|"Sunday -- so-called because this day was anciently dedicated to the sun, or
"He can pronounce sentences and judgments in contradiction to the rights of nations, to the law of God and man ... He can free himself from the commands of the apostles, he being their superior, and from the rules of the Old Testament." (The Roman "Decretalia")
"The Pope has power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ." (Decretal De Translat. Episcop. Cap. cp. 2 Thess. 2:3-4)
"Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped" (2 Th. 2:3-4)
"Sunday is our mark of authority ... The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact." (Catholic Record, Sept. 1, 1923)
"She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday ... and thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder became the Christian Sunday sacred to Jesus ." (Catholic World, March 1894, p.809)
"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act, and the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power" (Faith of Our Fathers, Cardinal Gibbons)
|"Sunday is founded not on Scripture, but on tradition, and is a distinctly Catholic institution." (Catholic Record, Sept. 17, 1893)
"Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ... in vain they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:3-9 & Mark 7:7-9)
"The Bible says remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day. The Catholic Church says No! By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo the entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church." (Father Enright, American Sentinel, June 1893).
Pope Pius 1566 commanded by Council of Trent: "It pleased the church of God that the religious celebration of the Sabbath day should be transferred to the Lord's Day (Sunday)" (Catechismus Romanus, 1867, ch.3)
"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles ... from the beginning to the end of Scripture there is not a single passage which warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first." (Catholic Press (Sydney) Aug. 25, 1900)
"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday." (James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, p.89)
|"If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church." (Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal in a letter dated Feb. 10, 1920).
"Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the Roman [Catholic] Church, has no good reasons for its Sunday theory, and ought logically to keep Saturday as the Sabbath." (John Gilmary Shea in the "American Catholic Quarterly Review" January 1883).
"Not the Creator of the universe, in Genesis 2:1-3, but the Catholic Church "can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days" -- C. S. Mosna, "Storia della Domenica", 1969, pp.366-367).
"Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible." (The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893)
"The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed ... the Sabbath into Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority." (Canon and Tradition, p.263)
French Revolution Instituted a Tenth Day of Rest"The overthrow of all things old was further indicated by the issue, on November 24, 1793, of the new republican calendar. Year one was fixed to have begun on September 22, 1792, the date of the proclamation of the Republic. The new year should have twelve months like its predecessors, each with a new name, in four groups of three, each of thirty days, and each divided into three decades, of which the TENTH DAYS should be a DAY OF REST, in lieu of the old exploded Sunday. These twelve months of thirty days apiece, cutting across the old months so awkwardly, only made up 360 days, so that a little bundle of five days (in leap-years of six) had to be tacked on at the end of the Fructidor month (August-September) in an awkward and shapeless way, and called, poor things, the Sansculottides" (Encyc. Brit. 9:606).
Nehemiah Didn't Buy Or Sell
On The Sabbath
In Nehemiah 9:13-17, the Levites taught the people that God "camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and didst speak with them (Israelites) from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments; And madest known unto them thy holy SABBATH ... But they and our fathers ... hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey."
In Nehemiah 10:29-31 we read that the people entered "into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses, the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Eternal, our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes ... And if the people of the land bring wares or any victuals on the SABBATH day to SELL, that we would NOT BUY it of them on the SABBATH, or on the HOLYDAY (no mention of new moons because they aren't sabbaths)."
Nehemiah 13:15-22 says, "In those days saw I (Nehemiah) in Judah some men TREADING wine presses on the SABBATH, and BRINGING IN sheaves (of grain), and lading (LOADING) asses; and also wine, grapes, and figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they BROUGHT INTO Jerusalem on the SABBATH day; and I testified against them in the day in which they SOLD victuals (food). There dwelt men of Tyre also therein (in Jerusalem), who BROUGHT fish, and all manner of wares, and SOLD on the SABBATH unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the SABBATH day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the SABBATH. And it came to pass that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the SABBATH, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the SABBATH; and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be BROUGHT IN on the SABBATH day. So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged without (outside of) Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why LODGE ye about (before) the wall? If ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the SABBATH. And I commanded the Levites that they should ... keep the gates, to sanctify (set apart as holy) the SABBATH day."
Sabbath-keeping and other laws don't apply only to Israelites, but also to STRANGERS such as these "men of Tyre." Exodus 12:49 says, "One law shall be to him that is home-born and unto the STRANGER that sojourneth among you."
A Song For The Sabbath Day
Psalm 92 is called "A Psalm or SONG for the sabbath day." Therefore, it is proper to SING SONGS on the Sabbath. In fact, the first verse says, "It is a good thing ... to SING PRAISES unto thy name, O Most High." It is also proper to PLAY THE PIANO or HARP in church because verse three says, "Upon an INSTRUMENT of TEN STRINGS, and upon the PSALTERY; upon the HARP with a solemn sound." These verses show us that CHOIR PRACTICE and MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS are not violations of the Sabbath. SINGING is part of Sabbath worship (Eph.5:19-20; Col.3:16; Ps.33:1-3; 95:1-7; 96:1-3 and 98:1-9).
What Does It Mean To Ride On High Places Of The Earth?
In Isaiah 56:2-7 we read, "Blessed is the man ... that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger (foreigner), that hath joined himself to the Eternal, speak, saying, The Eternal hath utterly separated me from his people (bachelor since no interracial marriage); neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am a dry tree (Deut.23:1 excluded eunuchs from the congregation.). For thus saith the Eternal unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths (annual and weekly), and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant (Ex.31 Sabbath Covenant): Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls (They aren't restricted to Court of Gentiles since Christ tore down the wall of separation between it and Court of Israelites -- Eph.2:14) a PLACE and a NAME better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger (foreigner), that join themselves to the Eternal, to serve him, and to love the name of the Eternal, 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 peoples." (cp. Matt.8:11-12) It's not just a "Jewish" sabbath.
In Isaiah 58:13-14 we read, "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure ("desire" or will -- #2656 of Strong's) on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Eternal, honorable, and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure (will), nor speaking thine own words (cp.Isa.55:8-9); Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Eternal; and I will cause thee to RIDE UPON THE HIGH PLACES OF THE EARTH (high places "in PRAISE, and in NAME, and in HONOR" -- Deut.26:19. Also, the high places OF DIVINE WORSHIP -- 1 Ki.3:2; and DEFENSE -- Isa.2:15; and GOVERNMENT -- Jer.51:24-25), and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob (the "LAND" -- Ex.6:8; ETERNAL LIFE -- Ps.61:4-8; God's "TESTIMONIES" -- Ps.119:111 and VICTORY -- Isa.54:17), thy father; for the mouth of the Eternal hath spoken it."
Do Humans Have A Weekly Rhythm?
In nature, the unit of SEVEN is manifested in the MUSICAL SCALE and the COLORS of the RAINBOW. Is there a biological basis for the SABBATH DAY? Do humans have a built-in SEVEN-DAY cycle? Kenneth Westby of Association For Christian Development (4449 S. Star Lake Road, Auburn , WA 98001) has uncovered a STARTLING PROOF of the NEED for a SABBATH DAY! Given below are some of the facts he has uncovered.
According to Fernandez, Halberg and Good's "Circadian Rhythm," p.291, we read: "Studies show that the body rejects kidney transplants most frequently at MULTIPLES of SEVEN to eight days; in other words, in WEEKLY rhythms."
