Friday, March 6, 2009

The Sabbath is Friday!

The Sabbath is Friday!

An interesting phenomenon occurs regarding those who are recruited into and indoctrinated by cults. Through a carefully orchestrated process of conditioning, the individual surrenders their critical thinking skills, for such individualistic behavior is not tolerated within the ‘groupthink’ mentality of the organization. The individual surrenders individuality in favor of the group dynamic; the group is more important than the individual; the individual surrenders their personal identity in favor of the group identity. The individual’s existence becomes tied to the group’s existence.

The instruction of Paul to "prove all things" is subconsciously relegated to proving what they were taught by the cult, and any idea of examining evidence to the contrary is strongly discouraged. In this light, those religious cults that are legalistic in nature that insist on keeping the Sabbath have a particular problem which is rarely, if ever, addressed.

When one who has been indoctrinated by these cults is exposed to this concept regarding the keeping of the Sabbath, cognitive dissonance is created, causing confusion in the individual. The individual finds themselves unable to reconcile the situation, usually resulting in the individual striking out verbally against the one who planted the seed of cognitive dissonance, even as the religious leaders did when they were confronted by Christ performing a miracle on the Sabbath that could only be attributed to God but was perceived by them to violate the Sabbath command, making Jesus Christ a sinner as a result in their minds. Instead of confirming the truth of the situation, they chose instead to ignore truth and fell back on their reliance in Moses and the law, all the while vilifying Jesus with all manner of verbal vitriol.

Jesus related to his followers that such behavior on the part of those who reject the truth would be directed to them also, even as they had persecuted the prophets of old. This aspect of the Sabbath that creates this cognitive dissonance with its resultant inability to resolve the conflict is this: If one travels east to the United States from Israel, paying attention to the sun setting at the end of one’s sixth day, this person would find themselves keeping the Sabbath on what we call Friday in the United States. When confronted with this truth, those who have been brain-washed into believing they are required to keep the Sabbath are unable to comprehend this simple truth. To them, there is only one Sabbath of God, and the observance of any other day is in direct violation of the word and will of God. When confronted with the truth that the Sabbath can exist on two separate days in one week where both days are valid, they are unable to resolve the conflict. How can there be one true Sabbath that can fall on two days? As a result, the Sabbatarians resort to all sorts of explanations in order to continue justifying their belief in keeping the Sabbath on what we call Saturday, while verbally attacking the one who would dare question their sacred belief. Yet the truth of the matter is inescapable, regardless of the rationalizations created to spin away the truth.

One rationalization is that the person passed over the international dateline in the process, and that person failed to adjust their days accordingly. Yet the scriptures do not address the international dateline. Scripture addresses the setting of the sun at the end of the sixth day, and for one who travels east instead of west to the United States will find themselves observing the Sabbath on Friday, approximately 14 hours earlier than it begins in Israel, as contrasted to keeping the Sabbath approximately 10 hours after it begins in Israel, should one travel west from Israel. To insist on adjusting the calculation of one’s Sabbath based upon the international dateline is not Biblical. What is interesting regarding this line of reasoning is that the placement of the international dateline was an arbitrary decision. If those who made this determination had decided instead to place the international dateline in the middle of the Atlantic, thus separating the "old" world from the "new", these same adherents to the Sabbath would be insisting vehemently that people observe the Sabbath 24 hours earlier than they do now. Was the international dateline placed in the Pacific by people perceived by Sabbath keepers as being Godly men who were also Sabbath keepers? Not likely. Yet the Sabbath keepers "agree" with this determination, thereby demonstrating they keep the Sabbath when they do, not based upon a command of God so much as they do as a matter of consensus.

Some Sabbatarian groups insist that keeping Sunday, the first day of the week is to worship the sun-god and is Pagan. Yet point out to a Sabbath keeper that to one who travels east to the United States from Israel, they are worshiping on the first day of the week also. So why are there no Sabbath keepers keeping Friday as the Sabbath? The only reason is that it is a matter of consensus. Do people have the right to change or alter what God commands through consensus? No. This is what the post-exilic Rabbis did with much of the law, and Jesus upbraided them for it, telling them that they had made the word of God of no effect through their traditions.

The tradition among Sabbath keepers in the United States is to keep the Sabbath based on traveling west from Israel. Is there confusion here? Absolutely. Is God the author of confusion? Absolutely not.

The resolution to the cognitive dissonance is simple; God never commanded anyone other than Israel to observe the Sabbath, and Israel was a nation occupying the land of Israel; a specific people located in a specific location.

If an Israelite found him or herself outside the confines of Israel when the Passover occurred, they were not able to keep the Passover. A second Passover that occurred a month later was allowed so that those who were gone from Israel could keep it if they had returned before the second Passover. If one could not keep the Passover outside of Israel, then why do people believe they can observe the Sabbath outside of Israel? It isn’t possible on a round earth unless one insists we live on a flat earth.

Bill Hohmann

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Proofs Sabbath not Binding on Christianity

The Absolute Proofs the Sabbath is not binding on Christians

Various Sabbatarian churches have produced works "proving" the Sabbath as being binding on Christianity, which proofs are more conjecture and assumption than proof. This article will not only refute these proofs produced by those churches, but will also provide evidence to the contrary those churches have conveniently overlooked in their attempts to prove the Sabbath binding on Christianity.

As a precursor to covering this topic, I have included a brief methodology regarding how one determines whether a religious teaching is true or false.

False doctrines espoused by false religious leaders or individuals were prophesied by Jesus to occur before His second coming and the end of this "age". (See Mt. 24)

All teachings or claims therefore put forward by churches or religious leaders/teachers need to be subjected to methods designed to determine the veracity or falsehood of their claims.

The method required to accomplish this is twofold:

1. Subject religious claims of belief or doctrine to "Critical thinking".

2. A thorough familiarity with scripture.

All too often, one being "recruited" by a church or cult is not well versed in scripture and the means to determine the veracity of their claims.

Unfortunately then, many people are fixed into a set of beliefs long before they have a good familiarity with scripture, causing those persons to thereafter color what they read in the light of what they have been led to believe is true.

Coupled with fear and phobia indoctrination, it can be extremely difficult for many to throw off beliefs they have been taught to them by churches or religious teachers who constantly warned or threatened them with eternal damnation should they stray from those teachings.

Critical thinking is a methodology of applying certain criteria regarding a belief such as the following:

1) Is the claim "falsifiable"?

