Taking questions from Sabbatarians...


#1

Door is open! Any Sabbatarians driving by that may have questions about the whole Sabbath Sunday thing…lets have it. Any question is a good question.

Joao


#2

Since Sabbatarians are generally sola scriptura protestants, can you provide any evidence, sola scripture, for the keeping of Sunday, the abolishing of the Sabbath, or something similar?


#3

[quote="Zulfiqar, post:2, topic:300928"]
Since Sabbatarians are generally sola scriptura protestants, can you provide any evidence, sola scripture, for the keeping of Sunday, the abolishing of the Sabbath, or something similar?

[/quote]

Hello Zulfigar,

I never implied that the Sabbath was abolished. What if I told you that Sunday was not a replacement for the Sabbath? But that Sunday was the day which Christians are to gather?

In order to make sense of what I just said one must define what the Sabbath is and is not. We must both agree on that.

What would you say is the meaning of the Jewish Sabbath?

Joao


#4

I was raised Catholic, but don’t identify as a denominational Christian. I choose to go to church on a Sunday - because this is what we did from when we were kids - however, I also believe Paul in Romans 14:5-6 is encouraging people to keep God in the forefront of their day of observance - whether it’s Saturday or Sunday.

“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.”

I have done bible studies with friends who are SDA - and this is one of our biggest points of disagreement! Where there are references to the Sabbath in the New Testament, I firmly believe that this was the author’s personal preference - just like Paul was a Sabbatarian however advocated and recognised alternative days of worship.

For me, the Sabbath was something given to the people of Israel before Jesus came to Earth. Sunday worship is something that we as Christians, who accept that Jesus lived, do. Neither is right or wrong - and I can’t believe that my judgement will come down to the day I choose to honour God.

Just my opinion


#5

[quote="mummato2, post:4, topic:300928"]
I was raised Catholic, but don't identify as a denominational Christian. I choose to go to church on a Sunday - because this is what we did from when we were kids - however, I also believe Paul in Romans 14:5-6 is encouraging people to keep God in the forefront of their day of observance - whether it's Saturday or Sunday.

"One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks."

I have done bible studies with friends who are SDA - and this is one of our biggest points of disagreement! Where there are references to the Sabbath in the New Testament, I firmly believe that this was the author's personal preference - just like Paul was a Sabbatarian however advocated and recognised alternative days of worship.

For me, the Sabbath was something given to the people of Israel before Jesus came to Earth. Sunday worship is something that we as Christians, who accept that Jesus lived, do. Neither is right or wrong - and I can't believe that my judgement will come down to the day I choose to honour God.

Just my opinion

[/quote]

"Neither is right or wrong - and I can't believe that my judgement will come down to the day I choose to honour God."

Actually for a Jew the Keeping of the Sabbath is the sign of the Covenant. With every covenant God makes, He also gives a sign. For Israel, God made a Covenant, a Promise that they would be His chosen people and with that promise He gave the Sabbath, the seventh day to rest. The breaking of the Sabbath commandment meant death for the Israelite (Numbers 15:32-36)

But for a Christian, this is not the case, for Jesus too made a Covenant, a new Covenant and what is that sign that goes with that Covenant?

Joao


#6

Very true regarding the Jewish faith. I think that is a main sign of the Old Covenant = Sabbath keeping (and I can’t understand why some Sunday keepers refer to that as Sabbath keeping when it isn’t the 7th day)

However, my understanding is that the New Covenant is between God and Jesus - this one leaves man out of it. That is not to say that we don’t have obligation to keep a true faith with the absolution of the Old covenant - but I don’t think that it comes down to a salvation that is steeped in a bunch of “works” without real faith (that includes keeping the Sunday as a holy day as well as a tonne of stuff that my parents would be concerned about that I can’t find biblical basis for).

Please understand my way of thinking comes from a very dodgy “Catholic” upbringing and has essentially forced me to read my bible myself and be guided by that and a lot of prayer (not always on a Sunday :smiley: )

I think the New Covenant is primarily focussed on salvation through faith and grace NOT by works and law keeping - hence the reason I believe it does not matter which day is kept holy, so long as you keep at least one day per week aside for prayer and rest.


#7

I keep thinking about:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"

No mention of works or Sabbath keeping here

AND

Romans 10:9-10 "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation"

What would the Catholic position be with respect to Sunday keeping? I ask this in genuine curiosity. Would the church teach that to use another day as a holy day would result in lost salvation?


