bondwoman and her son” (Galations 4:30) In like manner will God cast out all who seek to be justified by the law; especially if they persecute them who are his children by faith. Gen 21:10.
    – I argue NOT that the Sabbath has been changed but that it has been abolished. There is NO new Sabbath. Please show me where I suggested this.
    – Did Jesus command anyone to also keep the Sabbath day as He did the other nine commandments? Why or why not?
    – The ten commandments that were written of stone became a curse for us because nobody could keep it perfectly. If you are in doubt about this then I would invite you to delve into 2 Cor. 3:7-18 which talks about the ministry that brought death engraved on letters of stone.
    – Please review verse 2 Cor. 3:15: “But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” I’m not making this stuff up!

    Jerry, the law of God is eternal and holy but the Mosaic covenant was always meant to be temporary, the Sabbath day being integral to it. Enter into the eternal rest of Jesus Christ and you will find the true Sabbath rest that remains for the people of God!

    Blessings,
    Jim

  8. I did read your post, although it is so long it is hard to remember everything while trying to work in between. I apologize for offending you…please forgive me. The thing that I can’t understand is why would you say that the fourth commandment of the Decalogue no longer exsists when Jesus said clearly stated in Matthew 5 that not one jot (dotting of an I) or one tittle (crossing of a T) would by any means pass from the law until all was fullfilled and HEAVEN AND EARTH PASS AWAY? Hebrews 4 says that and because I am at work and don’t have time to put it into my own words I will just copy and paste it for you on the next comment.

  9. “There remaineth therefore a ‘keeping of the sabbath’ (see margin) to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). I am using the marginal reading of the King James Version because that is the exact, literal meaning of the original statement.
    The context of Hebrews three and four does not indicate that Paul was trying to convince the Hebrew Christians which day to keep holy. They already knew that. His great burden was for them to enter into a spiritual relationship with Christ—to have an experience of rest from the works of sin. He proved that the children of Israel did not find that true rest because of their lack of faith and disobedience in the wilderness. Although the Greek word for rest, KATAPAUSIS, means simply “cessation from work,” the context seems to indicate that the author is talking primarily about finding a spiritual rest in their experience.
    Nevertheless, the two chapters definitely tie the spiritual rest to the Seventh-day Sabbath-keeping initiated and commanded by God in the beginning. Otherwise, we would not find in verse four a direct quote from Genesis 2:2. “For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works” (Hebrews 4:4).
    The reason for citing God’s resting on the Sabbath from His work of creation is revealed only when we analyze verses nine and ten. Paul says that what remains for God’s people is not KATAPAUSIS (a spiritual rest), but SABBATISMAS, meaning a literal keeping of the Sabbath. Then in verse ten we find the real key which proves beyond a question that the SABBATISMAS rest was not spiritual only, but a cessation from physical work. “For he that is entered into his rest (KATAPAUSIS—spiritual rest), he ALSO (in addition to the spiritual rest) hath ceased from his own works, AS GOD DID FROM HIS.”
    The big question about this verse focuses on the works which one ceases from. Are they works of sin? Are they works to obtain salvation? Or are they the physical works from which we cease on the Sabbath? The answer is plainly revealed by the phrase “AS GOD DID FROM HIS.” Go back to verse four and we begin to understand why this quote from Genesis is included in Paul’s discourse. It is necessary to establish which works God did rest from. God ceased from His physical work of creation on the seventh day, and we are admonished to cease from ours, as He did from His. He did not just enter into a spiritual rest on the seventh day or we might conclude that He was not at spiritual rest on the first six days. The fact is that God is always at spiritual rest. Neither did He have any works of sin or the flesh to cease from. He simply rested on the seventh day from His work of creation, and we are being told by Paul that the ones who truly have received the spiritual rest of salvation will ALSO cease from their physical works on the Sabbath, AS GOD DID FROM HIS.
    Don’t you see how this lends a tremendous new spiritual dimension to the keeping of the Sabbath? It memorializes our personal salvation experience. It stands as a blessed weekly reminder of the continual rest from sin that we may have through Christ. No wonder the Sabbath “remains” for the people of God! Our Creator has made it a symbol of the sweetest spiritual blessings available to the human family.
    We can understand why God did this when we pause to think how Sabbath-keeping parallels the salvation experience. What really makes something holy? In Isaiah 58:13 God calls the Sabbath “my holy day” and “a delight.” Listen! It is the presence of God in something which makes it holy. (Remember the burning bush?) God’s presence is in the Sabbath just as His presence is also manifest in the life of a genuine Christian. So why should not true Sabbath-keeping be made a memorial of true salvation in Christ?