For any claim to be considered as true, it must be of such a nature that it can be conceivable that evidence could exist to disprove the claim. In other words, the claim cannot be so vague as to defy examination that could conceivably produce evidence to the contrary. There must be relevant evidence for the claim. The claim cannot be invulnerable to any evidence.

In the realm of religion, what are some examples of claims that are not falsifiable?

A religious leader who claims personal revelation from God.

A religious leader who claims to be infallible.

There is no way to falsify the claim. The claim is worthless when it comes to determining the truth of the claim or claims made as a result of the first claim. If one were to claim this as proof of what he teaches, he and what he teaches should be rejected.

One might conclude that a claim of infallibility could be falsified by producing evidence of the person being wrong concerning some belief or teaching. However, the problem here is that the person and his adherents reject contrary evidence because the leader is considered to be right regardless of evidence to the contrary. In other words, even though he is wrong, he is right: he is infallible.

2) Is the claim Logical?

Many doctrinal claims sound reasonable and logical, but are still wrong. To subject a claim to logic is to determine if the claim holds true for all circumstances affected by it. For example, do counter-examples demonstrate the claim to be false?

Many claims are based upon false premises which also must be exposed to this methodology. If the premise is found to be invalid, or is determined to be unfalsifiable, then the conclusion must be rejected.

3) Is the evidence used to support the claim comprehensive? (exhaustive)

Sabbatarians have produced a plethora of arguments to favor Sabbath keeping in an attempt to make it appear there is comprehensive evidence, but it is all smoke and mirrors. What we see is not comprehensive proof (a thus saith the Lord) but rather an attempt to appear to be comprehensive when in reality it is nothing more than a flood of assumptions.

* Is there ample evidence to support the claim without having to resort to inference or assumption?

* Does evidence that appears to contradict the claim exist? Did the one making a claim examine the evidence to the contrary and offer proof the evidence does not actually contradict the claim?

* If one making a claim ignores or refuses to address evidence to the contrary, the claim needs to be rejected or at least subjected to healthy skepticism.

The first proof I put forward is by itself enough to disprove the belief the Sabbath is binding on Christians.

Proof # 1: The Sabbath command is found within the confines of the covenant between God and the ancient nation of Israel. That covenant was between those two parties, and no others can become a part of that covenant unless they are circumcised and become a part of the nation of Israel. It was adequately demonstrated in scripture that Christians are not required to become Israelites first (Acts 15), then Christians. Therefore it is impossible for Christians to be held to the Sabbath, seeing as they are not a party to that first covenant.

Where Sabbatarians make a fatal flaw in their arguments is in the unspoken assumption that somehow, this covenant between God and ancient Israel is transferred or reassigned to Christians. This is legally impossible.

This covenant had the two parties to it: Israel and God. Like any other covenant or contract, no other parties can enter into a contract once it has been put in force. The only method permitted by the covenant for those not born of Israel to become a participant of this covenant was to be circumcised. Then and only then could one not born of Israel be as one born of Israel. It was amply brought out in N.T. scripture that Christians are not required to be circumcised, ergo they are not brought under the conditions of, or made a part of that covenant containing the Sabbath. In essence, those that insist Christians are required to keep the law, such as the Sabbath, violate the law in attempting to comply with the law!

Sabbatarians have rarely confronted the covenant concept head on, but rather have worked around it, concentrating on points or aspects of this covenant all the while holding to the assumption they apply to all Christians or all peoples everywhere for all time. For example, this covenant between God and Israel had a provision within it that extended the conditions of the covenant to those born later of Israel, even though those that were born later were not a party to the covenant. (Exodus 31:13)

Normally, a covenant (contract) is neither inheritable or assignable. In order to make the covenant binding on the offspring of Israel, this condition was necessary in order to extend the conditions of the covenant out to those who would later be born of Israel. Those that would claim this "forever" clause applies to Christians make quite an assumption; that God was careless in neglecting to clearly state in scripture Christians are required to keep this aspect of the law, the Sabbath.

Scriptural evidence supports the conclusion that the Christian covenant is not like the covenant made with Israel, therefore it can be concluded that the Sabbath requirement would have to be reiterated in the Christian covenant or specifically addressed in the New Testament.

For finding fault with them, he saith, 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: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. Hebrews 8:8-9

Sabbatarians try to obfuscate the obvious here by claiming the problem was with the people, and not the covenant, in order to make a case for Christians keeping the first covenant even though this example of scripture plainly states the new covenant is not like the one with Israel that contains the Sabbath.

In order to disprove this conclusion of Sabbatarians, two counter-examples exist:

1. The literal rendering of the Greek does not support the conclusion the fault rested solely with the people. The literal Greek says, "For finding fault, He says to them..."

2. The counter-example regarding the first covenant being faultless:

In Matthew 19:7-8:

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

The old covenant allowed an "easy" divorce because of the hardness of their hearts. This concession of the law demonstrates it was not a perfect law or covenant. Those who hold to the old covenant being perfect, eternal, etc. fail to subject their claims to critical analysis in this regard. The Sermon on the Mount evidence also brings this out where Jesus points out where the law; the first covenant was lacking. The pattern is one of Jesus declaring, "the law said thus, but say unto you this".

To sum up this proof then: The Sabbath, along with the rest of the law is not applicable to Christians because Christians were never a party to that covenant; neither do they become Israelites in order to become Christians. Christians are bound directly to Christ, and not to Christ via the law and the Sabbath. (Romans 7:4)

Some will claim it is the law that defines sin for Christians, citing I John 3:4, however this will be addressed in the "Refutation of Sabbath Proofs" section.

Proof #2: The Sabbath command can only work from one geographical location.

There are locations on the earth, such as the polar regions, where there is no consistent setting and rising of the sun approximately every 24 hours. In these areas, it is impossible to have the Sabbath be applicable, unless one insists people "rest" for several months while not working.

Another problem arises when you try to determine when the Sabbath day begins and ends based upon one's location in relation to Israel. If one travels east from Israel to the United States, then one would be keeping the Sabbath on what is Friday. If one travels west from Israel to the United States, then they would be keeping the Sabbath on Saturday. Different Sabbatarian groups have addressed the issue by making their own determinations of when to keep the Sabbath, despite the biblical instructions regarding sunsets being the determining factor. Some even go so far as to insist the Sabbath is to be kept when the Sabbath is occurring in Israel, despite one's location. This then becomes a case of keeping the Sabbath through consensus and not by command.