On the interplay of rhythms, Erhard Haus states, "We have followed up a cohort of elderly people essentially until time of death. We did find in this process very characteristic circadian, CIRCASEPTAN, and circannual variations in mortality, especially from acute cardiac death, which showed a marked circadian rhythm but also CIRCASEPTAN and circannual rhythms. The interesting aspect, especially in CIRCASEPTAN (approximately SEVEN-DAY) rhythms, is that this is in people who have NO RESPONSIBILITIES essentially, live in a home for the aged, and for whom weekends and weekdays are relatively VERY SIMILAR. So it's not the stress of Monday that hits these people, because they are not exposed to any stress like that" (p.208, The Light Book, by Jane Wegscheider Hyman).
According to Susan Perry and Jim Dawson's book The Secrets Our Body Clocks Reveal, (New York: Rawson Associates, 1988) "WEEKLY rhythms -- known in chronobiology as "CIRCASEPTAN rhythms" -- are one of the most puzzling and fascinating findings of chronobiology. CIRCASEPTAN literally means "about SEVEN." Daily and seasonal cycles appear to be connected to the moon. But what is there in nature that would have caused WEEKLY rhythms to evolve? At first glance, it might seem that WEEKLY rhythms developed in response to the SEVEN-DAY WEEK imposed by human culture thousands of years ago. However, this theory doesn't hold once you realize that PLANTS, INSECTS, and ANIMALS other than humans also have WEEKLY cycles ... BIOLOGY, therefore, not culture, is probably at the SOURCE of our SEVEN-DAY WEEK" (pp.20-21).
According to Jeremy Campbell's chapter "The Importance of Time," we read, "These CIRCASEPTAN, or about WEEKLY, rhythms are one of the major surprises turned up by modern chronobiology. Fifteen years ago, few scientists would have expected that SEVEN-DAY biological cycles would prove to be so WIDESPREAD and so LONG ESTABLISHED in the living world. They are of VERY ANCIENT ORIGIN, appearing in PRIMITIVE ONE-CELLED ORGANISMS, and are thought to be present even in BACTERIA, the simplest form of life now existing" (p.75).
One of Franz Halberg's amazing discoveries is that of an innate rhythm -- about SEVEN DAYS -- occurring in a GIANT ALGA some five million years old on the evolutionary time line. Because this microscopic CELL resembles a graceful champagne glass, the ALGA (plant) is popularly known as MERMAID'S WINEGLASS (Acetabularia mediterranea). When this "primitive" ALGA is subjected to artificial schedules of alternating light and dark spans of varying length over many days, this single intact CELL is somehow able to translate all that manipulation of light and darkness into the measurement of a SEVEN-DAY WEEK!
As Campbell says, this inherent rhythm has to do with the INTERNAL LOGIC of the BODY, not with the external logic of the world. Many more examples could be given. Involved experimentation with RATS, FACE FLIES, PLANTS and other LIFE have revealed CIRCASEPTAN rhythms similar to that of the mermaid's wineglass" (Halberg, pp.569-570; Campbell, pp.75-76). As Campbell explains: "all rhythmic systems of the body probably possess an innate CIRCASEPTAN frequency so that when they cooperate to perform a specific task which is body-wide, say, an immune reaction, the reaction occurs on a WEEKLY schedule. That schedule is a compromise between too much time and too little. A day and a night, which is the dominant frequency in the spectrum of many routine body chores, would not be long enough to
complete the complicated array of chemical and other activities that compose the immune defense reaction, and a month would be too long" (p.133).
In addition to being the KEY coordinating rhythm for the rest of the body's many rhythmic interactions, a SEVEN-DAY cycle has been found in FLUCTUATIONS of BLOOD PRESSURE, ACID CONTENT in BLOOD, RED BLOOD CELLS, HEARTBEAT, ORAL TEMPERATURE, FEMALE BREAST TEMPERATURE, URINE CHEMISTRY and VOLUME, the RATIO between TWO IMPORTANT NEUROTRANSMITTERS, norepinephrine and epinephrine, and the RISE and FALL of SEVERAL BODY CHEMICALS such as the stress coping hormone, cortisol. "In fact," Perry and Dawson note, "WEEKLY rhythms appear easiest to detect when the body is under STRESS, such as when it is defending itself against a virus, bacterium,or other harmful intruder. For example, cold symptoms (which are really signs of the body defending itself agasinst the cold virus) last about a WEEK. Chickenpox symptoms (a high fever and small red spots) usually appear almost exactly TWO WEEKS after exposure to the illness" (p.22 of Susan Perry and Jim Dawson"s book called The Secrets Our Body Clocks Reveal, New York, Rawson Associates, 1988).
Doctors have long observed that response to MALARIA INFECTION and PNEUMONIA CRISIS peaked at SEVEN DAYS. ORGAN TRANSPLANTS face similar crises as the body's immune system attacks the foreign organ. Campbell explains: "When a human patient receives a kidney transplant, there is a rhythm of about SEVEN DAYS, a predictable rise and fall in the probability that the body's immune system will reject the new kidney. A major peak of rejection occurs SEVEN DAYS after the operation, and when a serum is given to suppress the immune reaction, a series of peaks occurs, with increasing risk of rejection, at one WEEK, two WEEKS, three WEEKS and at four WEEKS, the time of the highest of all" (p.76).
"In Franz Halberg's view," summarizes Campbell, "a central feature of BIOLOGICAL time structure is the harmonic relationship that exists among the various component frequencies. A striking aspect of this relationship is that the components themselves appear to be harmonics or subharmonics, multiples or submultiples, of SEVEN, a number that has played a DISPROPORTIONATELY LARGE role in human culture, myth, RELIGION, magic and the calendar" (p.130).
Clearly, BIOLOGY came BEFORE CULTURE. The cycle is not artificially or culturally induced. SEVEN-DAY cycles in PLANTS and ANIMALS leave no room for CULTURE or RELIGIOUS influence at all. The only explanation that fits is a BIBLICAL model. God designed all life forms to have a built-in SEVEN-DAY cycle and then commanded man as well as his domesticated animals to rest, to keep in harmony with this cycle. The Bible is God's instruction manual that comes with the human product. God built us. God designed us. He ought to know how we operate best. "For the INVISIBLE THINGS of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the THINGS THAT ARE MADE, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are WITHOUT EXCUSE" (Rom.1:20). Deuteronomy 5:15 implies that the purpose of the Sabbath is to give our BODIES REST from a slave-like existence. A SAFEGUARD against OVERWORK, STRESS, and a life WITHOUT SPIRITUAL MEANING. "Remember that you were slaves in Egypt" (Deut.5:15). Just as the CIRCASEPTAN cycle keeps our bodies in physical syncronization or equilibrium, so also the SEVENTH-DAY sabbath keeps the church body in syncronization spiritually and morally. The Sabbath is an oasis in time when men return to God for rest and strength.
