The Sabbath Theology of John MacArthurApril 16, 2008
Below is an excellent, quick and yet thorough assessment of the protestant theological thinking regarding the Sabbath issue as addressed by John MacArthur Jr. It is my hope that by challenging this theology, we all may come to a better understanding of the Sabbath and Sunday. I wholly believe the Sabbath will play a paramount role in the events of Bible Prophecy yet to come, so an understanding of the Sabbath is absolutely imperative. Please please please study this out for yourselves. Read your Bibles. Ask your mentors, pastors or priests for clarity, think for yourselves, pray about this, and above all, seek the Truth of this matter.
MacArthur’s comments are in black while my responses are in RED.
The following “Question” was asked of John MacArthur Jr., the pastor of Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California. Copyright 2001 by John MacArthur Jr., All Rights Reserved.
Are the Sabbath laws binding on Christians today?
We believe the Old Testament regulations governing Sabbath observances are ceremonial, not moral, aspects of the law. As such, they are no longer in force, but have passed away along with the sacrificial system, the Levitical priesthood, and all other aspects of Moses’ law that prefigured Christ. Here are the reasons we hold this view.
1. In Colossians 2:16-17, Paul explicitly refers to the Sabbath as a shadow of Christ, which is no longer binding since the substance (Christ) has come. It is quite clear in those verses that the weekly Sabbath is in view. The phrase “a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day” refers to the annual, monthly, and weekly holy days of the Jewish calendar (cf. 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 31:3; Ezekiel 45:17; Hosea 2:11). If Paul were referring to special ceremonial dates of rest in that passage, why would he have used the word “Sabbath?” He had already mentioned the ceremonial dates when he spoke of festivals and new moons.
“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: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Col. 2:16-17)
MacArther believes, like most Christian scholars, that Colossians 2:16-17 is in reference to the weekly Sabbath. It makes logical sense, but herein lies the error — the Seventh-day Sabbath is NOT a part of the ceremonial feasts and sabbath days being mentioned here. When God gave the commandment for these ceremonial sabbaths, meats and drinks He made it very clear that these are BESIDE, or in addition to the weekly Seventh-day Sabbath. Let’s go back to the scripture in Leviticus where God gave these ceremonial laws.
“These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: BESIDE THE SABBATHS OF THE LORD,, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.” (Lev. 37-38)
The weekly Seventh-day Sabbath is part of the Ten Commandments, and is not a part of these ceremonial laws of which the purpose was to foreshadow Christ. When we understand that there are two sets of laws, the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Laws (ceremonial laws), then it becomes much easier to see why Christians think Colossians 2:16-17 refers to the weekly Sabbath and why this line of thinking is incorrect. We must differentiate when the scriptures are referring to the Ten Commandments and the ceremonial laws. Clearly the Bible says of the ceremonial laws, they were “..added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator (Gal. 3:19), whereas the Ten Commandments Jesus said are permanent and cannot be annulled or abrogated when He stated “..it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17) I hope this is clear that there are two laws, one that foreshadowed Christ, being temporary until Jesus came and in fulfillment of His coming was then “nailed to the cross” (2 Col 2:14), while the other (Ten Commandments) is permanent and Jesus commanded us to keep them saying “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
2. The Sabbath was the sign to Israel of the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 31:16-17; Ezekiel 20:12; Nehemiah 9:14). Since we are now under the New Covenant (Hebrews 8), we are no longer required to observe the sign of the Mosaic Covenant.
The Sabbath was given to God’s people to be a sign between Him and them, that they recognize His authority as the Creator of heaven and earth.
“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.” (Eze. 20:12)
“And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.” (Eze. 20:20)
As long as God is God, the Sabbath will be a sign that we recognize His authority. This is why Isaiah wrote that in the New Heavens and New Earth, we will STILL be keeping the Sabbath.
