Summary: Understanding the principles of WORK and WORSHIP, and the comparison of the OT Sabbath and the NT Lord’s Day, and reasons to be faithful! Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint.
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1st commandment = Worship the right and only God
2nd commandment = Worship God in the right way
3rd commandment = Worship God sincerely
4th commandment = Worship God regularly
This 4th commandment is the longest, and also by far the most misunderstood. Let’s clarify a few things:
The Period of Time
In the OT economy the Sabbath was Saturday. It actually began at sundown on Fri. evening and concluded 24 hours later. It was the 7th day of the week. The Jews didn’t worship on the 1st day of the week as we do in NT times. Some today still worship on Saturday and say we are desecrating the Sabbath, and that we couldn’t possibly be saved. They go so far as to say that going to church on Sunday is the mark of the beast! This is no fringe group, they are a major denomination.
So, what saith the Scripture? Exodus 31:12-17 helps clarify this, ending this way about the sabbath...
It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
But we are in the church age, and God deals with us differently. The nation of Israel has been set aside after they rejected Jesus as the Messiah. [Rom. 9-11] Jesus illustrated it this way in one of His last miracles...the only sad one He ever performed...He cursed the fig tree saying, from now on my kingdom will be given to those who bear the fruits thereof, or believe. And the gospel went to us Gentiles. One day Israel will nationally repent, but in the meanwhile they have been set aside, and so has their 7th day Sabbath. Even if they continue it, it is between them and the Lord.
So, what right did the church have to change it to the 1st day? None whatsoever...but God DOES have the right, and I can prove that He did just that.
• Jesus was raised from the dead on a Sunday
• He met with His disciples 5 times after His resurrection, and always on a Sunday
• He imparted the Holy Spirit to them on a Sunday
• The Great Commission was given to the church on a Sunday
• Jesus ascended on a Sunday
• Pentecost was a Sunday
• The early church met for worship every Sunday [Acts 20:6-7]
• Collections were taken for the work of the Lord each Sunday [I Cor. 16:2]
• The Bible was completed on a Sunday [Rev. 1:10]
It is clear to see that a transition took place between the OT and the NT.
In the OT the 7th day Sabbath commemorated the finished work of creation. God made everything that is in 6 days, and then He rested. Then He created woman and no one has rested since!
In the NT the 1st day Sabbath commemorates the finished work of Calvary...redemption!
The OT Sabbath commemorated natural life, the NT Sabbath commemorates supernatural life! The one was life from Adam, ours is life in Christ. The one was God’s hand at work, the other was God’s heart at work. The one was the display of God’s power, the other God’s grace. One was for Israel, the other for the church.
I say today to OT Sabbath keepers: You are living on the wrong side of Calvary!