In the late 1700s, the humanistic French Revolution promised the people a new Age of Reason to replace religious superstitions. A new secular, "rational" week of TEN DAYS was devised and approved by the ruling convention in October, 1793 (R.R. Palmer, The World Of The
French Revolution, New York, Harper & Row, 1971, p.120). The TEN-DAY "decade" was patterned after the decimal principle, having TEN DAYS divided into ten hours, of 100 minutes each, with each minute divided into 100 decimal seconds. Every TENTH DAY, the "decadi" was reserved for rest and celebration of various natural objects and abstract ideas. Notre Dame was renamed the Temple of Reason. During the Reign of Terror the TEN-DAY "decade" was imposed by force. Churches were closed and allowed to open only on the TENTH DAY. People were even forbidden to wear their good clothing on the traditional Sunday, with severe fines and even jail sentences given to violators. RELIGION, however, proved TOO RESILIENT and the attempt to destroy the SEVEN-DAY week (1793-1805) FAILED COMPLETELY ... as did the First Republic of France.
The Communists ruling the Russian Revolution tried a second experiment, 140 years later. They also wanted to abolish Judeo-Christianity by abolishing the SEVEN-DAY WEEK. The Soviet plan was a FIVE-DAY continuous, rotating work week which called for 80 percent of workers
to be on the job on any given day -- a plan which left 20 percent to share a day off. There was no longer a national day off. The advertised reason for the new rotating FIVE-DAY week was to increase production. After ELEVEN YEARS of DISAPPOINTING production and epidemic irresponsibility in the work place (1929-1940), Stalin called it quits and gave the Soviet people back their seven-day week.
Something similar happened in Great Britain during World War II when, to increase war materials production, the work schedule was set at SEVENTY-FOUR HOURS a week. Soon there were MORE ACCIDENTS and SPOILED WORK, LOSS OF MORALE, ABSENTEEISM, IRRITABILITY, and RESTLESSNESS. When management REDUCED the week TEN HOURS, much of the PROBLEM was DECREASED and PRODUCTION was EQUAL. But when they cut back to 48 HOURS, PRODUCTION WENT UP 15 PERCENT. Subsequently, Great Britain instituted a law requiring ONE DAY OF REST EACH WEEK and TWO WEEKS of VACATION each year. They rediscovered that God's principle, "SIX DAYS shalt thou labor," was BEST (p.126, Raymond & Dorothy Moore's Home Made Health). The information in this section is mainly from Ken Westby's article entitled "The Mysterious 7-Day Cycle" portions of which have been reprinted by permission.
Is A Rest Really Necessary?
Did you know that SLEEP is as NECESSARY for SURVIVAL as air, food, or water? Without air you can't live more than five minutes, without food more than ninety days, and without water more than a week. But if you were to not get any sleep for more than ten days, you would die.
Nothing else will substitute for sleep. I've heard people say, "I'm going to eat more today because I didn't get much sleep last night." It doesn't work that way. The two are not interchangeable. In fact, SLEEP is MORE VITAL than FOOD. This was proven in an experiment by a medical professor, the results of which were published in a national magazine. This professor kept a litter of puppies AWAKE for FIVE DAYS, at the end of which time they all DIED, even though they had been well fed the whole time. While this was happening, another litter of puppies was allowed to have plenty of sleep but was not given any food for twenty days. At the end of that time the puppies were weak but they recovered totally when fed. These results are not surprising. One dictionary defines sleep as "the unconscious state or condition regularly assumed by man and animals during which the ACTIVITY of the nervous system is almost entirely SUSPENDED and the RECUPERATION of the body takes place." During sleep food is transformed into tissue. A certain amount of time is needed to do that, and to RID the body of POISONS. The cells in your body are REPAIRED and REPRODUCED more rapidly when you are sleeping than when you are awake and all the body functions are going at full speed. That is why there is NO SUBSTITUTE for sleep. It actually changes the structure of the blood. There are certain things that need to happen in your body that can only happen during sleep. A tranquilizer helps you to go to sleep, but it interferes with some of the processes that need to happen in your body while you are sleeping. HEALTH, ATTRACTIVENESS, and BEAUTY depend on good, deep sleep. Lack of sleep can probably AGE you more quickly than anything. And if you were unable to sleep at all for long enough, you would DIE. Wartime tortures include keeping victims AWAKE to the point of INSANITY or near DEATH, for then they can be programmed to do anything. We underestimate the powerful need for sleep and the destruction that happens in the body when we are deprived. (p.178, Greater Health God's Way by S. Omartian)
"Again, PERCEPTUAL PROBLEMS may result from toxic chemical buildup in the body caused by acute sleep loss. Christian counselors who are aware of the effects of sleep loss (often as a result of sinful abuse of the body) have been able to get to the root of the problem when physicians could find no cause. At times some of these causes may be combined: the counselee could be taking drugs to keep him awake at night. He may have been on "up" pills (amphetamines) to keep himself awake (as do some students during exam periods; truck drivers, etc.). But if in doing so he misses two or three days of sleep, he may become very IRRITABLE, then SUSPICIOUS, and then even begin to HALLUCINATE. Significant sleep loss (loss of Rapid Eye Movement [R.E.M.] sleep) can cause every effect of LSD....Sometimes counselees object, "But I can't get to sleep at night; my mind keeps on racing even after I go to bed." What can be done? Several things: (1) PRAYER for God's blessing upon sleep (cf. Proverbs 3:24; Psalm 4:8; 127:2) including CONFESSION of SIN and committal of problems into God's care; (2) EXERCISE to perspiration before retiring (especially if one has been worried or tense); the body is designed so that exercise and worry are normally exclusive of each other; (3) RELAXATION; (4) the use of night NOTES; if a pad and pencil are placed within reach of the bed, one can jot down notes (not write essays) that will RETAIN VITAL THOUGHTS so that he will feel free to go asleep." (pp. 384-388 of Adams' The Christian Counselor's Manual) Continual work makes a person PREMATURELY OLD just as much as continual rest makes a person lazy and degenerate. The Sabbath also BENEFITS the MIND by regularly interrupting material pursuits with thoughts of GOD'S SOLUTIONS to every problem. This proper balance made it so "There was not one feeble person among their tribes" (Ps.105:37).
|"The religious observance of the Sabbath is a main prop of the
religious character of a country. From a moral, social and physical
point of view, the observance of the Sabbath is a duty of absolute
consequence." -- Gladstone
|"We know not here, what land before us lies,
Or to what quarter now we turn our eyes,
Or where the sun shall set, or where shall rise."
-- Homer's Odyssey 10:190
The Sabbath Preserves Morality
What did God create on the seventh day? He created the SABBATH -- which is a space of time devoted to the ONGOING CREATION of God's SPIRITUAL IMAGE in humans. The Sabbath is an institution which OPPOSES human DEGENERACY. This weekly observance WEAKENS the power of SIN. This holy rest is a BARRIER which must be broken down before men turn wholly TO SIN. Blackstone, in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, remarks that "a CORRUPTION of morals usually FOLLOWS a PROFANATION of the SABBATH." It is an observation of Lord Chief Justice Hale, that "of all the persons who were convicted of capital crimes, while he was on the bench, he found a few only who would not confess that they began their career of WICKEDNESS by a NEGLECT of the duties of the SABBATH and vicious conduct on that day." Many laws have been enacted to punish the criminal. But only ONE law has been enacted to PREVENT the CRIME from ever occurring. Only the Sabbath command, which treats the CAUSE rather than the EFFECT, prevents a man from becoming a criminal in the first place. No man can PRESERVE his own morals unless he is repeatedly TAUGHT and reminded of these principles in the scriptures. Our society today doubts the authenticity of the Bible and doesn't even know if there is any such thing as right or wrong. Thus, people DON'T FEAR God's RETRIBUTION beyond the grave. They believe the WEAK have NO GUARDIAN, and the INJURED NO AVENGER; that an OATH is NOT HEARD in heaven; that all their IMPROVEMENTS PERISH FOREVER at death; that secret CRIMES have NO WITNESS but the perpetrator; that human EXISTENCE has NO PURPOSE; human GOODNESS NO REWARD; that this brief life is all there is. There is NO RESTRAINT to immorality and crime because people have never taken the time out to prove the Bible true. Sabbath-breakers have never heard a good sermon. They don't have time to obey their Maker and rest. (pp.186-189, McGuffy's Sixth Eclectic Reader)
Priests Violated The Sabbath Law!
