Why don’t Christians observe the original Sabbath?

HomeChristianity and the BibleWhy 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about Constantine, or that the Sabbath was a sign between God and the Israelites of their covenant (and so completely out of date) and focus on God’s purpose for the Sabbath.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.

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320 responses to “Why don’t Christians observe the original Sabbath?”

  1. Joe says:

    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…

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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.

      • Rui de Barros says:

        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

        • Tony Scialdone says:

          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.

          • Rui de Barros says:

            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

          • Tony Scialdone says:

            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.

          • Bill Duckworth says:

            Jesus was killed for not Honoring the Sabbath and saying he was Equal to GOD. Judea Christian do not obey the Fulfillment of Christ Born Again from flesh to Spirit John 3:1-8 and John 3:13. (Jesus flesh to Christ Spirit) and to Love One Another in Spirit.

            He said “Follow ME” to Heaven. Not leave you Ass stuck in the mud till Monday of Love Mammon of Man-Made Physical Material World

          • Tony says:

            Hey Bill:

            Maybe it’s the spelling mistakes, maybe it’s me…but that makes no sense. If you’d like to try again, maybe we can talk about your ideas. I mean no disrespect. I’m just saying that I can’t understand what you wrote.

          • Trenton James Culbert says:

            Matthew 19:16-19 is a great Scripture to support that we are no longer to keep the Sabbath day.

        • Zibah says:

          Zibah
          Ruiz de Barros, you are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. Thanks for your true knowledge on the subject. I attempted to give clarity but you as I continued to read the other comments, I came across yours. I am glad, because why would in Yochana 14:15 the Messiah ask us to keep HIS commandments, and in verse 21 HE gives HIS people further request on the observance of HIS requirements (which HE also observed), then turn around to say, “Oh that’s ok my children, live however you like” sort of speak. I mean, don’t people realize that is how the world live? WOW!!! This SABBATH issue is ONLY an issue to those who want to live as they see fit. Don’t they know that the SABBATH is AHAYAH’S “trademark”? I wonder what they think the “Mark of the Beast” is???

          • Tony says:

            You sound like a fringe Adventist, Lu (Zibah). Sunday worship is not the mark of the Beast. You should do more study… you know, in the New Testament.

      • Michael says:

        Hello gentlemen, I placed a comet here some time ago. I do not believe that it ever showed up LOL! I’m a Sabbath keeper who was a Sunday Christian who was actually raised by a Sunday Christian pastor who was my father. He’s the kind of guy who has a master’s degree in Divinity and a honorary doctorate if you know what I mean. Even after much debate over the years an argument with him and his peers they still have not been able to sway me from Sabbath keeping. When I was introduced to it it actually happened by mistake I found a book on Sabbath keeping on a Ledge going until the mall and it radically change my life. I tried for years to disprove it and I couldn’t. There is a ton that I can say on the subject and I really want to be part of this conversation. Currently though the most important statement I must make is referring to Colossians 2:16 which is often used to attempt to prove that the Sabbath is passed away. Unfortunately most of the translations we are reading and America have been tampered with and altered to reflect the translation team interpretation of that verse and its meaning. They have gotten away from actually stating what the versus say and they have begun to put what they believe the verse means. You can trust me 100% on this do the research and you’ll find it… The words “were or was” are not found in the original translations. When Paul wrote this verse he wrote it in a present and future tense. If you look in the original authorized versions of the Bible you will see it. He said these things are a shadow of what is coming, or these things are a shadow of what is to come, and the body that is casting the shadow is Christ. Meaning that the body that should be casting the shadow is the body of Christ. The sabbats and the feast and the festival’s were being kept by Colossians but they were being wrongfully judged by gnostics and unbelieving Jews who wanted them to continue to kill animals in order to keep the festivals. Believers who keep the Sabbath and those who keep the feast in the festival’s do salt in a christ-like joy for manner. I know I have witnessed this myself. As I have visited various Sabbath keeping organizations. In the Torah God commanded the Sabbath’I and the feasts to be kept “forever”, by all Jews, all converts & all staying with them. The disciples kept them & taught that they be kept in a Christian manner. The Sabbath’s are a solid reminder of the freedom Christ has given, and they unlock vital keys to understanding endtime Revelation. [Edited to remove a duplicate reference to a questionable resource] Honestly ask God to reveal truth to you, then read it with an open mind that you may just be wrong. If you still disagree with Sabbath after this, You likely won’t ever convert. Be blessed brothers!

        • Tony says:

          Michael:

          Virtually all comments get published here…just not necessarily right away. I try to respond to each, and sometimes I get very busy.

          As I’ve written before (to you and others), you and I were never part of the Mosaic covenant. For Gentile Jesus-followers to know they must observe a seventh-day sabbath, this instruction must come from God. As there is no such instruction in the New Testament, one must conclude that keeping a seventh-day sabbath, as the Israelites did under the Old Covenant, is not required.

          • Brian says:

            Tony – where does this notion that Christians are not part of the Mosaic Law come from? Paul reminds us of the new covenant that was prophesied. Hebrews 8:10 does not say that the law will be done away with, it says that He will put His laws in our minds and on our hearts. Yes it says it was for the nation of Israel, but Galatians 3:28 tells us there is neither Jew nor Greek. We are all one in Christ. Verse 29 tells us that if we have Christ, we are the seed of Abraham. We are grafted in. Christians are the nation of Israel. The law is not a curse. If we keep the law we receive all the blessings that God promised us. Don’t you want those blessings? You say the new testament is clear, so why are there so many denominations? Why did Peter warn us that a misunderstanding of Paul will lead to lawlessness? 2 Peter 3:16-17

            Do you agree that Jesus was falsely accused? Do you know what the Jews accused Jesus of? What they accused Stephen and Paul of? Changing the law. Preaching against the law. They were falsely accused. It’s right there in the Bible. Deuteronomy 13 gave the Israelites a test to prove a prophet. It says a prophet will agree with the law. And if he doesn’t, they should not believe him. They believed that Jesus was coming against the law, and put him to death because of it. This test is the reason they do not accept him today still, because the Jesus that most denominations portray does not pass the test of a legitimate prophet either.

            Back to Sabbath. God implemented Sabbath on day 7. There was no Jew or Israelite yet. God established this day for all mankind. And when he presented his Holy Days, He did not say that they were for the Israelite only. He said they were for the alien as well. They are His Holy Days. Nowhere does it say that they ended. The only thing that comes close to suggesting that Sunday could be implemented as a corporate day of worship is the incorrect translation of mia ton Sabbaton, to say first day of the week. Jesus rose on the weekly Sabbath. The first Sabbath in counting to Pentecost. It’s right there in Greek but nobody wants to accept it. Sunday was the Roman day of rest, for Sol Invictus, the unconquerable sun. Constantine, Rome, the Catholic church changed Sabbath to Sunday. God made Sabbath Holy, man cannot change this.

            There remains a Sabbath rest and Paul intended for us to remember it. Hebrews 4:9

          • Tony says:

            Brian:

            I get the “notion” that Christians aren’t part of the Mosaic Law from Exodus, where God established His covenant with the children of Israel. Read the text and see for yourself. God didn’t include Ethiopians in the Mosaic covenant, or Phoenicians, or Tishbites, or anybody else. Those whom God brought out of Egypt, and their descendants, were included in the covenant.

            I also get the “notion” that Christians aren’t part of the Mosaic Law from Acts, where this question was directly addressed: whether Gentile converts to Christianity had to also follow the Mosaic Law. Read the text and see for yourself, making note of verse 5.

            I also get the “notion” that Christians aren’t part of the Mosaic Law from Galatians 3, where Paul made it clear that the Mosaic Law was temporary, until Jesus came.

            I also get the “notion” that Christians aren’t part of the Mosaic Law from Romans, where we learn that – and I quote – we are not under the Law.

            It’s not a “notion” that I came to believe by myself, Brian. It’s the clear teaching of Scripture. You wrote that “the Law is not a curse.” Well, you need to do a bit more homework. Paul, in Galatians 3:13, said exactly the opposite. I think I’ll stick with Paul, rather than your opinions or mine. I have no interest in butting into God’s covenant with someone else…I have my own covenant with God, and that’s enough for me.

            You’re incorrect about the accusations against Jesus. Jesus claimed to be God, which is why they wanted to kill Him…so yes, He – being God – was NOT falsely accused.

            When it comes to the Sabbath – or anything else in Scripture – it’s important to read the text. So far, your track record isn’t great. Go read Genesis 2. Dig a tiny bit into the Hebrew and see that God did not do what you imply. The word shabat simply means “to stop.” God stopped working because His work was done. He made no command about observing a parallel sabbath until He made His covenant with Israel at Sinai in Exodus. If you’d like to discuss this in more detail, I’d suggest reading Why Don’t Christians Observe the Original Sabbath and commenting over there. Yes, sabbath was important. No, Christians are not commanded to observe the sabbath in the way that the Mosaic Law demanded.

            Simply put: the Law is obsolete.

          • Brian says:

            Thank you for responding so quickly. I do want you to understand that I shared your same opinion on the law until a couple years ago. Shortly after I was baptized in the Spirit, I was challenged to approach the Bible without preconceived notions. My eyes were certainly opened when I started believing what I read instead of just reading what I believed.

            I use the word “notion” because it’s not the consensus of all God-fearing Christians. And it has not been the opinion of most churches since Acts. I will agree that it is currently the majority, but we all know what the Bible says about following the majority. There was no prophesy that the law would be done away with. There was a new covenant, but it placed that law (Mosaic law in Greek) on our hearts and in our minds. Hebrews 10:16

            You are misunderstanding what Paul is telling us in Galatians 3:13. The curse comes when you choose not to follow the law. This is clearly presented in Deuteronomy 11:26. It’s a blessing for those that choose to follow it. That includes Ethiopians. Moses wife was Ethiopian coincidentally. I challenge you to read through Psalms and see what David says about the law. He certainly didn’t make it sound like a curse. Did Jesus disagree with David? Didn’t God’s Spirit give David those words? Was Paul preaching against David? Against the Law? Doesn’t that make him a false prophet by definition in Deuteronomy 13? Is that not the same law that should be on our hearts and minds? Paul asks a question that we should all take to heart. “Should we continue in sin that grace may abound?” He also answers it for us. “God forbid”. Romans 6:1 Paul does not tell us that the law is done away with and that it is a curse. Again I point to Peter who said that misunderstanding Paul leads to lawlessness. One verse suggesting the law is done, cannot stand up to the countless other verses that tell us to follow God’s commands/Law.

            Sin is defined as “transgression of the law”. 1 John 3:4 That’s Mosaic law in the Greek. What does Jesus need to save us from if that law is no longer in effect? What do we need forgiveness from? Don’t get me wrong. Following the law does not bring salvation, but not following it does bring a curse. All the curses presented to the Israelites are present in churches all across the world. That’s what Paul was referring to, not that the law itself was a curse. John also tells us what it means to love God in 1 John 5:3. Loving God means following His commands, and they are NOT grievous. John also tells us that Jesus is the Word. That means Jesus IS the Law and the Prophets. Rejecting the law is rejecting Jesus.

            What are your thoughts on Matthew 5:17-20? Jesus Himself said that the Law is not abolished. That’s Mosaic law in the Greek. Not one jot or tittle has passed. Are you willing to be called “the least in the kingdom of heaven” to prove your point?

            What are your thoughts on Matthew 7:21-27? Jesus is telling “workers of lawlessness” (that’s Mosaic Law in the Greek) to get away from Him, as in, you didn’t pass the Throne Judgment. Not because they didn’t know Him, but because HE didn’t know THEM. The house built on a rock is likened to being wise to follow the Law. If that one doesn’t put the fear of God in you and make you reconsider your opinion of the law, I don’t know what will.

          • Tony says:

            Brian:

            Thanks for your reply. I’m pleased to read that you understand the Bible to be the source of our beliefs, and not the evidence we dig through to prove our opinions are correct.

            Thanks also for clarification on the term “notion.” I put it in quotes to highlight my point. It’s true that there’s no consensus among God-fearing Christians on the subject of the Law, but that doesn’t change what we see in Scripture. After almost 40 years of discussing theology, I can tell you that there will always be someone who disagrees with virtually anything. The question isn’t whether we can find consensus. The question is, “What does the Bible say?” and “What does it mean?”

            You and I disagree, so far. That doesn’t bother me, as long as both of us are willing to be challenged. Our beliefs should match what we see in Scripture…I’m sure we agree on that. With that said, let’s get back to the data.

            Biblical interpretation isn’t all that difficult. There are a handful of rules, most of which apply to virtually any communication, plus a few that are particular to the Bible. One such rule is known as ‘unity.’ That’s the idea that the Bible, despite having been written by around 40 authors over a period of 1500 years, is essentially one story, superintended by God Himself. As such, we believe that the Bible will not contradict itself. Where there are apparent contradictions, Christians believe that it is they who must misunderstand, rather than that the Bible is wrong. Other rules explain that we should use clear passages to interpret unclear passages, and that we read each passage in its context. Let me explain how these rules keep me from agreeing with you.

            There is no contradiction between the Old and New Testaments, including passages dealing with the Mosaic Law. There are no contradictions between the writings of Peter and Paul, or between what Jesus said and what Luke wrote. If one passage seems to indicate that Christians are under the Law, and another seems to indicate that Christians are not under the Law, we need to work to bring clarity…to dig until we understand what we’ve gotten wrong. When Paul wrote that we are not under the Law, that the Law was temporary until Christ came, and that we have been released from the Law, I have no choice but to believe him. These passages are clear and unambiguous.

            As you can see by reading the many comments above, it’s easy to bring other passages into the discussion. Nobody should dismiss these other passages, of course…they are equally true. The goal is not to prove our point, but to understand the whole of Scripture. So, when someone points out that Romans 3:31 says that we “uphold the law,” it’s important to work to understand what that means. In context, Paul was (clearly) not saying that Christians are to be Torah-observant. If that were true, he would not have also said that the Law was temporary. Instead, we see from the context what Paul meant: that those who live by faith will fulfill the intent of the Law. It’s tedious at times, but every single objection must be dealt with in this way. We look at each passage in context, then compare and contrast them with other passages to get a clear picture. Where a passage is taken out of its original context, it’s usually misapplied.

            For example, you’ve written this a few times: “Mosaic Law in Greek.” With all due respect, that’s irresponsible nonsense. The Greek says no such thing, and anyone with access to a Greek New Testament (that is, everyone with access to the internet) can very easily and very quickly prove otherwise. The Greek word nomos simply means “law,” and it’s a generic word that can be applied in many different ways. None of the passages you’ve mentioned as using “Mosaic Law in Greek” have any word other than nomos or a variant, like anomos (“without law” or “no law”). If you’re going to refer to the Greek to bolster your position, get ready to get schooled…because either you 1) are parroting what somebody else has told you (bad form), 2) have no idea what you’re talking about (very bad form), or 3) are a liar (very, very bad form).

            Now: if you want to say that the context of a passage leads you to believe that the author uses nomos to refer to the Mosaic Law, go ahead. It’s used that way many times in Scripture…but to say that those passages say “Mosiac Law” in Greek is not just incorrect, it’s dangerous and destructive.

            Hebrews 10:16 doesn’t say what you claim. The law written on our hearts is not the Mosaic Law. Galatians 3 doesn’t say what you claim. It says that those who rely on the works of the Law are under a curse. 1 John 3:4 isn’t talking about the Mosaic Law, but about any law. 1 John 5:3 does say that loving God means keeping His commands, but it doesn’t speak of the Mosaic Law. You’re adding that idea to the text, simply because it has the word “commands” in it…then you pretend that John taught that we should obey the Mosaic Law. Bologna.

            You claim that Jesus being “the Word” means that rejecting the Mosaic Law is rejecting Jesus. Again, that’s utter nonsense…and it’s dangerous to people who don’t know better. You’re promoting the same errors that we see corrected in the New Testament in places like Timothy, Titus, Acts, Galatians, and Hebrews. In the strongest sense, knock it off. Do your homework and correct your theology or keep your mouth shut. I don’t say this to be rude, Brian. Those who teach are held by God to a higher standard, and you are undeniably failing to meet that standard. Study to show yourself approved, brother. Until you can make your case directly from Scripture, don’t make your case at all. To do otherwise is to be disobedient.

            What do I think of Matthew 5:17-20? I believe it’s true, of course. I also know that you’ve again spread nonsense here, because the Greek does not say “Mosaic Law” in any sense. Jesus implied that the Law WOULD be abolished, when everything is accomplished. According to Paul, Peter, James, John, Luke, and the whole Jerusalem council, everything had been accomplished. The New Covenant is in force, and the old – being obsolete – is no longer needed. When Paul wrote that the Law was temporary, being needed until Christ came, what else could he mean but that the Law’s purpose had been fulfilled?

            What do I think of Matthew 7:21-27? I believe it’s true, of course. Again, your bologna is showing. The Greek text does not say “Mosaic Law.” Equating doing God’s will with the Mosaic Law is a joke, Brian. Abraham didn’t have the Mosaic Law, but he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Name any faithful man or woman who lived before the Exodus and the same will be true. It’s just wrong to equate God’s will with the Mosaic Law…that would mean that Moses didn’t do God’s will when he went and confronted Pharaoh, for example. Nonsense.

            For the record, I have three final things to say:

            1. Don’t mistake my disagreement, or even my chastisement, as dislike.
            2. Go and do your homework, studying to show yourself approved. Avoid taking a stand when you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m happy to help, but I won’t publish a bunch of nonsense that will confuse my readers. If you’d like to discuss more nonsense, we can move this to emails. Let me know.
            3. While you’re always welcome here, I will not publish another comment like your previous one. It’s simply full of crap. You make claims that are easily proven wrong, make leaps in logic to twist Scripture in an attempt to prove your position, rather than take your position from Scripture, and you suggest (at the beginning of your comment) that somehow you’ve grown to the point that you no longer approach Scripture with preconceptions. I’ve only published this comment because it gives me the opportunity to show what a terrible argument looks like, and how to refute it. Feel free to continue the discussion if you wish…just do it responsibly. Stop making false claims. Stop eisegeting (reading your theology into Scripture) and start exegeting (getting your theology from Scripture).

            I wish you well.

          • Steven Stewart says:

            You should not be on here talking like that
            We must be tolerant to other views

          • Tony says:

            Must we, Steven? Where does this “must” come from? It certainly doesn’t come from Scripture. It especially doesn’t come from the New Testament. Paul told Timothy to watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16). Titus was told that …there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach (Titus 1:10-11)

            Giving you the benefit of the doubt, perhaps you mean that – in humility – followers of Jesus should avoid being overly dogmatic, open to correction, and willing to be challenged to better understand what God has told us. If that’s what you mean, I’m with you.

            Of course, I don’t think that’s what you mean. You say that we must be tolerant of other views. That’s the opposite of what the New Testament teaches those of us who follow Jesus. You’re free to believe, and tolerate, whatever you wish. I’m not. Here’s one reason why:

            I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10)

            That doesn’t sound very tolerant, does it?

            When someone comes to my website and disagrees with me, I read what they write very carefully. If they better understand the Scriptures in question, I learn from them. If they contradict the gospel that was handed down to us from the beginning, I have a responsibility to point that out. I’m not here to try to please people, but to please God. My work is to help others better understand what the Bible teaches, so they can better trust God with their lives. That’s not going to happen through tolerance of other views. It can only happen when I pass on what was faithfully passed on to me.

          • Serena says:

            Hi! I’m only 15 and I’m really struggling with this law. I get scared that God will get mad if I do my school work on a Friday after sun sent because of the Sabbath. I used to honor it, but it felt law binging. So I tried steering away from it, and now I feel I’m doing something wrong. I know God is a patient and loving God, but I’m scared that He will think that I’m purposely disobey Him and willfully falling into sin. I understand being part of the mosaic law, which I’ve learned we no longer follow—and it’s amazing freedom. However, I do understand the 10 commandments still apply. It’s not 9/10. We must obey all 10. So that’s why I’m struggling with this. I am not saying you’re wrong, because I have really no opinion on it because I don’t know. So, out of 100% respect, can you please explain to me why we follow 9 out of the 10 commandments that are said to never be changed? It would help ease my mind. Thanks so much

          • Tony says:

            Serena:

            Thanks for writing to me! You’ve asked an important question, and I want to ease your mind.

            God commanded certain people to observe sabbaths. I say “sabbaths” and not “sabbath” because there were a bunch of sabbaths. The word ‘sabbath’ mean ‘to rest.’ Not rest because you’re tired, but rest to stop working. In music, a rest is where you stop playing for a moment. It’s like that. There was a weekly sabbath. Like you said, it began on Friday at sundown and lasted until Saturday at sundown. There were other sabbaths… special celebrations where God’s people were to stop what they were doing and pay special attention to their spiritual lives.

            I say “certain people” because God didn’t tell everyone in the world to observe sabbaths… only the ancient Israelites. That’s who He was talking to when He gave the 10 Commandments, and the laws that are related to them. He told the people that He had brought them out of Egypt, and that they were going to be in a covenant (agreement) with Him.

            I’m guessing you’re not an ancient Israelite. Am I right? I’m not. I’ve never been to Egypt. Maybe you’ve been to Egypt, but I’ll bet you weren’t a slave there that God freed and sent toward Canaan. Am I right? Yeah, I’m right.

            The only people involved in the old covenant – God’s agreement with the ancient Israelites – were the ancient Israelites, and any foreigners who wanted to live with them in the promised land. Nobody else was involved in that agreement. Not the Egyptians, not the Chinese, not the Peruvians, not the Canadians. Certainly not you or me. Really. If you read Exodus 20, you can see who God is talking to. Here’s the important question: why would anyone butt into someone else’s agreement?

            God’s covenant with Israel doesn’t involve you or me. No matter what God said to them in that agreement, He wasn’t talking to you or me or the whole world. When I proposed to my girlfriend and asked her to be my wife, I wasn’t talking to anyone else. When I said, “I do” at our wedding, I wasn’t talking to anyone else. It would be weird for someone else to jump into the conversation and say, “So, when should we have the wedding” or “Where will we go on our honeymoon”… right?

            That’s what a lot of people are doing with the 10 Commandments. They’re butting into a conversation they weren’t invited into. They’re pretending that God was talking to them, but He wasn’t. The result of that covenant was the religion known as Judaism. I’m a Christian. The Mosaic Law NEVER applied to me at all… so it’s kinda ridiculous for me to ask HOW to observe the Law, isn’t it?

            Christians have our own commands. Our commands are what Jesus taught. We learn about His commands from reading what He said, and from reading what His disciples learned from Him. Only 9 of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. The one that’s missing is the sabbath. Why? Because: the sabbath only pointed to a time in the future when Jesus would come and change things. Now, Jesus has come. He changed things. There are no longer Jewish animal sacrifices in the Temple. There are no longer Jewish rules about ceremonial washing. There are no longer Jewish rules about clean and unclean foods. Why? Because those were symbols of the coming Messiah. When the Messiah came, the symbols were no longer needed. The 10 Commandments never applied to you, and they no longer apply to the Israelites.

            Does that make sense? Judaism and Christianity aren’t the same. Only ancient Jews were to observe the 10 Commandments. Christians only observe Jesus’ commands. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks!

        • Steven Stewart says:

          Amen Brother
          I’m going through the same struggle
          Why keep just 9 comandments
          The Sabbath is Gods moral law allways and forever
          We are no longer under the law
          But we keep it to honor our Father in Heaven

          Please email me brother
          I’d love to hear more about your faith

          • Tony says:

            Steven:

            With respect, you should study the Scriptures more. Here’s a passage where you can begin your research.

            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! (2 Corinthians 3:7-11)

            Note that Paul calls the Law “the ministry that brought death,” called it “transitory,” points out that it “brought condemnation,” and can’t compare with what replaced it: the ministry of the Spirit. This is echoed in Galatians 5:4, where Paul clearly spells it out: You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

            The idea that Christians are to observe the Law to honor God is alien to the teachings of Jesus and His disciples…so it’s alien to the New Testament. Study, my friend, to show yourself approved.

      • Shane Wells says:

        He came to establish the Law not to abolish it

        • Tony says:

          Hey Shane…thanks for commenting. I’d like to see if we can agree, but it’s going to take at least a tiny bit of work. Please tell us: where in the Bible we can find this idea?

          You see, the Law was already established. It had been around for around 1300 years before Jesus was born. I can find Bible verses that tell us that Jesus came to fulfill the Law, of course (Matthew 5:17). Can you find Bible verses explaining your idea? Thanks!

          • Shane Wells says:

            Do not think I come to abolish the Law I come not to abolish but fulfill. WHOEVER DISOBEYS THESE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHES OTHERS TO DO SO WILL BE CALLED LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

          • Tony says:

            Shane:

            Thanks for commenting. Here’s a tip: when you post ONLY Scripture, you seem to be saying, “Your error must come from not knowing this bit from the Bible.” I’m not offended, of course…that would be silly. Instead, I’m complaining. My Bible says the same things your Bible says, so this verse is the same in both. What’s missing is your explanation of WHY this verse shows that I’ve misunderstood.

            You see, I believe this verse. Wholeheartedly and unreservedly. I believe it’s entirely true. That doesn’t change my position even a little bit. Why? Because I understand the verse to mean something different than what you see in it. If you don’t share your own thoughts – explain your understanding – then you haven’t helped me, or the millions who will come and read your comment, at all. So, in the interest of having a fruitful discussion about important things, I’ll ask the question:

            What do think Jesus meant when He said that? Keep in mind that Peter, Paul, Luke, James, and a whole bunch of others did not teach that Gentiles (non-Jews, like myself) are bound by the Law. Paul specifically taught that we are not under the Law at all. In light of these facts, it doesn’t appear that Jesus could have been saying that His followers must be Jewish. What do you think?

          • Shane Wells says:

            You are a blind guide of the blind, the Sabbath day is set apart, I belong to no denomination,read the scriptures,I can tell you this which the Lord has given me, the number of the name will be given to false teachers,who will receive the greater condemnation,james says, my brethren, not many should be teachers,you have no fear of the Lord,otherwise you would not be so quick to play with the Word of God.

          • Tony says:

            Mmhmm. I see.

            I really do appreciate you being here, Shane. Your insults mean less than nothing to me, of course…not because I’m convinced I’m right, or because I’m immune to truth, or because I “have no fear of the Lord,” but because your insults can only be meant to hurt. That doesn’t bother me. What would bother me? Why, I’d be bothered if you had presented an explanation that proved mine untrue. You know, if you had made a case from Scripture that I should amend, or even destroy, what I currently believe. Instead of serving me with truth, you’ve only sought to put me down. I’m not even close to being bothered by that.

            Here’s an idea: make your case. Show me, from the Bible, where I am wrong. Prove to me – one who is eager to be corrected – that I need correcting. I’m all ears, Shane. Really: I’m serious. I would owe you a great debt if you were able to show me, from God’s Word, that I am wrong. I don’t believe you will, but I wish you would.

          • Shane Wells says:

            John 5:22-23 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son; That all men should honour theSon,even as they honour the Father.Exodus 20:12 Honour thy Father and thy mother. 1 John 2:3-4And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:6-7 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which year had from the beginning. The old commandment is the wordwhich yeah have heard from the BEGINNING. I

          • Tony says:

            It’s a start. I appreciate that.

            It’s not enough, though. Again, you post only Scripture. My Bible says exactly what your Bible says, so that’s not very helpful. If you and I have read the same verses and yet come to different conclusions, then we need further understanding. Just rereading the passage isn’t going to cause one of us to change our minds.

            For example: you seem to be saying that 1 John 2 speaks of the Law. Without further explanation, that’s what it looks like. However, when you read vv 6-7 in context, it’s clear and obvious that that can’t be right. Begin in verse 1, and read through verse 8:

            My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

            And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

            Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

            I used the KJV to answer you, in case you irrationally mistrust some other version. It happens. Anyway, when you read the passage in its original context, you can see that 1) the “he” spoken of is Jesus (v1), 2) that John isn’t telling them something they hadn’t heard before (v7), and 3) John actually IS writing them a new command (v8). Note verse 6, where John says that whoever claims to live in Jesus must live as Jesus lived. You seem to think that means following the Law.

            Unfortunately, you appear to be wrong about that. Why do I say that? Because I’ve read other parts of the Bible, and understand that they must fit together and that they don’t contradict one another. Jesus (as in Hebrews) is our High Priest, who completed the work that other priests could not complete. Why? Because Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice, whose death put an end to the entire system of positional righteousness that we find in the Law. How do I know this system is done? Because Paul explains it in undeniable terms in places like Romans and Galatians. How are we to understand Romans 6:14, if not to say that we are not under the Law?

            For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

            Why would anyone follow the 613 commands of a law that’s no longer in force? That can only be an expression of ignorance, or of rebellion. You don’t sound rebellious, so I can only conclude that you don’t know any better. How else are we to understand Galatians 3:23-25, if not to say that we are not under the Law?

            Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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.

            How could the Bible be more clear? I suppose, if we found a place that said, “No, Shane…you’re wrong about following the Law” that might do it. I could go on, sharing verse after verse and passage after passage that explain that NOBODY, especially not Christians, and especially not a gentile Christian, is under the Law…but I like to keep things simple. As we move forward, please note that I didn’t simply post Scripture. I also explained how I understand it. Your Bible says what my Bible says, so it’s not the text that we lack…it’s our understanding of the text. Please address in a direct manner, if you would, Galatians 3. Please explain why Paul would say that we are not under the Law if we are actually under the Law. The way I see it, either Paul is wrong or you are wrong. How do you see it?

          • G.Love says:

            You see, not only was I lead here by the Lord but also I was looking for confirmation on what I believed but couldn’t seem to confirm by fully regarding the Law and the fulfilment of Christ my saviour. I was looking for answers and I was lead here and specifically to this thread, upon read the to and throwing with shane and yourself Tony the Lord certainly shew me what answers needed although I’ve heard and read this NT doctrine before, but for some reason it resonated more through these chain of comments and replies. I’m glad I stumbled (no, was lead here) …not that we shouldn’t keep the commandments but rather keep the commandments through Christ who had fulfilled the law which was given to Moses; my understanding is if a person of no Christian faith in these times committed; lets say murder he is under the law of the land which is imprisonment or in some states death penalty in stead of producing 3 goats a carrot and a jellysfish to the Archbishop of Canterbury, todays standards the murderer may get a life sentence and be out in 30 years, he’s done his penance and he’s a free man to roam the earth but with out a spiritual repentance in the name of Jesus as a genuine believer this person is still going to hell as those of Moses days under the Law regardless of their offerings, however a man committed murder and was still in prison but truly gave his life to Christ and truly repented of that sin; even if he was sentenced to death in prison he would still have life in Christ therefore received through Grace. I know I’ve most probably gone the long way round to explain being under OT and NT Covenant but there really isn’t any short hand easy way to explain to others that do not understand it the way I do in being not subject to the Law of Moses, I’ve probably even cut it short and more to being under Gentile covenant, Tony thank you in essence for allowing God to use you as vessel in Jesus Name

          • Tony says:

            G.Love:

            I’m very pleased to hear that the discussion has been helpful. The key is to study the Scriptures. My opinions mean nothing, unless I’m in line with what the Bible says. I do hope you’ll continue doing your homework on these issues, studying what God has already told us. Have a great day!

          • Shane Wells says:

            The first temptation in the wilderness the Lord said-man does not live by bread alone,but by Every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God. The Lord showed what was profitable and what was not, it seems you are on milk, washing of hands and the like are unprofitable,the Commandments were never abolished like Christians think, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter. Revelation talks of the ones who keep the Commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,now,if you don’t believe the word, then your discussions will be endless useless debates, at the end of the day, Righteousness sits on a Throne, he has shown us the way of Righteousness,which is obedience to God, we have freedom in Christ, stringent ceremonial Law he showed us was done away with, but not the Righteousness of the Law, the Law is carnal to the carnal mind, but it is spiritual to the spiritual mind, it is not a burden, it is a joy, the love of every word of God makes it easy, the more you question the more of a burden it becomes, you dear your mind that you do not want to obey, so your conscience is seared, God does not want us to obey his voice because we have to, in fear of going to hell, he wants us to obey out of Love and a pure heart.

          • Tony says:

            Come on, Shane…you’re stonewalling. It’s never a good idea to stick to your guns when the evidence is against you. Again you’ve posted only opinions with no Scripture. I’ve been through this again and again and again in the past 20 years, and you’re not giving me anything new. You’re spouting truisms from Scripture, mixed with insults. Try actually dealing with the Scriptures that undermine your position. You don’t have to tackle them all at once, of course…try just one:

            Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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.

            Tell me: with no insults, with no presumptions of your own rightness, why you think it’s biblical to live by the Law when Paul says that we are no longer under the Law. Good luck!

          • Shane Wells says:

            Proverbs 4:1-2 Hear,ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.For I give you good doctrine, forsake yeah not my Torah. John 7:16-18 Jesus answered them and said,My doctrine is not mine,but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself

          • Tony says:

            Come on, Shane. Try to keep up. Deal with THIS passage:

            Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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.

          • Shane says:

            Unfortunately tony,you mistake truth for insults,the truth offends,I did not say obey all 613 I said all that are the moral one’s of the 613,I don’t see why Christians find moral laws a big deal,after all you have no problem with the Sunday Sabbath, so why have a problem with the Sabbath of the Lord, it makes no sense-convince,rebuke,exhort with all long suffering and teaching, for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires,because they will have itching ears,will accumulate unto themselves teachers,and will turn their ears away from the truth,and will be turned aside unto fables,but you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions,do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.And again-for false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you,who will secretly bring in destructive heresies,even denying the master who bought them,bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the truth will be blasphemed.You see you are mistaking Law and Commandments-2 Kings 17:37 And the statues, and the ordinances, and the law,and the commandment,which he wrote for you,ye shall observe to do for evermore, and ye shall not fear other gods.You see there is a difference between law and commandment-christians have a habit of saying we don’t need to obey the law because we are not Jews,but a true Jew is circumcised from the heart,by saying I’m not a Jew I’m avgentile you’re saying you’re not Israel,because Israel are Jews,or if you prefer Hebrews, we are grafted into them not them into us,and if it suited God to cut off the cultivated branch because of disobedience, then what do you think will happen to the uncultivated that is disobedient,the Sabbath was a gift to us,it gives us a glimpse of what is to come,you are saying by your teaching that we don’t need his ways,his commandment is righteousness, the Lord died to save us and honour his father,is it too much to ask for Christians to honour him in truth,they have no problem with the pagan festivals, is all I and others like me can do is shake our heads,and wonder how it all went so horribly wrong for the churches and their followers,l.

          • Tony says:

            Shane:

            I hope you’ve had a good week. I’ve been pretty busy, and am just now catching up.

            >> I did not say obey all 613 I said all that are the moral one’s of the 613

            Yes, you’re correct. I misread that part. I didn’t mean to misrepresent your position.

            >>I don’t see why Christians find moral laws a big deal

            LOL. Christians have plenty of moral laws…they’re simply what Jesus taught. We do find it a big deal when someone tries to convince us of another gospel, which Paul warned about in Galatians. Maybe, if you read Galatians, you’ll begin to see what I mean.

            >>…after all you have no problem with the Sunday Sabbath

            I understand your confusion. Many Christians do erroneously consider Sunday to be “the” sabbath, and that avoiding work on that day somehow pleases God. I don’t share their view, but I understand it.

            Let me ask you a question, Shane. We could go around and around if you wish, but that’s not my intention. Here’s what I’d like to know: in the year 50AD, what would the Apostle John say to a gentile who wanted to please God? Would he tell that person that they had to convert to Judaism? Would he tell them that they must obey not only what Jesus taught but also what Moses taught? Would John tell them that they needed a list of the moral laws from the Torah, to make sure they did what God had commanded?

            What do you think John would say?

          • Shane Wells says:

            I am afraid for you Tony, if you still can’t find the truth in 20 years,you reject the righteousness of instruction,you can’t say I will obey 9 commandments and throw one away, I tell you a truth, we should not obey the ten commandments,we should obey all in the 613 commandments which are moral, what will you say when he says that to you.Anyone who teaches others not to obey is a liar and a thief and is trying to climb over the fence, but those who know the truth enter through him, they accept his righteousness and honour him the same as the Father, salvation is not a cheap road, Christians have made it that way.

          • Tony says:

            I’m very disappointed, Shane. You persist in insulting me, even while pretending to be concerned for me. You prefer to remain in bondage, rather than let God free you. Not once have I asked you to believe me, but again and again I’ve asked you to look to God’s Word and see for yourself what He has said. Be like a Berean, Shane: look to the Scriptures.

            The early church dealt with this issue from the very beginning, where judaizers sought to force gentiles to follow the Law. In Acts 15, we see that this was the subject of an important debate. Those who saw things your way said that the Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses (v5). The apostles then wrote a letter to settle the matter, saying:

            It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

            As I’m sure you are aware, in keeping the Law one must keep all of the Law. This was not instruction to keep the Law, clearly. In Galatians 2, the apostle Paul confronted the apostle Peter about his hypocrisy in this matter:

            When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

            You proudly proclaim that you will obey all 613 commands in the Law. This is foolishness. Are you more righteous than Luke? Are you more righteous than Peter? Are you more righteous than James, and Paul, and Timothy, and Titus, and Andrew, and Philip? You are following the traditions of men, Shane…not the command of God. You purposely ignore God’s Word in favor of your own. How much more clear can the Scriptures be, when we can go there every day and read that we are not under the Law?

            • You are not under the Law. Romans 6:14
            • the Law is a law of sin and death, not of life. Romans 8:2
            • The ‘Righteousness of God’ is now manifested apart from the Law. Romans 3:21
            • 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
            • 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
            • Seeking to be justified by the Law severs us from Christ. Galatians 5:4

            No, the Scriptures couldn’t be more clear. Your resistance to God’s Word is, unfortunately, equally clear. You have been lied to, Shane. You have been misled. Worse than that, you have willingly followed those who mislead you. Your allegiance should not be to the erroneous traditions of men, but to God and His Word.

            We can worship the God who is, or we can worship the god we prefer. Please, Shane: be reconciled to God.

            . . . . . . .

            P.S. – I could do this all day. If you want to run away and hide from God’s Word, you are free to do so…but I’m not free to stop proclaiming the entire Word of God. If you want to continue this discussion, I will still be here. I recommend that your next step is to read Galatians, and then explain why you feel comfortable contradicting the clear meaning of God’s Word: we are not under the Law.

            I wish you well.

          • Shane Wells says:

            Tell me this Tony, when the apostle John says obey the commandments,what do you think he is saying. Do you have your version, do you think he was trying to trick us, do you think he was speaking in parables,what do you think he meant? I

          • Tony says:

            Shane:

            I’ll respond to your question about this verse after you reply to my question about Galatians 3:24-25. =)

          • Shane Wells says:

            It may be wiser Tony to read the whole chapter in context instead of cherry picking the verses-if you look at 3:10 Christ showed us the curse was the ritual which cannot save-again-3:13-14-again-3:15-you are annulling the covenant -again -Isaiah 24:5-6 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth and they that dwell therein are desolate :therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.Galatians 3:19 the sin offerings were added because of transgressions til messiah came-I think you are mistaking Torah instruction for ceremonial Law which cannot save, Christ would not throw the moral righteousness in the bin, he has put all things under his feet, now you have to go through him to get to the Father,he is making sure the Father is honoured in truth, as a son would,if you reject righteousness now on earth, what do you think will happen in the kingdom of there is division, he showed us the way, he is the way the truth and the life, one thing’s for sure, you can’t make anyone love every word that came from his mouth with your heart, but some of us do, we don’t look for excuses not to obey,we obey out of Love with a pure heart and a clear conscience,it says, yeah shall bind them on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And again, in those days, I will write it on their hearts and put it in their minds, and I shall be their God and they shall be my people.

          • Tony says:

            Shane:

            I very much appreciate you taking the time to actually address Galatians 3.

            You’re adding to the Scriptures. Note v16, where Paul speaks of Abraham and the promise. The Law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant. What is the Law? It’s the Law. Not part of the Law, but the Law itself. This is clear by the context. When you say that v19 speaks of “sin offerings that were added” you betray your bias. The text doesn’t say that, in English or in Greek. The word is nomos. The Greek word used in Leviticus 4 (where sin offerings are prescribed) is chatta’ath. Not even close. You’re substituting man’s words for God’s Words. When you say that v10 speaks of “the ritual” you betray your bias. The text doesn’t say that, and it doesn’t imply it.

            As I said earlier: the distinction between the civil and ceremonial and moral law isn’t made in Scripture. As we see in v5, Paul contrasts believing with the works of the Law. Verse 10 doesn’t speak of only sin offerings, clearly…it speaks of everything written in the Law. If you fail to do any part of the Law, you are cursed. You proclaim that you will obey all 613 commands of the Law, yet Paul wrote in v11 that you – clearly – cannot rely on the Law to be justified before God.

            When you move from the Scriptures to your own explanation about Jesus, and what He would and would not do, you err. Nobody has suggested that Jesus would throw out moral righteousness. That’s silly…because, in v6 (and other places) we read that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” You can talk all you want about your desire to obey…I’m not questioning your zeal. I’m questioning your understanding of the Scriptures. I can’t even begin to count how many people I’ve talked to over the years who were convinced that God wanted them to do something that’s clearly unbiblical, like leaving their wife or living in a homosexual relationship or cheating on their taxes. Zeal is only good if it’s aimed at the right target, Shane. Your zeal is misplaced.

            You may think you’re doing well to obey the Law. Let me suggest that you are not…and that you’re taking the easy way out. It’s much more costly to live as a New Testament disciple than as an Old Testament law-follower. For example: in the old covenant, you owed 10% of your “profits” (crops and livestock) to God. The other 90% were yours. In the new covenant, 100% of what you have belongs to God, and you are only a steward of it. None of it is yours, to do with as you wish. In the old covenant, you owed God the first fruits of your harvest and flocks. In the new covenant, the orchards and flocks are entirely His. In the old covenant, you had to make periodic sacrifices to please God. In the new covenant, you ARE the sacrifice. You don’t even belong to yourself: you belong to Him because He purchased you. In the old covenant you were free as long as you dispatched your duties to God. In the new covenant you are a bond-servant for life.

            You seem to think that obeying the old covenant is some kind of badge of honor, and that you’re doing more – and better – for God than those who do not obey the Law. I can tell you that living by a checklist of responsibilities is much, much easier than submitting all that you have and all that you are to God each morning, not knowing how the Holy Spirit will lead you each day. Remember: the righteous shall live by faith. You are not, based on your words, living by faith. You are living by the Law, and failing. We both know you can’t keep the Law, Shane. Why would you shackle yourself to it needlessly? There is freedom in Christ. If you belong to Christ (v29), then you are Abraham’s seed, and an heir to the promise. The Law can’t give you that.

            Now: will you please address vv23-25? Thanks!

          • Shane says:

            You sound like a very intelligent person tony,but its people like you who thought they were more intelligent than everyine else who perverted the truth,there’s no changing your mind,I feel very sad for you,if you only knew what the Lord has been doing in the earth during the last 19 months-he has chosen his anointed and has been teaching them,scoff as you may,he is fulfilling what he said he was going to do,he does not lie,he is the same yesterday, today and forever,because you don’t see things you won’t believe them,he doesn’t change, he offers you a path of righteousness, but you reject it,I beg you please turn back,obey his Commandments, this is truth,this is what the anointed will preach,come out of babylon, receive him,he’s waiting for you,to comfort you and give you rest-his name is Yehoshua and he is the Son of God.Praise his holy holy name.

          • Tony says:

            Shane, Shane, Shane. Again you resort to insults, rather than addressing the Scriptures. I understand. It’s a defense mechanism. Yes, I’m an intelligent person. That doesn’t mean that I assume I’m right about everything. I’m more than willing to hear your side of things. I’m eager, in fact…but you seem less eager to back up what you believe with the clear witness of Scripture. I’ve been praying for you, and so have others. The goal is not for you to believe as I do, but for both of us to believe what the Scriptures teach.

            It doesn’t matter to me how many times you accuse me of being wrong, Shane. I’m pretty much immune to it. That’s not because I refuse to see the truth, but because I’ve been discussing God and the Bible with people like you and like me for decades. I’ve been called every name in the book, and some that probably never got written down. I’m a heretic. I’m the devil. I’m demon-possessed. I’m an idiot. I’m unspiritual. I’m gullible. I’m unwilling to see the truth. I’m unable to see the truth. It’s pretty funny, sometimes. Here’s what does matter to me: YOU. You matter to me because you matter to God. As I told you before: I could do this all day. Why? Because the truth will set you free. My job is not to convince you believe the truth. My job is to tell you the truth, and it’s your job to believe it. In our discussion so far, the truth I need to tell you is that obeying the Law will do you no good.

            It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

            You can dance around it all you want. You can pretend that the Bible says things that it doesn’t say. You can insert your own opinions into Scripture, if you wish…but the truth doesn’t change. The Law was temporary. Now that Christ has come, the Law is no longer needed. This isn’t my personal opinion, Shane. It’s directly from Scripture.

            Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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.

            The God of the universe is unchanging, with regard to His character…but His interactions with us do change. We are no longer under the Law. Those aren’t my words. They’re God’s Words. You have yet to address them here, and I will patiently wait for you to do so.

            . . . . . . .

            I know it might not be convincing to you, but I’ll give you a glimpse into my own life. I do this not to bolster my argument, but because of what you’ve written. What I’m about to write does not make me right about the Law, so let’s not pretend that my own zeal should convince you, any more than your zeal should convince me. You’ve suggested that I receive Jesus. That’s a kind thing to suggest. I accepted God’s offer of salvation when I was six years old, and have renewed my commitment to Him a thousand times or more since. I have the comfort and rest you speak of…not because being a follower of Jesus “works for me” but because I don’t have to perform spiritual works to remain in a right relationship with Him. I’m certainly not perfect, but I do not waver from my desire to submit to Him fully, to obey Him completely, and to be faithful to His calling on my life. I consider the Bible to be fully trustworthy, and the final word on matters of doctrine and practice for anyone who seeks God. My life is not my own…not my body, not my mind, not my time, not my breath. My goal is simply to be useful to Him.

            Maybe this explanation will help you understand that I do not lack commitment, any more than you do. The problem between us isn’t that you’re willing to obey God and I’m not, of course. The problem is that we see God’s expectations for humanity differently. You think that God wants us to obey the Law given to Moses. I think you should read the New Testament more carefully, and learn that there is a better way to live. It’s not my own way, based on my own ideas, as I see fit. It’s the gospel, handed down from Jesus to you and me. At no time have I suggested that you trust my word, but that you trust God’s Word. Don’t avoid the parts that don’t fit your current understanding, Shane. The whole thing is true, so we should accept the whole thing. I’m sure you would agree, but so far it doesn’t look like it. I’ll leave you with 2 Corinthians 3:6 and following, and hope that you will continue to consider whether you’ve rightly understood the nature of the Law:

            He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 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! Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

          • Shane says:

            I answered your question but you didn’t answer mine,you dodged it-1 John 2:3-4 And hereby we do know that we know him,if we keep his commandments.He that saith I know him,and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar,and the truth is not in him.You are an enemy if righteousness, you talk against righteousness, you see the commandments of righteousness are an everlasting covenant,and you can’t change that,these are the things that set us apart,and if you’re offended its because you hate the truth and there is no light in you.

          • Tony says:

            There’s a kind of unofficial rule in these conversations, Shane. You’ve probably heard it a time or two but, in case you missed it, I’ll type it out for you:

            Don’t be a jerk.