  10. We know that God made clear that the 10 Commandents of the Decalogue were from Him and the laws in the BOOK of Moses were from Moses. He says in Deut.4:13,14 “And He declared unto you His Covenant which He gave you to perform even TEN COMMANDMENTS; and He wrote them on two tables of stone. And the Lord commanded ME at that time to teach you statutes and judgements that ye might do them in the land wither ye go over to possess it”. Moses clearly seperated the Mosaic law from God’s Decalogue. We also know that in Leviticus 23 that there were annual Sabbaths, but that God made it clear in Verses 37 and 38 that these were BESIDE THE SABBATHS OF THE LORD. We all know which day is the 7th day of the week because Christians Keep Good Friday in which Jesus died, then comes Saturday the 7th day of the week, then Easter Sunday. I also work at a hospital our First day of the week for our pay periods run from Sunday to Saturday. The calander runs from Sunday the first day to Saturday the 7th day. Even if we used the excuse that we don’t know which day is the 7th day, it isn’t justifiable because we have a 7th day of the week called Saturday, or Sabado pretty much says it all. Thanks Jim for being such a kind Christian and again I apologize for offending you. My head is not very clear today as I am at work and I am ill. Normally I would be able to think more clearly and answer you personally.

  11. 🙂

  12. Lynn,

    You are so sweet and I appreciate you as a sister in Christ so much.

    To the discussion at hand:

    Leviticus 23:38 refers to offerings in addition to the Lord’s Sabbath(s) (it’s plural- check the text), not specifically or limited to the Sabbath day of the forth commandment. To imply otherwise would be reading into this specific text something which is not there.

    You noted Deut.4:13,14 “And He declared unto you His Covenant which He gave you to perform even TEN COMMANDMENTS; and He wrote them on two tables of stone. However please note that these are the same two tablets of stone mentioned by Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:7: Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end. Paul goes on to demonstrate that the Law, the whole Law, was the schoolmaster that brought us to Christ. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law (Gal. 3:23). Paul HAS to be referring to ALL the law and prophets for grace to have any meaning. For how can works or the keeping of the law ever augment grace? Please do not overlook this point. There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God, for anyone who enters God’s rest, also rests from his own work, just as God did (Genesis chapter 2). Let us then make every effort to enter that rest and be not like our forefathers who were unable to enter His rest due to unbelief (Heb 3,4). They kept the Sabbath day yet never entered into His Sabbath rest (which is found in Christ) thus the distinction which I have posited from the very beginning.

    In regards to Matthew 25:35 let me quote a friend:

    “While the coming of Jesus Christ made possible the passing away of the old covenant and the introduction of the new through the institution of the new covenant (so vividly discussed by the writer of Hebrews), yet much of all this was not eliminated completely until A.D.70 when Jerusalem and the Temple were completely destroyed and the old actually ceased to be. As the writer said in Hebrews 8:13, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is READY to vanish away.” While the coming of Christ, and especially His death, made possible this new area of things, yet the manifestation of all this was not possible until the Temple itself and all its rituals were completely abolished. As the writer of Hebrews said, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” (Hebrews 9:8). In the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, after it was no longer standing, it was manifested that the old covenant had vanished away, and the new heaven and new earth of this gospel dispensation was now in effect.” http://www.tentmaker.org/books/heavenandearth.htm

