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7th Deception

 

 

DECEPTION #7

 

 

 

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NO SABBATH (Col 2:16 & Rom 14:5)

 

COLOSSIANS 2:16 ?

 

Whenever the question of the Sabbath is discussed, those who

do not keep it holy will inevitably appeal to Colossians 2:16 as

their authority for disobeying the fourth commandment of God.

What exactly did Paul mean when he wrote:

 

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or

in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath

days:" Colossians 2:16

 

Yes, when Paul said "Sabbath" he meant the seventh day

Sabbath - but that does not mean that Paul was canceling the

requirement for obedience to a commandment of God. What God

has commanded only God can set aside. One may search the New

Testament for a thousand years and he will not find a single

verse that says God has abrogated one "jot or tittle" of His

fourth commandment.

 

What then was Paul talking about when he said to let no man judge you in respect of Sabbaths? When we look at this verse in its context it soon becomes apparent that Paul was warning about the "Colossian Heresy" which was another gospel based on asceticism and the worship of angels in order to gain assistance from cosmic powers. The essence of this heresy was that Christ alone was not sufficient to deliver us from our slavery to sin.

 

As you will see from the following verses, Paul was warning

against three things that were being added to the gospel.

 

1. Traditions of men.

 

2. The worship of angels.

 

3. Submitting to doctrines of men.

 

COL 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and

vain deceit, after the TRADITION OF MEN of men, after the

rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

 

COL 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink,

or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the

Sabbath days:

 

COL 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary

humility and WORSHIPING OF ANGELS, intruding into those

things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

 

COL 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments

of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye

subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

Which all are to perish with the using;) AFTER THE

COMMANDMENTS AND DOCTRINES OF MEN?

 

It should be obvious that KEEPING THE SABBATH DAY HOLY

IS NOT A DOCTRINE OF MEN!

 

Paul was not doing away with God's commandment; he was warning against the false teachers who were saying that if believers did not eat and drink the right food and keep the festivals, new moons and Sabbaths ACCORDING TO CERTAIN HUMAN REGULATIONS they would lose their reward.

 

According to verse :23 below, they were teaching that without

these ascetic regulations one could not overcome the flesh:

 

COL 2:23 These [DOCTRINES OF MEN] have indeed an

appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-

abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in

checking the indulgence of the flesh. (RSV)

 

One commentator summed up these verses by saying:

 

"We conclude then that in verse :16, the warning is not

against the Sabbath, festivals and dietary laws as such, but

rather against those who promote these practices as

indispensable aids to Christian perfection and as needed

protection from the "elements [evil spiritual forces] of the

world" thus denying the all sufficiency of Christ.

(Samuele Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath To Sunday)

 

Now really, doesn't that explanation make a lot more sense than

the notion that Christians are no longer required to obey the

fourth commandment? It is a true saying that: "The commandment

is not nullified by the condemnation of its abuse.".

 

The question we need to ask is this: "Was Paul condemning the Sabbath day, or was he CONDEMNING THE DOCTRINES OF MEN who added ritualistic and ascetic restrictions to faith in Christ?" In order to answer that dispute, one must look at the broad picture. There is not a single verse in the New Testament which states that Paul taught a new doctrine that canceled the Sabbath commandment; nor is there any record of a controversy between the Jews and Gentile Christians over Sabbath-keeping. If Paul had been teaching that the Sabbath commandment had been repealed, it would have split the church wide open and he would have had to answer the objections continuously in his epistles.

 

Think about it - if the Jewish believers made such a fuss about circumcision being optional, imagine what they would have said about the Sabbath day being revoked.

 

At some point we must use common sense and reason to interpret what has been written. For example, does "Let no man judge you in meat and drink..." mean that Christians can be drunkards? Of course not, because you know that God's word forbids drunkenness. Well, it also forbids Sabbath-breaking!

 

It is only logical to assume that if God was going to cancel one of His commandments, he would make that fact very clear. Surely, if someone said to you: "Let no man judge you in respect of murder or adultery" you would not assume that God had changed His mind about those sins without solid proof. Certainly, you would demand more evidence than one lonely verse in the book of Colossians? Or would you?

