I read again the 4th Commandment in your book Ten Commandments For You(th) and I can honestly say that you are right: your evidence that no New Testament passage changed the Sabbath to Sunday, is unanswerable; and I can honestly say that I do not see how I can observe the day the way God put it.
Sure I could not work that day, but to stay home the whole day other than going to church every Saturday would cause grief amongst the family and friends. Even if all the christian Churches changed the worship day to Saturday it would be like you said they would put in an hour or two to paying homage to God and then go off and do other pleasures. Now if a man works 6 days and rests the 7th he would get no pleasures in whatsoever. Sad to say but the pleasures have to be arranged on the day of rest. What constitutes a day of work one minute. one hour, 8 hours, or from dawn to dusk? If it is from dawn to dusk then man would be totally tired to do anything after work especially in the warmer months when there is more light. If a man works 6 days providing for the family and his day off honoring the Lord then he has very little time with his family. He cannot go on vacation for he would not be working thus violating God’s law. God surely has known that man could not follow this Law and yes we all surely are worthy of death. I certainly know now how Adam felt when Eve was carrying the forbidden fruit for him to taste. I know God said that he who would leave his family for My sake will be blessed and yet He also said that he who would forsake his kindred is worthy of death.
I will honor the Sabbath as often and as much as I can and I am grieved that I cannot totally honor it the way God wants me to.
As long as there are places of business still open on this day it is nothing more than a temptation to God’s children to forsake His Law.
I replied: [Note: I did not direct this at him; I answered in general so that the answer could benefit all. While I may answer specific questions and address specific points, I generalize th answer to apply to all possible “Christians”; those who desire to obey God, and those who think it is irrelevant.]
You draw many false inferences. Just because God commands the Sabbath be observed does not mean that you cannot worship on another day ALSO, such as going to a church on Sunday (but you should never base your decisions to obey God upon how other people will like it, whether you have drawn false inferences or not). God does not command that you cannot go out to a church on Saturday if there is one that holds services on Saturday within reasonable driving distance. Clearly in an Israelite community of several million people (as they constituted when the Israelites left Egypt), for people to travel to the Tabernacle required a significant trip. I have not done the math, but how far spread out (in miles) would a “tent camp” of 5 to 6 million people be with the tabernacle in the middle? They needed room for their tents, livestock, and carts; those who had them. Most likely most families did have at least an ox, having eventually eaten their goats and chickens. Without an ox and a cart, how would they transport all their belongings (all that of which they spoiled the Egyptians, in return for the decades of slavery); how would they transport their young, aged, weak, infirmed, injured, and the tents themselves? I would guess a very bare minimum of 20 square feet (also including space in between each tent and ox / oxcart; as well as walkways between orderly rows) per 5 people. Out of 5 million people, this would be 20 million square feet or about 3/4 of a square mile. This means that those in the outer limits would have to walk .375 miles to get to the Tabernacle. That is not really far a distance at all. However, most likely the camp was spread out somewhat more than that, since the livestock also needed grass to eat and presumably, they did not move too frequently, so they needed more room and privacy. Maybe the livestock themselves were coralled outside the camp in a special area, and their animals were somehow kept separate, and there were people appointed to guard the animals. However, it seems that those who had to void their bladder and bowels were required to go outside the camp; so they could not have been spread out too far or it would have been too great a distance to walk each time nature called. While there is a lot of conjecture involved, we may be able to get a rough idea of how far they had to walk to the Tabernacle to hear a sermon on the Sabbath—IF that was something that they did (other than for special feasts where all were required to appear); rather than the family Patriarch instructing his extended family on the Sabbath. Also, it is most probable that 6 million people could not hear a person speak. George Whitefield (pronounced wit-field), the English Evangelist, had such an uncommonly powerful voice, he could address crowds of 35,000 and be clearly heard. Benjamin Franklin, the scientist, doubted if that were possible; and when Whitefield visited Philadelphia Franklin did the math and stepped off the distance and was impressed that indeed he could still hear Whitefield clearly. Of course, hearing becomes far-more difficult, the larger the crowd and the distance, as sound waves will diminish when they bump into objects, and other sounds, even the changing of position from one foot to another, breathing, coughing, children, etc., will eventually block out the sound of a speaker. So it is most probable that when an important message was given, only the family Patriarchs attended, and then they passed the message back on to the family. This whittles the crowd down to maybe a million, which is still sizeable, so then maybe it was the chief fathers, the princes of each clan who showed up to hear Moses, and the princes passed the message on.