The problem becomes even more severe if one circumnavigates the earth more than one time in any one direction. Travel around the earth twice, ending up back in Israel, one would be keeping the Sabbath two days off from when everyone else is keeping the Sabbath.

This particular problem is rarely addressed by Sabbatarian groups, mainly because they do not wish to cover a problem that has the potential of their members examining their beliefs in a critical manner. Their power and control is based upon people's blind faith in the leadership. To cover a subject in a manner that requires people to think in order to understand is counter-productive.

Proof #3: Christians are not bound to the letter of the law, but to the spirit only. Christians are "dead" to the law.

Most all Sabbatarian groups understand they are not bound to the letter of the law when it comes to circumcision and sacrifices. In a manner rarely explained though, this concept is not carried over to the Sabbath command, even though the evidence to the contrary is extant.

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6

Sabbatarians create all kinds of constructs in order to circumvent plain statements in scripture, such as this. A common practice is to insert the word "only" between "not" and "in" so as to make it read:

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not "only" in the oldness of the letter.

The justification for doing this is through the use of circular reasoning: They believe first and foremost that the Sabbath IS required of Christians, therefore the scriptures are interpreted to comply with this presumption. Therefore this passage requires "modification" seeing as the translation is "misleading" due to how languages change over time, the "true" meaning having been lost or misconstrued. But there is no such loss over time or through translation, and the context only supports the rendering as it stands. The apostle Paul begins in chapter 7 with an analogy in order to understand how and why the law (which includes the Sabbath command) does not apply to Christians. The analogy is the law or covenant of marriage. As long as two married people are alive, they are bound in marriage. As soon as one dies, neither is held as under the marriage covenant. The survivor is free to remarry, for example.

Paul then explains where he is going with this; Christians are no longer bound to the law because they "died" to the law. They, if they were Jews (or Israelites for that matter) are no longer answerable to the first covenant seeing as they had died. One who has died cannot be held to a previous contract or covenant.

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. - Romans 7:4

What the Sabbatarian cannot understand here in Romans chapter 7 is that a Christian becomes "dead" to the law in order to now be "bound" or married to Christ, in order to bring forth fruit unto God. When one is bound to the law, the fruit produced is a fruit that results in death. By insisting on adherence to the law, even the Sabbath, is to claim Christians are married to both the law and to Christ; an impossibility. One can only be bound to one or the other - not both. This would be a case of spiritual adultery and spiritual idolatry. A Christian can only be bound to one: Christ. If one claiming to be Christian believes they are bound to the law, they make the de-facto declaration that they have to keep the law (and the Sabbath) for the sake of their salvation, which is in contrast to the declaration of Jesus that it is through faith in Him and only Him we have our salvation. A Christian's salvation is not dependent on both Jesus and the law; spiritual idolatry. The law cannot save anyone. The law could only condemn.

Proof #4: Requiring Christians to keep the Sabbath is to subordinate faith with the physical.

Faith becomes negated. Faith is rejected in favor of the letter of the law, which Paul declares, "The law is not of faith..." (Galatians 3:12)

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Galatians 5:4

The Sabbatarian rejects this concept, claiming that he does not keep the Sabbath for the sake of justification. He will claim that he is saved because of grace and not the law concerning the Sabbath. But the Sabbatarian is just arguing semantics. He believes he must keep the Sabbath in order to maintain his justification. If one believes they must keep the law to not sin, then it is a de-facto admission regarding justification through law. No one will be justified through the law:

And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. - Acts 13:39

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. - Romans 3:20

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. - Romans 3:28

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16

These last two scriptures make an important point, easily overlooked: it is the "deeds" or works" of the law wherein lies the problem. The Sabbatarian attempts to blur the deeds of the law with the entirety of the law in order to make a case for those who do not believe they have to keep the Sabbath as advocating lawlessness or anarchy. The deeds/works of the law are those points of the law that require action on the part of the one under the law. They are performance oriented laws. Sabbath keeping, circumcision, sacrifices, etc. are performance based laws. Other points of the law require no action or performance, such as "you shall not murder". No action or performance is required in order to comply.

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. - Galatians 3:11

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. - Galatians 3:24- 25

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. - Galatians 5:4

Living by faith is to live in the belief of Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The law requires no faith to comply with it. Complying with a law does not prove one to be a good person. It only demonstrates the person has not broken the law. It imparts no righteousness or justification at all. For example: If the speed limit law is 55 and you never go over 55, the state isn't going to congratulate you and present you with some reward at the end of your life for never exceeding the speed limit. You did that which was required of you. Those that think keeping a "work" of the law such as the Sabbath believe there is some reward for doing this, when in actuality they set themselves up for condemnation should they ever transgress it, seeing as they have decided to live by the law and not according to faith in and of Christ.

To sum this up. If one has faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, but another comes along and declares they must keep the law in order to be saved; or "maintain" their salvation, this makes the declaration that faith is insufficient in and of itself. Faith becomes subordinated to something physical, in this case the Sabbath.

Proof #5: The statements in the scriptures regarding salvation being dependent upon faith in and the faith of Jesus. No statements exist that make the declaration of anything else effecting one's salvation, such as adherence to the law or Sabbath command.

There exists comprehensive evidence to support this claim.

Psalms 62:2: He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

Psalms 62:6: He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

Psalms 78:22: Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:

Isaiah 12:2: Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:

Luke 1:77: To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins...

Acts 4:11-12: This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 10:10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Ephesians 1:10-14: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being redestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

1 Thessalonians 5:9: For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:13: But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

2 Timothy 3:15: And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Titus 2:11: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, . . .

Hebrews 5:9: And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

The Sabbatarian, as a matter of habit, would conclude here that to obey Him is to keep the commandments. Yet Jesus' commands to His apostles and those who became Christians does not support this assumption.

1 Peter 1:9: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:10: Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

Mark 16:16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Luke 8:12: Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

Acts 2:21: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 15:11: But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Acts 11:14: Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.

This is from the narrative concerning the conversion of Cornelius and his household. The words they heard led to their salvation, along with the earnest which was receiving the Holy Spirit. They were told that it is Jesus Christ in whom we have our salvation to those who believe (have faith) in Him. Cornelius' was given God's Spirit without the requirement of the law; any of it. Sabbatarians assume he did keep the law and the Sabbath (seeing as they believe this first and foremost, therefore everything must comply with their pre- conceived assumptions) but it is utterly impossible. Cornelius was a high ranking official in the Roman army. He would have been "on call" 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day, every year.