    Lord bless,

    Jim

  13. Good morning, I will not be able to get back on for awhile, because I really shouldn’t be doing this at work, but I must say one last thing. I agree that we cannot possibly be saved by the keeping of the law neither the Decalogue nor the laws of Moses. I still agree to disagree with you, because I beleive that there are still 10 commandments not 9. The New Testament says over and over again that Jesus as His custom was and Paul as His custom was on the Sabbath preaching in the Synagogues. I have no doubt that you believe that we are not supposed to lie,steal, covet, or commit adultery, and that you would tell me that you don’t do those things. I don’t know if you are married or not, but surely being the Christian man that you appear to be, and I believe you are my brother in Christ , I don’t believe you would ever tell me that you cheat on your wife, or steal from your neighbor, and that we should keep God’s commands because we love Him and our neighbor. Therefore, I believe that the Sabbath issue is just away for people to avoid without realizing a special time that God made Holy and asked us to meet with Him. I see it as a special invitation because He loves us. To me I think that if Jesus wants to meet me on a special day that He asked for then I should be excited that He set it apart for me! He did say He is Lord of the Sabbath, and all those burdens and rules that the Pharisees put in the Talmud were the reason Jesus showed them how it was to be spent. Healing the sick, feeding the hungry. Yes, we should do those things and worship God and His son daily, but He still set aside a special request, and it was put right there with the rest of His commandments on how to Honor Him, and then how to honor our neighbor. We are saved by grace through faith. But Hebrews also tells us that when we willfully sin there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin. There would have been no arguement in the Bible for Sabbath keeping because that was the day they kept. As far as what your friend is saying, it still doesn’t give the scripture to prove that the 7th day Sabbath of the Decalogue was ever abolished. The bottom line is, I beleive you love Christ and so do I, but I want to honor Him as He as requested in all of His commandments. I understand what you are saying, and I don’t judge you by saying you are lost because I don’t believe that you are anymore lost than I am. I love your kind and gentle nature, and it draws me closer to the family of God. Thank you so much brother. Sincerely, Lynn

  14. Hi Lynn,

    You are so kind to resond. Be confident in knowing that if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died for your sins and rose again, that you are His child. You and I both love Him and know Him.

    May I also rebutt once more:

    Keep in mind that Jesus and Paul were both trying to witness to the Jews at that time so logically the best place to do that would have been the synagogues on the Sabbath. In fact Acts 17:2 says it was Paul’s custom to go to the synagogue and REASON from the scriptures to the Jews and this certainly was a distraction from worshipping the Lord. Also, I have maintained that the Mosaic covenant has been abolished, I have never said that God’s eternal law has been abolished. The law of God is eternal and holy yet the Mosaic covenant was always meant to be temporary, the Sabbath day being integral to it. Enter into the eternal rest of Jesus Christ and you will find the true Sabbath rest that remains for the people of God! As I’ve argued I believe that Gal. 3:23 does in fact demonstrate that the Sabbath of the Decalogue was in fact abolished. But we can certainly agree to disagree on this and yet remain brother and sister in Christ, the hope of the ages.

    Lynn, may I ask you what the following passage says to you personally: Do not owe anyone anything-except to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8) Ten commandments or not, this command leaves little wiggle room for in fact to steal or covet would violate this brotherly love.

    Finally, just for fun I found this in my archives: Here are at few reasons for the significance of the first day of the week (Sunday) in the New Testament for Christians:

    -Jesus rose on the first day of the week not the Sabbath: Mk 16:9
    -All 6 appearances of Jesus happen on two Sundays, none on Sabbath. Mk 16:9; Mt 28:5-9; Lk 24:34; Lk 24:13-15; Lk 24:33,36 + Jn 20:19; Jn 20:26
    -Christians are recorded assembling three times on Sunday after resurrection and before ascension, never on the Sabbath. Jn 20:19 Jn 20:26 Acts 2:1 (I am not saying that these were worship services, just the early starting point of Sunday gatherings)
    -The only time Christians are recorded to have assembled together was on a Sunday in Acts 20:7, never does it say the disciples assembled on the Sabbath. The only day ever mentioned when Christians broke bread was on Sunday: Acts 20:7
    -Christians are commanded every Sunday to give into a common treasury of the church: 1 Cor 16:1-2
    -Jesus was declared the Son of God on Sunday: Rom 1:4
    -Ps 2:7 “Today I have begotten thee” was fulfilled on Sunday when he rose: Acts 13:33
    -The sign that Jesus was glorified was given on Sunday: Jn 7:39 + Acts 2:1,32
    -The church officially began on Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2:1
    -Jesus was crowned king on a Sunday: Acts 2:33-36
    -The sign that Jesus was glorified was given on Sunday: Jn 7:39 + Acts 2:1,32
    -The church officially began on Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2:1
    -The disciples reception of the promise of the Father on Sunday: Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4
    -The Holy Spirit first fell upon the apostles on a Sunday: Acts 2:1-4
    -Salvation first preached by Peter on Sunday: Mt 16:19; Acts 2:1,38,40-41
    -The Keys to the Kingdom of God were first used on Sunday: Mt 16:19
    -The great “Triumphal entry” (also called “Palm Sunday”) happened on the first day: Luke 13:32
    -The time between the Lord’s resurrection (sheaf waving day) and Pentecost was Sunday to Sunday counting of 50 days. The starting and stopping time was on the 1st day.
    -The first time Jesus worshiped after resurrection was on the first day by Thomas (Jn. 20:26).
    -The first time we could be born again to a living hope was on a Sunday: 1 Pet. 1:3
    -The first time Jesus had communion after his resurrection with His disciples, was on a Sunday: (Lk. 24:1, 13, 28-35)
    -Pentecost was a Sunday – Sunday duration of 50 days. The starting point and stopping point of counting the 50 days was a Sunday!

    Lord bless, Jim

  15. Good morning Jim, I wouldn’t be able to be on this site if it weren’t for the fact that I am now at home with some virus. That scripture means just what it says, to love everyone. It is just that simple. But I want to ask you a question too, does that mean that we are to Leave God out by worshiping idols and carving them out, taking His name in vain, and breaking the day He set apart and made Holy? If we do those things isn’t that showing a lack of love for our neighbor by setting the wrong example. And if we can’t love God first how then can we posibbly love our neighbor? I prayed about all of this for the last few days and this is what the Holy Spirit guided me to. I cannot deny the scripture in Hebrews 4, it clearly states what you have said about entering into spiritual rest, but it also clearly states the the 7th day Sabbath is still to be kept as God did. Here is a group of renowned Sunday keepers who agree.

  16. In their monumental Commentary On the Whole Bible, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown make this comment on Hebrews 4:9, “This verse indirectly establishes the obligation of the Sabbath still” (page 449). It is most interesting that these Sunday-keeping theological scholars, with the highest of linguistic credentials, make such a statement. Yet the relationship of the spiritual rest of salvation and the physical Sabbathkeeping is undeniable in the context.