#8

“Please understand my way of thinking comes from a very dodgy “Catholic” upbringing and has essentially forced me to read my bible myself and be guided by that and a lot of prayer (not always on a Sunday :smiley: )”

*I fully understand, we are all on a journey. I myself was a, for lack of a better word, a dead beat Catholic for many years. A good SDA friend of my introduced me to the SDA theology and I was challenged on my Catholic faith with the Sabbath issue. I had to learn and read much knowing full well that I may have to leave the Catholic Church to follow Jesus. After much research and praying I discovered that the Church is correct, the Sabbath is Saturday and Sunday is the day that we should and aught to come together as a community.

This whole topic consumed me for many years, to the point that I wrote a -]book/-] meditation. I don’t want to post it on the forums because I don’t want to use the forums as a way to promote the book.

The reason I started this thread is because I find myself hearing Catholics say things that are not right and unfortunately they are picking this up from many Protestants. A few months back, as we just got out of Mass and were walking the the coffee and donuts :smiley: there two men behind me and one says to the other “yeah, that is when the Church moved the Sabbath to Sunday”. I just cringed, that is not what the Church teaches…never has.

Joao


#9

You are right about John 3:16, but that is not the end! For if you say you believe in Jesus then you must do what He says. Because you can’t tell me that you just believe He exists and not do what He says! One must search out what He says you must do and follow it otherwise it is a faith that is dead.

Joao


#10

#11

[quote="mummato2, post:10, topic:300928"]
You sound very similar to me!
I feel sorry for those who think their works will win them salvation. I really believe it is your hearts condition in life and what you've done with that faith that will allow us to live eternally with God. And it's that faith and God's grace that makes us WANT to do right by what the bible tells us......

[/quote]

I am sorry, are you implying that Catholics believe that it is solely by their works that will get them to heaven?

With all do respect, it really does not matter what you or I believe, I used to believe many things but they were not aligned with our Lord Jesus. What He says is what we must do Faith without works is dead!

Joao


#12

Actually no I’m not implying that.

What I meant was people who believe salvation is through works ALONE. Or through faith ALONE

Rather, I think with a guided faith the “works” become part of how you want live rather than “have to” (if that makes sense).

My belief isn’t attached to a specific denomination. I struggle terribly with organised religion but my most in depth awareness is with the Catholic denomination - while I feel somewhat comfortable worshiping at catholic services I am far from being “Catholic”.


#13

[quote="JoaoMachado, post:8, topic:300928"]
*
The reason I started this thread is because I find myself hearing Catholics say things that are not right and unfortunately they are picking this up from many Protestants. A few months back, as we just got out of Mass and were walking the the coffee and donuts :D there two men behind me and one says to the other "yeah, that is when the Church moved the Sabbath to Sunday". I just cringed, that is not what the Church teaches...never has.

Joao*

This thread is fascinating to me. I know that the following post is VERY lengthy, but I simply don't know how to communicate this in a brief post. Please bear with me ...

I think most Christians would agree that the Ten Commandments are still in effect for Christians today. No Bible translation of the Ten Commandments (as outlined in Exodus) that I've ever read uses the term "Lord's Day" instead of Sabbath, but I was taught that "Remember to keep the Lord's Day" was one of the Ten. The Ten Commandments were the core stipulations of the Mosaic covenant. If in the "spirit of the law" the Sabbath does not = the Lord's Day, then I think that this is a problem for Sunday-worshipping Christians, regardless of your denomination.

About 10-11 years ago, I began to wrestle BIG TIME with this and other similar issues (e.g., why Christians observe Easter but not Passover, etc.). My questions led me to carefully re-read the Pauline epistles. The burning question in my heart: Why did any Jewish believer accept Paul's teaching? If I was to believe that the Pauline epistles are divinely inspired, I had to gain a better understanding of what the apostle meant by what he said.

If you read in the Pentateuch the scriptures in which God gave to Israel which outlined the reasons for Sabbath observance, they can be summarized as: (1) to remember the Creation (Ex. 20:8-11); (2) to remember their redemption from Egypt (Deut. 5:15); and (3) to remember that God is the one that makes them holy (Ex. 31:13). For a long time, I couldn't understand how the Creation, the Exodus and becoming holy all tied to the Sabbath. As I studied and read, however, different pieces began falling into place.