            There’s no reason for you to keep insulting me. It doesn’t further the conversation. First, I don’t dodge questions. Second, it’s silly to say that I talk against righteousness. Third, I’m not offended. Fourth, I don’t hate the truth. Finally, there is indeed light in me…whether you can see it or not. You don’t know me well enough to insult me properly, so you might as well stop.

            . . . . . . .

            1 John 2:3-4
            You seem to think that this passage tells Christians to obey the Mosaic Law. It doesn’t. There’s nothing in the text to even suggest it, beyond the word “commands.” John seems to be echoing John 15 here, where Jesus speaks about His commands:

            “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

            When you can find a verse in the New Testament that teaches Christians to obey the Law, let me know.

            . . . . . . .

            While you say that you answered my question, you didn’t really. I asked you to explain why you believe that you should obey all 613 commandments in the Law, despite Galatians 3 telling you (and everybody else in the world) that we are no longer under the Law. You tried to answer it, but you didn’t. You made up some story (same story I’ve heard for years, without substantiation) about dividing the Law into parts…the civil, ceremonial, and moral. I pointed out the fact that there is no such distinction in the text, and said that you were adding to Scripture. How do you respond? Can you find a verse that I’ve missed? It’s not enough to just SAY something about what the Bible teaches, Shane. We must always back it up using the text itself. What you believe, and what you’re trying to get me to believe, is not in the text.

            Please make your next comment about that, and not about my character. I’m sure your fellow readers will appreciate it. In case you need a link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+3&version=NIV

          • Shane Wells says:

            John would say, Do not think he came to abolish the Law or the Prophets

          • Tony says:

            That’s an answer, but it’s not a complete answer. First, you’ve used only part of the verse you cite. The rest is where Jesus said that He came to fulfill them, which is the crux of our disagreement. Second, that doesn’t answer the question. The fact that Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets doesn’t actually tell a Gentile what to do. Would John tell this Gentile that he could be saved by works? Would John tell them that they are saved by grace, but kept by works? Would he say that one must adhere to Judaism to be saved? We see plenty of people in Scripture who ask questions like “what must I do to be saved”…what would John tell them?

          • Shane Wells says:

            A rich man asked the Lord the same question,and what was his answer, he said obey the commandments,paul is not your saviour,Christ is, obey him not what you think Paul might mean, he also said to the rich man, after he said he obeys the commandments since he was young, the Lord said, you are close to the Kingdom but there’s one more thing, give all your money to the poor and follow me

          • Tony says:

            …and there it is. You pit Paul against Jesus. I’ve been waiting for it, of course.

            Simply: you are wrong.

            It’s not enough for ME to say that you are wrong. That would be decidedly unbiblical. Peter called Paul’s writings Scripture. Would he do that if Paul taught the wrong things? No, of course not. Paul went to Jerusalem to double-check with the Apostles that what he taught was right, and James and Peter and John (among others) added nothing to it.

            In other words: you don’t just disagree with Paul, you disagree with Peter and James and John. These three, more than any other humans, knew exactly what Jesus taught and what Jesus meant. They approved of Paul’s teachings, called his writings Scripture, and did not correct him. When you try to say that Jesus was right and Paul was wrong, you simply contradict the clear teaching of Scripture.

            This concludes our current discussion, of course. You and I can continue to disagree, certainly…but we can’t disagree on what the Scriptures say, since we disagree on their authority. If you want to continue the discussion, we’ll need to find some common ground to begin again. I believe the whole of Scripture is true, while you reject the portions you don’t like. Unless you can come up with some reason for me to join you in dismissing Paul, I don’t see a way forward.

          • Shane Wells says:

            I will add, by your last comment saying You were waiting for me to pit Paul against Jesus tells me you have come to cause division intentionally,you are a worker of iniquity,Paul is true, but you twist his words to suit yourself.

          • Tony says:

            Mmhmm. Here are your words: “paul is not your saviour,Christ is, obey him not what you think Paul might mean.” Quite simply: if you don’t believe that what Paul said is as true as what Jesus said, we have no common ground on which to continue this conversation. You say here that Paul is true, but you have yet to address what he taught about the Law. You defer to what you think Jesus said. Come on, Shane: deal with the WHOLE of Scripture.

            The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

          • Mfitumukiza peter says:

            Please read hebrews chapter 4 carefully!!!

          • G.Love says:

            wow…I really feel bad for shane, I really do…sounds to me he is part of the ”hebrew israel cult”, i may be wrong, I hope I’m wrong. Dodging scriptural evidence and insults are big traits of that false egypt rooted movement

          • Shane Wells says:

            You are mistaken, the commandment was from creation,the mark of the beast is to do with Sabbath of the Lord and the tithe, sorry
            friend when you take the word of God to heart you may see.

          • Tony says:

            With respect, you keep making unfounded claims. Where in Scripture can we find this commandment that you say was “from creation”?

            With respect, where in the Bible can we find that the mark of the beast has anything to do with the Sabbath (not a new idea to me, but still unsubstantiated)? While you’re at it, you might explain why that mark’s parallel has nothing to do with Saturday worship.

            Quite simply: you have been misled. If you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, your belief system must be based on what He taught. That information comes from the Bible. If your ideas aren’t found in the Bible, the are at best speculative and, at worst, heresy.

          • Shane Wells says:

            Speaking of heresy, point to me where it says in the scriptures the Sabbath was changed to Sunday, give me proof, this is your blog speaking against the word of God, show me in plain English, the Lord says my teaching is easy, show me

          • Tony says:

            Round and round and round. I never claimed that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday, Shane.

            You are a blind guide
            you have no fear of the Lord
            it seems you are on milk
            you reject the righteousness of instruction
            its people like you who…perverted the truth
            You are an enemy of righteousness
            you hate the truth and there is no light in you
            you have come to cause division intentionally
            you are a worker of iniquity
            you twist his words to suit yourself
            this is your blog speaking against the word of God

            Those are your words. I see a pattern. You disagree with me on how to understand the Scriptures. Rather than commend me for my search for truth and try to redirect me, you tell me I’m wrong. When I ask for Scriptures that back up your claims, you provide Scriptures that don’t. When I challenge you on it, you insult me. Sure, you couch some of your insults in pity…but I care for neither. I care about the truth. I’m going to redirect the conversation, and I’m going to make it simple and easy for you.

            The article above is about the sabbath. We all know that the children of Israel were commanded to observe sabbaths, and to do so in very specific ways. Please show the Bible verse(s) where gentile Christians are commanded to do the same. Note that these verses – because they’re instructions for Christians – probably need to come from the New Testament. If they come from the Old Testament, they need to VERY CLEARLY indicate that the commands are for all people, for all time. Whatever verses you choose, you must provide them in their original context.

            That is the task I set before you. You are free to take up the challenge, and to establish for the millions of future GodWords readers the truth of what you claim. However: I will ONLY approve your comments if they address THAT topic, and that topic alone. If you want to move forward, let’s do it in an orderly fashion, dealing with the first things first. You say that Christians should observe the seventh-day sabbath…now prove it from God’s Word. Don’t reply with insults, or verses about people who don’t love the truth. Deal with the issue at hand, responsibly using Scripture to substantiate your position. I wish you well.

      • Robert Mendez says:

        There is absolutely no scripturural proof, at all, that the Seventh-Day Sabbath was done away with. God did not change the Sabbath, Jesus did not change the Sabbath, after all, He kept it, and the Apostle Paul did not change the Sabbath. Show me scriptural proof that the Seventh-Day Sabbath was done away with and that Sunday is the new day of worship for Christians. The word “Law”, is a bad English translation in the Bible. If you look up that word in the original Hebrew, it is “Torah” and “Torah” means “Teaching”, Guidance”, “God’s instructions for living.” It’s a pointer to hit the mark where sin is missing the mark. You need to study the Hebraic roots of Christianity in order to really understand the Bible and God’s true intended meanings of the Bible.
        There are two laws that God gave to Moses. The Ceremonial laws and the Moral laws. The Ceremonial laws were the sacrificial practices for the atonement of sins, also the washing of pots and pans and the utensils and the washing of the garments and one’s self to purify themselves. The Pharisees had later on, added more laws making these laws so legalistic that the average person could not keep them all. So when Christians use the word “Law”, they are actually relating to the legalistic rituals of the ceremonial laws and all the other added laws that the Pharisees had added to it. Jesus, of course, did away with the ceremonial laws, but did not do away with the moral laws. He came to fulfill these laws, not to do away with them. The Moral laws, are the ones that God gave, at Mount Sinai, which are written in the Ten Commandments, that are very much active and apply to all today, Christians and Jews alike!
        It is very ironic, that Christians believe and only apply to only 9 of The Commandments, but do away with one, and that is the fourth Commandment, which states: “REMEMBER the Sabbath, to keep it holy….” Last I checked, the Seventh-Day still falls on a Saturday, not Sunday! I am in total agreement in Michelle’s statement earlier concerning Colossians 2:16. You must read the whole contents of this chapter to understand what Paul was referring to, especially in verse 8 of this chapter. The word, “REMEBER”, in the fourth Commandment, means that The Seventh-Day Sabbath was given for the sake of all Humanity and not for the Jews only, as some Christians believe. The Seventh-Day Sabbath was being kept way before God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai.
        So the question must arise, as to who changed the Sabbath, since God himself, or our Lord Jesus, nor the Apostle Paul did not change it. So, you must go back to emperor Constantine and the Roman Church to get that answer.
        Another book, that I highly recommend that you read is: “Saturday or Sunday, Which is the Sabbath”, by David C. Pack. I pray and hope that this will help you in finding out the truth concerning The Seventh-Day Sabbath, as God had made it to be. Oh, one more thing, if you read and study the whole book of Acts, you will find that both Gentiles, (of non-Jewish descent), and Jews, congregated on the Sabbath day and on Sabbath festivals. No where, is there any proof of Sunday replacing the Seventh-Day Sabbath.

        • Tony says:

          Robert:

          Thanks for your comment. You seem to be arguing against something I haven’t said. I never said that Sunday is the new day of worship for Christians. In fact, I’ve said that EVERY day is a sabbath for Christians. Let me ask you a question…depending on your answer, we might avoid a lot of useless discussion:

          Can you show me where the Bible teaches Christians to observe any sabbath at all?

          Thanks. =)

          • Robert Mendez says:

            Tony:
            Thank you for your reply, and I must apologize that if it seemed to you that I was arguing about the Sabbath keeping. I will give you the scriptures that you asked for showing that the early Christians were already keeping the Sabbath. But before I do that, the word Christian was not used until in Antioch in Acts 11:26. Before that, they were known as either “believers” or followers of “The Way”, Acts 9:1-2. So these Believers, or followers of “The Way”, were already keeping the Seventh-Day Sabbath as per the fourth Commandment of God.
            Acts 13:13-49; 14:1; 18:1-4. Nowhere in the New Testament, did the Apostle Paul tell the early Christians, or the new converts, not to observe the Seventh-Day Sabbath. My question to you is, what scripture, or scriptures, says that the Sabbath is everyday?, since God, from the very beginning, blessed and sanctified The Seventh-Day Sabbath.

          • Tony says:

            Robert:

            Thank you very much. You point me to Acts 13. I’m not sure why, as this doesn’t say that the early church kept the Sabbath as per the Law. Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue, but they didn’t meet the early church there. They met unbelievers there, and shared the gospel with them. As we can see in v46, they rejected the gospel. This isn’t the church. If you mean that Paul and Barnabas went there to observe the sabbath themselves, this wouldn’t make sense…as Paul wrote many times that we are not under the Law. You might spend some time in Galatians, especially chapter 3:

            Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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.

            Acts 14:1 falls into the same category, as does 18:1-4. Paul went to the synagogue, to be sure…but there is no indication in Scripture that he went because he was observing the Law. Instead, as we read over and over, he went there to reason with the Jews and share Christ with them. As I pointed out, Acts 13 (which you cite) shows that Paul went there for that reason, and told them he was going to the Gentiles because they rejected God’s message. Paul didn’t stop going to the synagogue to witness for Christ, but there’s no way one can read Romans or Galatians and conclude that Paul thought we should follow the Law.

            I really appreciate you taking the time to write, Robert. I’ve had lots of SDA friends…I spent 16 years living around Nampa, Idaho. That’s where Pacific Press is, and one of my friends was in charge of the printing operation there. I also worked for an SDA man (whom I love) for some time, so I’ve had this conversation again and again with people I care about. The Seventh-Day Adventists are simply wrong on this one, my friend. No matter how many times you appeal to the idea that the sabbath was established in Genesis, you still have to deal with the New Covenant, and deal with Acts 15, and deal with Romans 6, and deal with Galatians 3. At one time, the Law was in force…but it was temporary, until Christ came. Now that Christ has come, the Law is simply no longer needed. It served its purpose in the past, but now it is a burden to those who seek to be justified by it.

            Paul wrote that we are not under the Law, yet you say we are. Let me know how you would reply to Paul’s words in Galatians 3 (above). If you’re tempted to reply with something about the difference between the civil, ceremonial, and moral laws of God, please take a moment to first note that such a distinction does not appear in Scripture. The Law is simply the 10 Commandments, and all 613 commands that come from them. When reading Acts 15, keep in mind that the apostles in Jerusalem specifically did not tell the gentile Christians to observe the sabbath…on the seventh day or any other day.

            What say you?

          • Steven says:

            Hi Tony…..I’ve been been raised a Sunday going to church Christian my entire life and after watching a docu-series called the Days of Noah I got a little twisted up about the command of the Sabath. I started worrying about my salvation and went back and all night about the details. I’ve prayed and studied the very next morning and through prayer it has been revealed to me that when Jesus said “ It is finished” that meant there was nothing else needed to add to what He had done. If we were to “add” to what He had done then it would be a” works” based salvation , which would make dying a brutal death on the cross a side note. It’s a sacrifice that was given to complete the new covenant through Christ Jesus. I’ve read most of the comments on this feed and most have a great argument but ultimately the final conclusion is Jesus dying on the cross in the ultimate sacrifice one and for all because man could not fulfill his part on the OT covenant. Thank you for your blog it just confirmed everything God dropped in my heart.

          • Tony says:

            Steven:

            Thanks for writing. You’re right: when Jesus said “it is finished,” He had completed the work needed to save you and me. Your salvation depends on you believing God, just as Abraham believed God. You can’t add good works to that and call it the gospel. That’s another religion entirely! I’m happy to have played a tiny part in your life, my friend. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. Have a great day!

      • YaShaYah says:

        Acts 24:11-15 (KJV) Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
        And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
        Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
        But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
        And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

        • Tony says:

          YaShaYah:

          Thanks for your comment. I’m guessing that you believe this passage to suggest that Paul was Torah-observant at this time in his life. Is that right?

          Here’s the same passage from the NASB, which is a more accurate and directly word-for-word translation of the text:

          When the governor had nodded for him to speak, Paul responded: “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge to this nation, I cheerfully make my defense, since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. Neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city itself did they find me carrying on a discussion with anyone or causing a riot. Nor can they prove to you the charges of which they now accuse me. But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.

          You may note in this passage that Paul had been in Jerusalem – to worship – for twelve days, yet he had not been to the temple or synagogue. Were he being Torah-observant, there is no doubt he would have gone to one, or to both. This passage doesn’t support the idea that Paul believed himself under the law. In fact, it undermines the idea. This is why he wrote so many times that we are not under the Law.

      • Jay says:

        The verse in Col. is misapplied. The KJV uses the phrase “sabbath days.” Notice the plural word “days.” This verse is referring to the Jewish calendar and its many sabbaths. Here is where Genesis 2:1-3 come in: the word there (rest) is Sabbath in Hebrew. Notice the context of Gen. 2:1-3. At this time, there is no sin in the world. This is key. Again, at the time of Genesis 2:1-3, there is no sin in the world. Therefore, this weekly Sabbath is not a shadow of anything to come. In other words, when sin entered, the is plenty of Biblical evidence that sacrifices pointed to Jesus….these “shadows” point to Jesus. The special days and sabbaths that are mentioned in Col. 2 refer to the special days we see in the book of Leviticus. It is these that were a shadow of the Christ to come because they pointed to Christ. The Sabbath of Gen. 2:1-3 was established in before sin.

        • Tony says:

          Jay:

          For your claims to be correct, several things would need to be true. First, the ancient Israelites would need to draw the same distinctions you’ve drawn…that there is some difference between “sabbaths” and “Sabbaths.” Let me know what your research turns up. Second, Scripture would need to tell us that it’s important that there was no sin in the world at that time. We can’t just make this stuff up, of course…we get our theology from the Bible. Third, you would need to use Scripture to substantiate your claim that Paul was only writing about ‘special days in Leviticus’ and not about God’s command to the Israelites to observe a weekly Sabbath. You see, there are no commands to observe a sabbath, weekly or otherwise, before the giving of the Mosaic Law. The Sabbath wasn’t established in Genesis 2…later Scriptures point to God’s rest in Genesis as the reason for Israel’s rest, but we see no Scriptures where anybody was told to observe a sabbath until Exodus 20. If you find Scriptures that say otherwise, please post them. I would be happy to agree.

          Thanks!

          • Jay says:

            First, you’ve misquoted me.

            I did not say that there was a difference between “sabbath” and “Sabbaths”, I actually said that there was a difference between the KJV usage of sabbath days (as seen in Col. 2:16) and the Hebrew for rest on Genesis 2:1-3, which is Sabbath.

            Am I right or wrong?

            Secondly, scripture needs to tell you its important that there was no sin??? Are you reading what happened when Adam sinned? Life before son was perfect, its right there on the Bible. Life after sin was imperfect. Its right there in the Bible.

            What was the remedy for this? The cross. It’s right there in the Bible.

            Am I right or wrong?

            You should research the concept of types and shadows…..it’ll provide the clarity you’re looking for….for example, the Passover ceremony was a shadow that point to the real thing, Jesus Christ.

            Col. 2:16 Is proof enough of what Paul was referring to….do your research on “new moons” and sabbath days and you’ll find that these were aligned with the Jewish calendar.

            New Moon references….look at the following: Numbers 10:10, Numbers 28:11, 1 Samuel 20:5, and Isa. 66:23. The new moons helped with determining months of the year.

            Am I right or wrong?

            You’re looking for scripture to observe Sabbath before Exodus 20 when you have no scripture that speaks against murder before Cain killed Abel.

            Am I right or wrong?

            Wait, didn’t Cain murder his brother? But where was the command against murder?
            The moral laws were made audible to mankind. It wasn’t until Exodus 20 that they were written down.

            Proof? How could God punish Cain for murdering Abel if Cain didn’t know that murder was a sin?

            Think about it.

            It’s clear that Cain knew that it was a sin to murder. Therefore, God’s punishment of Him was just and True. The other moral laws, including the Sabbath, were given audibly. Later they were written down by God Himself.

            Isn’t murder a sin today? So is Sabbath breaking.

            Fact check me….answer those right or wrong questions, and review types and shadows (I Gabe you an example of one already)

            Be easy.

          • Tony says:

            I’m sorry. It’s never my intent to misquote anyone. You’re right: they are different words. The assumption that this difference is significant, however, is simply wrong. There are three words in play here:

            1. The word in Genesis 2 is shabath. It’s Hebrew and means “to stop.”
            2. The word in Exodus 20 is shabbath. It’s Hebrew, is an intensive of shabath, and has two uses in Scripture. The first is the same as in Genesis 2, meaning “to stop.” The second refers to any observance related to God’s stopping, including a sabbath day, the day of atonement, a sabbath year, a sabbath week, or produce in sabbath year.
            3. The word in Colossians 2 is sabbaton. It’s the Greek translation of shabbath.

            In Genesis, there was no observance. There was only God’s work of creation, and God being done with that work. There’s nothing spiritual or religious about shabath…the word simply means that He quit because He was finished. When I’m done writing this response, I will shabath as well. You can observe my stopping if you wish, but I give no command to do so.

            In Exodus, observances were commanded to commemorate God’s stopping. See a partial list of observances above.

            In Colossians, Paul tells believers that sabbaton are shadows of things that were to come, and that the reality (to which the shadows pointed) is found in Christ. Now, to be technically correct, the word Paul uses is the Greek translation of shabbath. The word could mean God’s rest, or it could mean Israel’s observances of that rest. If Paul meant that God’s rest pointed to the future reality of Christ, the text loses meaning. After all, why would Paul tell believers to not let others judge them with regard to God being finished creating? That’s silly. Paul clearly meant the other kind of sabbaton, where the children of Israel observed God’s rest as He had commanded in Exodus.

            The New Moon wasn’t to help keep track of the calendar. The moon itself did that. The New Moon was a festival at the beginning of each month during which fasting and mourning weren’t allowed. There were special sacrifices, family celebrations, and people generally didn’t work during the festival. Paul wrote not to let anyone judge you for observing (or not observing) a New Moon celebration. The New Moon, as he explained, was a shadow of the reality to come. A plain reading of the text shows that the New Moon and religious festivals and sabbath days and dietary restrictions are all in the same category: things that pointed forward to Jesus, and so are no longer needed.

            You believe there was a sabbath observance prior to sin entering the world. That doesn’t hold water. There were dozens (or hundreds) of shabath prior to sin. The word only means that someone was doing something, and then they stopped doing it. There is no more significance to it than that. Saying this predates sin and shows that we should all observe the sabbath as outlined in Exodus is a very, very bad way to make theology. God’s stopping only had meaning because He later commanded its observance. There is no indication in the creation account in Genesis that anyone paid special attention to God’s stopping, including God Himself.

            Certainly there is no sin where there is no law (Romans 4). In Genesis 4 we see God warning Cain to do what is right, and to avoid sin. There must have been a law that Cain knew. When you extrapolate this idea to include the observance of shabbath, and that failing to observe this event is sin, you go far too far. Clearly, there is no mention of such observances until Exodus. Just as clearly, Paul taught that such observances are no longer required, as Christ has come. The command was given for a purpose, and that was completed in Christ.

            In other words, Paul is right. Christians are not – and have never been – commanded to observe shabbath.

            Be easy.

            And you as well, my friend.

      • Bethany says:

        The passage you are quoting from Colossians is speaking directly about pharaises or those that would try to enforce rabbinic law which is adding to the Torah (adding or taking away from Torah is forbidden in Exodus). It is not at all saying don’t do them, it is saying don’t let someone judge you on how you keep the law, the feast, and the sabbath etc. But it doesn’t mean don’t keep it. For example, do not let someone judge you for picking grain, as though that should be considered work, (as the disciples did one sabbath), if you are used to perform a miracle, like healing (such as Jesus and the disciples), then don’t let someone judge you, but if you decide it’s more convenient to go out to eat, or to the mall, or to take a long trip with drive through food stops on sabbath, you’re wrong. Don’t worry if you don’t wash your hands ceremonially three times or have a bag for your matzah at Passover. Don’t worry if you eat a cheeseburger, against rabinic law but not Gods law, but don’t eat pork because that is expressively written not to do. Be careful because teachers are held to a higher standard. God is the same always and He never changes. So, did He change his mind about not changing (rhetorical)?

        The laws God gave are not difficult to keep, and no one person could keep all of them because some are for men, some for women, some for priest, some for soldiers, and so on; regardless of what people think we cannot be both male and female, husband and wife etc. So we cannot keep all the commandments, but we can keep those applicable to our assignment, gender, role etc. Also, all of the ones that involve punishment and retribution cannot be kept because his judges and temple and preist are not here on Earth currently, a requirement, prerequisite really, for any judicial renderings, so we don’t have to stone adulterers or children that curse their parents (the people were actually sinning trying to stone the adulterous woman that Jesus freed of her sin because they didn’t have testimony judged by judges or a priest, put in place by God, to confirm its truth) . We, in fact, shouldn’t exercise capitol punishment (because our system has no involvement with Gods righteous rulings) and we don’t have slaves (though the Bible has been conveniently used to abdicate slave owners of colonial times). In Hosea 6:6 God says he would have preferred mercy over sacrifice and obedience over offerings. He’s always preferred we behave, like any parent, but the spirit of rebellion can be relentless. Pray, seek Yahweh and truth and Yeshua’s sacrifice will not be in vain.

        A lot of people pay attention to the verse where people say Lord Lord we did this and that all in your name and He says “get away from me you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you”. (Matthew 7:23) but they focus on who’s going to hell. Who was really doing the “miracles” these people witnessed and performed? Yeshua said plain as day He never knew them, so it wasn’t Him and it wasn’t The Father. If we focus on that, we see that Satan is deciving many in the church and the body thinking they are doing for God and in His name. However, God says plain as day all throughout the Bible that if you don’t abide in the commandments your prayers are detestable to him. Satan can give someone “the world” as he told Yeshua in the desert. So he can certainly perform a fake miracle. Be vigilant or perish for lack of knowledge. Don’t blaspheme The Most High and say He has changed, something He promised never to do. Repent of sin and follow The Lord with your heart and your soul and your might. May Elohim have mercy on us and may we cleave to His sent savior Yeshua Hamashiach for everlasting life worshipping Him at His feet in His holy righteous presence! Hallelujah Amen

        • Tony says:

          >> The passage you are quoting from Colossians is speaking directly about pharaises or those that would try to enforce rabbinic law which is adding to the Torah (adding or taking away from Torah is forbidden in Exodus). It is not at all saying don’t do them, it is saying don’t let someone judge you on how you keep the law, the feast, and the sabbath etc. But it doesn’t mean don’t keep it.

          There are three problems with this approach, Bethany. The first is that the text itself doesn’t tell us this. The second is that this isn’t the only place where we see that Christians aren’t to be Torah-observant. The third is that you’ve contradicted the text itself. Why would Paul – an educated Jew, trained in the Law – talk about the things of the Law being “shadows” of things that were to come? If we’re supposed to live by the Torah, they wouldn’t be shadows at all, would they? They would be an end unto themselves, rather than symbols that point to future, better things.

          It’s important to take all of Scripture into account when figuring out how things work. You might spend some time in Acts 15, for example. The question of whether new believers were required to observe the Law is directly, specifically, and unequivocally addressed there. Let me know what you think, will you? Thanks!

      • Liz says:

        So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.Matthew 24

        Matthew 5:19
        19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      • Serena says:

        Thanks for answering my questions. I do however know the Christians have separated the moral, civil, and ceremonial laws. So wouldn’t the 10 commandments be our moral law to follow? Sorry I just get confused

        • Tony says:

          Serena:

          I’m happy to try to help anytime!

          I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve had this conversation in the past 20 years. Seriously. It’s a lot. Most of the time, there’s some kind of response that brings up what you’ve asked: what about the distinction between the different kinds of laws? I have two answers that I hope will help.

          First, we should look at where we find those laws in the Bible, and examine the context. That’s super important. Who gave the laws, to whom were they given, and under what circumstances? When you read them, you’ll find that God gave them, to the ancient Israelites, and the circumstances were that God was making a covenant with them. That covenant was, essentially, that they would obey Him and He would use them to bless the rest of the world. This started with His promise to bless the world through Abraham, and continued down Abraham’s family (the ancient Israelites) to Jesus. The laws given to Moses were the terms of the covenant He made with Israel. You might notice that while breaking the sabbath could bring the death penalty for an ancient Israelite, we never see any instructions for the death of people outside Israel for not observing the sabbath. The law simply didn’t apply to them. The sabbath was for the Israelites and had nothing to do with the Egyptians or Canadians.

          So, the answer in this first response is simple: it doesn’t matter which of those laws were moral, which were civil, and which were ceremonial. The commands given to Israel were only given to Israel, and only in the context of God’s covenant with them. Nobody else was included, so nobody else was included. Those laws never applied to you or me.

          Second, how should the rest of us live? If the laws Yahweh gave to Israel never applied to anyone but Israel, how should the rest of us live? Should we observe the laws of Judaism? Should we do our own thing? Is it okay to worship other gods? Should we feel okay when we lie, cheat, steal, or murder? Clearly, no. Does that mean we should live by the laws God gave Israel?

          Well… no. Those laws had a purpose. They all pointed to Jesus. When Jesus arrived, the law’s purpose was fulfilled. One comparison might be a picture of an ice cream sundae, and a real ice cream sundae. If a parent wanted to reward a young child for cleaning their room, they might offer a reward. They could tape a picture of a sundae on the wall as a reminder. When the child cleans their room, they don’t get the picture as a reward, do they? Of course not! The picture is there to point to a real ice cream sundae. It’s a symbol, designed to remind the child ‘stay on task.’ In the same way, the sabbath and the rest of the Mosaic law were designed to keep the ancient Israelites on task.

          Galatians 3 is a really important chapter about the Law. In verse 16, the apostle Paul refers to Jesus as “the seed” of Abraham… that is, his descendant. He then explains in verse 19 what the law was for: Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. Do you see it? The law was given UNTIL Jesus had come. Then vv24-25 are the biggies:

          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.

          This is really, really clear… isn’t it? The law was a guardian. Kind of like the picture of the ice cream sundae. Both were useful. Both looked ahead to their fulfillment. When we have the fulfillment, the ‘guardians’ are no longer needed. Not at all, not by anybody. How should we live? We should do what Jesus taught us to do. How do we know that? Because the law’s purpose was to point to Him.

          I hope that makes sense. The idea that Christians should figure out which parts of the Mosaic Law to follow is, quite simply, silly. It’s contrary to what Jesus taught, and His disciples explained that pretty clearly. Here are two more things for you to read. I don’t want you to just trust me, of course. These aren’t my ideas. They come right from the Bible.

          1. I wrote another article: Should Christians Follow Old Testament Laws? In it, I list a bunch of verses from the New Testament that describe how we are not under the Law. You could look up those verses and see for yourself that this is really, really plain.
          2. The question of whether non-Jews should obey the Mosaic Law came up, and was answered, in Acts 15. Check out verse 5: Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” See what happened then… it’s good stuff.

          I hope that makes sense. You and I were never to follow the Law, and we don’t need it. We can definitely learn from it, but we have a far, far better guide than the Law. We have what Jesus taught, and every person who is born again also has the Holy Spirit – God Himself – living in us, guiding us. The Law could never be better than that.

      • Bryan says:

        I think you are very smart and the one word is very important though ‘remember’ it’s kind of like he thought he wouldn’t have to repeat it if we stayed obedient

        • Tony says:

          Bryan:

          You’re right. I am indeed very smart. That’s entirely irrelevant, though. The question is whether Christians should observe the original sabbath, and for that we don’t need to be smart. We only need to be familiar with the Scriptures. To be familiar with the Scriptures, we just need to read them. Where there are questions, we compare the relevant verses. It’s often useful to look at the words the authors used originally, to get a broader understanding of their original meaning. It’s not really that complicated.

          When it comes to the sabbath, the only people commanded to remember the sabbath were the ancient Israelites. You say “if we stayed obedient.” There is no “we.” Neither you nor I are ancient Israelites, so the command has never applied to us. “We” don’t observe the sabbath because we were never told to do so. The Jews don’t need to observe the sabbath today because it’s been fulfilled by Jesus.

          Simple.

      • Julian says:

        Animal sacrifices were prescribed after the fall of man. That is why they point to Jesus. Laws that dealt with washing away sins pointed to Jesus. However, the Sabbath has nothing to do with washing away sins as it was created before sin. My question to you is would slap away any of God’s other commandments as open to interpretation? Well we shouldn’t steal but not because God’s commands it. Just because its the right thing to do. God’s says if you love me, keep my commandments and Paul says faith without works is dead. Yes we are not bound by Mosaic Law. But its pretty obvious that God set the 10 commandments apart from those laws. They were the only ones written in stone.

        • Tony says:

          Julian:

          A good comment, truly. I can’t agree with all of it, but it’s still good.

          The sabbath absolutely has to do with washing away sins. Follow the logic:

          1. God worked. Then He sabbathed… that is, He stopped working. He didn’t rest because He was tired, but because He was finished. That’s what the word sabbath means.
          2. God instituted temple sacrifices. Performing those sacrifices was the primary function of temple priests, of course. Sacrifices were primarily to cover sin until Messiah came. Until Jesus came, there was no end to their work.
          3. Since Jesus came, we have rest from our spiritual work. He is the final sacrifice. He is the final High Priest. Priests in the temple could not sit down, since their work was never done. Jesus, after finishing His work, sat down at the right hand of the Father.
          4. The sabbath was all about one’s work being completed, and Jesus now rests from His work. We who believe in Him have entered into that rest.

          This isn’t a matter of my own personal interpretation. Read the Scriptures, Julian. I’m not “slapping away” God’s command. The only command to observe sabbaths is in the old covenant. The command in the New Testament is to not let anyone judge you over sabbaths. Only 9 of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament, and sabbath is the one that’s missing. No Christian has ever been commanded in Scripture by God to observe sabbaths. We rest from our spiritual labor every day, not just once a week.

          As for the 10 Commandments being separate from the rest of the Law, you should read the passages in the Bible that talk about that. You know, do your homework. Read Exodus 33-34, especially 34:29.

          When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.

          What? “The two tablets of the covenant law”? That cannot be. You’ve been taught that the 10 Commandments are somehow distinct from the Mosaic Law… that they’re permanent and binding on all people, everywhere. Unfortunately, that is exactly the opposite of what the Bible actually says. God Himself called the 10 Commandments the covenant law. Which covenant? Certainly not the new covenant that Jesus spoke about at the last supper… right?

          Please don’t take my work for it, Julian. Do your own homework and read it for yourself. When you’re done, you might take a moment to thank God for never including you in that covenant, since the new one is so much better than the old. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

      • George says:

        Tony, I strongly suggest you erase this whole post and thread. You will be judged heavily on every word, every reply. These people have come to warn you about this, it’s not debatable. I pray you will honor the Lord Jesus Christ and remove this deception and blasphemy. May God be with you. Amen.

        • Tony says:

          George:

          With all due respect, no.

          Why won’t I erase my post? Because you’ve given me no reason to erase it. You simply disagree with it. That’s okay. You don’t need to agree with it. Both you and I need to agree with Scripture. I would be in your debt if you were able to use Scripture to show me that I’m wrong. Just SAYING that I’m wrong is a waste of your time and mine. I appreciate very much your warning, and your prayers. Now, if you would, please finish the work you’ve so generously started and help me correct my errors.

          Thanks!

    • Daniel Bjorndahl says:

      Jesus did not contradict anything His Father ordered – how else could he say, I and my Father are one? The Sabbath is still Holy – none of God’s Words has ever or will ever fail. Pharisees will quote this verse as an excuse not to obey the sabbath, however I see this verse as protection against the judgement of the Pharisees who believe they can pick and choose which of the ten commandments are still valid. Imagine a church teaching that it’s okay to commit murder! Yet this, the Sabbath, of the ten commandments is perhaps most habitually neglected. Even those who claim a specific day of the week (i.e Saturday vs Sunday) often go out to eat after church, which would be compelling someone else to work on the day of rest. I consider it a blessing to strictly honor the Sabbath.

      Of all the commands in the Bible, I don’t see how “please don’t work for a day” could be perceived as a burden!

      • Tony says:

        Daniel:

        While I appreciate your zeal, it’s simply misplaced. To conclude that gentile Christians are to observe the same sabbath that the ancient Israelites observed is to either undo or completely ignore lots of the Bible, and especially the New Testament. The sabbath was a command for those involved in the Mosaic covenant. Your argument is invalid from the start, since gentiles were never included in the Mosaic covenant. Even if gentiles were included, that covenant is no longer in force.

        You can say all kinds of nice things about taking a day off, spending a day in worship, honoring God, and more…but you can’t use the Bible to make the claim that anyone is bound by the old covenant. As we read in Scripture, the Law (that is, the 10 commandments and all 613 laws that came from them) was a temporary guardian, only in force until Christ came. There’s no way around it.

        • Daniel Bjorndahl says:

          Gentiles were included in the Mosaic covenant Numbers 15:15.

          Jesus did not abolish the law and he said so himself. I will attempt to abide by the 613 as best I can. I am covered by God’s grace if I fall, but I have my mind set on obeying God as if he truly were the same yesterday today and forever. I suspect you disagree that Jesus did not abolish the law.

          • Tony says:

            Daniel:

            Thanks. Good catch! Unfortunately, when you read the verse in context (as all Bible students should) you will see that this is talking about the nation of Israel, and how foreigners living in their country were to live. This wouldn’t apply to Egyptians living in Egypt, or to Babylonians living in Babylon, or to Chaldeans living in Chaldea. Gentiles were only expected to live as Jews if they lived in Israel. I don’t live in Israel, so this wouldn’t apply to me.

            Beside that, Paul specifically and unequivocally stated that we are no longer under the Law. If you believe that Numbers 15:15 teaches that we are under the Law, how do you explain Paul saying that we are not?

            I would not say that Jesus abolished the Law. The Law had a purpose…a reason for being in force. Jesus fulfilled the Law, which was a tutor – a guardian – for the Jews until Jesus came. I’m sorry to hear that you believe the Law is still in force…whether for Jews or Gentiles. It is not.

            Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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 3:23-25)

            You have been misled, Daniel. You are not covered by God’s grace if you fall. You are covered by God’s grace, period. We aren’t saved by grace after we’ve done our very best…we’re saved by grace when we exercise faith by trusting God for salvation. This is a present reality, not a future reality…we’re not saved later on, after we’re done working for our salvation, where God makes up for what we lack. Instead, we are saved now because God is gracious enough to save us regardless of how well we can follow the Law.

            Fortunately, Paul has a direct message for you:

            Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

            Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. (Galatians 3:15:21)

            You are not under the Law. Please don’t take my word for it. Do your own study of the Bible. Read Galatians and see that the Law, which came from God and did perfectly what He intended, is no longer applicable to anyone. Let me know what you think. I’m praying for you.

        • Robert Mendez says:

          Tony;
          I must totally disagree with you that you say that the Sabbath was a command of the Mosaic Covenant. First of all, God did not make a covenant with Moses, as regard to the Ten Commandments, also known as the 10 statements of God.
          God used the word, “REMEMBER” to keep the Sabbath day holy, as a reminder that the Sabbath was not a new thing establish at Mount Sinai. The Sabbath was already being kept, way before the wilderness experience. And secondly, the Sabbath was not made for the Jews only but for all mankind, as established in Genesis 2:1-2, even before God created Adam. You seem to forget, my brother, that Gentiles are grafted into the root of the Olive Tree, the Jewish roots of Israel, as the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 11:17-24, because of the acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Messiah, so Gentiles are also blessed into the Abrahamic Covenant, as long as Gentiles keep God’s Commandments. Jews and Gentiles are no longer separated, but are one in the Messiah; both blessed in the blessings of Abraham; and both keeping the same Commandments of God in keeping the Sabbath day holy. I don’t know how you can say that Covenant is no longer in force since Jesus himself is our example and kept the Commandments of God. After all, He was in the beginning with God, as stated in the first chapter of John, thus making Jesus, the author, the maker, and creator of the Sabbath. That is why Jesus said, in Matthew 12: 8, that the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath. He is the Master and Owner of the Sabbath. Jesus is the one that Blessed and Sanctified the Seventh-Day Sabbath. Again, I must remind you, that the word Law, is an incorrect english translation. The word is actually, Torah, which means, God’s instructions, His guidance, for Holy and Pure living, and that, my brother, has not been done away with!

          • Tony says:

            Robert:

            Thanks for writing. With respect, you’re using the word ‘remember’ in only one sense: the one you prefer. Your explanation could be right, but it’s much less likely than that God said ‘remember’ as an instruction about the future. If you were going to the store, I might say ‘remember to get ice cream’, right? That’s not an instruction to recall ice cream we’ve eaten in the past, but to remember – in the future – to get some. The commandments in Exodus 20 aren’t simply a call to remember old things, but instructions for the future. Certainly the Exodus command to sabbath pointed to historical events (a remembrance): both creation and the exodus itself, but the command wasn’t anything like “keep doing what you were commanded to do from the beginning.”

            You say that the sabbath was already being kept. I’d like to know where you get this information. You see, the word sabbath means to rest, to stop, to cease. In Genesis, God sabbathed…when He was done creating, He stopped creating. There was no command for Adam and Eve to set aside one day per week to not work. The first command to sabbath comes in Exodus 20, in the context of God’s covenant with the children of Israel. I don’t know why you would say that God didn’t make a covenant with Moses (as their representative)…reading through Exodus, it’s clear that a covenant was made. Exodus 19:5 seems like sufficient evidence to convince anyone. Let me know why you disagree.

            You seem to believe that Christians are part of Israel. You cite Romans 11, but it seems you need to read it more carefully. Paul does not say that Christians are Israel…the whole section shows a stark contrast between the two groups! Yes, we are grafted in. No, we are not Israel. We are not Jews, nor are we to adhere to Judaism. We are Gentiles, and heirs to the promise…not the promise to Moses, but to Abraham. Abraham was not commanded to keep a sabbath, was he?

            Yes, Jesus kept the commandments of God. He is a Jew. I am not a Jew, so the instructions given to the Jews were not given to me. This is clearly shown in passages like Acts 15, where the leaders of the Jerusalem church were asked to settle a dispute: whether Gentiles should be required to follow the Law of Moses. There is no way to read this passage and come away thinking that their answer was “yes.” The same issue came up again and again, and was dismissed again and again. Titus was instructed on this matter, as was Timothy. At no point in the Bible are non-Jews told to keep the Law.

            You say Jews and Gentiles are no longer separated, and you are (of course) correct. This is clear in Scripture. Unfortunately, you apply it backwards. You seem to think that Gentiles should act as the Jews did…but it’s the other way around. The old covenant has been replaced by the new, and Jews should act as the Gentiles do in following Christ. The evidence is abundant, and clear: we are saved by grace through faith, and not by works. Here is one of the many passages that make this clear…it’s Romans 4:4-5:

            Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

            I have no doubt about your sincerity, Robert. Please don’t take my disagreement as disapproval. My goal is to simply point to the Scriptures and help you understand.

    • Milton Kent says:

      Yahushua died on a Wednesday, the day before the high Sabbath came in.
      As the scripture says, Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. That’s 72 hours, you can’t get 72 hours from Friday to Sunday.
      He went into the heart of the earth Wednesday before the sun went down, and rose at the end of the regular Seventh Day Sabbath, which would have Him in the ground for 72 hours, three days and three nights. From Friday to Sunday would be
      (Fri) 1 Night, (Sat) 1 day, (Sat Eve) 2 Nights and (Sun.) at dawn is not even a full day. That Wednesday He was Crucified was a preparation day because the Passover was about to come in at eveing, which made that evening the beginning of a High Sabbath.

      • Tony says:

        Milton:

        I’m not dogmatic about the exact date of Jesus’ crucifixion, and I don’t believe it’s worth arguing about at length. If you back up three 24-hour days from Sunday, what you wrote makes good sense. However: I do believe that when someone makes a claim about biblical events that isn’t substantiated from the text of the Bible, it’s worth noting. You may be right, but you may be wrong…and it’s important that we learn to do our homework well before making claims like you have.

        The problem is that you’re thinking like a 21-century American. To understand what we see in Scripture, we have to learn how first-century Israelites thought. Fortunately, we know how they thought about this. The ancient Israelites used a very flexible word for “day,” and the way they thought about time reflects that. To them, “day” could mean any part of the daylight hours, or a day and night, or a year, or even an undetermined (but finite) length of time. If Jesus was in the grave during any part of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the ancient Israelites would say that it was three days. It doesn’t have to be 72 hours to be 100% accurate.

        The real question isn’t about the exact day or date of Jesus’ crucifixion, but about whether you and I and everyone reading this understands that Jesus died in our place, and that our sins have been forgiven. If we, in response to this good news, turn to God and trust Him with our lives, we will be born again and live forever with Him in Heaven. Have you been born again, Milton?

    • Keely says:

      He didnt die on friday. There were 2 sabbaths that week. Feast sabbath and regular weekly sabbath. very common mistake. Cant get 3 days and 3 nights from friday to sunday.

      • Tony says:

        Keely:

        Actually, you CAN get 3 days and nights from Friday to Sunday. To most modern people, a day begins just after midnight and ends at the next midnight. To the Israelites, a day begins at sunset and ends at the following sunset. What we call Friday (including Good Friday) began at sunset the night before. So:

        Thursday-night and Friday-day was day 1.
        Friday-night and Saturday-day was day 2.
        Saturday-night and Sunday-day was day 3.

        When counting days as they did, we can see why Jesus would say three days and three nights.

    • Mary says:

      There were 2 Sabbaths .day of .preparation was the crucifixion before the evening of Passover ..Christ was the Passover Lamb…they had to get Christ into the tomb before sunset..Passover..he was in the tomb..Wednesday sunset..to Thursday sunset #1 remember 72 hrs he was in the tomb Thursday-Friday#2 Friday-Saturday sunset..#3. ..Christ rose Saturday sunset..everyone was gone keeping the Sabbath, it was early Sunday while it was still dark that Mary Madeline found the stone rolled back..Christ had risen Saturday .. Christ is lord of the Sabbath now.. the Sabbath day never changed..it is the 7th day of the week..one of the Ten Commandments is to keep the Sabbath day Holy..Chris rose to fulfill the law..not to abolish it.. love the lord God with all your heart and with all your soul , and with all thy mind. Thou shall love your neighbor as yourself. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him Must worship him in Spirit and the Truth.

    • Lu says:

      Hi Joe; I am Lu, and I want to say a couple of things.
      1. Yashayah said that he would be in grave for 3 nights, AND 3 days. So Him being buried on Friday will not add up to Sunday being the 3rd day.

      2.. The definition for SABBATH is correct; also you stated that it was SANCTIFIED, BLESSED, & HOLLOWED. Which is correct as well. Saying that,I want to add, of ALL HISS commandments, if you notice, is the ONLY one HE put an importance on , that we should remember it, observe it, and that it is (even today) , a sign between HIM & HIS people. (Ezekiel 20:12)

      • Tony says:

        Lu:

        First, who is this Yahsayah? Isaiah? Certainly you’re not speaking of the Messiah.

        Second, it’s important to interpret the words of Scripture in the way the author meant… not to read them with 21st-century meanings. In my lifetime, phrases like “that’s cool” and “you’re the bomb” have been pretty popular. 2000 years from now, they would make little sense without context. The context of ‘a day and a night,’ as expressed in Scripture, is not “24 hours.” It’s more general than that. A day and a night is a day… which is very flexible. If I told you today was Friday, would you argue that it’s Saturday right now in India? That would be silly. When Jesus said that, He wasn’t saying that He would be in the grave for 72 hours. Or for 71. He was comparing Himself to Jonah, and saying that He would be in the grave for three days. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday… that’s three days. It’s not 72 hours, but Jesus didn’t mean 72 hours. If Jesus was resurrected in the morning, 72 hours prior would have been Thursday morning at the same time. Unless you want to argue that Jesus was put in the tomb on Thursday morning, your complaint about the traditional interpretation has little meaning.

        Finally: it’s easy to say that the terms of God’s covenant with Israel apply to other people, but much more difficult to prove from Scripture. Jesus said that the New Covenant – the one that began the night of His arrest – was not like the old covenant. Paul taught that we are not under the Law, and that nobody should judge another over sabbath days. Peter taught that what Paul wrote is Scripture. I see no way around this.