Furthermore, we find that Ezekiel's message condemns Sabbath-breakers. As the Eternal says, "Thou ... hast DESPISED mine HOLY THINGS (Exodus 31:14 says the Sabbath is holy.) and PROFANED my SABBATHS (weekly and annual).... Her priests have violated my law (They rest on Sunday instead), and have profaned mine HOLY THINGS; they have put NO DIFFERENCE between the HOLY and PROFANE, neither have they shown difference between the unclean and the clean, and have HIDDEN their eyes FROM my SABBATHS, and I am profaned among them" (Ez.22:8,26; cp. 23:38 & 20:12-24). Jerusalem "hath changed mine judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes" (Ez. 5:6). Sabbath to Sunday.
The entire book of Ezekiel was written primarily for our day. This book was written during a 22-year period, between the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity (c.592 B.C. -- Ez.1:2) and the 27th year (c.570 B.C. -- Ez.29:17). The House of Israel went into Assyrian captivity from about 745 B.C. to 718 B.C. The House of Judah went into Babylonian captivity from about 604 B.C. to 586 B.C. Therefore, the House of Israel and much of the House of Judah were NOT AROUND to hear Ezekiel's message! The book of Ezekiel was written primarily for OUR TIME NOW! The House of Israel and House of Judah were prophesied to remain separate peoples until David's resurrection (Ez.37:15-28).
The book of Ezekiel addressed the "House of Israel" about 82 times and the "House of Judah" only 6 times. The name of "Israel" is used 186 times and "Judah" 15 times. The "House of Jacob" is addressed one time. From this summary it should be obvious that the book primarily concerns Israel rather than Judah. The prophecies relate to events that took place during Ezekiel's life, but this is just the FORERUNNER and TYPE of the end-time application. There will be a parallel captivity of Israel by Assyria, and of Judah by Babylon, both in OUR DAY TODAY! There is no record that Ezekiel ever personally delivered the messages included in his book to the nations addressed, though he did, on occasion, talk with elders (leaders) of Judah, some of the Jews in the Babylonian captivity, and some of the elders of Israel. But the nation of Israel had already been TAKEN CAPTIVE 126 years BEFORE Ezekiel got his first vision and the nation NEVER RETURNED from this captivity. Ezekiel was NEVER RELEASED to take his message. He was also given prophecies against the Ammonites (25:2), Moab (25:8), Edom (25:12), Philistines (25:15), Tyre (26:2-3), Egypt (29:2) and others besides Israel.
Ezekiel was among the Jewish captives by the River Chebar and God wanted him to personally "go speak unto the house of Israel" (3:1,4; cp. 2:3). Thus we know that Ezekiel's message is primarily for MODERN-DAY Israelite descendants who are breaking the Sabbath.
As Paul said, "all these things happened unto them for ENSAMPLES, and they are written for OUR ADMONITION, upon whom the ENDS of the WORLD are come" (1 Cor.10:11). In other words, the prophecies have a DUAL application at least. That would therefore include Isaiah and Jeremiah also. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for OUR LEARNING, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope" (Rom.15:4). When a prophecy is fulfilled once, it does not become useless. If a warning was given long ago, it applies also to the end-time. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION in righteousness" (2 Tim.3:16). If we see an example in the Old Testament portrayed in a favorable light, it is a lesson for today. If a law isn't specifically mentioned and abolished, then silence means it must still be obligatory (2 Pet. 1:20; Isa.28:10-13).
What Does The Sabbath Day Typify?
We read in 2 Peter 3:8 that "ONE DAY is with the Lord as a THOUSAND YEARS, and a THOUSAND YEARS as ONE DAY." Also, "a THOUSAND YEARS in thy sight are but as YESTERDAY" (Ps.90:4). We read in Revelation 20:1-7 of a period of "a THOUSAND YEARS" during which Satan is chained and the saints live and rule with Christ. This THOUSAND-YEAR period is called a "REST" which Christians can "enter into" if they aren't "disobedient" (Heb.4:1,6,10-11; ASV, Gspd, Moffatt, Ber, Bas; See also Talmud Sanhedrin 97a). The Promised Land that physical Israelites entered into was a type of this "REST" (Deut.12:9-10; 25:19; 3:18-20; Josh.1:13-15; Heb.3:11,18).This THOUSAND-YEAR DAY of "REST" is spoken of by the prophets also (Isa.11:10; 14:3; Jer.30:10; Ez.38:11). Just as we study the Bible on the Sabbath, so also in the Millenial Sabbath "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Eternal, as the waters cover the sea" (Hab.2:14). Just as God physically created the earth in SIX LITERAL DAYS, and RESTED on the SEVENTH DAY, so also he is creating spiritual character in man for 6000 years before the Millenium when man will have a chance to rest. Mankind has SIX DAYS to make the wrong choices and suffer. Then Christ will return and force us to make the right choices. As Genesis 2:17-18 says, "in the DAY that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Yet Adam lived for "nine hundred and thirty years; and he died" (Gen.5:5). So the "DAY" God was referring to was the first 1000 YEARS. The Epistle of Barnabas 13:4 says, "Consider, my children, what that signifies, 'He finished them (the works of creation) in SIX DAYS.' The meaning of it is this; that in SIX THOUSAND YEARS the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with Him ONE DAY is a THOUSAND YEARS; as Himself testifieth, saying, Behold this DAY shall be as a THOUSAND YEARS. Therefore, children, in SIX DAYS, that is, in SIX THOUSAND YEARS, shall all things be accomplished." According to Gibbon's Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, ch.15, p.187, "As the works of the creation had been finished in SIX DAYS, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to SIX THOUSAND YEARS. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful SABBATH of a THOUSAND YEARS; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection."
Biblical chronology indicates that man has existed on earth for almost 6000 years so far. The 6000-year chronology is determined in this way. Genesis 5 and 6 give us 1656 years from creation to the flood (3960-3959 B.C. to 2304-2303 B.C.). Genesis 11 and 12 and Acts 7:4 give us 352 years from the flood to Abram's birth (2304-2303 B.C. to 1952-1951 B.C.). Genesis 12:4 gives us 75 years from Abram's birth to the confirmed covenant (1952-1951 B.C. to 1877-1876 B.C.). Genesis 12:4, 13:14-16, Exodus 12:40-41, 14 and 24:12 and Gal.3:16-17 give us 430 years from the confirmed covenant to the exodus (1877-1876 B.C. to 1447-1446 B.C.). First Kings 6:1 gives us 480 years from the exodus to the temple foundation (1447-1446 B.C. to 967-966 B.C.) in the fourth year of Solomon's reign. First Kings 11:42 gives 36 years for the remainder of Solomon's rule (967-966 B.C. to 931-930 B.C.). By adding all the reigns of each of the kings of Judah mentioned in Kings and Chronicles we have an additional 345 years (931-930 B.C. to 586-585 B.C.). Daniel 9:2, Ezra 6:15 and Zechariah 7:5-7 give us 70 years from the destruction of the first temple (Jer.52:12-13) to the building of the second temple "in the sixth year of the reign of Darius" (586-585 B.C. to 516-515 B.C.). History teaches us that there were 58 years from the sixth year of Darius to the seventh year of Artaxerxes when he made his decree (516-515 B.C. to 458-457 B.C.; Ezra 7:7). Daniel 9:24-25 and Ezra 7:11-26 give us 483 years from Artaxerxes' command to Messiah (458-457 B.C. to 26-27 A.D.). From 26-27 A.D. to 1993-1994 A.D. is 1967 years. Thus, man has been on earth for about 5953 years so far.
