The Sabbath in the Gospels
With the opening of the gospel comes the most glorious period of the church's history. The Son of God himself stands before us clothed with all the authority of heaven. Matt 28:8. God says, "Hear ye him." Matt 17:5. He came to introduce the gospel, "a new and living way," Heb 10:20, "the new covenant," "a better covenant," Heb 8:6,8, which sets aside and supersedes the old, verse 13. Compared to the Jewish age it is a "great light," Matt 4:16, and the gospel church is represented as "a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet." Rev 12:1. Much which was before was dark, shadowy and mysterious, is now light and plain. Rom 16:25-26.
A great and radical change in the mode of worshipping God is now introduced. Many institutions of the Old Testament, which were once given in the most solemn manner, and by the authority of God himself, are no longer binding.
Now, where shall we look to find the clearest light upon these old institutions? Where shall we go to learn the real design of them all? Where shall we turn to obtain the necessary rules for a Christian to live by? Shall we go back to the moonlight of the Jewish law? To the starlight of the patriarchal age? Or shall we come to the full sunlight of the gospel? Evidently the New Testament furnishes the clearest, and only authoritative guide for the Christian. The Old Testament can be read and rightly understood only in the light of the New. But it is a fact that Sabbatarians have to go back to the Old Testament, even clear back to the uncertain institutions of the patriarchal age, as their clearest and most certain authority for the seventh day. The evidence from the New Testament only comes in as secondary and collateral. All their strongest arguments for the Sabbath are away back among the shadows of the Old Testament. Take these from them, and the very foundation has fallen out from their theory. I know that this is so, for I have gone over the ground a thousand times. I know just how a seventh-day man feels, and where he rests his confidence. Of the New Testament he is a little shy. But is there any other Christian duty which is plainly laid down only in the Old Testament? I do not think of a single one, though in the past I tried hard and long to find it. On al other points the New Testament is clear and full. In it we have chapter after chapter, epistle after epistle, and book after book packed full of instruction on every Christian duty in every possible phase of it. The duty or sin covered by each of the other nine commandments is directly named many times over in the New Testament. But the duty to keep the seventh day is not once mentioned. We arrange side by side:
|The Ten Commandments of the Old Testament
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Ex 20:3
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. Ex 20:4,5
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain. Ex 20:7
4.Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Ex 20:8
5. Honour thy father and thy mother. Ex 20:12
6. Thou shalt not kill. Ex 20:13
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Ex 20:14
8. Thou shalt not steal. Ex 20:15
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Ex 20:16
10. Thou shalt not covet. Ex 20:17
|The Ten Commandments of the New Testament
1. We preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven and earth and the seas. Acts 14:15
2. Little children keep yourself from idols. John 5:21
3. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by earth, neither by any other oath. James 5:12
4. There is no command in all the New Testament to keep the seventh day.
5. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Eph 6:1
6. Thou shalt not kill. Rom 13:9
7. Neither fornicators nor idolators nor adulterers ... shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1Cor 6:9-10
8. Steal no more. Eph 4:28
9. Lie not. Col. 3:9
10.Covetousness, let it not be named among you. Eph 5:3
"The duty of men to worship the Lord God only as taught in the first commandment is found no less than fifty times in the New Testament. Idolatry, which is the second commandment, is condemned twelve times. Profanity, the third commandment, is plainly condemned four times. Honor thy father and mother, which is the fifth commandment, is taught six times at least. Murder, which is the sixth prohibition, is found condemned twelve times. Theft, the eight, six times. False witness, the ninth, four times. Covetousness, the tenth, nine times. Now, with these facts before us, how can there be any danger that the law of God will be made void? Another remarkable fact is that the fourth commandment is not repeated in the New Testament, that no Christian was ever commanded to observe it, that no Christian was ever condemned for Sabbath breaking." Time and again, all through the New Testament long lists of sins embracing every possible shade of wickedness are given, but a disregard of the seventh day is never once included. Thus: Mark 7:21-22, thirteen sins; Rom 1:29-31, nineteen sins; Gal 5:19-21, seventeen sins; 2Tim 3:1-4, eighteen sins, etc. How is this? Would the Sabbatarians have left it so?
Strange to say, the duty to keep the seventh day is not once mentioned in the whole New Testament. There is not one single command from either Christ or any of the apostles to keep that day. It is not once said that it is wrong to work on the seventh day, or that God will bless any one for observing it. There is no promise for keeping it, no threatening for not keeping it. No one is ever reproved for working on the seventh day, nor approved for observing it. If disregarding the seventh day is so great a crime as its advocates now claim, it is unaccountable that no warning against it should be given in all the New Testament, not even once. Is all this silence merely accidental? So Sabbatarians have to believe; but the supposition is absurd. Evidently it was left out on purpose, the same as the pentecost, passover, new moons, sacrifices and the like.
Paul, in all his fourteen epistles never even names the Sabbath but once, and that only to show its abolition. Col 2:6. Contrast this with Adventists' literature!
The usual answer is that the Jews were already keeping the Sabbath, even too strictly, and therefore the Jewish Christians needed no instruction on this point. But this answer is not satisfactory. The Jews were just as strictly opposed to false gods and images, and yet over and over Christians are warned against these things. Thus Paul says: "Neither be ye idolaters," and "Flee from idolatry." 1Cor 10:7,14. But where does it say, "Keep the seventh day?" or "Flee from Sabbath breaking?" Besides, the great body of the Christian converts in the latter years of the gospel, were Gentiles, who had never kept the seventh day at all. Why should they not be instructed how to keep it? Why should they be repeatedly warned against all other evil practices of their former lives, but never warned against breaking the Sabbath as they certainly had done before? This was a point which I was never able to answer satisfactorily to myself while I kept the seventh day. The simple and manifest fact is, that it was not intended to bind the Jewish Sabbath upon the Christian church. Hence it was quietly allowed to drop out with the other old covenant holy days and institutions.
The arguments offered out of the New Testament for the observance of the seventh day are few and not hard to answer. Let us examine the main ones.
Jesus Kept the Seventh Day, Therefore We Must
With Sabbatarians this argument has more weight than all others from the New Testament. It always did with me. But now I am not satisfied that, when fairly considered, there is nothing in it. Jesus was born and lived all his life under the law. Gal. 4:4. That law was binding till his death. Col. 2:14. Of course he ought to have kept every item of that law till the cross, just as he evidently did do. On this point Elder George I. Butler, Seventh-day Adventist, says: "He lived under all the ceremonies and observances of the law of Moses, the same as did the other Jews. Thus he was 'born under the law' and subject to it. All his life he was careful not to break any of its provisions, and he never permitted his disciples to do it to the day of his death." The Law in Galatians, page 59.
This is the plain truth in the case. But it shows the utter fallacy of arguing that we must keep the seventh day just because Jesus did. If we observe one institution of the Old law just because Jesus did, then we should also keep all that he did; that is, live just as the Jews did under the law of Moses! For that is just what Jesus did. He instructed his disciples to offer gifts upon the altar, Matt. 5:23-24, sent a man to offer a gift, Matt. 8:4, commanded his disciples to observe all that the scribes taught, Matt. 23:2-3, and was very particular to keep the passover just according to law only the day before his death. Luke 22:7-15. But who thinks now of doing all these things because Jesus did? No one. Jesus was circumcised. Do Sabbatarians circumcise? No. Then why pick out the seventh day from all other holy days and rites and hold on to that while rejecting all the rest which he also observed? It seems as though a candid man must admit that this argument for the Jewish Sabbath is not a success. If that day is binding upon Christians it must be upon some other ground than because Jesus kept it while living as a Jew under the Jewish law.
Mark 2:27-28. The Sabbath Made for Man
The Sabbatarian use of this text is directly contrary to its plainest meaning. Jesus was not giving a history of the origin of the Sabbath, nor defending its sacredness against desecration, now showing that it was made for all the race. No such thought is the subject of his remarks. He is not claiming the Jewish Sabbath as his day, as the day consecrated to himself. It was not as God, the Creator, that he claimed to be its Lord; but it was as the SON OF MAN, the representative of man, that he claimed to be lord over the Sabbath.
Notice his premises and his conclusions: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath: THEREFORE the son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." He says that as the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, THEREFORE he, a son of man, was Lord of it. Why was Jesus Lord of the Sabbath? Because he was the Son of God and had made it? Not at all; but because he was the Son of man, man for whom the Sabbath was made. It is as a MAN that he claims to be its Lord. And this he said to defend his disciples against the charge of breaking the Sabbath. How did it apply? Why, the Sabbath was made for them and hence it was only their servant. They were superior to the Sabbath. Notice the cases he used to illustrate his statement. Matt 12:3-12.