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.” (Isa. 66:22-23)
The Sabbath commandment was given from Mount Sinai. Breaking the Sabbath is a sin, and will always be a sin, “for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4) If we make the claim that the Sabbath is done away with, why couldn’t we also say the same about murder, or adultery or worshipping other Gods or any of the other nine commandments? It is imperative to realize that God spoke the Ten Commandments with His own voice in the hearing of all of Israel, and it is written “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” (Psa. 89:34) The New Covenant involves the same Ten Commandments, what is new about the new covenant, is that they are written upon the heart (2 Cor. 3:3).
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer. 31:31-33)
Truth is, we as Christians are still required to keep God’s commandments — that is, if we love Him. Love is not a law in and of itself. A law will tell us the difference between right and wrong, and love is both how we are to keep the law, and why we are to keep the law.
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:..” (John 14:21)
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:3)
3. The New Testament never commands Christians to observe the Sabbath.
This is not true. The New Testament does reaffirm the fourth commandments, even as a sign of belief in God.
“For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 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. And IN THIS PLACE AGAIN, IF THEY SHALL ENTER INTO MY REST. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
If we believe that God is the Creator of the Heavens, the earth and the sea and all that in them is as spoken by God on Mt. Sinai (Exo. 20:11), then we show that we recognize and BELIEVE that by resting from our labors on the Seventh-day just as God did from His. The Sabbath is a SIGN of that belief. Many people think that any day in seven is okay, but God clearly spoke of a certain day. Keeping the Sabbath on Monday is not a sign of belief in God, nor is keeping the Sabbath on Sunday a sign of belief in God. Like the sign of a wedding ring on the ring finger, keeping the Sabbath only on the Seventh-day is a sign of our marriage to Christ, our bridegroom.
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Heb. 4:9-11)
We have only entered into God’s rest, if we rest from our works AS God did from His. If we attempt to enter into His rest on another day, we are not entering into His rest. God only blessed, hallowed and sanctified one day “and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” (Num. 23:20)
Here in Hebrews chapter 4 is adequate and substantial re-affirmation of the Seventh-day Sabbath commandment. The new Christians at this time did not need substantial correction on the Sabbath because they all kept it on the Seventh-day. There was no dispute on this issue and therefore no correction was needed at the time of the writing of the New Testatment, but make no mistake about it, the Sabbath commandment is reiterated, and being the fourth commandment of the decalogue, it is reiterated every time we are instructed in the New Testament to keep God’s commandments.
NOTE: Be aware of the following verse and how it appears in your Bible.
Speaking of the Seventh-day, only the King James version (being the only modern Bible translated from the textus receptus rather than the Alexandrian texts) reads correctly:
“And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.” (Heb. 4:5 KJV)
Most all other translations will read something to the effect of:
“And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” (Heb. 4:5 NIV)
One translation is telling you to keep the God’s commandment while the other is telling you to break it. If you have a Bible that is instructing you to sin, take that into consideration as well as the words of Isaiah when he wrote:
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20>
4. In our only glimpse of an early church worship service in the New Testament, the church met on the first day of the week (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.” (Acts 20:7)
This gathering that began on the Sabbath, continued into the first day of the week. Keep in mind that in Jesus’ day and according to Jewish tradition, a day began at sunset, and continued until sunset the next day. God did say “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:5) And He instructed the Israelites to keep their Sabbaths from sunset to sunset, or evening to evening (Lev. 23:32).
If we take this into consideration reading Acts 20:7, it breaths a whole new picture. This means that when Paul and that Apostles gathered together it was the Sabbath day. In this verse it is not yet the first day, but the first day is upon them, meaning it hasn’t yet come. When the first day of the week did arrive (our Saturday evening) at sunset, he continued preaching until midnight. It is logical that “upon the first day of the week” means Sunday morning, but that is in a 20th century mindset. The same interpretation does not hold true in Jewish culture 2,000 years ago. The Pope Gregory commanded the days change at midnight and this is why we call the Roman calendar we use today the “Gregorian Calendar.”
Secondly, and more clearly, the only examples we have of the disciples or gentiles or Jesus ever gathering together for Sabbath worship, is on the Sabbath day. Consider these scriptures:
“And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.” (Acts 13:42)
“And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” (Acts 13:44)
“And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.” (Mark 1:21)
“But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.” (Acts 13:14)
Clearly, MacAurther is incorrect in stating Acts 20:7 is the only glimpse we have of New Testament church worship. We have other scriptures pertaining to Sabbath worship which all occur on the Sabbath day including the gather and breaking of bread described in Acts 20:7 which occurred on the Sabbath day, continuing into the first day of the week which began after sunset on our Saturday.
