Why don’t Christians observe the original Sabbath?

Thanks for asking!
This issue has been a sticking point between sabbatarians and the rest of the Body of Christ for some time…but it shouldn’t be. The Bible is very clear on this subject. Let’s forget for a moment about Constantine, or that the Sabbath was a sign between God and the Israelites of their covenant (and so completely out of date) and focus on God’s purpose for the Sabbath.
Let’s start in Genesis…
The word “sabbath” means “rest”. This isn’t the kind of rest we need after a good workout. The word literally means ‘the ending of activity’. God didn’t rest on the seventh day because He was tired. God had finished creating the world, and so He stopped. He didn’t pick up where He left off when the weekend was over…He was done.
Let’s move to Exodus…
God’s covenant with the children of Israel included a lot of religious activity, including the creation of a tabernacle, sacrifices of animals, and so on. This activity only stopped on the Sabbath. Now, remember: the Sabbath isn’t about being tired…it’s about being finished with your work. The priests couldn’t stop working the way that God did in Genesis. They took a day off and went right back to it the next day. Why? Because the work wasn’t finished. They did the same things day after day, year after year. They were even forbidden to have chairs in the tabernacle because sitting down would suggest that their work was done!
Let’s keep going to the New Testament…
The Exodus Sabbath was a symbol of God’s rest in Genesis. It told the children of Israel that they would someday be able to stop working…to stop sacrificing for their own sins. When Jesus died and rose again, that day had finally come. In Hebrews 10:11-12 we see the comparison between the Jewish priests and Jesus:
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest [Jesus] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
Jesus finished His work and rested, just as we see God doing in Genesis.
What about us?
How then should we view the Sabbath? God rested when His work was done, and Jesus rested when His work was done. The ancient Jews never enjoyed that rest, but it’s available to us today, as Hebrews 4:9-10 tell us:
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 from his.
Let’s look at Colossians 2:16-17, which should erase any doubt about the nature of the Sabbath:
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
From all of these verses we can see that the Sabbath clearly isn’t a day of the week. It’s neither Saturday nor Sunday! We enter into the Sabbath rest when we stop working, and that only happens when we accept that Jesus’ sacrifice was for each of us. His work is done, and He invites us to join Him.

46 Responses

  1. God rested on the 7th day and made it holy… He made THAT day holy…
    It doesn’t say he temporary made that day holy, but that day (Also translated as “sanctified it”).

    So if this is true, why would it suddenly not be holy now? Jesus was holy, he was always holy, no change. Same concept here.

    Jesus rested on the Sabbath (Saturday) when he died. He died on Friday, rested through Saturday, even his disciples that were preparing his body for burial quit preparing him all Saturday and rested on the Sabbath (not working). Jesus rested on Saturday and rose Sunday…

    The list goes on and on…

    1. Thanks for your question, Joe!

      Look in Exodus 20:8-11, to which you refer:

      Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God…For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

      To make something holy, as you point out, is to “sanctify” it. That literally means ‘to set it apart’. The implication, whether it’s a person or a tool or money, is that it’s set apart for a specific purpose. God did set apart the seventh day, of course.

      The command to remember the Sabbath day is directly tied to God’s rest in Genesis, right? God ‘set apart’ that day…but for what purpose? If you look in Colossians 2:16-17, you’ll see the nature of the sabbath:

      …do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

      See? The sabbath day was a SHADOW of things to come. God’s people no longer perform animal sacrifices because Jesus fulfilled them. They were done to point us to Him. The sabbath is exactly the same, Joe. The observance of sabbath in Judaism pointed to Jesus, who is the true and real sabbath.

      Is Jesus holy? Of course. Do we remember (observe) the sabbath? Christians should, of course…not a day, but what the day meant: Jesus finished our spiritual work for us, and we can rest in Him.

    2. You’re making a big mistake ! You have to study the OT again ! Colossians 2:16 is talking about the ritual sabbaths not the sabbath holy day ! God has a sign between Him and His people. Jesus said that He is the Lord of Sabbath not from Sunday and I’ve a document from Vatican that proves that they changed it because (they say) that the church has the power to do that. Are you keeping just 9 commandments? Because the 10 commadments are still remaining in our days. See also Exodus 16:16-30
      And don’t say that it is not valid just because it is in the OT ! God is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. And just because it says Old doesn’t say that it is not to do! The bible never mention the sunday as the holy day. And by the way you will keep the sabbath in new earth as Isaiah says in the chapter 66. And the sabbath is a specific day ! God was not tired on the seventh day ! He was giving us the example! And we must do the same. Blessings to you

    3. Rui:

      I’m willing to listen to your argument. Please provide a reason – from Scripture – to believe that Colossians 2:16 is talking about “ritual sabbaths” and not the regular sabbath.

    4. Sure I can do that,
      The bible mention two kinds of sabbaths : Sabbath seventh day the comandment and the anual sabbaths. The anual sabbaths they are connected with the history of Israel. Col 2:16,17 says quoting from KJV : Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath {days}: {in meat…: or, for eating and drinking} {respect: or, part}Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body {is} of Christ. Also Hebrews 10:1 connects the law of shadow with the animal sacrifice. Paul quoted Ez.45:17 in the same way as used in Col.2:16,17 e it is connecting to the cerimonial system Lev.23;3 presents the sabbath seventh day and Lev. 23:5-32 the cerimonial sabbaths. God bless you

    5. Rui:

      Let’s look closely at Colossians 2:16-17, okay?

      1. The word “sabbath” is SABBATON. Grammatically, it refers to any kind of sabbath. Because there’s no indication in the text that Paul is talking about only special sabbaths, or “high sabbaths”, you can’t draw the conclusion you’ve drawn from the text itself. Instead, you are inserting your preferred interpretation into the text, which is a mistake.

      2. Your use of Hebrews 10:1 to LIMIT ‘the law of shadow’ to animal sacrifices is simply not supported by the text. Paul explains that the law is insufficient for making us righteous, and then – pay close attention – tells the believers to not stop meeting together, as some had done. Why would they stop meeting together? Quite obviously, they recognized that the weekly sabbath (the reason they had been meeting) was no longer in effect. Paul wanted them to continue to meet regularly, to encourage one another. Had the sabbath still been in effect, Paul would have addressed not meeting together in a different way.

      Were you to speak with a Jew and ask them “what is the law?”, you would undoubtedly be told that it is the law given to Moses, and everything that comes from it. The distinction that you and others make between ‘ceremonial law’ and ‘spiritual law’ doesn’t come from the text, or from any serious study of the text. It’s an idea that’s been overlaid on Scripture, not one drawn from it.

      The New Testament is clear, and adamant about the law: we are no longer under law. Paul wrote about it all the time, encouraging believers to not use their freedom unwisely. Were we not free to ignore the law, we would not have these instructions.

  2. Thank you for your response. I was taught that the bible reference you quoted talked about Jewish Sabbaths (holidays and Old Testament practices), not Saturday Sabbath.

    If we no longer need to keep the Sabbath, do we no longer need to keep any of the other 9 (of the 10) commandments either? “jesus came to fulfil the law not abolish it.”

    1. Joe:

      In discussions like this one, it’s easy to use words that cause confusion. I don’t observe the sabbath as they did in the Old Testament. Why? Because Jesus fulfilled the Law! What is the sabbath for Christians? Look at Hebrews 4:9-10…

      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 from his.

      I don’t observe the sabbath on Saturday, or on Sunday. I observe the sabbath every single day, because I have entered into God’s rest. It’s a spiritual rest, just as the priests performed spiritual work in the Temple. I don’t have to perform religious ceremonies over and over, doing never-ending spiritual work to please God. Jesus has completed the work, and our rest is in His finished work.