Acts 16:30-31: And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 8:24: For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

Romans 10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

2 Timothy 1:9: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Mark 16:16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

John 3:15: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 6:35: And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:40: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:47: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

John 7:38: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 11:25: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 11:26: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Acts 10:43: To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 3:26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 9:33: As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Romans 10:10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1 Peter 2:6: Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

If ever there was a subject with sufficient scriptural support, this is it; that it is belief only in Jesus as the Savior that results in one's salvation.

Why then do so many believe there is more to it than belief/faith? It's too easy for them. It defies their sense of "logic" in that they cannot perceive how one can attain salvation without adherence to the law. They conclude, erroneously, that Christians "can't be trusted to behave on their own" therefore they need the law to guide their lives, and not faith in Jesus Christ to guide their lives. Their ego's demand there be action on their part so that they can boast to themselves and others that it was by their good "works" or behavior that led to their salvation, and not only faith in Jesus Christ. The ego desperately wants to be right, while having the majority of others be wrong. The ego desires to believe one is better and smarter than others, and is willing to blind the self from seeing that the truth can be the exact opposite.

Sabbatarians brag in the Sabbath. "We keep God's Sabbath and you do not. We are God's chosen people and you are not. You are false Christians. Your faith in God's Christ Jesus is nothing because you don't keep the Sabbath." It not only is a point of bragging, but a condemnation of others, claiming one's faith in Jesus as Savior is not valid because they do not keep the Sabbath, or other points of law. Faith is subordinated to law keeping. Can the spiritual truly be subordinated to the physical? Absolutely not. The physical can only be subordinated to the spiritual.

Concerning this brag or boast in the Sabbath:

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. - Romans 3:27

There is no boasting in the law, such as the Sabbath, because one's righteousness and salvation are not dependent upon the law. It is dependent upon faith and faith only. The law, and the Sabbath, have no bearing because it is not relevant to faith in Christ.

The whole point of Acts 15 was whether Gentiles had to be circumcised AND keep the law of Moses, which includes the Sabbath command. It was adequately concluded they did not need to do these things; they were sanctified by faith.

And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Acts 15:7-10

The common denominator is faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. In no scripture do we find a formula that it is faith AND the keeping of the Sabbath or any of the law that results in salvation. To the contrary, the examples in Acts 11 regarding the conversion of Cornelius and his household and Acts 15 demonstrate their receiving of God's Spirit was without the requirement to keep any of the law, let alone the Sabbath.

The practice of insisting the law affects one's salvation is to add law keeping to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a deception, to add to the Gospel. Yet many have done just this, beginning with the apostolic era.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:1-3

The law dealt with "the flesh". The Spirit deals with the mind (the spiritual). The truth has to do with faith only. To add the law is to not obey the truth; it demonstrates a lack of faith which is no faith at all.

Proof #6: The other party to the first covenant, the LORD (who later became Jesus) died, thus ending that covenant.

Sabbatarians have always been quick to point out that it was Jesus Christ who was the God of the Old Testament, using this as an argument (proof) for Christians keeping the law and Sabbath:

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

What this understanding does though is force another conclusion. Jesus died on the cross, therefore, as in any contract or covenant between two parties, the death of either party ends a covenant, such as the marriage covenant example brought out by the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 7.

So even though there may well be Israelites alive throughout the world, it is irrelevant regarding this covenant. The one party of the covenant, now known as Jesus the Christ, who was the God of Israel, died.

It is interesting to note that in the prophets of Israel, God was depicted as a husband to Israel:

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. Isaiah 54:5

Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:20

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: Jeremiah 31:32

The Sabbatarian claims Christians are bound to the law and the Sabbath. To word it another way, the Sabbatarian believes Christians are bound to the conditions of a "marriage covenant" where the mate has died.

In the narrative where some religious leaders (who did not believe in the resurrection) ask Jesus a question about a woman who marries several brothers who each died in turn, then inquire as to which one she is married to in the resurrection; Jesus declares first that they erred, not knowing the scriptures, and that, after the resurrection, one was still no longer bound to a prior mate, but
rather in that spiritual realm, there is no such thing as marriage in that regard.

In the same manner, the Sabbatarian does not know the scriptures either, for they believe Christians are bound to the "old" husband Israel was bound to; the husband who died.

Proofs in favor of the Sabbath examined:

I would like to point out that in the debate over the Sabbath issue, rarely, if ever, to the proponents of the Sabbath attempt to refute the arguments put forth by those holding to the belief the Sabbath is not binding on Christians. The mind-set of the pro-Sabbath groups is that their belief is the truth, therefore they do not need to waste their time refuting opposing views; all they need do is put forth their arguments for the Sabbath, and to them, that is sufficient. It has been a maddening exercise trying to get them to address the evidence to the contrary. They close their eyes and stop their ears while repeating their mantra over and over regarding the law and the Sabbath, only serving to demonstrate the blindness of the veil before their eyes as related in II Cor. 3:15 regarding those that hold to Moses and the law.

The sabbath keeper refuses to "play" on an even field. They will put forth excuse after excuse, and "proof" after "proof", demanding you answer each and every issue. But when it comes to them examining your evidence against the sabbath, all they feel they need to is to refute just one point, real or imagined, and the whole is refuted. I have actually had sabbath keepers do this exact thing even after reading this.

One other thing pro-Sabbath groups have a habit of doing in putting forth their proofs, is to sprinkle in dire consequences for those who don't abide by their beliefs. Any examination of their proofs for the Sabbath will bear this out. There is no intellectual honesty in the debate. There is always an attempt to generate fear and phobia.

Here then are a list of proofs used commonly by Sabbatarian groups and their refutations.

Proof # 1 -- Sabbath Began at Creation

The rationalization used here is that God sanctified the seventh day. What is overlooked is that it was this specific seventh day that was sanctified, not the weekly seventh day that was sanctified. The Sabbatarian overlooks this "minor" detail.

Proof # 2 -- It is a law of God

The Sabbath command was part of the law given to anc. Israel by covenant. In this law one finds the commands to practice circumcision and sacrifices. If we are to accept the argument that, because the Sabbath is a law of God, then we must accept the argument that we would be required to observe the rest of the law of God given to Israel.

It is also interesting to note that Jesus refers to the law as Moses having given it to the people. If it were such a big issue that the law was "God's law" then you would expect Jesus to have treated it that way. John 7:19: "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?"