1) David went to the priest and ate holy bread which the law forbade to any but priests. His needs were superior to that ceremonial precept.
2) "The priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are blameless." Verse 5. They would slay cattle all the Sabbath day. Their service was superior to the Sabbath.
3) If a sheep fall into a pit on the Sabbath they would work hard to get him out. The preservation of animal life was superior to the Sabbath. I have seen Adventists work hard on the Sabbath in case of a fire to save even the goods, though the law says, "In it thou shalt not do any work." Would they dare violate the letter of any other commandment that way? No. Then, surely, Jesus himself being judge, the observance of the strict letter of the Sabbath law is not a matter of the highest importance. This is the lesson plainly taught here by Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath. It squarely condemns the rigid interpretation of the Sabbatarians who make the Sabbath more important than man himself for whom it was made.
4) The Sabbath was made for MAN, hence the necessities of men are above the Sabbath law. So, then, this text, when fairly read, gives no support to the sacredness of the Jewish Sabbath under the gospel.
As this is one of their favorite texts we will examine it. Foretelling the fall of Jerusalem which occurred forty years after his death, Jesus said that when they saw the armies come around the city, they must flee immediately or be caught in the city, and perish with the others. Hence he said, "Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day. For then shall be great tribulation." Matt. 24:17-21.
From this it is argued that the Sabbath would continue to be a sacred day after the resurrection. Adventists admit that it would not be a violation of the Sabbath to flee on that day in case of necessity. Then where is there any argument in the text? If their flight had occurred on the Sabbath to save their lives, would that have desecrated the day? They own that it would not. Then the sacredness of the day was not what Jesus had in view.
The context plainly shows that it was for their SAFETY that he was providing, not for the keeping of the say. The proper observance of the Sabbath is not the subject at all. The dangers and tribulations of that time was the subject. Notice four points: 1) Those with child. 2) Those with nursing babes. 3) Fleeing in the winter. 4) Fleeing on the Sabbath. If they had to flee suddenly, in haste, and without preparation, even without their ordinary clothes, women with child or with little babes, or persons in the cold of winter would be liable to suffer or die. So in all these three cases Jesus refers to the inconvenience and danger of their flight; and this is exactly why he mentions the Sabbath. On that day the gates of the city would be shut and so hinder them greatly of not detain them entirely. The gates of all the villages through which they must pass would be closed. The Jews would suspect them and arrest them as traitors. Hence it would be dangerous, almost impossible, to flee on that day. A candid person can see that this is all there is to that text. Of this I became convinced sometime before I gave up the Sabbath, and so I stopped using it.
Matt. 28:1, Mark 16:1-2. "The Sabbath" is the Day Before "The First Day of the Week
"In the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week." "When the Sabbath was past, ***the first day of the week." According to this the Sabbath, after the death of Christ, is still the day before the first day of the week. Hence the first day of the week on which Christ rose was not the Sabbath yet. Answer: All the days in the week, in the month, and in the year, still continued to be called by their old Jewish names for many years after Christ; but it does not follow that they continued to be sacred days, for Paul expressly states that all those feast days, new moons, and Sabbath days were nailed to the cross. Col. 2:14,16; Gal. 4:10-11; Rom. 14:5-6. Take three examples: "When the day of Pentecost was fully come," Acts 2:1. "Then were the days of unleavened bread." Acts12:3. "Went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day/" Acts 13:14. Here, long after the cross, we have the same old names for three of the Jewish holy days, viz: Pentecost. Days of unleavened bread, and Sabbath day. Are all these days still holy days because they are still called by their former names? If so, then we ought to observe Pentecost and the days of unleavened bread as well as keep the Sabbath. So there is no force in the argument from the use of the Word Sabbath after the cross. The resurrection day was not called the Sabbath in the New Testament nor by Christians for several hundred years after Christ. It was called "Lord's Day." Rev. 1:10.
"THE SABBATH" was the name of the Jewish rest day, "which was a shadow of things to come." Col. 2:16-17, but the resurrection day is another day entirely. It is called "the first day of the week," "the eighth day," or the "Lord's Day." It is only in an accommodated sense that it is called the Sabbath now as we use the words "altar," "sanctuary," "temple," "sacrifice," "Israel," etc.
Luke 23:56. The Woman "Rested the Sabbath Day According to the Commandment"
This was after Christ died; hence it shows that they thought that the Sabbath was still to be kept. They were the followers of Jesus and knew what he taught. Answer: But this was before Jesus rose from the dead, before they knew anything about his resurrection, and before they had any idea of the great change which the gospel was to make in the service of God. Their old Jewish idea still blinded their minds so that they could not at once take in the nature of what Jesus had really come to do. Just before this Jesus said: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." John 16:12. So he had not tried to explain all these less important matters to them; but he said that he would, after the resurrection, send them the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. John 16:13. It was not till after the Holy Ghost came upon them at Pentecost that they began to comprehend the true nature of the gospel. So it is no proof that the Jewish Sabbath is binding on Gentiles because the Jewish women kept it while Jesus was dead and in his grave. Turn to Acts 1:14, and 2:1, and we find all these same women fifty days after the resurrection still carefully keeping "the day of Pentecost," another Jewish holy day. But do our Sabbatarians keep Pentecost because these women kept it? No, but they should if they keep the Sabbath because those women kept it. This shows how groundless that argument is.
The Sabbath 59 Times in the New Testament
They say, the fact that the Sabbath is named 59 times in the New Testament is proof that it was still of great importance and should be kept. Well, the temple is mentioned in the New Testament 115 times; circumcision, 55 times; sacrifices, 38 times; the passover, 28 times, etc. Then I suppose we ought also to have all these over in the gospel!
Sabbatarians think they have a fair argument in the Acts. Here the seventh day is always called "the Sabbath," and it may be that the Jewish Christians still observed it, and met with the Jews in worship on that day. From this it is concluded that all Christians should keep that day, too. This is based upon the false assumption that whatever customs and laws of the old covenant were still observed for a few years by the Jewish Christians after the resurrection, must be binding upon the Gentile church now.
A careful examination of what the disciples did really do for many years after the resurrection will show that they kept all the Mosaic law, including feast days, the Sabbath day, sacrifices, circumcision, vows, and the whole Jewish ritual. But they did this as Jews, according to their national law and long established custom. That they did not do so as a Christian duty is manifest from the fact that Gentile Christians were not required to observe these things. Acts 15:19-28; 21:25. "As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observed no such things." Every mention of the Sabbath in Acts, without a single exception, is in connection with the Jewish worship on that day. Acts 13:14-15, 42-45; 15:21; 16:13; 17:1- 2; 18:4. The law and the prophets were read, and Jewish worship conducted as usual. Certainly the disciples could not hold distinctively Christian meeting here under these circumstances. They must assemble by themselves to worship Jesus and have the Lord's supper, and that is just what we find them doing on the first day of the week. Acts 20:7. There is no record of a single meeting of Gentile Christians upon the seventh day, nor of Jewish Christians, except in the Jewish worship.
Consider a few facts as to why the Jewish Christians did not immediately give up the observance of the Mosaic law. How carefully and gradually Jesus unfolded his new doctrines, even to the chosen apostles. To the multitude he spoke only in parables "as they were able to hear it." Mark 4:33. Had Jesus at once and plainly told the people the radical change which he had come to make in the Jewish system of worship, they would have killed him immediately. Even the apostles would doubtless have left him. During all the ministry of our Lord, nothing stands out more prominently than the fact that he was gradually, but cautiously, preparing the minds of his disciples for the great change which his gospel was destined to make in the worship of God. The great obstacles he had to contend with were their narrow views, their tenacity for the forms and ceremonies and letter of the law, and Jewish ideas of God's kingdom. That he was to take the throne of David, subjugate the world to Israel, and carry on the Jewish mode of worship with the temple service - this idea was so firmly rooted in the minds of even the apostles, that they could not understand Jesus even when he plainly told them to the contrary. Hence the Saviour simply left them to outgrow these ideas as the nature of his gospel more fully dawned upon them, after his resurrection and ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit. Just before Jesus died, he said: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." John 16:12-13. How often he had to say to them, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe." Luke 24:25. "Are ye also yet without understanding?" Matt. 15:16.
During all the ministry of Christ he never once stated directly that any of the Jewish rites would be abolished, not even sacrifices, the temple service, circumcision, the feast days, or anything. Yet he well knew that all these were soon to end, and designed that they should. Neither the people nor the disciples were then prepared for such an announcement. Hence he left these things for them to learn later. It is in the epistles of Paul that these changes are distinctly stated, just where we find the Jewish Sabbath abrogated.
Forty days after the resurrection still found them clinging to their old Jewish idea of the temporal reign of Jesus at Jerusalem. "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Knowing that it was impossible to correct their wrong notions by a mere statement, Jesus left them to outgrow these errors as they learned more of the gospel. Now follow them through the book of Acts, and observe how long and tenaciously they held on to all the observances of the old Jewish law, not only the Sabbath, but all the temple service and ceremonies of the Mosaic law. On Pentecost we find them keeping the sacred day with the other Jews. Acts 2. As late as ten years after the resurrection they were "preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only." Acts 11:19. Not a sermon had they thought of preaching to a Gentile till God, by a special miracle, sent Peter to Cornelius. Acts 10. As late as this Peter was scrupulously regarding the Mosaic law of meats. He said, "I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." Verse 14. And he designed to keep right on observing it. And when the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles, the disciples were astonished "because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost." Verse 45. When he returned to Jerusalem, the whole church was in an uproar over it. "And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them." Acts 11:2-3.
Up to this time, then, we find the church at Jerusalem, with Peter at its head, still keeping the Jewish law concerning food, and refusing to eat with Gentiles. Now study the great council at Jerusalem, held over twenty years after the resurrection. Acts 15. Not only did the whole church in Judea keep the entire Mosaic law in all its rites, including circumcision, but some of them endeavored also to force it upon the Gentile converts. Verses 1-19. But through the influence of Paul, this move was defeated. If it had not been that, in the providence of God, Paul was raised up to oppose it, the whole Christian church would have been placed under the bondage of the Mosaic Law. As it was, that council freed only the Gentile converts from obedience to Moses' law. Acts 15:19,23; 21:25. All the Jewish Christians still kept it.
Even as late as A.D. 60, or nearly thirty years after the cross, we still find the whole Jewish church in Judea strictly keeping the law of Moses as to circumcision, offerings, vows, shaving the head, etc. Not only did they themselves observe all these rites of the old law, but they required all Jewish Christians throughout the world to do the same. When Paul went up to Jerusalem only a few years before his death, they demanded of him a pledge that he himself also kept these rites. Read carefully Acts 21: 20-26.
These words show conclusively that the Jewish Christians observed all the rites of the laws of Moses as late as that, which was but a few years before the fall of Jerusalem. All church historians agree that the Jewish Christians continued to observe the seventh day, even for some time after the fall of Jerusalem, as we have seen.
Philip Schaff, the greatest of living authors, in his History of the Apostolical Church, page 118, says: "So far as we know, the Jewish Christians of the first generation, at least in Palestine, scripturally observed the Sabbath, the annual Jewish feasts, and the whole Mosaic ritual, and celebrated in addition to these the Christian Sunday, the death and resurrection of the Lord, and the holy supper. But this union was gradually weakened, and was at last entirely broken by the destruction of the temple. ***The Jewish Sabbath passed into the Christian Sunday." Elder Waggoner, Adventist, says: "Dr. Schaff is justly esteemed as a man of extensive learning, and whose testimony regarding facts no one would call in question," Replies to Canright, page 132. Good. Now let them accept Dr. Schaff's statement and cease their denials.
Elder Butler, Adventist, truly says: "Indeed, it may well be doubted whether a large portion of the early church who were Jews before conversion ever fully realized the scope and extent of the gospel in setting aside those laws peculiarly Jewish. They clung to them, and were zealous for them long after they were abolished at the cross. To Paul we are indebted, through the blessing of God, for the only full explanation of the proper relation of these laws to the plan of salvation." Law in Galatians, page 8.
How much, then, does it prove in favor of the Jewish Sabbath to find that it was still called "the Sabbath," or that it was kept by the Jewish Christians, or even by Paul himself? Just nothing at all; for by the same argument, as we have seen, we must observe the passover, pentecost, offer offerings, make vows, shave your heads, be circumcised, and keep all the rites of the Mosaic law the same as those disciples did for years.