5. Nowhere in the Old Testament are the Gentile nations commanded to observe the Sabbath or condemned for failing to do so. That is certainly strange if Sabbath observance were meant to be an eternal moral principle.
True, the Gentiles are not commanded anywhere in the Old Testament to observe the Sabbath. But why would they? The Sabbath was a sign specifically for God’s people to observe that He was their God (Exo. 31:13, 17, Eze. 20:12,20). Because of this, why would God command Gentile unbelievers in the OT to keep the Sabbath? Of course He wouldn’t, so it it isn’t strange that God did not command those people who did not confess a belief in Him to keep the Sabbath. The Sabbath is undoubtedly an eternal moral principle, just as much as honoring your mother and father and not taking the Lord’s name in vain are eternal moral principles. The Sabbath, as well as the first four commandments of the decalogue, command us how to have a right relationship with God and how to worship Him. You can’t get mad at a cat for not being able to bark anymore than you can get mad at a gentile for not obeying God. The unbelievers didn’t believe in God so its no shock they weren’t called to observe the Sabbath. However, we who do believe in God must enter into that rest.
“For if Jesus had given them (gentile unbelievers) rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” (Heb. 8:9)
If you confess belief in God, no matter who you are, you are called to observe the Seventh-day Sabbath as a sign of that belief. God is not a respecter of persons, for all who are in Christ, are one.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:28-29)
6. There is no evidence in the Bible of anyone keeping the Sabbath before the time of Moses, nor are there any commands in the Bible to keep the Sabbath before the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai.
This claim is not true, and here is the evidence:
After exiting Egypt, while in the wilderness, before the giving of the Ten Commandments, God said:
“Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.” (Exo. 16:4)
Exodus 16 speaks in detail about God raining manna down from heaven six days, and in the seventh day there was none (Exo. 16:26). Verse 4 does tell us that the Sabbath is a law and that God is testing His people to see if they will obey Him, and this did occur before Mt. Sinai. If there is any doubt that the Sabbath was a law at this point, it is removed by verse 28. When the people went out on the seventh day, breaking the Sabbath commandment, God spoke “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? (Exo. 16:28)
Here is yet even clearer evidence of God speaking about the Sabbath commandment before Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Ten Commandments:
“See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” (Exo. 16:29:30)
Not only is the Sabbath commandment spoken of before the giving of the Ten Commandments as a commandment and a law, but God’s people are even tested on the Sabbath commandment.
Furthermore, we know for certain that this Sabbath test occurred before the giving of the Ten Commandments because the Bible says God said He would rain down manna “..on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.” (Exo. 16:1) At this time, in the second month after leaving Egypt, they had not yet come into the wilderness of Sinai. The Bible says “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.” (Exo. 19:1).
Isn’t it awesome how clear and distinct the Bible can be when we study it? It’s amazing how there is enough information given to answer almost every question?
MacArthur is not the only one to claim that the Sabbath was not instructed to have been kept before the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, this is a fairly common argument, yet clearly and undoubtedly, God did expect His people to be keeping His Sabbath before Mt. Sinai and they were even tested on it, to see if they would walk in His law or not (Exo. 16:4).
7. When the Apostles met at the Jerusalem council (Acts 15), they did not impose Sabbath keeping on the Gentile believers.
Realize the reason why “Gentiles” are never instructed to keep the Sabbath is because the Sabbath is a sign of belief only for those who are God’s people. Another thing to note is that nowhere in the Bible is a covenant of promise for salvation ever made with the Gentiles! Why? Because gentiles who believe in Christ, ARE NO LONGER CONSIDERED GENTILES, but are adopted into the household of God. All Christians in other words, are the “Israel of God.”