Proof #3 -- in Force Before Sinai

The rationale is that, seeing as Israel was commanded to keep the Sabbath prior to the law given at Sinai, it must therefore have been pre-existent and therefore 'in force" prior to the codification of the law at Sinai. There are a couple of flaws to this rationale when we apply critical analysis:

1) A month goes by from the time Israel leaves Egypt until they are told to start keeping the Sabbath. If the Sabbath were already in force, it only stands to reason God would have told them right away so as to have them no longer sinning. But God allows them to continue "sinning" for a whole month?

2) When some of the people disobey the Sabbath command, God addresses Moses and declares to him, "How long refuse you to keep my commandments and laws?" This cannot possibly relate to just the Sabbath. If we accept the argument of the Sabbatarian here, we are forced to conclude that all the law was in force prior to the giving or codification of the law.

3) This covenant is put forth to Israel who are given a choice as to whether they are to become a party to the covenant or not. They are told what the conditions of the covenant are, and they chose to be a party to it. If we take the rationale of the Sabbatarian, they had no choice seeing as it was "God's laws".

Proof #4 -- The Sabbath is a Sign Identifying God's People

The rationale here is that, seeing as Christians are now "God's People" they are to be keeping the Sabbath. This practice of transference is common with Sabbatarians. That which was addressed to and applied to Israel magically and mysteriously is now assigned to Christians. Christians, who have God's Spirit and are to live by the spirit are suddenly and mysteriously now required to keep the physical Sabbath required of Israelites who did not have God's Spirit and were required to live by the law in the letter. The Sabbath as a sign was to be between God and Israel; not God and any other group or people.

Evidence to the contrary:

Jesus declared that the sign of true Christians would be that they would have love for one another. (John 13:35)


If the Sabbath truly is the sign between God and Christians, it would therefore be impossible for false Christians to keep the Sabbath day command.

Proof # 5 -- The Sabbath Is a Law Forever

The Sabbath was to be a sign between God and the children of Israel "forever" or throughout their generations. Normally, a covenant or contract ended with the death of either party. In order for the covenant to apply to the offspring of Israel born after the codification of the covenant, this clause was necessary, else the covenant would have ended when the last Israelite had died who was alive when the covenant was codified.

This again though is an example of transference; applying that which related to Israel to Christians. Were Christians present and a party to this covenant? No.

Do Christians need to become Israelites first in order to become Christians second? No.


If we wish to examine more closely the concept of this being an everlasting law for all mankind, circumcision was also put forth as being everlasting and perpetual also. Therefore, by the same rationale, we would have to conclude Christians are required to practice circumcision, despite the N.T. teaching to the contrary. Circumcision is raised to a spiritual level, where the physical is abandoned. This same should hold true for the Sabbath, even as it is for the sacrifices; the deeds or works of the law.

Proof # 6 -- Abraham Kept the Sabbath

This claim is so intellectually dishonest it should be obvious to all who examine it. As evidence to support the claim, Sabbatarians quote Genesis 26:5:

"Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."

It is an assumption to believe that the commandments, etc. that Abraham had are the same commandments and laws (covenant) made with Israel, which is refuted by Deut. 5:3 (evidence to the contrary). Missing in this argument is a plain statement that Abraham kept the Sabbath or God commanding him to keep the Sabbath. It is pure speculation. The conclusion does not hold up to critical thinking. There is no comprehensive evidence; there is evidence to the contrary.

Proof # 7 -- the Sabbath Belongs to God

The rationale being that, seeing as it is God's Sabbath, all mankind is required to keep it as a day of rest. It is a faulty conclusion based upon the premise that, because it belongs to God, it must be required of all mankind. But it is not put forth in this regard. "It is a Sabbath 'unto' the LORD, for example. Jesus also refers to the law as "their" law in the book of John, not "His" law.

Again, if we use this rationale, we would be required to keep all the law since it was all God's law.

Proof #8 -- the Death Penalty

Again it is an assumption to apply the Sabbath to all people's and therefore insist all peoples are under a death penalty for having not kept it. Where this concept falls flat on its face as far as Christians are concerned is the example in scripture where Jesus' disciples go through a field on a Sabbath day, picking grain and eating it. Sabbatarians are quick to claim that they did not break the Sabbath, but that it was a violation of the added restrictions placed on the Sabbath by the post-exilic Rabbis, which is a total fabrication. If it was a sin to go out and try to gather manna on a Sabbath, thereby incurring the death penalty, then it would be a sin to go out and try to gather anything else for the same purpose. A man who gathered sticks on a Sabbath was put to death, for example.

Even Jesus does not deny they broke the Sabbath, but rather makes a claim that they were blameless even as David was blameless for eating the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat.

The Sabbatarian blinds himself to this obvious fact though, for to admit the truth of the matter is to destroy the Sabbatarian theology. Jesus' disciples did break the Sabbath, and by the Sabbatarians thinking and theology, they would have to concur they were worthy of being put to death.

Even John says Jesus "brake the Sabbath" but the Sabbatarian rejects this notion, for otherwise the Sabbatarian would have to agree that it was justified putting Jesus to death. The Sabbatarian doesn't want to come across as consenting to the death of Christ though, so this example is ignored or explained away with their particular spin, claiming Jesus didn't really break the Sabbath. John says Jesus did; Sabbatarians say He didn't. I'll defer to John and the word of God.

To claim the death penalty applies to Christians who have faith that Jesus is their Lord and Savior, but do not keep the Sabbath is to subordinate faith to the Sabbath command. One's faith is counted as nothing. It makes a liar out of the Gospel.

Proof #9 -- Sabbath Breakers are under a Curse

One of Israel who broke the Sabbath, or any of the law, was under a curse. Again, transference is at play here.

Evidence to the contrary:

Paul brings out that if one believes they have to keep the law, such as circumcision the person becomes obligated to keep all the law, and in the process falls from grace along coming under the curse of the law, seeing as no one is capable of truly keeping the law without transgressing it eventually.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Proof # 10 -- God changes not. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. (Heb. 13:8)

The conclusion being God does not change laws or covenants. This is easy to dispel when you take the argument and apply it to circumcision and the sacrifices.

Proof # 11 -- God's Laws are Eternal

Eternal means always having existed and always will exist. This is not true of the law given to Israel. It had a beginning, even as the earth had a beginning. The Sabbath is dependent upon physical things; sunsets for example. If there were no earth, there could be no Sabbath.