    • Richard Bekker says:

      Hi good day, interesting to see how they defend the Sabath. I have been a Seventh Day Adventist for many years, but left the church. When you are a SDA, you believe it’s what you have to do. Today I know it is not what I have to do, but what Jesus did. The Bible says, our works are like filthy rags. The ten commandments was given to Israel and it was a covenant between God and them. It was not for us . The Bible says, the law was given as a teacher, till Jesus came – Gal 3:23 -25. The Bible says that if the old one (the law) was good, it would not be necessary for a new one. The Bible also says, it’s not the same as the old one, it’s a better one. One of the main reasons they crucified Jesus, was because He worked on the Sabbath. When they questioned Jesus because he worked on the Sabbath, He said to them, I only do what I see my Father is doing. The Father works all the time, even on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the Farrisiers, aren’t you working, when you preach on the Sabbath day ? (What else do the pastors do, when they preach ) .The Bible says , you either live by Grace (faith) or the law. If you live by the law, you will be judged by the law. If you live by grace, you will be judge by grace. In other words, you have the law or Jesus. I rather will be judge by Grace. The Bible also says , if you break one of the law, you broke them all. A lot of SDA believe that they do not sin, or must not sin to enter into heaven. T hat’s exactly how the Fariseers were thinking, that they do not sin. The Bible says, there’s not even one person without sin. You can not keep the law, that’s why you need Jesus. It’s not about you, its about Him !! Its not what you do, but what He did.
      Does ithis mean that I can go now and sin. No, but I have the Holy Spirit in me, that leads me to the full truth How will I know when I sin , if I do not have the law. There’s a lot of sin that are not mentioned in the law, eg; Use of dirty language, fighting, gossiping, abortion, homosexuality, etc. The word law or commandments are not always referring to the 10 commandments. Most of the time it refers to the Word of God, unless it indicates 10 commandments. The Bible also says; that Aaron, Abraham and many more were saved by faith and not by the law. I am righteous, not because what I do, but what Jesus did and will not be saved by what I do, but what Jesus did.

    • Christina says:

      Hi Joe. I agree with you completely. Only I’d like to point something out to you. I think you will appreciate studying this. Yahshua (Jesus) did not die on Friday. He died on the day before the 1st day of unleavened Bread which is considered a high holy day or Sabbath which in that year would have fallen on a Wednesday. In Yahuahs (Gods) timetable days are from sunset to sunset, and Yahshua died around 3:00 on Wed. He Rose sometime during the Sabbath ( 3 days and 3 nights). The women coming to His tomb didn’t witness His resurrection, because He had already risen by the time they got there early on the 1st day which was probably right after sunset. The only sign given by Yahshua to His disciples the He was the Messiah was that of the sign of Jonah. That He would be 3 days and 3 nights in His tomb. Blessings to you

      • Tony says:

        Christina:

        I don’t know whether you’re aware, but most of what you’ve written is questionable. Scholars disagree on whether Jesus died on the 13th or 14th. The theory you’ve described is mostly an attempt at explaining how Jesus could be in the grave for “three days and three nights.” By moving the day of His death back in time, it *seems* to fit. Of course, that’s not necessarily the case. Three days and nights can be accounted for in other ways.

        Also: with regard to the sign of Jonah, you should probably read Matthew 12 a little more carefully. As anyone can see, it’s the wicked and adulterous generation that was only given one sign. That one sign was enough, of course… but Jesus gave plenty of other signs that He is the Messiah.

        First, He actually told the woman at the well that He is the Messiah. He told the Jews in Jerusalem that His works testified that He is the Messiah. He gave to His apostles many convincing proofs after His resurrection. When John the Baptist wanted to make sure Jesus is the Messiah, our Lord didn’t give him the sign of Jonah. Instead, Jesus listed the things He had done as signs that He is the Messiah.


        Michael W. Smith: Could He Be the Messiah
        Michael W. Smith: Could He Be the Messiah

  2. Joe says:

    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.”

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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.

      • Michael says:

        Hey Joe,
        In the original language, what Jesus said was he came to “complete” the law. Study & you will see this is a more accurate translation. Still though fulfill does not mean “delete or do do away with”. This is why he made sure to say “I Did NOT come to change or abolish the law, I came to full fill or “complete” it. To provide what it’s missing, give it life, provide the power, “the icing on the cake”, bring it to pass.
        He via the holy ghost has provided the power for us to “Properly Keep the Commands” in “Love” and not a hard rebellious heart”. That’s why he says “if u live him you “keep the Commands” and they are “Not” burdensome to keep now. Paul and all the diciples make it clear that if you claim Jesus/Yesgua, you “must depart from Sin”. Breaking the “10”, is Sin. The tablets establish what is Sin.

        • Tony says:

          Michael:

          Let’s talk briefly about the Law, and about a Christian’s relationship to it. Read Hebrews 8:13:

          By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

          Look at this verse carefully. Who is “he”, and what has he done? “He” is God, of course. He made the first covenant obsolete. The Greek verb is PALAIOO, and it’s used in its Perfect Active Indicative form. The perfect tense in Greek is used to describe an action that has been completed in the past, once for all, and does not need to be repeated. The active voice simply refers to the “do-er” of the action, who is God. The indicative mood says that the action is a simply statement of fact, saying that it really has occurred. Let’s put that all together: it was God who actually finished making the first covenant obsolete.

          This first covenant, instituted at Mount Sinai when God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, has never included anyone but the Israelites. Now, it no longer even includes them…because God has finished making it obsolete. We are not under the Law.

      • Keely says:

        Jesus didnt fufilly the law. It say that not one jot or tiddle will be changed until he comes back.

        • Tony says:

          Keely:

          It’s important to make sure that our words actually match what we see in the Bible. Here’s the text in question, which is Matthew 5:17-18:

          Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

          Notice that what you wrote and what Matthew wrote don’t match. Jesus did not say that nothing would be changed until He comes back. He said that no part of the Law would disappear until everything is accomplished. It would be easy to say that this speaks of the end of all things, when Jesus comes back…but that’s not how the disciples thought about it. Jesus (during the Last Supper) said that He was starting a ‘new covenant.’ That would, of course, replace the old one (the Law given to Moses). Peter and James and the other elders, as we read in Acts 15, made it clear that Christians did not need to follow the Law. In Galatians 3, Paul makes it abundantly clear when he wrote that the Law was a temporary guardian, only needed until Jesus came:

          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.

          The Bible couldn’t be any clearer on this subject. Our teachers and preachers, unfortunately, are less clear than the Scriptures they teach from. The only people who were included in the old covenant were the children of Israel. That doesn’t include you or me. Now that there’s a new covenant, nobody is under the Law. In other words, Jesus did accomplish everything while He lived and died two thousand years ago.

    • ellie says:

      The ten commandments were given by God to follow, and if not we are the ones who will suffer the consequences. The Shabbat is a commandment, period. Jesus observed the Shabbat because it is the law. his disciples did because it is the law. why don’t we?. when we don’t, we disobey our Lord.

      • Tony says:

        Ellie:

        Thanks for visiting GodWords! How did you find me? I’m always curious.

        The Ten Commandments were given to the Israelites (and the other folks who left Egypt with them) to follow. If we read the Bible carefully, we will see that the Mosaic law was applied to Israel and all who lived in the promised land. In the New Testament – after Jesus’ resurrection – we see that Gentiles were not included in the Mosaic law. This is abundantly clear when you read Acts 15. What happened in Acts 15? Simple: some people went to the Gentile Christians in Antioch and told them they must be circumcised. This is important, as circumcision was the sign of the Mosaic covenant that went with the giving of the Mosaic law. Because this caused a controversy, Paul and Barnabas and some others went to Jerusalem to consult with the Apostles and elders.

        What happened then? Did the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem tell the believers in Antioch to follow the law? No, they didn’t. Both Peter and James (Jesus’ brother) are mentioned by name in Acts 15, telling the Antioch group that they did not need to burden themselves with the Mosaic law. Here are vv 28-29:

        It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

        There you have it. I know that, for some, that won’t settle the issue…but it should. Let me know if you still disagree, and why. Thanks!

        • jon says:

          im not a intelligent man nor academic man im following god and jesus an im trying to change my life i use to rest on a sunday now i rest on a saturday and work on a sunday now i agree with ellie god give us a comamand so we have to keep this i will do every thing jesus did he kept the sabbath so will i, how i founf this site is im trying my hardest to be one with godand jesus and im trying not to get decceived by man so im reseaching every thing about the bible i do it on line as i just carnt get way with books

          • Tony says:

            Jon:

            First, thanks for visiting GodWords. I appreciate it.

            Here’s an item for your consideration: God did not give us that command. The command to keep the Sabbath was given to the ancient Israelites. After Jesus’ death, some of the Israelite Christians insisted that Gentiles had to become Jews before they could become Christians. You can read about this in Acts 15, Galatians 2 & 3, and Titus 1 (among other places). This was an issue in the early church, and it was decidedly squashed by Jesus’ disciples. You can read their conclusions in Acts 15:22 and following.

            Reading these passages shows that Christians were never under the law at all. If you read Galatians 2 and 3, you can see that the Jews were no longer under the law. To suggest that God has given you and I a command to rest on any particular day is to ignore these clear and plain passages.

            You say that Jesus observed the Sabbath, and so you will too. This is clearly an error. Jesus observed the Sabbath in the way it was intended, and got harassed by the Jewish leaders for doing so. They claimed that He broke the Sabbath and, based on what you’ve written, you might make the same claim. Let’s not fall into error by only looking at part of the Scriptures. Let’s take them all together, in context, before we make decisions about how we should live. It’s good that you’re working hard to not be deceived by men…I commend you for that. I don’t want you to take my word for it. Take God’s Word for it. Look at the passages I’ve linked, and maybe take some notes. Christians don’t observe the ancient Israelite Sabbath 1) because we’re not ancient Israelites, 2) because the Law is now obsolete, and 3) because the Law never applied to us anyway.

            Let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to provide more Scriptures to help with your research. Have a great day!

          • Diuz says:

            Hello Friend,

            I have a question. When God finished his creation he made the seventh day and he rested. The observance of the Sabbath was from the beginning of creation. Now the promise made to Abraham was that he was going to be father of a great Nation which we now know as Israel. So the Jews started here Adam and Eve weren’t Jews. And it came to pass that all of Gods people kept the sabbath including our Savior Jesus Christ,his disciples, the apostles and the early Christians churches. So if God kept the sabbath and Jesus kept the sabbath why aren’t Christians following Jesus. Instead they choose to follow what man did who changed the day of worship from the seventh day to the first. in revelation 14:12 during the judgement the people of of GOD are clearly distinguished “Those who keep the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. Now Jesus Faith in his Father was unwavering and we should also try to practice it as christian and rely on God, whatever he came across he always seeks guidance from his Father. If you dig more into history you will find that Sunday worship was implied by a Roman Emperor in 300 A.D, who wanted to get Christians ,idol and sun worshipers on the same page( Constantine).
            Constantine created the earliest Sunday law known to history in AD 321. It says this:

            On the venerable Day of the sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits: because it often happens that another Day is not so suitable for grain sowing or for vine planting: lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.ii

            Chamber’s Encyclopedia says this:

            Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of that Day is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine, 321 A.D.iii

            All the commandments, there is only one relating us to God. Which man, God the Father and God the Son observes.That is the Sabbath. From the Beginning of the Creation. So this is my question if it designed by God why would anyone do otherwise? We are indeed saved by Grace, but how can we keep in check if there is no guideline to help us.

          • Tony says:

            Diuz:

            Thanks for your comment. My first response to your question may help you reframe the issue. You say that “The observance of the Sabbath was from the beginning of creation.” That’s clearly not true. The word shabath means “to cease” as in to stop doing something. God did not “observe” a sabbath in Genesis 2. He stopped working, because He was done creating. The only commands in the Bible about observing a sabbath come as part of the Mosaic Law. There are no pre-Law commands to observe a sabbath to honor God’s completion of creation.

            Second, the Jews didn’t start with Abraham. The Jews didn’t start with Jacob, or Israel. The Jews are those from the line of Judah.

            Third, Sunday worship wasn’t created by Constantine. It’s a myth. Yes, he made a law…but that’s not why Christians observe the first day of the week.

            • The early church honored the first day of the week (the “Lord’s day”) because Jesus was resurrected on the first day. John mentions this in Revelation 1:10 when he wrote On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet….
            • Justin Martyr wrote about Sunday worship in 155AD, in his First Apology:

              We all hold this common gathering on Sunday, since it is the first day, on which God transforming darkness and matter made the universe, and Jesus Christ our Saviour rose from the dead on the same day. For they crucified him on the day before Saturday, and on the day after Saturday, he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them these things which I have passed on to you also for your serious consideration.

            Ancient Jews would go to the synagogue or temple every day. The seventh day was a day where they did more, but it’s not like they only went on Saturdays. The very early church was comprised of only Jews, who continued worshipping every day. Sunday was a special day, and they observed the Lord’s Day from the beginning.

            Please: don’t believe everything you hear. Do your own homework…you’ll be much better off when you do. I’m not a Roman Catholic, and I have no desire to defend Constantine about anything…but we should take our information about Christianity from Scripture, not from rumors. We see in the Bible that Christians are not under the Law, and that we have no sabbath command. Rather than worshipping on one day each week, we worship every day.

            You ask one final question that’s very important. You ask “how can we keep in check if there is no guideline to help us?”. This is an important part of Christianity. We read many times of our freedom in Christ. We do not share the same spiritual restrictions that the Jews had to observe. We read about the contrast between the Law written on tablets of stone and the ministry of the Spirit. We don’t need an external list of rules…we are indwelled by God Himself!

            Paul wrote that anyone who seeks to be justified by the Law has been cut off from Christ. We have no need of the Mosaic Law (which is the 10 Commandments and everything that comes from them). We have God Himself.

            Let me know if you have further questions.

          • Diuz Tuberi says:

            My Dear Friend,

            Exactly my point, God doesn’t need rest, He did it for us. If the Sabbath was a creation of God and all through the bible it was kept, Including Jesus our Savior. He said the Sabbath was made for men. Than why would anyone would ever want to take away what God created, because what God creates is everlasting and only He can change it. Just like the original plan for men, to live forever and the bible day from sundown to sundown. Now if we try to change it we are becoming like someone who tried to be like God. So we should be like our Saviour and follow what he did. If we dont than we are no longer concentrating on his examples and we are carrying forward what we want to think is the truth

            Thank You.

          • Tony says:

            Scripture, my friend. Scripture. It’s where Christians begin and end. It is the source of our theology, our guide for living, and our indispensable standard for ideas about God. We should use Scripture, and not our own ideas, when we talk about who God is and what God wants. When you say things like “all through the Bible it was kept” and “only He can change it” and “the original plan for men” you show that you are unaware of what’s actually written in Scripture. For example: the original plan for men was Jesus, the savior. Revelation 13:8 tells us that Jesus (the Lamb) was slain from the creation of the world. THAT was the original plan. Jesus didn’t die because Adam and Eve derailed His plan. God knew that we would sin long before He created us, yet He created us anyway. THAT was the original plan.

            You say we should be like our Savior, and follow what He did. Should I then be crucified for the sins of humanity? That’s what He did, right? Of course that’s a silly notion. We aren’t called to do what He did. We’re called to do what He commanded.

            Now: how do we know what He commanded? Because His followers wrote it down for us. Scripture. Scripture! That’s where we learn how Christians should live. Did Jesus’ followers provide any information about how gentile believers (Christians that aren’t Jews) should live? Of course they did. Look, for a strong example, at Acts 15. Nobody can read this passage of Scripture and conclude that God intends for gentiles to obey the Law of Moses. You say that “only God can change it,” and you’re right…but you’ve missed the fact that God Himself did change it. There was an old covenant, made with the children of Israel. Then, throughout the Old Testament, God spoke of a new covenant that would take the place of the old. Jesus’ closest friends and disciples taught that the new covenant had arrived. That’s why John the Baptist preached that ‘the kingdom of God is at hand.’ That’s why Paul taught that the sabbath was a shadow of things to come, and that we don’t need the shadow because we have Christ. That’s why the Apostles in the Jerusalem church (Peter, James, John, and others) told gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia that they did not need to follow the Law. God DID change it, as we see in Scripture.

            You ask a good question: why would anyone ever want to take away what God created? I’ll ask you a parallel question: why would anyone want to keep what God has set aside? When you go to the market and look at the fruit, you don’t ask “is THIS the fruit I’m not supposed to eat?”. You know that you aren’t in the garden of Eden, so the question is silly. In the same way, we know that we are not under the old covenant. Because Jesus’ followers were inspired by God to write, we have all of the information we need about this subject. We simply have to read it, preferring HIS thoughts to our own. Here is a passage from 2 Corinthians 3:

            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!

            Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

          • Diuz Tuberi says:

            Yes of Course Only in the scriptures : Isaiah 8:20
            To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
            We find in Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.(This also in Mark 13:31 and Luke 21:33).
            So on the account of creation Genesis 1:26-27
            Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

            From Creation God wanted Man to be like Him that includes Eternal life. Adam and Eve was even granted a free pass in a life without the knowledge of sin but Our Almighty God Couldn’t take away their freedom of choice.

            Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

            Of course God Knew Eve and Adam was going to be tempted and fail so why didn’t he take away the tree of knowledge??? It is because he loved them, because if He did than don’t you think he would be controlling and that is not Love. We need to look at ourselves for this point, If Some takes away our freedom of choice we won’t like it and we feel unloved, even wars are being Fought for liberation of freedom.

            1 Corinthians 13:4-8,

            6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

            If God love’s in John 3:16 is to give up his only begotten Son to die for Us. Than his love is true, trusts in us and also hopes for us. Even though Adam had failed God, God’s love didn’t fail because Revelation of 13:8 Jesus chose to die for our Sins from the beginning.

            If what you suggest is true than we were created to die. And that doesn’t sound like Love don’t you think. Even Satan faulted and he took 1/3 of the Angels did that stop God from Giving the freedom of choice. He let them choose for themselves.

            He didn’t create man to die instead he created a way out for us, Ezekiel 18:23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

            In Mathew 5 Jesus said

            17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

            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.

            Exodus 31:18 When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.

            This is not Moses’s law, God wrote it down with his Fingers, It directly appeals to our morals. God wrote it for Moses to keep, It was not for Him.

            Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up

            You failed to mention in acts chapter 15 that the Council letters to the gentiles also mentioned: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.

            Now we see in James 2:10 – 12 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.”

            Romans 3:27-31 29 IS HE THE GOD OF THE JEWS ONLY? IS HE NOT ALSO OF THE GENTILES? YES, OF THE GENTILES ALSO:

            30 SEEING IT IS ONE GOD, WHICH SHALL JUSTIFY THE CIRCUMCISION BY FAITH, AND UNCIRCUMCISION THROUGH FAITH.

            31 DO WE THEN MAKE VOID THE LAW THROUGH FAITH? GOD FORBID: YEA, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW.

            Here the Scriptures talks about People who choose 1 John 2:4-6

            4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
            5 BUT WHOSO KEEPETH HIS WORD, IN HIM VERILY IS THE LOVE OF GOD PERFECTED: HEREBY KNOW WE THAT WE ARE IN HIM.
            6 HE THAT SAITH HE ABIDETH IN HIM OUGHT HIMSELF ALSO SO TO WALK, EVEN AS HE WALKED.(Very Important: It is not dying on the cross as you had pointed out but to do as he did follow him ways )

            Luke 9:23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

            And During our Judgement in Revelation 14:12 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

            Why Should we keep the Law if we are not saved by the Law ??

            If we have Faith in God’s Grace and we choose what we want to do than we are not letting God take control of our lives but we choose when to let him in.
            Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

            It all Come down to Love
            Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

            37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
            38 This is the first and great commandment.

            John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.”

          • Tony says:

            Diuz:

            Thanks very much! You’ve done a LOT of work here, and I appreciate it. I’ll try to respond to each part, and try to keep my reply short enough to be readable.

            The key to understanding anything, but especially the Bible, is to be aware of the context. For example: the Bible tells us that Jesus wept. It would be wrong of me to say (in a serious manner) that this passage refers to Jesus weeping over the World Cup results. The ONLY way to understand Jesus’ weeping is in its original context. The passage is found in John 11, where Jesus’ friend Lazarus has died, and Mary and Martha were grieving over their brother’s death. Taking “Jesus wept” in any other sense would simply be wrong. Building any doctrine or theological concept on an out-of-context passage is a huge mistake.

            What is the context of Isaiah 8:20? It’s a warning to Israel against consulting mediums and spiritists. Talking about this verse in any other context is a bad idea.

            What is the context of Matthew 24:35? Well…the context would certainly include the previous verse. We can’t clearly understand what Jesus meant without the context: the setting, the audience, and so on. In that passage, Jesus is speaking about the coming judgment of Jerusalem in 70AD. He tells His disciples Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Then, after He said that, He said “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” We must take His words in their original context to understand how He meant them. To illustrate the point, imagine that the context was that Jesus had just mentioned that He was hungry, and then said that His words would never pass away. Those same words would have a completely different meaning, wouldn’t they?

            Reading each passage in context isn’t just a good idea. It is the key to understanding…period. EVERY SINGLE TIME we refer to a verse, we should make sure that we’re not removing it from its context to pretend it means something that the writer didn’t intend. That’s one source of really bad theology.

            On to Genesis. You seem to be saying that God’s original plan was for mankind to be sin-free, that we were always supposed to live forever, and so on. We know from Revelation 13:8 that Jesus was ‘slain from the foundation of the world.’ Those two ideas can’t be reconciled, so one of them must be wrong. Jesus’ death was part of the plan, before anybody sinned. God wasn’t surprised that Adam and Eve disobeyed…He knew they would, but created us anyway. You’re reading Genesis and extrapolating to make it say something that it can’t say: that the plan was anything other than what actually happened.

            You say that God didn’t create man to die. Let me ask you: does God know the future? If not, we need to chat about that. If so, then God created people that He already knew would reject Him. Right? The idea isn’t that God takes pleasure in anyone’s death (as you rightly point out) but that God clearly takes pleasure in creating beings who are free to choose whether to respond to His love.

            How can we understand Matthew 5:17? The key to the verse is what Jesus meant by “fulfill.” The Greek word He used is pleroo. The word has two meanings. Which one is the one He used? The first is ‘to supply liberally’…that is, to be generous, as in filling a cup to the brim. That doesn’t seem right, since Jesus wasn’t generously supplying the Law and the Prophets. They had already been given in full measure. The other definition seems to fit just fine. It is ‘to complete.’ Let’s look at the verse again, using this definition:

            Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to complete them.

            This is why Paul wrote that the Law was a temporary guardian, until Christ came. The Law was a “shadow” and not the reality. We have the reality in Jesus. Now that Jesus has come and fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, we no longer need that guardian. It’s also important to note that Jesus didn’t say that He came to fulfill only the “ceremonial Law” and leave the “moral Law.” When someone said the Law and the Prophets, they spoke of the entire Jewish Scriptures. Jesus fulfilled them all.

            What is the context of Deuteronomy 6, where God gives the Law? Simple: God was talking to Israel. He wasn’t talking to Sumerians, or Chaldeans, or Edomites, or anyone else. Last night I told my wife that she’s my favorite person. I wasn’t talking to you, was I? Certainly you’re a nice person, but the context of my comment was that she is my favorite. In exactly the same way, the context of Deuteronomy matters. We can only understand Deuteronomy when we read it as it was written, without extrapolating, without pretending it says something it doesn’t say. God was talking to the children of Israel, who were going to enter the promised land, who had been slaves in Egypt. To know that this is so, you only have to actually READ Deuteronomy 6. The commands God gave that day never applied to you or me…period. Let’s not pretend that they did.

            When you talk about Acts 15, you’re making my point for me. What was the dispute about? Read it in context: look at verse 5. Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” Isn’t that the crux of our disagreement? It seems so. Who wrote the letter? Christians, surely. Apostles, certainly. What else? They were also JEWS. They knew the Law. They knew that whoever fails to keep the whole law was guilty of breaking the whole law. Why then, if the gentiles in Antioch were to be Torah-observant, would they only tell them to do four things mentioned in the Law? Were they purposely trying to make these new Christians fail? Of course not. They were settling a dispute. Some said that gentiles must be required to keep the Law, but the council at Jerusalem clearly and obviously and unequivocally disagreed.

            What is the context of Romans 3:31? Paul contrasts two laws: the law that requires works and the law that requires faith. Obviously, he means for all to adhere to one law (faith) and not the other (works). This entire section of Romans teaches that righteousness does not come from obeying the written Law, but by faith alone. Look ahead to Romans 4:5 and see: Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

            You seem to say that 1 John teaches that obedience is what saves us. Clearly, obedience is important. We should obey. However: just as clearly, the New Testament teaches again and again and again that salvation is not by works, but by grace. Our salvation is not based on our ability to be faithful, but on God’s eternal and unchanging and unfailing faithfulness. What is the context of 1 John 2:4-6? Maybe you’ve misunderstood because, again, you’ve taken these verses out of their context. Look at the previous verse: We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. John isn’t saying that we are saved by keeping His commands. He says that we can tell who knows Christ by who actually obeys Christ. Those who disobey, or hate their brother or sister, do not really know Him. Taken out of context, this sounds like John taught that obedience is the basis for salvation. Taken in context, John is teaching that we can identify those who are His by whether they obey or not. Don’t take Scripture out of context!

            You ask “Why Should we keep the Law if we are not saved by the Law?” That’s a good question, but a better question is whether the Law ever applied to anyone outside of ethnic and national Israel. The answer is that it did not, so the whole conversation is a bit silly. The Law that you say we should obey was not given to us, never applied to us, and is shown again and again in the New Testament to not be an issue for gentile Christians. Why should we keep a law that never applied to us? Simple: we should not. We should keep the law that was given to us. That is the gospel, not the Torah.

            I know this is long, but I wanted to show you the respect due to someone willing to take the time to write so well. 2000 years is a long time…long enough for lots of unbiblical ideas to spring up, take hold, be developed, and lead many astray. With respect, you have been led astray. What you have written is not what the Scriptures say. My goal is not to discourage you, of course. My goal is to help you redirect your passion for God away from obeying someone else’s laws to abiding in Christ, walking in the Spirit, and having full communion with God. As Paul wrote: we are not under the Law. Study the Scriptures, my friend. Don’t take my word for it, and don’t be afraid to question what you have already been taught. Ask God to help you understand each passage in context, as the author (both God and His writer) intended.

          • Diuz says:

            Reposting

            Hello Tony,

            I cannot Find a reply Link to your Latest Comment. Your reply is interesting because you seem to be Implying that God becomes different for different races.

            I think we both agree on this 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: So The Bible is there to help us and to show us the way.

            And God nor his Word Does not Change:

            Isaiah 40:28
            Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

            Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

            Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

            Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

            Psalm 119:89 Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.

            Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

            1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

            Now you have suggested That The ten Commandments is for the Israelite only

            “That’s a good question, but a better question is whether the Law ever applied to anyone outside of ethnic and national Israel” and ” What is the context of Isaiah 8:20? It’s a warning to Israel against consulting mediums and spirits.”

            But the Bible say’s :

            Romans 3:29-31
            29 IS HE THE GOD OF THE JEWS ONLY? is he not also of the gentiles? YES, OF THE GENTILES ALSO:
            30 SEEING IT IS ONE GOD, which shall JUSTIFY THE CIRCUMCISION BY FAITH, AND UNCIRCUMCISION THROUGH FAITH.
            31 do we THEN MAKE VOID THE LAW THROUGH FAITH? GOD FORBID: yea, we ESTABLISH THE LAW.

            GOD’s Ten commandments really covers our morality and how we should live to choose what is right and what is wrong. It points out what sin is: No matter where we look for how not to sin it all come’s back to God’s Commandments.

            So my point in acts 15: the letter addressed to the Gentiles mentions food offered to idols and sexual Immorality it point back to the Commandments. Food offered to idols this point to the first commandment Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. and Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. You might Argue that fornication is not adultery but in Genesis 2:24-25 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

            So Sex is only right when we are married and become one. also in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 it talks about sex in marriage.

            So 1 John 2:3 Says this: By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.

            Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

            So was Gods law against sin intact from the beginning ? Yes, of course. Isaiah 14:12–15: (Satan Wanting what God Has and to become worshiped be Like God). God is the Creator and His Commandments States that Clearly He is the Only God. But if there was no commandment would Satan have sinned? Would you or me be sinful and need saving. Of Course not, if there was no Law than we would be sinless and if we are sinless than we don’t need saving and don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ .

            We see in the book of John this become clearer that we are saved by Jesus who took away our sins but it also warns if you sin or break the law you do not know him

            John 3:4-6 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

            (So we can establish that sin is breaking the law)

            :4 If anyone says, “I know Him,” but does not keep His commandments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him

            Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

            I don’t about what you think about this but it is very simple to me. Now King David was led astray most of the time but he always seeks God and knows that God’s commandments will straighten his path again.

            Psalm 119: 172-176

            172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for ALL THY COMMANDMENTS ARE RIGHTEOUSNESS.
            173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
            174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.
            175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.
            176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

            So The Sabbath in the bible:

            The Sabbath was created by God during creation it was part of God’s creation and he sanctified it and blessed it.

            Well if God Rest’s on the Sabbath and he blessed it don’t you think we should do the same too(Not bless the Sabbath, only God can do that ) We should respect and honour God ?

            Well if He loved us so much and did so much for Us, why would you ever want to do otherwise.

            Matthew 22: 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

            John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.”

            So as I have earlier stated. It is all about Love……

            So this is My Point If you Worship on the Sabbath we are acknowledging God and His Creation, we acknowledge we are sinful by referring to the commandments and we need Jesus.

            So if we worship on Sunday we are acknowledging what man has created and if we try to Justify it, we will always fall short. And if we Choose another day to worship we are acknowledging our own theories to lead us astray and others who listen to us astray.

          • Tony says:

            Diuz:

            Yes, you are correct. I AM saying that God deals with different groups of people differently. That much is obvious from the Bible. For example: the children of Israel were His “chosen people” and no other people were included. He dealt with them differently, right?

            Yes, you are correct. I believe the Bible 100%, and God’s Word does not change. However, it’s not I who claims that the 10 Commandments were only for Israelites…God Himself said it. All you have to do is read Exodus 20 to see this for yourself. It’s right there, over and over. God didn’t bring the Chaldeans or the Chinese or the Phoenicians or the Ethiopians out of Egypt, so they weren’t included in the covenant. Later, when people started following Jesus, His disciples made it clear that converts to Christianity did not also have to convert to Judaism, and did not have to follow the Law. God’s Word does not change, but while all of it was written FOR us, most of it wasn’t written TO us. We’re witnesses to what happened in history, but we were never involved in God’s covenant with Israel. Instead, we are “children of the promise” and heirs of Abraham, who came before the Law.

            Again, you seem to misunderstand what “sabbath” means. It means “to stop.” There was no ‘the Sabbath’ in Genesis. There was only ‘sabbathing’ if you will…stopping. There was no command. There were no rules. There was no Law. God blessed the seventh day, but there was no instruction that others should do the same. When the Law was given, it referred to God’s “stopping” as the foundation for the sabbatical regulations…but the Law was only given to the Israelites.

            Again, I will point you to Acts 15. As you’ve mentioned, failing to obey the Law in one matter means you have broken the entire Law. Because this was so, there’s NO WAY the Apostles would have written what they did. They did not tell the Gentile Christians to obey the Law, as anyone who reads it as it is written can see.

            With respect, my friend: you are trying to prop up an unbiblical idea. As stated again and again in Scripture, we are not under the Law. It was a temporary guardian, until Christ came. Now that He has come, we no longer need a guardian. Until you find some way to re-explain that passage, you won’t gain any ground here. I’m open-minded and waiting, but nobody has succeeded in providing a rational explanation yet. Maybe you’ll be the first!

    • Richard Bekker says:

      Correct, the 10 commandments were given to Israel and not for us and that’s why Jesus came to give us a new law. If you keep the law , you will be judge by the law. It’s not what you do, it’s what Jesus did and that’s why He is the end to the law.

  3. Ya'kar says:

    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?

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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!

      • Michael says:

        Hey Tony,

        Paul & Jesus made it clear that we who chose to follow Christ are now the true Jew & the true Israel. That’s why he said no longer go to the Jews but go to the gentiles, because they rejected him. The non Jews saw him for who he was and wanted to follow him to learn the truth path to the father. In the Torah the Jews were the representative s of the Father, so his perfect will for “Mankind” was given to them, but once they rejected him, and stoned Stephen, the right transfered to anyone who would follow. The 10 are his “guideline” for living. Think for a minute… If the Jews had completely excepted Messiah as king, we all know The father would have used Rome to crucify him alone, but they would have as Jews continued to keep Sabbath, and anyone who came to Christ would do the same. Or would we be a split family… Where one kid fellowship s on Sat & the other on Sunday lol. No, it makes no sense. Paul affirms it by saying there is no loner Jew, nor Greek, but one new man in Christ! Using the argument the the “10” was for Jews is not strong. We are Israel.

        • Tony says:

          Michael:

          We are children of the promise (Galatians 4). We are not Israel in the sense that we have replaced the Israelites…this is a grave error. We are heirs to the promise God made to Abraham. Look at Romans 9:6-8

          For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.

  4. kcm says:

    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.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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!

      • Michael says:

        Hello Sir, great argument. I am a 7 day keeper as well. I’ve attempted to disprove the need to with no success lol for many years now. I woul love to debate here or by email with you. I am not harsh or close minded. To start though, I must point out something to you. The Bible translation you are using for Colossians 2 is fully incorrect. It was pointed out to me by a gentleman who was neutral on the subject. I’ve looked at the translations and found this to be true. I researched this one passage for years lol. It actually states, a shadow of things “to” come. Not “were to” come. After looking at this for some time myself I realized and I was told buy actual Sunday keepers who are scholarly that over the years since the majority of Christians we’re convinced that the need to keep the Sabbath in the festival’s had passed away, the Bible translators began to insert “were” . Which never should have been done they took it upon themselves to alter scripture to give the meaning that they all feel is the correct meaning. So the verse actually reads let no one judge you in keeping Sabbath or festivals Etc… As of these are a shadow of the things that are to come or the things that are coming. Trust me if you do a study yourself into the Hebrew Greek with an open mind you will see this for yourself. There isn’t Highly Educated Sabbath keeping organization called the United Church of God. They wrote a book called Sunset to Sunset. It’s pamphlets eyes and a very interesting read historically you would probably enjoy it even if you are not a Sabbath keeper. But it lays out a lot of the true history of Sabbath keeping. In this book they tell you that if this verse in Colossians is kept in its proper and correct context then what the apostle was actually doing was telling people not to allow themselves to be judged for keeping the Sabbath and the festivals in a christ-like manner. Because these things are a shadow of what is to come. This organization unlike the Seven Day Adventist who I know very well believe that we should still as Christians beekeeping the festivals in the fees throughout the year as it ties us into our Christian judaic Heritage. And continually keeping the festivals in the feast in a Christian manner of course not killing animals or anything like that LOL causes you to see Christ in a deeper manner than you can possibly imagine and it also reveals Secret After secret about in time prophecy. I’m not a member of their church but I did study some of their Doctrine and found it to be extremely accurate. After studying almost all of the Bible translations I find the safest to use in the ESV. I actually found in one of the study Bibles that they pointed this out about Colossians. They fairly stated that this verse is one of debate for which day should be kept as the Sabbath and they worded it correctly. Must other versions will go with switching the tents that the Apostle actually wrote down with his own hand. The Apostle wrote down these things are a shadow of what is to come or a shadow of what is coming, he did not say these things are a shadow of what was to come or these things were a shadow of what was to come. I hope this makes sense please look into it for yourself and let me know what you find. If you take a very close look into New Testament scripture you may find that there are truly no verses that delete the 7th Day Sabbath. Think about it, all of the other nine are still binding principles that a Christian has to practice why would God delete the fourth??? He wrote them and stone with his own hand. And yes Jesus did fulfill and if you look closer what he really said was that he completed the law. Fulfill their means to complete or to finish. He did it by removing the ceremonial law which was based around blood sacrifice. But we know 100%by the testimony of all Paul’s letters and by the testimony of Jesus and by the testimony of John the Revelator. That the moral ethical law has not in will not passed away. Jesus supplied the actual Power by way of the Holy Spirit to go inside of us and to actually help us to keep the moral and ethical laws the way they are supposed to be kept in love toward man too kind and towards the father. Which is why he states that all the Commandments hang upon these to love your neighbor as yourself and love the Lord your God with all your heart and all of your mind. Please have an open mind and look into this. Be blessed!

        • Tony says:

          Michael:

          It’s nice to hear from you!

          I’m going to spend some time in research, so I appreciate your input. Let’s say for the moment that you are correct. What does that mean? Does it mean that we are to observe a seventh-day sabbath? Keep in mind that prior to the Mosaic covenant we see no command about keeping a sabbath. When God made the Mosaic covenant, it certainly didn’t involve anyone outside of the children of Israel and converts to Judaism. There’s no New Testament command to Gentile believers to observe a sabbath. Seeing that these are true, on what basis could someone claim that Christians are to follow the Law of Moses and observe a seventh-day sabbath? I see no biblical warrant for it. If you want to observe, that’s between you and God. If you want to convince others to do the same, you’ll need to provide evidence that this is what God commands.

          As for the rest of your message, I would take issue with a few minor things. First: the kingdom of God does not involve secrets. The point is to spread the word, not to hide it. There are mysterious things, certainly…things we don’t fully understand. There are no secrets in Christianity. That’s more in keeping with Gnosticism than with Christianity. Second: you talk about what Paul actually wrote with his own hand, as if you’ve seen it. You haven’t. None of us have. You’re on very shaky ground when you say things like that, Michael. It takes away your credibility, which nobody wants. Third: “the other nine” aren’t binding. They’re the Law…you know, what God wrote on tablets of stone and gave to Moses? Look at Exodus 19:1-8, taking note of this phrase: These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites. This wasn’t for the Chinese, or for the French, or for the Egyptians. The Law was given to the Israelites…period. You and I are not included in that covenant, so the 10 Commandments have never applied to us. If you’d like to read a bit more on that, I’ve written about whether Christians should live by the 10 Commandments. Finally: you may feel comfortable making a distinction between a moral law (given by God to Moses for the Israelites) and a civil or ceremonial law (given by God to Moses for the Israelites), but I’m not comfortable with that. The 10 Commandments are the Law, and the basis for the rest of Judaism.

          So, for the moment, we’re not going to agree on whether to keep a seventh-day sabbath. Still, I wish you well. Have a great day!

  5. ES says:

    – 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.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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.

    • Jay says:

      God also made the Temple of Solomon Holy…………..

      How did that work out?

      How did Adam honor his mother?

      If you wanna worship on Saturday go ahead. But leave Christians who go to church on Sundays alone. You turn the Gospel of Christ into a works salvation when you start condemning people to hell for what day they go to church on. There is flat out not one single command in the New Testament after Christ’s crucifixion to observe the Sabbath. I’m not going to play games where we twist the word “commandment” into the 10. Paul writes about murder, stealing, homosexuality and the lot by their specific names and NEVER names the Sabbath specifically unless its in a unflattering manner.

  6. Jessica says:

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

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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 it seriously enough to read more than a few words at a time. Let me know if you have any further, or funnier, questions.

  7. Danielle Johnson says:

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

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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. Danielle Johnson says:

    And the Sabbath is specifically listed as the seventh day many times in the Bible.

  9. sylvia says:

    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.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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. =)

  10. sylvia says:

    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

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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.

      • phillemon Lazarus says:

        i like your comment and i agree with your points.anyway i have a question as i’m begin believer and i’m still observing the bibles verse to know the truth.

        my question,as we live now on this earth does God resting?why i’m asking this question is because the purpose of God to create the earth was to make it paradise,by then the earth is no longer paradise because of Adam who disaobey God’s instruction.

        my second question is why the bible says the sabbath day is the shadow of things to come?

        indeed i believe that keeping sabbath day is not legal restriction for believers because the earth is not yet paradise but is the shadow of things to come when the kingdom of God come on earth when Jesus coming back.

        • Tony says:

          Phillemon:

          Thanks for writing! I’m happy to hear that you’re now my brother in Christ…welcome to the family! Let me commend you for asking questions, and studying to learn the truth. That’s excellent!

          You ask a good question about God’s rest. There are a couple of things in the Bible that might help you understand better.

          1. We read in Genesis 2:1-3 that God “rested.” That doesn’t mean that He was tired, but that He had finished creating. The word shabath means to cease, or stop. Here are the verses: Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Do you see? He’s still resting from that work, as He has not begun it again.
          2. In Revelation 13:8, Jesus is described as the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. That means that Jesus’ death on the cross was planned before anyone was created, and before anyone sinned. You say that the purpose of God’s creating was to make paradise, but the Bible tells us that this can’t be. God knew before He made us that we would need a savior, and then He created the world. Paradise was available, but God knew that Adam and Eve would reject His authority.

          You ask another good question about the shadow of things to come. A “shadow” in this sense is like your own shadow: it looks a bit like you, but it’s not actually you. Here’s what Hebrews 10:1 says: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. A shadow is directly related to the thing that makes it, but it is not the real thing. The Law (the 10 Commandments given to Moses, and the laws that came from them) looks a bit like God’s plan for all humanity, but it is not God’s plan for humanity. As Paul wrote in Galatians 3:24 tells us, 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. The Law was a dim picture of a greater future reality. In exactly this way, the sabbath was a dim picture of the greater reality of life with Jesus. It’s also a dim picture of Heaven, where we will rest with God forever.

          Does that make sense? Let me know if I’ve created more questions.

          How are you studying the Bible? Do you have local believers to learn with, or are you studying on your own? I’d like to help you find some mature brothers and sisters in Christ, if you don’t have a community of faith.

  11. Alexandra says:

    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.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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.

    • Brandon Yurk says:

      Hi Alexandria,

      I struggled with this verse myself until I read a book called Discovering the New Covenant, by Greg Taylor. He was an SDA that tried everything to disprove “Sunday worshippers” but in his search to to do so found something completely different in the scriptures.

      His stance on the verse you’ve quoted was that it was the ultimate proof that the Sabbath was still binding, until he came across this scripture. Nehemiah 13:19 would show that Nehemiah made a decree to enforce keeping the Sabbath holy by shutting the gates and letting no one in or out until Sabbath was over. This decree was more than likely still in effect at the time of Christ. So, Jesus, in His love for the saints, says this because once Jerusalem is ransacked and destroyed there’d be no escape for them since the gates would be shut and no one allowed to leave or enter. They’d basically be sitting ducks. The first Christians would be stuck in the city and killed along with everyone else because the Jews would still be adhering to Sabbath keeping even if they weren’t. Jesus wanted them to pray that they would have an escape route.

      I’m paraphrasing on what he wrote but it was such an eye opener for me and hopefully this helps you see the other possibility on what Jesus was talking about.

      If you get the chance I’d encourage you to read this book (which is actually Greg Taylor’s testimony) and work your way through the entirety of it; it’s only 162 pages, but so powerful.

      In Christ,
      Brandon

      • Tony says:

        Brandon:

        I appreciate this post. I also appreciate hearing about Taylor, who did his homework. Unfortunately – based solely on your explanation of his discovery – it doesn’t make sense to me. Yes, it seems possible that Nehemiah’s actions were still taken several hundred years later. No, this doesn’t seem like a ‘sitting duck’ situation where the city gates would trap people. An invading army would have to be trapped inside with them, which wouldn’t go unnoticed.

        Either Jesus was speaking of a near-future event or a far-future event. If it was a near-future event, He was speaking of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. In that case, the army came from outside, contradicting Taylor’s idea. If it was a far-future event – something yet to happen – there would need to be city gates there for people to be trapped by them. There aren’t any gates like that in Jerusalem today, and it’s unlikely that they’re going to recreated such defenses in the future.

        I’m happy to hear about Taylor’s homework, though. I spent much of my life in SDA territory, where it was common to hear that Sunday worship is the Mark of the Beast. I’ve had many Adventist friends, and have only love for them as a group. Their obsession over end-time prophecy, dietary laws, and sabbath-keeping all come from the same source: improper handling of Scripture. This has led them to be, generally speaking, a very legalistic group that is confused about Christianity. Anytime I hear about one of them “coming out” to a more orthodox view of Scripture, I’m happy…for them and for those with whom they have influence. Thanks for letting me know about him!

  12. Harriet Meaders says:

    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.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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.

  13. Misty says:

    I’m not wanting to discuss my questions in an open forum. Would you consider emailing me please?

  14. Sarah says:

    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.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      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?

  15. Sarah says:

    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. 🙂

    • Fernie says:

      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.

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        Fernie:

        I’m sorry for being absent. I’ve been sick for much of this year, and haven’t been able to keep up. Yesterday’s flurry of activity sure caught my attention, though! =)

        I don’t know if I can clear up your confusion, but I will try. It’s really very simple: I’m not Jewish. Because I’m not Jewish, God’s covenant with the Jews does not include me. Never has, never will. I’ve never made a wave offering, never been immersed in a MIKVAH, etc. I don’t wear a phylactery. My bathrobe has no tassels on it. I don’t tithe to feed the Levites. I don’t do any of the things that God commanded the Jews to do in the context of His covenant with them, because I have no part in that covenant.

        I am, instead, a Christian. Like Titus, I have never been a Jew. Any discussion of whether I should observe any part of God’s covenant with the Jews is simply out of bounds. Inserting myself into God’s relationship with someone else isn’t how to please Him. Instead, I should (a la Matthew 28:18) obey everything that Jesus commanded. Quite simply, I do not believe that God is pleased by our observance of Jewish Law. He is surely pleased by our desire to please Him, but – for example – not wearing a garment made of two kinds of fabric is no way to honor Him. A fair amount of the New Testament was written to counter the notion that Christians should observe any part of the Mosaic Law. Discussing HOW we should follow that Law is silly when we see that it need not be followed at all.

        Does that make sense? The Laws that God gave the Jews are largely irrelevant to followers of Jesus.

    • Sarah says:

      @Fernie,

      Thanks for your reply. It can be confusing when we as the Body of Christ are so torn on these topics. 🙁 But praise God that none of these issues are salvation issues, so long as we have Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

      I think of the Sabbath as a gift of rest from our weekly grind. God is giving us permission to set aside the work we do each week to focus on Him. I think that’s such a blessing.

      I will say though that one thing God has led me to recently concerning all of this is that He is the BEGINNING and the END, right? How symbolic is it that Jesus came to fulfill that in view of our week too? He is the BEGINNING (Sunday, as many consider the Lord’s Day) and the END (Saturday, Sabbath). I think that’s pretty beautiful. One Pastor I met put it in a way that I think is how we all need to look at it: “Saturday is the Sabbath, the day of rest; but Sunday is the Day of Work FOR THE LORD.” I love that!

      So as my family grows to learn more I’m starting to see that the best way to observe the Sabbath (for our family, it may be different for others) is at home with our family. We have just started to observe communion together at the start (Friday evenings) which is a wonderful way to remember Jesus is the reason we are all here. Since talking to the pastor I mentioned above we are considering also searching for the right church to attend on Sunday. So we can rest and fellowship with God and each other on Sabbath and then fellowship with others on Sunday. It’s a new idea for us so we’ll see how it goes, but it’s a fresh perspective. I believe God led us to this revelation about Him being the BEGINNING (of the week) and the END as well. We’re still praying on and exploring the idea as of now, but it sounds pretty God-honoring to me. 🙂

      If you have any questions, Fernie, I’d be happy to help you with what I can. I know I don’t have the same perspective as Tony, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned. Our family has only just been observing the Sabbath for less than a year so we are very new to it and still learning how best to honor God and keep it holy. But I’ll do my best to answer any questions. 🙂

      Another excellent resource is Michael Lake of Biblical Life TV. He has an amazing way of connecting the Old Testament with the New and showing how God has foreshadowed Jesus from the very beginning, from each prophet and Old Testament apostle to the Biblical feasts and how each of them point to Jesus and how he fulfills them. It’s amazing. We love to watch his sermons on the Sabbath too. The Biblical Feasts series isn’t on Youtube, only on audio.

      I hope that helps and may God bless your walk with Him Fernie!

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        Sarah:

        I very much appreciate your kind attitude. It’s very refreshing. Most who comment here are kind, but I thought it worth mentioning. Thank you. =)

        >> I think of the Sabbath as a gift of rest from our weekly grind.

        That’s not how God thinks of it. Here are God’s words, explaining what Sabbath is:

        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)

        We should want to do all that God asks of us. It makes sense that, before doing so, we should first understand what He asks of us. Scripture is our friend in this regard. The Sabbath was never about being tired from working. It was about being done working. God was done working after six days, so he stopped (SHABATH). He wasn’t worn out from his labor…He was simply finished. The instructions in Exodus 31, that the Israelites must observe God’s Sabbaths (plural, not singular) as a sign between them and God, had nothing to do with regaining strength after working hard. That may be a by-product, but that’s not the purpose. The purpose was so that the Israelites would know that they belong to God. As I mentioned in the original article, priests in the Temple could not sit down. That would be ‘sabbathing’. They stood all the time because their work was never finished. Jesus, who is our High Priest, sat down at the right hand of the Father because His work was done.

        It’s not just Paul who explains that “we” are no longer under the Law. God Himself explained it in Exodus by explaining that the Law was part of a covenant between Himself and the children of Israel. Christians aren’t the children of Israel, we are the children of Abraham…people who live by faith. We see these same principles throughout Scripture, including in the New Testament…places like the Gospels, Acts (written by Luke) and Galatians (written by Paul) and Hebrews (author unknown) and attested by others like James and Peter.

        While there’s nothing wrong with taking a break, it’s a mistake to read Exodus 31 and pretend that it ever applied to anyone but the Israelites, and it’s a mistake to suggest that believers today should observe those sabbaths as an act of obedience.

  16. Sarah says:

    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.

    • Ed Edwards says:

      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.

    • Sarah says:

      @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?

      • Jay says:

        1 Thessalonians is clearly not the only verse pre-tribbers can use.

        Try Rev 4 which mimics exactly what Paul wrote compounded with the fact that the Church is mentioned all the time before then and never again until Rev 19.

        Try accounts like Enoch, Elijah, Moses and Lot where people are removed from death or judgment.

        That’s just for starters.

        • Tony says:

          Jay:

          First, thanks for chiming in. I appreciate it.

          You’re not trying to use Enoch and Elijah to support a pre-tribulation rapture, are you? Because that would be…well, silly. Moses died in Moab, and was buried in Moab (Deuteronomy 34:5-6). We have no information in the Bible about Lot’s death, so you must be talking about God saving him from death in Sodom. That’s equally silly.

          Can you provide some evidence – from Scripture itself – to show the relationship between these men and a pre-trib rapture? I have my doubts, but I’m willing to listen.

  17. William says:

    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.'”

    • Fernie says:

      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

    • Fernie says:

      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 🙂

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      William:

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll try to be brief.

      >> covenant isn’t even in the original greek here—it was added by translators.

      Yes, that’s true. The word for covenant – DIATHEKE – doesn’t appear in verse 13. It does, however, appear in verse 6, verse 8, verse 9, and verse 10. Translators obviously included it in verse 7 and verse 13 for clarity. Let’s not make any suggestion that might be understood to mean ‘this idea isn’t in the text, but translators inserted it anyway.’

      >> The party to the new covenant is the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

      Reading Scripture in context is fun, isn’t it? =)

      >> Christians like the author of this blog will also say that Torah wasn’t given to them. That is correct.

      Aye.

      >> grafted…fruit…Torah

      This is what’s known as a non sequitur. The phrase means “it doesn’t follow.” First, grafting. Yes, Gentiles are grafted in. Yes, healthy grafted branches will bear fruit. Your understanding of the analogy is problematic, though. A wild olive branch will only ever bear wild olives. It can never bear domesticated olives. When you graft a branch onto a tree, it doesn’t change its nature. It is what it was before, but connected to a different trunk. The olive tree can be a symbol for the people of Israel, but it is not only that. It also is used in Scripture to represent peace, righteous people, and more. Being grafted into the olive tree does not necessarily mean that Gentile Christians are a part of Israel, but it certainly means that we are a significant part of God’s plan to save humanity. Second, fruit. What kind of fruit was Israel intended to bear? Not observance of Torah, certainly…that could only be a means to an end. Israel’s fruit is to be a blessing to all nations. Why were some branches cut off? Because they were disobedient. Why were Gentiles grafted in? Not because of obedience, but to do in the world what the disobedient branches did not do. The idea is not to be Jewish, but to be a ‘child of Abraham’…that is, to live by faith. Finally, Torah. Paul makes it clear in Galatians 3 that the Law is a curse. He wrote, “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.” In the last verse, he concludes his explanation of the Law with these words:

      If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      Note that we are not Moses’ heirs. We are heirs of the earlier promise. Gentile Christians were never part of the covenant with Moses, but we are children of Abraham because we live by faith.

  18. William says:

    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.

    • Sarah says:

      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.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      William:

      >> 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.

      That’s great for Jews, but what about us Gentiles? Remember your claim that the New Covenant doesn’t include non-Jews…so what’s your point? You seem to be inconsistent here.

      >> Thus, if Paul is really teaching that Torah has been abolished, he was simply wrong.

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion…but your opinion of Paul’s writings conflicts with Peter’s perspective on Paul’s writings. Peter clearly and plainly considered them to be Scripture. When one of Jesus’ original disciples explains that something is in accord with what Jesus Himself taught, I’m going to take that as the truth. Therefore, if – as you suggest – Paul was wrong, then Peter too was wrong. I mean no disrespect when I say that your opinion on Paul’s teaching about is simply bad.

      Paul wrote this in Galatians 3: 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. Clearly, we – that is, those who are in Christ – are no longer under the Law.

      Furthermore, your understanding of the early church’s relationship to the Law is seriously flawed. Yes, many of the believers in Jerusalem (and in some other places) continued to be Jewish, and to observe much of the customs of Judaism. However, you fail to include Scripture in your analysis. Paul’s letter to the Galatians (you know, the letter where he explains that Christians are not under the Law) was written in part because they were sometimes considered less than righteous because they, being mostly Gentiles, did not observe those Jewish customs. Paul wrote to them to explain that this was not a moral failure on their part, and that walking by faith made them as righteous as Abraham. Note that Abraham did not have the Law, yet he was considered righteous. Peter wrote that Jews and non-Jews alike were saved in the same way: by believing God. Your theory that Christians need to follow Torah is contradicted again and again and again throughout Scripture…from Genesis to Revelation. It simply cannot withstand scrutiny.

  19. William says:

    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!

    • Fernie says:

      William, you know… When I read Jeremiah 31:31 that you quoted, I understood that it was describing exactly the Holy Spirit.

      I started watching a video on YouTube about Jesus in the Old Testament, and this Israelite said the same thing that I thought! https://youtu.be/PVItBigi7xs?t=1995

      Doesn’t the last part of verse 33 rings a bell?
      “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.”

      Who are the neighbors and brothers of Judah and Israel?
      “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”
      Don’t you think it’s all of us, brothers of the same Father? From the least of them to the greatest.

      Also the last sentence of verse 34,
      “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
      Doesn’t that sound like Jesus to you?

      At this moment I can’t see how this excerpt did not come to fruition when Jesus died for our sins and gave us the Holy Spirit.

      What are your thoughts?

  20. William says:

    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.

    • Sarah says:

      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. 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      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?

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      >> 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.

      This is unfortunate. Yeshua is YHWH. He is not simply a man, by whom God would save Israel. He is God Himself. Anyone who does not believe that Jesus is God is in error, ignoring the truth of Scripture for their own preference. Even the Jewish leaders of that day understood that Jesus was claiming to be God.

  21. William says:

    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?

    • Sarah says:

      First to address Paul. I do not believe what he says is anti-law, but rather it is how people have interpreted it because it’s what they want to hear. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but Michael Lake has been given a real gift for research and connecting the dots between the Old and New Testaments. You should check out a few of his sermons; in particular his Eating God’s Way book/DVD talks a lot about the scripture that supposedly contradicts the law. I think it’s very helpful. It’s mainly about clean vs unclean, but it’s also helpful for a lot of the scripture that can sound contradictory. He also dives deep into WHO Paul was talking to in context and it helps to gain a better understanding of what he meant by various things he said.

      The one thing I think did happen with Paul and the other apostles in the New Testament is that they elevated LOVING GOD (Jesus being apart of that Trinity based on verses such as John 10:30 and 1 John 5:7) above following the law. As we grow in our walks it’s been my experience that wanting to follow the law seems like a natural progression the more you love God. Even those Christians who don’t believe the law is still valid typically know right from wrong based on God’s law (even if they won’t admit it).

      As far as Jeremiah 31:31-34 I will have to pray and meditate on it more. I can see how it sounds like future-tense in verse 34. However, I do believe that the law has been written on our hearts when we have the Holy Spirit (Romans 2:15). Is it possible that this new covenant could happen in phases? Perhaps verse 33 is the first phase where we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), and phase 2 happens in verse 34 where we are in New Jerusalem? Just a theory.

      You might say that it can’t be written on our hearts yet if so many people don’t appear to be drawn to observing the law. But more and more people every day are feeling that conviction and just because some people choose to IGNORE it, doesn’t mean it’s not there (God gave us free will and I believe we always will have that). For many years I always felt this stirring in my heart, wondering why the law wasn’t followed anymore, in particular the Sabbath on the surface, since I was more exposed to the 10 commandments than the rest of the Torah. Just because people don’t obey what their hearts tell them, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

      Now, for the topic of being condemned without faith in the Messiah (Jesus). First, the Torah isn’t the only Word of God. While I do agree that the law isn’t abolished and it is important, you have to look at more than just the Torah, you have to look at His Word as a whole for the answers. I do believe you do that, but I’m just saying because of your asking “Where in Torah is the requirement for a Jew to have faith in a/the messiah for one to be righteous before God?” Even those Jews who do not believe in Jesus have the Tanakh as a guide, not just Torah.

      Here are a few verses in only the Old Testament which I believe point to it being a requirement to have faith in Messiah (Jesus). I won’t quote the whole verses, just point to them and why I believe they’re important:
      – Isaiah 9:6 – Tells us that this Son that is given IS The Mighty God and The Everlasting Father
      – Psalm 2:12 – Tells us if we don’t “Kiss” the Son that we will perish.
      – Psalm 41:9, Psalm 22:14-17, Zechariah 12:10 – Examples of the prophecies sounding First Person, as if God himself is this Messiah.

      Now…if God is the Messiah, the King, the Everlasting Father, how can that NOT condemn those who don’t believe in Him? Those who don’t believe in this Messiah that the Old Testament speaks of, also don’t believe in the one true God because this Messiah would be God essentially sending HIMSELF to save us from ourselves. No one else would do.

      Not only that, but in the Torah it does command that it’s necessary to atone for your sins and transgressions with specific sacrifices. Without these sacrifices you were condemned to not go near the temple (or near to God). In some cases, you were even cut off from Israel altogether. Is this not a shadow of what was to come with those who reject salvation through the Messiah? Those whose sins are not forgiven simply CANNOT be close to the Almighty and Holy God. Since the temple was destroyed there is no ordained place for this to happen. I don’t believe this is any coincidence of course, since the only sacrifice God will accept has already been brought to the altar.

      Thanks for hearing me out and I do thank you for sharing your views as well. And yes, I also apologize to Tony for veering off topic here on his page. Not sure where else to continue the conversation though! lol

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        Sarah:

        There’s no need to apologize for discussing such important ideas anywhere on my website. =)

        >> First to address Paul. I do not believe what he says is anti-law, but rather it is how people have interpreted it because it’s what they want to hear.

        Paul certainly wasn’t anti-law. He was, however, pro-clarity. He understood why the Law was given, its purpose, and its duration:

        1. Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.
        2. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
        3. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

        I’m not sure how anyone can misinterpret this. If Jesus is the Christ, then the Law – a temporary guardian – no longer applies. How else might read Paul’s words?

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      >> Where in Torah is the requirement for a Jew to have faith in a/the messiah for one to be righteous before God?

      I know of no place in the Torah that explains specifically that one must believe in the Messiah to be righteous before God. However: the entirety of the Old Testament, beginning in Genesis 3, points to Messiah. Everything from the Temple to the vestments to the sacrifices to the Sabbath were physical realities pointing to a future spiritual reality. This is why Jesus explained that the Law and the Prophets spoke about Himself. Torah is not an end in itself…it is a means to an end. That end is what people of faith – those listed in Hebrews 11, for example – looked forward to. Torah observance was preparation. As Paul explained (you know, Paul…the guy that Peter claimed wrote Scripture), the Law was a tutor or guardian, designed to be temporary until the coming of Christ (Messiah). Believe what you wish, but let’s not pretend that your beliefs in any way line up with Christianity as it’s outlined in Scripture, or as it’s been understood by faithful believers since Jesus’ death. To be blunt: Torah doesn’t say to believe in Christ…but it does say to believe God, who explained that there would be a Christ.

      >> How can one say that a Jew following his covenant with God is condemned without faith in Yeshua?

      For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)

    • William says:

      Sarah:

      Tony has seen our discussion! If he’s cool with the ongoing discussion here on his article, as it seems, I’ll keep it here.

      The new covenant is said to NOT be like the one made at Sinai which Israel broke. I believe this indicates perfect Torah obedience is the hallmark of the new covenant. If the Torah is written in our innermost parts we shall live it perfectly. If the holy spirit writes the Torah on our hearts today, why is Christianity such a fractured mess of differing doctrines and virtually NO acknowledgement or regard for Torah. There is most definitely more breaking of Torah in Christianity than observance. No, during the new covenant ALL will know him, from the least to the greatest, and naturally be perfectly obedient. I don’t think it can be a gradual thing. I do, however, believe that people awakening to Torah is an indication of progress toward the eventual new covenant. Whether it is near or still far off I don’t know.

      So if the Sinai covenant still stands, nothing has substantially changed relative to how Israel should live or have a relationship with God. Further, they do have a solid belief in the Messiah. They just don’t acknowledge that Jesus was that Messiah. Christians who do believe Jesus is Messiah base that partly on the expectation that he will return to set up the messianic kingdom. It’s not a belief in a Messiah who has accomplished all of the messianic prophecies, but a belief that he WILL at some point do so. Jews have that same expectation, they just largely aren’t convinced it will be Jesus. Part of that is the abominations the church has perpetrated under his name. If Jesus returns today and fulfills those messianic kingdom expectations, what observant Jew on earth will refuse to accept him then?

      And yet if you believe that there is a requirement to have faith in Messiah in order to be redeemable, the Messiah who you have named, even though he hasn’t fulfilled all of the messianic requirements, then you make practically all of Israel to be doomed. In fact, you have to believe that there was a day in 30 a.d. where a Jew who loved his God and obeyed him to his fullest ability woke up that morning with a place in the world to come, but went to bed that night damned to hell, without ever changing a thing about his faith.

      Regarding the indications of required faith in Messiah in the Tanakh you have proposed, let’s look at those:

      [Isa 9:6-7 ESV] 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

      The first thing I would draw your attention to is verse 7. The accomplishments of this mentioned individual is he will rule and establish peace, on the throne of David and over David’s kingdom, and this kingdom will be everlasting. Regardless of what you understand verse 6 to mean, Jesus has not yet fulfilled the expectations provided along with it. So if this is a prooftext, to someone who is a member of the community which has been Torah observant for millennia now it is a prooftext against Jesus as Messiah (for now at least.)

      Beyond this, there are other problems with the Christian interpretation of Isaiah 9:6. For one, assuming that the naming indicated is proof that the Messiah is God is problematic. Hebrew names are significant. Elihu for example is a Hebrew name meaning “My God is He”. Does that make all people in scripture with this name Deity? Nope.

      If you really want to get in depth in this text, look at the Strong’s data for the word “el” which is here translated as God. It is a shortened version of the word “ayil” meaning ram, pillar, door post, jambs, pilaster, strong man, leader, chief, mighty tree or terebinth. Strong’s gives the definition of “el” as “strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity):—God (god), × goodly, × great, idol, might(-y one), power, strong. Compare names in ‘-el.’” Further, throughout scripture the term “god” is applied to men of strength or authority. It is not a term exclusively used of the one true YHWH.

      [Psa 2:12 ESV] 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

      This is the last version of Psalm 2. It doesn’t specifically mention belief, just a vague kiss the son lest he be angry. I don’t see any particular faith or belief implied here either explicitly or implicitly.

      Further, in Psalm 2 we have the same problem of expectation of accomplishment, for we see:

      [Psa 2:7-9 ESV] 7 I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

      Here again, Jesus has not yet fulfilled these expectations.

      [Psa 41:9 ESV] 9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

      I don’t get the messianic implication in the above verse at all.

      Psalm 22:16 doesn’t actually say anything about pierced hands and feet. The key hebrew word in the verse is Kaari (like a lion). I believe there is one fragment (and just a small partial fragment), where this word looks like it could read Kaaru rather than Kaari. That fragment is used to justify changing “like a lion” to “pierced”. However, there are two problems: 1) The hebrew word they want it to be is actually Karu, not Kaaru, and 2) Karu means to dig or excavate, and there are other words much better suited to denote pierced.

      Zechariah 12:10 has some issues as well.

      [Zec 12:9 ESV] 9 And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

      The preceding verse and others before it indicate the future battle before the messianic era. Armageddon if you will.

      So basically in these verses you see as potentially requiring faith in the Messiah, (which personally I don’t see), you also see conditions attached that haven’t been met.

      Can you see how to the unbiased mind the Jewish position might look a bit more thoughtful than the Christian one? 1) They absolutely do have faith that a Messiah will redeem them, but 2) Jesus hasn’t yet fulfilled the expectations attached to this Messiah so they can’t name him as said Messiah (yet.)

      Yet Christianity condemns them to hell for this.

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        William:

        >> So if the Sinai covenant still stands

        The Sinai covenant no longer stands.

        >> And yet if you believe that there is a requirement to have faith in…the Messiah who you have named…you make practically all of Israel to be doomed.

        This is a reasonable thing for a Christian to believe.

        First: how can a Jew be forgiven of their sins without a temple? Leviticus 17 clearly indicates that a sacrifice is required. Jews don’t believe that Jesus is the Lamb of God…so how, in Judaism, are sins forgiven? The answer is that they simply are not forgiven, because they cannot be. Of course, Christians believe that Jesus’ death paid the full penalty for the sin of all mankind, so we believe that the sins of Jews are paid for. What do you believe?

        Second: Jews don’t really believe that they need to be saved from anything, or to anything. Their Scriptures have little about any afterlife, and they generally consider forgiveness of sin to be accomplished by balancing sins with good deeds. This, of course, was contradicted by Peter in his sermon at Pentecost:

        Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. (Acts 2:36-38)

        Clearly, Peter – a Jew – taught other Jews that one must be a follower of Jesus to be saved. This is echoed, of course, in other passages of Scripture like John 1:9-13:

        The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

        There are other passages, of course, but these should suffice. You seem to believe that Jews don’t need to believe in Jesus to be saved. Clearly, Peter and James and John and Paul and the rest of the apostles would disagree with you…or they wouldn’t have bothered sharing the gospel with their friends, neighbors, and relatives.

    • William says:

      Tony:

      In response to Sarah you quote Paul. Paul is the ONLY NT writer who can be interpreted to say the law has expired, or no longer applies, or any number of similar ideas that all effectively abolish the law as Jesus said he was NOT doing.

      Yet going back to Jeremiah 31 and the promise of a new covenant, which has been quoted probably more than once by me here already, we see that said new covenant is still Torah centric, and that it is not yet in effect (it’s still future.)

      Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). If the law no longer applies, there is no more sin. The 10 commandments don’t apply to us any longer. All we need is faith in Jesus and it really doesn’t matter what our lives look like.

      This runs contrary to the entire revelation of God to mankind when you read the bible from front to back. The OT is all about Torah from Sinai forward, and the blessings for obedience, curses for disobedience, and the pleadings of the prophets for the people to hold up their end of the covenant. Then comes Jesus who specifically says he isn’t here to abolish the law, and that anyone breaking the least commandment or teaching others to do so will be least in the kingdom of heaven. The apostles have problems with Paul when they hear rumors that he is teaching against the law.

      As I’ve said over and over again, not just hear but anywhere I discuss this, either Paul is misunderstood to be teaching the law no longer applies, or he’s simply a false teacher. For if sin is lawlessness, and yet Paul tells us grace doesn’t give us a license to sin (Rom 6:15), then he is most certainly upholding the law’s ongoing applicability. When he later says the law is a curse, or a schoolmaster we no longer need, he’s either dead wrong or misunderstood. I find it a bit hard to misunderstand some of those assertions he makes, but they cannot stand in light of the entire rest of the Canon which takes the opposite view.

      Psalm 119 is a beautiful tribute to the Torah and includes refrains such as:

      [Psa 119:151-152, 160 ESV] 151 But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true. 152 Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever. … 160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

      You may want to argue, as many do, that Paul is speaking to gentiles who aren’t bound to Torah. It is true that Torah was given specifically to the descendants of Jacob, and not to anyone else. However, there are real problems with this including:

      1. If Paul is speaking exclusively to gentiles, the law NEVER applied to them to begin with. There is no need to explain that it was a schoolmaster that is no longer needed, because it was never needed in the first place. There is no curse from the law on the gentile, because the gentile was never subject to the law. It makes absolutely no sense for Paul to do away with a law that never applied to start with.

      2. Paul does away with any sort of jew/gentile distinction in Romans 11. The wild olive branches grafted into the cultivated olive tree of Israel are not going to bear different fruit than the original branches. If they are one with Israel, they are bound to the same covenant as Israel. See also Galations 3:28 where he again abolishes any distinction. Thus he is abolishing the law, if that is what he is doing, for all.

      3. There are passages such as Isaiah 56 that clearly show how God accepts gentiles into his covenant, because they follow his commandments.

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        William:

        >> Paul is the ONLY NT writer who can be interpreted to say the law has expired…

        I’m sorry to be so contrarian, but you are wrong. Aren’t Peter and James and Luke New Testament writers? Of course they are. What’s that got to do with anything, you might ask? Simple: they, along with the other brethren, heard and approved of Paul’s message. Luke records, in Acts 15, that God had chosen Paul Himself. Did God make a mistake in choosing someone who would be so wrong about the Law? The Holy Spirit spoke to Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, and Saul and told them that Saul and Barnabas should be set apart for His work. Peter considered Paul’s writings to be Scripture…that includes Galatians, which you dispute. In most of his writings, Paul calls himself an apostle, appointed by Jesus Himself. If what Paul taught wasn’t accurate, the early church would have rejected him outright. In fact, Jesus Himself would have rejected Paul. You may remember that Paul founded the church at Ephesus, and taught them much. Look in Revelation 2:2 and see that Jesus commends that church for being discerning, and not tolerating false apostles. Your claim that Paul is the only New Testament writer who believed that the Law had expired is entirely without merit. Everyone who heard Paul’s message, including the leaders in Jerusalem and the entire church at Ephesus and Jesus Himself also approved of what He wrote. That’s the very reason that some of his writings are included with the other inspired writings that make up the New Testament.

        >> The 10 commandments don’t apply to us any longer. All we need is faith in Jesus and it really doesn’t matter what our lives look like.

        The 10 Commandments never applied to Gentiles. They were given to Israelites as part of God’s covenant with them. Of course, your claim above is a non-sequitur to Christians. It doesn’t follow that how we live is irrelevant. We have the Holy Spirit, dwelling in us, to guide us in all that we do. Paul wrote this in 2 Corinthians 3: You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. He went on to write this:

        He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

        The covenant that Paul taught about – that was approved by virtually everybody in the early church – is a covenant of the Spirit, not of the letter. Christians are not antinomians (as the New Testament makes clear)…we are not without law. We are simply without the Mosaic Law. There’s a huge difference, and Peter and James and John and the rest agreed with Paul and considered his word to be God-breathed. You should consider it God-breathed as well.

    • William says:

      Tony:

      Let’s deal with one thing at a time. First, you say the Sinai covenant no longer stands. Please explain how the context of Jeremiah 31:31-34 allows for this to be the case.

      Even the writer of Hebrews, in 8:13 says “And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” as if it hasn’t vanished yet, but soon will. I believe the writer was fully expectant to see the return of Jesus and the institution of the messianic age which is a condition of the Jeremiah 31 passage he quotes immediate beforehand.

      And regardless, Jeremiah 31 clearly shows Torah is central to both the old and new covenants. In other words, Hebrews 8:13 doesn’t say Torah is passing away, but that the old covenant is. The new covenant is ever bit as Torah-centric per Jeremiah 31 as is the old. (Not to mention it is made with the two kingdoms of Israel, and NOT with gentiles or the church.)

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        William:

        Okay, let’s deal with one thing at a time. I’m not going to dispute with you about Jeremiah. Commentators have struggled over the very items you’ve outlined, and I’m not fully resolved on my understanding of it either. Let’s deal with the one thing that I keep bringing up, that you keep rejecting: Paul. I’m not sure how anybody could read Galatians 3 and come away with any other conclusion than that Paul taught the Law no longer applied to anyone. Here it is again:

        Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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.

        The Law – the Mosaic Law, as verse 17 makes abundantly clear – was our guardian until Christ came…and we are no longer under a guardian. If you have another interpretation, I’m all ears. If you reject Paul’s words as inaccurately explaining the Christian’s relationship to the Law, no other discussion is necessary. Unless we can agree with Peter and James and the rest that Paul taught the truth, we have no common ground on which to continue. What do you believe about Galatians 3?

    • William says:

      I start with Jeremiah 31 because it’s the promise of the new covenant, and it very clearly denotes that Torah is still central to said new covenant, and that there are conditions associated with it which haven’t been met.

      You want to start with Paul, but if Christianity is founded in a continuing revelation of God’s plan that began with the covenant at Sinai, then Jeremiah 31 is crucial and informs us about the new covenant. This new covenant comes well before Paul, and thus Paul cannot contradict it without being wrong.

      We can talk about Paul but you need to deal with Jeremiah which precedes Paul. I find Jeremiah very easy to understand. Why should we dive right into Paul without understanding the initial promise of the new covenant?

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        The “old covenant” is the Mosaic Law. Gentiles were never a part of that covenant. The “new covenant”, according to you, hasn’t happened yet…so Gentiles aren’t a part of that either. Do I understand what you’ve already written?

        I don’t really start with Paul. I end with Paul. He was the apostle to the Gentiles…which is me. Certainly all of Scripture was written, and has been preserved, for our benefit…but not all of it was written to us. The Mosaic Law never included the Chinese, or the Egyptians, or the Chaldeans, or the Americans. Only the Israelites. I have no business inserting myself into a covenant that God made with someone else, and neither do you.

        >> This new covenant comes well before Paul, and thus Paul cannot contradict it without being wrong.

        1) Which is it? Has the new covenant arrived, or not? Earlier you said no, but you keep suggesting that it has. Could you clarify? 2) No, Paul doesn’t contradict anything. If he had, the rest of the apostles (you know, those people who approved of what Paul taught and wrote) would not have approved of what Paul taught and wrote. Who was in a better position to catch Paul’s supposed errors than Jews who traveled with Jesus throughout His entire ministry? Who better to tell Paul that he was wrong about the Law than Peter and James and John? Not me, and not you. No, Paul was not wrong.

        >> Why should we dive right into Paul without understanding the initial promise of the new covenant?

        I have no problem dealing with any passage of Scripture, of course. However: because your understanding of Jeremiah seems to be a bit unorthodox, I sought to avoid going down a rabbit trail. One of the key principles of biblical interpretation is that the clear verses should help us interpret the unclear ones. If you and I differ on Jeremiah, which I personally haven’t settled for myself, it seems better to deal with another passage. Galatians 3 seems very cut and dried, so I thought it would be easiest to spot our differences there. Regardless of what you and I think about the New Covenant, Paul was approved by everybody who counts…so I’d like to hear you explain your conclusion. Was Paul wrong when he wrote that we are not under the Law, or was Paul right?

        For the record, in case you had any doubts: I love this stuff. At no point should my disagreement with you be mistaken for animosity, or dislike, or anything negative. I appreciate you being here.

    • William says:

      Tony:

      Okay, lots of stuff to address here, so this will probably take some time to compose, and will be long.

      To start with, let me start with this statement from your response:

      ——
      >> This new covenant comes well before Paul, and thus Paul cannot contradict it without being wrong.

      1) Which is it? Has the new covenant arrived, or not?
      ——

      The above was simply a typo. Unfortunately I am not immune to them. My statement was meant to communicate this:

      This new covenant PROMISE (Jer 31:31-34) comes well before Paul, and thus Paul cannot contradict it without being wrong.

      I was not saying the covenant arrived before Paul, rather the promise. Thus Paul has to build on this foundation along with everything and everyone else, rather than contradict it.

      Imagine you’ve never read the Bible, so you sit down to do so. You get to Exodus and you read of the Sinai covenant. You understand that the covenant was given to a specific people, and that it contained God’s instructions for living a righteous life.

      So then, you continue reading, discovering various words of wisdom and song, some of it prophetic. You discover a history of God’s chosen people alternately describing their prosperity in the promised land while they upheld their covenant with God, and their exile and punishment when they did not. You discover the prophets who continually exhort the people to return to obedience, along with many prophecies of a messianic kingdom to come during which there will be universal peace, restoration of Israel to the promised land forever, universal knowledge of God, etc.

      So then you come to Jeremiah, and in chapter 31 you encounter yet another prophecy of this coming kingdom. Along with it is a promise of a new and better covenant, one in which God’s instructions (Torah) are written on our hearts. The universal peace of the messianic kingdom is the outcome of perfect obedience to God. This new covenant is NOT LIKE the old one which Israel broke, because it will be unbroken. Nobody will need to be taught to know God, because everyone from the least to the greatest will know Him, because he will be present in the rebuilt temple, and his messiah from the live of David will rule his kingdom.

      This passage is not at all difficult to understand if you read the scriptures chronologically. It is very clear when this new covenant comes, and that date is still in the future.

      So then we read on, and Jesus enters the picture. He says things like:

      [Mat 5:17-20 ESV] 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

      This is in perfect harmony with everything encountered chronologically in the Bible so far. Everything so far has been about Torah. The clear meaning of the above passage is that Torah is still in effect. Break the least commandment and teach others to do likewise, and you are the least in the kingdom of Heaven. The Torah will be unmolested until ALL is accomplished. The messianic mission has not been accomplished, for there is plenty of prophecy that remains yet to be fulfilled.

      There is simply no reason for the reader who hasn’t yet encountered Paul to twist the word fulfill into something that literally does not fit the context of this passage, for the definition you propose for fulfill is effectively the same as abolishment, which Jesus clearly states he was not doing. In legal terms, whether a law is overturned (abolished), or expires (no longer applies), the end result is exactly the same: there is no more need to obey, nor consequence for disobedience.

      The context, which includes the exhortation to avoid breaking the least commandment or teaching others to do so, doesn’t allow for your definition of fulfill. The proper definition of fulfill which fits in this context is:

      “to perform or do, as duty; obey or follow, as commands.” (Dictionary.com definition #2)

      We can see this echoed in many other of Jesus’ words, such as:

      [Mat 7:21-23 ESV] 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

      Okay, so at this point, with a chronological reading, everything is in beautiful harmony, and is crystal clear. The expectation of obedience to God’s law could not be more obvious.

      Let’s talk about the jew/gentile distinction for a moment. First of all, despite the fact that Israel is specifically the descendants of Jacob, there have always been people who are part of Israel who are not related by blood. There was a mixed multitude who came out of Egypt. They were not all native Israelites. Torah specifically states more than once that the same law applies to the native born and the stranger/foreigner among them. Isaiah 56 clearly discusses non-Israelites receiving the same promises for obedience. There is a distinction between God’s people and the nations, but God’s people are not all direct descendants of Jacob.

      Further, Paul himself obliterates the jew/gentile distinction with the olive tree illustration in Romans 11 as well as in Galations 3:

      [Gal 3:28 ESV] 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

      So Paul is effectively teaching that we are all one, whether native jew or not, and thus whatever standard there is applies to everyone. Thus, if he is truly teaching the law is done away with, and he is actually correct, then the law is done away with for everyone.

      But if he is in fact teaching against the law, it flies in the face of everything I have read so far chronologically. And in a big way! Not just some minor sort of conflict, but a complete 180 degree departure from everything that has preceded him.

      A reasonable person would at this stage question Paul, not embrace him and then try to re-evaluate everything he has already discovered in God’s Word in light of these drastic changes.

      Suppose Jesus, a devout Jew, perfectly Torah observant, born into the community of God’s people who had been living for some 1300+ years under their covenant with God (at times righteously and other times not so much), was, as you assert, come to do away with the law. You’re talking about a major sea change for the Jews. I mean for over a millennia they’ve been living Torah, and now comes a Jew, a teacher, to basically overturn their way of life and replace it with a new faith-only lifestyle. How does he ease them into this? He tells them to obey even the least of the commandments! Yep, that sounds like the most logical way to teach of the impending momentous change that will free his people from this 1300+ year old curse. (I say curse sarcastically because Psalm 119, the longest book in the Bible, is nothing but one long song singing the praises of Torah. It obviously was not considered a curse.)

      I’ve had people try to tell me that in Matthew 5 he was teaching Torah observance because it still applied, until his death and resurrection. Okay, so not only was he focusing his teaching on Torah observance within maybe a year or two of it passing away, but then during the 40 days he spent with his disciples after his resurrection, where exactly is his teaching them to stop living under the curse of the law? Did he forget? Perhaps he did, so he had to convert Paul so he could go back and rectify his critical omission?

      So you see, while you may assert that you do not start with Paul, you absolutely do. He is the one and only writer who can be interpreted to be teaching against the law.

      We have historical attestation that many of the early followers of Jesus rejected Paul:

      “Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God; but their opinions with respect to the Lord are similar to those of Cerinthus and Carpocrates. They use the Gospel according to Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the law. As to the prophetical writings, they endeavor to expound them in a somewhat singular manner: they practice circumcision, persevere in the observance of those customs which are enjoined by the law, and are so Judaic in their style of life, that they even adore Jerusalem as if it were the house of God.” (Irenaeus, about 180 A.D. in Against Heresies 1.26.)

      I was honestly a bit taken aback that you presented Revelation 2:2 as a defense of Paul. When I work through Paul throughout the NT writings, I draw the exact opposite conclusion from Rev 2:2.

      Here’s how I see it:

      [Act 1:21-22 ESV] 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us–one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”

      First off, here are the requirements for being an apostle. These were discussed when replacing the departed Judas with Matthias. They chose between candidates who had been disciples of Jesus from his baptism onward.

      [Act 9:26 ESV] 26 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.

      Clearly there was distrust here. And for good reason—Paul had been persecuting and murdering believers.

      [Act 19:1, 8-10 ESV] 1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. … 8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

      Here we have Paul arriving at Ephesus, the largest city in Asia at the time, and attempting to preach in the Synagogue for three months. He was rejected there, and moved to an academic environment for two years. So, at a minimum, 2 years and 3 months he was at Ephesus, and all of Asia heard him. Thus he was widely known throughout Asia.

      [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.

      Paul returns to Jerusalem and meets with James and the elders. After politely hearing of Paul’s success, they dive straight into the problem they have with him. They point out the tens of thousands of believers in Jerusalem who are all zealous for the law. What? Wait, the law was done away with, why do they care about it? But they do, because the problem they are confronting is this rumor that Paul has been teaching the Jews amongst the gentiles to forsake the law. (And obviously he has!) They insist that he take part in a Nazarite vow in order to demonstrate to the believers in Jerusalem that he is still observant of Torah. Interestingly, as you read on you find that Paul proceeds to do so, and sponsors the sacrifices that are part of the Nazarite vow. What? How on earth are Jesus’ disciples participating in any sort of sacrifice since Jesus was the ultimate and final sacrifice?

      Okay, so far we see the disciples were afraid of Paul and didn’t think he was a true disciple, then Paul goes off to Ephesus for an extended period of time and all of Asia hears his teaching, then he comes back to Jerusalem and is confronted by the local assembly about this rumor he has been teaching against the law, and is required to take action to dispel such rumor.

      What happens next?

      [Act 21:27-30 ESV] 27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.

      Wow, the Asian Jews, the people who know him very, very well because he’s just spent 2+ years teaching amongst them, see him in the temple and cry out for help because here is the very man who has been teaching them against the law, defiling the temple in Jerusalem. Further, they accuse him of bringing a gentile (Trophimus) into the inner courts were by law he is not allowed.

      Paul is detained, for being a law breaker, and there is additional fascinating insight into his mind when he eventually stands before the sanhedrin, notes the mix of Sadducees and Pharisees present, and then exploits one of their most rancorous disagreements (resurrection of the dead), lying about the true reason he was detained in order to divide and conquer and escape to Roman protection. (And all this after insisting to his people in Acts 21:10-13, before coming to Jerusalem, that he was prepared to die at the hands of the Jews in Jerusalem for his faith.)

      At this point it is interesting to contrast Paul’s experience with the detention of the Apostles in Acts 5. When the apostles are detained, an angel sets them free and instructs them to return to the temple and continue teaching. They are re-detained, but Gamaliel (supposedly Paul’s teacher) releases them, arguing that they’ve done nothing wrong and will simply fade into obscurity along with other false messianic claimants, or they could be doing God’s work in which case the sanhedrin should not interfere with them. Wow, that’s powerful. How can they be released in this manner? Well, the simple fact is they weren’t breaking the law (Torah). They were observant, thus they hadn’t done anything wrong other than preaching that Jesus was Messiah, which wasn’t against the law but was simply something the Jewish leaders of the time didn’t want to hear.

      But Paul’s case goes completely differently. In fact we don’t know that he was ever released. The last thing we know of Paul is that he was languishing in prison.

      We also know the apostles didn’t come to his defense:

      [2Ti 4:16 ESV] 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!

      Even more telling, we also know that all of Asia abandoned him:

      [2Ti 1:15 ESV] 15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

      Interestingly, we have no recorded instance of the Apostles referring to Paul as an Apostle. Paul refers to himself as one many times, and his traveling companion and historian Luke once refers to both Paul and Barnabas as apostles. Paul and Barnabas were both at Ephesus interestingly, so we have apostles (plural) Paul and Barnabas at Ephesus.

      Just how many Apostles are there? Revelation 21:14 may give us a hint:

      [Rev 21:14 ESV] 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

      Hmm, so Paul and perhaps Barnabas are Apostles #13 and #14?

      So I get through all of the above, and then read Revelation 2:2:

      [Rev 2:2 ESV] 2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.

      Uh oh, who exactly fits this description of false apostles now? Who is it that we know couldn’t convince the Jews in the synagogue of Ephesus? Who do we know was rejected by ALL of Asia? Who was so indefensible that even the real Apostles wouldn’t defend?

      What is the evil in Rev 2:2? Sin! What is Sin? Lawlessness! (1 John 3:4). Who was teaching people to forsake the law in Ephesus? Paul!

      So you see, if you take in the progressive revelation of God to mankind from Genesis forward chronologically, Jeremiah 31 makes absolutely perfect sense. I come back to Jeremiah 31 because it utterly destroys the idea that the new covenant is Torah-free, or that it has even yet come. It is only when you get to Paul that problems and contradictions arise.

      Interestingly many Christian scholars agree that Jacob’s prophecy about Benjamin (of which tribe Paul was a member) applies to Paul:

      [Gen 49:27 ESV] 27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey [persecuting and killing believers] and at evening dividing the spoil [sowing confusion].” (Brackets contain my interjection.)

      I also love this type of discussion and do not bear any ill will toward those who disagree 🙂 Iron sharpens Iron.

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        William:

        Yes, that was long. I appreciate you taking the time, but let me suggest that some critical editing for brevity might be helpful to other visitors who will read comments in the future. =)

        I believe I understand you to be saying this: Torah is a necessary part of the old covenant, and will be a necessary part of the new covenant (when it finally arrives). Here is my response to that: so? Gentiles were never part of the old covenant, so the Torah written on stone never applied to them. If the new covenant hasn’t arrived, then the Torah written on hearts doesn’t apply to them either.

        That being so, the only way I can imagine one would logically conclude that Gentiles need to observe Torah is that they believe Torah is the only path to salvation. You mention the Ebionites, to suggest that some early Christians rightly rejected Paul as a heretic with regard to the Law. That’s great…except that the Ebionites were considered heretical* by the early church for holding this very view! That means that early Christians did not reject Paul…only specific heretics did. Again I point you to Acts 15:

        Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

        This seems to be what you’re saying as well. That makes you – historically speaking – a ‘judiazer’ and in need of correction. Certainly you don’t need correction from me, but correction from Jesus’ own disciples seems fitting for one who calls himself a Christian:

        Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:7-11)

        Note as well that this entire section of Scripture was brought about by a discussion very similar to this one: Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. (Acts 15:1-2)

        You keep claiming that Paul is the only NT writer to teach that we are no longer under the Law. That’s a fiction, William, and Acts 15 proves it. Some claimed that we must follow the Law to be saved, so Paul and Barnabas went to see the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. According to Luke, here is the response that Peter and James and the “the whole church” wrote to the Gentile believers in response:

        The apostles and elders, your brothers,

        To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:

        Greetings.

        We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul – men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

        Farewell. (Acts 15:23-29)

        That might not settle the issue for you, but it should. Paul is not the only NT writer (nor the only authoritative voice in the early church) who taught that Gentiles need not follow Torah. Along with Paul are – to name only a few – Peter and James and Luke and the Holy Spirit. I mean no offense when I say that if you don’t believe them, I would find it hard to consider you an actual follower of Christ.

        To put it simply: your view, that Christians should observe Torah, is decidedly unbiblical.

        Have a great day, William!

        * Your mention of the Ebionites, and of Irenaeus, suggested that you might be interested in my growing collection of ancient religious texts. You can, for example, read all of Irenaeus’ Against Heresies there, if you wish.

    • William says:

      Tony:

      There are two confusing responses running throughout your replies.

      1. “The Sinai covenant no longer stands.”

      2. “Gentiles were never part of the old covenant, so the Torah written on stone never applied to them.”

      (And might I add the Torah was not written on stone. Only the 10 commandments, a teeny tiny fraction of the Torah.)

      I’m primarily dealing with #1, which is disproven by Jeremiah 31. My entire emphasis on Jeremiah 31 is showing that Torah is central to both the Sinai and future covenants. Do you agree? If so, then we can avoid this particular part of the discussion, and agree that for Israel at least Torah is still central to the covenant, and the new covenant as well, which is still in the future.

      Hebrews (chapter 8 quotes Jeremiah 31 and then concludes that the old covenant is getting ready to pass away), then must only apply to Jews, because the covenant that is getting ready to pass away only applies to the Jews, as is the case for the new covenant to follow.

      Let’s presume perhaps the gentiles as you say aren’t bound by the Sinai covenant and God’s instructions. But let’s at least correct your assertion that the Sinai covenant no longer stands, since Jeremiah 31 clearly doesn’t support this.

      Let’s look at Acts 15. The summary of the debate reads thusly:

      [Act 15:19-21 ESV] 19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

      What is the point of mentioning Moses, mentioning that he is taught in the synagogue every Sabbath? It’s completely superfluous unless the idea is that the gentiles coming into the faith will learn Torah as they go along. They don’t have to be immediately circumcised, and expected to be fully observant without a learning process. These believers attended synagogue and learned Torah there. Why do I take this to mean such? Well, immediately before there are in fact four Torah-based stipulations made, so there are in fact expectations made of these gentiles. Why any stipulations if the law didn’t apply in any way? Just let them join by faith and forget any requirements! Torah doesn’t even apply to them!

      If there are no dietary laws binding upon gentiles, why on earth would they dream up this requirement to abstain from things polluted by idols, or from strangled animals and blood. Those are purely Torah laws. It seems to me they started with the most common sins practiced amongst the gentiles of their day. In essence they are advising the gentiles to start with the most problematic and widespread sins first, idolatry and sexual sin, and learn more Torah as you go.

      Let’s face it, they weren’t sinning if the law didn’t apply to them. But they were sinning indeed and needed to stop.

      Further problems arise when you factor in the already discussed passages from Rom 11 and Gal 3 where Paul eliminates any distinction between jew and gentile. If there is no distinction, why a distinction in covenantal expectations?

      Paul should have instead embraced the distinction and made it clear that he was teaching against Torah only to gentiles. However, we see in Acts 21 that wasn’t the case. The apostles confronted him because he was teaching Jews against Torah. The Asian Jews cried out against him because he was teaching Jews against the law.

      So the inescapable conclusion here is that even we allow that gentiles were not bound to Torah in any way, (which is unsupported by my analysis of Acts 15 above), we still have Paul teaching Jews against the law, in direct violation of the clear understanding that at least for Jews, Jeremiah 31 clearly shows Torah as central to both the Sinai covenant and the one to replace it.

      That still makes Paul a false teacher.

      As for your opinion of the early believers, it is known that the earliest followers of Jesus continued to worship in the synagogue and observe Torah, and it is known that there were a mix of Jews and Gentiles.

      However, let’s presume your jew/gentile distinction, and suppose that perhaps the believers in Judea were all Jews still rightfully under their covenant. The Ebionites were a Jewish sect, so why would Irenaeus label them heretics? They’re Jews! You’ve argued that gentiles were never under the covenant, which I’ll allow simply for the sake of argument, but Jeremiah 31 specifically details that Torah will ALWAYS be part of the covenant with Israel. Thus Israel following their covenant are not heretics! So Irenaeus clearly didn’t see this distinction. However, the church was already progressing well beyond the teachings of Jesus, who as we’ve seen clearly upheld Torah. Irenaeus’ heretics may just as well be my heroes.

      Any way you come at this results in problems. If we note the distinction and agree that Jews have a different covenant and different expectations, then Jews at least are still under their covenant as Jeremiah 31 shows, and cannot be heretics.

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        William:

        >> My entire emphasis on Jeremiah 31 is showing that Torah is central to both the Sinai and future covenants. Do you agree?

        Nope…but I don’t believe that will matter for this discussion. If by “Torah” you mean “things that God says He wants us to do” then, certainly, we agree. If by “Torah” you mean the 10 Commandments and the civil and ceremonial and ethical laws and guidelines that surround them, then no…we do not agree. Your point seems to be that God expects the same from ancient Israelites and modern Gentiles. My point is that this is a direct contradiction of much in the New Testament. Paul is not, as I’ve abundantly shown, the only one who believed that Gentiles had no need to follow the Law. Certainly Acts 15 should be enough to convince you of this. You have yet to deal with Acts 15, opting instead to keep suggesting that Paul alone was wrong about the Law.

        >> What is the point of mentioning Moses…?

        Good question. Let’s say that I don’t know for sure, for the sake of discussion. What can be established with certainty is that there are no New Testament passages where Gentiles are instructed to (as you suggest) eventually learn and observe Torah. That’s not exegetical (a concept coming from the text) but eisegetical (a concept being inserted into the text by the reader). It’s worth noting that Peter and James and Luke and John say nothing to Gentiles about eventually observing Torah, when they’re mature.

        >> Let’s face it, they weren’t sinning if the law didn’t apply to them. But they were sinning indeed and needed to stop.