      It’s sometimes difficult to say these things clearly. I don’t fail to observe the sabbath. I observe it all the time! I rest in Christ all day, every day…that is the true sabbath.

  3. The Sabbath is the 7th day of the week.It was Paul’s custom to keep the Sabbath .Now if the Sabbath was done away with then Paul preaching on the Sabbath was vanity.We are still living in the new testament.Also scipture says lawlessness is sin.So besides Gods commandments what law are you keeping?

    1. Ya’kar:

      The Sabbath is, for the Jews, the 7th day of the week. Paul, being a Jew, grew up observing the Sabbath. This much is obvious.

      What’s less obvious is what you call “Paul preaching on the Sabbath”. Could you point to some specific Bible verses where Paul is preaching on the Sabbath, so we can look at them together? I’ve noted Colossians 2, where Paul tells us that the Sabbath day was a ‘shadow of things to come’, and that ‘the reality is found in Christ’. I’m not sure how he could be more clear, but I’m open to correction. Thanks, in advance, for posting the Bible verses that will help me see your point. You might start your research project with a few of Paul’s verses listed here: Should Christians Follow the Old Testament?.

      You asked, “besides Gods commandments what law are you keeping?”. That’s a good question. I’ve answered it, at least in part, here: Should Christians Live by the 10 Commandments?. Let me know what you think.

      Thanks!

  4. Matthew 5:17-19
    17- Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. (This verse alone proves that Jesus didnt’ destroy any law, or take away any law, when he died on the cross.)

    18- For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (This verse is saying not even one jot, smallest hebrew letter, or one tittle, smallest hebrew word, can pass from the law of God.) God says not even one jot can pass from the law, and your telling me that the sabbath, one of the laws, is no longer necessary and out of date? That’s a very dangerous thing to say since God has said nothing can pass from the law, especially one of the very commandments.

    19- Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    So before you deny what I’m saying, take these verses into consideration. You can see God is very serious about his law. Anyone who changes it will have to have an answer to God.

    1. KCM:

      I have indeed taken these verses into consideration. Let’s look at it closely.

      Before we do, however, let’s admit something important. The “old covenant” was between God and the children of Israel. Right? This covenant didn’t include, for example, the Egyptians or the Persians or the Greeks. Those of us (like myself) who have no Hebrew heritage have no part in this covenant at all. We never have, and we never will. So Jesus’ words about the Law are only meaningful in the context of the Law, which was part of the covenant that God made with the Jews.

      Moving on. You say that Jesus didn’t destroy, or take away, any law when He died on the cross. You’re EXACTLY RIGHT. He did not. What He did instead is FULFILL the Law. How do we know this? From what Jesus’ earliest followers taught. Here’s a good verse (one of many) that shows us this is true:

      So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. (Galatians 3:24-25)

      How about this one?

      But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6)

      Seems pretty clear to me. I can show you a bunch more, if you’d like. The plain and simple truth of the New Testament is that Jesus fulfilled the Law…in fact, the Old Testament is all about Jesus. Most of the regulations in the Mosaic Law pointed to Jesus. Where did I learn this? Among other places, in Colossians 2:

      Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)

      I hope that explains things a bit. You’re wise to use ALL of Scripture…I sincerely appreciate you bringing those verses to the conversation. Matthew 5 is as true as Romans 7 or Colossians 2, of course. They don’t contradict each other. In Matthew 5, Jesus is not explaining that the Law would never go away…only that it wouldn’t go away until it was fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled the Law, so we see this:

      Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. (Galatians 3:19)

      Let me know if there’s more I can do for you. Have a great day!

  5. – Yes Paul was a Jew. But he converted didn’t he? Aren’t Christians those who believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior and follow Christ? Is that not what Paul did? Paul was a convert and he still kept the Sabbath.

    -Yes, God made a covenant with the nation of Israel. But today we still keep those commandments. Do you not withhold from murdering, or worshiping other Gods, or stealing, or coveting other people’s things, or keeping statues or images of Jesus and God? If you do, why not keep the other commandment listed among these, which is keeping the Sabbath day? James 2:10

    – Jesus kept the Sabbath day. Except in those instances where he did not he was doing God’s work and healing people. But that is different than not keeping Sabbath all together, and engaging in activities such as watching TV, or cooking, or doing other worldly things.

    – Also, God made the Sabbath holy, and there are biblical examples of how the Sabbath can only be on THE Sabbath day, and not any day we choose. There is a bible passage that tells of how Moses told the people of Israel not to collect more grain than a day’s worth. However, some people disobeyed and collected twice as much so they would not have to return the next day, I believe. Then their food became rotten. But when they were picking their food on Friday, the day before Sabbath, Moses instructed them to pick twice as much so that they would not work on Sabbath. And the food did not rot, because it was for the Sabbath day. Sabbath is not about setting any other day of the week for God. It is doing it how God commanded it. We cannot do things our way, as God has shown with Cain and Abel. Abel brought the proper offering, while Cain chose to bring fruit. The fruit was the best, BUT it was not what God had asked for. God made the Sabbath day holy, and therefore we should keep.

    Another example of how disobeying God’s way of doing things is dangerous: Leviticus 10: 1-2. The sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu died because they presented to the Lord a strange fire that he did not command them to.

    Also, in the book of Revelations, it says that we should pray that we do not have to flee during winter time, or Sabbath day. Why does he keep mentioning it, if we are not commanded to keep it anymore?

    I do not say these things as if to judge. I myself am guilty of not keeping the Sabbath and I have to pray earnestly for forgiveness.

    1. ES:

      Yes, Paul was a convert. No, Paul did not keep the Sabbath. Sabbath-keeping involved much, much more than simply going to synagogue on Saturday. It involved a great number of restrictions, guidelines, and instructions. To suggest that Paul kept the Sabbath after becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is to ignore both Acts 15 and much of Paul’s own words…especially those words about the law.

      Yes, God made a covenant with Israel. No, we should not run around breaking the Ten Commandments. Putting the two together and suggesting that the Mosaic Law is binding on Christians is more than a stretch…it’s an error. The Law says that violating the Sabbath was punishable by death. Jesus violated the Sabbath (as outlined in the Mosaic Law) and yet was innocent. Why? Because He knew the REAL PURPOSE of the Sabbath. It was an ancient ceremony that pointed forward in time to His own life, death, and resurrection. As Paul pointed out: why observe the shadow when we have the reality?

      Yes, Jesus kept the Sabbath…but not in the way the Law was written or understood. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Let’s also not pretend that gentiles were EVER part of the covenant that God made with Israel. They were not. So gentiles (non-Jews) never had a Sabbath in the first place.

  6. From the text you pointed out in Colossians, I am guessing I can also practice any religious festival pertaining to any religion?

    1. Jessica:

      What a great response! I laughed when I read it. =)

      Context is important. If you can read Paul’s letter to the Colossians and conclude that, you have an amazing imagination. No, that’s not what I’m saying. From the text I pointed out in Colossians, “these” (the religious festivals that Paul refers to) were clearly Jewish religious festivals that pointed to Christ. They – specifically – were a shadow of the things to come. Now that Christ has come, we no longer need to observe the ceremonies that pointed to him. After all, the reality is better than the shadow it casts, right?

      If we’re going to take the Bible seriously, it’s important to actually take is seriously enough to read more than a few words at a time. Let me know if you have any further, or funnier, questions.