  17. Jim, I believe you love the Lord with all of your heart and your neighbor, and I feel this deep emotional love for you as my brother in Christ, and I can hardly wait for us to be together in heaven worshiping and praising our Savior. But with all due respect the New Testament mentions the Sabbath more than any other of the nine commandments.Jesus kept it Luke 4:16. His disciples kept even after His death Acts 17:2,Acts 13:13,14; They taught the gentiles on that day so that means the gentiles were keeping it too Acts 13:42,44.
    There was no need for Jesus to re command the Sabbath in the New Testament, because the only issue with the Sabbath was the burdens the Pharisees had put on it which is why Jesus showed them how to keep it in the Spirit of true Sabbath Keeping and true spiritual rest, but the other nine he had to admonish them over because they held murder in their hearts and hypocrisy. I have truly prayed about this for the last couple of days and asked for guidance, There just is no command from Christ before His death to keep any other day, and Sunday is 3 days to late to be a apart of the New Covenant, because Paul writes that the Testator must die before a covenant can go into affect. The Holy Spirit led me to this scripture concerning what you are saying about Hebrews 4. We are to enter not only His Spiritual rest , but to do it on the physical 7th day Sabbath as He commanded. Luke 11:42 is what was given to me as I prayed about this. Emphasis on YOU SHOULD HAVE PRACTICED THE LATTER WITHOUT LEAVING THE FORMER UNDONE. Your scripture references Acts 20:7-12: According to the Bible, each day begins at sundwon and ends at the next sundown (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31;Leveticus 23:32) and the dark part of the day comes first. So Sabbath begins Friday night at sundown and ends Saturday night at sundown. This meeting of Acts 20 was held on the dark part of Sunday, or what we now call Saturday night. Paul was on a farewell tour and knew he would not see these people again before his death verse 25. No wonder he preached so long, no regular weekly service would have lasted all night. Paul was ready to depart on the morrow.” The breaking of bread has no Holy Day significance whatever, because they broke bread daily according to Acts 2:46.1Corinthians 16 1,2 doesn’t prove sunday keeping because The money was to be laid aside privately at home. A famine was raging in Judea Romans 15:26, Acts 11:26-30, and Paul was writing to ask the churches in Asia Minor to assist their famine-stricken brethren. These Christians all kept Sabbath Holy, so Paul suggested that on Sunday morning(which was the time they paid bills and settlled accounts), after the Sabbath was over, they put aside something for their needy brethren so it would be on hand when he came. It was to be done privately or, as La Santa Biblia says, “at Home”. Notice here also there is no reference to Sunday being made holy or command to keep it. Next question, but doesn’t John 20:19 show the record of the disciples keeping Sunday? On the contrary, the disciples at this time did not even believe the resurrection had taken place(Mark 16:14). they had met there “for fear of the Jews” and had the doors bolted. there is no implication that they counted Sunday as a holy day. Only eight texts in the New Testament mention the first day of the week. Thank you so very very much for making these dry bones to live again,by forcing me to delve back into the Bible. I have allowed my job and other issues to stand in the way spending hours in God’s word. He has truly used you in my life, keep up the good work. Love, Lynn

  18. Lynn,

    I don’t want to offend you but I think your missing my point. Entering into God’s rest in Christ is permanent and causes every moment of your life to be set apart and made holy, not just one 24 hour period. Hebrews chapter 4 refers to this permanent rest that is entered into. Verse 6 says: “Therefore, since it remains that some will enter into it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience.” Now watch closely to what verse 8 says: “Now if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterwards of another day”. Certainly you acknowledge that Joshua observed the Sabbath regularly yet the author of Hebrews is saying here that they did not enter into His rest. Therefore this rest is not in reference to the Sabbath of the decalouge. Verse 10 drives this home: “And whoever enters into God’s rest, rests from his own works as God did from his.” When God rested on the 7th day it was a permanent rest as He is still “resting”, right? What is God’s appointed day according to verse 7: “once more He set a day, “today,”

    We know that Scripture says: “For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 2:20). “By works of the law shall no one be justified” (Gal. 2:16). Since we are no longer under the law of Moses, what law are we under?

    Scripture says believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are under the law of Christ (Gal 6:2) which is entirely based on grace for there is a distinction in Scripture between the written/oral law and grace. “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom 6:14). Yet God’s nature and His holiness remains the same regardless of the law. Therefore we are obligated to live by it in accord to Christ’s law as He commands in Scripture. Abraham also lived by grace before the giving of the law: “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as) to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Why then the law?) It was added because of transgressions… (Gal. 3:17-19) Scripture says that grace came through Abraham, the law through Moses and finally justification through Jesus Christ. This fact is prophesied in Ezekiel 36:26, 27” I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. It’s the Holy Spirit who allows us to follow His law, not the commandment to do it.

    How can we be sure Paul was talking about the ten commandments when he said: “Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:8f). Here Paul refers to the decalouge specifically and also makes reference to any other commandment summing up the entire law as a unit.

    Lynn, expressed love fulfills the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2). Love is the perfect law, the law of liberty (James 1:25, 2:12) – liberty from a lifeless legal code and efforts for legal justification. It is the Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12), that ageless law which conveys the intent and message of the law and the prophets. Though the Sabbath is mentioned many times in the New Testament it is seldom winthin the context of a command but mostly as in a context of location.

    Please keep writing. I really am trying to stay as close to the Word as possible by trusting what it says while testing all other thoughts/ teachings to what God has already written in His Word. What any other denomination/ Bible teacher says is subject first to what Scripture says.

