Freedom from Sabbath Keeping

Hey All,

Just spent a few days writing a new article which is a point-by-point response to an article by Ray Comfort that he titled Freedom From Sabbath Keeping. It took a while, because the article is filled with a lot of, shall we say, less than biblical information.

Ray is a good guy as far as I know, and has a lot of good teaching. I have quoted from him, and use some of his material in my conversations with atheists. However, there are a number of areas where he falls short of biblical truth, and a bunch of them are in this article. So I went through it and inserted my comments directly into his text. I included Bible verses and commentary all with a whole Bible perspective. You’ll find a nicely organized selection of responses to what are also typical Christian arguments against observing the Sabbath. Why people would reject a day off from God is beyond me, but they do. So this article should help you with standard Christian objections to observing the whole of the Word, not just the Sabbath.

An excerpt from Point by Point through the Ray Comfort article Freedom from Sabbath Keeping. His words are in red, my comments are in square brackets and in blue (on the web page they are just in a different font).

Let’s briefly look at their arguments. First, nowhere does the Fourth Commandment say that we are to “worship” on the Sabbath Day. [True. Worship was every day. The act of resting on the Sabbath is worship. Worship has taken on an inadequate meaning in the intervening centuries, and it used to be that worship included sacrifices. But worship has always been obedience at its root.] It commands that we rest on that day: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 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: 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” (Exodus 20:8-11). [Notice that he does not answer the issue he raises: why does the church not “rest” on the Sabbath?] Sabbath-keepers worship on the Saturday. [No. Sabbath keepers might MEET on Saturday, but worship is obedience and for every day.] Do they know where the word “Saturday” comes from? It’s from the Latin word “Saturnus–Saturn + Old English dæg day.” Obviously Saturday is from the pagan day of worship of the planet Saturn (astrology). [In spite of the attempt at sarcasm, I can agree here. However, Saturday is also the seventh day, and therefore the Sabbath. The name of the day is not important. But the Sabbath is.

And another excerpt.

The Scriptures tell us that at one point, the Apostles especially gathered to discuss the attitude of the Christian to the Law of Moses. [This is biblically incorrect. The council in Acts 15 met mainly to discuss salvation by circumcision (verse 1). This was proved to be wrong. Salvation was coming to Gentiles without circumcision and by grace through faith just as Abraham and JUST AS THE JEWS (who had the Law). Verse 5 also asks a question about following the Law, which was answered in verse 21 (Moses is read in the synagogue every Sabbath.) This meant 1) Moses is read. 2) Moses is read in the synagogue where all believers met at the time. 3) They met every Sabbath.] Acts 15:10-11, 24-29 was God’s opportunity to make His will clear to His children. [Biblically incorrect. God had been making His will clear to His children for a long, long time.] All He had to do to save millions from damnation was say, “Remember to keep the Sabbath holy,” and millions of Christ-centered, God-loving, Bible-believing Christians would have gladly kept it. [Not so. He already said many times to remember the Sabbath, and just about as many times was ignored. He is still being ignored today as is evidenced by this article by Ray. Many Christians do not want to obey God’s commands. Mostly because we do not want an objective, absolute standard. We want to give ourselves permission to sin.

Enjoy the article.
Shalom,
Bruce

The Testing of Jesus

At the stoning of the woman caught in adultery, did Jesus teach that the Law was gone, or did He criticize because the Law was not followed? Did Jesus eliminate the Law as popular church teaching suggests, or did He disapprove of the mishandling of God’s living oracles? I think in each question it is the latter. When Jesus was tested, He stayed with the Law while His opponents stuck with their own interpretations and traditions. His opponents were wrong in nearly every case.

Jesus never tells us that “we all sin” so none of us can judge. What He tells us is that to judge properly we need to stay within the whole of His Law. The people testing Jesus wanted permission to sin. They wanted certification for their self-appointed authority. But they didn’t want God’s Law. See the video for more details.

Shalom
Bruce

Ezekiel 36:22-32

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord GOD; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel. (Ezekiel 36:22–32, ESV)

Verse for Gathering the House of Israel

“Thus says the Lord GOD: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.” (Ezekiel 28:25–26, ESV)

Our True Identity

‘Whole Bible Christianity,’ chapter 10, ‘Our True Identity’

In Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus resists a little bit giving help to a Gentile woman (a Syrophoenician is a Canaanite) asking for healing for her daughter. He tells her it’s not right to give the bread of children to dogs. She has an amazing response, saying that even dogs get crumbs from the table. Jesus is so impressed with her faith He heals her daughter. Her faith was shown by her humble submission and obedience.

At first it might seem off-putting that Jesus would regard her (or me) as a dog. But I think this was more of a statement of where He was focusing His work at that time (“to the Jew first and also to the Gentile”) rather than a judgment against either the lady or me. Although Canaanites were historically pretty ‘doggy’ too (Ephesians 2:12, Hebrews 11:6). Those who by nature do what God requires, even if non-Jewish, belong to Him because of their faith, and aren’t dogs at all. But even if it’s true that my identity (in the eyes of some) is that of a dog in the kingdom, I’m okay with it. He made me and can assign me any place He chooses. I’d much rather be a dog in heaven than a lion in hell.