        While I have no doubt that the early Christians in question did sin, neither the dispute nor its resolution were in response to sin. They were in response to false teaching…the suggestion that Gentiles must be circumcised and obey the Law. The apostles and elders didn’t say “not yet, as they’re young in the faith” but “no, they don’t need to be burdened by the yoke that even we failed to bear.” You’re not reading and interpreting the text, William…you’re making things up to suit your own position. Your position is the same as the so-called judaizers. This position is directly contradicted in Scripture, and I’ve more than adequately shown this to be true. I understand that you might not like it, but that doesn’t change the fact that that’s what the Bible actually says.

        >> Paul eliminates any distinction between jew and gentile. If there is no distinction, why a distinction in covenantal expectations?

        Simple: context. Context is the key to understanding any communication, and it’s especially important for larger works like the Bible. In what context did Paul write that there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles? The context was that Jews considered themselves spiritually superior to Gentiles. With respect, it’s no surprise that you so easily misunderstand such simple passages…you seem to read only what you prefer to see. Again, I don’t say this to be insulting, but descriptive.

        >> The apostles confronted him because he was teaching Jews against Torah.

        That’s not what the text says. As it says, Paul didn’t only teach Gentiles that they didn’t need to observe Torah…he taught the same to Jews. It indicates that they were concerned about the response of the many zealous Jews who had been converted. What did they suggest that Paul do to make sure these new converts didn’t cause unnecessary problems? They suggested that he take part in sponsoring their Nazirite vows. In doing so, he would be ceremonially clean and not be seen by new Jewish converts as unfaithful to God. There was no correction of his teaching at all. In fact, during Paul’s speech in chapter 23, he claimed that he had fulfilled his duty to God in all good conscience. He didn’t say that he was wrong, and that the Jewish leaders had corrected his error about Jews and the Law.

        >> That still makes Paul a false teacher.

        Let’s pretend that you’re correct. That would make Peter a false teacher as well, and James, and Luke, and the rest of the apostles and elders who approved of Paul’s message. Peter especially, for he called Paul’s writings “scripture.” Of course, Luke and Barnabas and Silas and Judas attested that the Holy Spirit led them to approve of Paul’s teaching. John wrote in Revelation that Jesus approved of the Ephesian church, since they didn’t put up with false apostles. You see, William…what you propose is that the foundation of the whole of Christianity is false. For that reason alone, your opinions about what Christianity is and what Scripture teaches are more than suspect…they are faulty.

        >> The Ebionites were a Jewish sect, so why would Irenaeus label them heretics? They’re Jews!

        They may have been Jews, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t also hold to heretical teachings. You seem unfamiliar with the concept.

        >> Irenaeus’ heretics may just as well be my heroes.

        And there we stand. Paul taught that the guardian of the Jews – the Law – was no longer in effect. The Ebionites taught that observing Torah was the only way to be saved. Jesus’ own disciples, the apostles (those who witnessed His ministry personally), the elders in Jerusalem, and the entire church agreed with Paul and disagreed with the Ebionites. They disagree with you on the same matter as well, so let’s just go ahead and proclaim your view to also be heretical. Do you have any objection?

        Interesting stuff, indeed. =)

    • William says:

      Torah in the Tanakh is the first five books of the Bible. When Jeremiah 31:31-34 says under the new covenant Torah will be written on their hearts, that has a very clear and specific meaning to the Israelites to whom Jeremiah’s prophecy was directed. There is no basis whatsoever for not understanding or acknowledging this.

      Again, with respect to Jeremiah 31, there is no room for NOT concluding that Torah, with it’s single precise meaning, is central to the future new covenant.

      You say I have yet to deal with Acts 15, but I have. I’ve shown that the decision was made to require the gentiles to observe four laws based on Torah. This is proof that at least some Torah was applicable to gentiles, plain and simple. You cannot state the Torah was never applicable to gentiles in light of this. I may not be able to say this is proof that the entire Torah was applicable, but neither can you say Acts 15 proves no applicability whatsoever. The applicability of this subset of Torah law lends credence to the interpretation of the Moses verse as indicating additional Torah learning. And indeed the believing gentiles did attend synagogue, where the primary activities were prayer and reading/learning from the Torah scroll.

      You have a very creative view of the dispute between the apostles and Paul in Acts 21. It clearly reads that the apostles were concerned that he was in fact teaching improperly against the law, and needed to dispel those rumors. When he was eventually detained immediately after the nazarite vow for BREAKING THE LAW, due in part to bringing Trophimus the gentile into restricted parts of the temple during that very vow, the apostles didn’t come to his defense. The puzzle pieces here don’t fit your view. Especially considering the fact that James, the leader of the assembly in Jerusalem and part of this group who confronted Paul, penned statements like “[Jas 1:25 ESV] 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”, “[Jas 2:17 ESV] 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” and “[Jas 2:24 ESV] 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

      Was John writing to Jews only in Revelation? Doubtful since the first few chapters are addressed to various assemblies outside Israel. So when he writes things like:

      [Rev 12:17 ESV] 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

      or

      [Rev 14:12 ESV] 12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

      is he speaking to Jews only, or all believers?

      There are so many NT writings which uphold Torah. Did Jesus speak only to Jews or are his teachings for gentiles as well?

      [Mat 19:16-17 ESV] 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

      Don’t be so quick to say Peter called Paul’s writings scripture. There are two problems with that:

      1. The passage reads:

      [2Pe 3:15-17 ESV] 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

      Sure there is a vague reference to “other Scriptures” that sort of sounds like the writer may be equating Paul’s writings to scripture, but if this is truly the case (unlikely as I will address in point 2) he also says Paul’s writings are difficult to understand and warns the reader to avoid being carried away with the ERROR OF LAWLESS PEOPLE as the result of reading them.

      2. I don’t generally argue about the above passage because:

      The earliest certain reference to II Peter is in Origen (3rd century), whom Eusebius (H.E. vi. 25) refers to as having said that Peter left one acknowledged epistle, and ‘perhaps also a second, for it is disputed… .’

      The very earliest mention was long after Peter’s day, and the authorship was in dispute even then. II Peter had a difficult time entering the Christian canon due to this. I personally think the evidence is compelling that 2 Peter is not Peter’s writing. It wasn’t accepted into the canon without difficulty either.

      Outside of this vague reference in 2 Peter all references to scripture in the NT refer to the existing writings (the “old testament”).

      Again, Jesus clearly said:

      [Mat 7:21-23 ESV] 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

      Was he speaking to Jews only?

      The NT is actually full of instructions issued by various people, if we want to drop Torah and just look at those. I recall somewhere along the line reading an article where someone had extracted every single NT instruction and compiled a list of NT instructions that was at least 1,000 long! One can argue that the NT presents even more commandments to follow than Torah!

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        William:

        With all due respect, I’m not sure there’s any reason to continue this conversation. I believe all 66 books in the Bible to be true, and I trust that God superintended their preservation through the witness of the early church. I believe Paul when he says that we are not under Law, and I believe the apostles and elders when they heard what Paul taught and approved of it. I believe Galatians 2 to be true, and believe that Peter, James, and John had nothing to add to Paul’s message to the Gentiles.

        You do not believe that. As a result, we have no common ground on which to stand. My theology comes from Scripture as I understand it. I do not seek to add to it, but to more fully understand it. Your theology comes from the parts of Scripture with which you approve, and from your own reasoning, and from other places you have yet to name. Just as it would be silly to compare my understanding of the Scriptures to that of my atheist brother, it would be silly for you and I to continue comparing our thoughts about whether Christians are to observe Torah. The matter is settled for me because it is settled in Scripture.

        I wish you well, William. I’m praying for you, and hope to one day be able to say that you are truly my brother in Christ.

    • William says:

      Tony:

      This really isn’t that difficult. We can go round and round about individual verses or passages, but the big picture is clear.

      First, Christianity absolutely appropriates the new covenant promise for itself, and believes that the new testament = the new covenant, when Jeremiah completely abolishes this idea and shows that the new covenant conditions have yet to be met.

      Hebrews 8:13, after quoting the Jeremiah promise, attempts to show that the old covenant is about to pass away, clearly acknowledging that the writer is expectant of a quick return by Jesus to set up the messianic kingdom. Nearly 2,000 year later that hasn’t happened, and it’s clear that the author of Hebrews was incorrect in his assumption. The new covenant has still not arrived. However, the author nowhere claims that God’s instructions are going to be passing away, only the covenant, and the replacement covenant according to the promise includes God’s instructions as a central part of it, very clearly.

      Jesus taught Torah. No way around this. There is no teaching of Jesus indicating the Torah is done with, passing away, etc. A chronological reading of scripture clearly shows a perfect Torah continuity from Genesis through the gospels.

      Sin is lawlessness. Law defines sin. There is no separating sin from the law. One cannot exist without the other. Whenever there appears an exhortation to avoid sin, it is by the very definition of sin an exhortation to uphold God’s standard of righteousness. Furthermore, many dozens of NT writings clearly exhort the followers of Jesus to obey the commandments—all the way into John’s Revelation. I have nowhere said that faith never plays a role, as you have subtly implied. Faith always played a role. There is no purpose in following commandments blindly. Faith motivates us to seek and to obey God.

      Jesus did not come to establish a new religion, nor to overturn Torah. His early followers, those who understood this, continued to be Jews, attended synagogue, and followed Torah. Marcion the Greek, in the second century, recognized that Paul could not be reconciled with the Hebrew scriptures, and embraced Paul and his idea of a lawless faith-only belief with an all forgiving God who needed no obedience from his followers, while rejecting the Hebrew God altogether. He was the originator of the terms “new” and “old” testament. He was labeled a heretic by the early “church”, because obviously this new religion had no leg to stand on without being able to establish some sort of continuity between the faith of the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and this emerging new religion.

      Already in the second century your cherished church fathers were disgustingly anti-semitic, with Justin Martyr penning this gem:

      “The custom of circumcising the flesh, handed down from Abraham, was given to you as a distinguishing mark, to set you off from other nations and from us Christians. The purpose of this was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolated, and you cities ruined by fire, that the fruits of your land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem. Your circumcision of the flesh is the only mark by which you can certainly be distinguished from other men…as I stated before it was by reason of your sins and the sins of your fathers that, among other precepts, God imposed upon you the observance of the sabbath as a mark.”

      Here’s a church father interpreting the Sabbath, made Holy by God at the dawn of creation, as a brand of shame on the Jews. Disgusting. God chose his people and said they were to be a light unto the nations, and then the “church” came along and abolished the Sabbath along with all of God’s instructions, persecuted God’s people, committed the worst kinds of atrocities against them and anyone who dared to stray from church teachings. The canon was established in the fourth century after this new religion was made the official religion of the state, after God’s holidays had been overthrown and new pagan holidays instituted, Sabbath worship outlawed, etc. Paul was not unanimously included in the canon, and yet he HAD to be because he was the basis for everything the church practiced.

      At the same time, the writings of church fathers discuss the Nazarenes or Ebionites, still observing the law, into the seventh century.

      And yet they, and I as you have not so subtly stated, are heretical. Nice.

      When I say that Paul is the only writer to abolish Torah, I don’t claim that there wasn’t a discussion of how to bring gentiles into the assembly of Jesus’ followers. You want to say that this discussion in Acts 15 proves that Paul wasn’t the only one who taught the non-applicability of Torah. That isn’t what I assert at all. I assert that Paul is the only one to completely abolish Torah, which completely contradicts the Jeremiah promise of the new covenant, and flies in the face of what Jesus lived and taught, and what the 12 apostles lived and taught, for they all continued to observe Torah. And Acts 15 proves that they began to require a beginning level of Torah to incoming gentiles. That Torah would be learned and followed is the natural conclusion one can reasonably derive from the nature of sin and the otherwise completely superfluous mention of Moses being taught in all the synagogues in the same passage.

      Shalom. I wish you well and as you are unwilling to continue this discussion, I submit this as my closing statement.

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        William:

        I’d like to thank you for a rousing discussion. I sincerely appreciate both your intentions and the work you’ve done to express them. As this is my website, intended to express the truths of Scripture as I understand them, I’ll have the final word. Tens of thousands of people will read this discussion, and I pray that they will be better for it.

        At this point I cannot consider you a Christian. Your views contradict the views of historic Christianity, from the first generation of Jesus’ apostles through today. There’s a lot of room for debate and disagreement in the Kingdom of God, as I see it…but your perspective precludes me from being able to call you my brother in Christ. I do not make this charge lightly. I could be wrong, and I hope I am. I would not suggest that you aren’t a Christian based solely on our disagreement, of course. I base it on these indisputable facts:

        1. You claim that certain writers of Scripture were, on the topic of the Law, either misinformed or false teachers.
        2. Instead of agreeing with those whom Christ taught personally, you agree with heretics…those who challenged the apostles and elders and their teachings.
        3. Instead of looking in Scripture for the truth that God has revealed, you ignore His revelation regarding the work of Christ in favor of opinions that His revelation has proven false.

        If you are indeed a Christian, it is in spite of your beliefs, and not because of them. Please note that drawing this conclusion does not in any way please me, and that I bear you no ill will. I care about you, which is why I feel the need to express my perspective.

        To be a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus, the Christ…the Messiah of Israel and the savior of the world. To follow Jesus is to learn from Him and to live accordingly. Jesus taught thousands, counseled many, and discipled twelve. These men traveled with Him full-time for three years, and He accomplished in them what He knew that He must. This first generation of disciples, along with those they personally taught, wrote the New Testament as God inspired them. It is from them that we learn about Jesus, and about what it means to follow Him. If we doubt them, we have no reason to trust in Christ. If we cannot trust in Christ, we might as well embrace Judaism and wait for another Messiah, as Jesus would be found wanting.

        Instead, the Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth of the gospel: that Jesus is God become flesh, that He lived among us and taught us God’s ways, that He died to demonstrate God’s love for us and bear on Himself the burden of our sins, that He rose again in the flesh, that He returned to Heaven, and that He will return at the perfect moment to complete the divine plan of salvation and redemption for all who will accept Him. All of this comes from those men who were taught by Jesus personally, whose witness you dispute. Christianity is not Judaism. If it were, we would have no need of the New Testament. Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, and much more…it is the fulfillment of the curse in the garden of Eden, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, and the fulfillment of God’s covenant with the children of Israel, which points to Jesus in a thousand ways. Every one of Jesus’ disciples believed that Jews needed to trust in Jesus, and they spent their lives teaching what He taught them. I can do no less.

        This is the last word on this subject for now, William. That does not mean that we can’t have other discussions, of course. I will try at every turn to convince you to trust the Scriptures…not just the ones you prefer, but all of them. Why would I do this? So you can enjoy the same kind of relationship that I have with my heavenly Father – or better. Bad theology makes it harder to trust God, and good theology makes it easier. The early church didn’t consider Marcion and the Ebionites to be heretics on a whim…they considered their errors to be great enough to keep them out of God’s Kingdom. It’s my hope that you will see that the Law was a means to an end, and that end was the life, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. Now that Jesus has come, we no longer need the Law as a guardian…we have Jesus’ example and teaching, and we have the Holy Spirit.

        I wish you well, friend.

  22. Fernie says:

    Wow guys! Thank you so much for the time!
    I have lots to learn and read now! 😀

    By the way, if you guys (or anybody that is reading this) want to continue the discussion in another place, I have created a Google Group (a forum) where we can post topics, and reply to them. Here is the link, https://groups.google.com/d/forum/friendly-bible-discussions
    Just go to the link and join the group so I can accept people.

    Now I need to start to study a bit more. 😛

    By the way, Sarah, again, I know very little and this is a brand new journey for me, but the term “spiritual israel” is something that came from the Catholic church (together with the Sunday topic). We should be careful when using that term. I have learned that nowhere in the Bible we should substitute the name “Israel” to “spiritual Israel” so we can make something apply to us Gentiles.

    Can’t wait to learn! 😀

    • Sarah says:

      Fernie,

      Sorry to be confusing. I never even knew that the Catholic church has said that. But what I was trying to convey was that grafting on to the tree of Israel. That’s what I meant by spiritual. Because we do not physically change race, but rather we are grafted on spiritually, at least that’s what I get out of that scripture when I read it (I know Tony will disagree lol ;)). Hope that make sense, but sorry it it was bad wording.

      I will head over to your Google group to join it too. Good idea! 🙂

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        Let’s pretend that the phrase “spiritual Israel” was first uttered by a Catholic, or even by a Pope. So what? That doesn’t invalidate anything. I’m no fan of Catholic teaching, but let’s not pretend that when the Catholic church says something, that makes it wrong. What makes a theological idea right or wrong is whether it conflicts with Scripture.

        The Bible does not teach that the church is Israel, or that the church has replaced Israel, or that Christians are somehow spiritually Israelites. The Bible teaches that Christians, rather than being children of Jacob (Israel), are children of Abraham.

  23. Greg says:

    I came across this because I have been troubled about my past life as a Christian not honoring the sabbath day. Now after reading everyone’s replays I am even more torn on what is right or wrong. All I can do is put my faith in God and let the lord guide me to the Lords will.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Greg:

      >> All I can do is put my faith in God and let the lord guide me to the Lords will.

      That’s not “all” you can do, but it’s the first thing you should do. In the end, we must rely on the Holy Spirit, who guides us and helps us understand spiritual things. In the meantime, we should take the Bible seriously…not just a few small parts, but the whole thing. Do you own study on the Sabbath. Make a list of all of the relevant Scriptures. Keep in mind that the New Testament reveals more than the Old Testament does, and you should be okay. Pray and ask God for help. He will help you.

  24. John Allen Ampong says:

    This article is a really good article. It is true, Saturday is not the real Sabbath. It is actually the New Moon Sabbath. See the ultimate reason this is not being taught is we don’t study deeply into the bible that much. The Fourth commandment says keep the seventh day holy. Then What is the Seventh day? At approximately 400 BC, Pope Gregory XIII revised the calendar a few times, which makes Saturday not the right Sabbath. Well, as you check Isaiah 66:23, you shall find that it says according to the New Moon Sabbath/Feast.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      John:

      Thanks for writing. It’s nice that you agree with me, but that agreement didn’t last long.

      >> New Moon Sabbath

      Saturday can’t be the ‘new moon sabbath’. Saturday happens once per week, and a new moon happens once per month.

      >> At approximately 400 BC, Pope Gregory XIII

      Pope Gregory XIII lived in between 1502 and 1585…AD.

      >> revised the calendar a few times, which makes Saturday not the right Sabbath

      God’s Sabbath isn’t dependent on Pope Gregory’s calendar. Maybe you’re talking about the Gregorian Calendar, introduced in 1582…but maybe you mean the Julian Calendar, from 46 BC. Either way, your information is much more than incorrect…it’s silly.

  25. Raphael says:

    It is utterly amazing to me how you have misconstrued so much of Gods word. You say that you have no connection to Israel so you need not keep any commandments of theirs. How little you understand and have evidently missed, when it is as plain as the nose on your face. God only made covenants with Israel, what other people did he covenant with ? NONE. When you Take on the belief of Yashua our Messiah and The One and only God you become a Jew inwardly and are obligated under that covenant. Paul says this with utmost positivity. ( You who are wild olive branches have been grafted into the root of the Olive tree, the roots supply and keep you it is not the other way around. ) How could you miss this. You refer to his epistles so very much. I think you have completely even misunderstood him as well. We as believers are under the Jewish covenant in all regards, Yashua did away with nothing. The reason the sacrifices have stopped is because there is no Temple to sacrifice in. Granted Yashua is the ultimate sacrifice and the end of all sacrifice, but don’t you know that even in the new Heaven and the new Earth that the 7th day Sabbath will still be observed and some sacrifices made. How have you missed this ? In the very beginning God also outlined and proclaimed what marriage is, do you say that this is also for only Israel, or the whole world, as is also the Sabbath When Yashua returns what denomination will he be, do you know ? He will be even as he was then a Torah observant Jew only now the Lion of Judah. If you are confused by all of this go back and read the book of Ruth which is a perfect portrayal of gentiles and their acceptance of The Most High. Best regards and awaken you are asleep

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Raphael:

      I could agree with you, if I were ignorant about what Scripture teaches. Let me encourage you to keep studying, and to read the whole thing, rather than just parts. For example, you say that God only made covenants with Israel. That’s clearly not the case. Most commentators count seven covenants in the Bible. Some are with Israel, some are not.

      I could keep going about how your comment betrays your lack of Scriptural knowledge. How about your claim that Christians become Jews? The analogy is of an olive tree. Consider first that the olive tree doesn’t necessarily symbolize Israel…the “root” is Abraham (the people of faith) and not Moses (the people of the Law). Remember that some of the branches had been cut off. That includes disbelieving Israel. In your analogy, the whole tree is Israel…so Hebrews 11 must – in your view – mean that all of Israel is cut off. You clearly don’t believe that.

      How about the analogy? When a branch is grafted onto a tree, it doesn’t transform and become like the other branches. If you graft an orange branch on a grapefruit tree, it will NEVER bear grapefruit. It can only bear oranges. Gentiles do not become Israel when they’re grafted onto the olive tree…they become part of the community of faith, heirs to the covenant made with Abraham. How could you miss this?

      With regard to Paul, I must suggest that you’re unfamiliar with his writings. What else could I conclude when you suggest that Paul believed Christians to be obligated to the Mosaic covenant? No, a large number of passages – including (but not limited to) Acts 15, Romans 3, Romans 6, Romans 7, Romans 8, and most of Galatians – make it clear that Gentiles are not under the Law. Not even the Jews are under the Law at this time, so why should Gentiles be obligated to take part in a covenant that never included them? Look at Galatians 3:23-25…

      Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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.

      How could Paul make it any clearer? The Law was temporary, only in place until Christ came. Christ has come, Raphael…so the Law is obsolete.

      I could keep going, but I won’t. Until you begin to wonder whether what you’re being taught actually matches what Scripture says, you won’t listen to me. You have an incomplete and confused understanding of the Law, the Sabbath, and the witness of Scripture. I pray that you will abandon the traditions of men (faulty interpretations of Scripture) in favor of the truth (Spirit-given inspiration to understand spiritual things). I’m not asking you to agree with me…Heaven forbid. I’m asking you to agree with the Scriptures. Not my interpretation of them, but God’s. I don’t have all of the answers, Raphael…but I do have some. No Christian has ever been under the Law of Moses.

      I wish you well.

  26. Agape says:

    I observed sabbath from sun down on Friday to sun down saturday. It was one of the best Decisions I made.I didn’t do it to obey the law , or to sacrifice or as an offering . I did it because I was convicted. Sabbath was made for man to dwell in the Lord , when you take that step to do that he blesses you. I have a sense of joy and peace and revelation I couldn’t get without Sabbath. I do it because I simply Love my God with all my heart and all my soul and all my might and if I know it made Him happy for His beloved to observe it in OT then it will make my Father happy now . We could debate about ” TO SABBATH OR NOT TO SABBATH” all day but the reality is obviously the person who wrote this post wasn’t convicted when they wrote it about Sabbath . And only God has the power of conviction. One needs to spend time with God and His word and let God speak to him and give truth not Google. Also brethren remember this scripture “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”
    Titus 3:9 KJV
    http://bible.com/1/tit.3.9.KJV
    Be Blessed

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Agape:

      I’m happy for you that you enjoyed your sabbath. It’s good to take some time out to focus on God. I do it regularly, and I recommend it to everyone.

      The only relevant question for this discussion is whether Christians are instructed by God to observe the Sabbath as found in the Old Testament. This isn’t a small thing…if God tells us to do something, we should make sure to do it. Many have suggested that keeping the Sabbath, as the ancient Israelites were instructed to keep it, is the responsibility of every Christian. My goal in writing this article is clearly not to discourage anyone from spending regular time with God, but to counter false teaching. This false teaching includes (but is not limited to) the following:

      • that Christians must observe a seventh-day Sabbath as outlined in the Old Testament,
      • that failing to observe the Sabbath in this way is disobedience to God, and
      • that Sunday worship is the mark of the Beast as outlined in Revelation.

      That last one is a bit obscure, unless you’ve spent time living among a lot of Seventh-Day Adventists (as I have). The New Testament is chock-full of instructions regarding how Christians are to live, and there is a lot in there about avoiding legalism, and about not needing to make Gentile Christians become Jews. Whether this is a big issue for you or not, it’s a big issue for many. I hope to bring biblical clarity to the discussion.

      Thanks for writing!

  27. Timothy says:

    I was wondering if this scripture meant what I have come to understand in parentheses? Capital letters are Colossians 2:16-17….. if anyone can help:………

    LET NO MAN THEREFORE JUDGE YOU IN MEAT, OR IN DRINK, (((That which is eaten on certain days))) OR IN **RESPECT OF** AN HOLYDAY, OR OF THE NEW MOON, OR OF THE SABBATH DAYS (((considering one was to observe the sabbath))): WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME (((“Shadow” being symbolic for the Sabbath and “Things to Come” being symbolic for The Sacrifices and Teachings Jesus gave us))); BUT THE BODY IS OF CHRIST (((Jesus being The Body that fulfilled the Law symbolic for us to fulfill the Shadow aka the Sabbath the same way Jesus fulfilled the Law in honor of Him because He is the “Reality” that we honor by living in Christ Jesus))).??
    Colossians 2:16‭-‬17 KJV
    http://bible.com/1/col.2.16-17.KJV

    I really hope I’m not confusing as I’m just trying to learn and understand.

    • Tony says:

      Timothy:

      How awesome it is that you want to learn and understand! Kudos to you for reaching out and asking questions.

      The first thing I would suggest is that you take full advantage of the wealth of tools and resources on the internet. You can look at the same verses in different translations, to get a better sense of what the author meant. You can look at the Greek and Hebrew words that were used, when you’re trying to dig deep. You can read about the authors, the cultures they lived in, the historical setting for each book, and more. This is known as ‘the larger context’ and is very important to understanding any writing, including the Bible.

      I would recommend that you do your studying of the Bible in a more modern translation. Understanding the words of men from 2000 years ago can be difficult enough without also having to translate 15th-century English into 21st-century English. There’s nothing wrong with the King James Version, but for studying I’d recommend the NASB or the NIV. The NASB is a word-for-word translation, which is technically very sound. The NIV is a phrase-by-phrase translation, which is a less strict translation that makes it a bit more readable. Both are reliable and trustworthy.

      Now, on to the text!

      Therefore
      It’s important to note the presence of this word. It says, “Something I’ve already told you leads me to also say this.” Ask yourself “what is the therefore there for?” Paul (the author) had just finished reminding the Christians in Colosse that they had been saved by faith in Jesus. They were to pay no mind to those who tried to make spiritual things out of human traditions, and to ignore people who talked about the universe as a thing that has power. You see, people believed that earth, air, fire, and water (elemental spiritual forces) had a real effect on their spiritual lives. Some people still believe that today, of course. Paul’s point in the part before the therefore is to avoid being fooled by such things.

      do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink
      Keeping in mind that Paul is talking about foolish human traditions and superstitions, we move to this passage. Here’s where the larger context (of both the rest of Scripture and the cultural setting) are helpful. The ancient Israelites were supposed to avoid eating certain things. One of those things was meat that had been sacrificed to false gods. The Greco-Roman world was chock full of idolatry, and Colosse was part of that culture. When you went to the market to buy food, you would often end up buying food that had been ritually offered to idols. Some in the church at Colosse were apparently judging others on the basis that they would eat this food. Paul wrote that such judgments are wrong. You can read more about this controversy in 1 Corinthians 8, where Paul addresses the issue in more detail. This is the ‘food and drink’ that Paul refers to in this verse.

      or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
      A festival is a feast day. A new moon celebration was held on the first of each month. A sabbath day can refer to a Saturday (the Jewish sabbath) or a more significant time, like Passover. Keeping the context in mind, where Paul talks about not being fooled into thinking that human traditions have spiritual significance, it becomes clear that a Christian who does – or does not – take part in such things is spiritually no better and no worse for it. This is echoed in Paul’s letter to the Christians in Galatia, where he writes this:

      Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

      Galatians 4:8-11

      Now, Paul isn’t talking about Jewish days in Galatians, but the sense is the same, as Paul outlined later in this chapter. He wrote that these regulations appeared to be wise, but they lacked any value in helping us live as we should. He followed that up by explaining that we should focus on heavenly things and not earthly things.

      These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
      Finally, we see the “why”…the reason Paul says what he says about food, and special days. These things (the regulations about food, and sabbaths, etc.) weren’t important on their own. They pointed to something more important, which is Jesus. The entire Mosaic Law works in the same way: it was there to point us to Christ. Now that He has come, we no longer need those things. They have become obsolete, as we see in Hebrews 8:13.

      So, Timothy…you were on the right track, but there were a few things that didn’t quite fit. Part of the problem was trying to make sense of the KJV’s use of English, and part comes from a broader understanding of the Bible and of the cultural context in which Paul wrote these things to the Christians at Colosse. I hope you’ll take some time and review the passages I’ve linked to, and to think – just sitting and thinking and asking God to help you understand – about this part of God’s word. I also hope you’ll keep asking questions…but don’t just take my word, or anybody else’s, as the truth. Check things out for yourself as well.

  28. William says:

    [Editor’s Note] This comment has been heavily edited. See my reply below for more details.

    Wow, so much confusion here. It’s really not that hard. Let me try to simplify this for people who are struggling. Christendom has spent 1700+ years in serious error, and it’s really not that difficult to figure it out if you simply read the scripture from beginning to end.

    Please, for the love of YHVH read the scriptures for yourselves and embrace the truth. It’s not that difficult.

    • Tony says:

      William:

      I appreciate you writing. I’ve heavily edited your comment. This is an action I take very seriously, so I thought I might explain to you why I’ve done it.

      My website is not a place where everybody can post anything. Many visit here, so I take seriously every word published here. Most visitors are confused about the Bible and about basic Christian theology, and my goal is to help them. There have been a few times where I have not posted a comment, or have edited one. The criteria I use are simple:

      1. Does it promote things I’m actively fighting? If so, I will not post it. Recently someone asked another commenter about visiting a cultic organization. I can’t promote that, so I won’t post it.
      2. Will it be useful in helping people understand Scripture, and so better understand God? If so, I’ll publish it. Disagreements give me an opportunity to provide clarity. Every once in a while, however, someone writes a long screed that is more likely to provide confusion, rather than opportunity. It’s a judgment call, and I’m not perfect. I just do my best. I felt that publishing your full comment would be more detrimental than beneficial.

      My goal is not to anger you…though I would understand if you react that way. Rather than simply delete your comment, I’ve tried to boil it down to its essentials. I want to fairly represent your position, and use your words to show others how and why you’ve missed the mark. That way you have some input, but the damage your position might do is limited. I’m willing to engage on any relevant topic, but I’m also protective of my readers. You might be stunned to read some of the questions I get. Now, on to what’s left of your comment:

      >> Wow, so much confusion here. Christendom has spent 1700+ years in serious error…

      Strike One. While many throughout history have strayed from Scripture, your claim is the foundation for every false cult. It’s one thing to disagree over a particular doctrine of the historic Christian faith, but another to cast doubt on virtually everything in church history.

      >> Start with this precept: If God declares something everlasting in the Jewish scriptures…that’s the final word. Newer writings cannot overrule it.

      When you start with a false premise, your conclusion will likely be false as well. You claim that God declared the sabbath to be permanent. Let’s examine the Scriptures. In Exodus 31:12-18, God speaks: 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.” The Hebrew word translated generations is DOWR, which means period, generation, habitation, or dwelling. This is not “everlasting”, of course. That was v13. Let’s look at v16, where the phrase ‘perpetual covenant’ is used by the KJV. The word there is OWLAM, and its definitions include not only “for ever” and “perpetual” but “long duration” and “indefinite future”. When making doctrine (as you’re trying to do), it’s important to study the words that actually appear in the manuscripts…looking at one translation isn’t enough. Your first claim isn’t necessarily in error, but it’s certainly on shaky ground. Combine that with the New Testament – especially Colossians 2 – and it’s clear that the sabbath is no longer meant to be observed in the same way.

      >> What if a gentile desires to draw near to and serve God? Well, we have passages like Isaiah 56 to shed light on this…

      Yes, we do. However, you’ve taken this passage entirely out of its context. Clearly, God speaks here of welcoming non-Israelites into Israelite society. The context is that they would live in the promised land. For Christians, the promised land is not in the middle east…it’s Heaven. There are hundreds of passages like this one that have been taken out of context by those building bad theology, and it’s a serious mistake every time. Context matters, William. Don’t ignore the context when trying to convince people that God works in the ways you think He works. Read the Bible in context, or you’ll continue to get it wrong.

      >> …gentiles can draw close and serve God by following the covenant he established with Israel.

      Strike Two. Yes…at that time, in that place, in that way, God provided for Gentiles who wished to live in Israel. What else do we see in Scripture? You know…the New Testament, where God’s plan is more fully revealed? We see that Gentiles, who are not part of the Mosaic covenant, are not under the law…and they should not be burdened with the law. Read Acts 15 and tell me again how Gentiles are part of that covenant. Keep in mind James 2:10, where we are told in no uncertain terms that stumbling on one point of the law means you have broken the whole law. Why would the council in Jerusalem counsel them to only keep part of the law? Answer: if they were under the law, such advice would never be given.

      There are only two passages in the NT which even mention a new covenant…

      This is laughable. First, you clearly can’t count. Second, you want to suggest that Matthew and Luke are unreliable because they don’t match Mark? That’s ridiculous. What about 1 Corinthians 11:25? Is that wrong too? What about 2 Corinthians 3:6? Come on, William. For someone who claims to be able to settle the issue simply, you’re not doing a very good job of it. Let me encourage you to use that impressive brain of yours by being more thorough while doing your homework.

      Except for Paul…

      …and there it is. You don’t trust Paul. I get it now. Strike Three, you’re out. You think Paul invented a new kind of Christianity, different from what Jesus taught. Well…get in line. You’re only the latest in a long line who’ve fallen for that ridiculous nonsense. Tell me: if Paul was truly teaching error, would Peter and James and the others in Jerusalem approve of his message? Of course not. Would Peter write that Paul’s words are Scripture? Certainly not. Feel free to entertain a tiny doubt about Paul if you wish…but then erase that doubt when one of Jesus’ closest friends tells you otherwise. You claim that simply reading the Bible will make your case, but you’ve conveniently left out a number of important parts. That’s known as “cherry picking”, and it’s a clear indication of error.

      Paul was included in the NT canon by an already apostate Roman church in the later fourth century.

      It’s sad to see that you’re so gullible. Do your homework, William. Paul’s writings were considered Scripture by Peter, and were considered canonical no later than 130AD. As a side note, you show your ignorance and gullibility when you suggest that the canon was created by Rome. First, that’s a falsehood promoted by Voltaire. Second, the early church councils only formally recognized the canon, acknowledging what the early church already knew to be Scripture. They didn’t decide what was or wasn’t Scripture…and they did this in response to heresy, not because they were apostate.

      As I suggested above, William: I’m not ducking the issues you raise. It would have been much easier to just delete your comment than to write this lengthy reply. The purpose of GodWords is to help people understand who God is (by understanding the Bible) and to help people trust Him as a result. Your comment was so lengthy and so full of error that I considered it dangerous for immature believers, and for gullible seekers. Rather than let you introduce so much doubt about things already well-established, I found utility in your comment by addressing the issues. You may not like what I’ve done, but it’s not your call. Feel free to comment on my reply, of course. I welcome dissent…but I don’t publish things that are likely to cause people to stumble.

      I wish you well.

  29. William says:

    Wow, that was quite the hatchet job Tony! Okay, I get it, this is your site, and you probably are annoyed by my return and my argumentation. However, I think a good debater who is comfortable in his position should be able to allow a dissenting opinion without censoring it. If this isn’t the place for that, may I invite you to debate this topic elsewhere?

    My post was full of scripture that you have censored. What is so scary about scripture that you have to censor it? If it’s easy to refute, leave it and refute it. Your readers are smart enough to sort through it and make their own decision, don’t you think?

    I’ll briefly respond to the points you’ve made despite your censorship of my original points.

    The word “olam” in the old testament you admit can mean “for ever” and “perpetual” or “long duration” and “indefinite future”. How then do you suppose one is to recognize when such a period of time has passed? Can anyone come along and say it’s done on a whim? Why do translators translate it everlasting or forever? Is the rainbow still a sign of the covenant between God and the earth?

    Isaiah 56 is not for gentiles living in Israel alone. Numbers 15 addresses that case and is specific. Isaiah 56 is about any foreigner who wants to draw near to God. There is absolutely nothing contextual indicating it applies only to those living in Israel. Are you suggesting that a gentile in those days who wanted to draw near to God was REQUIRED to move to Israel?

    Regarding instances in the NT of “new covenant”, perhaps I could have more accurately stated that there were two overall sources or instances in the NT regarding a new covenant. Obviously when I said there were only two mentions, when there are three total instances of the event one of them came from in the gospels alone, it should be apparent I’m not talking about a count of each mention of the same source. I tend to disregard Pauls’ writings, but when he refers to a new covenant he’s either repeating what he believe Jesus said at the last supper, or basing his statement on it. I lump all of that into a single “source” for the christian understanding that a new covenant has arrived.

    Read Hebrews 8:13, the other “source”, where it’s obvious the writer understands the new covenant is not here yet. Clearly he things it’s right around the corner with Jesus’ return, but he clearly knows it’s not here yet. That’s because the Jeremiah 31 prophecy of the new covenant is quite clear about when it will happen, and it hadn’t yet (and still hasn’t).

    You want to say the new covenant prophecy in Jeremiah doesn’t mean the whole Torah, but the hebrew there says Torah! That the same word found throughout the entire old testament that has one very specific meaning that is incontrovertible. Thus the new covenant, which is still in the future, is still Torah-centric. No way around it. There is no grounds for assuming there is a new covenant under which christians live that does not require Torah observance. You either accept Torah or you drop a new covenant application to christianity.

    Regarding Acts 15. Please explain to me why ANY requirements were made of gentiles entering this faith? If Torah did not apply to gentiles, then there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to require of them. And yet, they required them to observe four restrictions taken directly from Torah!! If gentiles were not subject to Torah, they wouldn’t have required anything of them whatsoever. Please be logical! Further, there is absolutely no reason to mention the law being taught in synagogue on the Sabbath in the same passage if it were not understood that gentiles would be learning it. Sheesh, it’s not rocket science.

    Regarding Peter considering Paul’s words scripture–surely you are aware that the authorship of II Peter was contested? It’s highly unlikely Peter wrote II Peter. Eusebius said “One epistle of Peter, that called the first, is acknowledged as genuine. And this the ancient elders used freely in their own writings as an undisputed work. But we have learned that his extant second Epistle does not belong to the canon; yet, as it has appeared profitable to many, it has been used with the other Scriptures.”

    So, do you accept the invitation to move this debate elsewhere? If so I’ll suggest a venue, provided you allow a link to it so your readers can be spectators.

    • Tony says:

      Wow, that was quite the hatchet job Tony! Okay, I get it, this is your site, and you probably are annoyed by my return and my argumentation.

      Nope. I’m not annoyed in the least. I’m happy to hear from you.

      However, I think a good debater who is comfortable in his position should be able to allow a dissenting opinion without censoring it.

      This isn’t a debate, William. I don’t claim to be a good debater. I allow dissenting opinions on my website because they let me provide clarification, so more people can understand who God is, so more people can trust Him with their lives. Every once in a while, the opportunity presented by a dissenting opinion comes bundled with an opportunity for added confusion. My goal is not open debate, but illumination.

      …may I invite you to debate this topic elsewhere?

      I appreciate the invitation (I really do). At the moment, I must decline…my plate is overflowing.

      My post was full of scripture that you have censored.

      That cracks me up. Why would I “censor” Scripture? I spend most of my time here trying to get people to read more Scripture, not less. You’ve simply misunderstood, believe me.

      The word “olam” in the old testament you admit can mean “for ever” and “perpetual” or “long duration” and “indefinite future”.

      I don’t want to be nitpicky, but there’s no “admitting” on my part. I simply supplied the accepted definitions of the word. We shouldn’t grudgingly admit the truth…we should wholeheartedly embrace it.

      How then do you suppose one is to recognize when such a period of time has passed?

      That’s a good question. When a word has more than one meaning, the only way to determine which meaning was intended by the author is to read the word in its original context. If that immediate context doesn’t make the meaning abundantly clear, expand the context. If needed, expand the context to the whole Bible and to extrabiblical sources that help explain the culture and language. This is nothing new…this is the most basic tenet of biblical interpretation. How do New Testament scholars know whether to interpret DOULOS as “slave” or as “servant”? Context…and even then it’s not entirely simple.

      Why do translators translate it everlasting or forever?

      You’d have to ask each translation team. Why did the KJV translation team translate RE’EM as “unicorn”? I’m not being sarcastic, William. Every translator makes difficult decisions in their attempt to make words from one language clear to readers of another language. My point in showing the different definitions of OWLAM was not to prove you wrong, but to show that making doctrine from unclear passages is a really bad idea. As the old maxim goes, we should let clear verses interpret unclear verses. If there’s a question about a word or phrase, we should seek corroboration from the context. Your claim, that the sabbath is permanent, rests on the assumption that a word means exactly what you think it means. The word has a variety of definitions, and New Testament passages contradict your conclusions…but instead of correcting your assumptions with more Scripture, you simply reject clarifying passages in favor of your pet theory. That’s not a responsible way to handle Scripture, my friend.

      Isaiah 56 is not for gentiles living in Israel alone.

      That’s not explicit in the text, but it’s certainly implicit. At that point, one could not serve God without following the Mosaic law…which included being part of Israelite community. That means being within a sabbath’s walk of a synagogue, for example, and being near a MIKVAH. At its heart, the Mosaic covenant was tied to the promised land. Read the conditional promises God made to the Israelites and you’ll see what I mean. Most of them are related to physical prosperity in a specific location. For example: in Malachi 3, God promised to bless those who tithe. What would they get? Crops, vines, and fruits. The result of this blessing is that “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. I commend you for your interest in understanding the Scriptures, William. Let me encourage you to dig a little deeper before drawing final conclusions about what you read.

      Numbers 15…

      …is entirely within the context of the promised land. This passage was written for the whole Israelite community and the foreigners residing among them. Note vv 2, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, and 30. Also note that a “foreigner” was not someone who lived in another land, but a foreign convert to Judaism who chose to live in Israel, in community.

      I tend to disregard Pauls’ writings…

      …and you have no sound basis for doing so. As I pointed out, Paul’s writings were considered canonical within 100 or so years of Jesus’ death. You may cite conspiracy theories if you wish, but you will not be in good company. Let’s rule out 2 Peter, for the sake of discussion. All we need is Acts. Do you dispute Luke’s account, where the Apostles in Jerusalem approve of Paul and his message? You see, the idea that Paul created a new kind of Christianity, separate from what Jesus and His disciples taught, isn’t built on all of the available evidence. If you discount Paul, you must also discount Luke. Are you willing to do that?

      Read Hebrews 8:13…the new covenant is not here yet.

      I’ve read it. You’ve read it. I know something about it that you’ve apparently missed, so I’m happy to share it with you. Let’s look directly at the verse:

      By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

      Don’t just glance at it. Look at it carefully. Who is “he”, and what has he done? “He” is God, of course. He made the first covenant obsolete. The Greek verb is PALAIOO, and it’s used in its Perfect Active Indicative form. The perfect tense in Greek is used to describe an action that has been completed in the past, once for all, and does not need to be repeated. The active voice simply refers to the “do-er” of the action, who is God. The indicative mood says that the action is a simply statement of fact, saying that it really has occurred. Let’s put that all together: it was God who actually finished making the first covenant obsolete. The second part of the sentence doesn’t suggest that the old covenant was still in force…it’s a general statement about the nature of obsolete things.

      You want to say the new covenant prophecy in Jeremiah doesn’t mean the whole Torah…incontrovertible…Torah-centric…

      First, it’s not I who “wants to say” that. Look at Jeremiah 31 for yourself, without adding your own definitions to it. Take the text as the truth and dig into it to discern its meaning. Don’t just read what I write and respond…do your homework. You seem to think that Torah is simply, and only, the Mosaic Law. That’s not just wrong, it’s completely wrong. Torah can mean a whole bunch of things. The word appears in Genesis 26, long before the Mosaic covenant was made. It’s a general word that means law, direction, and instruction. Note Jeremiah 31:32, where God says that the New Covenant will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt. That covenant, of course, is the Mosaic covenant. Let me point out the obvious: you say that the New Covenant will incontrovertibly be Mosaic Law-centric, but God says the opposite. Let me encourage you to be a little more curious about whether what you believe holds water, William. Go directly to the Scriptures and study them…then adjust your beliefs based on a clear understanding of what you find there.

      Regarding Acts 15. Please explain to me why ANY requirements were made of gentiles entering this faith? If Torah did not apply to gentiles, then there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to require of them. And yet, they required them to observe four restrictions taken directly from Torah!!

      You ask a good question here. Let’s look at the context…what was happening? Jews were telling Gentiles that they had to be circumcised – the sign of the covenant – to be saved (v1). That made some sense, of course…and this conflict was causing division in the church. We see this in Titus as well, by the way. Now, if the Judaizers were right, what would the Jerusalem council have written? Why, they would have insisted that Gentiles be circumcised! They did not. Remember that to break one part of the Law was to break it all…so if the Law applied to Gentile believers, they were required to keep the whole law. You say “please be logical!”…right back at you, William. It’s not logical that Jews, who were required to keep the whole law, would suggest that the salvation of Gentiles depended on them being obedient to only part of the law. You suggest that the Gentiles would learn to obey the whole law over time. That suggestion holds no water. Foreign converts to Judaism were not given a pass, where they could observe parts of the law until they had time to figure out the rest. They were expected to obey the whole law, as every Jew was.

      Again, context matters. The context was the conflict between Jews and Gentiles in the same community. The resolution to the conflict was not for Gentiles to keep a tiny portion of the law, but to reduce the conflict by making sure to do those four things. The further context includes Paul telling believers that it’s okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Why in the world would Paul say that if Gentiles were to keep the law? He wouldn’t, of course. The prohibition wasn’t a spiritual law, it was to avoid unnecessary conflict in that particular setting.

      I hope you can see that your initial assessment of me wasn’t quite accurate. I have no problem engaging, and am not ‘scared’ of Scripture. I appreciate you taking the time to write, and hope you’ll take at least the same time to read, and to double-check what you and I believe by digging further into the Scriptures. Don’t just trust some teacher you’ve heard…do your own homework. Please hear me: I don’t have all of the answers, and I’ve never pretended to. The reason I “censored” your comment was that you cast significant doubt on matters that have been settled, and I do not wish to confuse my readers in the interest of “debate”. You’ve provided plenty of opportunities for teaching here, and I’m grateful. I hope that those who read this in the future (and that number is pretty significant) will benefit from our discussion.

      • TheRealReligion says:

        You’re so full of shit and lost any ounce of credibility. Don’t hide behind censorship or fancy talk. Reinstate his censored post please. Let everyone see what he had to say. Confusing or not it doesn’t matter; any reader who is willing to scroll down through these wall of texts can discern for themselves. We’re not idiots please. By heavily editing his post you pretty much killed what he had to say. If you really wanted “illumination” then you would have at least gave the guy the chance to paraphrase himself or at least attempt to paraphrase and seek his validation of correctness.

        Why are you afraid of argumentation here? Wdf do you even mean with your plate being too full? If you can’t even defend yourself easily, don’t you think your faith might be built on unstable ground?

        • Tony says:

          Dear TRR:

          Nope.

          You say I’ve lost credibility. That suggests I had some to lose. Did you consider me credible, only to change your mind? I doubt that’s the case. Instead, I have confidence that this claim is false.