Regardless, though we may have raised more questions than we answered, let each remain in his own place, most broadly, refers to not joyriding around, seeking pleasure, pursuing work, etc. Travelling for fellowship is determined now in the age of transportation, by minutes, and not miles. While it may not be a sin to travel an hour on the Sabbath (each way) to worship / fellowship at a church or small gathering, the farther that you do travel the closer you come to violating the Commandment (though we may not know exactly where that line is) and the greater the chance for a car to break down, have an accident, etc., which would lead to further violation. Thus, to keep it in spirit and letter, the less one can travel, the better. Also, there are other considerations. Those who keep the Sabbath properly should have the car gassed up the day before and go straight home (not to a restaurant or shopping mall) after the service or remain and fellowship with others at their house until the Sabbath is over (especially if you have a morning and evening service), if you have to travel for a considerable distance. God commanded no buying, selling, or trading on the Sabbath. Nor are we to seek our own pleasure. If there is a quiet park or beach, in close proximity to your house (or if you take a tent or travel trailer and set it up before the Sabbath begins, before sundown on Friday) there would be nothing wrong with reading the Bible, praying, meditating, fellowshipping, etc., at a beach or park—if it was a quiet, secluded area, not one with girls running around in bikinis, aliens, men playing football or volleyball, etc., and other wise violating the Sabbath to the point that your being there would be a violation itself (watching others violate the Sabbath in person, like watching a football game on tv, watching people violate the Sabbath, does not seem to be in the spirit of what God commanded).
Now, those who are spiritually dead, or dull minded, who don’t understand what legalism is (adding to the Law of God), would anti-intellectually call such “legalism” and think that all such thoughts are silly. That is because God is not their Lord and they also have no concept of what “Christian liberty” is—which is by the Grace of God through the Power of the Holy Spirit, the freedom to not sin! no longer being a slave to sin as long as we walk in the Spirit. They have no concept of Holiness. God is Holy. He also HALLOWED “THE SABBATH” (not any day we choose instead) and commanded that we KEEP IT HOLY throughout all our generations forever. Those Christians who believe that it doesn’t matter what day you work or rest, and who act as if they are their own person, as if they were not bought with a price and are not owed by God—most probably were not bought with a price and are unregenerate.
Showing their hypocrisy, the very same “Christians” will go to great detail to plan a wedding and women would be upset with their husbands if they worked on the wedding day or their anniversary. They go to great detail to plan their own vacation, what they will take, packing in various luggage, things to keep in front of the vehicle or “carry ons”, preparations before, making arrangements of all sorts, etc. But they consider obeying God a “non-issue”. God’s not important. He’s Perfect. He’ll get over it.
Just because a person holds a worship service on the Sabbath, on the right day does not mean that they keep the Sabbath Holy (rest, no work, no buying, selling, trading, seeking your own pleasure); neither does it mean that the rest of their doctrine is correct.
Work is something that expends energy over time. One can get pharisaical, if not careful. God gives guidelines and examples in His Word. Christ explained that leading your livestock to pasture and water was a common practice. Of course, that can be taken to the extreme and violate the spirit and letter of the Law (like trying to herd up 100 head of cattle). Clearly one should make as many preparations in advance so that the amount of work that one needs to do on the Sabbath will be minimal (like opening a gate or flipping a switch). Man does things all the time for his own convenience; why does it seem so unreasonable that he would do so to honor the Sabbath as God commanded?
If you are walking to feed the dog and you see a giant weed coming up, you can reach down and pull a weed or two; but not enough to get sweaty or to the point that you forget what you are doing and before you know it you realize that you have weeded the whole driveway.
If shingles fly off the roof and there is a chance of rain, you can throw a tarp over it if possible or quickly tar patch it; and if the reshingle job would only take a few minutes you could do that; but again, if the need had been neglected for months, the time to fix it is not on the Sabbath and in most cases it can be put off one more day. You put off doing it for how many months or years; when you finally get around to doing it, why should it come out of God’s Time...? Would you take it out of God’s Money too...? —the amount of money that God commanded be set aside, 10%, which is His. Would you spend His Money on yourself (regardless of how you “justify” it)...?
You can go on vacation, just not travel (more than a short distance, unless something comes up and you have to) on the Sabbath, and not buy (not even gas or food), sell, or trade. All that will sound “legalistic” to those who are lawless and who don’t love God. But it is what God commanded and it is no burden. That’s why the day before the Sabbath is called “the Preparation Day”. If obeying God is a “burden” find a new god; don’t pollute Christianity and drag others into your sin with you. Again, these same “Christians” would neurotically plan around any other event in their lives (a wedding, birthday, funeral, dentist appointment, vacation, party, etc.)—but God is unimportant; obeying Him is unimportant. Such hearts and minds are dead to God. They entertain a delusion that they are “spiritual”, but they are humanists who serve themselves, and project it onto God; but He is not fooled. “If ye love Me keep My Commandments... if you keep My Commandments you shall abide in My Love even as I have kept My Father’s Commandments and abide in His Love”. Christ’s and God’s Commandments are identical (for anyone who is confused). God commanded one Law for all His people (in the land of Israel as well as the diaspora). Christ came to do the Father’s Will; not His own. Christ was without sin. I John 3:4 says “sin is transgression of the Law”. Christ kept God’s Law for us perfectly, to set the example—not then invent something entirely new for us to follow: which notion itself would have violated God’s Law and contradicted what Christ Himself told us, “THINK NOT that I am come to destroy the Law... I am not come to destroy... not one jot or tittle shall pass from the Law”. There is no other source of morality. God commanded His Law to 1,000 generations (it’s only been about 184 since Adam), which is a figure of speech for forever, which God elsewhere clearly declared, “throughout all your generations forever”.