  7. The Sabbath was and is to rest from physical work so one can focus on become closer to God Spiritually.

    1. Danielle:

      Thanks for visiting GodWords! I appreciate hearing from you.

      Let me encourage you to think a bit more about this subject. You say that the Sabbath is for resting from physical work. That’s a common idea, but it doesn’t match what we read in Scripture. Here are some verses for your consideration:

      And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. Genesis 2:2

      Why did God rest? It certainly wasn’t because he was tired! The Hebrew word SHABATH is translated into English as “rest”, but it’s not the kind of rest we do when we’re out of energy. Think of it more like a musical rest…it more literally means simply “to stop”. God didn’t rest from His labor because He was tired, but because he was DONE.

      Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.'” Exodus 31:12-13

      The Sabbath wasn’t put in place because people need a day off. It was to be a SIGN to the Hebrews to remember God, who provides for us both physically and spiritually.

      God created very specific guidelines about how the Sabbath should be observed, to make sure they got the point.

      Fast-forward around 1500 years, and see what Paul wrote in Colossians 2. Remember that…
      1) this is as true as Genesis 2:2,
      2) Paul was a Pharisee and an expert in the Law, and
      3) Paul is providing information about the nature of the Sabbath:

      Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

      See it? The Sabbath is a shadow of things to come. It’s not the reality, but it points to the reality. The reality that the Sabbath points to is REST…not to physically recharge, but to rest like God rested. Before Jesus, spiritual work was required to be in good standing with God. There were all kinds of sacrifices and observances, and they were only in place temporarily. Now that Jesus has come, we find our SHABATH – rest from our spiritual labors – in Him.

  8. Gen 12 the promise was given to Abram. We know he followed God’s commandments, ordinance and statutes. Gen. 26:5 (given before Mt. Sinai even). In Gen. 15 Abram wanted a guarantee, He gave it to him, walk between the pieces now there is a death penalty attached to breaking it. Exod 19:3 God gives proposal, v. 4 they accept (“I do”) Exod. 19:4-24:11 is the Book of the Covenant. In v. 19:3 He was going to make them a nation of Kings and priests. They broke that Covenant that’s when they were given the Book of the Law. Attention to detail is everything, God wrote the Book of the covenant with his own finger, both sets of tablets. Moses wrote Book fo the Law with his hand. Deut. 10 and 31, respectively. The Book of the Covenant was in the Ark fo the Covenant and the Book of the Law was on the outside of the Ark. The Book of the Law was a witness against them and is what was nailed to the cross in Colossians. The Book of the Covenant is what was written in the First tablets AND in the second set. First set broken, picture of broken first Covenant. They were under the Book fo the Law/tutor/schoolmaster until “*Shiloh come” *Gen 49:10. Now instead of being a nation of kings and priests, they are a nation with priests. God was gonna kill them and start over with Moses until Moses mediated on their behalf. Hebrews and Galatians is very easy to understand once you grasp this. “r if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.” 2 Cor. 3:11. The Book of the Law (the Levitical priesthood) is what was fading away and it was glorious because it kept them from being wiped out under Yahweh’s wrath. That which remains is the Book of the Covenant, those include His dietary laws, Sabbaths (day 7 per scripture, it is a sign FOREVER, scripture say’s forever, without end) and His feasts. If one would just look up the history of where the Christian holidays come from they will find with absolute certainty that they are of pagan origin. Mixing unholy and putting God’s name on it is what broke the Covenant in Exodus 32..the Golden Calf…they called it by His name and were having a feast for Him the next day….just what Christianity is doing today. The second Book of the Covenant, which contained the same thing (Deut. 10 same writings) are put in the ark of the covenant, which is a picture of His Torah/Instructions/law if you must call it that, IN OUR HEARTS Jer. 31:31. The Sabbath was changed to Sun – day by the Catholic Church in honor of the ‘venerable day of the sun” Sun god worship. He gave us such a pretty picture within the scriptures, just in case you don’t want to spend time actually looking up the original words. We sinned, he spared us, shed blood to bring us out of sin (Moses brings them out of Egypt/picture of our Savior). HE then brings them to Mt. Sinai at Shavuot (Pentecost) and gives them a wedding contract/New Covenant/Instructions. The sin, He spares them and gives them a New Covenant, containing the same things because they are from the promises to Abraham in Gen 12 and since He swore by Himself because there was none higher, we can’t break that. We’re not a party to that, Only He is. Yahshua comes and puts the blood on their heart in order to allow us to enter into the New Covenant and follow Him as He has always intended. We are all responsible to study for ourselves, don’t take mans’ word for it or follow religiosity, man’s doctrines, theology written by men….He gave us His word and you don’t require a theological degree to be able to understand it. If you are basing your eternal salvation on it, doesn’t it warrant studying this out.

    1. Sylvia:

      I appreciate you taking the time to write so much. I also appreciate your desire to understand the whole of Scripture. There are a few points on which we disagree, to be sure. I’ll outline a few here, and await your reply.

      1. A covenant only applies to the involved parties. When God made the covenant with Abraham, it did not include the Chaldeans (for example). When God made the covenant with Israel, it did not include the Hittites (for example). I see no Scriptural reason to insert myself into God’s special relationship with someone else. Therefore, I see no Scriptural reason to live by the covenants that don’t include me. You may claim that everyone is bound by the Abrahamic covenant, but that’s not Scriptural.
      2. A good bit of evidence that we’re not under the Law is the Sabbath. Sabbatarians claim that the sabbath is permanent, yet Paul (in Colossians 2) clearly tells Christians to not let anyone judge us with regard to Sabbaths. You appear to be judging others in contradiction to this clear passage, which is a pretty good reason to reject your logic about the Sabbath in general. No offense intended, of course…but if we’re going to trust Scripture, we need to trust it all.
      3. You say that dietary laws are part of what remains. I have no problem with people who want to eat wisely. I do have a problem with people who tell me that God says to eat one thing and not another. After all, doesn’t 1 Corinthians 10:25-26 say to eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”? Of course it does. Remember that Corinth wasn’t Jerusalem, and was a port city…there were undoubtedly meats in the market that would have been prohibited under the Law. With respect, your claim is invalid.
      4. The early church met on the first day of the week to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection. I’m not Catholic, so I have no reason to defend them…except that Scripture and history tell me that you’re wrong. The Sabbath wasn’t changed by Rome to honor any sun god.

      Again: I heartily appreciate your interest in living for God. Let me recommend that you do a little more homework, to make sure you’ve understood the whole of Scripture. It appears that you’re only including the parts with which you already agree. If you include every part, and change your beliefs to match, you will undoubtedly be better prepared to live as God intends. Let me know if you have any other questions. I wish you well. =)

  9. The Sabbath, yes, it was a day of rest. The 7th day was set aside, sanctified and made holy. Also, it is a sign between God and Israel forever. New Testament believers have to ask themselves, who was the New Covenant made with? Jer. 31:31 “Behold the days will come when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel (northern tribes, scattered) and the House of Judah (northern tribes, scattered)see Hosea 1, they are scattered and intro to James, to the 12 tribes in the diaspora..). The Sabbath is like wearing our wedding ring, it is an ‘owth’ aleph vav chet Strongs #H226 “a sign, a signal, a distinguishing mark,..” (hmm, a mark.. could the Beast’s ‘mark’ be that of moving God’s holy day to Sunday, that part is just conjecture, but worth consideration since the enemy plagiarizes God’s work) and and comes from root H225 which means “to consent, to agree” to a Covenant perhaps. So the Roman Catholic church moved the Sabbath to Sunday without any scriptural authority, the admit to it, just look it up. It is not just a matter of ‘rest’. Also, Isa. 58:13-14 gives us a little more insight, “If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,And call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,And honor it, desisting from your own ways,From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, Then you will take delight in the LORD,And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” All things we need to consider. Blessings to you all and Happy Berean-ing

    1. Sylvia:

      Thanks (again) for writing.