    God bless you, Lynn. I know that you love the Lord and I love you in Him for that!

  19. Dear sweet Jim, I think that I am frustrating you and that is not my intention. We have both agreed that we are not saved by keeping the Law but by Grace through Faith. I am not mssing your point, I understand why you beleive what you do, but I am trying to help you understand why I believe the way I do. I am not trying to convince you that you should keep the Sabbath, only the Holy Spirit can guide you into that, if that is what God wants you to do. But my convictions began along time ago with careful study and lots of prayer just as I am sure your’s did. Hebrews still connects us to keeping the 7th day physically as well as spiritually, and I still believe that it is not a part of the Mosaic Law because it is in the heart of God’s commands. So if we are going to ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the grace to walk in His ways I must do what my heart and head are convicted to do. You are not offending me in the least, and I ask your forgiveness if I have offended you. Yes, God is resting from creating, but He still asked us to Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy. I can’t get past the fact that He wouldn’t ask us to forget something He specifically said to Remember. I know, I know, it is Spiritual, but it is clearly still Physical as well, and He set specifically the 7th day, and even clarified what we should not do on it. This area is not a problem for me, it is a blessing. I am sure that there are things you do with and for the Lord that bring you great blessing as well. I see your point and why this is not your conviction. But it is mine, and to him who knows to do good and does it not it is sin. I know that I am a wretched person within, and off of the subject of the law lets get into the hidden faults, instead of the superficial outward appearances. Yes, I can go to church on Sabbath, not steal, not make an image and bow down to it, I can honor my mother and father, and not take God’s name in vain. I can not dwell on my neighbor’s things or Husband and therefore not covet or lust, I can do my best not to lie, although the Heart is deceitful above all things. I can get up every morning and have my prayer time and Bible reading alone wtih the Lord, I can pray all day, and have evening worship with Him 7 days a week. But the fact still remains that the hidden evils come out. The thoughts as when someone cuts you off in traffic or won’t let you over. The desire to tell someone off, or say cruel things when they have hurt me, or heaven forbid one of my loved ones. Those ugly hidden sins that fall under the commandments. You think I don’t get your point but I do. My Jesus, My Lord and Saviour works on me every day with these areas of my life. So you see Jim I am in the same boat with you, as a Christian. My heart is just as true and just as much in love with Jesus as you are. But when I am convicted of something, then it just comes naturally now to ask for strength and the power to correct the problem. I am always missing the mark. Literally falling short. But I must not give up, I must press on and do what the Holy Spirit convicts me of including going to church on Sabbath. I used to attend the Baptist Church in Euless, Texas, I attended the Assembly of God Church in Fort Worth, Texas. I went to the Non-Denominational church in Euless. But, I never felt like I was at home. I am where I am supposed to be, and you are where you are supposed to be. If it doesn’t matter anyway about the Law, why are you so upset over it? I am not. I am not in the least upset that you don’t believe the way I do or have the same convcitions. Jesus Christ died for us both. You keep saying the Law doesn’t matter it’s about grace, but you can’t seem to let go discussing it. Let’s dwell on Jesus and His sacrifice. I just would like to be close with other believers in spite of our different convictions. The Lord led Martin Luther into important truths for his time, along with others like Huss and Jerome. But they didn’t always agree in every area because they were not all led to the same exact truths of every area. They lived by their convictions and walked according to the Light God gave them for their time. That is what I am doing and I believe you are too! Do you think that I could have married a die hard Baptist if we both devoured each other all the time over law. This is a wonderful marriage and believe me, I am that woman at the well, that Christ gave living water to. I love Ya brother. I am thrilled to read your convictions on scripture, and you don’t exclude me or make me out to be a monster for beleiving differently. You are even open hearted and minded enough not to erase what I write back in response for fear someone else might read it and believe the way I do. I have even asked my husband to read your blog and will direct my firends to it, because it helps me to understand you better my friend. Again, God bless you and thank you!