Again the argument is refuted when you apply the idea to all the law. Is circumcision eternal? Are sacrifices eternal? Paul claims, regarding these things, that there is a change in the law. (Hebrews 7:12)

Proof # 12 -- the Sabbath Will Be Kept in the Kingdom

Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

It may well be a natural assumption to think this is validating Sabbath observance, but such is not the case. From one new moon to another is to say the same as from month to month. From one Sabbath to another is to say from week to week. The Sabbath is referenced as a weekly point of time, and not presented as a command.

It is also a prophesy for the future, at which time there may well be another covenant with "all flesh" to keep the Sabbath as a day of rest, but this too is speculation. All flesh would include all animals.

The two verses cited though do not connect in the way Sabbatarians wish them to, what with the Sabbath command existing when there is new heavens and a new earth.

Proof #13 -- Gentiles Should Keep the Sabbath

This statement does not even remotely imply a proof.

As a support for this conclusion, Isaiah 56:1-7 is cited:

Isaiah 56:1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls 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. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

What the Sabbatarians always omit from this "proof" is the reference in verse 7 that talks about their burnt offerings and sacrifices which do not exist in the new covenant, but did in the old. The context proves this is speaking of Gentiles that join themselves to Israel and become a party of that covenant through circumcision, and not the new covenant where no Sabbath command is given. This is a clear case of theological sleight of hand.

Proof # 14 -- the Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The Sabbatarian insists it is the law that is fulfilled; filled up to the full. The law was lacking, and Jesus brings it up to full strength.

The Sabbatarian doesn't realize that he has now contradicted himself. In other proofs of the law and the Sabbath, the Sabbatarian insists the law is spiritual and eternal. If so, then it wouldn't need this bolstering up now by Jesus.

Another flaw in this reasoning is that Jesus references both the law and the prophets that are to be fulfilled by him. The use of the phrase, "The law and the prophets" is understood by all, even Sabbatarians, to mean the entirety of the Old Testament. There are no "laws" listed out for codification found in "the prophets". So how do you "fill to the full" the law in the prophets when there is no law in the prophets? There is only one conclusion that works that is supported by the context: Jesus is talking about the prophesies in the law and prophets that he was to fulfill "by the book".

If however one still insists that it is the law being addressed here, then verse 18 refutes that conclusion also. If the law was to remain in force, unalterable even to the stroke of a letter of a word of the law, then circumcision would still be required in the flesh. We would still be required to practice sacrifices. It would be fine to sell your daughter into slavery, and it would have been impossible for Jesus to have changed or added the symbols of the bread and wine in His Passover with His disciples.

Proof #15 -- "Keep the Commandments"

The argument put forth for this proof is found in Mt. 19:17 where a young rich man asks Jesus what he had to do to have eternal life. Jesus informs him he is to keep the commandments. On the surface, this appears to be the answer to the question, but it is not. The rich man declares he has done this from his youth. Jesus then says to him that he wanted him to divest himself of his wealth and follow Him. The man refuses, and the conclusion of the matter in discussion with His disciples was that hardly could a rich man enter into life. Yet this man kept the commandments!

Seeing as Sabbatarians tend to take a phrase like this and imply a great deal more to it, one needs to look at the rest of the context. When the man asks Jesus, "which commandments" Jesus enumerates a few, and adds one that is not with the ten. What is of interest and importance is that Jesus did not mention the Sabbath. If we wanted to take this literally, then it would only be those that Jesus enumerated in answering the wealthy young man. In other words, if we were to ask Jesus which commandments we needed to keep and he answered us in the same manner, why would we think to add to what He said to us?

Then there is the matter of context. This man asked what he, personally, could do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered him honestly in this regard, that he would have to keep the commandments as the law required. The pivotal point here is that he could not, and neither can anyone else. This revelation brought about the declaration by Jesus' disciples, "who then can be saved" to which Jesus answered, "with men it is impossible." Why? because no man can keep the commandments perfectly, as required. Salvation therefore must come through another way, and that way is through faith in Christ. "With God, all things are possible" and not "with man" is it possible to acquire eternal life.

Regarding the law of commandments and their application to Christians, it is amply mentioned in N.T. scriptures that Christians keep the spirit of the law, and not the letter, such as the Sabbath, circumcision, and sacrifices. Only when this concept is applied to the Sabbath do Sabbatarians cry foul, and claim those Christians are practicing lawlessness!

Proof #16 -- The Messiah is "Lord" of the Sabbath

Again we see an example of taking a statement in scripture and extrapolating some meaning beyond the context. In the scriptures where this is stated, Jesus is refuting the strict adherence and interpretation of the Sabbath command administered by the Pharisees and doctors of the law. Instead of administering the law and the Sabbath in a merciful manner, the law and Sabbath were enforced with a rigorous zeal. Instead of the Sabbath being used and seen as a useful thing for them, it had become transformed into a plethora of do's and don'ts that were nearly impossible for people to keep track of on the Sabbath. One could hardly get out of bed without violating some aspect of keeping the Sabbath. Men were perceived as serving the Sabbath; being subservient to all the do's and don'ts to the point it became a wearisome burden to them. In the words of Jesus, man ended up serving the Sabbath instead of the Sabbath being of service to man. He then concludes the discussion that He was Lord of the Sabbath. As Lord of the Sabbath, it stands to reason He knew what one could and could not do on that day, but to try and make the claim Jesus was validating Sabbath keeping for all mankind in all times is to ignore the context and to read into the account what is not there. This is nothing more than an extrapolation; not a proof.

Proof #17 -- Jesus' Custom

This rationale states that seeing as it was Jesus' custom to go into synagogues on the Sabbath, we should be following His lead in this regard... keeping the Sabbath.

But Jesus was born a Jew, and was under the law. So, from a "legalistic" sense, one could claim He was required to keep the law, hence the Sabbath. What then makes this interesting then is the use of the word, custom.

It was not his "custom" to keep the Sabbath, it was his "custom" to go into synagogues so as to preach. Using the Sabbatarians logic here, we too should be going into synagogues on Sabbath days and preach to Jews also.

Proof #18 -- Paul's Example

Paul's example is similar to the custom of Jesus. Paul would go into synagogues on the Sabbath for the purpose of preaching to Jews and devout Gentiles that would be assembled there on that day. If Paul tried to do so on any other day, who would he preach to?

Proof #19 -- "Follow Me as I Follow Christ"

This is but a twist on an earlier "proof"of following Jesus' custom, which proved to not be what was claimed, the proof being one of implication. Lacking in this proof is a definitive statement from Jesus that Christians are to keep the Sabbath or any of the law as given to Israel by covenant. The Sabbatarian claims Jesus taught Sabbath keeping for Christians, and that Paul did also, yet they provide no proof for these statements.