      >> could the Beast’s ‘mark’ be that of moving God’s holy day to Sunday, that part is just conjecture, but worth consideration since the enemy plagiarizes God’s work

      Nope. I’ve read plenty of SDA literature on the subject, and had numerous conversations about it with SDA friends. This idea comes from a stunted view of Scripture. First, we are not limited to worshipping God on one day each week. In fact, while the first believers met specifically on “the Lord’s day” (the first day of the week, which is Sunday), Acts 2 tells us that they met every day! The idea that God has a “holy day” ignores Jesus’ finished work on the cross. The Sabbath pointed to Jesus, and is not a legal restriction for believers.

      >> the Roman Catholic church moved the Sabbath to Sunday without any scriptural authority, the admit to it, just look it up.

      See above. This is a silly argument, to be honest. Even a tiny bit of homework, looking in Scripture alone, undoes this conspiracy theory.

      I wish you well.

  10. In Matthew 24 when Jesus predicts the end times He says something very interesting : Matthew 24:20 And pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on the Sabbath. (NKJV)
    So the Sabbath is still valid because even in the end times when we have to run for our lifes Jesus says pray that it won’t be on the Sabbath.

    1. Alexandra:

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply! I appreciate it when my readers check me against Scripture. Let’s do a little digging, okay? Jesus is talking with His disciples, answering their questions. When He said, for example, No stone will be left on another, was He talking about some far-future event? Nope. This isn’t addressing ‘the end times’ as in ‘the end of the world’. This speaks of what happened in 70 AD, when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. When Jesus told His disciples to watch out, to not be deceived, to pray, and to be skeptical of false Messiahs, He’s actually warning THEM.

      When Jesus said that He would ‘come on clouds’, He isn’t talking about riding a blob of water vapor…He’s using established imagery from the Old Testament. For example, we see this imagery in Isaiah 19:1. Coming on clouds speaks of God’s judgment, not Jesus’ second coming. If we read further in Matthew (2 chapters ahead) we see in verse 64 that Jesus repeats this prediction of judgment, saying to Caiaphas and those who condemned Him that they would see God’s judgment.

      The typical modern interpretation of the verses you cited is that Jesus was talking about “the rapture”. This is where Jesus comes back to earth on a cloud, but doesn’t actually touch the ground. The theory is that He would then take Christians to Heaven…and then come back at another time to judge the world. This isn’t the historic position of the Christian church. The idea that Jesus’ second coming and the end of days are two different events is relatively new, having been taught in the mid-1800s for the first time. Before that, Christians believed that Jesus would come back once, and that He would judge the world at that time.

      If you read Matthew 24-26 with these things in mind – Jesus’ audience, the historic position of Christians, and God’s judgment in the form of the destruction of Jerusalem, you may come to agree with me. If Jesus spoke of something that happened in 70 AD, He was addressing Jews who would still be alive at that time and still be observing the Sabbath. That doesn’t mean that we are to live by the Mosaic Law and observe the Sabbath in the way that ancient Israelites did.

      What are your thoughts? I wish you well.

  11. The belief that Jesus, or Joshua, which was most likely his real name, is based on a virgin birth in Isaiah. However, in the original Hebrew/Aramaic text the word virgin does not appear. There were two words in that language, alma and betula, one meaning virgin and the other young woman. The word in the ORIGINAL text before the Greeks translated it was “young woman” and was referencing the coming of the child of the prophet Isaiah. But it was later changed to make Jesus’ birth a virgin one thus proving he was the Messiah. Many other Old Testament chapters were also changed by the Greek translation . I have read both and have seen the differences.

    1. Harriet:

      Thanks for writing! I’ll try to do your comment justice.

      >> The belief that Jesus, or Joshua, which was most likely his real name, is based on a virgin birth in Isaiah.

      I’m sorry to contradict you right away, but this isn’t the case. The belief that Jesus was born due to the miraculous circumstance of Mary being a virgin comes from the eyewitness accounts of those who knew Jesus and His family. Specifically, this is written in passages beginning with Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:26. While it’s clear that Jesus’ disciples considered His birth to be the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Isaiah 7:14, that’s not where Christianity gets the idea. Take note of Luke 1:34, where Mary asks this question after hearing that she will give birth to the Son of God:

      “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

      The question would make no sense if she wasn’t talking about virginity, would it? Of course, I haven’t dealt with the Isaiah passage, have I? That seems fair, since you haven’t dealt with Matthew and Luke. =) Keep in mind that Matthew was an eyewitness to Jesus’ family and ministry, and that Luke was a doctor.

      >> The word in the ORIGINAL text before the Greeks translated it was “young woman”…But it was later changed

      If you’re going to refer to the original text, you need to be honest and do some homework. The Hebrew word is ALMA, and it was never changed. In that culture, a young woman was normally a virgin…so there would be little need to make the distinction. I’m not saying that ALMA means virgin. I’m saying that the implication of virginity is likely. Context is important.

      >> Many other Old Testament chapters were also changed by the Greek translation.

      I’d love for you to point these out. The Jews who painstakingly translated the Septuagint might disagree with you. In other words: show me.

  12. What I’ve come to understand through lots of prayer and studying is that Jesus fulfilling the law didn’t mean that it wasn’t applicable anymore. Instead, it means that Jesus was filling a gap that we simply can’t fill on our own. Without Jesus we can’t be forgiven of our sins. There is no room in the law alone for the fact that we are imperfect creatures and we do make mistakes and we do fall away. With Jesus this missing link is fulfilled and now through Jesus we are able to have access to the Holy Spirit which can guide us and show us HOW to obey the law and give us the DESIRE to obey the law.

    As we grow in our walk with God we come to a place where we simply DESIRE to do what pleases Him. We’ve been specifically told in the commandments (and many other places throughout the Bible) that the Sabbath day is a holy day to commune with God and that it is (specifically) the 7th day of the week.

    I think of it like this: If my husband has a favorite meal that he absolutely loves and I know he does then I will make this for him, especially if he asks me to. Not because I feel OBLIGATED to, but because I love him and it makes him happy.

    So going into the Sabbath I remember that God views the 7th day of the week as something special and we know that to be the case from the creation, not from the 10 commandments. I love God and I know He doesn’t change so nothing has changed as far as that goes. He still views the 7th day of the week as a special and sacred day.

    Now, as I’ve started observing the Sabbath I’ve come to understand much more about it. When Jesus came and did certain things on the Sabbath that the Pharisees viewed as dishonoring he was trying to CLARIFY what the Sabbath is really about because the people had gone completely out of left field with it. What He clarified is that the Sabbath is a day in which we are to commune with God (Jesus) and not a day to set specific rules and regulations that you think about more than God. By focusing more on the rules and regulations than you do on God you’re doing the very opposite of what God wants you to do on that day — which is to remove as many distractions as you’re able to from your life on that day in order to focus on God.

    What I’ve been lead to by the Holy Spirit in the time I’ve been observing the Sabbath is that this doesn’t mean that if you have to change your kids diaper you’re not observing the Sabbath. What it means is God is giving you THE GIFT of setting all the earthy things aside for ONE DAY, one very special (and specific) day per week. These are the things that don’t matter in eternity, the things that are superficial and the things that we simply don’t NEED to do that day but can put off for another day. It’s a gift because it is SO FREEING to have that day with God. I grow so much in God on the Sabbath day it’s amazing. I can’t attribute it to anything but the fact that that day has been made (and will remain) holy because God said it was so and nothing can change that.