Judaizing

Chapter 6, ‘Whole Bible Christianity’

The word ‘Judaizing’ has been wrongly used to describe a person who wants to follow all of God’s Word, including the Law. It implies that following the Law is a Jewish thing, and that Jewish things are bad (which isn’t necessarily true). Judaizing just means ‘to live like a Jew.’

14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? (Galatians 2:14 NASB95, underline added)

To live like a Jew is to adopt Jewish customs. These are mostly added on to the Law, and are spelled out in the oral law (Talmud). Judaism doesn’t have much in common with the Bible. It elevates tradition and rabbi’s rulings over the Torah. Jesus (John 7:19) Stephen (Acts 7:53) and Paul (Galatians 6:13) say that Jews do not follow the Law. There are also places like 2 Kings 17 that describe ‘living like a Jew’ as a lot different than following Torah. Through Judaism prophets of God are killed, and the kingdom of heaven suffers violence (Matthew 11:12).

Israel (as a group) has only truly followed Torah a few brief times in their history. All sorts of tradition and interpretation were added at various times that took them far away from His Word. That’s why God got on their case so much. He managed to beat disobedience back on occasion with a prophet or a king like Josiah. For certain people Jesus managed to reduce the influence too. Torah is mixed in with Judaism, but Judaism is not solely a practice of Torah.

13Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, 14Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.” (Isaiah 29:13-14 NASB95)

A whole Bible Christian strives for a balance between blindly embracing all of Jewish tradition bound up in Judaism, and rejecting anything and everything Jewish. Living the Law is different and better than living like a Jew.

Remember Israeli Athletes Slaughtered in Munich 1972

Please take a moment and read about the Israel Athletes who were murdered in Munich in 1972. The Olympic officials refused to offer a moment of silence for the fallen athletes because 48 Arab nations declared a walk-out if that Memorial Moment occurred. Christians United for Israel are honoring one athlete a day for 11 days during the Olympics. I’ve personally boycotted them this year by not watching.

Take a minute to learn about one of the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics. We will highlight one athlete a day for 11 days. Today’s Israeli Olympic Hero is Yakov Springer. Springer, an international weight lifting referee in Israel’s delegation to the 1972 Munich Olympics, was born in 1921 in Poland and grew up in Warsaw. During World War II, he lived with his family in the Kalish ghetto in Poland. At age 18, he fled to Russia, leaving behind his parents, sisters and a brother, all of whom perished in the Holocaust. In 1946 he returned to Poland and started his studies at the Polish Academy of Sports. He met and married his wife, Rosa, in 1951. Upon graduation, he held a position in the Polish Ministry of Sports. He encountered much anti-Semitism professionally and in 1957, he moved to Israel, along with his wife and two children.In Israel he helped establish weight lifting as a national sport. He organized courses for judges and became an international judge himself, attending, among others, the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, although Israel was not invited to compete.Early on Sept. 5, 1972, members of the Palestinian terrorist organization, Black September, took Springer hostage, along with other members of the Israeli delegation. Two Israelis were killed in the initial assault, while the remaining 9, including Springer were murdered at the Fürstenfeldbruck airfield during a two-hour gun battle between German police and the terrorists. Springer had been participating in the Olympics since 1952. He was attending his fifth Olympiad in 1972, having participated in the games in Helsinki, Melbourne, Rome, and Tokyo previously. As an international judge, he could have resided outside the Olympic Village, but instead, chose to share apartments with the Israeli delegation. Remember today’s Israeli Olympic Hero – Yakov Springer.

Photo: LIKE if you will take a minute to learn about one of the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics. We will highlight one athlete a day for 11 days. Today's Israeli Olympic Hero isYakov Springer. Springer, an international weightlifting referee in Israel’s delegation to the 1972 Munich Olympics, was born in 1921 in Poland and grew up in Warsaw. During World War II, he lived with his family in the Kalish ghetto in Poland. At age 18, he fled to Russia, leaving behind his parents, sisters and a brother, all of whom perished in the Holocaust. In 1946 he returned to Poland and started his studies at the Polish Academy of Sports. He met and married his wife, Rosa, in 1951. Upon graduation, he held a position in the Polish Ministry of Sports. He encountered much anti-Semitism professionally and in 1957, he moved to Israel, along with his wife and two children.In Israel he helped establish weight lifting as a national sport. He organized courses for judges and became an international judge himself, attending, among others, the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, although Israel was not invited to compete.Early on Sept. 5, 1972, members of the Palestinian terrorist organization, Black September, took Springer hostage, along with other members of the Israeli delegation. Two Israelis were killed in the initial assault, while the remaining 9, including Springer were murdered at the Fürstenfeldbruck airfield during a two-hour gun battle between German police and the terrorists. Springer had been participating in the Olympics since 1952. He was attending his fifth Olympiad in 1972, having participated in the games in Helsinki, Melbourne, Rome, and Tokyo previously. As an international judge, he could have resided outside the Olympic Village, but instead, chose to share apartments with the Israeli delegation.SHARE to remember today's Israeli Olympic Hero - Yakov Springer.