Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Sabbath Day in the New Testament - Part 1

***This is a guest post written by my older brother, Clint Anderson, who lives in Sacramento, CA, with his wife and 4 children.***
We do not believe that the sabbath changed from Saturday to Sunday; rather, the Sabbath was fulfilled and the ordinance (keeping of the sabbath day) was repealed.
Sunday is not the Sabbath. It is the day that the believers assemble together (i.e. go to church)
Here is why we worship on Sunday (the 1st day of the week)
Jesus rose on the 1st day of the week:

Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

The disciples assembled on the 1st day of the week:

John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

The church at Corinth was commanded to give on the 1st day of the week:

1 Cor 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

In the book of Acts, Paul goes to the synagogues to try to convert the unbelieving Jews on the sabbath, but he assembled the churches on the 1st day of the week.

The Sabbath as an ordinance was repealed along with the dietary restrictions (meat and drink) and feasts (holydays, new moons).

Col 2:14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Col 2:16  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:
Col 2:17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

The Sabbath was a shadow of things to come, but the ordinance was “blotted out.”  We are told not to let anyone judge us in respect of keeping the sabbath days.

We are told a second time not to judge others with respect to esteeming certain days over others.  Clearly here it is not important which day is chosen, and it is okay to esteem all days alike.

Rom 14:4  Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

The Sabbath is a picture of us ceasing from our own works and resting in Christ (because salvation is not by our works).  This is the important principal that the Sabbath was instituted to teach.

Heb 4:4  For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
Heb 4:5  And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Heb 4:6  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
Heb 4:7  Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Heb 4:8  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Heb 4:9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Heb 4:10  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Christ is our rest and he fulfilled the sabbath

Nowhere in the New Testament is Sabbath keeping taught to Christians.  If it is important for Christians to keep the sabbath, why are we never told to do so? In the whole New Testament, Christians are never once told to keep the Sabbath, but in two places (Colossians 2 and Romans 4, quoted above), we are told not to worry about it!

In our culture, we have singled out the “10 Commandments” as something that Christians must follow; however, they are not given the special prominence in the Bible that we give them in our culture.  We are never told in the New Testament that we need to follow all of the 10 Commandments.  To say we must keep the sabbath because it is part of the 10 commandments does not have a scriptural basis.  

We don’t sacrifice animals, keep the dietary laws, feasts, etc., which are all part of the same Old Testament law. The guiding principal is that we follow the Old Testament except where we are specifically told that we no longer need to in the New Testament.  We are told in two places that we no longer need to keep the Sabbath (Col 2, Rom 4).

Paul continuously warned that if we try to go back to the Old Testament law (carnal ordinances), we are debtors to keep the whole law. For example:

Gal 5:3  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

The Old Testament law was changed in the New Testament

Heb 7:12  For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

The carnal ordinances were only a figure until the time of reformation (i.e the New Testament)

Heb 9:8  The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Heb 9:9  Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Heb 9:10  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Heb 9:11  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Heb 9:15  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Conclusion: As Christians we are not required to keep the sabbath (i.e. abstain from work on a particular day).  It is not a sin to work on either Saturday or Sunday.  Yes, there is a principal that man needs rest, and we are built that way, so we should endeavor to have the equivalent of a day of rest for health reasons, efficiency, etc.  But we don't need to keep a sabbath day in a legalistic, religious sense. We are, however, commanded to go to church:  
Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 

As you look at this topic, I also highly recommend these two sermons that my brother preached on the "Hebrew Roots Movement."  These sermons cover "sabbath keeping" and other related topics. These sermons are really good and cover the subject very well.


Ellie Rae said...

That's a good post. The word "sabbath" doesn't necessarily mean "Saturday" or "seventh day." It simply means an "intermission" or "rest." In the O.T., the people worked and then rested; in the N.T., because of Christ's finished work on the cross, we rest, and out of that sacred rest, we work (not for our salvation, mind you).

Anonymous said...

I have a question about feast days....I know why we don't, do passover etc. Jesus fulfilled that, but what about the feast of tabernacles (feast of booths). This has yet to come. John7:2-6. Should we keep this day?

Anonymous said...

Your Bible "study" is so willfully, ignorantly typical/popular and their is nothing that can be done for/in you with your state of mind/will. I want to be there when Yahweh makes things perfectly clear to you...

Anonymous said...

What does this last post even mean? My head is ready to explode even trying to read it. "Typical/popular", "for/in", "mind/will"...OUCH!!
You criticize the author (but not what he wrote) without giving a single example of what he was wrong about, why he was wrong, or providing a single Bible verse to prove your point. Your post could have been about anything because you did not even give a hint as to what you were writing about.
It seems that you are either a Seventh-day Adventist or a deceived Hebrew Roots follower. In any case, I too want to be there when GOD (I refuse to use Hebrew names or terms...I am not a wannabee Jew)makes things perfectly clear because maybe He can explain what in the world you are talking about.

Shawn B said...


Shawn B said...


Hollyrocck Fisher said...

By the way I loved your movie about the "rapture" and am a big fan of Kent hovind as well. You both seem to be allowing god to use you in great ways and aren't afraid tonstandnon the word and take it for what it says.. Thank you for your dedication to Christ your material has strengthened my faith and for somenreason this post tribe thing has drawn me closer to God. Again thank you and thank God for you.