Now if a person rests on any day but the seventh, he is denying that the Millenium will be the seventh thousand-year period. Sunday-observers are therefore not consistent because most of them believe in the Millenium.
Did The Sabbath Merely Foreshadow Christ?
Christ didn't come "to DESTROY the LAW... but to FULFILL" (Matt.5:17) the PROPHECIES about himself (Luke 24:44). The weekly and annual sabbaths are LAWS and PROPHECIES. But their PROPHECIES haven't come to pass yet. The Sabbaths are TYPES and SYMBOLS and SHADOWS "of things TO COME" (Col.2:17) even BEYOND Paul's day. Paul wrote this about 60 A.D., 29 years after the crucifixion of Christ. Any shadows which pictured Christ's sacrifice would necessarily be ABOLISHED by this time (Heb.10:1-2). But Paul spoke in the PRESENT TENSE of the sabbaths. They "ARE a shadow of things TO COME." PRESENT TENSE indicates these days were STILL BEING OBSERVED at the time Paul wrote. Christ didn't fulfill these days by his "death on a cross" or by giving us the Holy Spirit.
Christ fulfilled the RITUALISTIC TYPES and SACRIFICIAL SHADOWS in the LAW as well as the PROPHECIES in the PROPHETS. Many rituals typified Christ's CRUCIFIXION or the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT. Ancient Israelites offered sacrifices (Lev.1-7). But today only spiritual sacrifices are required (Rom.12:1-2; Ps.51:17; 1 Sam.15:22).
Christ Observed The Sabbath And Set Us An Example
Christ said that man shall live "by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt.4:4) and the OLD TESTAMENT scriptures were the ONLY WRITTEN WORD of God at this time. Christ also said, "the scriptures cannot be broken" (John 10:35) -- meaning the OLD TESTAMENT isn't abolished. Later he said "Thy WORD is TRUTH" (John 17:17). The apostle Paul even said he believed "ALL THINGS which are WRITTEN in the LAW and in the PROPHETS" (Acts 24:14). Does that remark sound like he was doing away with Sabbath-keeping?
The only "SCRIPTURES" that Christ or the early Christians used or knew anything about were what we call the "OLD TESTAMENT" today (2 Tim.3:15-16; 1 Cor.10:11). As Christ said, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you (of sin), even MOSES, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed MOSES, ye would have believed me: For he wrote of me. But if ye believe not HIS WRITINGS, how shall ye believe MY WORDS?" (John 5:45-47). If we don't believe the TORAH, we won't believe JESUS CHRIST. As Stephen said, Moses "received the LIVELY ORACLES (Ten Commandments; statutes; judgments) to give unto US" (Christians) (Acts 7:37-38).
Christ stated, "Think NOT that I am come to DESTROY the LAW, or the PROPHETS; I am NOT come to DESTROY, but to FULFILL" (Matt.5:17).
Fulfill what? Christ answers, "all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the LAW of Moses, and in the PROPHETS, and in the PSALMS CONCERNING ME" (Luke 24:44; see also vv.25-27; Luke 18:31-34 & Acts 13:27-33).
Christ fulfilled the RITUALISTIC TYPES and SACRIFICIAL SHADOWS in the LAW as well as the PROPHECIES in the PROPHETS. But Christ didn't come to destroy the LAWS against MURDER, ADULTERY, THEFT, IDOLATRY or SABBATH-BREAKING. These laws serve a PRACTICAL PURPOSE and are not mere SHADOWS or TYPES. They aren't PROPHECIES of CHRIST'S DEATH or TYPES of the HOLY SPIRIT. Unlike sacrifices, the Levite priesthood, the temple and furniture, the MORAL LAWS DON'T FORESHADOW what happened in 31 A.D. The Sabbath is an unfulfilled prophecy. It provides NEEDED PHYSICAL and SPIRITUAL REJUVENATION. It is part of the moral law that reveals God's CHARACTER which DOESN'T CHANGE (Mal.3:6; Heb.13:8).
Christ also fulfilled the moral law, but in a different way. He MAGNIFIED the law, and made it HONORABLE (Isa.42:21) by adding the FULL SPIRIT and INTENT to the mere LETTER of the LAW. This is proven by reading through the "Sermon on the Mount" and especially from Matthew 5:21-44. But he did not fulfill this law in the sense of abolishing it. Unless God specifically abolishes an Old Testament statute, it is binding on us today whether or not the New Testament mentions it. Christ's death couldn't possibly abolish the invisible, SPIRITUAL LAWS of God because SPIRITUAL things are ETERNAL. The "LAW is SPIRITUAL" (Rom.7:14) and "HOLY" (v.12). The "things which are seen are TEMPORAL; but the things which are not seen are ETERNAL" (2 Cor.4:18). We can't see the law of gravity but we don't doubt its existence. God's SPIRITUAL LAWS in the Bible are the same way.
Furthermore, Christians should follow the EXAMPLE that CHRIST set. As 1 Peter 2:21 says, Christ left us an EXAMPLE "that ye should FOLLOW his STEPS." First John 2:6 states, He that saith he abideth in him (Christ) ought himself also so to WALK, even as HE WALKED."
"Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4) and Christ never sinned (1 Pet.2:22). Since SABBATH-KEEPING is one of the ten LAWS, CHRIST must have KEPT the SABBATH.
As Mark 1:21-22 says, "on the SABBATH DAY he entered into the SYNAGOGUE, and TAUGHT."
As Mark 6:2 says, "when the SABBATH DAY was come, he began to TEACH in the SYNAGOGUE."
As Luke 13:10 says, "he was TEACHING in one of the SYNAGOGUES on the SABBATH." (see also Luke 4:31; 6:6; John 5:9; 9:14; Matt.12:6)
Luke 4:16 states, "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and, as his CUSTOM was, he went into the SYNAGOGUE on the SABBATH DAY, and stood up to READ." This scripture shows us that Christ was in the HABIT of keeping the SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH. Some teach that since the Greek word for "SABBATH" here is plural, Christ was observing the "DAY OF WEEKS" or feast of weeks (Ex.34:22). But the truth is that the Greek word for "SABBATH" is OFTEN found in its plural form in the gospels (Matt.12:5,10,11; Mark 1:21; 2:23,24; 3:2,4; Luke 4:31; 6:2,9; 13:10) when it clearly must refer to the WEEKLY SABBATH. Both Acts 13:14 and 16:13 refer to the WEEKLY SABBATH also, even though the Greek word for "SABBATH" is plural in both places.
