I Am

Chapter 47: Addendum To Daniel






   The word Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word meaning “day of rest”. The Bible specifies that this day of rest is the seventh day of the week, what we would call “Saturday” or in the Israelite mindset, sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. God set the pattern for the Sabbath rest in ceasing from His work of creation on the seventh day.

   It is often claimed that God instituted the Sabbath in Eden, because of this connection between the Sabbath and creation.

   God’s actions (or rather, His inaction) in forshadowed the laws command in and this tells there was no Bibical record of the Sabbath before the children of Israel left the land of Egypt.

   Nowhere in scripture is there any hint that Sabbath-keeping was practiced from Adam to Moses. The Sabbath was not observed until after Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

   Keeping of the Sabbath was a sign of the covenant between Israel and the Lord. In it says, “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever”.

   The word of God makes it quite clear that Sabbath observance was a special sign between God and Israel.

   In Moses restates the Ten Commandments to the next generation of Israelites. Here, after commanding Sabbath observance in verses 12-14, Moses gives the reason the Sabbath was given to the nation of Israel. “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath Day.”

   God’s intent for giving the Sabbath to Israel was not that they would remember creation, but that they would remember their Egyptian slavery and the Lord’s deliverance.

   The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the church. The Sabbath is still Saturday, not Sunday, and has never been changed. But the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament law, and christians are free from the bondage of the law Sabbath keeping is not required of the christian—be it Saturday or Sunday. The first day of the week, Sunday, the Lord’s day celebrates the new creation with Christ as our resurrected head. By the “Lord’s Day” we mean a technical term for the first day of the week—so named because Jesus rose from the dead on that day. It was also the day on which the christians met and took up collections Corinthians

   We are not obligated to follow the Mosaic Sabbath-“resting”, but are now free to follow the risen Christ-“serving”.

   The Apostle Paul said that each individual christian should decide whether to observe a Sabbath rest. “One man considers one day more sacred than another, another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

   The idea is repeated more than once in the New Testament.

   The key to understanding the relationship between the Christian and the Old Testament law is knowing that the Old Testament law was given to the nation of Israel, not to christians. Some of the laws were to reveal to the Israelites how to obey and please God (The Ten Commandments, for example). Some of the laws were to show the Israelites how to worship God and atone for sin (the sacrificial system). Some of the laws were intended to make the Israelites distinct from other nations (the food and clothing rules).

   None of the Old Testament law is binding on christians today. When Jesus died on the cross, He put an end to the Old Testament law

   In place of the Old Testament law, christians are under the law of Christ which is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… . and to love your neighbor as yourself” If we obey those two commands, we will be filling all that Christ requires of us: All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments Now, this does not mean the Old Testament law is irrelevant. Today, many of the commands in the Old Testament law fall into the categories of “Loving God”, and “Loving our Neighbor”.

   The Old Testament law can be a good guidepost for knowing how to love God and knowing what goes into loving your neighbor.

   At the same time, to say that the Old Testament law applies to christians today is incorrect. The Old Testament law is a unit

   Either all of it applies, or none of it applies. If Christ fulfilled some of it, such as the sacrifical system, He fulfilled all of it.

   “This is love for God: To obey His commands, and His commands are not burdensome” John The Ten Commandments were essentially a summary of the entire Old Testament law. Nine of the ten Commandments are clearly repeated in the New Testament (all except the command to observe the Sabbath day).

   Obviously, if we are loving God, we will not be worshipping false Gods or bowing down before idols. If we are loving our neighbors, we will not be murdering them, lying to them, committing adultery against them, or coveting what belongs to them.

   The Old Testament law was never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time. We are to love God and love our neighbor. If we obey those two commands faithfully, we will be upholding all that God requires of us. We are to worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday.