Christian Church of God - Grand Junction, Colorado

Christian Church of God, Grand Junction, Colorado    Statement #6 page two

No Authority was Given for a CHANGE: IF there were to be a change to the Sabbath day, where would the AUTHORITY for such change need to come from? Can it be of men? Can any man or religious body sanctify a day and make it Holy? There is no Biblical authorization whatsoever of the worship day being changed to Sunday. Arguments used for Sunday observance vary widely, largely because there is no single argument, as there’s no Biblical basis on which to present one. The Bible does record numerous false accusations against Christ and His Apostles. (Lk. 6:2; & 13:14, etc.) If they hadn’t kept the Sabbath, they could easily have been brought before the religious rulers and condemned publicly. (Ex. 31:14-15; 35:2)

Acknowledging that HE is that LORD: Theologians who advocate a “first day of the week” observance often cite Revelation 1:10, one of those rare places where the term “the Lord's Day” is used. Sunday, by them. is commonly called the Lord’s Day, to set it apart from the Sabbath Day, as though that justifies observing an alternate “Sabbath”. However, Jesus Himself plainly identified which day is His Day. He declared Himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath. (Mat. 12:8; Mk. 2:28; Lk. 6:5 ) In an odd turnaround, religious people pose these passages as affirming His dominance over the Sabbath, presuming it gave Him the authority to abandon it in favor of Sunday. In fact, He was explaining to the religious zealots of the time that HE was the Lord they were honoring by keeping the Sabbath: That He was their “LORD God”, the God of the Old Testament, THE Creator! His was not a statement intended to in any way de-emphasize the seventh day Sabbath, but to identify who was its True LORD! The LORD blessed the Sabbath Day and made it Holy time. (Exodus 20:11) Jesus Himself always kept the seventh day Sabbath. (Luke 4:16)

Paul Observed the Sabbath: Being a Jew of the Tribe of Benjamin, and ‘a Hebrew of the Hebrews’, (Philippians 3:5) if there was anyone who would realize the significance of a change of the Sabbath Day from the seventh day of the week to another day, it would be Paul! Yet in all his writings, there isn’t the faintest hint of any ‘change’ of such magnitude. No, in fact, Paul is identified with it being his custom to observe the seventh day Sabbath. (Acts 13:44; 15:21; 17:2; 18:4, etc.) There are seven references to the Apostle Paul meeting on the Sabbath, often with a mixed group, but sometimes with only Gentiles as in Acts chapters 13 thru 18.

The Sabbath was made for man: Religious people in their zeal to obey and worship God often exhibit a tendency to make God’s Sabbath a burden rather than the delight it was intended to be. No situation illustrates this better than the extremes of regulation seen in the worship system of the first century Jewish religion. Jesus had to remind them of their well-intentioned, but misguided impositions that they placed on worshippers. He declared the Sabbath as being made as a benefit to humanity, not a burden. (Mark 2:27, etc.) The seventh day is a commanded rest, intended to refresh ones’ mind and body, with focus on learning more of God’s Way of life and strengthening our relationship with Him and in fellowship with those who are of like mind and Spirit. Their focus was more of a legalist approach, adding binding burdens which God never intended. (Matt. 23)

God’s Sabbath is a SIGN: From its first institution, the Sabbath day was intended to function as a ‘sign’ between God and His true worshippers. (Ex. 31:13) When awareness of the Sabbath was restored to the whole nation of Israel after the Exodus, it was used to demonstrate their willingness to obey Him. (Ex. 16:4) And in Hebrews 4, we see ‘the people of God’ ( v.9) still keeping the seventh day Sabbath (“Sabbathkeeping remains to the people of God”) resting from their labors as God did from His (v.4 & 10) with a renewed focus on its future promise.

Now the term “entering into His rest” ( v.1-6) is insightful, in that it suggests a direct interpersonal relationship between Himself and His true worshippers. Something no other day illustrates or can truly provide. Not only that, but it poses the consideration that the children of Israel, though they ‘kept’ the Sabbath, they did so in a state of practical unbelief, and were thus disqualified from entering into His promised millennial Rest!

Sabbath-keeping is to be Restored in the Millennium: The Sabbath will again be kept by everyone in the Millennial Age. We see the true worship day being restored. (Isaiah 66:22-23) The angels’ messages to the survivors of the Great Tribulation in the beginning years of the Millennial Age instructs them to worship Him that made heaven and earth. (Rev. 14:14:7) How would one properly worship the Creator without honoring the day that celebrates Creation? The Sabbath is a memorial of physical Creation as well as foreshadowing the millennial ‘rest’ of the seventh thousand year ‘Day’ of God’s Plan of redemption. (2nd Peter 3:8) Six 1000 year days are allotted to the ways of man, but the seventh thousand is allotted to the rule of Christ on earth with His Spirit-born Saints. Mankind will then be able to rest from the wars, crimes, poverty and unhappy conditions that result from the ways of man.

Excuses to Justify Disregard: While some may acknowledge the continuing validity of Sabbath-keeping, they present this exception, claiming that though Jews are obligated to continue keeping it, Gentiles under the New Covenant are not. This raises two questions: 1) Who is a Gentile? And, 2) What are the terms of the New Covenant? The Law at Mount Sinai was given to the whole House of Israel of whom the Jews are only part, including basically two of Israel’s tribes. (see Ezekiel 37) Wouldn’t the other ten tribes be equally obligated, IF it was incumbent on that nation? The ten tribes are not Gentile!

Who then are the other ten tribes in today’s world? Religion is willfully ignorant of their identity for a reason. Many who regard themselves as Gentiles are in fact descendants of these supposedly ‘lost’ tribes! But the greater question regards the New Covenant. Under its terms, it was positively stated in both Testaments that the Law would be the foundational basis of that ‘New Covenant’: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:… For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” (Hebrews 8:8-10 quoting Jeremiah 31:31-33). home beliefs