It is important to remember that for Jews, the biblical festivals (of which the Sabbath was considered the Queen) not only looked back to something important in their history; they also looked forward to what God was going to do in the future. So not only did the Sabbath look back to the original Creation that God said was good, it also looked forward to the New Creation ... the time when He would make all things new, restoring Creation to the way it was before the Fall. Not only did the Passover look back at their deliverance from Egypt, it also looked forward to the day when the Lord would deliver man spiritually from enslavement to sin. And in that redemptive process, we are to remember that it is the Lord who makes us holy, the One who changes our character. It is nothing we can do on our own. Thus, the "spirit of the Sabbath" tells the story of God's Creation/Man's Fall and need for redemption/God's redemption and restoration of Creation to its original goodness.

In an article I read by an Orthodox Jew over a decade ago, he said that Jewish biblical scholars and rabbis understand that the number 8 in the Bible represents "new beginnings." (Christian theologians of all stripes agree with this view.) Even this Orthodox Jew spoke of an Eternal Sabbath ... the time when creation would be restored to its original goodness.

So the, if the original Creation encompasses a seven-day period, then, it can be stated that the New Creation could be considered the Eighth (and eternal!) Day. In a number of different post-NT writings, you will find references to Christians worshipping on "the Eighth Day" of the week (Sunday).

Christians began worshipping on "the Eighth Day" not only to remember Christ's resurrection on Sunday (which occurred on the biblical festival known as the Feast of Firstfruits), but they also did it to celebrate what His resurrection meant: that a new era had dawned. The era of the New Creation had begun! We will not see what that looks like in its fullness until the end of time, but the Lord has given us a deposit of that through the gift of the Holy Spirit and His work in the heart of believers.

In the Jewish Talmud, there are references that when the Messiah comes, there would be a change in the Torah. Under this “New Torah of the Messiah,” as it is called, all foods would be regarded as clean, all sacrifices would cease (except for the Thank offering—note: the word Eucharist means “thanksgiving”). Although the Talmud was compiled after the NT era, I personally think that Paul probably was taught this as part of his rabbinical training under Gamaliel. So when Paul recognized Jesus as the Messiah, that training “clicked.” The New Torah of Messiah was now in effect!

To me, the principle of Sabbath was the key to grasping Pauline concepts and bringing peace to my confused heart. The problem during the early years of the Church … and one that continues today … is the fact that we are in an “already, but not yet” stage. We have a foot in the Eighth Day (otherwise we wouldn’t be “new creatures in Christ”) but we still live in a temporal world. I think this lies at the heart of the disagreements between Seventh Day Sabbath observers versus those who worship on Sunday … or on any other day of the week. Paul understood this, and gave latitude to these perspectives.

[/quote]


#14

Hello metamorphoo

You make very good points and let’s face it sometimes a lengthy post is the only way. :wink:

The Commandments as laid out in the Pentateuch have always stated the Sabbath and the Catholic Church has always and still sees that as so. You are wise in connecting the story of creation with the Sabbath, there is definitely a foreshadowing of the Sabbath in the Genesis.

In my book I bring this up, there are two accounts in Genesis, one is the orderly, sequential events of every day being created, with all of the elements being created first and man on the sixth day and God rested on the seventh. Then in Genesis 2, you see that man was already created and was naming the animals. This at first seems like a complete contradiction but it really is not. Now, many people get caught up in the “world was created in 7 days” but Scripture does not tell us this, Genesis does tell us that everything was created by God but does not tell us the time frame. *"**But of this one thing be not ignorant, my beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." *2Peter 3:8

What the two accounts of creation tells us is this; first, with man being created on the sixth day and God resting on the seventh, this shows us the importance of creation with man being the final creation. The reason God rests on the seventh day is because man was created in the image and likeness of God, what more is there to create?
The second account of the creation story shows us God provides for us as a father.

The Sabbath is a sign of the Covenant that God made with Israel. Breaking the Sabbath is breaking the promise to God. But this only applies to an Israel because the Sabbath was between God and Israel only. Exodus 31:16-18

Sunday how ever is not the sign of the New Covenant but the day that it occurs on.

Joao


#15

Keeping Saturday as Sabbath is clear.