Christ set us an EXAMPLE of SABBATH-KEEPING in these scriptures and we ought to FOLLOW in his STEPS. Even his "Sermon on the Mount" (Matt.5-7) was given on a SABBATH since there is NO BREAK in the story flow up to 8:16 when the people brought him the sick "When the EVENING was come." Mark 1:21-34 records the same event and clearly calls it the "SABBATH." Christ even said, "But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the SABBATH DAY" (Matt.24:20) indicating the church would be RESTING on that day.
Christ Commanded His Disciples To Keep The Sabbath
As Christ said, "if thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS" (Matt.19:17). But which commandments was Christ talking about? He answers: "Thou shalt do no MURDER, Thou shalt not COMMIT ADULTERY, Thou shalt not STEAL, Thou shalt not BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR thy FATHER and thy MOTHER" (19:18-19). In other words, the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Obviously Christ did not abolish the law.
He even warned that "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven" (Matt.7:21).
Christ also said, "Howbeit in vain do ye worship me, teaching fordoctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the COMMANDMENT OF GOD, ye hold the tradition of men ... Full well ye REJECT THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD (Saturday), that ye may keep your own tradition (Sunday)" (Mark 7:7-9).
Christ said to his disciples, "If you love me, KEEP my COMMANDMENTS" (John 14:15).
Luke 23:56 says, "And they (some of his women followers) returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and RESTED on the SABBATH DAY, according to the commandment." This is why Christ said to "pray that your flight be NOT in the winter, neither on the SABBATH DAY" (Matt.24:20). He knew his followers would not want to travel more than a SABBATH-DAY'S JOURNEY on that day. (see also Matt.28:1; Mark 16:1) This flight took place in 69 A.D., about 38 years after the crucifixion.
We've now seen a number of scriptural commands Christ gave to his disciples. Then the "eleven disciples" went to Jesus (Matt.28:16) and he told them to go and "TEACH ALL NATIONS" (v.19) "to OBSERVE ALL THINGS whatsoever I have COMMANDED you" (v.20). So Sabbath-keeping was intended for ALL nations, not just his disciples or the Jewish nation. Anything Christ commanded his disciples must be obeyed by all nations today. In other words, "He that saith, 'I know him,' and KEEPETH NOT his COMMANDMENTS, is a LIAR" (1 John 2:4).
Don't Harvest Manna versus Do Eat Showbread
Normally FRIDAY is the food PREPARATION DAY for the Sabbath (Matt.27:62). BAKING and SEETHING were done on FRIDAY (Ex.16:23). Matthew 12:1-8 says, "At that time Jesus went on the SABBATH DAY through the corn (grainfields); and his disciples were an hungred (hungry), and began to PLUCK the EARS of CORN (grain), and to EAT ("RUBBING them in their HANDS" -- Luke 6:1). But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is NOT LAWFUL to do upon the SABBATH DAY (GLEANING GRAIN in somebody else's field was LAWFUL provided NO SICKLE was used (Deut.23:24-25). The Pharisees, however, had included "REAPING" as one of the 39 activities FORBIDDEN by their TRADITION on the SABBATH (Mishnah Shab.7:2). They based it on Exodus 16:26-29 which PROHIBITED GATHERING MANNA on the SABBATH.) But he said unto them, Have ye not read what DAVID DID, when he was an hungred (hungry), and they that were with him, How he ENTERED intothe HOUSE of GOD, and did EAT the SHOWBREAD, which was NOT LAWFUL for him to EAT, neither for them who were with him, but only for the priests? (It was when this sacred bread "was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken" -- on the SABBATH (1 Chr.9:32; 1 Sam.21:1-6; Lev.24:8) -- that David ate it. The loaves of unleavened bread were baked every FRIDAY (Antiq. 3:6:6 & 3:10:7) and the old batch was eaten in the Holy Place each SABBATH (Lev.24:5-9)). The Mishnah ("traditions of the elders") also teaches that "whenever there is doubt whether LIFE is in DANGER (the case discussed is a SORE THROAT), this overrides the SABBATH" (Yoma 8:5-6). Yet in Pesahim 4:8 "the sages" rebuked the people of Jericho who PICKED UP and ATE raw FRUIT on the SABBATH (see also Covenant of Damascus 10:22). The Sabbath is a feast day (Lev.23:3), not a fast day.
Your Disciples Must Not Prepare Food versus God's Priest's Must Prepare Sacrifices
"Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the SABBATH DAYS the PRIESTS in the temple PROFANE the SABBATH, and are BLAMELESS? (The priests SACRIFICED "two lambs" and OFFERED both a meal and drink offering on the altar (Num.28:9-10) and REPLACED the showbread (Lev.24:8; 1 Chr.9:32) all on the SABBATH [see Hagigah 2:10].) But I say unto you that in this place is one greater than the temple. (In other words, I AM GOD and my disciples are my PRIESTS. The grain they pluck is OLD SHOWBREAD or the FOOD the priests place on the altar and when they're around me they are in the HOLY PLACE of the temple.) But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice (A Hebrew idiom meaning "I will have mercy ALSO, not sacrifice ONLY."), ye would not have condemned the GUILTLESS. For the Son of man is LORD even of the SABBATH DAY." (Therefore, SATURDAY is the LORD'S day, not Sunday (cp. Rev.1:10).)
Don't "Carry Forth A Burden" versus Do "Carry Thy Bed"
In John 5:8-10, Jesus healed a man who had been infirm for 38 years. "Jesus saith unto him, Rise, TAKE UP thy BED, and WALK. And immediately the man was made whole (well), and TOOK UP his BED, and WALKED; and the same day was the SABBATH. The Jews, therefore, said unto him that was cured, It is the SABBATH DAY; it is NOT LAWFUL for thee to CARRY thy BED (mattress).... But Jesus answered them, My Father WORKETH hitherto, and I WORK." In other words, HEALING the cripple was the Father's WORK and he did it through Christ's WORK of commanding the cripple to WALK showing that "the same WORKS that I do, bear witness of me, that the Fatherhath sent me" (John 5:36). Therefore, the cripple was obeying God himself by CARRYING his BED. The MIRACLE confirmed it. A man lying on a bed for 38 YEARS RESTING would certainly be more than CAUGHT UP in his rest. To EXERCISE and STRETCH his MUSCLES might be more RESTFUL and RELAXING than being IMMOBILE on this day. God needs NO REST from WORK, and neither did Christ from healing WORK. "The CREATOR of the ends of the earth DOES NOT FAINT and is NOT WEARY" (Isa.40:28). "He gives POWER to the FAINT" (Isa.40:29). "Come unto me, all you who LABOR and are HEAVY-LADEN, and I will give you (Sabbath) REST ... and you will find (Sabbath) REST for your souls. For my YOKE is EASY and my (Sabbath) BURDEN LIGHT" (Matt.11:28-30). "The Sabbath was made FOR MAN" (Mark 2:27) -- not God. He merely set us an example in Genesis 2. Humans need physical and spiritual rejuvenation ONLY AFTER six days of LABOR and WORK. The Sabbath command is in two parts. "Six days shalt thou LABOR" is the first part. If a business executive SITS behind his desk reading and typing six days a week, a Sabbath rest might include STRETCHING and WALKING.