          You say I’ve hidden behind censorship. This is patently false, and especially so in the case of William’s comment. There’s no question that I censored his comment, of course…but there’s also no question as to whether I was hiding in the process. Instead, I engaged all of his concerns and encouraged him to comment further. This is pretty much the opposite of hiding.

          You say I’ve hidden behind fancy talk. I try to avoid fancy talk, preferring instead to speak carefully and plainly. If you could point to some of this fancy talk, I’d be happy to rewrite those portions for clarity. People from all over the world read GodWords, and my goal is not to impress anyone with – or to hide behind – fancy talk. My goal is to make things plain and clear. Your input here would be greatly appreciated.

          I can’t restore his original comment, and I wouldn’t if I could. As I said to William, I didn’t take that decision lightly. I assumed that he might dislike my decision, and I’m pleased that he continued to discuss the issues. Because this was between me and William, your opinion on this matter means less than nothing. No offense, but it’s none of your business. When I censor one of your comments, you’ll be in a better position to whine about it.

          You say that it doesn’t matter if William’s post was confusing. On this we disagree. My actions were intended to clarify the issues and, as you can see from the discussion that followed, I was at least marginally successful. As I told William, you might be surprised at some of the sincere questions that I get from GodWords readers. Questions like, “Is it okay for churches to work together?” and, “Is it okay to cut my hair?”. Many of my readers have little education, and I keep them in mind when I write any article, or approve any comment.

          You say you’re not an idiot. I don’t know you, so I’ll have to take your word for it. 😉

          No, I didn’t kill what he had to say. You should read more carefully. Scroll up and see our continued discussion. William was free to disagree, and free to continue writing errors if he wished. Your hyperbole is really quite hyperbolic, I must say.

          Were you to look around my website further, you would see that I’m not afraid of argumentation. Your comment, and this reply, are strong evidence that you are thoroughly, completely, entirely, wholly, fully, – and several other words from my thesaurus – wrong.

          As for defending myself, I have no interest. I’m not here to make myself look good, or to prove that I’m right. I’m here to explain as best I can what Christianity is, to clarify what Christianity is not, and to answer questions for those who want answers. While I’m sure you’re an amazing person with whom I might enjoy an ice cold Dr Pepper and a rousing discussion, I really couldn’t care less about what you think of me. If you’d like to discuss something related to your beliefs or mine, let me know. If you’d like to write back and explain in detail how my decision to censor William’s comment was wrong, or unethical, or sinful, or stupid, I’ll be here. Maybe I’ll censor your comment, just to see what happens. Smile! In the meantime, you might take a moment to consider the fact that I posted your disagreement, your personal attacks, and your complaints without changing a word…and that I replied at length. This might indicate, for an open-minded kind of person, that you are indeed incorrect in your assessments.

  30. Lupe Baptist says:

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

  31. Shar says:

    Hi Tony,
    just curious about all you were saying about the Sabbath and the 10 commandments. This has been an issues for many years because some people feels that the Sabbath is the most important law from the 10 Ten Commandments but according to the Scripture in Mathew 22: 35-40. It talks about the two greatest commandments which hang all the law and prophets given by Jesus to his disciples. Is that different from the situation about the Sabbath?

    • Tony says:

      Shar:

      Thanks for writing! The Sabbath was indeed very, very important. That’s why breaking the sabbath was punishable by death…it was a big deal.

      When the Pharisees, who specialized in the Law, asked Jesus which commandment was most important, they were testing Him. Consider this: had Jesus said that the sabbath was the greatest command, they could have said that He was a false teacher. After all, wouldn’t the first commandment be most important? You know, to worship only the One True God?

      Jesus didn’t really answer their question, did He? They wanted Him to pick one. He didn’t pick one. He explained that the whole law could be summed up very simply.

      This passage doesn’t invalidate any of the previous commands. It explained them. The Law was still in force at that time, as Jesus had not yet fulfilled the Law. When He died for us, the Law was fulfilled.

      Does that answer your question?

  32. Ben says:

    About nailing the law to the cross/post (tauros) here is some insight about colossians 2.

    [Edit: links removed…see my response]

    Matthiew 5: 17-19
    17Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. 18For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.…

    You think you honor God by these teachings?

    • Tony says:

      Ben:

      Yes, I do think I honor God by these teachings. If I didn’t, I would teach something else.

      I removed the links you posted. Maybe you’re wondering why. It’s simple: I don’t want GodWords readers to be confused by the content. Don’t get me wrong…I agreed with almost all of it. Well, I didn’t watch the hour-long video. I watched the 12-minute video, and thought it was well done. I didn’t take notes, but it seems the only things I disagreed with are the conspiracy theory and the idea that we are still under the Law. I would refer you to another article, Should Christians Follow Old Testament Laws?. In it, I point out the plain and simple fact that we are, most definitely, not under the Law. In fact, the Law never applied to anyone but the ancient Israelites.

      It’s easy to argue about a verse here and a verse there, suggesting that Christians may actually be under the Law…until you actually read more Scripture. After you read the article, let me know what you think about being under the Law. Thanks!

      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)

      We are not under the Law. (Romans 6:14)

      We have been released from the Law. (Romans 7:6)

      There’s plenty more. Check it out.

  33. Horace Miles says:

    Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
    8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
    9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
    10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
    11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

    TMH said the new covenant is the laws written in your mind and in your heart. In your mind to know them and in your heart to have the will to do them.

    If you are in Christ and you have the faith of Abraham then you are the seed of faithful Abraham. If are the faithful seed of Abraham then have you been made a citizens of the nation of Israel. If you are a citizen of the nation of Israel then you must keep the laws of the nation of Israel.

    The law was not done away with, it is suppose to be written in your mind and in your heart. For what is sin?
    1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    As you can see this was not changed. If you don’t break the law you are not subject to the law. But if you break it, you are again subject to it. If you keep the law you can not be judged of the law, but if you break it the judges you.

    Just as TMH put a test on Israel by leaving some of the peoples of the nations in the land to see if Israel would follow them or keep his commandments. He has also put a test in the New Testament called the law of liberty, to see if it is in your heart to keep his commandments or if you will take the liberty to break them. Because it is in your heart to break them, you will interpret the scriptures to give you the right to break them. But you know in your heart that keeping them is pleasing unto him. Why do you think He gave them to us, to be burdensome? REPENT!

    • Tony says:

      Hello, Horace! Thanks for commenting.

      There’s a flaw in your logic that needs to be pointed out. It’s about the relationship of the believer to the nation of Israel. God made a covenant with Abraham, and all those who follow Him by faith are part of the Abrahamic covenant. You seem to understand that part. The Mosaic covenant, which came later, was only with the descendants of Jacob. This covenant included laws that civil Israel needed to be obedient, and to flourish. These laws were, as we see from the context, for those people at that time and in that place. Nobody else was included in this covenant…and neither you nor I are included, either. I am not subject to the laws of the nation of Israel because I was never part of that covenant. As Paul wrote again and again, we who follow Christ are not under the law. Even those who were at one time under the law were no longer. The law was a temporary tutor, and when Christ came there was no longer a need for the Law, as the righteous “shall live by faith.” The Mosaic Law was not suddenly written on everyone’s hearts, or everybody would know not to eat shellfish, or work on a sabbath, or mix two kinds of cloth together. The Law was good, but the Law also became a curse. Those who seek to be justified by following the Law are severed, or cut off, or alienated from Christ (Galatians 5:3).

      You may say that I (and most of the rest of Christians throughout history) have misinterpreted the Scriptures, but that doesn’t make it so. We must not take any of the Bible in isolation…but use the whole of Scripture to understand God’s message. You ignore the many places where we are told that the Mosaic Law is no longer applicable, and seek to be righteous by inserting yourself into a covenant between God and other people. I welcome further discussion, to help you understand the Scriptures more clearly.

      • Horace Miles says:

        Thank you for the reply, let me do this from a different perspective then, as it would take too long to explain why also applies to the world from a Hebrew perspective. So let us go back to the begging and see “exactly” what the sabbath is in observance of.

        Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

        Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

        2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

        3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

        In the above verse we are told that YAH saw every thing he had made and behold it was very good. He was happy with the work and rested from it. This was before any nations and it would be safe to assume that He also showed those righteous seed of Adam to observe it. Having nothing to with any nation. Let’s prove this out in the instructions that He gave to Israel in Ex 20:10-11

        Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

        11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

        In verse 10 YAH tells the nation of Israel what not to do on the sabbath and in verse 11 this is key, he tells them why they are to observe it (keep it), because in six days YAH made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is,and rested the seventh day. He commanded Israel to remember the creation and how He had done it in six days and He YAH rest or had a holiday. Israel was suppose to remember and reflect on all that YAH did in those six days and rejoice in it as well. YAH is telling Israel do this in rememberance of Me. Honour me and observe what I have done. However, if you think about it, shouldn’t all mankind rejoice in YAH’s creation? He has command this be remembered once a week. This is the observance. It applies to all mankind. In Isaiah 58:13, YAH says if we keep the sabbath and stay away from doing our own pleasure on HIS holy day. (If it is Holy to the Most High, why not to the rest of the word?) and call the sabbath a delight, Holy of YAH (Holy to God but not to the rest of the world?), honourable and shall honour him, (if you we don’t keep it we(mankind) dishonour him.) and not doing our own ways nor finding our own pleasure, nor speaking our own words. Why wouldn’t every person that claims to worship the God of the bible not honour him in this way?

        Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

        In revelation 11:18 YAH is returning to destroy all those that honour not his creation. The reason they don’t honour it is because they have not honoured Him and His creation and thought that they have dominion to do with it as they please.
        Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

        Let us remember that all things are created for His pleasure not ours and we(the world) are suppose to be in observance of these things every Sabbath.

        Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

        Peace and blessings.

        • Tony says:

          Thanks for your reply, Horace. I like to keep things simple, if possible. Sometimes it’s not possible, but too often we complicate things. I’ll try to be brief:

          >> it would be safe to assume that He also showed those righteous seed of Adam to observe it.

          No, it would not be safe to assume this. In fact, it’s quite unsafe to make this kind of assumption. What you suggest is no small thing…in fact, it’s the biggest thing of all. You say that everybody should obey the Mosaic Law, and the apostles Paul, Peter, James, John, and others (like Luke) disagree with you. That’s a serious problem.

          >> However, if you think about it, shouldn’t all mankind rejoice in YAH’s creation?

          Yes, we should rejoice in it. Does that mean to follow the Torah? No, it does not. Each of your examples is seriously flawed. First, you suggest that God’s rest creates a command…but no command was given. Second, you use the creation of the Mosaic covenant as evidence that sabbath-keeping is for everyone. That’s silly. Then you use examples, all from those who were under the Law, to suggest that those outside the Mosaic covenant were under the Mosaic covenant. Your logic has some elephant-sized holes in it, my friend.

          >> Peace and blessings.

          Thank you! I appreciate that very much. Please don’t take my disagreement on a very serious matter to be dislike for you. Nothing is further from the truth. I’m glad you’re here, talking about important things. I hope that together we can responsibly handle God’s Word and agree that our devotion should be to Him, and not to our own preconceived ideas.

          Now, to make things as simple as possible, I will again appeal to God’s Word. You have yet to address Paul’s words…you know, the ones that tell Christians that they are not under the Law. The ones that explain that the Law was temporary, and that it is no longer needed. Let me suggest that this be the subject of your next reply, as it seems rather important for settling a disagreement. Thanks!

          • Horace Miles says:

            Thank you Tony, I will be happy to address that very topic. But let me just make a simple observation before I come with scripture. When do you become subject to a law? Is it when you break or when you keep it?

            I will respond to this with scripture when I have the time to do so. Thanks for the encouraging words.

            Miles

          • Tony says:

            Miles:

            Good question. Simple answer: you become subject to a law when the lawmaker, who has authority over you, makes the law and applies it to you.

            An example: I live in the United States of America. We drive on the right-hand side of the roads. In England, they drive on the left-hand side of the roads. I am not subject to England’s law when I break it by driving on the right, and I would not be subject to England’s law were I to keep it by driving on the left. England’s laws do not apply to me. Only America’s laws apply to me, because the American government has authority over those who drive on the roads. Continuing the example: I drive on America’s roads, but I no longer have a commercial license. Drivers transporting hazardous materials must renew their commercial license every two years. While this is an American law about driving on the roads, this law does not apply to me. I only have to renew my license every 10 years.

            I am not a descendant of Jacob, nor did I convert to Judaism in the centuries before Christ. The Mosaic Law never has applied to me, and – now that it is obsolete – it will never apply to me, nor to you or anyone else.

            It was a nice try, though. =)

          • nancy bolduc says:

            you are grafted into the naturel vine you say the roman cathlic church is revelation beast mother of arlots you tithe you have rules bylaws of dress yet you disregard the fourth
            and yes worship on sunday but to me its agrement with the world church why noy just worship on saturday why agree with rome

          • Tony says:

            I don’t know who you’re taking to, Nancy. You’ve replied to me, but what you wrote doesn’t describe me.

          • Jennifer says:

            Tony,

            What Nancy is saying is that you claim the very thing God told you now to be. “Lawless.” You believe the 10 commandments are obsolete. If you go to church on sunday then you have chosen to follow the roman law and she is asking why not choose God’s law over a roman law? Even if all of us are wrong that the Sabbath isn’t to be observed by the gentiles, why not just observe Saturday because it is mentioned with FAR more importance then the Roman law of Sunday worship. That is an awful lot of energy spent to disapprove something that God says the punishment is death. I don’t know about you but I lovingly fear the Lord. Also, you would be wise to choose a different bible to study from. The closest and most accurate translation for the bible is going to be the NKJV or KJV. Especially when you are debating theology.

          • Tony says:

            Jennifer:

            Thanks for trying to help. I appreciate the effort. There are several things in your reply that I’d like to address:

            LAWLESS
            When you say that I’m lawless, you’re right. Sort of. I’m lawless in the same way that Paul taught that all Christians are lawless. This isn’t something I made up to please myself…it’s all over the New Testament.

            Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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 3:23-25)

            The Bible couldn’t be any clearer: we are not under the Law. What is “the Law”? It is – clearly, from Scripture – the Ten Commandments and all of the laws and regulations that came from them. There are plenty of other explanations about the Law no longer being in effect. You can read a few of them in another article on GodWords, Should Christians Follow Old Testament Laws?. Jews are no longer under the Mosaic Law, and non-Jews (Gentiles) were never under the Law. This was a big issue in the early church, as we see in places like Acts 15 and Titus and Galatians.

            ROMAN LAW
            This is silly. The first Christians honored “the Lord’s day” from the very beginning. We see this in Scripture, and in writings from before Constantine was born. What Constantine did was to decriminalize Christianity (ending official state persecution of Christians and granting tolerance for all religions), returned stolen church property, abolished crucifixion, and later make Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. On March 7, 321 he declared Sunday an official day of rest. He didn’t change Saturday worship to Sunday worship, but recognized what Christians had been doing for almost 200 years. You’ve been listening to people who haven’t done their history homework, Jennifer. Don’t believe them…and don’t believe me: do your own homework and see for yourself that this whole “Roman law” thing is a silly thing to believe.

            EVEN IF, ENERGY
            Here, your logic is seriously flawed. You say that we should do something even if we are wrong about it. That’s nonsense, of course. If we’re going to teach something, we should just do our homework and teach the truth, rather than throw up our hands and say, “Oh well…let’s just do it wrong, and teach error, forever.” The Bereans were commended in Scripture for double-checking what Paul taught. Be like a Berean, Jennifer.

            BIBLES
            You should feel free to read either the KJV or the NKJV. Both are good Bibles, and can teach you what you need to know about your relationship to God. You’ve gone farther than that, of course…you’ve made a claim: that “the closest and most accurate translation for the bible” is one of those two Bibles. This is obviously false, as anyone who has done even a tiny amount of homework can tell you. First, the “V” in both names stands for “version.” That means that neither is a translation…the same goes for the NIV, ISV, and NCV. Bibles ending with a “B” (like the NASB, CEB, LEB and WEB) are direct translations, while V Bibles are not. They are produced by different translation methods. “B” Bibles are generally word-for-word translations, while “V” Bibles are thought-for-thought translations. Let’s not pretend that you know what you’re talking about here. When you’re debating theology, you should do your homework FIRST.

            DEBATING THEOLOGY
            It’s worth mentioning that you haven’t debated theology here. You’ve only expressed opinions. Debating theology requires us to go to the source: the Bible. When you can produce Bible verses that teach what you claim, then we can begin debating theology. Until then, you’re just disagreeing with theology because it contradicts your opinions.

            Please: don’t confuse my disagreement with dislike! I want you to reply, and – if you can – prove me wrong. I want to be right, and I’ll owe you a debt if you can teach me where I’ve gone wrong. You might start by explaining how, in the Galatians passage above, we ARE under the Law in spite of what Paul wrote. Can you do that? Thanks!

  34. Ritesh says:

    When Jesus said “Love God and keep his commandments, and love your neighbor as yourself”; didn’t he clarify on what is to be done? If we take a closer look at the Ten Commandments; we see how the first four talks about our love to God, and the remaining six talks about how to treat our fellow humans. So, my questions is, if we’re keeping the rest of the commandments, why are you so insistent on “the Sabbath” not being important anymore?

    P.S. I actually skimmed through most of the comments and did spend a good amount of time on few of the comments (it was interesting). Even though, i am a born Seventh-Day Adventist, i never really paid so much attention to the Sabbath until recently. But, I’m starting to learn now that God has a plan for each one of us.

    • Tony says:

      Ritesh:

      I’m sorry to have written so poorly that you’ve misunderstood. It’s not that I think the sabbath is unimportant. It’s that the sabbath is no longer needed. God didn’t establish sabbaths for no reason…He had a purpose. The primary purpose for sabbaths was foreshadowing. That is, to point to some future event. As Colossians 2 points out, the Israelite festivals and sabbaths were a “shadow” that all pointed to Jesus. Now that Jesus has come, we have the reality and don’t need the shadow.

      The concept of sabbath is still important. It helps us understand God’s plan better, even though that part of the plan is no longer needed. The ten commandments, if you look at the text of Exodus 20, was part of a covenant that God made with the children of Israel. Gentiles were never part of that covenant. While the ten commandments are all good, they’re not to be used as a guide for Christians. There are plenty of places in the New Testament that explain how Jews are no longer under the Law, and that explain how the law of the spirit is better than the law written on stone.

      You suggest that I’m being inconsistent, applying the rest of the ten commandments and ignoring the sabbath. That’s understandable. There’s no inconsistency, though: as a Christian I have the Holy Spirit (who is God Himself) dwelling in me. He convicts me of sin, guides me into righteousness, and transforms me to be more like Jesus. That is all anyone needs.

      I hope you will continue to study the idea of sabbath. It’s important to use ALL of the Bible to make sure we’re not missing something important. Those who insist that modern Christians (or Jews) need to observe the Old Testament sabbath simply don’t account for everything the Bible says about the subject. Let me know what you think.

      • Ritesh says:

        Hi Tony,

        I don’t think Jesus ever said that ‘The Sabbath day’ shouldn’t be observed from here on, now that he’s here. I think ‘The Sabbath Day’ was always important to God and we see a proof of that even during the days of creation. The only two institutions God established before humanity sinned was; ‘The Sabbath’ and ‘Marriage’ (The Union between a Husband and Wife). Also, i don’t think Adam & Eve were Israelites by any stretch of my imagination. So, your argument that the Sabbath was only and exclusively made for the Israelites doesn’t seem to be backed up in the bible. Additionally, since you said that you are a follower of Christ. Didn’t Christ keep the Sabbath?

        Just out of Curiosity, If you mind my asking, Which day of the week do you go to the Church then? You don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to. Moreover, I’m convinced that my rebuttal won’t be near enough to change your views. But, i do pray for you and hope that despite all these years of studying the bible, you will look at ‘The sabbath Day’ a little bit differently. BTW, Jesus said that he never came to abolish the law, but to fulfill them. My point is: When you think God gave the Ten Commandments exclusively to Israel, Why are we (Gentiles) only adhering to the other 9 commandments, but the Sabbath (4th Commandment) according to you is just for the Israelites?

        Thanks,

        • Tony says:

          Ritesh:

          No, Jesus never said that anyone should stop observing sabbaths. That’s the point of including Colossians 2 in this conversation: Paul teaches specifically that sabbaths were shadows of things to come, and that we no longer need the shadows because we have the reality.

          It’s important to think through these things carefully. What is a sabbath? It is, basically, stopping. God stopped creating in Genesis because His work was done. That’s not a spiritual thing at all…it just means He was finished. The Sabbath (as observed in the Old Testament) is simply a remembrance – a commemoration – of that event. It’s good to ask, “Why would God insist that everyone, forever, remember that He stopped doing something?” Don’t you think there must be more to it? Well, there is more to it. There’s nothing special at all about the fact that God stopped creating when He was finished creating. What makes it special is that God used His stopping as a way of teaching His people to look forward to something better. This something better isn’t a day off, where we worship the God we cannot see. This something better is personal, spiritual communion with Him today, and face-to-face communion with Him forever in Heaven.

          There is no command in Scripture to observe a sabbath until God gave the Law to Moses. If you read Exodus 20 you can see this for yourself. God was establishing a covenant between Himself and the descendants of Jacob (Israel), and this covenant didn’t include Egyptians or Medes or Australians or Persians or Brits or anyone else. Despite this fact, many Christians believe that they are part of that covenant. We are not. As the New Testament makes clear, we are not heirs of Moses and the Law, but of Abraham and God’s promise to him.

          My local congregation schedules their worship services for Sundays. That’s irrelevant, of course. Some have Saturday evening services, some Wednesdays, some Fridays. It doesn’t matter at all. Jesus fulfilled the Law, which is why the Sabbath no longer needed. The remembrance of the Sabbath has become a reality for those who follow Jesus. Galatians 3:24-25 explains this: 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.

          God did not give the Ten Commandments to anyone but the children of Israel. Simply reading the text of Exodus makes this plain. Because of this, only those people were bound by those commands. Let me be more clear: not only is the Law obsolete but Christians, who were never under the Law, should not use the Ten Commandments (or any of the laws that came from them) as a guide for living. Why? Because 1) the Law is obsolete, and 2) we have the Holy Spirit living in us. We don’t need the “ministry of death” that was “engraved in letters on stone” because we have received what the Law was designed to point us to: Jesus Himself! Read 2 Corinthians 3…the whole chapter. See the comparison between the old and the new, and how much better the new is.

          Please don’t misunderstand me, Ritesh. I’m very open to correction. I’m more than willing to be shown my errors…I’m eager! You will have difficulty changing my mind because the Scriptures are plain, from front to back. This isn’t a topic that’s taught very well in most churches, but I wish it were. Many sincere followers of Jesus are confused about which parts of the Law apply to them and which do not. It’s been that way from the beginning, as we can see in the Bible. There are plenty of passages explaining that Christians need not observe the Law…they simply need to be read to be understood. Please don’t hesitate to reply after reading them, as I would love to hear more of your thoughts. If I’m wrong, and you correct me, I will be in your debt.

          Have a great day!

  35. Caleb says:

    Hello,

    I’m a mainline Protestant who has always worshipped on Sundays and have done my best to maintain the holiness of the day. I came to this site via a Google Search, as I was curious as to why my denomination and so many others that claim sola scriptura would observe the first day as opposed to the seventh day. From reading earlier comments, I have gathered that your argument is that Christ has fulfilled Mosaic Law and that we as Gentiles are not called to adhere to any of the 10 Commandments or 613 laws outlined by Moses in the Torah. If this is the case, do we as Christians today also have no obligation to “honor our father and mother”, to “not take the Lord’s name in vain”, to “not covet”, etc? Are then the teachings of my church that call for adherence to the 10 Commandments inaccurate? I would appreciate any guidance you could give. Thank you.

    • Tony says:

      Caleb:

      Thanks for writing!

      You seem to have understood my position, generally. Let me rephrase it for you, to make sure small – but important – details aren’t missed. The old covenant is no longer in force. The terms of the covenant are irrelevant, especially to those, like modern Gentiles, who were never included in the covenant at all.

      A covenant is a binding agreement. You and I were never bound by the old covenant.

      That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn from it, of course. When we explore the Torah (a group of Jewish books) and read what was written in the Law (the 10 commandments that God have to the descendants of Israel), we can learn tons about who God is, what God has done, why God does things, and so on. I would suggest that one can’t understand who Jesus is, and what He came to do, without first understanding what came before…from the curse and promise in Genesis to the intertestimental period. It’s all good, and it’s all relevant.

      The key to understanding Scripture is context. When we read each passage in its original context, we can understand it better. Go to Exodus 20 and read about the giving of the 10 Commandments. Read what God said, and to whom He said it, and why. You will then begin to understand why the new covenant is so different from the old. Your question isn’t new, Caleb…the first-century church struggled over how much of the Law, if any, gentile converts to Christianity must observe. The answer is now, and was then, ABSOLUTELY NONE. This is shown in multiple places, along with a number of very plain statements that we are no longer under the Law.

      To be more precise, Christians are held to a much higher standard than ancient Israelites. They only had to give 10% of their livestock and crops, and the rest was theirs…Christians own nothing, but are only stewards of God’s property. They worshiped on Saturday because they were told to. The early church met daily. I could go on. There’s a flip side to this, of course. We don’t have to go to a temple to sacrifice crops and animals. =)

      Read the Gospels, and see what Jesus taught. Read the rest of the New Testament, and see what Jesus’ first disciples wrote about what He taught. Then get back to me and let me know what you think is missing, that we should go back to the Law and retrieve. My guess is that you’ll find Jesus’ instructions more than sufficient.

  36. Caleb says:

    Thank you for the reply Tony. One piece of Scripture that nags at me is Matthew 5:18-19:

    “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    From 5:17, I can understand how Christ fulfilled the Law in a prophetic sense (as the Messiah) and in a penalty sense (as the sacrifice for our sins), but I’m having trouble understanding how he fulfilled the law in a moral/legal sense, especially when v.18-19 seem to indicate that the Law will stand until the judgment (“everything is accomplished”).

    I know that Paul and James decide that Gentiles do not need to adhere to the Law in Acts 15, but I still see Paul himself constantly returning to churches on the Sabbath throughout Acts to discuss Christ with others. I’m obviously not trying to dispute their decisions in Acts 15, I’m just wondering how they got from Point A (Jesus in Matthew) to Point B. I guess I also really need to know how exactly Christ reinterpreted the Law in a moral/legal sense when He explicitly states that none of the Law should be changed until “heaven and earth disappear”.

    • Tony says:

      Caleb:

      Good questions. When we look only at the Matthew 5 passage, we may be confused about what it means. When Jesus said “until everything is accomplished” did He mean the end of time? Did He mean something else? Did He mean that the Law would be in force until His second coming?

      There are rules, or principles, in interpreting the Bible. One principle is that the we use clear Scriptures to help us understand unclear Scriptures. If we find Matthew 5:18-19 a bit unclear, we go to other passages to see if we can gather more information. Jesus spoke of the Law not passing away until something happened. Paul also spoke about the Law…what did he say, and was it more clear? I’ve listed a few of the things Paul wrote about the Law in the article above. I’m not sure how much clearer Scripture could be than in Romans 6 and 7: we are not under the law. We have been released from it. Galatians 3 is equally clear: the Law was temporary, until Jesus came.

      Now that we’ve established our relationship with the Law from a number of very clear passages, we can go back to Matthew 5 and better understand what Jesus meant. He could not have meant that the Law would be in force until the end of time, because Paul directly contradicts that interpretation. When Jesus said “until everything is accomplished, He must have been talking about His death, burial, and resurrection. Don’t be confused by the part about heaven and earth disappearing…that part is conditional, depending on the “until” part. If everything Jesus was talking about was accomplished, then there’s no problem with the Law being considered obsolete.

      Paul returned to the synagogues because that’s where the people were. That’s when they gathered and talked at length about God.

      You also asked about the law being fulfilled in a moral or legal sense. Consider this: the Law was only needed until the Messiah came. Regardless of the details, we know that to be true from more than one clear passage. So, if the Law needed to be fulfilled in a moral or legal sense, it must have been fulfilled in that way. We could talk about all kinds of details if you wish…like Jesus being the final sacrifice, who took away the sins of the world. The requirements of the Law were met in Christ, so there’s nothing left of the Law that needs to remain.

      Make sense?

  37. Jeremiah Schindler says:

    The 10 commandments the lord has given us, shall be established forever. Under Christ, both the jew and gentile have become one. We are to take up our own cross and follow in the path of Jesus. who is man, to take away what the lord has established. Could God not determine the right words to use, if his commandments were to be taken away? Out of hardness of heart and a stiff neck does man pursue his own ways. The lord will not withhold punishment in the day of wrath, for disobedience of his commandments. True followers of Jesus Christ are forgiven their sins through grace, but that grace is vain if they continue in sin. Sin itself is breaking of the 10 commandments. How can you love the lord your god with all your heart mind and soul, but not follow his commandments? By taking one away you break the first as well…..the first is the most important commandment…..

    • Tony says:

      Jeremiah:

      Welcome!

      You seem to be disagreeing with me, so I guess you won’t mind if I disagree right back. =) You’ve made a bunch of claims here, and – as a bible-believing Christian – it seems important to make sure your ideas come from Scripture, rather than from man-made traditions, or one church’s specific theology, or some kind of personal preference. I hope, like the Bereans, you’ll agree with that.

      Where do you read that the 10 commandments shall be established forever? Where do you read that Jews and Gentiles have become one?

      As for the first question, you should probably finish reading the book. You see, the end of the book reveals the rest of the story. The 10 commandments are good, but Christians don’t need them as a guide for daily living. We have the Holy Spirit living in us, and – as Scripture says – the ministry that brought death and condemnation is nowhere near as awesome as what replaced it:

      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!

      As for the second question, we are all “one” in the sense that no kind of person is better, in God’s eyes, than another…Jews aren’t better than Gentiles, masters aren’t better than slaves, men aren’t better than women (Galatians 3:28). We not one in the sense that Christians are to obey the Laws that comprise Judaism. This fact is well-established in the New Testament, in places like Titus 1-2 and Acts 15.

      It’s normal (kind of) to defend what you believe is true. I get that you’re scandalized by what I’ve written. The question is whether, like the Bereans, you will turn to the Scriptures to double-check that it says what I claim it says. I hope you’ll do exactly that, Jeremiah. Think about all of the people you know who, like you, are mistaken about the Law. How much joy will they share with you when they understand the truth of Scripture?

      Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I’m fond of discussions like this one. =)

  38. Jeremiah Schindler says:

    Without the 10 commandments, why would a Christian feel they need forgiveness? also which ones do you feel negatively impact your life?

    • Tony says:

      Jeremiah:

      Certainly the 10 commandments are useful for us to learn how God has interacted with the nation of Israel. As anyone who reads Exodus 20 will see, they are the foundation of God’s covenant with them. I’m not saying they no longer perform a useful function…only that 1) they only applied to the nation of Israel and 2) they no longer apply to anyone, including Jews.

      In John 16:8-11, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit: When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

      Jesus went away so the Holy Spirit could come (v7). Jeremiah prophesied about this in Jeremiah 31:

      “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
      “when I will make a new covenant
      with the people of Israel
      and with the people of Judah.
      It will not be like the covenant
      I made with their ancestors
      when I took them by the hand
      to lead them out of Egypt,
      because they broke my covenant,
      though I was a husband to them,”
      declares the Lord.
      “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
      after that time,” declares the Lord.
      “I will put my law in their minds
      and write it on their hearts.
      I will be their God,
      and they will be my people.
      No longer will they teach their neighbor,
      or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
      because they will all know me,
      from the least of them to the greatest,”
      declares the Lord.
      “For I will forgive their wickedness
      and will remember their sins no more.”

      As we see in the New Testament, this new covenant has replaced the old, as God said it would. The new covenant is not like the one God made with Israel and Judah. Clearly, a covenant unlike the old one cannot be the old one.

      The conviction of the Holy Spirit (who is God) is why both Christians and non-Christians feel they need forgiveness.

      The question of which ones negatively impact me is irrelevant. God commanded all kinds of things that appear to negatively impact us…including sacrificing some of the animals that provide us with food and clothing, giving to others money we could use for our own comfort, forgiving those who hurt us rather than exacting revenge, and so on. God’s commands are not based in our comfort or preferences, so obedience to His commands is not determined by what we like. If I believed that God wanted me to use the 10 commandments as a guide for living, I would…regardless of how I felt about it.

      Does that answer your question? Have you been taught this in the past?

  39. Patty Graham says:

    Greetings,
    This subject has been debated for years, and probably continue to be. The solution to any biblical concern is to let God’s Word be the final authority. A proud person refuses to do this, because God resists the proud, but gives grace(opens the eyes) to the humble. Only God can define sin, and He has in His Word….the transgression of His law. Paul said, he would not have known sin had it not been for the law. The law was attempted to be kept by the proud Pharisees, but
    They were using God’s law as a means of self righteousness, apart from faith and honor to God, so God knows this is not a genuine worship. They were unrepented, proud, and self righteous…..completely opposite of Jesus. Nobody can tell us what sin is but the Word of God, and it’s ‘across the board’ to ALL people. God is not a respector of persons. It’s a matter of submission to God ‘ because’ we love and worship Him, not keeping the law to be saved. We are all sinners and all will stand guilty before Him. The one who truly repented of transgressing God’s Commandments will be forgiven.
    Jesus died on the cross for the purpose of paying for our sins, which frees us from the penalty of death. This only covers the repented person, NOT the unrepented. He said, “unless you repent, you will perish”
    The proud man is blind, unrepented, guilty, and eventually will perish. I will be glad to support my statements with Scripture, for I would be ashamed to even speak these things without them.

    • Tony says:

      Patty:

      Thanks for your message. I truly do appreciate it. We agree: God’s Word should should be our final authority. I’m confident that you will agree with me when I suggest that we follow ALL of Scripture, and not just the parts we like. We also will probably agree that serious study of an issue like this is a good idea.

      We are not under the Law.

      Those aren’t my words. They’re Paul’s words, in Romans 6. Let me encourage you to undertake a serious study of this question: what does the Bible say about a Christian’s relationship to the Mosaic Law? If you do this, you will be forced to wrestle with a whole bunch of verses that are abundantly clear, like Romans 6 and Galatians 2-5. You can find some of those verses in another GodWords article, Should Christians Follow Old Testament Laws?. My hope is not that you agree with me on this issue. My hope is that you find out what God says, and that you then agree with Him. If I’m wrong, I will be in your debt if you can show me – from Scripture – that I’m wrong.

      You are my sister in Christ, and our disagreement should not cause us to separate. We should work these things out together. Have a great day!

  40. Yuri says:

    “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.”

    Actually, what Jesus violated was Rabbinic Sabbath regulations (check the Talmud for a monstrous list of what’s allowed and not allowed), not what was outlined in the Mosaic Law (Torah).

    Exodus 20:8-11, Exodus 35:2, Deuteronomy 5:12-14 – We can tell from these verses that keep the Sabbath holy, set it apart from work. We can tell that work/labor for regular living was to be carried out 6 days by the Hebrew people, and on the 7th day no regular labors are to be done, but keep the day set apart for resting in God. Jesus, as Lord of the Sabbath, understands the true meaning of the Sabbath and does have final say on it. When He healed sick people on the Sabbath, it was definitely done according to the Father’s command (John 5:19). In John 5:17 He said the Father has always been working, and in 19 He said He does what He sees the Father is doing. What Jesus does in His ministry is already set apart. It was never the work or labor people do for a living. The point is, Jesus did not break the Sabbath in the true interpretation of the Mosaic Law. He only broke the added rules to the Mosaic Law by pharisees. (and to this day Jewish Rabbis will deny that their ‘fence’ is an addition to God’s law)

    My personal belief is this, all Old Testament Laws are no longer binding to a Christian because Jesus had fulfilled it. No one can fully keep the law except for Jesus. Based on Romans 3:21-26, we can see that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. What does this and various other verses tell us? We are justified as a gift by God’s grace in redemption through Jesus. Those who have faith in Jesus to deal with our sins, we are justified by that. It is not about keeping a specific ‘law’ that we are justified. Those who treat others like a non-believer just because the person does not observe the sabbath has a graver problem themselves. My question would be, are you justified by faith in Jesus, or are you justified by faith and law keeping?

    Am I saying we can then sin however we want? Certainly not. After salvation, Holy Spirit will help us to grow. We are much more aware of sin and we struggle with it. The conflict presented in Romans 7:14-25 between us and the sin in us. We will grow spiritually through the help of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in Ephesians 4:17-32. It is not about obeying X number of laws, but growing in one’s spirituality that these characteristics becomes our natural self. (so when people look at us, they see the fruits of the Holy Spirit)

    Regarding this matter, I’d like people on both sides to consider Romans 14. In this chapter, it presents a case where some people can eat anything out of faith. Some people can only eat vegetables due to weak faith. What does the Scripture tell us?

    Those who can eat anything: Don’t think lowly of those who can’t eat everything.
    Those who can eat only vegetables: Don’t pass judgment on those who eats everything.

    Then, we look at verse 5. It talks about another example:
    – People who consider one day above another.
    – People who consider every day the same.

    What does Paul tell us? Be fully convinced and observe the day for the Lord. Eat and not eat for the Lord. Live life for the Lord.

    Walk in love. Love God, and love others as ourselves. Don’t put obstacles for others. Just like if we know a brother is weak in faith and only eats vegetables, don’t force him to eat it. Don’t make rules binding and forcing others about how they can eat this or can’t eat that. And if this is about religious meat (1 Corinthians 10:23-33), it is not a sin to buy and eat this kind of meat (since you have no clue if it was from idol worship or not) from a market. If you get invited to a feast by unbelieving friends and someone points out a certain dish was used in idol worship, then for their sake (not your’s) don’t eat it. We can see that in regards to both believers and non-believers, the guideline is not to be a stumbling block for others and honor God. This can be related directly to loving God and loving others.

    So, for those who wants to keep the Sabbath? Go ahead, as long as you are fully convinced and obverse it as a Sabbath day for God. For those who don’t observe the Sabbath, you too be fully convinced and observe the day as a regular day for God. Just don’t make a law out of it and cause others to stumble.

    My personal opinion is there’s no obligation to keep the original Saturday Sabbath because all laws are fulfilled and are more or less like a guideline rather than ‘law’ to the church. The use of the Law was to let us realize of our sin and come to Jesus. We are no longer bound by its curse and punishments after faith in Jesus Christ, but we should expect God’s discipline when we sin or drift away for our own good. (Hebrews 12:4-11)

  41. ricky says:

    i have read most of these comments and is interesting.i have a question if the sabbath is not to be kept ;what about other the 9 commandents.is stealing ok?; murder ok ? even thinking about it is wrong said jesus mathew 5.21 . .he also called satan a murderer too and father of lies. .bowing down to graven images and so on 9 of them..also does isaiah 66.23 talk about sabbath or sunday in new earth.which is it.?thanks for your time.time is so special.

    • Tony says:

      Ricky:

      Thanks for asking! First, you’re asking the wrong questions. The question is not “why shouldn’t Christians obey the 10 Commandments?” but “what did God say?”. If God was only talking to the Israelites, and making a covenant with only the Israelites, who are we to butt in and pretend He was talking to us? That’s pretty silly. The plain and simple fact is that God was only talking to them, and not to us. Pretending that gentile Christians have somehow, magically, been included in the covenant 1500 years later is just that: pretending. Anyone who wonders about it should simply go and read it, paying special attention to Exodus 19:3. Then, just to seal the deal, they should go read Acts 15 and see that Jesus’ disciples agreed that gentile Christians should not listen to those who claimed they must obey the Law of Moses.

      The point is not that Christians are free to take God’s name in vain, or to lie, or murder, or covet. That’s equally silly. The Holy Spirit – who is God – dwells in every believer would not allow us to sin without convicting us about it. Which is better: to have the law written on stone by the finger of God, or to have God Himself living in you? That’s a simple question. The 10 Commandments, like every other part of Scripture, is profitable:

      All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

      Every part of Scripture was written for us, but not every passage was written to us. Whatever God included in His covenant with the descendants of Jacob has never applied, and will never apply, to anyone else. We wouldn’t want to be included, either…we have a new and better covenant!

      On to the Isaiah passage. Here are verses 22-23:

      “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord.

      Without context, this sounds like God is talking about Heaven. He’s not. Context isn’t just important to understanding a passage…it’s essential. Without the context, it’s impossible to understand many passages of Scripture. Look above verse 23 and read 19-20:

      I will send some of those who survive to the nations – to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord…

      Do you believe that any of the inhabitants of the new earth will be there without hearing of God’s fame or seeing His glory? I don’t, and you shouldn’t either. This clearly speaks of a time on our old, broken earth. It was future to Isaiah, of course…but God is not talking in this passage about our future eternal home.

      Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

  42. Michael Phillips says:

    Jesus said that if we want to go to heaven, we must obey the commandments. He never said that the day of rest was changed from Saturday to Sunday. So if you want to keep the commandments, God rested on the seventh day which was Saturday. If it says anything about changing the Sabbath I sure haven’t ever seen it.

    • Tony says:

      Michael:

      If you don’t mind, please provide the verse(s) where Jesus said that. I don’t believe you’ll be able to find them. If you can’t, maybe you’re mistaken. Let me know what you find.

  43. Karl says:

    One simple post seems to have spun-up a ministry. Perhaps it would be better to arrange posts by exegetical or informal logical fallacy that is utilized than arranging them chronologically. You have the patience of Job. Thanks for your demonstration of patient and methodical replies.

  44. Cocco says:

    I’m still learning about different things in the Bible. And haven’t did much research but I was curious on this topic whether to keep the Sabbath or not ( that is way it’s kept today). However I’m from a non denominational ministry. We don’t observe the Sabbath. Not that I’m really on a fence because I’m a firm believer that God has called me to the ministry I’m in and if that’s not what we do then I believe that that’s God’s will for us.

    With that being said. I don’t knock those who choose to observe the Sabbath (Friday sundown til Saturday sundown). My understanding from scriptures is that the Sabbath was established and Jesus broke the Sabbath or dishonored the Sabbath according to the religious leaders. How can God dishonored something He put into place. My persuasion is that He did that to show that He is Lord of the Sabbath and that we shouldn’t be caught up in being so religious that we can’t see Him. Jesus already knew they would have a problem with what He was doing. He said would you not get the ox if it fell into a well, would you not draw him up? And even for those who do follow, He says the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. So to me if you keep the Sabbath great, maybe you need that.If you don’t that’s fine too. For those who know to do good and don’t it’s sin to them. So if you believe in keeping the Sabbath and you don’t its sin. If not then, I guess it’s ok. This is just my understanding of the scriptures. But just a question for those who keep the Sabbath, in all seriousness and only curiousity.Is it ok to work on the Sabbath as long as it will help someone? I asked someone else who keeps it and they got upset with me asking so..yeah. just want to know how would that work

  45. Cocco says:

    People who keep saying that Tony says that the Sabbath changed from Saturday to Sunday LOL!. Who said that? Is that what you believe was done?

  46. Lane says:

    What is sin biblically?

    What is sanctification biblically?

    How do you read Isaiah 56?

    What is your understanding of Mathew 5:17-20?

    What is your understanding of Mathew 7:21-23?

    Have you fasted and prayed and sought counsel from our Father before coming to the conclusion that His Holy Day is not to be observed?

    Thank you. All Glory and Praise to the Most High and our Savior Christ Jesus!

    • Tony says:

      Lane:

      If you disagree, please provide Scriptural reasons to disagree. If you have none, please explain why the Scriptures I’ve provided don’t mean what I think they mean. Thanks!

      • Lane says:

        I have asked very simple questions and you seem very versed in the Word that I couldn’t imagine they would be hard for you to answer. They are all very pertinent to whether we are to keep Sabbath or not. You have impressively responded to so many others with great patience it seems. Please if you could answer my questions about the matter I would greatly appreciate it.

        I do feel that we are to keep Sabbath. I keep seeing that we must keep scripture in context, and I cannot agree more. We should keep the entire Word of God in context. Especially Paul’s words, whom Peter warned us that people will twist his words to their own destruction. I see you used Romans 6 and Galatians for your base to share your understanding. Please study Paul’s words from a non dispensational mindset. Please know the importance of what you are sharing…. the amount of believers that are on the fence of whether to keep Sabbath or not. We will be judged for every idle word and I do not want a brother in Christ to be asked why so many sheep were led astray. If I am wrong with my understanding of the Word then I spent every Saturday worshipping the Most High and praising His Holy name. I do please urge you to earnestly fast and pray about this understanding you are sharing with others before taking so much time and effort to lead people away from keeping Sabbath.

        I love you all very much and may God bless you all and open your eyes and ears.

        • Tony says:

          Lane:

          Thank you for a kind reply. Your questions appear to be simple, but answering them isn’t quite so straight-forward. For example, asking me to explain how I interpret an entire chapter of the Bible is simple, but explaining is not. One of the difficult things about having a website like GodWords is that every post and comment that I write must be made clear for a worldwide audience, most of whom learned English as a second (or third, or fourth) language. My response to you was not to put you off, but to suggest that you engage further…and you have. I’m glad.

          Biblically, sin is simply disobeying God. Sanctification is a bit more complex. God sanctifies us, and we are also to sanctify ourselves. I read Isaiah 56 in the same way I read every other chapter: in context. God made a covenant with the descendants of Israel, and that included a command to set aside one day per week to rest. Neither you nor I were ever part of that covenant, so none of it applies to us. We have our own covenant. Some elements of our covenant are the same as theirs, but none of them carry over from the old to the new. God did not slightly modify the old covenant and call it new. The old became obsolete, and was entirely replaced with a new and better covenant.

          I read Matthew 5 and Matthew 7 in exactly the same way as Isaiah 56: in context. I also work hard to avoid adding my own thoughts to Scripture, and to avoid bringing cultural presuppositions to it. I want to know the original intent of the passage, not how any particular group understood it later. One of those groups is known as dispensationalists, as you’ve mentioned. I’m not a dispensationalist. I couldn’t care any less how a dispensationalist might understand these passages, except to help them understand each passage better. In Matthew 5, Jesus says that He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. That’s shorthand for the old covenant. It is my position that Jesus succeeded in fulfilling the old covenant…and, as we read in Luke 22:20, that He established a new covenant.

          This new covenant wasn’t secured by the blood of bulls and goats, but by the blood of the final sacrifice: His own. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That’s not part of the old covenant. It was prophesied during the time of the old covenant (and before, of course) but is not part of it. Again: God made a covenant with the children of Israel, and it did not include you or me. Sabbath observance was part of the old covenant and, even if it were still in force, it’s entirely inappropriate for you or me or anyone else to insert themselves into an agreement between two other parties.

          As for Matthew 7, you really ought to know better than to use that passage as you have. It’s as if you’ve said, “Tony, I disagree with you…so you must be one of those Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7.” That’s known as poisoning the well, Lane…and it’s very poorly done. To explain why, let me just turn it around on you: “Lane, I disagree with you…so you must be one of those Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7.” See? You’ve rendered it meaningless. No, there must be more to your disagreement than simply citing this passage as evidence that someone else has misunderstood Scripture.

          You’re absolutely right about this: we will be judged. If we do not belong to God, we will not spend eternity with Him. If we do belong to Him, there is no condemnation for us (Hebrews 8:1)…but our works will be judged, so that rewards can be given (1 Corinthians 3:12, Revelation 22:12).

          My goal is to help people understand God better, so they can trust Him more. That’s it. From where you stand, I’ve misunderstood God. I appreciate very much your work to help me see things your way. From where I stand, you’ve misunderstood God. It’s nice to see that you value my attempts to help you and others…but, good feelings aside, the only relevant question is whether you or I have understood Scripture properly. I’ve tried to explain my position in a plain manner. Will you now explain yours, or tell me why I’ve missed it? Please, if you do, focus on explaining God’s perfect Word and not on criticizing my imperfect words. I do not doubt that you have wisdom that I lack, so I’m looking forward to learning from you.

          Have a great day, brother.

  47. ricky says:

    hi tony;as a christian;you are sinner.so is everyone!basics here 101..sin is a transgression of the law.no law means no sin.! very clear.the law is also a reflection of gods character.it is perfect and nothing wrong with it they are both the same.the problem is with man.please tell me you are not a sports man christian who gets more excited about his team than god.quick to share news about their team;less about jesus.i can quote many verses if you need them;but i think you know them.please dont go around saying there is no need for gods laws;we have enough liars and murderers who already believe that.

    • Tony says:

      Hi Ricky!

      Welcome to the club. We’re all sinners. Some of us are saved by grace, through faith. Your logic is pretty good, I must say…but there’s a flaw. Yes, where there is no law, there can be no sin. Yes, we’re all sinners. Your error is in assuming the nature of the law. If you read the Bible, you’ll see that there is no law (no command or instruction of any kind) that says to observe a sabbath until the Mosaic Law was given. Remember that the Mosaic Law was part of the covenant between Yahweh and the descendants of Israel (Jacob). God didn’t include the Egyptians in that covenant, did He? Of course not. A covenant is a formal agreement, and nobody but the Israelites were included in it. Not you, not me, not the Ethiopians, or the Phoenicians, or the Akkadians, or the Babylonians.

      That covenant (known as the ‘old covenant’) never applied to anyone else. Not only that, it no longer applies to the Israelites, either! Remember reading about the Last Supper? Jesus took the cup and said “This is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” We’re part of the New Covenant, Ricky…not the old. We have our own instructions in the words and actions of Jesus, who instituted the New Covenant. We – those of us who have been born again – have the Holy Spirit, who is God, dwelling in us. Christians aren’t to refer to the old covenant they were never a part of as a guide for living. We are guided by God Himself!

      Make sense? We don’t need the old covenant because we have a newer, better covenant (Hebrews 8:6).

  48. Stephen says:

    So my points are as follows. Clearly God’s word in Isahiah has the Sabbath (as a period of time) as lasting into eternity, present in the New World with Jesus: (Isaiah 66:23). So clearly the Sabbath is not abolished in the new world as a period of time according to scripture.

    Second, if I understand you, you reason that because Jesus is the fullfillment of the law, that makes the sabbath as a day null and void and part of the old agreement. But Jesus is the fullfillment of ALL law, and we still regard the rest of the commandments as standing. If anything they are MORE important, as we must regard the spirit as well as the practice. We are called to perfection in Christ, not ignorance. We still judge for murder, for adultery, and so on. If anything the spirit behind them is what matters: anger, lust, etc. Also the spirit of no remembering the sabbath is as important or more important than the sabbath, not that the sabbath is or ever will be abolished (hence the end of Isaiah). Or is the prophet mistaken?

    • Tony says:

      Hello, Stephen! Thanks for your comment.

      You ask whether I think Isaiah is mistaken. The answer, of course, is no. I’d like to suggest alternative theories: either you misunderstand the Scriptures and are wrong, or I misunderstand the Scriptures and am wrong…or both. It would be foolish of me to suggest that your disagreement with me signals some disagreement with the Bible. With respect, it’s just as foolish coming from you. Right?

      Let’s take a look at the passage in question (Isaiah 66:23):

      “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord.

      Let me applaud you for your study. You’re the first to bring this passage into the discussion, and I appreciate that. My appreciation can’t yet extend all the way to agreement, though. Why? Simple: for the same reason you cite the passage to suggest that the Sabbath will last into eternity, I can cite this passage to show that it does not refer to eternity. Judging from the look on your face right now, you seem doubtful. Here are a couple of verses to support my view:

      Revelation 21:23: The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

      and

      Revelation 22:5: There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.

      This is John’s vision of the New Jerusalem…without doubt, this speaks of eternity future. Right? Isaiah suggests that, at the time he’s writing about, people will mark time by the new moon and the weekly sabbath. John writes that we won’t need the moon (which is new every 28 days), and it’s the moon’s cycle that gives us the week. Either Isaiah is speaking of some time in his future, or he used the phrases as anthropomorphisms…that is, using phrases everybody was familiar with to describe something new. Did Isaiah mean “monthly” and “weekly” or did he mean “regularly” and “over and over again”?

      As for the Sabbath being null and void, let’s try to clear something up. NOBODY was EVER commanded to observe a sabbath prior to God giving the Torah to the Israelites through Moses. The concept existed, but nobody was told to observe it except the Israelites, as part of the Law. As we can see very, very clearly by reading the New Testament, we are not under the Law. We have never been under the Law, and the Jews are no longer under the Law. Since the Law is only part of the old covenant, and since Christians have a new covenant that doesn’t include sabbath-keeping, the only logical conclusion is that any sabbaths one might observe are entirely voluntary.

      Personally, I don’t live by the Ten Commandments…so your statement about “we” and the rest of the commandments doesn’t fit. Let me know what you think about that, will you? I really appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with me, and look forward to hearing more from you. I’m not dogmatic in my position. I will obey Scripture as I understand it, and so far nobody has given me any compelling reasons to change my position. Perhaps you’ll succeed!

      • Stephen says:

        You’ve certainly given me a lot to think about; thank you! I find myself completely agreeing with you in spirit, but not with the conclusion.

        Let me explain. Yes, from the words of Jesus, Paul and the gospels: the Sabbath and the rest of the law are not needed to be saved. Salvation is offered through Christ’s sacrifice, if we accept it. We are freed from sin and the law (the law which is made for sinners and exists because of sin according to Paul). While we do not live by the law, it does not mean that the law is not good. Paul calls it good (1 Timothy 1:8).

        And it would seem Christians living through the spirit are remade through the grace of Christ as embodying the perfection of the law. As Jesus is always instructing his followers to not only live the law in practice but in the true spirit behind it (You have heard it said. . .) And Paul says this very thing too!! In Romans 3:30 “So do we destroy the law by following the way of faith? Not at all! In fact, faith causes us to be what the law actually wants.”

        The law is about right and wrong, as Paul eloquently puts in Corinthians (2:15), as non-jews who instinctively practice the law, are instinctively following God’s prescription for what is right. Though they haven’t received it, they are still condemned by it, whether by the law or by intuition of God’s law.

        Now when it comes to the Sabbath, God wove it into the very foundation of time. It is in the creation story that HE rested on the seventh day. When God puts it in the 10 (or 12 or however many) commandments, He gives the justification that it because He rested after creation (Genesis 20:11) and He, therefore, blessed that day. That is God’s words, his reason for the day. Anthropormorphically or not, it has meaning.

        And for Isaiah’s to describe time in the new world anthropomorphically using the sabbath, well that gives it even more weight. Imagine, God could have used ANY image to reveal worship in the new world under Christ Jesus (harvest, sundown to sunrise, season to season). He chose the sabbath and new moon as a metaphors for time, through his direct revelation to Isaiah!!

        God’s choice of imagery is important. Paul also tells that there are neither male nor female in Christ, which is true, for all are one. But yet God wants us to understand his relationship with Christ and us as a Father to a Son/daughter, an anthropomorphic relationship with sex-oriented demarcations. God has given these anthropomorphisms to help us as the best expression of the divine in our terms.

        In fact, Jesus goes so far as to say that the very reason the sabbath was created was to help us, as the Sabbath was created for man, and he is the lord of it (Matthew 12:1-8).

        The sabbath figures prominently in Creation, and the bible, as part of God’s revelation to humanity. Do you need to observe the sabbath to be saved? Certainly not, as there is only one condition of salvation. Do you need to honor your father and mother to be saved? No as well. Jesus after all came to turn son against father (Mathew 10:35).

        Christians are called to perfection in Christ of that which is good (and Paul calls the law “good”). Christians, redeemed, are better than the law, not above, beyond or untouched by it. So should Christians observe the sabbath? Yes! It was created for us, and is a good from God.

        Now I get that every day may be a “sabbath” in Jesus, as to sanctify all time. However in reality what seems to happen is that every day becomes profane, secular time and God-less (see example USA in the 21st century), with co-opting of pagan festivals for the purpose of religious rites (see example Sunday and Constantine). So is it helpful for Christians to refuse to observe the sabbath? I would say no.

        Should we judge people who don’t? Judgment for ALL SIN is for God, Paul and Jesus instruct us. How about me? Well I go to Church on Sunday; I feel like mainstream Christianity has been robbed, and pillaged of something important to God and helpful to us. After this I think I’ll begin observances.

        Shabbat Shalom.

        • Tony says:

          I appreciate your response, Stephen.

          …the Sabbath and the rest of the law are not needed to be saved.
          While we do not live by the law, it does not mean that the law is not good. Paul calls it good (1 Timothy 1:8).
          And it would seem Christians living through the spirit are remade through the grace of Christ as embodying the perfection of the law.

          We agree.

          As Jesus is always instructing his followers to not only live the law in practice but in the true spirit behind it (You have heard it said. . .) And Paul says this very thing too!! In Romans 3:30 “So do we destroy the law by following the way of faith? Not at all! In fact, faith causes us to be what the law actually wants.”

          First, Jesus came for the Jews. I’m not a Jew. His instructions to the Jews on how they should follow the covenant God had made with them would never apply to me. As for Paul, it’s important to read the context of this passage (as with any other). In this case, the “law” he wrote about is not the Mosaic law. Here’s the entire passage:

          21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

          Do you see it? In v27, he makes it clear that he’s not talking about the law that requires works, but the law that requires faith…because we’re justified by faith and not by the works of the law. The law we uphold in v31 is the ‘law of faith.’

          The law is about right and wrong, as Paul eloquently puts in Corinthians (2:15), as non-jews who instinctively practice the law, are instinctively following God’s prescription for what is right. Though they haven’t received it, they are still condemned by it, whether by the law or by intuition of God’s law.

          With respect, there are several things in this sentence that need to be addressed.

          First, the law was never about right and wrong. How can I say that? Simple: there are things in the law that were particular instructions for the Israelites that have never, and would never, apply to anyone else. For example: I’ve recently written an article to answer the question can Christians eat pork? Eating pork or avoiding pork isn’t about right and wrong, obviously. God told Noah he could eat pork in Genesis 9. Then God told the Israelites to not eat pork in Leviticus 11. Jesus told the Jews they could eat pork in Mark 7. God told Peter he could eat pork in Acts 10. Paul pointed out in 1 Timothy 4 that ‘deceiving spirits’ and ‘demons’ and ‘hypocritical liars’ order people to abstain from certain foods. If the law was about right and wrong, eating pork would always be forbidden. No, the law was about obedience. Certainly there’s plenty of right and wrong in the law…but the law, given only to the Israelites, was specifically and particularly about their willingness to obey whatever God commanded. God did not forbid them to eat pork because eating pork is bad, or He wouldn’t have let Noah and Paul and you and me have all the tasty, tasty bacon we want. There are all kinds of instructions in the law that are not about right and wrong, like wearing a garment made of two kinds of cloth, or planting certain crops in certain ways.

          Second, non-Jews don’t instinctively practice the law. The law is complex and particular, and couldn’t be obeyed instinctively. In this passage, Paul writes about knowing the thoughts of God…that the Holy Spirit (vv 12-13) has communicated the mind of God so that anyone can observe the intent of the law. This doesn’t mean that the law is to be followed. It means that God’s intentions – those intentions behind every one of His commands – are to be followed. When Jesus said “it is written…but,” He was pointing to the difference between the established practices of the law and the intent of the law. Jesus broke the law by healing and harvesting on the Sabbath, for example. If the law was about right and wrong, Jesus sinned. Instead, we know that He did not. He perfectly obeyed the intent of the law, every time.

          Third, nobody (today) is condemned by the law. We are condemned for refusing to be reconciled to God, as we learn about in 2 Corinthians 5.

          Now when it comes to the Sabbath, God wove it into the very foundation of time.

          With respect, that’s a nonsense statement. Poetic, maybe…but it’s not meaningful. What does it mean to weave anything into the foundation of time? I’m not trying to be a jerk here, Stephen. I’m trying to point out that we sometimes make bad theology from good-sounding phrases that might (or might not) fit on a bumper sticker. I recommend to everyone, at all times, that we should watch our own words to see if they make any sense at all. Here, you’re using this nice phrase to suggest a theological truth that’s not supported in Scripture…then you use this phrase to bolster your argument.

          It is in the creation story that HE rested on the seventh day.

          Yes, it is. We have a tendency to fill this idea with other ideas that don’t come from the text. It says that He shabath…not that He rested because He was tired, but that He stopped. His creative work was done at that point, so He stopped creating. There’s no astonishing theological information in the phrase. It would say that same if He had dinner with Adam and then stopped eating when He was full, or if He walked with Adam in the garden and stopped walking when it was time for Adam to sleep. There’s no instruction from this shabath for anyone to follow, is there?

          When God puts it in the 10 (or 12 or however many) commandments, He gives the justification that it because He rested after creation (Genesis 20:11) and He, therefore, blessed that day. That is God’s words, his reason for the day. Anthropormorphically or not, it has meaning.

          God did not “justify” giving commands about a sabbath. Why would He need to? He drew a parallel…and that parallel had a purpose that goes beyond simply copying God’s shabath. As I’m sure you’re aware, there are all kinds of implications involved in this parallel…as I point out in the article above. Keep in mind that those 10 (or 12) commandments were only given in the context of God’s covenant with Israel. You and I were not included.

          He chose the sabbath and new moon as a metaphors for time, through his direct revelation to Isaiah!!

          Which is it, Stephen: a metaphor, or a reality? First you said “the Sabbath (as a period of time) as lasting into eternity…” Here you say it’s a metaphor (a symbol representing something else). It can’t be both literal and figurative. I’ve given a few verses above to show that it’s figurative. Here you say it’s figurative. Above you say it’s literal.

          Jesus goes so far as to say that the very reason the sabbath was created was to help us, as the Sabbath was created for man, and he is the lord of it (Matthew 12:1-8).

          Yes, but again: the context helps us understand more fully. The Pharisees pointed out that Jesus had violated the sabbath. Jesus’ response was to turn their understanding from the written law – of which they were certainly correct – to the intent of the written law. Because Jesus is the Lord of the sabbath, He’s uniquely able to explain its purpose. Keep in mind that Jesus instituted a new covenant at the last supper, and that the old covenant – which included instructions to observe sabbaths, and in particular ways – never applied to anyone but the nation of Israel. If we’re going to do what God intends, don’t you think we should do it in the way God instructs? From where do you get your instructions on how the sabbath is to be observed? Of course: only from the covenant that God made with the ancient Israelites. Why do you only partially observe the sabbath, Stephen? I have no doubt that, like Jesus, you fail to follow God’s instructions as to how it’s done. When you understand the intent of the sabbath, you can observe it (or ignore it) properly.

          Christians are called to perfection in Christ of that which is good (and Paul calls the law “good”).

          Oh, my. That’s some very bad logic, Stephen. Using only your logic, here’s a partial list of the things Christians are called to perfection in…because they’re called “good:”

          • Light (Genesis 1:4)
          • Wild Animals (Genesis 1:25)
          • Gold (Genesis 2:12)
          • The Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:6)
          • Old Age (Genesis 15:15)
          • Joseph being Sold into Slavery (Genesis 50:20)
          • Canaan (Numbers 14:7)
          • Fighting (Joshua 10:2)
          • Working with the women of Boaz (Ruth 2:22)
          • Fat Calves and Lambs (1 Samuel 15:9)

          Paul calls the law good because it is good…but that doesn’t mean it applies to everyone, or that it’s still in force for anyone. The tabernacle in the wilderness was good. Jesus dying on a cross was good. Hell is good…but come on: you’re not going to stand behind that claim, are you? No. To make your case, you’ll need more than what you’ve provided. As always, I’m open-minded. You might be right…but so far your arguments are thin, and they’re contradicted by other, clear passages of Scripture. You must have more.

          Shabbat Shalom.

          Peace to you as well, my friend.

          • Stephen says:

            Once again, thank you for your considered and meaningful response, which has helped me gather my thoughts on this. I’m very grateful for this and the work you are doing. We agree on the important part, that salvation comes through faith in the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. Beyond that, as Paul states in Romans 16, what we eat–or don’t–is of less consequence except as it is a stumbling block for others.

            Yes, we enjoy bacon if it doesn’t cause you or others to stumble (although it might clog an artery or two). But it could be very wrong if it causes a vegetarian to lose or question their faith. (Romans 14:21, Corinthians 8:13). Does this lead to the tyranny of the other? Yes, precisely! Christ’s faith calls us away from the tyranny of ourselves. So it is with this thought that I meant “perfecting that which is good”: moral goodness or righteousness, as we generally talk about a “good person.”

            It is also our privilege and joy to read the bible to come closer to understanding the heart and mind of God. You bring up some good points, and I almost think it requires something more than a short response to clarify. My position verges on several points that would require quite a bit more than this note to explain: the law was and is a gift; yes, the law is about right and wrong; and faith has always been greater than obedience, Biblically speaking. I began reading scripture 4 years ago and I found that it is much different than how it was interpreted to me, manifested in popular culture, or taught in Church. It blew my mind (and continues to).

            But I do enjoy discussions and seeking the truth even if invalidates what I know so, in that spirit, I will try to respond to some of your points and clarify my position a bit. Point: scripturally the Sabbath is and will remain holy and a blessing to those that receive it into eternity. For brevity, mostly I will give the location of scriptural references but won’t quote the actual passages.

            But first to your point about metaphor. You ask if it literal or figurative. I’m not convinced that is the right question, or even helpful to the conversation. Let me explain. Linguistically a metaphor draws a connection by saying “this is that.” It is different than a simile, which is saying something is like another thing. Linguistically a metaphor CLAIMS reality by saying one thing IS another thing existentially. Scripturally metaphor creates a link to a greater reality that we can’t hope to understand.

            Who can truly understand God’s creation, let alone God? As God says to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?.” (Job 38:4) If science “teaches” us anything, it instructs us that our best efforts leave us with working models, waiting to be disproved. Real “reality” is beyond our comprehension. Einstein’s relativity replaces Newtonian understanding and The atomic model is supplanted by quantum physics. Now particles can be in two places at once and multiple universes (yes, really) exist. And it’s only a matter of time before the next discovery comes along to invalidate what we “know.”

            Now if science, which doesn’t expressly acknowledge God, leads us to humility in our understanding (we can’t even agree on what “Life” is, let alone dark matter or what most of the universe is made of), then how much more should a Christian’s humility be with God and his creation? Hopefully much, much, much more so, as it is we Christians who are in true awe of the universe and its creator.

            So we cannot fully understand the reality of God and his creation (recall Job). But metaphor can point to what would be incomprehensible and hidden from us without this (His) help through metaphor. How does it point the way? One way is through anthropomorphic comparison. What is an example? “The Lord is my shepherd.”(Psalm 23) Is He really “a shepherd,” a guy on a mountainside guiding some sheep with a staff? Calling God a shepherd is a metaphor which brings us close(r) to the reality of God’s relationship to us. “The Lord is my Shephard” is also a true statement creating the “reality” through our understanding. So is it helpful to ask if the author is speaking figuratively or literally? Not really, because both are true. It is the literal “truth” but it is also a metaphor. Dissecting the conversation that way is not as helpful as asking what the author meant. What does it MEAN for God to be our shepherd?

            Likewise, the Sabbath is a metaphor. Is it a real day? Yes. But what was the first day of creation anyway, without a sun or moon? And what did God do when he “stopped” or rested. As you point out, we don’t really know what that means. So “the Sabbath Day” is also a metaphor that points to the ultimate reality that is not entirely comprehensible to us. There need not be a sun and a moon, as on the “first day of creation” to have a day, either at the beginning of time or at the end.

            So what is a better question to ask? — What does it mean that God is our Shephard. In other words, we accept the metaphor as reality, for that is what it claims, and move on, recognizing that it is both. So what is a better question for Isaiah? — What does it mean that Sabbath is a day in eternity?

            Let’s find out. Now the Sabbath, as both metaphor and reality, appears within Scripture in the very top of the second chapter, some few hundred words into the bible(Genesis 2)., before the law and before sin. And what does God do with the Sabbath at the very beginning of time? He makes it holy and blesses it.

            You’re right, no rules about it. Nothing to indicate what we should do. God doesn’t establish a practice of observation or any rules. But calling our attention to it is itself something. If you read about creation and talk about it, you acknowledge it. God blessed a day. That is something. If nothing else, we should seek to receive a blessed day. He blessed a day! He made it holy! For God to chose one day over the rest to bless is significant. God’s choices, for example, are also Issac over Esau. He doesn’t tell us to do anything with this choice, but it impacts everything.

            What is this “day” anyway in Genesis? What does it even mean for God to rest or “stop,” as you eloquently point out. We don’t know. It points to a reality that we can’t comprehend. But we can nevertheless receive through faith the blessing that the sabbath –and the law for that matter–intends. Jesus himself calls it a blessing for us. Recall God blessed it and never took that blessing back. Then Jesus said the “Sabbath was made for man.” So Jesus states a blessed day was made for us. Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28 and Luke 6:1-5.

            Now is this day only for the Jews, who he was speaking to, or all humanity? It is clear from Genesis God blessed the day for all existence (Genesis 2). So while he is speaking to the Jews and bringing his message to the Jews, through Christ all nations enjoy the same blessings, and this blessing set up in Genesis.

            So as you very nicely point out, Jesus was distinguishing between the letter of the law and the intent. And you state that he broke the “letter of the law.” This is perhaps a dubious claim as even the Jews can’t agree on how to properly observe the sabbath according to the letter, then or now. It’s not perfectly clear what “Observe the Sabbath” means. Is it ok to learn, teach, heal, walk, drive, turn on a light? It seems there is endless debate, refinement, re-lettering. . . EVEN NOW.

            But even if it were the case that there is a perfect understanding of the letter of the law (and I don’t concede that point), friend, it was never ever about the letter of the law even from Moses. That’s the point about David that Jesus makes. He and his men ate the consecrated bread and were blessed (Mathew 12:4). In fact, David is one of the most favored by God. It was his faith, not his observance to the law, that saved him (MORE on this later, so just bear with me).

            So I don’t accept that Jesus violated the sabbath. This is something that the priests accused him of, but Jesus refuted them, stating that they didn’t understand the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8) The priests accused him of a lot, including blasphemy (John 10:31-39). Obviously, Jesus did not sin and blasphemy, Right? He is God. So it would be impossible for him to blaspheme himself.

            So the sabbath belongs to God (he is lord of it), and he created it for Man according to New Testament scripture.

            So what does this mean that the Sabbath is “for the Jewish people” and not for gentile Christians? Paul says that we are all descendants of Abraham, Christians spiritual descendants grafted (as Paul says) onto that tree (Romans 11:17). Abraham’s descendants — Israel and the Jewish people –were selected by God because of one man’s faith, and God doesn’t change his mind (a repeated mantra throughout the bible).

            Indeed, Abraham’s descendants were selected so that the world might be blessed as well (Genesis 22:18), and we as Christian’s believe that promised blessing comes through Abraham’s physical descendant Jesus.

            Abraham was made right with God THROUGH FAITH, not obedience. If this fact isn’t clear from reading the Bible (for some seem blind), Scripture STATES THIS very clearly through Paul (Romans 4:1-25). Paul practically shouts it. Abraham was made right with God through faith. As a result of Abraham’s faith, Abraham, his descendants, and the world were blessed. Indeed the law (as metaphor and reality) is a gift coming from this blessing. The Israelites were special (blessed) in that they received God’s instruction. (Romans 9:4).

            Now God doesn’t need justifications. Which is true. But he gives reasons! He, the very living God, gives A REASON in the ten commandments why he is giving the people, his people, this gift of the Law of the Sabbath. Here are the words:
            “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.”

            These are God’s words from his mouth that he spoke. Scripture says God said this (Exodus 20). “And God spoke all these words.” God used the words “For” and “Therefore”. He gives A REASON. Scripture has God saying “Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Some translations render this “For this REASON”!!

            So when God, in Genesis, made it holy, he made it holy for ALL THE WORLD (Genesis 2) and keeps it holy for all eternity (in Isaiah).

            Now back to Isaiah. Recall at the end of Isaiah (Isaiah 66:23), Isaiah states there is a Sabbath in eternity. Remember from the earlier discussion of metaphor, this is both metaphor AND reality. It is the best way Isaiah has to describe that which is incomprehensible. God doesn’t need the sun to have a day (Genesis 1). He doesn’t need the sun to have a Sabbath (Isaiah 66:23).

            So it is still holy. It was never taken away. God never changed his mind. Jesus didn’t desecrate it. God made it so at the beginning and keeps it through eternity.

            So what about observing something that is still holy? And how should we remember it? After all, we can eat bacon, and don’t need to get circumcised. But remember we are circumcised in spirit ( Colossians 2:11, Romans 2:29).

            As you so well show, we live by faith; What the spirit in truth guides us to do to help others is apart from the continued holiness of the day. The Sabbath is holy, as made by God. No one can take it away. It is a blessing we can receive if we choose to observe it in our hearts and our minds.

            As Jeremiah says about the new testament (Jeremiah 31:33):

            This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
            after that time,” declares the Lord.
            “I will put my law in their minds
            and write it on their hearts.
            I will be their God,
            and they will be my people.

            Peace, -Stephen

          • Tony says:

            I’m very grateful for this and the work you are doing. We agree on the important part…

            Thank you. As before, I appreciate your kind and thoughtful approach to our disagreement…and I’m happy to call you my brother in Christ.

            …(Romans 14:21, Corinthians 8:13). Does this lead to the tyranny of the other? Yes, precisely!

            This is the second time this week that I’ve run into this argument. Unfortunately, it makes no more sense the second time. No, we’re not to cause anyone to stumble. If that were the only consideration, there would be no need to explain our freedom in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8. There would only be instructions to do nothing that might cause someone to stumble, which can be virtually anything. Yes, we’re to be cautious. Yes, we’re to put others ahead of ourselves, especially those who are weaker. No, that doesn’t mean that everything in our lives is ordered to fit what other people believe. We actually do have freedom in Christ, and we are to exercise that freedom wisely. I’m not going to observe the sabbath just because someone else might possibly stumble because they believe the sabbath should be observed. I will, of course, take the time to explain the Scriptures to them.

            You’ve created quite a system of thought above, Stephen. Let me see if I can boil it down a bit:

            1. God blessed the 7th day and made it holy.
            2. What God has made holy is worth observing.
            3. The sabbath is both literal and figurative, so we have no idea what it really means.
            4. Hey, why the heck not?

            Let me know if I’ve missed anything important. I don’t mean to be glib, but to adequately express what I’m reading. Here’s the trouble: you go beyond the text. Those of us who believe the Bible to be God’s Word should take God’s words very seriously. There are two primary ways that people interact with the texts of Scripture. One is good and right. The other is bad and wrong. The good and right way is exegeting. It means to take meaning from the text. The bad and wrong way is eisegeting, which means to add meaning to the text.

            Taking meaning from the text requires discipline: we must resist the urge to read meaning into the text, which would allow us to make it say virtually anything we want. If the Bible is inspired (and I believe it is), then I’m to use it as God’s words to the world. Pretending that I have anything to add to it is hubris, plain and simple…whether I recognize it as hubris or not. The text is enough. You go beyond what the text says, presuming to explain why people who follow Jesus should do something that the text does not teach.

            Yes, Moses wrote that God blessed the 7th day and made it holy. No, there are no instructions anywhere for non-ancient-Israelites to observe or celebrate this event. Is it noteworthy? Certainly. Is it wise to extrapolate from the text and pretend that it says something it doesn’t say? Of course not.

            I’ve dealt for decades with what the text does not say. You can’t begin to imagine the literal millions of words written to me to explain why I should observe the sabbath. As a result, I’ve become familiar with the texts in question. I don’t expect anyone to take my word for it, but to use this information to begin their own research. Here’s what the text actually says, in a nutshell:

            1. God rested.
            2. God told the Israelites to observe sabbaths (more than one kind) as a sign of God’s covenant with them. He used His rest in Genesis as a reference point.
            3. Jesus outlines a new covenant for God’s people (the Jews) that is not like, and supercedes, the old covenant.
            4. Jeremiah foretold, and Peter was taught, that this new covenant would include non-Jews.
            5. Paul explains that the law was temporary, until Christ came.
            6. Paul explain that we are not under the law.
            7. Paul explains that we should not judge one another for sabbath-keeping or not sabbath-keeping.

            What does the text not say? That anyone should currently observe sabbaths. People who like the idea of sabbathing have the unreasonable habit of scouring the text, looking for clues as to why they should do what is not prescribed by God in His Word. Why do they do this? For a number of reasons. One simple reason is that they really, really want to serve God properly. That’s good. Another reason is that, not understanding God’s graciousness, they have trouble believing that following Jesus isn’t a matter of obeying a set of regulations. That’s understandable, since the rest of the world places such high value on performance. Still another reason is obvious: people who don’t know better are taught by people who don’t know better.

            I don’t condemn you for wanting to observe a sabbath. On the contrary, I applaud you for your desire to serve and worship God in every way you can. That doesn’t mean that I agree with your conclusions, since they partially contradict Scripture and partially go beyond what the text says. If God blesses you for observing sabbaths, good! Don’t assume that anyone else should follow your lead, though…since we don’t base our devotion to God on each other’s personal experiences, but on the truths revealed in Scripture. And Scripture is clear: God has not commanded, and does not expect, sabbath-keeping.

            Why do I make this into a big deal? Well…in one sense I don’t. Like I said, you should feel free to observe sabbaths if you wish. In another sense, it can be a big deal. Why? Because good theology makes it easier to trust God, and bad theology makes it harder. When we persist in believing things that are contrary to Scripture, we have not understood God as well as we might. When what we believe matches what has been revealed through Scripture, we understand God better…so we can then trust Him more. I’m sure that everybody believes something incorrectly, including (or especially) me. We don’t have to get everything right…but the more we get right, the better.

            Peace, -Stephen

            Peace, brother.

          • Stephen says:

            Well, your response certainly gets to the point. You have a unique way of pulling out important things. I think you’ve gotten to the gist of a few things.

            I did want to clarify some central points. We know these scriptural facts (synthesizing both our arguments):

            1. God ceases work after creation on the seventh day and blesses that day, the Sabbath. (Genesis)

            2. In the Mosaic covenant, God states that the Israelites should honor the Sabbath. God gives the reason for the commandment that he ceased work on that day and made it holy. (Exodus)

            3. Isaiah state that we will worship God from Sabbath to Sabbath in eternity (Isaiah).

            4. Jeremiah states that there will be a new agreement between man and God “written in our hearts and minds” (Jeremiah)

            5. Jesus states that he is Lord of the Sabbath day, and the Sabbath day is made for man (Greek Anthropos, meaning mankind, or humanity).

            6. Jesus states that the pouring of his blood represents a new agreement. (Last Supper)

            7. Paul states that we shouldn’t judge each other for eating or drinking, or observing Sabbaths or new moons (Colossians). Paul states that the Sabbath and new moon were shadows of things that were to come and the reality is found in Christ (Colossians 2).

            So beyond that is extrapolation based on the text. Here are the facts: a, God blessed the Sabbath and made it holy; b, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath; c, The Sabbath is a blessing for man; d, Jesus’s blood is a new agreement written on our hearts; e, The reality of the Sabbath is found in Christ; g, The Sabbath will exist forever.

            As far as the argument that Isaiah is expressing prophecy figuratively based on the fact there is no sun and the light come from God, that goes a stretch beyond the text. We know from Genesis and the first day that God doesn’t need the heavens or earth to have a day. What God does in the beginning he can do in the end.

            I take the points on exegesis in full consideration. And I don’t think you are just bringing it up to score easy points. It is easy enough to accuse others you disagree with of being subjective. I think anyone needs to remark about the part that is text and the part that is interpretation. Forgive me if I didn’t (and I’m sure I am guilty). As for me, I am a seeker, as I didn’t know what to believe about the Sabbath, and have never done anything with it before, but tried and try to find the truth about it.

            We have, through the covenant of Jesus’ blood, God’s instruction now written on our hearts and minds, according to Scripture. The reality of the Sabbath is written there, as Paul tells it.

            So synthesizing what we know: The Sabbath is holy, as the reality of these holy days (as in all the law) is found in Christ and exists in eternity (Isaiah). Paul calls it a shadow; I called it a metaphor. But yeah, Paul’s words are better. A shadow points to the reality.

            So the reality of the Sabbath (and the law) we find through Christ (Paul) and it is written in our hearts and our minds (Jeremiah). Yes, we are not “under” the law and are free to do what we want, in faith and in spirit, as directed in love. Christians keep the Sabbath holy in our hearts at all time as the reality is in Christ, and Christ is in our hearts.

            So in the end I do agree if what you mean is that Christians do observe the Sabbath in Christ, and are not bound to a “time day” necessarily. We always remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Perhaps that’s what you meant all along. If so then thank you for helping me!

          • Tony says:

            Once again, Stephen: thanks for taking part in a great discussion!

            We know these scriptural facts (synthesizing both our arguments):

            A sound argument is made of true points that automatically lead to an inescapable conclusion. Let’s look at each point to see where we can agree!

            1. Yes, God stopped working. Yes, God blessed that day. No, that day is not “the Sabbath.” This is the part most people get wrong, because we’ve lived with the idea for so long. The word sabbath is not, and has never been, a day. In fact, sabbaths (times during which no work was done) were one day per week, or they were annual days, or a 10-day period, or the first day of an extended feast, and more. To “sabbath” is simply to stop working. Genesis 2:2 says that God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He sabbathed. A “sabbath day” is not a thing by itself…a “sabbath day” is a day on which you sabbath. There’s a difference, and it’s not insignificant. When we stop thinking about “sabbath days” and start thinking – as the text leads – about days on which we sabbath, we gain a different view of the situation.

            2. Yes, God told the Israelites to honor the sabbath and to keep it holy. What does it mean to keep something “holy”? We have to look at the meaning of the words to understand the meaning of the sentences they’re used in. Holy is not “clean” or “righteous.” Holy – qadash in Hebrew and hagios in Greek – means “set apart” for special purposes. Look at 2 Timothy 2:20-21 to see it in action:

            In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

            Do you see it? We make ourselves holy (v21) by setting ourselves apart for God’s special purposes (v20), just as we use special dishes for special meals. That is the meaning of holy. Like “sabbath,” it’s not specifically a religious word. When we set something apart for special use – like old, stained washcloths that we use only as rags – we are making them holy. That doesn’t confer on them any religious anything. When God made the seventh day holy, He simply set it apart for a special purpose.

            This is where so many go wrong with what the Bible teaches: they consider the holy things to be ends unto themselves rather than a means to an end. God didn’t set aside the seventh day for its own sake, as if resting on the seventh day is the goal. It’s not the goal, and has never been the goal. If resting (or observing God’s rest) is the goal, Jesus would NEVER have worked on the seventh day…ever. That would have been a sin, and was punishable by death (Exodus 31:15). No! The institution of the sabbath day was not to observe the sabbath day, but to learn a spiritual lesson. Sabbath days are not ends unto themselves, but a tool that God used to make a point. When you study the sabbath throughout the whole of Scripture, you can see the point. You might start by reviewing the verses listed in the article above, and in these comments.

            When we start with a faulty premise, we end with a faulty conclusion. Those who conclude that Christians should observe sabbath days start with a faulty premise (or three): that resting is the goal, or that the day itself is somehow special, or that Christians should obey the Mosaic law as given to the ancient Israelites, or something else. These faulty premises require that certain passages of Scripture must be ignored, or explained away. The first that comes to mind has already been mentioned: Acts 15. Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” The apostles and elders met to consider this question. When they considered this question in light of what Jesus taught, their conclusion was – without question – theologically final. I see in that passage that there’s no mention of Gentiles learning to keep sabbath days holy. Do you see it in there? I might have missed it.

            3. Again, this is either figurative or literal. I’ve explained why a literal reading makes no sense, and contradicts both Scripture and logic. When you rule out a literal interpretation, the only option left is non-literal.

            4. Yes.

            5. Yes…but why was the sabbath made for man? You seem to think it’s an end unto itself. I see all over the Bible that it’s a means to an end. Let’s draw a parallel:

            In the same part of the Bible that talks about sabbath days, God told the ancient Israelites that eating pork was forbidden. To whom did that apply? To only them, of course. How can we know this? Simple: we know from Genesis 9:3 that God told Noah and his family they could eat everything that lives and moves. We know from Mark 7:19 that Jesus declared all foods clean. The inescapable conclusion is that God, in the middle of these two events, must have had a specific reason for telling the ancient Israelites not to eat pork. Avoiding pork is not an end unto itself, but a means to an end…or nobody could eat pork, ever. You, my friend, are essentially arguing that nobody should eat pork. Having drawn the conclusion that we all should observe sabbath days, you go back and re-read the texts about sabbathing and draw different conclusions from them. This should not be. We don’t bring our own ideas to the text…we draw our beliefs from the texts.

            God, in Genesis, never commanded sabbath observance. He set aside the seventh day for a specific purpose…and, in Exodus, He commanded the ancient Israelites to observe sabbaths. Jesus’ disciples, in Acts, reject the idea that Gentiles should observe the law of Moses…and that includes sabbath days. This is why Paul could teach that nobody should judge another by whether they keep sabbath days or not. If everybody was to observe sabbath days, Paul would never suggest such a thing. He would say what you’re saying instead.

            6. Yes.

            7. Yes.

            We know from Genesis and the first day that God doesn’t need the heavens or earth to have a day. What God does in the beginning he can do in the end.

            With respect, this is a really bad argument. What we know from Genesis is that God doesn’t need the heavens or earth to have a yom. What is a yom? It’s translated “day” much of the time. What is a day? Typically – and this is exactly how you’ve been using it – it’s the time it takes for the earth to spin all the way around. 24 hours. Think carefully. You’re suggesting that God doesn’t need the heavens or earth to have a 24-hour period where the earth completes one full rotation on its axis. And what is an hour? It’s 1/24th of a full rotation.

            That’s not what yom means. It could mean a period of 24 hours, of course. It could also mean – and this is how it’s used in Scripture:

            • evening and morning in Genesis 1
            • a division of time
            • a working day
            • a day’s journey
            • a lifetime
            • a time, or time period
            • a year
            • various temporal references
            • today
            • yesterday
            • tomorrow

            You read it as 24 hours, but you should be reading it as yom. God doesn’t need the heavens or earth to have a yom. Maybe you’re unaware that yom is used in two different ways in the same verse! Check the Hebrew for Genesis 1:14. We agree that what God does in the beginning he can do in the end…but to know the end, it’s helpful to not get the beginning wrong.

            I am a seeker, as I didn’t know what to believe about the Sabbath, and have never done anything with it before, but tried and try to find the truth about it.

            You are, of course, to be commended! I sincerely applaud you for your study, and for commenting here, and for feeling free to disagree with me. Please don’t confuse our disagreement with anything negative from my end. You’re doing exactly as you should! The goal is to learn to think properly about Scripture, and the very first rule is to learn what the author(s) intended to communicate to their initial audience. That is, quite simply, the number one (and two, and three) reason for interpretive problems. When we fail to see what was originally meant, we often insert our own meaning. I deal with it virtually every day of my life, and it’s a blessing to have learned about the principles of biblical interpretation as a young man. In no way does that mean I’m always right, clearly. Never take my word for anything, but go to God’s word and learn from it. I’m only here to try to point the way back to His word. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and it’s not I who can lead you, but the Holy Spirit.

            A shadow points to the reality.

            Yes! In Galatians 3, Paul wrote about faith apart from the law. When we consider shadows and reality, and when we consider that the only commands about observing sabbath days were given as the law, to those under the law, things like sabbath-keeping come into much clearer focus:

            Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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.

            The sabbath regulations had a specific purpose, and they were temporary. Now that Jesus has come, we no longer need them. That’s not a matter of rebellion, but of completion and relief and delight! Those who lived under the law looked forward to this time, when God would reveal the full extent of His plan. Sabbaths were a foreshadowing of Christ, and He is here.

  49. ricky says:

    tony instead of giving scripture on the sabbath your reasons from bible for going to church on sunday? thanks.also some points from previous replies.the law was understood way before sinai.examples rachael stole her fathers idols.cain killed abel.also when noah said you could eat meat; meant unclean.why else did he bring 7 sheep and other clean animals on ark.when reading bible you have to put your mind to understand thinking of the time.examplel ;today a doctor may say drugs are ok and you take drugs from pharmacy and then use cocaine and heroin as well.still drugs. as doctor said drugs are ok.also on the law before given by moses at sinai.a man was killed for getting firewood on sabbath..as for you not being a jew;have you done a dna test to confirm.most people have a family tree with many types of people from what i have seen..a jew is not a ethnic term in bible because abraham was a gentile one day nest day a jew.no dna change of i am aware.he was related. to noah.also in new testament peter was told people are not unclean not food.because it was in regard to meeting cornelius saw something funny in news today 2 meateaters who were pro meat protesting to vegans at london market ate 2 raw furry squirrels.in front of them.were both fined .unclean animals too..better to talk about issues i think

    • Tony says:

      Ricky:

      Thanks for taking the time to respond!

      your reasons from bible for going to church on sunday?

      What makes you think I go to church on Sunday? The fact that the command to observe a weekly sabbath was only given to ancient Israelites is no indication that I worship on Sunday. You may have missed the fact that, in my article, I say nothing like, “Christians worship on Sunday.” In fact, near the end, I say the opposite: that the sabbath is neither Saturday nor Sunday.

      I do meet with Christians in my local area on Sunday mornings, because that’s when we’ve agreed to congregate. I also meet with believers on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Mondays, and at lunch today (Wednesday). The day of the week and the time of the day are irrelevant.

      the law was understood way before sinai

      Which law? Certainly not the laws outlined in Leviticus. Certainly not the Ten Commandments…or there would no point in having God write on stone the stuff everybody already knew. Yes, it seems clear that people knew right from wrong before Sinai…but you can’t point to exactly what that means by using Scripture. You can only get a few hints here and there, and for the rest you must use your imagination. I love using my imagination, but not for making theological claims about what God expects from us. I use only the Bible for that.

      also when noah said you could eat meat; meant unclean….when reading bible you have to put your mind to understand thinking of the time.

      You’re cracking me up, Ricky. It’s never a good idea to tell someone they’re making a mistake while you’re actually the one making it. If you just go and read Genesis 9, you can see that it’s not Noah saying it, but God Himself:

      Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

      You’re not going to try to say that there were any unclean animals for Noah, are you? That would directly contradict Genesis 9.

      as for you not being a jew;have you done a dna test to confirm…a jew is not a ethnic term in bible because abraham was a gentile one day nest day a jew

      Wow. That’s pretty silly, Ricky. No…it’s actually kinda dumb. Pardon me for saying so, but that’s the truth. You should think a bit longer before typing. Abraham was never a Jew. Jews are descended from Judah. Abraham was Judah’s ancestor. Abraham wasn’t an Israelite, either. It goes Abraham > Isaac > Jacob (renamed Israel) > Judah. Regardless of whether there are any Jewish people in my family tree, I’m not part of the covenant that God made with the descendants of (Jacob) Israel at Sinai. Come on, Ricky…you can do better than that.

      in new testament peter was told people are not unclean not food

      Let’s just go to the text, okay?

      About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

      Yes, one of the reasons for the vision was to tell Peter that Gentiles could be saved. No, that doesn’t mean that animals were still considered unclean. Jesus had already declared all foods clean. You can read the details in my article, Can Christians Eat Pork?. It doesn’t take a lot of work to figure these things out, so you should probably do a bit of research before arguing with people on the internet. I don’t say that to discourage you, Ricky…I want to encourage you to keep engaging, but to make sure you’re prepared first. You lose credibility when you make such simple mistakes, and credibility is important when we’re working to spread the gospel.

      Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Have a great day!

  50. Andre says:

    Tony: I appreciate this thread and am glad you are willing to converse about this subject. Apologies if you have already discussed the following.

    I am curious on your thoughts on Matthew 24. Specifically vs 20. Here Jesus is talking about the great tribulation to come at the end of days and he says “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.” I guess my question is why would Jesus be asking us to pray that our flight would not be in winter on the Sabbath if he meant for the Sabbath day to be observed everyday? It seems that He is making a distinction that the Sabbath is not everyday just as Winter is not every season. If Sabbath is not everyday and He clearly believes it is important enough to have us pray that we don’t have to flee on the Sabbath then it would seem that the day we observe as the Sabbath is still very important at the end of days.

    I appreciate your thoughtful reply in advance.

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for commenting, Andre. You’ve asked a good question. What I’m about to write is a pretty well-established position. There’s nothing really controversial about it. Unfortunately, you’ve probably never heard it before. Why? Because it doesn’t fit what most of us were taught about ‘the end times.’ My hope is not that you just believe me (of course), and not that you reject the notion outright…but that you begin your own research into the Scriptures to see if what I’m about to write makes sense. Are you ready? Here it is:

      Jesus meant what He said.

      There. Not so controversial. I’m sure you can agree with that. Now, let’s review what He actually said:

      “you”

      Jesus says “you” and “your” 24 times in chapter 24. He doesn’t say that this would be some far-future set of events, happening to other people long after the disciples were all dead. Unfortunately, modern ideas about Jesus’ second coming and the rapture have made it difficult for modern readers to simply read this passage as it’s written. Why would Jesus say “you” if He was referring to people who wouldn’t be born for a couple thousand more years? The plain and logical answer is that He wouldn’t. When Jesus said “you,” He meant “you,” the people He was talking to.

      Here’s a little more context. In Matthew 23 (the previous chapter), Jesus tells the Pharisees that all of the righteous blood shed on earth would be “on them,” and that they were being judged for rejecting Him and His teaching. Right after that, in Matthew 24, Jesus spoke about the coming destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. He told the Pharisees in chapter 23 that “this generation” would be judged, and He told His disciples in chapter 24 that “this generation” wouldn’t pass away until everything He was predicting came to pass.

      It’s not very complicated, but understanding the Jewish context of what He said requires more than a surface-level understanding of Scripture, and it helps to know a tiny bit of history. When was the temple destroyed? In 70AD. A lot of Christians don’t know that, even though it’s common knowledge among those who do even a tiny bit of homework. In Matthew 23 and 24, Jesus was talking about events that would happen in their lifetimes, and not about events many centuries later.

      Why don’t we add even more context? In Matthew 26 (two chapters later) we read about Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, where He spoke again about this event:

      The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

      Now, many modern Christians are ignorant of what’s in the Old Testament. The leaders in the Sanhedrin were not. When Jesus said that He would be coming on clouds, He wasn’t saying that He would return at the end of the world on a fluffy puff of water vapor. He was drawing a parallel between God’s judgement of Egypt in Isaiah 19 and His own coming judgement of Jerusalem. Note the reaction in the Sanhedrin: not giggles at a silly idea, but serious claims of blasphemy. Why? Jesus wasn’t claiming that He would come back after a few dozen centuries, riding on a cloud for dramatic effect. Instead, Jesus was claiming to be the Son of Man, the Messiah, the Son of God…and that Jerusalem deserved judgement, and that He would be the One to judge them. That didn’t make them laugh. It made them very angry.

      Let me say it again: this isn’t really a controversial idea. It’s very well established among Christian scholars and secular scholars alike. When we look at this whole section of Matthew in context (along with the parallel passages in Mark 13 and Luke 17 and 21), we see that they tell the same straight-forward story. Jesus said that Jerusalem would be judged for rejecting Him, that the temple would be destroyed, and that His followers would be persecuted. That’s exactly what happened, and we shouldn’t be surprised by it. Jesus meant what He said.

      So, to answer your question: Jesus talked about the sabbath in Matthew 24 because His judgement would come to Jerusalem in 70AD, a place and time where sabbath regulations were still in force. Using Matthew 24 to support modern sabbath observance doesn’t make sense, as doing so requires that we ignore the context of both the surrounding chapters as well as the historical events. Does that make sense?

      • Andre says:

        Thank you Tony for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate the time and effort. There is so much we agree on, though there are a few things that I am still not sure have been fully answered.

        Specifically at the very end of your reply you mention that Jesus was simply talking about the “judgement to come to Jerusalem in 70AD, a place and time where sabbath regulations were still in force.” I understand that the Jews at that time would still be observing sabbath because they always had and of course had never been told not to observe the sabbath. However I don’t understand why Jesus would mention the sabbath specifically when referring to a time of judgement after his death. As you’ve said previously on this thread his death was the fulfillment of the law that includes and therefore removes the need to observe the sabbath from his death moving forward. If his death and resurrection eliminated the need to observe the sabbath, and He knew the destruction of Jerusalem would be happening after His death, why would He mention the sabbath at all (if it no longer mattered)? He said specifically pray that your flight not be on the sabbath? Why would it matter if it was on the sabbath?

        As a side note (you may choose not to publish this portion though I hope you do) I must say that your tone is quite condescending throughout much of your reply. Let me give you a few examples.

        “Unfortunately, you’ve probably never heard it before”
        “Now, let’s review what He actually said”
        “requires more than a surface-level understanding of Scripture”
        “helps to know a tiny bit of history”
        “A lot of Christians don’t know that, even though it’s common knowledge among those who do even a tiny bit of homework”
        “Now, many modern Christians are ignorant of what’s in the Old Testament”

        Surely you can see when these are put one after another how they come across. Of course you don’t know me at all and have no way of knowing if any of the above mentioned things you shared are known to me or not. I can say comfortably that I am already aware of about 80% of what you shared and I am thankful to learn the other 20% and will daily seek to learn more.

        The problem is that even if I didn’t know any of that already, it could have been shared in a humble considerate way. In a spirit of brotherhood. Now I have thick skin so honestly it does not bother me that you would speak to me in this way. In a life where I have spent so much time around scholars, intellectuals and academics I have grown somewhat used to this approach. The reason I bring it up is because there are many people who are likely to read these interactions and find your approach to answering with such condescending language offensive. If your goal is simply to continue believing that your own opinion of scripture and history is infallible without the possibility of the person on the other end knowing things that could benefit you or help you learn something new, I might understand this approach better.

        However, if you are truly trying to have quality conversations with other Christians, and are yourself searching for continued guidance from the Holy Spirit to understand the scriptures more each and every day than I would challenge you to change your approach. There are so many who are just getting started on their spiritual walk with the Lord. They may stumble across this site and could be impacted so positively by your work, urging them to dig deeper and search for a deeper understanding of scripture for themselves. But if you use the language you did with me it also has the power to give them a foul taste in their mouth and push them away from any help or encouragement you and your work may be able to give.

        I say all of this in an attempt to benefit this website not bring it down in any way. I mean no disrespect and I hope my recommendations fall on open ears.

        Your brother in Christ,

        -Andre

        • Tony says:

          Andre:

          Thanks for your considerate reply! The reason Jesus talked about sabbaths that would occur after His death is that they were in Israel, where the sabbath laws would still be in effect. While the sabbath would no longer be in force, it would still be the law…and those who broke the law were right to be concerned, as it potentially carried the death penalty. Jesus’ warning was not about whether the sabbath was still needed, but about the dangers that would come from taking a too-long journey when the law forbade it.

          I do appreciate the last part of your comment. I’m open to criticism at all times, about all things. I’ve been doing this for 20+ years, and have written literally tens of millions of words in conversations like ours. In the beginning, I spent most of my time in chat rooms (remember those?) and on the Yahoo Message Boards. It was a very aggressive situation, and I was 20+ years younger. It took a long time to work my way to a gentler process. Since then, I think I’ve done pretty well…but there’s always room for improvement. You’re right: I could do better, and I will focus on being more gentle moving forward. Thank you for your kindness in pointing it out. Have a great day!

  51. Najwa Watson says:

    Good morning,

    I want to share that I am 24 years old, been saved for 14 years, and began following Christ by scripture (not by taught belief) since about 2015. I want to also begin by giving thanks to God for teachers like you and conversations like this because overall, I only see believers standing in the Truth, as it is written to them. However, I was also led here like another reader I saw in the comments, and I just want to express the impact of your responses to people. I pray you do care about the impact, just as much as the intention based off of scriptures in Titus 2. This is not space for you to quickly reject what I say, but to listen, and receive that this is what a young reader has experienced from the after-math of your teaching. What I received from you cannot be disproved, because I am currently feeling it. This is also not a judgement on who you are, or how you are. Just expression, in hope that you truly care about me and others reading.

    The truth is not supposed to be pretty, but the way you explain yourself comes off very offensive and condescending. If your goal is to have your sheep receive the milk or meat that they need in this Life, it would be nice to sense the fruits of the Holy Spirit from you, as listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Fruit from your message has yet to be felt, seen, or affirmed as I aimlessly scroll down the comment section. You are a great servant for learning as much as you did from Theology and studying scripture, but as a humble reader, Christ is lost in your voice when you actually speak to people. There is lack of understanding, and presence of belief that your own gained knowledge in Scripture is enough.

    My heart for you is that you don’t allow your wisdom to turn you into a Modern-Day Pharisee who judges, or loses sight in times where they could be wrong. Of course you’ve read about leaders and respected citizens in the Bible who knew scripture and what they truly meant, but still didn’t realize God’s true heart for us. Scripture for my basis on this is Luke 7:44-47. One of the greatest ironies of scripture is the rejection of Christ by the stewards of God’s word, by Jesus’ own disciples, and by the great leaders of that time.

    Everything you say is based on scripture, yes. But they appear to be set to your own theology and research. There’s danger in operating like that. The scriptures about Jesus coming to fulfill the Law was stated time and time again, but regard Romans 2:14-15. The commenters are just slightly disagreeing with you based off of Old Testament scriptures like Proverbs 7:3, and New Testament scriptures like Mark 2:27-28. Even though the Law was done away with, God still wanted the Commandments engraved in our hearts as internal respect and reminder of His original Will. Still, with no disagreement that the Law was technically done away with, just because you CAN let go of the Sabbath doesn’t mean you SHOULD (1 Corinthians 10:23). Christian freedom doesn’t take priority over God’s love.

    On one last note, keeping the Sabbath on the true, specific day is important to the readers, because they want to wholly express God’s love for their everyday living and worship. For biblical basis on the true days of the week, we can read about Jesus’ Resurrection. More specifically, “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb” (Luke 24:1, 2). This day was Resurrection Sunday, right? The previous scriptures express what happened that Friday, stated how the ladies rested on the Sabbath, and finally, they came back on Sunday to realize the stone was rolled away for our King’s tomb.

    I never misunderstood your intentions, but if readers are saying they feel a certain way from you, I don’t understand how you couldn’t be moved by that. You also point out the faults in other people, and then actually commit the same fault all within the same response to them. Disturbing contradiction from someone with so much power as you have. But I still thank you, and this message was written all in love. What you say is right, but it does leave out everything your readers are trying to express to you based of important scripture. I pray you begin to realize that some of these people are indeed giving you exact proof, and you take those responses and reject them because they are not as eloquent as you, as explanatory as you, or as knowledgeable as you. There is no end to learning, and you could even learn God’s truth from a baby who can’t speak scripture or explanation of it. Also, the Word is truly living. Although it doesn’t change, it speaks in so many ways within one single scripture.

    God Bless you, the doers, and the readers of the Word. Have a great day! I pray everyone finds peace.

    • Tony says:

      Najwa:

      First, thank you for your kindness.

      On the issue of sabbaths, let me be clear: the only commands to observe a 7th-day sabbath are in the context of the covenant between God and the descendants of Jacob. There is not, and has never been, any other command to observe any sabbath. If you want to observe the sabbath, that’s up to you. If you want to convince others that God wants (or expects, or demands, or even requests) for them to do so, you’ll have to do it with Scripture. There are no such Scriptures.

      There are also no Scriptures in which God suggests that the Ten Commandments should, would, or could be written on our hearts. Perhaps you meant this passage, from Jeremiah 31:

      “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
      after that time,” declares the Lord.
      “I will put my law in their minds
      and write it on their hearts.
      I will be their God,
      and they will be my people.”

      When interpreting the Bible, keep in mind that context is everything. There is no way to read this passage in context and conclude that God is talking about writing His law on your heart or mine. A lot of people have pretended that this passage has no context, suggesting that it applies to every person on earth. It cannot be responsibly read that way, can it?

      Have a great day!

  52. Patty Graham says:

    Blessings,
    Let me just say that one who honors God would NEVER speak one word against His Commandments.
    This would be a disgrace and dishonor to the blood of our Saviour, Who DIED to pay for the transgression of God’s law…
    which by the way is the Biblical definition of sin. 1John 3:4 Those who do such a thing should be ashamed and repent.
    By our words we will be justified…and by our words, we will be condemned. Paul never taught against God’s law…he respected It.
    He called It just, good, and holy. Romans 7:12

    • Tony says:

      Patty:

      First, thanks for visiting. Second, thanks for commenting! Third, it’s only your opinion that I’ve spoken anything against His Commandments. The truth is that I’ve used Scripture to explain God’s point of view.

      Yes, The Law was just, good, and holy. That’s not in doubt. However: it’s not a disgrace or dishonor to teach the full extent of Scripture. In fact, it’s impossible to know God’s mind on any subject without consulting all of Scripture. By taking a few verses out of context, you can make it sound like the Law is still in effect. It’s not. The Law was just, good, and holy…but it no longer applies.

      Why? Well…it’s important to keep in mind that the Law was only given to the Israelites, in the context of the covenant that God made with them at Sinai. This covenant never included Christians. If you read Acts 15, you’ll see that this very question has been addressed. The answer is no, Christians are not under the Law. It’s clear from the full witness of Scripture that it no longer applies to Israelites, either. Let’s look at what Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:14-15:

      For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.

      Jesus “set aside” the law. How about we go to Galatians 3 for a whole bunch more of what Paul wrote?

      The Law was temporary, until the Messiah came. The law was our guardian…we are no longer under a guardian. The Law is not of faith. The Law is a curse. Christ redeemed us from the Law.

      This is not speaking a word against His Commandments. It’s speaking the whole word about His Commandments. Paul respected the Law, and never taught against it…but he made it clear that it no longer applied to the children of Israel, and that it never applied to anyone else. That includes you and me, Patty. You can read more about this here.

      I hope you’ll take the time to look through the rest of the New Testament to see the rest of God’s Word about the Law. I would never suggest that you believe me…believe instead the words that God inspired men to write for you and me. We are not under the Law. We never have been. That’s not my opinion, or just one of many interpretations. That’s simply what God has said.

  53. Patty Graham says:

    Jesus said He did not come to abolish the law..not one jot or tittle.
    He also said when He returns, He will say to many…”Depart from me you workers of lawlessness”.
    It’s impossible to be lawless without a law in the first place.
    There were many types of laws in Scripture. Those that are no longer necessary are circumcision of the flesh(now it’s in the heart of the believers with God’s laws written on their hearts…this defines the new covenant, first mentioned in Jeremiah, again in Hebrews)
    Animal sacrifices are no longer, believers are a living sacrifice. Temple worship is no longer..
    for God does not dwell in temples made with hands of men, but in the hearts of believers.
    We no longer have an earthly priest, for Jesus is our high priest in heavenly places.
    The Sabbarth was sanctified at creation and is a part of God’s moral law, defining the day He has chosen for rest. (Hebrews 4, Genesis 2:3). The 10 Commandments were intended as a standard of righteousness for all people. One law for all. Numberrs 15:15-16
    Murder, stealing, and bearing false witness continue to be sinful acts, along with idolatry
    and coveting. God wrote these laws with His Own finger and they are eternal. Paul said he would not have known sin had the law not said’ thy shall not covet’, one of God’s Commandments. We obey God from faith, not because of a law demanding us to. Jesus
    said, “if thy will enter into life….keep the Commandments”. Mt.19:17
    Blessed are they that do His Commandments..,they have a right to the tree of life,
    And may enter into the gates of the city” Revelation 22:14
    Those who honor the Lord, submitting to His Lordship, will go with Him into eternal life!

    • Tony says:

      Patty:

      Thanks again for your comment.

      You say that “Jesus said He did not come to abolish the law..not one jot or tittle.” That’s true…but it’s not the whole story. If you only tell part of the story by quoting only part of what He said, you misrepresent Him. Let’s look at the whole thing. It’s in Matthew 5:

      Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

      Jesus did what He came to do. He didn’t fail. He succeeded. He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. Everything was accomplished. Those who believe that Christians should obey the Law of Moses are simply wrong. Read Acts 15, where the question came before the Christian leaders in Jerusalem. That group most likely included Peter, James, Paul, Barnabas, and John. They were clear in their instructions: Gentile Christians were not required to obey Mosaic Law.

      It’s worth noting that you haven’t responded to Paul’s teaching in Galatians (among other verses). You seem to be suggesting that I’m some sort of antinomian…someone who believes that Christians are entirely free to live as they wish. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. My point is that the written Law – that is, the Ten Commandments and the regulations that come from it – has been replaced. It never applied to anyone outside the Sinai covenant, and it no longer applies to Israelites. Paul, who undoubtedly knew much more than you or I about the Law, called it the ministry that brought death (2 Corinthians 3:7). What more do you need?

      Please: do some more research. Study the whole of God’s Word, not just the parts that seem to support your own views. Those of us who are in Christ have no need for the written law. We have God Himself dwelling in us. The Holy Spirit leads us into all righteousness. The new covenant is not like the old covenant. The old covenant is obsolete, and new covenant is better.

  54. Rose says:

    Mercy….this is never ending. My husband and I near divorce because he wants to go back to the Christian Biblical Church of God. Fred Coulter heads this sabbath and feast keeping group. I discern they are all haughty and think they are the only chosen ones around. Beware people. Please google their web site. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Tony says:

      I’m very sorry to hear that, Rose. I’m praying for you and your husband.

      In my experience, these kind of errors come almost entirely from ignorance of the Scriptures. I wouldn’t suggest that Coulter is ignorant of what they say, but I would suggest that he has a following because a lot of other people are. It takes a special kind of audacity to claim that you, and only you, have the right understanding of God’s Word…and that everybody else in the world – including scholars and theologians with equal or better credentials from 2,000 years of church history – is wrong. I would suggest that you and your husband might decide to do a Bible study together, where you look together at the CBCG’s statements of faith and compare them with the Scriptures. Pray that the Holy Spirit will work in your heart, and in your husband’s heart…and trust that His Word will not fail you. If your husband is sincere in his desire to serve the God of the Bible, the best remedy for unbiblical ideas is simple: more Bible.

      Let me know how it goes, please!

  55. Patty says:

    Obedience is not by human works, but by divine power given to those who love God and His truth. Acts 5:32
    Peter attests to this in Acts 3:7-12
    Honor to God’s Word, who is Jesus(John 1:14) is our foundation for our faith.
    Rose, we have been led astray by the teachings and traditions of men also, which was a waste of time.
    Staying in the Word and on our knees will produce the faith that honors God. Blessings

    • Tony says:

      Come on, Patty. If you’re going to try to make the case that the Bible says something, do try to actually get your info from the Bible. Here’s Acts 5:32: We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. It does not say what you claim.

      Acts 3:7-12 doesn’t say what you claim, either:

      Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?

      Your advice to Rose at the end is great, and I recommend it for you (and me) as well: keep studying the Bible, and keep praying. Don’t just parrot things you’ve heard…go to the Scriptures and study them for yourself.

  56. Roseann Llewellyn says:

    Thank you Tony for your continuing to shed light upon God’s word. My husband continues with his beliefs stemming from his being in the original Worldwide Church of God with Herbert W Armstrong at the helm. I am thankful to believe that Jesus fulfilled the law and I have peace…….our walk is daily….no day is set aside. I am also thankful that I don’t have to be a Bible scholar to be saved.
    All this back and forth discussion is exhausting. Check out Twin Lake Church website…..Aptos, Ca. Let me know what you think. I love the teaching at this non denominational Christian church. I’m sorry butvI get confused trying to figure out scripture.

    • Tony says:

      Roseann:

      Thanks for your kind words! I’m sorry to hear that your husband was part of the Worldwide Church of God (in the old days). My friend Rick was also, and I can see that it’s very difficult to leave that all behind. Thank God that they eventually came to orthodoxy!

      After looking at the Twin Lake website, they look great. I haven’t visited, and haven’t listened to any sermons online…so my advice isn’t worth a lot. Their statement of belief is biblical, and I like the other, smaller, items on their website that indicate they’re probably the kind of church I might attend.

      They appear to be capable of helping you learn to understand the Bible on your own…I would chat with a pastor about how to make that happen. There are plenty of good online resources as well. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

  57. Noel Charles says:

    Noel is my name and it is a topic that I discussed with someone who says we have to keep the Sabbath. I believe that if he takes sometime what the Scripture says and to know what God had delivered from he would see things differently. Keep sharing the Word and hope that all those participated and did not fully understand what the Scripture says, would ask the Holy Spirit to open up their understanding.

  58. Steven Stewart says:

    My name is Steven Stewart
    And like most people on here I was steadfast in my Sabbath beliefs
    I bumped head with Tony a few times on this and was very unhappy with this whole web page
    But somehow me and Tony continued to be brothers through our different beliefs
    I’ve now come to the conclusion on my own accord after reading the apostle Paul’s writings
    Exspeally Galattions that we are at Liberty from the Sabbath
    Liberty given to us by Jesus Christ
    Liberty not to Sin
    But a new covenant
    Love you God with all your heart and soul
    And love your neighbor as yourself.
    The passage that was my ahha moment was when Paul said we are not to observe day weeks and months
    To do so is to try to justify our selves by the law and reject the library given to us through Christ Jesus
    Paul’s talks about the laws of the Gentiles as being different from the Jews original covenant
    Our covenant as Gentiles are with Christ Jesus
    He also talks about sins not to commit
    It’s more than a few
    I’ll name a couple
    Adultery
    Fornication
    Murder
    Wrath
    Socery
    Thanks Tony for sticking it out for the truth of the Gospel
    Sincerely Steven Stewart your brother in Christ

    • Tony says:

      Steven:

      You’re awesome. Thanks for having such a great conversation with me. I was very happy to hear that you had taken the time to study the Scriptures and adjust what you believe based on what you learned. You’re an inspiration, because that’s what all of us should do.

      So many people have created a strange argument about the Sabbath. They say that it’s not required, but that we should observe it anyway… but then they act like it’s required. They say it just shows respect for God, but then pretend that not observing the Sabbath is a sin. There are even people who believe that worshiping with other Christians on Sunday, rather than on Saturday, is the mark of the beast that we find in Revelation! I can’t count the number of different, but strange, arguments about the Sabbath I’ve read over the years. It’s interesting to me that every time someone does their homework and reads what the Bible actually says, they change their minds about what they used to believe. The Scriptures are powerful.

      I’m glad we’re friends, Steven.

  59. Vicki says:

    Oh, my goodness Tony, bless you for your patience and your logical biblical insight. As our pastor says, God is not trying to trick us if you pray for wisdom and let Godly logic prevail you will understand. I’ve read (almost) all the comments, in my humble opinion, I don’t know how anyone cannot see, understand, and agree with your explanations. Thank you again for your logical insight. My only question about this issue is why the continued back and forth do some believe that they may lose salvation over this issue?

    • Tony says:

      Vicki:

      Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it!

      You ask a good question about why people have such strong opinions on the sabbath. It seems there are a number of different viewpoints that all contribute to it. I’ll make a short list.

      Salvation
      Yes, some people do believe that not observing the sabbath as outlined in the Old Testament will cost them their eternal life. Here’s their logic: if failing to observe the sabbath is a sin, then they may lose their salvation because it’s sin that sends people to Hell. The problem is that this ignores the fact that Jesus’ death paid the penalty for all sin, for all people, for all time. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in this view, since NOBODY observes the sabbath today in the way that God commanded the ancient Israelites to do it. If you want to say that God demands it, you also have to do it in the WAY that He commands.

      Sincerity
      Because so many sincerely want to please God, they want to do everything in their power to obey Him. As a result, they don’t want to pick and choose what to obey… they simply see a command and want to follow it. If they started asking whether the command applies to them, they would feel like they’re picking and choosing the things they’re willing to obey. Put simply, they don’t know better.

      Ignorance
      Having these conversations has shown me that most people are simply ignorant about what the Bible actually teaches. That’s why GodWords exists: to help people learn what God really says, and to help them work through the process of changing their beliefs to follow Scripture more closely. Most of us find that process difficult. Because we tend toward laziness, we avoid the uncomfortable process of challenging our own beliefs. Fortunately, those who are willing to do their homework to see what the Bible really says end up turning toward right beliefs. That happened recently, on this very article. My friend Steven has overcome his previous ignorance by really studying, for the first time, the Scriptures that talk about this subject. It’s also what happened to the Worldwide Church of God. They were a theological cult of Christianity, denying the trinity and insisting on Saturday worship. After their leaders started questioning what they taught, they repented of their errors and turned toward biblical orthodoxy. Unfortunately, there were plenty who chose to stick with their previous errors.

      Wolves
      Unfortunately, there are also people who claim the name of Jesus but do not follow Him at all. The New Testament warns about them, describing them as dangerous, like wolves. They’re only here to cause division and strife. I have no doubt that a fair number of people who come to GodWords to argue fall into this category. They run around starting arguments but have no interest in the truth. I’m not talking about people who really struggle to change their own minds, but people who have no interest in changing their minds… regardless of the evidence.

      I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to talk through the Scriptures with so many people. It’s very exciting when someone does their homework and is encouraged in their faith by what they find. Thanks for asking, Vicki!

  60. Doug says:

    Hey there Tony! I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on the dead sea scrolls/ the apocrypha? Mainly the books of Jubilees and 2nd Esdras(4th Ezra). Specific chapters Jubilees 2, and 2nd Esdras 7!

    • Tony says:

      Hey Doug! That’s a pretty broad question. Can you narrow it down a bit?

      Generally speaking, the Dead Sea Scrolls contain nothing from the New Testament, so our interest in them would be largely academic, not theological. Generally speaking, the apocrypha wasn’t considered Scripture when it was compiled. I believe that those documents are helpful in shedding light on the culture at the time, and on the beliefs of some… but I wouldn’t go much beyond that. There are good and specific reasons for the 66-book canon, and I’m not in a position to contradict those.

      If you have specific questions about specific parts, or topics, I’d be happy to look into them. Thanks!

  61. Pete says:

    Hallo Tony,

    Thanks, I you will not know how much I needed this.

  62. Laura says:

    I started reading comments and there were sooooo many so I’m just going to ask my question and if it’s already been asked I’m sorry. Isn’t the law different then God’s commandments? I thought we were no longer under the law but still under His commandments (10 commandments). Is this wrong? I’m seriously asking because this is something that we’ve really been searching in our home.
    Thanks!

    • Tony says:

      Laura:

      First, we are definitely not under the Law. That’s made clear in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It never applied to anyone but the ancient Israelites.

      Second, the Law IS the 10 Commandments, and a whole bunch of other things. So, we’re not “under” the 10 Commandments.

      However: 9 of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament, so Christians should observe that. Not because we’re under the Law, but because Christians are taught to do those things.

      The only command not repeated? The Sabbath. Why? Because the Sabbath has been fulfilled. We still shouldn’t worship anything but God, we still shouldn’t lie or steal, and so on… but the sabbath observation isn’t something Christians need to be concerned with. Does that make sense?

  63. Mary says:

    Tony
    If we are no longer are under the law,,the 10 commandments.. then we can murder, steal? .etc..we know what not to do and we know what to do which is good ..why not keep the sabbath holy.? Jesus is Lord of the sabbath now.sabbath means 7th day which is Saturday..Jesus did not say he was Lord of Sunday..God who is Jesus in the flesh ordained the sabbath day..God does not change..God said this..Why do people worship on Sunday,,?,no where in Gods word does God change the sabbath day. the sabbath day was made for man to rest.we know not to commit murder etc..why eliminate the sabbath day ? The apostles met the first day of the week, so Christians assume the day was changed ..no where in Gods word does God Jesus mention he changed the day. Many people justify Sunday cause they think Christ Jesus rose from the dead Sunday, he was in the tomb before sunset the day of preparation of the Passover which is a high day, not the sabbath day. The Hebrew day is sunset to sunset ..Friday sunset to Sunday morning is not 72 full hrs. Jesus is the unblemished Passover lamb.
    My issue is,, we Must worship God in spirit and truth,,that’s what God wants. I do study and a lot of research to find truth..God Jesus was in the tomb before sunset preparation day before Passover that night,,he rose on the sabbath ..it was Mary that found the tomb empty that Sunday morning does not mean Christ Jesus’s rose that morning,, they did not use commas etc in the Holy Spirit inspired writings of Gods word back then… .man added them changing the truth of God’s word.

    • Tony says:

      Mary:

      You ask good questions!

      There should be no debate as to whether Christians are under the Law… that is, the Mosaic Law. We are not, and we never have been. There are no arguments that can legitimately undermine this truth. The Mosaic Law was given only to the ancient Israelites, and to no one else. Even those who were once under the Law – the Jews – are no longer under the Law, as outlined very clearly in the New Testament. It’s very simple: we are not under the Law.

      That doesn’t mean that we have no law at all, of course. That would be silly. Look at the gospels! Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all lay out, in careful detail, what Jesus taught. Those are the commands that Christians are to live by. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” Just before going to Heaven, Jesus said to make disciples, and to “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That seems pretty clear. We have commandments, but they come from Jesus, and not from the Law.

      Did you know that 9 of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament? I’m going to write a new article, showing these verses. Christians don’t follow the 10 Commandments, but we do live by the same principles. Can you guess which of the 10 Commandments is missing from the New Testament? That’s right: the Sabbath. Why? Because the Sabbath looked forward to Jesus, and Jesus has come.

      Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 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 3:23-25

      The purpose for the Sabbath has been fulfilled, so it is no longer needed. Not Sunday, and not Saturday either.

  64. Emily says:

    Hi Tony,

    I wanted to thank you for this excellent, articulate article. My favorite part, however, was reading through your discussions with those commenting and seeing how you engaged with them and their opposing arguments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it’s encouraging to me seeing a fellow Christian standing on what they believe without being condescending or prideful.

  65. George says:

    DO YOU UPHOLD THE SABBATH AS IT IS WRITTEN
    “LET’S PUT THIS INTO CONTEXT”

    Let’s start at the beginning.

    Jesus… is the creator of the world.
    Praise is Holy Name

    The reason for the above scripture is to show you how the Sabbath day came to be.

    Many Christians follow in the footsteps their fathers and Mothers, and also their fathers before them and we just like them accepted what we are told in this regard?

    A question not so frequently asked and should be, is how did Sunday worship come to be?

    Roman Emperor Constantine… Council of Laodicea…

    Loving your neighbor is good but as your children grow up you need to teach them the 10 Commandments so that they understand what this all means. You cannot just tell a child love your neighbor how will they understand what you are saying if you do not explain this to them as they are growing up.

    …This includes the Sabbath of which we are talking about. This is the 4th commandment.

    Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

    It is often said, we are not Jews and therefore are not bound by the Law. Yes that is in part true because Jesus came and died for you and me, he shed is precious blood to atone for all our sins. He was the perfect sacrifice, ‘The Lamb without blemish”, he died and took upon himself the sins of the world so that no more sacrifices need to be made no more blood needs to be shed. He died once and for all, on the cross.
    A question that should be asked? “Have the Gentiles been given different commandments by God and a different Sabbath?”

    Throughout scripture from EXODUS to Revelations it is written “if you love me uphold my commandments”.

    So looking at the above scripture we can say there is NO scripture that says Gentiles and Jews have different commandments, “WHY” because we are now all children of God and there is no scripture that says there are two sets of rules / commandments.

    Should we then observe the same Sabbath and festivals he gave the Jews. Most certainly “YES” we should, because we are all his children, he has confirmed that to us so many times.

    There are a number of Questions that are very important and thus everyone should discern for themselves what is right and what is wrong by look into and studying the scriptures. Not only the scriptures but an in-depth look into history and the events that have attributed to many things we do today.

    • Tony says:

      George:

      I have edited your comment. I do not do this often, and I never do it lightly. Please know that this decision was not made because I disagree with you, but because your comment was simply GIGANTIC. One of my goals is to have conversations with people about the articles I write, and your comment would be good if we were alone. Millions will read this page, and most will not read a comment that long. Most will even stop reading entirely, which is contrary to my goals. I’ve tried to leave the parts that will further the conversation.

      For those who are reading this, George used a lot of Scriptures (which is good) and some lengthy examples. His comment was pretty well-written, and my edits should not cause you to discount or ignore what he wrote. I hope that my response, as well as the article and comments here, will convince you to continue to search the Scriptures to find the truth.

      I’ve been having this conversation for many years, and many of the arguments are the same. I’ll address the “big” points one by one.

      Yes, Jesus is the creator of the world. Yes, we should praise Him. No, the Scriptures that explain who Jesus is do not explain how the sabbath day came to be. As the article points out, the sabbath was established as part of God’s covenant with the nation of Israel. The word “sabbath” only means “rest,” like “to stop.” God sabbathed in Genesis… that is, He stopped because He was finished creating. At that point, no instructions were given to observe any kind of remembrance. Later, in Exodus 16, God told the Israelites that He would not give them manna on the seventh day, which was a rest day. They gathered twice as much on the sixth day, so they would have enough. These instructions would never apply to anyone not stuck in the wilderness for 40 years.

      Later, God told them to remember the sabbath. That is, to remember that He provided for them in the wilderness, and that they were dependent on Him, and that He would continue to provide. Finally, in Exodus 31, God said this:

      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.'”

      Do you see it? God told Moses to tell the Israelites that the sabbath was a sign between them and God for generations. This is not a universal instruction. This is part of God’s covenant with Israel, and only they were included in it. There were no Pakistanis involved, nor Chinese, nor Peruvians, nor Canadians. This only applied to them.

      As for being taught by our parents, you make a good point. Too many simply believe whatever they’re told, and never question. However, it seems that you’re saying that I disagree with you because I’m only parroting what I was taught as a child. That’s a very bad argument, George. First, I was taught to observe the Sabbath as a day of rest… but, even if I had been taught otherwise, the question is not what I was taught by people, but what the Scriptures say. I’ve learned to be like the Bereans, who received what Paul taught with joy, and then went home to check the Scriptures to make sure he was right. You should do the same.

      You mention “Sunday worship” as if the early church changed the sabbath to Sunday. They did not. They didn’t consider the first day of the week to be a sabbath. They recognized that the sabbath was no longer to be observed, as Jesus had fulfilled the old covenant with Israel and had begun a new covenant with the whole world. Nine of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament, to be observed by all. The one that’s missing is the sabbath, for a very good reason. The old covenant never included gentiles, and it was no longer to be observed by the Jews.

      The new covenant replaced the old covenant. Not only are we not bound by the Law because we’re not Jews, but the Jews themselves are not bound by the Law. Any person who follows Jesus is to obey HIS commands, not the Levitical Law. This is firmly established in the New Testament. No, the gentiles have not been given a new sabbath. We worship every day. We remember every day, not just on the seventh or the first.

      >> we can say there is NO scripture that says Gentiles and Jews have different commandments, “WHY” because we are now all children of God and there is no scripture that says there are two sets of rules / commandments.

      Yes! You wrote that right, even if you didn’t mean to. Jews and Gentiles do not have different commandments because all who trust in God are His children, and there are no Scriptures that teach two sets of rules. You simply have the wrong rules, my friend. The rules and commandments given on Sinai were good, but temporary. Jesus’ rules and commands are good, and permanent. They supersede the old. The old is gone.

      I hope that makes sense. Please feel free to continue this conversation. Many have become convinced not by me, but by their own study of the Scriptures. Please study.

  66. Herb says:

    All is encompassesd in this one phrase. It begins with Jesus and it ends with Jesus.

  67. Nonso Chukwuemeka says:

    I stumbled on this topic while researching sabbath observance on Sunday as against Saturday. Here is my God given insight of it.

    Regarding Observing the sabbath day, we all know that Sabbath means “rest” and God commanded us to keep it holy. There are two ways to Keep this command; By “works” or by “Faith”.
    In the Old Covenant its a Law that must be obeyed, but in the New Covenant its a Promise Fulfilled. Let me explain:
    God stipulated the 7th day as the sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11), but did not specify which day it must be (neither Saturday nor Sunday nor Monday nor any other week for that matter), These days of the week were even named by pagans. If you were to observed the sabbath day armed with this knowledge, you could simply work for any straight 6 days and rest the next day after the last day of work (in which you do no work) keeping it holy, by God’s command whatever day of the week it falls into does not matter.
    But in the worlds system of work and employment, it most definitely falls into Sunday and sometimes Saturday and in some places (Muslim countries) even Friday. If you own a company of your own, you could even make it a Wednesday by starting off work on a Thursday.

    However the above method of keeping the sabbath day (be it Sunday or Saturday or Monday) is only achieved by “works” which is by calculating the 7th day of rest and abstaining from doing any work in that day.

    In the New Covenant everyday is a Sabbath day, not just one day, Remember that Sabbath means rest, here it is (Matthew 11:28-30),
    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
    Here Jesus invites us to his “rest” or Sabbath, that He is the one that gives rest.
    Further down in Matthew 12: 8, Jesus makes it clearer when he states, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” He owns the Sabbath -“rest”. Jesus further reveals what is lawful to do on Sabbath in Matthew 12:12 “How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
    Fast forward to Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
    It is by our believe in Christ that we are saved, and we keep the New Command we are in Christ who is the Lord of the Sabbath. The New Command as Given by Jesus Christ is stated in John 15: 10-14 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
    These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
    This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
    Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

    This Statement gives the condition for fulfilling all of Gods law, fulfil the Command of Jesus ” love one another” and through Him you have fulfilled all His Father’s Commands. Its as simple as that. By Faith in Christ we have kept the sabbath day(not just one day but everyday) holy.
    However remember Paul’s admonition in exercising your right don’t cause another to stumble whose faith is not strong enough, (1Corinthians 8:9) ” Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”
    Those who observe the sabbath on a single day (Saturday, Sunday or any other day) are in the right even if they don’t realise that in Christ the sabbath is everyday. For the benefit of those who Observe it on Sunday, I’m in the Sunday group; and for those of Saturday or any other day, I’m included; for those not in the Old Sabbath Law group but observing the New Covenant in Christ we are all in the everyday “Rest” Sabbath group by our Faith in Christ Jesus.

    • Tony says:

      Nonso Chukwuemeka:

      Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts. I can’t yet agree with your conclusions. Let’s discuss.

      >> Here is my God given insight
      With all due respect, that’s not a good way to start. God MAY have given you insight, but that doesn’t help anybody else unless He also gives them the same insight. A better way is to ask each other about what God has already revealed. If your insights match God’s revelation, then God’s revelation should be good enough for all. If your insights don’t match God’s revelation, then your insights are worthless. Agreed?

      >> we all know that Sabbath means “rest” and God commanded us to keep it holy
      Yes, sabbath means rest. No, God has NOT commanded us to keep it holy. God commanded that the ancient Israelites keep it holy, and neither you nor I were involved. It seems wise to stay out of other peoples’ agreements.

      >> There are two ways to Keep this command
      No, there are currently NO WAYS to keep this command. The old covenant never applied to anyone but Israel, and it no longer applies to even them.

      >> These days of the week were even named by pagans.
      With respect, this is comical. Rishon, Sheni, and Shlishi were not ‘named by pagans.’ Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday may have been, but God’s command to sabbath on the seventh day was given long, long before we accepted those new names.

      In spite of your bad arguments, we agree that sabbaths are not to be kept by works. Let’s talk about keeping sabbaths by faith.

      >> In the New Covenant everyday is a Sabbath day
      No. I understand what you’re saying, but it’s still wrong. Here are two reasons:

      1. Those who are born again have entered into His rest. The New Testament does not suggest a day-by-day understanding of observing a day of rest by faith. Instead, it says that we who have believed enter that rest. It’s one rest that you enter when you believe, and continue in. You can read the details in Hebrews 4.
      2. If we believe that God commanded us to sabbath, we should obey Him. God gave instructions about how to observe the sabbath, and neither you nor I are in a position to change them. It’s entirely unbiblical to say that a sabbath should be observed in any other way.

      The command to sabbath is the only one of the 10 Commandments not repeated in the New Testament, and there’s a good reason for that: we don’t observe sabbaths at all. The New Testament doesn’t teach Christians to observe sabbaths differently, or to observe different sabbaths. It doesn’t teach us to sabbath at all. We don’t enter into God’s rest by making a fresh decision to sabbath every day. We have already entered His rest because we have believed. We are IN His rest, and remain in it.

  68. Annaliza says:

    Hi Tony
    Thank you for a well written article. I have been reading some of the comments and I see that you have mentioned that the law was only given to the Israelites and not to foreigners or other nations. I am by no means a scholar of the Word but when I read Deuteronomy 31 V 9 -13 it mentions,
    “Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests…. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, “

    Also Exodus 20:10 states “But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.”

    When the scripture mentions “sojourner” is this not referring to a foreigner?

    When trying to determine whether a believer should observe and keep the Sabbath, I often struggle because of the examples in the two passages mentioned above.

    Your comments as always, are appreciated.

    Your sister in Christ

    Annaliza

    • Tony says:

      Annaliza:

      You’ve asked a good question! A lot of people see the word ‘sojourner’ and, because the Mosaic Law applied to people who weren’t Israelites, conclude that the Law applied to all people. Clearly, this is not the case. The word in Hebrew is ger, and it means a guest or a stranger or a foreigner. Sojourners were people who moved to the promised land to live with Yahweh as their God. People from any other nation could live there, but they didn’t have the same inheritance rights, like being able to own land.

      The same word is used in Genesis 15:13, where God said this to Abram: Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.

      It’s also used in Genesis 23:4. Abraham and Sarah lived in Hebron (part of Canaan), and Sarah died there. Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said, “I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead”. In this verse, we see the words foreigner and stranger. I find this story interesting and fascinating, by the way… I recommend reading the whole section. The word ‘foreigner’ is ger and ‘stranger’ is towshab. The term we might use today is ‘resident alien,’ or someone who isn’t from here but has taken up long-term residence.

      These foreigners could live in Israel as long as they wanted to abide by Israel’s laws, which were given to Moses. The Law given to Moses, as you’ve already read in Exodus 20, applied to the Israelites… and to anyone wishing to join them in the promised land. This Law never applied to anyone else.

      By the way: those laws no longer apply to anyone, including Jews. As for whether Christians should observe the sabbath, it’s worth noting that only nine of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. Certainly the sabbath is mentioned, but nowhere in the New Testament are followers of Jesus taught to observe sabbaths. They were only a sign – a symbol – pointing to Jesus, and no longer needed once He arrived.

      Does that make sense?

  69. Guy says:

    Hey Tony, I must admire your fruits of spirit in dealing with the disrespect and insulting comments.

    In regards of the Sabbath, I was trying to observe it every Saturday with my family but coming across Colossians 2:16-17 and deeper digging, I realizes that the Mosaic Law was fulfilled by Jesus on the cross. I understand the new covenant in effect for the Jew first and then the gentile is grace. In this freedom, we are no longer bound by the chains of the law but unless we choose to, in which we will be cursed and judged by the law. But now, walking in faith is the new justification because a personal relationship with Christ transforms our hearts (Something the law couldn’t do).

    The 7th Day Adventist and other people love to judge people by their keeping of the Sabbath, which as you noted by scripture, is not required.

    We should not be pestering or worrying about who is keeping the Sabbath because the focus should stay on Christ, lest we sink like Paul did.

    Thanks for clearing thay up, your explanations have liberated me and now walk more in the freedom of Christ, praising his name.

    Be easy Tony,

    God bless everyone in this forum!

    • Tony says:

      Guy:

      Your kindness is refreshing. Thank you!

      I very much like how you explained it: the old covenant is gone, and the new is to the Jew first and then the gentile. I’m probably going to steal that, because it’s good (and true). I appreciate you!

  70. Gert Botha says:

    Genesis(NIV) 2:
    1_Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
    2_By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
    3_Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

    My view on Sabbath
    Two things are important for me:
    1: GOD blessed the seventh day and made it holy
    2: God blessed the seventh day and made it HOLY

    Friday at sunset, I try to have most of my work done. But now in my mind I let go of all the temptations, worries and things concerning my own needs. This is my Daddy’s day! I try to focus on our surroundings and the more I look, the more I see God’s creational works e.g. birds coming for a last drink and flowers closing for the night and the last sun-rays still touching the highest mountain peaks.
    I realize each time what phenomenal great God we serve. And my praises start to go out to Him who loves me most.
    Important for me is that my prayers on the Sabbath do NOT consist of “Lord help me here; Lord take away my back-pain; Lord change my workplace; Lord do this and that for me” Its plain praise only and then I realize how self-centered I actually am when I find fewer words when NOT thinking of myself…

    Keeping the Sabbath does not secure me a place in heaven. It does not make me righteous. And it certainly may not let me feel good about myself!!! My father wants an intimate relationship with me and what better day there would be than the day Daddy has set apart for us!
    And YES, HIS blessing and calmness filling my stressed-out lifestyle is only because of HIS love for me and me just being obedient!
    My advice: Don’t “try out” keeping the Sabbath but start building that relationship, your Dad is so longing for!

    Blessings to you all you truth seekers out there, keep on and God will answer when you open up your heart to Him

    • Tony says:

      Gert:

      I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment!

      Unfortunately, I’m going to respond negatively to it. YOUR view of the sabbath is irrelevant. So is MY view of the sabbath. We should only be concerned about God’s view. Where can we find God’s view on the sabbath? In the Bible, of course! I have no doubt that you read the Bible, so I’d like to point out a few things for you to study.

      First, Genesis 2. It does say that God qadash the seventh day. That word means a number of things, but they all relate to a main idea: to set apart, or dedicate. It’s a pretty common word… it appears over 200 times in the Hebrew Bible. The fact that something is qadash is no indication that it’s for everyone. For example, my son’s birthday is coming up. We will qadash the day to celebrate him. You don’t need to set that day apart and dedicate it to the same celebration.

      God set apart the seventh day. That doesn’t mean you or I need to do the same. You can if you want to, of course… I’m in no position to tell you what you can and cannot do. However: everyone is in the same position when it comes to Scripture. Everyone can, and should, see what the text of God’s Word actually says. Here’s the plain, unvarnished truth: nobody outside the ancient nation of Israel was ever commanded to observe the sabbath.

      The problem is not that YOU observe a sabbath. The problem is that you believe it’s appropriate to tell others that GOD wants them to do the same. That opinion can’t be found in the Bible, my friend. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of things in the Bible that are qadash, yet you probably don’t spend any time thinking about those other things. They were “holy,” in the same way the sabbath was holy, but that seems to have escaped notice.

      We who are in Christ live in an ever-present reality: we have entered into God’s rest. That is why Christians who live as the Bible teaches do not concern themselves with sabbaths. I’m not going to condemn you or anyone for observing sabbaths… that would be silly and hypocritical of me. Instead, I will continue to simply point out the fact that sabbaths are, for Christianity, irrelevant.

      • Gert Botha says:

        Hi Tony
        Thank you for your explanation.
        I respect your opinion and also will not try to convince you otherwise.
        I believe what God’s word says and will not try to find out if it really is what its saying.
        Nevertheless I find it interesting what you are saying(hence the interest in your site) and at least I realize again that its utmost important to study God’s Word!
        Blessings to you, Tony

  71. AE says:

    Hi Tony, I am thankful that I have come to your page. The topic of observance of the Sabbath has been the reason a man that I had a relationship with decided to end it, he claimed that despite showing me numerous verses that prove that the Sabbath is:
    – a sign between God and His people,
    – the Sabbath needs to be kept Holy,
    – or in the NT that if we love Him we keep His commandments.
    I continue to not see the truth and as such we can’t walk together in this life as we are unevenly yoked.
    That’s basically the gist of it.
    I have done my own studying and my mother who is a Christian woman and studied theology when I was growing up as means to learn about the Word also has given me plenty of Scripture to support that the Sabbath need not be kept by us Christians.

    Still as you can imagine, I am heartbroken and I go back and forth in confusion.

    At a fundamental level I think that the answer is found in Hebrews 4 and also in the fact that the Sabbath commandment is never mentioned by Jesus or after his death in the NT.

    My question to you is, in the catholic religion (how I grew up) there is a commandment to keep the Sabbath. Catholics and most Christians claim to keep it by going to church on Sunday (or any day, the day is irrelevant). What are your thoughts on these Christians dedicating a day to the Lord and going to church? Do you also not go to church? I am in no way judging or implying anything, as I don’t even have a congregation myself ( I would like but I haven’t found one)

    Thank you. Your thread has given me some peace in such a difficult time.

    • Tony says:

      Ana:

      Your kind words warm my heart this morning. Thank you.

      I’m sorry to hear that you lost a relationship over this issue. That’s hard.

      I do go to church. We meet regularly, including Sundays. This isn’t because the Bible tells us to, but simply because it’s traditional… our society revolves around the M-F work week, and most have the weekend off. That’s just how things have worked out. You’re absolutely correct: the New Testament never instructs people who follow Jesus to worship on a particular day.

      I have no problem with any believer who chooses to set aside a day… to dedicate that time to God. No problem at all. That’s up to them. Clearly, there’s no biblical reason to NOT do that. The only problem I have is when people preach and teach and repeat that this is what God demands. It’s not about worship. It’s not about Sunday. It’s about God, and what we see in His Word. When someone says that God commands something, I want to know where. If they can’t find it, my skepticism is shown to be wise.

      There’s nothing wrong with worshipping on Saturdays, or Sundays, or whenever. There IS something wrong with saying that God commands it, or that He forbids it. You should feel free to worship regularly, often, and without condemnation.

      I’m glad you’re my sister. If I can help you decide on some local churches to visit, let me know.

      • AE says:

        Tony, I would like help finding a church as after this experience I have realized how important it is to find a congregation that spreads sound doctrine so that I can grow in my knowledge of the Lord. I am in Miami, Florida down south around zipcode 33130 and I am in my early thirties.. so I would love to find a church with a vibrant young community so that I could also make friends and come together in bible studies and such.

        Many blessings to you, thank you so much for your quick response.

    • Just a Messenger says:

      [This comment has been edited. See my reply for details.]

      God is Good! He is GREAT…
      The enemy of God, the devil, does not want us to worship God the way He has bidden us…
      There are NOW more than 500 Sabbath keeping denominations in the world…

      • Tony says:

        Hey, Just a Messenger. Thanks for visiting. If you’d like to have conversation about what the Bible says about sabbath-keeping, let’s. If you’d like to publish a list of 500 congregations, all of whom have gotten the sabbath wrong, please feel free to make your own website. Have a great day!

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