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Eph. 2:11-13)
MacArthur is not alone in his belief that gentile Christians are still gentiles, but this is not the case. Upon conversion, a gentile is no longer a gentile but a member of the commonwealth of Israel and a partaker of the covenants of promise. “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:” (Rom. 9:6) In other words, not all of those who are members of Israel, are “literal” members of the “literal” Israel, that is, of the flesh.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:28-29)
Was not Abraham one of the father’s of Israel? If you confess faith in Christ, you are a member of Christ and your earthly gentile affiliation is of no consideration. We are all one in Christ. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Eph. 2:18-19)
All this is to say, the reason the Sabbath was not imposed on Gentile believers, is because there is no such thing as a gentile believer! Gentiles who believe on Christ are no longer gentiles, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. Christians, are members of Israel according to the spirit, because the circumcision is not of the flesh, but of the spirit (Rom. 2:28-29)
8. The apostle Paul warned the Gentiles about many different sins in his epistles, but breaking the Sabbath was never one of them.
Paul never warned the Gentiles about sabbath breaking because the Sabbath was for believers. Furthermore, there everyone knew when the sabbath was so there was no controversy about the day which needed correcting.
There was however vain teachings and laws that men had invented that instructed the Jews how to keep the Sabbath. These laws were written in the Jewish Talmud and included things like not holding anything of significant weight in your hand, you couldn’t walk more than 2,000 paces from your dwelling place and so forth. These teachings are laws the Jewish leaders had invented and Jesus DID CORRECT them on their errors. They had laws against healing on the Sabbath and Jesus healed on the Sabbath to show them “it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.” (Matt. 12:12) The disciples also plucked corn on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23), and the Pharisees accused the disciples of breaking the Sabbath. But they did not break the Sabbath and Jesus pointed this out saying “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:” (Mark 2:27). This revelation is particularly beautiful because Jesus is demonstrating that the Sabbath was not to take precedence over doing well, nor was the Sabbath to be so strict as to hinder doing what is necessary to sustain life. Through their vain laws and doctrines, the Pharisees had turned the Sabbath into a burden, and it is a spiritual tragedy that Christians also see the Sabbath as a controlling burden, the way the Pharisees did.
The Sabbath was meant to be a delight, and Isaiah prophesied of the gentiles, or sons of the stranger partaking of the Sabbath when he wrote:
“Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, EVERY ONE that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for ALL people.” (Isa. 56:6,7)
9. In Galatians 4:10-11, Paul rebukes the Galatians for thinking God expected them to observe special days (including the Sabbath).
“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” (Gal. 4:10-11)
Remember the two laws? The ceremonial law and the Ten Commandments? How the ceremonial law was added til the seed should come and the Ten Commandments will never pass away? The days and months and times and years in reference here are ceremonial feast days or ceremonial sabbath days. Paul is rebuking the new Christians for keeping the old feasts that foreshadowed Christ because in recognizing the old feasts and traditions that foreshadowed Christ, they were missing CHRIST! The feast of unleavened bread foreshadowed Christ without the leaven of sin. The passover foreshadowed the sacrifice of the unblemished lamb. The feast of first fruits foreshadowed the resurrection of Christ.
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (1 Cor. 15:20)
These are the feasts, and ceremonial holy days that Paul is rebuking the Christians for keeping. These ceremonial feasts and holy days are those which were contrary to us (Col. 2:14), being done away with, because these are the ceremonial ordinances “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Col. 2:17)
I believe that because John MacArthur (and many other scholars and theologians) do not distinguish between the ceremonial laws and the Ten Commandments, they fail to see the Truth about God’s commandments, and the Truth about His Holy Sabbath. They have probably been brought up to believe and teach the things they were taught when they were learning the scriptures. But we are commanded to put all teachings to the test, and hold fast to that which is good. (1 Thess. 5:21) So test what I am sharing as well!!!!
10. In Romans 14:5, Paul forbids those who observe the Sabbath (these were no doubt Jewish believers) to condemn those who do not (Gentile believers).
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Rom. 14:5)
Again, Paul is referring to the ceremonial holy days. If the Jews want to continue recognizing the feast of unleavened bread and firstfruits even though Christ had come of whom these days and feasts foreshadowed, Paul says, although they don’t have to keep them, do not judge them for doing so. Think about it this way, would Paul ever say do not judge someone for breaking the Sabbath? God Forbid! Transgression of the Sabbath is sin, and would be immediately rebuked by Paul.