First because it is one of the Ten Commandments and if a person says that they can break it then they are saying that they can break any and all of the other nine commandments. This sort of thinking is not taught in scripture. (1 John 3:4) says that "Sin is lawlessness" and (Romans 6:23) says that "the wages of sin is death". Jesus doesn't save us from sin so that we can sin. He told the woman caught in adultery "go and sin no more" (John 8:11).

Second, Jesus came to be a model to us of what a holy life looks like and He kept Saturday Sabbath perfectly and without sin. If I am to live a holy life then I too will keep the Sabbath as He did. (1 Peter 2:21) "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps."

Third, the idea of the Sabbath being for the Jews only is wrong because (Mark 2:27) says "the Sabbath was made for man." Not Jews only, but for all of mankind just as salvation is extended to all mankind. (Matthew 24:20) makes it clear that Jesus intended for Christians to be keeping the Sabbath when He says "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath."

The Sabbath day is a reminder of creation, redemption, and sanctification. It is the one commandment God tells us to remember. He knows we are prone to forgetting who He is, who we are, what He has done, is doing and will do so He gives a special day every week to celebrate these eternal truths. Catholics would call this a sacrament wouldn't they?

I also think about how God sanctified (to set apart; to make holy) the 7th day back in the Garden of Eden and obviously expected that Adam and Eve would keep it. I ask, if God's plan of salvation is to return mankind to the Garden of Eden then why would He want us to keep a different day holy? He's trying to get us back to when "He saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)

Jesus says..."If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

(Revelation 22:14) clearly states...'Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city."

And Jesus asks..."Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?" (Matthew 15:3)

then He adds... "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me, and in vain they worship Me teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:7-9)

Luke 4:16, Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 4:2, 9:10, Mark 7:7-13, 16:1-2, Genesis 1:1, 2:2-3, Luke 16:17, Psalm 89:34, Exodu 20:1, Acts 17:2, 13:13-14, 13:42-44, 16:13, 18:4, Isaiah 56:2,6-7, 58:13, Matthew 12:8, 15:6-9, Romans 6:3-6, Daniel 7:25, Ezekiel 20:12, 22:26-31, Proverbs 30:5-6, James 2:10 4:17, 2 Timothy 2:15


#16

Hello Hiswillbedone

In regards to your first point, I agree 100%.

In regards to your second point, this I do not agree with. Jesus NEVER implied or expressed to anyone that they needed to keep the Sabbath in order to be saved. In fact the parable of the young rich man is very telling, when the young man asked Jesus what must he do in order to enter into heaven, Jesus reiterates every commandment except the Sabbath. The Sermon on the Mount, was another opportunity for Jesus reiterates the commandment by pointing out what we aught to do, where the Ten Commandments basically told us what not to do. But the Sabbath it is no where to be found in the sermon?

Your third point, the Sabbath commandment is specifically for the Jew and they will/must keep it until the end of time. The quote of “the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath” has no bearing on this point This was a clear reference to the unbearable restrictions that the Pharisees had attached to the keeping of the Sabbath. The Sabbath Covenant is an ending covenant, at the end when Jesus returns it will cease to be. But the New and Everlasting covenant will last for eternity, can you tell me why?

The Sabbath is first and foremost the Sign of the Covenant between Israel and God, period. The Pentateuch is abundantly clear on that, you are welcomed to read it over and over but you will not find anything to the contrary.

Now for the Jew that comes to see Jesus as God then at that point he must be Baptized at which point the Old law is no longer bound on him and the New Covenant is.

Let me explain, you see Sunday as a replacement for the Sabbath, I tell you they are two different things. Just like the rainbow and the covenant that God made with ALL mankind is a different than the Covenant that He made with Israel.
First, if you believe that Jesus is the son of God, then you must concede that Jesus is God. He and the Father are one are they not? So when you say Jesus, He is not just a friend, a good role model He is GOD! The Word became flesh. So when God made the Covenant with Israel, was Jesus not there as well, are they not one? Yes, they are, this is why Jesus says “The son of man is Lord of the Sabbath” Luke 6:1-5 He was there, He is the one that gave them the Sabbath as a sign of the Covenant.