Proof #20 -- Doers of the Law

"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified" (Rom.2:13).

From this the conclusion is made that justification comes through doing or keeping the law.

There are ample examples in scripture to prove this conclusion false.

Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

In Romans chapter two, Paul is contrasting two laws: One law that leads to death, and another law that leads to life; one written (the letter, v. 27) and one written in the heart (i.e. spiritual law) and this is the law Paul is talking about in verse 13.

Sabbatarians have blocked their minds to this obvious contrast of laws in Paul's writings, insisting that Paul is only talking about one, which in their theology must be the letter of the law.

The very next verse helps impart understanding to verse 13: For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Is this saying they; the Gentiles must be doers of "the law"? No.

Did Gentiles by nature have the Sabbath? No.

Finally, the context. Is anyone a "doer of the law"? No, as Paul demonstrates further in the context. No one is a doer of the law, therefore there is no justification through the law.

Proof #21 -- The Law is Holy, Just, and Good

The assumption being, seeing as the law is holy, just and good, we should therefore be keeping it.

This quote from Romans 7:12 is pulled out of context. It ignores the immediate context regarding the law's function. This law Paul thought led to life actually led to death. (v. 10) Verse 13: Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

The law did exactly what it was designed to do; make sin exceedingly sinful.

To better put this concept of the law being "holy, just and good" in its proper perspective, one needs to examine how Paul treated the law elsewhere. 2 Corinthians 3:6-11

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

The law of the letter was a "glorious" law, but its glory was fading, and had no glory when compared to the glory of the spirit of the law. In the same way, the law was holy, just and good, but it still does not compare to that which replaces it.

Proof #22 -- The Law Defines Sin

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4).

Sabbatarians love this particular translation of I John 3:4, along with lifting it out of context.

The phrase, "transgresseth also the law" and "the transgression of the law" is derived from one Greek word, "anomia", commonly rendered elsewhere in scripture as "iniquity". Some passages and some translations here render it as "lawlessness". To pull "the transgression of the law" from the single word, "anomia" is quite a stretch.

The way the Greek renders this literally into English is, "Whosoever sins commits iniquity, and sin is iniquity."


It was (and is) possible to keep the law, even perfectly, yet be iniquitous. For example, one could refrain from murder, yet have hatred for someone. Hatred is on par with iniquity. Jesus declares that those who hated Him without a cause sinned. (John 15:25)

The context goes on to declare it is those who practice sin who are of the devil. Do Christians practice sin as a matter of daily habit? Does the letter of the law define what sin is for Christians? No. Does N.T. scripture define what sin is for Christians? Yes.

To know to do good and not do it is sin. (James 4:17)

To show partiality regarding our love is sin. (James 2)

Whatever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)

All unrighteousness is sin: (1 John 5:17)

What the Sabbatarian does not want to hear or consider is this:

The law is not of faith. (Galatians 3:12)

Seeing as the law is not of faith, and whatever is not of faith is sin, trying to live by the letter of the law, such as keeping the Sabbath for a Christian, is sin.

Proof #23 -- God's Law is Spiritual

As proof, the Sabbatarian quotes Romans 7:14: "For we know that the law is spiritual:"

But there is more to this than the Sabbatarian wishes to see, for the rest of the verse declares: "but I am carnal, sold under sin."

Was Paul "carnal, sold under sin"? Paul again is describing two laws, or two aspects to the law: one law dealing with the mind that is "spiritual" and another law of sin that condemns. Romans 8:2 declares that we are freed from the law that condemns one of sin, bringing about death.

Which law then is spiritual? The law that convicts one of sin, resulting in death, or the law of the mind; the law of the Spirit of Christ?

In any event, anything that comes from God is seen as spiritual. The manna was referred to as spiritual, and even Israel was referred to as spiritual.

Proof #24 -- Faith Does Not Abolish the Law

Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Again it is a matter of understanding how Paul is using "law". Paul's detractors claimed he was doing away with law in the manner that it would be alright to sin, such as murder, so that God's grace could abound even more, for example. Those insistent on the letter of the law were, as Sabbatarians do today, trying to define their opponents beliefs. Paul is not condoning lawlessness. Paul upholds the law, but it is the spirit of the law, which comes out over and over in Romans.

The Sabbatarian wants us to believe those that don't hold to the law and the Sabbath are teaching anarchy, and such is not the case.

Also, we need to understand in what way the law is being established, and the context is useful. Righteousness is established in the law as being a matter of faith as per the discussion regarding Abraham and his righteousness, attested to in the law. The law also is established as the standard by which God's justice was served. Paul was not establishing the legalities of the law.

Proof #25 -- Yeshua the Messiah Does Not Change

This is a reiteration of an earlier "proof" and will not be covered here again. What easily disproves this concept though is the situation where the religious leaders bring a woman before Jesus who was caught in the act of adultery. If Jesus, being also the God of Israel who brought them out of Egypt does not change, then He would have consented to this woman being stoned according to the law.

Proof #26 -- a Sabbath Rest Remains

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Some translations say, "there remains a keeping of a Sabbath for the people of God" or words to that effect.

A number of Sabbatarians have abandoned using this as a proof because it so easily falls to a simple analysis. Some Sabbatarians still use this though, having added a new spin to it.

It comes out in chapters 3 and 4 of Hebrews that Paul is writing about two rests or Sabbaths, and not one. The new spin is that the other Sabbath; the spiritual one, is one people do not enter into until the coming millennium. (God's rest)

This spin falls flat on its face when you read the narrative and see that ancient Israel had the opportunity to enter into this particular rest, but were unable to because of their lack of faith.

Another spin is to claim it was not just a lack of faith that resulted in their not entering into this rest, but their disobedience. But it was their lacking in faith that led to disobedience; the one leads to the other. They are not "side by side". Why bring this up? Because the Sabbatarian tries to make the connection that it is faith AND obedience to the law that results in our salvation and not faith alone.

The plain words of both Jesus and the apostles support this when talking about salvation; that it is those who believe; have faith in Jesus Christ who shall be saved, and never those who have faith and obey the law.

Even though the Sabbatarian now recognizes two Sabbaths are referred to here in Hebrews 3 and 4, he is still blind to one being physical and the other spiritual, and that Christians observe the spirit of the law, and not the letter.