  20. Lynn,

    I am SO sorry if I came across upset or offended…truly I am not either. You, my dear Lynn are fulfilling Christ’s command to love one another. I’m blessed that you took the time to write your comments to me as admittedly I often get way to over zealous in making my point. I promise you that your comments in this respect will help sharpen my “attitude” for future conversations with not only you but anyone else who I come in contact with. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man (believer) sharpens another”. Shame on those who are purging their blog of any comments that they either don’t agree with or do not wish to be seen.

    Please continue to reply here as I value your thoughts. I’m reminded in Scripture where it says: “A cord of many strands is not easily broken”. When believers stand together, especially inter-denominationally, it can only be a positive reflection on the body of Christ.

    Blessings, Jim.

    P.S.: One of the boys in my 8th grade Sunday school class approached the alter this morning and gave his life to Christ. Isn’t that awesome!!! The many seeds planted in this young man’s life finally germinated in front of our very eyes this morning! What a gift!

  21. Oh Jim that is awesome! I am so happy when another soul gives their life to Christ. And by the way I understand about being over zealous, I get that way too when I get so excited about something the Holy Spirit has given me through God’s Word. Thank you so much and I hope to keep in touch with you my brother. We must keep pressing on, I have no doubt these are the last days of earth’s history as we know it! Soon we shall see Him face to face. I will be praying for you and for continued germintation of the wonderful seeds you are planting, please remember to pray for me, as I know you will.
    Love in Christ,
    Lynn

  22. Here’s a response from another friend who has pertinant information regarding this discussion:

    Hello Jim,

    I got your message and looked at your web page. I don’t know which of my pages you reviewed, but you might find the following information helpful.

    http://members.tripod.com/crossbearer-brian/id228.htm

    In Christ Jesus our Lord,
    Brian

    Visit Brian’s web page at: http://www.crossbearer.net
    (1 John 5:4-5) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

  23. Hello Again Jim,
    I wanted to let you know that my old email address is no longer available and when I get a new one I will let you know the new one. I was also browsing your site again and noticed that your site talks a lot about the Clear Word Bible. I must tell you, that there are many SDA’s that refuse to use that as a Bible. I believe in the front of it somewhere it states it was only done as a devotional but not to supercede God’s Word. Some of us won’t use it because of just what has happened. We knew their would be people to jump on the bandwagon and consider us as making our own Bible and using it. Never, never, never, has it been used in my church. Our Pastor’s have always used the actual Bible, be it kJV, or NIV, or NKJV. I also want you to know that when I became born again my first three years were spent with the NKJV and a Strongs exhaustive concordance. I also own an Interlinear Bible which I love because it has the original Hebrew and Greek as it was written and then it has each english word out to the side of the Greek and Hebrew. It also has the Strong’s concordance reference numbers. I love it! If you were here in Texas I would invite you to our church our Pastor is young but he opens up the Bible through the whole hour sermon and we go scripture by scripture. He does whole sermon series’ on different books of the New Testament. Our last one was on the book of Romans. You would have laughed had you been there. He did an alter call and asked how many wanted to live by Christ’s righteousness and to those who wanted to do it on their own he said “Well good luck with that and please let me know how that turns out for you”! By the way I am so thrilled, my son came over last weekend and told me he finally gave his heart to Jesus, and we just recently had 25 new baptisms. God Bless you Jim.

    In Christ,
    Lynn

  24. Sorry, me again, I wanted to ask you since I see you share Brian’s website here, what do you think about his view on once saved always saved? I noticed that on the main website of Micheal Siemer it has a button to click on for hell and it lists not only SDA, Catholics, Jehovahs Witness, but it also lists people who beleive “once saved always saved.” I know this is a doctrine of the Baptist Church since my husband was Baptist. How do you feel about the fact that he says we are going to hell? I just wondered because the way I found Brian’s site was through Michael’s site when I clicked on “other cross bearers” from Disciplenet. Do you believe Once Saved Always Saved?

  25. Lynn,

    It’s great to hear from you again. 🙂

    Frankly, I had no idea that the Clear Word Bible was being referenced to here. Perhaps you could show me where? Anyway, using this version was purely accidental, thought I don’t see any doctrinal issues with it otherwise I would have not used it in the first place. Lynn, like you I often use my Greek/ Hebrew Interlinear Bible for deep study. My view on translations is this: The KJV, NIV, NASB (and a few others) are ALL translations based from the original. Most importanly ALL contain the essential truths of the Gospel that leads to salvation. Frankly, any Pastor who does not join hands in the distribution of these translations when others are not available, needs to re-examine thier doctrinal priorities. (I welcome any comments on this.) The Holy Spirit continues to speak through these translations…..yet I would steer clear of “The Message” for any doctrinal study and way clear of the NWT for anything at all!

    I’m SO glad to hear about your son. Remember not to bring him too quickly from spiritual milk to solid food.

    Please keep in touch!

    Jim Richardson

  26. Lynn,

    Yes, it seems that every theological blog/ website has at least one thing that Scripturally and even logically seems a bit out in left field.

    It’s quite simple really, for Scripture clearly states:
    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) He does not say “works of merit” or “works of the law of Moses.” Rather, he simply says “works.” It provides a motive for why works are excluded as the source of salvation: “so that no one can boast.” Paul excludes all boasting from salvation except the boasting that is in Christ. If these good works were able to actually get us into heaven then once we got there what would our purpose be? Would it still not be to do good works in Christ Jesus? Grace and works cannot co-exist simultaneously within the scope of the salvation Jesus gave us for either to have any meaning. Micheal Siemer seems to have issues with Scripture (not just Baptists)!

    Consider Romans 11:5-6, “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Grace and works are two principles that are utterly opposed.

    In Romans 4:5 we have a description of the person who is justified freely by God’s grace: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Notice that he is the person THAT DOES NOT WORK!

    Consider Romans 3:28; 4:6, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without [apart from] the deeds of the law . . . Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without [apart from] works.” Justification by grace is totally “without” or “apart from” works.

    By the way, baptism should not be considered a work. It is instead a Christian’s first act of obedience after accepting Christ as Savior.

    God bless, Lynn!

    Jim Richardson

  27. Good Morning Jim,
    Maybe I am mistaken because my husband and I have been browsing your site. I happened across the “Outreach to Ex-Adventist’s” area of your site and was sad to find out that they make such an issue of The Clear Word Bible. They say this is our Bible of choice on there, but that just is not true. I can understand that these people left us and are bitter but to say things that just is not true is even more saddening. I am so sorry that they are hurting and if this link is related to your site then I thank you for reaching out to them and I pray that they find peace and healing here. Thank you for the reminder about not hitting my son with solid food. I have been praying for him for 14 years. God is so GOOD! Also I would like to make sure I didn’t confuse you, based on your above comment. I hope you know that I don’t believe that Baptism is an act of works at all. I believe it is a symbol of being cleansed from our sin, by being buried with Christ and raised to Life as a New Creature in Him just as He was resurrected. I still know that Faith without works is dead, but we are never saved by works “For it is by grace ye have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves” Eph 2:8. As always, God bless you too, Jim!

    Lynn

  28. Lynn,

    Thanks for pointing this out. I’m going to remove that link for this reason and a few others. I’m so glad to hear from you and am blessed that you posted.

    Merry Christmas!

    Jim Richardson

  29. Merry Christmas to you too Jim. I received this in an email this morning and I just about wept. I found this to be so beautiful and just wanted to share it with you.

    http://www.openmyeyeslord.net/UltimateFreedom.htm

  30. Lynn,

    (I tried to email this to you, but it came back as undeliverable?? Do you have another?)

    Thank you SO much, that was a blessing. I passed on to my loved ones as well.

    Thankful for your friendship,

    Jim Richardson

  31. Jim I am so sorry, I have been emailing you from work which I may get in trouble for I don’t know. My old email is no longer valid and we are in the process of finding another service we can trust. I apologize for the inconvenience. I will give you my work email until I can get my own set back up.

  32. Hi Jim,
    I just wanted to share our new email address and share something I found inspirational with you. I hope you haven’t already seen this.

    This is special. Everyone should watch this.

  33. Believing on what we believe is the most important thing. If someone believes that Sabbath day has a distinction let them. We push them to believe on what we believe.

    Sabbath

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