The Apostle Paul and the Keeping of the Sabbath Day
Seventh-day Adventists try to make an argument for the Jewish Sabbath from Paul's example. They count up some 84 Sabbaths which they claim he kept, and they say that if he kept it we ought also. I used to think there was great force in this argument and have used it scores of times to convince others. But I became satisfied finally that the whole argument was a fallacy. Let us examine it.
1. Paul was a Jew, but we are Gentiles.
2. Paul was brought up in all the observances of the Jewish law. Acts 22:3. We were not.
3. The great desire of Paul's heart was to win his Jewish brethren to Christ. To do this he was willing to die, yea even to be accursed himself. Rom. 9:3-4.
4. To win these Jewish brethren he was very cautious not to do anything, as far as he could possibly avoid it, which would prejudice them against him and so cut off his access to them.
5. As these Jews were very zealous in the observance of all Jewish law, Paul knew that he must himself also keep this law if he were to obtain any access to them. Hence he says: "Unto the Jews I became as a Jew that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law [the Jews], as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law." "And this I do for the gospel's sake." 1Cor. 9:20,23. See what he did in the case of Timothy. "Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters; for they knew all that his father was a Greek." Acts 16:3. Paul wanted Timothy to help him among the Jews, but he knew that the Jews would not listen to him if he were not circumcised. So he circumcised Timothy to gain the Jews, though he said, "Circumcision is nothing." 1Cor. 7:19. For just the same reason he kept the Pentecost, Acts 18:21; 20:16; shaved his head, Acts 18:8; made offerings, Acts 21:20-26; and lived the same as the Jews did, though he knew and taught that all these things were done away.
Now suppose it could be shown that Paul always kept the Sabbath, would that prove that he regarded it as obligatory upon all Christians, specially the Gentile Christians? Surely not. To them he wrote very plainly that they were not to keep the law concerning meats, drinks, feast days, new moons and Sabbath days. See Col. 2:14-17; Rom. 14:1-5; Gal. 4:10. He taught with regard to all these just as he did about circumcision, Gal. 5:2, that none of these were necessary, yet he himself circumcised Timothy.
We will now examine every text where Paul is said to have kept the Sabbath. Acts 13:14-15. "He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. After the reading of the law and the prophets" he was invited to preach to them, which he did. This was with the Jews in Jewish worship, in the Jewish synagogue, on the Jewish Sabbath. Paul as a Jew joined them in this, in order to preach the gospel to them. So, verses 42-46, on the next Sabbath he met with them again in the same place for the same purpose. This was two Sabbaths Paul kept. Acts 16:13, "on the Sabbath he went out of the city by a river side where prayer was wont to be made," or rather where there was a PROSEUCHE, a Jewish house of prayer. So the Syriac and Greek. Here he found Jewish women at worship, and preached Jesus to them. This was the third Sabbath he kept. Acts 17:1-2. Paul "came to Thessalonica where was a synagogue of the Jews, ***and three Sabbath days reasoned with them." Here again it was in the Jewish worship among the Jews in their synagogue on their Sabbath. Three more Sabbath here, six so far. Acts 18:1-4. Paul is again among the Jews "and he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." Same as before, his Sabbath keeping is every time while he is among the Jews in their Sabbath worship. But how many Sabbaths did he meet with them here? Verse 11 says: Paul remained there in Corinth one "year and six months," which would be 78 weeks. Hence Adventists say he kept 78 Sabbaths here. These added to the six before make 84. But verses 6 and 7 put a different face on the matter. Instead of reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath all this time, he withdrew from the Jews and said, "Henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." Then he went into the house of Justus near the synagogue. So there is no evidence that he preached in the synagogue more than a few Sabbaths. So their 84 Sabbaths that Paul kept dwindled down to ten or a dozen and all these were with the Jews in Jewish worship. And this he himself explains by saying, "Unto the Jews I became as a Jew that I might gain the Jews." 1Cor. 9:20.
Not one single case can be found where Paul kept the Sabbath in a Christian assembly, nor is it ever mentioned in any way in connection with Christian meetings, while it is said that the disciples met on the first day of the week. Mark this: "Wherever the apostles entered the Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath to preach, it was before the Christian church was planted in such places."
Paul Did Nothing Against the Custom of the Jews, Hence Kept the Sabbath
In Acts 25:8, Paul says he had done nothing "against the law of the Jews," and in Acts 28:17 says, he had "committed nothing against the people or customs of our fathers." From this it is claimed that he must have kept the Sabbath, for that was the law and custom of the fathers. True, but so it was their custom to circumcise, to offer sacrifices, to keep the new moons, yearly feasts, etc. Hence Paul must have done all these. Shall we then do all these because Paul as a Jew did? Hardly. Notice that nearly every argument applies equally as well to all the Jewish law and would bind that whole system on Christians!
Sada, gde ćemo potražiti najjasnije svetlo tih starih institucija? Gde ćemo ići da naučimo pravi dizajn svih njih? Gde ćemo se okrenuti za dobijanje potrebnih pravila za hrišćansko življenje? Hoćemo li se vratiti mesečini Jevrejskog zakona? Zvezdama patrijarhalnog doba? Ili ćemo doći do punog sunčevog svetla evanđelja? Očito Novi zavet opskrbljuje najjasnije, i samo je ono autoritativni vodič za hrišćane. Stari zavet se može pročitati i to pravilno shvatiti samo u svetlu Novog. Ali, činjenica je da su se Subotari vratili Starom zavetu, čak i jasno natrag na nesigurne institucije patrijarhalnog doba, kao svoj najjasniji i najsigurniji autoritet za sedmi dan. Dokazi iz Novog zaveta dolaze samo kao sekundarni i kolateralni. Svi njihovi najjači argumenti za subotu su daleko natrag među senama Starog zaveta. Uzimanjem to od njih, temelj iz njihove teorije bi pao veoma. Znam da je to tako, jer sam išao preko zemlje hiljadu puta. Znam kako sedmi dan čovek oseća, i gde počiva njegovo samopouzdanje. Od Novog zaveta on se stidi. No, je li postoji bilo koja druga hrišćanska dužnost koja je jasno propisano samo u Starom zavetu? Mislim da ne, ni jedna, iako u prošlosti sam se trudio i dugo je tražio. Na svim drugim tačkama Novi zavet je jasan i potpun. U njemu imamo poglavlje nakon poglavlja, poslanicu nakon poslanice i knjigu nakon knjige prepune instrukcija o svakoj hrišćanskoj dužnosti u svakoj mogućoj njenoj fazi. Dužnost ili greh pokriva svaku od drugih devet zapovesti direktno imenovane više puta u Novom zavetu. Ali dužnost da se čuva sedmi dan nije ni jednom spomenuta. Mi smo ih aranžirali uz bok:
Deset zapovesti u Starom zavetu
1. Nećeš imati nikakvih drugih bogova uz mene. Ex. 20:3
2. Nećes graditi bilo kakog lika; Ne klanjaj im se, niti im služi. Ex. 20:4,5
3. Ne uzimaj ime Gospoda Boga svoga uzalud. Ex. 20:7
4. Sećaj se subotnjeg dana, kako bi ga svetio. Ex. 20:8
5. Poštuj oca i majku. Ex. 20:12
6. Ne ubij. Ex. 20:13
7. Nećeš ućiniti preljubu. Ex. 20:14
8. Ne ukradi. Ex. 20:15
9. Nećeš svedočiti lažno. Ex. 20:16
10. Ne poželi. Ex. 20:17
Deset zapovesti Novog zaveta
1. Mi propovedamo vama da bi vi trebali da se okrenete od tih taština k živome Bogu, koji je stvorio nebo i zemlju i more. Dela 14:15
2. Dečice čuvajte sebe od idola. 1 Jovanova 5:21
3. No, iznad svega, braćo moja, ne kunite se, ni nebom, ni zemljom, ni bilo kojom drugom kletvom. Jakov 5:12
4. Nema naredbe u celom Novom zavetu da se čuva sedmi dan.
5. Deco, slušajte svoje roditelje u Gospodu, jer je to pravedno. Ef 6:1
6. Ne ubij. Rim 13:9
7. Ni bludnici, ni idolatori ni preljubnici ... neće baštiniti carstvo Božje. 1 Kor 6:9-10
8. Ne kradi. Ef. 4:28
9. Ne laži. Col. 3:9
10. Gramzljivost, neka to ne bude spomenuto među vama. Ef 5:3