    All that being said you can worship and commune with God any (and hopefully every) day of the week! The more the better! But, nothing can remove replace the Sabbath being the 7th day of the week BECAUSE GOD SAID SO and that’s enough for me to continue observing it (and truly treasuring it) every week.

    1. Sarah:

      Thanks for commenting. It’s important to think carefully about such things, to make sure we haven’t misunderstood. We should be like the Bereans, who didn’t just swallow what Paul taught them. Instead, they went to Scripture to double-check him. I always appreciate it when others, like yourself, do the same to me. It’s very encouraging!

      The Mosaic Law was given as part of a covenant between God and Moses, who represented the Israelites (Exodus 24). I’m sure you would agree that this covenant did not include the Babylonians, or the Edomites, or the Chinese. Do you have some reason for presuming that God included you and me in that covenant? I see no reason.

      What do you think Paul meant when he wrote 2 Corinthians 3:7-11?

      Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

      Paul contrasted the Law (the 10 Commandments, written on stone, and all of the other regulations that went with the covenant) with the ministry of the Spirit. Note that he wrote of the Law as transitory, bringing condemnation. Not only did God’s covenant with the ancient Israelites not include you or me, it no longer includes Jews. God has a new covenant with His people, and it’s more glorious than the previous covenant.

      You can claim that you’ve been led to your conclusion by the Holy Spirit, but I’m not buying it. I mean no disrespect, of course…only that what you claim as revelation contradicts what you and I read in Scripture. There’s a reason that first-century Christians worshipped on Sunday, rather than on Saturday. The Sabbath had been fulfilled, and their actions show that they understood this. While there’s nothing wrong with setting aside one day per week to focus on God, there is indeed something wrong with the suggestion that God demands it, or expects it, or has even asked us to do so. I’m pleased that you celebrate a sabbath, and that you find it spiritually beneficial. Others might want to do so as well, and I would recommend that they give it a try. What I don’t recommend is contradicting Scripture to say that Christians are to observe a weekly sabbath because God says to…because that’s clearly not what has happened.

      What do you think?

  13. Tony,

    Thank you for your reply!

    As far as 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 goes you need to really look at the entire chapter before drawing conclusions. I really dove deep into that chapter last night with my husband and prayed about clarity on it. Because here’s the thing, like you said, our conclusions can’t contradict the scripture and scripture can’t contradict scripture. I’m looking at Matthew 5:17-19 and our understanding of 2 Corinthians 3 simply CANNOT contraction that scripture. I know you’re going to say that by fulfilling the law Jesus abolished it, but doesn’t that mean that He’s contracting himself when he says “For verily I say unto you, TILL HEAVEN AND EARTH PASS, one jot and one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” He’s not talking about the fulfillment of the law on the cross, he’s talking about the fulfillment of GOD’S ENTIRE PLAN, meaning to the end of time here on earth.

    Knowing that, it simply cannot contradict what Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians. That scripture also can’t contradict what Paul says in Romans 3:28-31 where Paul tells us that yes we are justified by faith, but NO that does not mean the law is made void. So after really diving deep into that piece of scripture it has become clear that it actually is talking about the veil being removed from the law. Here’s what I mean…

    The law was basically given before they were told HOW they were able to fulfill the law. They NEEDED to understand in all the time before Jesus that they simply cannot fulfill God’s law without God. Period. Here they are begging for a king, begging for law and order, practically begging to go back to Egypt because it was better in their eyes. And God says, Okay, sure you want law, I’ll give you what I expect of you. You simply can’t do this on your own, but you’re going to try because you’re a rebellious people. lol

    So what changed when Jesus died for our sins was that we were first of all covered by God’s grace through our faith in Jesus so that if we should make a mistake and disobey the law we would be forgivven (there was no room in JUST THE LAW for that). We were also finally able to received the Holy Spirit, God’s internal guidance on everything in life, including the law.

    So in 2 Corinthians 3 Paul is describing how the law COULD NOT be followed on it’s own. There was a veil over it which the people could not see this (2 Corinthians 3:13-16). So they scrambled around making assumptions on how to obey the law and they were basically running in circles because the law wasn’t made for unbelievers, it was made FOR BELIEVERS IN CHRIST. This is why in 2 Corinthians 3:3 he talks about this law now being written not in stones anymore, but ON OUR HEARTS.

    All that being said yes, I believe the law is for us because we are told that God is for not just the Jews but also the Gentiles (Romans 3:29). We are God’s children, we’re adopted into the family! 🙂

    But here’s the thing. I don’t believe that anyone is going to hell for not observing the Sabbath. The Bible says if you’re a follower of Christ and are truly saved then you are covered by faith. But these are just things that we do because we know they’re right and God has given us a precious glimpse into what He doesn’t like and I personally am going to try to steer clear of those things. We also now have the natural DESIRE to do these things as the Holy Spirit works on us.

    I do think, however, that so many Christians are missing out on something really special by not spending time with Our Heavenly Father on that day. Sunday was actually a Roman Catholic invention that spread down over time to the Protestant side of it. Am I going to do something just because the Pope said it was true? Ha! Have you seen anything that the Pope has been saying lately? Things like Jesus failed on the cross and that it doesn’t matter if you’re Buddhist or whatever because all roads lead to God. Do I want to do something just because someone that says those things said so? Absolutely not, quite the opposite. I want to know what his intentions are in changing the day of worship to Sunday, and frankly I think I’d take God’s Word over his.

    But thanks for your reply, it’s much appreciated. I do hope you will at least pray about this. I’m not sure if you already have. But it never hurts to ask God directly. 🙂

    1. Was hoping for a reply from Tony :(. This guy has a counterpoint for everything somebody posts about the Sabbath and I love learning! He seems very knowledgeable. But I’m still left confused.

      I have started this journey recently, so with the little knowledge that I have, I do agree and feel the same way you feel though. I observe the Sabbath not because it’s a law that MUST be followed but because I know God is pleased with it. By pleasing God, I’m *not* earning my grace or getting any special treatment, but it’s just something extra that I do to honor Him.

  14. I have to share one more thing that came to me just this morning. Then I’ll stop bugging you about it! lol

    I was reading Exodus this morning and came to the part in 39:35 and 40:3, 20 where the ark of the covenant is referred to as the ark of the testimony (KJV). In this the 10 commandments stand apart from the rest of the law because they are placed in a special and holy box to bear testimony of them.

    Now the Holy Spirit is referred to as bearing witness for Jesus Christ or bearing the testimony.

    The ark of the testimony represents what is now the Holy Spirit within us.

    Here’s an analogy of how it works: Let’s say I’m going to a friend’s house for dinner. I make up a list of all the things I don’t like to eat for her to make sure she doesn’t make them. She takes a look at the list but doesn’t really memorize it and she sets it aside. Let’s say that hypothetically green beans are on the list. If I’m not there in the room when she’s making dinner then she could go ahead and make green beans without remembering that I don’t like them. Now, let’s say I get there before she starts making dinner. As she starts dinner I notice she’s pulling out green beans to make so I remind her that I don’t like green beans. She says, “Oh yeah! I forgot” and goes ahead and makes something else. I stop her in her tracks from making something I don’t like because I’m right there with her.

    This is what the Holy Spirit does for us. This is why the testimony is written on our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3), because we have the ACTUAL person to remind us what they like and don’t like and NOT JUST THE LIST.