The Greek word here for Sabbath is "sabbatismos" and not "sabbaton" which is normally used to denote the weekly physical Sabbath. Sabbatismos was Paul's way of saying this rest is like a Sabbath, but not a literal Sabbath that Christians enter into. The Christian enters into "God's rest" and not the weekly sabbath that ends at sundown at the end of the seventh day. God's rest does not end.

Proof #27 -- The End-time Saints keep the commandments

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The assumption is that the commandments of God for Christians are the same commandments given to Israel; the ten commandments. This is refuted by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 8:8-9:

"For finding fault with them, he saith, 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: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

Sabbatarians are quick to try and take the focus off of the Christian covenant being different to Israel's covenant by claiming the fault here was with the people. This is just smoke and mirrors, designed to distract one from the relevant facts. There is a new covenant and it is not like the old. It is a covenant that deals with the spirit of the law, and not the letter.

Proof # 28 -- the "FAITH of Jesus"

The assumption behind this proof is that there is no faith without obedience to the law. The works of faith are confused with the works of the law, to which Paul plainly said no one would be justified by the works of the law. One who has the Spirit of God will do works of love, not law. An examination of the scriptures relevant to the subject will bear this out.

Proof #29 -- the "Testimony"

As before, this proof is based upon a pre-conceived belief and concept; that Jesus' testimony includes His teaching adherence to the law in the letter regarding Christians. And again, if this were so, then we would be keeping the rest of the law in the letter, such as circumcision and sacrifices, and many other things required in the law that are works or deeds oriented.

Bill Hohmann

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Tree of the knowledge of good and evil

The Two trees.

The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:8-9)

Then the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you tough it, lest you die.'"

And the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

And the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"

So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I myself."

And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"

Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."

And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said,
"The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:1-13)

Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:22-24)

Adam and Eve sinned. What was their sin? They did not believe God. They did not have faith in God in that what God had said was true. They did not believe that God alone was sufficient for them. They believed there was more that could be had beyond faith and trust in God.

Instead of relying solely on God regarding how they would live, They concluded that there was an advantage to adding this knowledge of good and evil. In so doing, they demonstrated a lack of faith in God.

Adam and Eve had sinned, and sin had now entered the world.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (Romans 5:12-14)

Adam's transgression was his disbelief in what God had said, as contrasted to the faith of Abraham, whose righteousness is derived through faith in that he, believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Romans 4:3)

The one who was to come was the Second Adam, Jesus the Christ.

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)

For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)

Jesus Christ is that tree of life that mankind was cut off from. Adam's sin resulted in being cut off from the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ, until such time mankind could be redeemed through Him.

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Timothy 2:14)

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Ephesians 1:7)

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (Revelation 5:9)

From the Webster's Unabridged Dictionary: Redeem. 1. To regain possession of by payment of a stipulated price; to repurchase. 2. To ransom, liberate, or rescue from captivity or bondage, or from any obligation or liability to suffer or to be forfeited, by paying a price or ransom. 3. To recover or regain, as pledged or mortgaged property, by the requisite fulfillment of some obligation, as by payment of what may be due. 6. To make amends for; to offset; to atone for; to compensate; as, to redeem an error. 7 To make good by performing; to fulfill, as a promise. 9. Theological: Hence, to rescue and deliver from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law.

Jesus Christ has redeemed those whom He has died for, who believe on Him and His redemption. He has come to return mankind to that state prior to man's partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, where man's life was based on faith in his God and Creator.

We know now who or what that tree of life is: Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God.

Now, who or what is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

Some have speculated it represents Satan. But this creates a problem in this figurative narrative. Satan is represented by the Serpent; not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

If we can find plain scriptures in the New Testament that identify Jesus Christ as the tree of life; being the bread of life (John 6:35; 48) and the water of life (John 4:14) and that in Him and through Him we have life (John 11:25), can we identify what it is that represents the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Yes, we can.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Romans 7:7)

For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin,
working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become
exceeding sinful. (Romans 7:10-13)

The law gives the knowledge of good and evil. The law is even described as being "holy, just and good."

But even as Adam and Eve partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, leading to death, so too do they that live by the law. For the law cannot give life, but rather can only lead to death.

For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (Romans 7:5)

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (I Corinthians 15:56)

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (II Corinthians 3:6)

Jesus Christ came to redeem us. But what did He come to redeem us from?

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:4-6)

Jesus Christ has not only redeemed us from that which Adam and Eve chose, but has redeemed us from the death that is brought about by trying to live by the law:

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:13)

We are therefore to return to the faith in God as in the beginning.

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (Galatians 3:23)

That the law provides the knowledge of good and evil is evident. An examination of the ten commandments confirms this.

It is good to have no other gods before the true God. It is evil to have other gods before the true God.

It is good to not take the name of God in vain. It is evil to speak evil of God.

It is good to honor your parents. It is evil to dishonor your parents.

It is good to not steal. It is evil to steal.

It is good not to murder. It is evil to murder.

It is good to not covet. It is evil to covet.

It is good to keep the Sabbath, it is evil not to keep the Sabbath.

But keeping the Sabbath day today is to keep the letter of the law, which leads to death, as does all the law in the letter.

"...who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (II Corinthians 3:6)

There is therefore the Spirit of the law; and the Spirit of the Sabbath of which the Sabbath day was but a shadow.

The law was designed for the purpose of regulating and guiding a people devoid of God's Spirit. Keeping the law made no one righteous before God. The righteousness God desires is not derived through the law, it is found in faith.

The Sabbath day command was to be a reminder to Israel who their God was; the God who brought them out the of slavery of Egypt; the God who created all things and rested on that seventh day of creation. They did not remember their God, they did however end up remembering the Sabbath. The Sabbath became an end in itself, as well as the rest of the law. That which was supposed to point to and lead to Christ ended up in the minds of many to point to itself.

For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:3-10)

It is interesting to note that it was Moses who wrote the narrative of Genesis concerning the two trees, being the moderator of that covenant provided to them by God.

Moses knew that after his death, the people would abandon the law. They feared what they could see, which was Moses, but they did not fear God, nor did they believe him. (Heb. 3&4)

For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.
(Deuteronomy 31:29)

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. (I Samuel 8:7-8)

Jesus Christ has come and opened the way back to the tree of life, which is Him. Will we therefore truly turn to Him and choose Him, or will we choose to live by that which presents the knowledge of good and evil?

The one is a choice based upon faith in God. The other is to live by that which teaches the knowledge of good and evil.

You cannot choose both. As with Adam and Eve, to choose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to refuse the tree of life.

Choose wisely.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I went and bought a new toaster the other day. To my surprise, it came with a free checking account.