Paul himself wrote that transgression of the Ten Commandments was considered sin and was in no way to be tolerated:
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” (Rom. 7:7)
Undoubtedly Paul is speaking here of the Ten Commandments because he goes so far as to directly quote from them. Therefore Paul is in no way speaking about the Seventh-day Sabbath in Romans 14:5, but is speaking about the ceremonial ordinances.
11. The early church fathers, from Ignatius to Augustine, taught that the Old Testament Sabbath had been abolished and that the first day of the week (Sunday) was the day when Christians should meet for worship (contrary to the claim of many seventh-day sabbatarians who claim that Sunday worship was not instituted until the fourth century).
It is true that some Seventh-day Sabbatarians (or people who keep the Sabbath) say that Sunday keeping didn’t originate until the fourth century. This is partially true and partially incorrect. The first instance we have on written record of Sunday observe I believe in the letters of Barnabus. As Christianity grew, there also grew a bitterness between the Jews and the Christians. Christians wanted a more distinct way to separate themselves from the Jews and worshipping on the first day of the week started to become a common practice much earlier than the fourth century. We also have to remember that many pagans who came into Christianity already had a practice of worshipping on the day of the Sun (SUNday). These new Christians who were formerly pagans brought a lot of their pagan traditions with them into their Christian faith. So sunday keeping did begin before the fourth century, but it was not legalized until Constantine’s edict of Milan in 321AD which legalized Christianity and at the same time declared Sunday the Christian day of rest. After the fall of Rome in the fifth century, Sunday observance was further adopted and decreed by the Roman church.
Today, Sunday keeping has been in place for nearly two millenia and is an unquestioned pillar teaching of the Christian faith that ultimately, has absolutely no Biblical backing whatsoever. The Sabbath is a commandment both written and spoken by God. To change or annul it would require the same. Not only is the Bible absent of any abrogation of the fourth commandment, but it is only reiterated and reaffirmed through both the Old and New Testament. It should be noted however that it was prophecied that a power would come along that would think to change the times and laws of God. (See Daniel 7:25)
12. Sunday has not replaced Saturday as the Sabbath. Rather the Lord’s Day is a time when believers gather to commemorate His resurrection, which occurred on the first day of the week. Every day to the believer is one of Sabbath rest, since we have ceased from our spiritual labor and are resting in the salvation of the Lord (Hebrews 4:9-11).
So while we still follow the pattern of designating one day of the week a day for the Lord’s people to gather in worship, we do not refer to this as “the Sabbath.”
It is interesting that MacArther references Hebrews chapter four saying the rest is spiritual, when that very chapter speaks over and over again about that Sabbath rest being “a certain day.” The Sabbath commandment is not a spiritual rest that can be observed all days of the week or in some sort of spiritual state of mind. The Sabbath is the Seventh-day and if we enter into His rest we do so by resting from our labors on the seventh-day as God did from His. This is what the Bible teaches:
“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. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.” (Heb. 4:4,5)
If we do not rest on the Sabbath, this is called sin, because it is transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). If we observe the Sabbath spiritually or on a different day of the week, our Sabbath observance is in vain because it is according to teachings and doctrines of men. The truth is, God wants us to worship in Spirit and TRUTH (John 4:23,24). Jesus taught us that worship, though it may be sincere, if it is not according to the way God instructed, is in vain.
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men..” (Mark 7:7-8)
I hope this explanation of the error behind the common protestant theology will help bring to light some of these unbiblical teachings and traditions that are almost as old as the cross. Bible prophecy speaks of a time when the church will be shaken and not all will be able to stand. Because the Sabbath is the very sign given by God in which we show our allegiance to God, it is no wonder Satan hates it with a passion and has deceived the whole world on this issue. We know that ultimately the decision facing mankind is whether or not we will accept our Creator and the salvation He has promised us through Christ. Everyone will make a decision for against God, and remember “that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)