    Back to the analogy: Whether I am in the room with my friend as she makes dinner or just the list I gave her doesn’t change what I like and don’t like. The only thing that changes is that I’m there to REMIND her in person.

    Likewise the what God likes and doesn’t like doesn’t change, but now he is right there within us to remind us when we are about to go astray.

    1. Greetings Sarah, I like your replies about Sabbath keeping altho I am not fully convinced yet. What do you believe scripture says about hell? Destruction or everlasting torment? What is your interpretation of the mark of the beast and the “rapture”? Thanks, Ed Edwards.

    2. @Ed Edwards

      That’s a lot of questions to answer in a comment! 🙂 But, to answer as concisely as possible…

      I am honestly a bit torn on what to believe about hell as far as it being eternal or not. When I read scripture I see many cases where it talks about things like the body and soul being DESTROYED in hell (Matthew 10:28) and that those who don’t believe will PERISH (John 3:16) which are words I associate with having an end. But then there are verses like Matthew 25:46 where Jesus says there are those who will go into everlasting punishment that does make it sound eternal. Is it possible there are different outcomes for different unbelievers? I really don’t know. It’s a topic I haven’t quite been able to understand entirely and I haven’t been led to anything in particular by the Holy Spirit yet, so I just don’t know.

      For the Mark of the Beast that’s one my husband has a few theories on but I don’t personally have too many theories on what exactly it will be. One thing I have noticed about the Mark of the Beast though is that the Bible says that “he [the second beast] causeth ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads.” (Revelation 14:16). This makes it sounds like something we can’t avoid. HOWEVER, we can HAVE VICTORY over it (Revelation 15:2). And I know that we have victory through Our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). Could this be connected?

      When it comes to the rapture I do not see the pre-trib rapture portrayed in the scriptures. A lot of pre-trib believers use 1 Thessalonians 4:17 as really the only verse they can point to “prove” pre-trib. But when you read that in context it’s really just a means of giving comfort to those who have lost loved ones and re-assuring them that they will meet them again one day. There are parables about wheat (believers) and tares (unbelievers) which clearly describe the tares being destroyed first (Matthew 13:30) and then Matthew 24 Jesus describes us going through a tribulation period in the end. I will tell you one thing I’m sure of though. Whether it’s pre-trib, post-trib, post-wrath, God will protect those who are covered in the blood of Jesus, just as He did for Passover, He will do the same for those who are His children. Will it be easy for us? No, but we are covered by the blood of Jesus! Praise God! So, as my husband would say…”pray for pre-trib, but prepare (spiritually in particular) for post-trib”. 🙂

      I hope this helps. What are your thoughts, Ed?

  15. Interesting post. Allow me to posit my own viewpoint for consideration:

    First we need to understand the nature, and timing, of the new covenant. In Hebrews 8:13, we read:

    [Heb 8:13 ESV] 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

    This verse is frequently used by Christians to assert that the new covenant has come and the old has passed away, including the Torah associated with the old covenant. Oddly enough the word covenant isn’t even in the original greek here—it was added by translators. Beyond that even when the old covenant passes away, it does not mean the Torah will pass away, as we shall see.

    Let’s look at the passage from Jeremiah 31:

    [Jer 31:31-34 ESV] 31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

    This passage, unfortunately, completely destroys the argument of Hebrews 8:13. There are three major points to note from the passage:

    1. The party to the new covenant is the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It is not with gentiles, not with the “church”, not with Christianity!

    2. Torah (God’s law or instructions) is still central to the new covenant. The hebrew word behind the english word law in this passage is Torah. In fact, the Torah will be written on our hearts such that we observe it naturally.

    3. The conditions for the new covenant are not met, indicating the new covenant is NOT IN EFFECT yet. Note that people will no longer need to be taught to know the Lord, because EVERYONE will know him, from the least to the greatest. This is something that will happen in the messianic age, still to come. In fact, read some of the surrounding context in Jeremiah to see that this is absolutely descriptive of the messianic age.

    Thus, simple logic shows us that the quote of Jeremiah in Hebrews 8 was misappropriated. Christians seem to, whether consciously or subconsciously, equate the “new testament” to the new covenant, but that is clearly a mistake. The new covenant is still in the future.

    This passage informs us that whether current covenant or new, Torah is vital.

    Now, Christians like the author of this blog will also say that Torah wasn’t given to them. That is correct. There is perhaps an argument to be made that non-Jews aren’t bound to observe the Torah. However, if you believe Paul’s writings to have been appropriately included in the Christian canon, then you have to take him at his word when in Romans 11 he describes gentile believers as being wild olive branches grafted into the cultivated olive tree of Israel. If this is so, what sort of fruit will those grafted in branches produce? Bananas? Nope, the same exact fruit as the native branches. If one is grafted in, one because as much a part of Israel as the native Israelites, and thus should follow Torah as well.

    That’s tough for Christians because they don’t seem to love God enough to obey him. (Or have been taught they don’t need to and simply accept that without doing their own research.)

    This would include Sabbath, the topic of this article. For the Sabbath is everlasting:

    [Exo 31:14-17 ESV] 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.'”

    1. Thank you for your input! Now I am more confused! Heheh I guess I need to learn more.

      Can’t wait for Tony’s input on your comment

    2. I still have a question that I hope you can help me understand.

      In Exo 31:14-17 ESV that you quoted (and in verse 13), says that the Sabbath to be used as an instruction to be given to Israel and that they should keep from generation to generation. This still is pointing to Israel and not everyone.

      So you are saying that we (assuming you are Christian :P), Christians, should follow the Torah (commandments and all the other “613” commands)?

      If so, how can we explain these verses?
      Colossians 2:16-17
      16So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.17For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality

      Romans 7:6
      But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

      Romans 3:28
      28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

      Galatians 3:24-25
      24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

      Sorry in advance for the pasting of the verses, I’m still trying to learn all of this and I keep verses of “pro” vs “con” for whether we should keep the commandments and commands or not ^^

      Hope you can shed some light! Thank you for the time 🙂

  16. One thing I apparently failed to do clearly in my original comment is to point out that Hebrews 8:13 was the conclusion provided by the author after quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34 in Hebrews 8:8-12. Sorry about that but hopefully anyone who actually looked at Hebrews 8:13 saw the quote from Jeremiah just before.

    Here’s the bottom line, as far as I am concerned. The Jeremiah prophecy proves that Torah is central to both the old (Sinai) and new (Future) covenants. Thus, if Paul is really teaching that Torah has been abolished, he was simply wrong.

    The early followers of Jesus continued worshipping in the synagogue. They were called Nazarenes and/or Ebionites, were simply another sect within Judaism, and many or most of them actually rejected Paul’s writings completely. By the fourth century however, the Roman gentile churches greatly outnumbered them, had abandoned Torah, and were practicing things that had no basis in the teachings of Yeshua. These people determined the Christian canon, and Paul was NOT unanimously included. The way I see it, the HAD to include Paul because he was the only one who could be twisted to justify their current antinomian practices.

    As I see it, there are only two possibilities when it comes to Paul, and I believe it is very easy to prove it:

    1. He is misunderstood and was NOT teaching against Torah.

    2. He was a false apostle and WAS teaching, incorrectly, against Torah.

    If we agree that Christianity has its root in Judaism and we accept the “old testament” (I hate that term), then we have to accept the simple truth of Jeremiah 31, that Torah is central to both the old and new covenants. That *should* be enough to prove Paul is either misunderstood or wrong, but it is rarely enough because Christians read their new testament back into the old rather than reading it as a continuation of the old. If you learn the Tanakh first and then let it inform your interpretation of the NT, then you would naturally come to different conclusions.