Now a covenant is the same as a marriage, it can only be broken by the death of one of the parties involved, (read St. Paul’s Epistles). When Jesus dies on the cross, He is releasing Israel from the Law, this is why He says, "I have not come for abolish the Law but to fulfill it". So if a Jew sees Jesus as who He is, God, then God died on the cross and he is freed from the Law. Now if a Jew does not see Jesus as God, then he is still under the Law because he is still under the covenant. Under the covenant only unto his death or the end of the world. This is what St. Paul calls a "veil over their eyes" ( 2Corinthians 3:14-15). Baptism, a type of death, is how you enter into the New Covenant with Jesus, this New Covenant is eternal, will have no end and the reason that it will have no end is because Jesus already died and IS risen. He will never die again and by that extension His New and Eternal Covenant will never end.

This is why a Christian should not observe the Sabbath because a baptized Christian is no longer under the Sabbath but a Jew that has not come to see Christ as God is still under the Sabbath and they must observe the Sabbath or fear breaking their promise to God.

Just as a side note, this is the same reason why the dietary restrictions are not bound on Christians but are still bound on the Jew.

So now the big question, what is the Sign of the New Covenant? I won’t give that away just yet…

Joao


#17

[quote="JoaoMachado, post:16, topic:300928"]

So now the big question, what is the Sign of the New Covenant? I won't give that away just yet....

[/quote]

The acceptance of the Holy Spirit? Seeing as the Old Covenant were the Laws handed to God's people I would see the new covenant is acceptance of Jesus and acceptance of the Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 31:31 “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 ** This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors** when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord. 33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. **“I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. **I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”


#18

mummato2 is on the right track…any one else care to add to this?

Hint, look at the language of how and when the Sabbath was given to Israel then look for the same “type” in the Gospels.

Joao


#19

I’m a school teacher and within my degree I chose to minor in Religon (non denominational which meant we studied the original language of the bible and translations etc without a denominational influence)

So from what I learnt, the sign of the old covenant was circumcision of males - Hebrew for sign was “owth” and this appears from Gensis. In the New Testament the Greek word of equal meaning is “sphragis” which means mark, signet or seal.

OLD COVENANT:

Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

So knowing the common words that mean the same thing in Hebrew and Greek - this then appears in Paul’s letter to the Romans when he talks about the new covenant

NEW COVENANT:

Romans 2:29 “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.” - drawing a parallel to the Old Covenant

While it can be confusing, my belief is that the Old Covenant was circumcision as an outward “sign” and the New Covenant is circumcision of the heart (the acceptance of the Holy Spirit)

Not sure how close this comes to Catholic belief though…


#20

Sorry it’s taken me awhile to respond to your post (it’s been a very busy week!). I do have a question for you:

As I mentioned previously, the Bible states the Sabbath was a reminder of Creation, Israel’s redemption from Egyptian slavery, and that God is the one that sanctifies/makes His people holy.

I know that you said the Catholic Church does not state that Keeping the Lord’s Day is one of the Ten Commandments, but I can tell you that I went to Catholic schools from grades 1-12 (in the late 1960s and the decade of the 1970s), and I was taught the Ten Commandment–and I was taught to “Keep holy the Lord’s Day,” not “Keep holy the Sabbath.” The Ten Commandments were given as the cornerstone of the Mosaic covenant. How can they be changed by men? And why was I taught in Catholic school to memorize the Ten if they have been abrogated?

If Sunday does not reflect in some manner the Eternal Sabbath (the “Eighth Day” of creation, so to speak, as it is when God makes all things new), then what is the point of Sunday worship? What was the significance of Christ’s resurrection from the dead on a Sunday–which also occurred on the biblical Feast of First Fruits–as opposed to any other day of the week?

The biblical Feast of Weeks (aka in the NT as Pentecost) is, from a Jewish perspective, the anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai. Many parallels can be drawn from Jewish tradition/interpretation of the event as recorded in Exodus and that which occurred with the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. Since Christ rose from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits (a Sunday), the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) would also fall on Sunday.

The Holy Spirit is the seal of the New Covenant. If you read Jeremiah 31–the prophecy of the New Covenant–it is clearly stated that the promise was given to “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” Nothing in this passage says anything about Gentiles. In fact, Ephesians 2:12 states that Gentiles were once “excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” It is only through Christ that we have been “grafted in” and made part of Israel (Eph 2:13, Rom. 12).

It is only because of Christ that believing Gentiles can truly state that the New Covenant and its promises are for us.


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