When you honor God He blesses and opens other doors. Same with tithing. If you look at it from the right perspective you won’t think that God is robbing you, but that He is blessing you by allowing you to rest and for your body and mind to heal itself. Call the Sabbath a delight, don’t look at it as a burden, if you do, then Satan will tempt you more—even to accuse God of not being “fair”. That is humanism. That is a sign of being outside of the Mind, Heart, and Will of God.
I read this again and again and the last paragraph says it all. How many of us will look at this as a burden rather than honoring God? If I get the chance to talk to this fellowship that I attend, on this matter, it will be interesting as to the reaction. I checked out all the verses on Sabbath, as in your book you suggested, by using a Strong’s Concordance and in Isaiah Chapter 66 vv. 22 and 23 states that from New Moon to New Moon (as you point out, which are a monthly Sabbath) and from the weekly Sabbath to Sabbath all mankind will come to bow down before Me. You are right, God did not change His Sabbath to Sunday (or any day a person chooses for himself) and it sickens me to see that our people have been duped or deceived into thinking otherwise. I just have to say the Prince of Darkness is very deceiving and how do we not know this as to how many times were we reminded of his deception. My question to them is Why would God change any of His Commandments? He wouldn’t but we would. Thank you I enjoyed the lesson for there are times I read something and it does not register with me as to how it does with others more learned on the subject. Overcoming this fault is a blessing in a sort of way. I need to get over the habit of opening my mouth before all the facts are in. Sometimes not easy to do.
Again, as I have written now for 7 years... all false theology, all human sin, is the result of a defective view of God’s Nature; and that false view is formed by sinful man to suit his own selfish needs.
Yes, it is hard not to try to share things with others, that we know are important, until we properly know them ourselves. We may think that we know them, and then later find out we had not even scratched the surface of the topic; and much of what we thought we understood was wrong. Thus you see the overwhelming responsibility of a minister, theologian, author. Sadly, the majority don’t want to admit they were wrong, so they concoct greater false doctrine (even as one lie leads to more and more to keep the former covered) in the vain attempt to hold their house of cards together. They love themselves more that God or the Truth. They love pleasure, convenience, tradition.
God does not change. Holiness does not change. Perfection does not change. Morality does not change. Every law of God is a moral issue. “Thou shalt not!” “This shalt thou do!” These are all moral issues. God gives no senseless commands. Obedience is a moral issue. Lying is a moral issue. Stealing is a moral issue. Keeping the Sabbath Holy is a moral issue. Keeping ourselves pure in every way is a moral issue. If we eat what God declared “unclean” and join with those whom God declared “unclean”, that is a moral issue. Bringing God’s Judgment on the whole community, destroying the morality, faith, bloodlines of the whole community is a moral issue. It is amazing the “anvil heads” that I have talked to who reject this simple truth, for some incomprehensible reason, thinking “morality” and “immorality” only deal with things of a sexual nature. Every law that God gave is a Command. Every law that God gave carries a Judgment / Penalty if violated. Every law is a moral issue. “Moral” and “Legal” are synonyms, in some ways. God telling us what we cannot do (evil) and what we are required to do (good)—THAT is morality. Any other notion is delusion.
The Land Sabbath is a Sabbath. It is a Command. It is a moral issue. Without the Land Sabbath there is no Jubilee (abolishment of debt every 50 years, any mortgaged property returning to the tribe and family to which God had deeded it). Any wonder why we are in bondage? God had true Israel thrust out of the land of Judah for their many sins, and especially for the sins of their king Manasseh (and northern Israel for the same reason, for the sins of Jeroboam), whom they restrained not (which shows kings are not absolute rulers, but are subject to the Law of God and to the people themselves); however, God determined the length of the period of Judah’s captivity was to be determined by the number of years they ignored keeping the Land Sabbath—490; and thus 70 years was their Judgment. Crop rotation, though a wise idea, does NOT replace the Land Sabbath. The WHOLE land is to rest, not any year a person chooses, but in the established year.
God commanded us to keep ALL His Sabbaths (plural): weekly, monthly (New Moons), seasonally (the Feasts), septa-annually (every 7th year, Land Sabbath), and quinquagintally (every 50 years, the Jubilee). None of these had anything to do with salvation / blood atonement; which was the ONLY part of the Law that Christ’s Sacrifice replaced. Christ did not “abolish” the sacrifices for atonement, His Blood and Body replaced them as the Eternal Sacrifice. The only part of the Law that was abolished was the Judgment, the Curse, the Death Penalty that was against us; since Christ paid the debt, it was cancelled. But the itself was Law was not abolished. Christ said so, “not one jot or tittle”.
[For more details, see my: Ten Commandments for Youth, Are We Keeping God’s Law Yet?, What’s Keeping God from Delivering America, Britain, and Europe from Destruction? and So, You Call Yourself a Christian....]