    So, let’s show from the new testament how logically Paul cannot be teaching that Torah has been abolished:

    First, consider the definition of sin. What is sin exactly? Here’s a simple definition from the NT:

    [1Jo 3:4 ESV] 4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

    Sin is lawlessness. Simple, but profound to a Christian who has been taught that the law has been done away with.

    Paul himself echoes this in Romans:

    [Rom 5:13 ESV] 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

    What he is saying is basically “there is no sin without a law to define it.”

    So at this point it should be clear that sin is breaking God’s law (Torah).

    Now consider this verse from Romans which is another popular anti-law verse used by Christians:

    [Rom 6:14 ESV] 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

    Christians key in on the “not under law” part to abolish Torah, and yet Paul follows this up with:

    [Rom 6:15 ESV] 15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

    Paul says we don’t have a license to sin under grace. If we shouldn’t sin, and sin is braking the law, then obviously this is a mandate to follow the law. Logic allows for no other conclusion here.

    In fact, the ONLY author in the entire NT that anyone can interpret as having justified the abolishment of Torah is Paul. (And maybe the author of Hebrews if it wasn’t Paul, but many attribute it to Paul.)

    There were 12 apostles who actually walked with Yeshua during his ministry. They all continue to observe Torah and teach others to do so. In acts we have recorded an example of conflict between the Apostles and Paul because rumors were circulating that he was teaching against the law:

    [Act 21:18-24 ESV] 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, 21 and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. 22 What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law.

    The believers in Jerusalem were all zealous for the law but were hearing that Paul was teaching against it. They insisted Paul take part in a Nazarite vow in order to dispel the rumors. (Read further and you’ll find that Paul couldn’t even get that right and it was part of the reason for his detention.)

    The bottom line is that the entire Tanakh (old testament) is about Torah from Exodus onward. The Israelites accepted it and said they would do what God asked of them. God promised blessings for observance and curses for disobedience, and that set the stage for everything that occurred from there on. Nowhere is there a hint that Torah would ever be abolished, and Jeremiah 31 shows Torah to be a continuing vital component of a future new covenant.

    Then Yeshua comes and is perfectly Torah observant, and clearly teaches it to others in Matthew 5:17-20. So you have complete Torah continuity up to and including Yeshua, but Christianity places Paul above Yeshua and says the Torah no longer applies because Yeshua fulfilled it. Ask yourself, if fulfillment of something means it no longer applies, what is the difference between that an abolishment? Nothing! Yeshua said he wasn’t coming to abolish the law and prophets, and yet that is what Christianity has done!

    Think about it in modern legal terms. Whether a law is overturned (abolished) or expires (fulfilled and no longer applies), what is the difference? The law no longer needs to be followed, and there is no consequence to not following it. There is no difference.

    Yeshua says clearly in Matthew 5:17-20 that the law and prophets will remain unmolested until heaven and earth pass away and ALL (meaning all prophecy, much of which is still to come) if completed. He then follows that up by stating that anyone who breaks the least of the commandments and teaches others to do so will be least in the kingdom of heaven. There is no getting around the clear meaning of his words.

    Once you wrap your head around all of this, and believe me it was excruciatingly painful and took a long time for me to accept, then you are left with the question of what to do about it. I’ll be honest and admit that I haven’t quite figured that all out yet. There are those who say Torah was given only to Israel, and that gentiles who want to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can observe the instructions given by God to mankind in the scriptures before Sinai. Personally this does not resonate with me, but it is logical so I haven’t ruled it out. I am personally drawn to learning to observe Torah.

    Your response contained the phrase “assuming you are a Christian”. At this point I would no longer claim that label for myself, primarily because I believe 1) Christianity to be far from the truth, and 2) Yeshua did not come to establish a new religion. I don’t know what to call myself at this point, but I actually worship in an orthodox synagogue on Shabbat for the time being (been attending for only a couple months). Unfortunately I learned the truth, and it carried me right out of church, through hebrew roots/messianic judaism for a bit until I realized that wasn’t the answer either, and now the synagogue is sort of my only option 🙂

    That probably seems radical and bizarre to a Christian, but given enough time I could explain my journey and how it has taken me there. Feel free to contact me offline at wtl at outlook dot com.

    1. I just have to follow up here, especially for Fernie, because while William has a lot of wisdom here that is very helpful, I think there’s some things that are way off base.

      First of all, to abandon Jesus in order to follow Torah is exactly the opposite of what you should do. In no way CAN you fulfill Torah without Jesus. He (and with guidance of the Holy Spirit that Jesus has sent to us) gives us the strength and discernment to be able to know right from wrong. Following Torah is good, but we simply CANNOT do it without Jesus. That was what Jesus meant by saying he came to fulfill the law. We needed something more than ourselves to be able to follow God’s law, and that something was Jesus and only Jesus.

      Also keep in mind that many of those laws in Torah had to do with preparation of their sacrifices, which is fulfilled when Jesus became our Perfect sacrifice. The laws which Aaron and his line had to perform to prepare the offerings obviously can’t be performed now since we don’t make physical sacrifices anymore because: 1) Jesus became ALL OF our atonement offerings and 2) God was very clear that there was ONE PLACE where these offerings could be made and that place no longer exists.

      Following God’s law does not provide salvation, only Jesus can do that. But following God’s law does enable us to be closer to God because sin draws us away from God because He is so holy and perfect, and sin was defined in the Torah.

      Also I firmly believe that Paul is greatly misinterpreted, NOT a false prophet. The Bible we have today (I use KJV) is inspired by God entirely but it cannot be understood properly if we look for what we want in it, take snippets that fit our needs, and in turn contradict other portions. Our understanding with the New Testament has to fit with what God ordained in the Old (Old not meaning done away, but meaning of-Old or been around a long time). So when we are trying to find the truth, remember that the pieces MUST FIT TOGETHER. It’s a life-long journey, which is how God designed it — so we would be continually seeking Him out. It wasn’t to confuse us, but to draw us nearer to Him. Not only that, but false teachers are out there whose intent IS to confuse us. We need the Holy Spirit to discern that, and like I said above we can only have the Holy Spirit through Jesus.

      And yes, we ARE a part of Israel because we are grafted on to the tree of Israel (Romans 11:16-21). When branches from a fruit tree are grafted onto another tree, are they still two trees? No. They are ONE tree.

      The term Christian simply means follower of Christ and is not a bad term to use, it’s even used in the Bible; although it is used quite loosely now, that doesn’t mean it can be taken from you. Those who are grafted onto the tree the only way they can be, through Christ (Christians) are now apart of Israel, and therefore are apart of the covenant with God. You will also notice in the Romans passage above that God does not spare even the native branches (those who are born by blood into Israel) when they do not follow Him (Christ), which means those who do not follow Christ are no longer apart of SPIRITUAL Israel (God’s chosen people). To be clear, those who are born into Israel and DO follow Christ are still apart of God’s chosen people, of course. Things look differently now that Jesus has fulfilled the sacrifice as our Perfect Lamb. But that needed to happen because sin is so prevalent, there weren’t enough ordinary lambs in the world (and enough time to sacrifice them) to atone for all the sin in it.

      I hope that helps a little more. I know it’s not an easy thing to accept, since so many have been led astray with this doctrine, and now those who are Christian and chose to follow the law are in the minority. But you are doing exactly what God wants you to do, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and not just accepting something you’re told. So really and truly, while talking to other Christians is important, talking to God about it is the most important thing you can do when it comes to these convictions you feel.

  17. I composed my last comment rather hastily, and apologize for the typos! I also feel that perhaps I did not explore one of the questions as much as I should have, that being the question of whether gentile believers need to observe Torah.

    Christianity by and large says nobody needs to follow Torah, even Jews, because Jesus fulfilled it and put it to rest. I am firmly opposed to this idea based on Jeremiah 31:31-34, Matthew 5:17-20, and many other passages where Yeshua teaches and demonstrates the need for Torah. Matthew 7:23 for example is a good one that I haven’t yet mentioned, or the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is a really good example (I think that’s in Luke 16).

    However, whether gentiles are obligated to Torah is a question I haven’t yet answered for myself. I personally am drawn to Torah. After spending 40 years as a Christian, confused by the tangled mess of Christian theology, I finally got off my lazy rear and started really seeking the truth, and it has led me to places I never imagined I would go. As a result, my love for God has been strengthened immensely, and I am seeking to know exactly what He would have me do.

    I find this passage in Isaiah particularly interesting:

    [Isa 56:1-8 ESV] 1 Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” 3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” 4 For thus says the LORD: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, 5 I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. 6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant– 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” 8 The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”

    The “foreigner” in this context refers to non-Israelites. Isaiah speaks of Non-Israelites who seek to know God, who are afraid they have been separated from God because they are not part of His people, being assured they have a place amongst His people that SURPASSES that of the native born: “I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.”

    Further, we must consider that the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom who were exiled to Assyria never returned to the land. God promised to make Abraham into many nations, and those ten tribes migrated throughout the world. I do not subscribe to the typical two house theology of the hebrew roots movement, but there is no denying the fact that there are people in the world with Israelite heritage that aren’t aware of it. Who is to say whether a gentile today is truly a gentile?

    For these reasons I am drawn to full Torah observance, because my love and devotion to my Creator encourages me to be obedient to Him to the greatest extent possible. Hope that helps!

  18. Sarah I have nowhere advocated abandoning Yeshua! It is my belief that you can believe in Yeshua as messiah, and still be acceptable in the synagogue, as long as you don’t elevate Yeshua to the place of YHWH.

    I think you have made an assumption that going to synagogue means I have abandoned Yeshua.

    1. William,

      I apologize if I misinterpreted your comment. I think I gathered that from your comment on not considering yourself a Christian but rather attending an Orthodox synagogue, who do not teach that Jesus is the Messiah. I just think there’s a danger with going to a non-Messianic synagogue because you start veering more towards the law being more important than Jesus. Do you know what I mean, or am I completely off base?

      My family is having a hard time finding a Sabbath and Torah keeping congregation as well and so I completely sympathize with that. We just recently found a Messianic congregation we are going to try next Sabbath so I can definitely understanding being led in that route. But this particular congregation we found doesn’t seem to believe (according to their website) that the Gentiles have been grafted on to the tree of Israel through Christ, which I wholeheartedly do. So it’s still not just the right fit for us. :-\ But it might be better.

      My husband and I are also starting to wonder if God is driving more of us in these (what appear to be) last days who have been led to this truth to planting churches/congregations that won’t be afraid to teach the truth. What do you think? There’s so few out there but I’m seeing more and more people waking up and craving the truth rather than just having their ears tickled.

      Thanks for understanding, sorry for misunderstanding your comment. I’m glad that i misunderstood you though and that wasn’t what you meant. 🙂

    2. I’m sorry, I also missed your comment on not elevating Yeshua to the place of YHWH. Do you not believe in the Trinity? Or do you believe that YHWH is the Father rather than the name for God as all three persons of the Trinity?

      I understand YHWH to be One God but presenting Himself in three persons as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Kind of how I am one person but have a Spirit, Soul, and Body. Is that how you see it too, or no?

  19. Sarah:

    I feel like my response will be very lengthy. I almost hate to post it here as we’re veering off-topic. But, since at least one other person (Fernie) is following the discussion, I feel anyone who might be observing should benefit from it. I almost wonder if we should somehow take it off site. I sort of feel it might be disrespectful of this blog’s ownership to hijack his article for this discussion, but then we ARE discussing things that stem from our viewpoint on the original topic of the article, which we see much differently than the blog author.

    I’ll start composing a response offline and see what you and Fernie think about continuing here. Anyone else lurking feel free to reply as well.

    What I will say for now is this–I think it’s fantastic that so many people seem to be waking up to Torah. I kick myself every day for taking so long. I first got my glimpse into Christian error 30 years ago, when I dug into the origins of Christian holidays and lack of Sabbath observance. I unfortunately did not follow through and continue seeking the whole truth, and spent another 30 years drifting through Christianity knowing I wasn’t quite in the right place. I hate that I took so long to really dig, but am thankful that I eventually have.

    My understanding today is much different than it was when I started my current journey a couple years ago. I am nobody, and completely underserving of any sort of attention from God, but yet I feel as though he has distinctly led me in a very orderly path, confronting me with truths I was able to handle when I was able to handle them. There are things I have come to believe today that I would not have been able to handle in the early stages of my journey. That makes me somewhat hesitant in a way to start throwing out ideas that I remember I wouldn’t have been able to accept without taking the long journey through each new truth. But then I’m also not one to hide something just because I think it’s controversial. I would just ask that you be sensitive to the fact that the journey to truth can be a gradual one, with one truth building on another in a progressive fashion. I might say something you can’t accept right now, but may come to later. That has happened to me countless times along the way.

    When I talk about my journey with others, I start with the definition of sin. It was that simple truth that allowed me, after months of sleepless nights wrestling with Torah vs. Paul, to accept that lawless Christianity is far removed from the truth. For a long time I was obsessed with coming to grips with exactly what Paul meant–so much of what he wrote seems clearly anti-law that I felt it would take years for me to be able to come to terms with it all. I literally woke up in the middle of the night one night with an epiphany–I had already been over scripture which easily proved that Paul couldn’t be teaching the abolishment of Torah, (or if he was he was wrong), and suddenly I realized I didn’t really need to figure Paul out after all. From there each step forward has come in its own time. It’s really been very strange.

    I commend you and your husband for being like me and seeking the truth. What I have constantly told myself is that I have to follow the truth wherever it leads, and I must avoid cementing my mind solidly on any particular aspect of my understanding prematurely, and even when I’ve pretty much proven something solidly to myself, I remind myself that if someone smarter than me comes along and disproves me, I have to be open to being wrong and reforming my understanding.

    So, as I compose some thoughts offline, let me at least get you thinking with this:

    I have discussed above Jeremiah’s prophecy of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). I think the passage clearly indicates that conditions have not been met for the new covenant to be in effect. Clearly the passage describes a future state where everyone knows God, from the least to the greatest, and nobody needs anyone to instruct him on how to know God. This obviously has not happened. (I do think that some of the writers in the NT believed that it was imminent, but here we are nearly 2,000 year later and obviously this new covenant is still in the future.) When the Messiah rules from Jerusalem and the entire world is forced to acknowledge God, is when I believe the new covenant will arrive, and when we will obey God completely and naturally. (How else will the universal peace of that future time be possible?)

    That leaves the Sinai covenant still in place between God and Israel. If so, the same conditions still apply today as did some 3300+ years ago when it was accepted, and no new requirements have been or can be introduced. How can one say that a Jew following his covenant with God is condemned without faith in Yeshua? Where in Torah is the requirement for a Jew to have faith in a/the messiah for one to be righteous before God?

Leave a Reply