However, this principle should be balanced by Jeremiah's warning to "BEAR NO BURDEN on the SABBATH DAY" and don't "CARRY FORTH A BURDEN out of your houses on the SABBATH DAY, neither DO ANY WORK" (Jer.17:21-22). The Sabbath is a day to GO TO BED EARLY, GET UP LATE and REST in between (Ex.34:21). Isaiah also warns us against "DOING THINE OWN WAYS" and "FINDING THINE OWN PLEASURE" (Isa.58:13). Also Nehemiah warns against "BRINGING IN SHEAVES (of grain), and lading (LOADING) asses; and also wine, grapes, and figs, and all kinds of BURDENS, which they BROUGHT into Jerusalem on the SABBATH DAY" (Neh.13:15). Nehemiah even commanded that the gates should be shut "that there should NO BURDEN be BROUGHT in on the SABBATH DAY" (Neh.13:19). According to Jewish TRADITIONS, you couldn't CARRY anything HEAVIER than a FIG on the SABBATH. Yes, Christ said his BURDEN was LIGHT possibly in reference to this tradition.
A Sabbath Day's Journey versus Marching Around Jericho
When Acts 1:12 mentions "a SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY" it is refering to Jewish oral tradition of assigning a limit of about 3000 FEET (2000 cubits or five furlongs) to travel on the SABBATH (see Erubin 4:5). This measure may have been determined by the DISTANCE that the children of Israel were required to allow BETWEEN themselves and the ARK of the covenant at the passage of the Jordan (Josh.3:4); for therabbis may have assumed that the SAME LIMIT prevailed BETWEEN the TENTS of the people and the TABERNACLE -- a distance that the Israelites would need to walk in order to worship on the Sabbath. According to another source, the longest distance a Jew may walk from the outskirts of the city on his Sabbath day as prescribed by Talmud Berachoth is 3,675 feet and 9 inches or about a little over 3/4 of a mile. It is the Hebrew "T'chum Shabbos" meaning "Sabbath limit." (p.35, The Bud and the Flower of Judaism by Specter) The concept of LIMITING TRAVEL on the Sabbath is definitely biblical because we are commanded to "REMAIN every man of you in his place, let no man GO OUT OF HIS PLACE on the SEVENTH DAY" (Ex.16:29). To keep the Sabbath, one must REMAIN AT HOME in his village and congregate together.
Yet Christ CLIMBED a MOUNT to give a sermon on the sabbath (Matt.5-8:16). Also the Israelites were commanded to MARCH AROUND the city of Jericho -- a LONGER trek than the lawful Sabbath day's journey of 2000 CUBITS from one's house -- and this was to be carried out for SEVEN DAYS (Joshua 6:1-16). One of these days had to fall on the WEEKLY SABBATH therefore. We must conclude that in times of BATTLE or other EMERGENCIES, a Sabbath-day's journey is OVERRULED by the need for SURVIVAL.
Help An"Ox In The Ditch" versus Don't Work On The Sabbath
After Christ healed a man on the Sabbath, he asked, "Which of you shall have an ASS or an OX FALLEN into a PIT, and will not straightway PULL HIM OUT on the SABBATH DAY?" (Luke 14:5) In Mark 3:4 Christ asks, "Is it lawful to DO GOOD on the sabbath days, or to DO EVIL? To SAVE LIFE, or to KILL?" Then in Matthew 12:12 Christ answers his own question by saying, "it is LAWFUL to DO WELL on the SABBATH DAYS." Christ was saying that those who ABSTAIN from SAVING LIFE are actually guilty of MURDER -- VIOLATING the sixth commandment -- in an attempt to OBEY the fourth commandment. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27). He may have gotten this expression from the traditions of the elders who said "The Sabbath is delivered into your hands, not you into the hands of the Sabbath" (Talmud Yoma, fol.85b). Or in the words of "Rabbi" Nathan, "it is said, '... Israel shall keep the Sabbath ... throughout their generations" (Ex.31:16) -- ONE SABBATH may be PROFANED that he may KEEP MANY (further) SABBATHS" (Mekhilta extract, ed. Lauterbach III, 198-199). Professional veterinarians, doctors and paramedics don't have the right to violate the sabbath on a regular basis simply because of the "ox in a ditch" principle. It should be the UNFORSEEN EXCEPTION rather than the NORMAL RULE.
Do Circumcise On The Sabbath versus Don't Heal On The Sabbath
Jesus said, "Moses, therefore, gave unto you CIRCUMCISION (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers [Gen.17:9-14]), and ye on the SABBATH DAY CIRCUMCISE a man. If a man on the SABBATH DAY receive CIRCUMCISION, that the law of Moses should not be broken, are ye angry with me, because I have made a man EVERY WHIT WHOLE (entirely well) on the sabbath day?" (John 7:22-23). Christ was probably referring to a well-known oral tradition later printed in the Talmud Shabbat 18 and 19. Rabbi Jose says, "they may PERFORM on the SABBATH all things that are needful for CIRCUMCISION" (Mishnah, Shab. 18:3) and "Great is CIRCUMCISION which OVERRIDES even the rigour of the SABBATH" (Mishnah, Ned.3:11). Christ does not disagree with this "tradition of the elders" (Talmud) because the "eighth day" (Lev.12:3) does sometimes fall on the Sabbath and therefore ONE LAW must OVERRULE the OTHER. Instead he urges CONSISTENCY to this principle in the area of healing. Christ was not always against the Talmud as so many "Christians" are today.
Do Water Your Livestock versus Don't Heal A Suffering Human
When Christ healed a woman suffering from curvature of the spine on the Sabbath, he said, "Doth not each one of you on the SABBATH LOOSE his OX or his ASS from the STALL, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath BOUND, lo, these eighteen years, be LOOSED from this BOND on the SABBATH DAY?" (Luke 13:15-16). Christ was actually condemning the "traditions of the elders" (Talmud) here because the "TYING" and "LOOSENING" of a KNOT are FORBIDDEN WORK according to the Mishnah (Shab. 7:2) which existed in oral form at the time of Christ. We have responsibilities to our animals which depend on us for their care. A MILKING COW must be MILKED TWICE A DAY, EVERY DAY. At some point, the herd will be TOO LARGE to be milked without BREAKING the SABBATH. A farmer therefore has NECESSARY sabbath work. Paramedics, firemen and prison guards have NEVER-ENDING emergencies ALL WEEK long and therefore are responsible to make time for the sabbath.
Don't Take A Bath versus Do Use A Mikvah Before Worship Services
A BATH on the SABBATH is not wrong since Christians and Jews used the MIKVAH by the Huldah Gate on FRIDAY EVENING and the SABBATH MORNING before worship services (John 11:55; 2:6; Acts 24:18). In Acts 16:12-13 we could translate it as "on the Sabbath we went outside the gate to the RIVERSIDE, where we understood a minyan (quorum of ten men) met." Synagogues were frequently built by RUNNING WATER in order to eliminate the need for constructing a MIKVEH for RITUAL IMMERSION. Proselytes were required to immerse in a MIKVEH as well as be circumcised and offer a sacrifice at the Temple and an early Tanna said that BAPTISM is more important than circumcision (see Yebamoth 46a & b).
Using DEODORANT on the SABBATH is UNNECESSARY. If the three women could WAIT till AFTER the Sabbath before ANOINTING
Christ's body with "SWEET SPICES," so can we WAIT (Mark 16:1).