 

 

THE CHURCHMEN vs THE SABBATH (Romans 14)

 

Many churchmen use Romans 14:5-6 as proof that New Testament

believers no longer have an obligation to keep the Sabbath day

holy. So let us examine those two verses, just as a Judge

would consider evidence in his courtroom, and then decide

whether or not they testify against Sabbath keeping. Paul

wrote:

 

"One man esteemeth one day above another: another

esteemeth every day alike. Let very man be fully

persuaded in his own mind.

 

He that regardeth [observeth] the day regardeth it unto

the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord

he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the

Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not,

to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks."

 

Romans 14:5,6

 

 

The Judge would ask: "Where is the Sabbath mentioned in

those verses?". The Sabbath is not mentioned there, or in the

entire book of Romans! No court in the land would allow verses

that do not mention the Sabbath to be used as evidence in an

argument against the Sabbath - so why should we?

 

You see, Paul could not have been talking about keeping the

Sabbath day holy because obedience to God's law is not

optional. It is ludicrous to suggest that any of the Ten

Commandments can be disobeyed "unto the Lord". Think of the

absurdity of saying "He that stealeth, to the Lord he stealeth;

and he that stealeth not, to the Lord he stealeth not."

 

What then was Paul talking about? He was talking about fast

days. The whole 14th chapter of Romans is about food and how

people's beliefs about eating should not be interfered with.

The fast days could be observed according to each believer's

conscience. A man could eat -or not eat, keep the day - or not

keep it. It is as simple as this: Each man could observe FAST

DAYS, or not observe them, according to his own convictions.

 

He that does not eat, regards the day.

 

He that eats, does not regard the day.

 

The "days" that Paul was referring to were the traditional

fast days mentioned in Zechariah 7:5-6. The Gentile Christians

in Rome did not keep them because they had no cultural interest

in the anniversary fasts that were observed during the Jew's

captivity in Babylon. 1

 

Even the Jews themselves had different convictions about the

observance of those days - because those fasts were never

commanded by God.

 

After the captivity (when the temple was being rebuilt) the

men of Bethel also wondered if they should observe these fasts

unto the Lord. For example, they asked Zechariah: "Shall I

weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many

years?" (Zech 7:2-3.)

 

When you read Zechariah's answer, notice the striking

similarity of his words with those of Paul to the church at

Rome ...

 

COMPARE Zechariah 7:5-6 "...When ye FASTED and mourned in

the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years,

 

DID YE AT ALL FAST UNTO ME, even to me [The Lord]?

And when ye did EAT, and when ye did drink, did ye

not EAT FOR YOURSELVES, and drink for yourselves?"

 

WITH

 

Romans 14:6-7 "He that regardeth the [fast] day

regardeth it UNTO THE LORD; and he that regardeth not

the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that

EATETH, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks;

and he that EATETH NOT, to the Lord he eateth not,

and giveth God thanks.

 

For none of us LIVETH TO HIMSELF, and no man dieth to

himself."

 

If you were the Judge in the case of the CHURCHMEN VERSUS

THE SABBATH, would you be willing to say that Paul had cancelled

one of the commandments of God based on the evidence you find in

the 14th chapter of Romans?

 

In our opinion, the evidence from Romans and Zechariah

demands a verdict for Sabbath observance. The church must obey

the Fourth Commandment - that is the only decision that will

uphold the Law of God.

 

CASE CLOSED!

 

Footnote:

 

These are the four traditional fasts that were mentioned

in the book of Zechariah:

 

1. (The fast of the fourth month) In remembrance of the

breaking of the wall of Jerusalem.

2. (The fast of the fifth month) In remembrance of the

burning of the temple.

3. (The fast of the seventh month) In remembrance of the

killing of Gedaliah, which completed the dispersion.

4. (The fast of the tenth month) In remembrance of the

beginning of the siege of Jerusalem.

 

See - Jer 52:6, Jer 52:12-13, 2 Kings 25:25, 2 Kings 25:1

 

It is of interest to note that those dates commemorate the

judgments of God upon a people who refused to keep the

Sabbath Day holy. (See Jer 17:19-27)

 

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