Convocate versus "Separate From Sinners"
Christ met with JEWS every SABBATH (Luke 4:31; 6:6). Early Christians met in already-established SYNAGOGUES with non-believing JEWS. After Christ's crucifixion, we find his DISCIPLES MEETING TOGETHER in SECRET for FEAR of the JEWS. Christ risked his life on one Sabbath when he gave the Torah-reading and the congregation TRIED TO KILL HIM as a consequence (Luke 4:16-30) He also RISKED his LIFE to attend the annual festivals (John 7:19). Paul regularly began his evangelism in a city by first entering the local SYNAGOGUE of non-believing JEWS. But we must also realize that both Paul and Christ also created THEIR OWN fellowship GROUPS for the weekly Sabbath and annual festivals. We can conclude that HOSTILITY was sometimes, but not always, a reason for SEPARATION. First and foremost, "our FELLOWSHIP is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3) via prayer and Bible study. We are commanded to "CONVOCATE" (Lev. 23:3) with Christians, but "have NO FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph. 5:11).
Don't Work versus Do Defend Yourself
In the early days of the Maccabean revolt, many of the pious Jews were KILLED because they would NOT DEFEND themselves when attacked on the SABBATH. As a result of this episode, the Maccabeans resolved to FIGHT in SELF-DEFENSE but not otherwise (1 Macc.2:29-41). An early Hasmonean, John Hyrcanus (135-104 B.C.), broke off an important siege because of the coming of the SABBATIC YEAR (War 1:157-160). In 63 B.C., when the Roman general Pompey had hemmed up the Jewish defenders in Jerusalem, he took advantage of Jewishadherence to the law by RAISING EARTHWORKS on the SABBATH, while NOT FIRING MISSILES. Josephus explains that "the Jews FIGHT only in SELF DEFENSE" (against missile attack, not building earthworks). Thus the Roman battering rams could be brought into service in PERFECT SAFETY (War 1:145-147). Rome recognized the fact that SABBATH LAW kept Jews from SERVING in the imperial ARMIES (Antiq. 14:237 &13:252). Also, Julius Caesar EXEMPTED JUDAEA from tribute in the SEVENTH YEAR (Antiq. 14:202). But as Yoma 8:6 says, when "LIFE is in DANGER this OVERRIDES the SABBATH." Indeed, those who ABSTAIN from SAVING LIFE are actually GUILTY of MURDER -- violating the sixth commandment. It was argued that a BATTLE need NOT be STOPPED because of the SABBATH DAY since Deuteronomy 20:20 says "UNTIL it be SUBDUED" (Talmud Shabbat 19a).
Go To The Toilet versus Don't Work On The Sabbath
The Essenes would not light a fire, remove a vessel "or even GO TO STOOL" on the SABBATH (War 2:147). Yet the Sabbath is a day for BANQUETING and FEASTING (Lev.23:1). There would be MORE WORK involved in HOLDING IT BACK than in actually GOING TO THE TOILET. Judith, who fasted "all the days of her widowhood," DID NOT FAST on FRIDAY or SATURDAY (Judith 8:6). Even direst necessity would not force rabbis to FAST on the SABBATH (Taanith 1:6). Whatever we allow IN, we should allow OUT to be consistent.
"Be Fruitful, And Multiply" versus Sex Is Work
Couples wonder whether or not it is lawful to HAVE SEX on the SABBATH since that might be considered WORK. Yet we read that on the sixth day God said to the man and woman, "BE FRUITFUL, and MULTIPLY, and FILL the EARTH" (1:28). Were the NAKED couple supposed to WAIT ONE DAY before OBEYING this COMMAND? Of course not. They had sex on the seventh day Sabbath! Actually, the very MEANING of the ANNUAL SABBATHS has to do with CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY and BIRTH: PASSOVER typifies OVULATION on day fourteen; the first day of the FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD typifies CONCEPTION the fifteenth; the twenty-first day is IMPLANTATION; PENTECOST marks the beginning of the FETAL STAGE; TRUMPETS, ATONEMENT, TABERNACLES and LAST GREAT DAY typify the FINAL SEVENTH-MONTH DEVELOPMENT and BIRTH of the baby. Most pregnancies last a full nine months but the baby is fully developed in the seventh month. Also, Hagar conceived "AT THE END OF ten years" (Gen.16:3-4) which is defined in Genesis 4:3 and 41:1-14 and Psalm 81:35 as the FEAST of TRUMPETS. The same phrase is used in all three passages in Genesis. Also 1 Samuel 1:20 uses the same phrase "END OF DAYS" to describe when Hannah CONCEIVED which again indicates the FEAST of TRUMPETS. These women were all OUR EXAMPLES (1 Cor.10:6).
Yet there is an argument on the other side because having SEXUAL RELATIONS causes us to become UNCLEAN (Lev.15:16) and Nehemiah commanded the Levites to CLEANSE THEMSELVES in the context of the SABBATH (Neh.13:22).
Torah-Reading versus Sermon Preaching
Because preachers sometimes use the pulpit to verbally bully and abuse their congregations, the members look for biblical alternatives to sermon-preaching. Christ set us the example in Luke 4:16-17 when "he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and STOOD UP to READ." After reading only one-and-a-half verses from Isaiah 61:1-2 (the haftorah reading after the torah reading), "he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister (shammash), and SAT DOWN" (4:20). Then everyone in the synagogue STARED at him apparently because he had NOT READ the PORTION ASSIGNED for that SABBATH but instead had chosen his own section OUT OF ORDER. Also, he probably HADN'T READ ENOUGH of it. THEN Christ PREACHED a SERMON. "The last reader was customarily given the honor of expounding on the reading with a sermon" (p.8, God's Appointed Times by Barney Kasdan). Acts 13:15 says, "after the READING OF THE LAW and the PROPHETS the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of EXHORTATION for the people, say on." In other words, the SERMON-PREACHING took place AFTER the TORAH-READING here in Acts also. Some members find Bible reading dull and boring. Others find sermon-preaching oppressive. The Bible teaches both. Perhaps this is to allow us the alternative to attend only one half of the service if we choose. The Sabbath must be a day of REST, not TURMOIL or BOREDOM. If the minister will not fulfill his duty to the congregation, the congregation is not duty-bound to that minister. However, speaking was a SHARED RESPONSIBILITY among MANY MEN. The men in the congregation ALL TOOK TURNS reading and speaking. There wasn't a ONE-MAN MONOPOLY.
When Does The Sabbath Day Begin?
Leviticus 23:32 says, "from EVENING to EVENING, shall ye celebrate your sabbath." When is EVENING? Mark 1:32 says, "And at EVEN, when the SUN did SET, they brought unto him all that were diseased." Matthew 27:57 says, "When the EVEN was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea." Leviticus 22:6-7 says, "The soul who hath touched any such shall be unclean until EVENING ... And when the SUN is DOWN, he shall be clean. Deuteronomy 23:11 says, "But it shall be when EVENING comes on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the SUN is DOWN, he shall come into the camp again." Judges 19:9 states, "Behold, now the day draws toward EVENING ... the day growing to an END." Nehemiah 13:19 says, "And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem BEGAN to be DARK before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut." Genesis 1:5 says, "And the EVENING and the MORNING were the first DAY."Go to http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.php or go to http://www.sunrisesunset.com/ for a one-year chart for your city.