Is the Sabbath for today? Has the Fourth Commandment been placed in our heart when we were filled with God's Spirit under the New Covenant?
It was men full of the Spirit of God who wrote the will of God for God's New Covenant People. Following is a partial list of how the Ten Commandments left the stone tablets of Moses and found their way into New Covenant thinking and into our hearts through the Spirit. God's law, you will see, has not changed, only gotten deeper, better, richer.
Commandments 1 and 2: Exodus 20:1-6, "...have no other gods before Me... do not make images..." is repeated in I John 5:21, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Acts 15:20 tells us, "...abstain from things polluted by [offered to] idols." Likewise I Corinthians 10:28, "If anyone says to you, This was offered to idols, do not eat it..." II Corinthians 6:14, 16, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers...what agreement has the temple of God with idols...?" The New Covenant, written in our hearts, keeps us not only from other gods but also from fellowship with idolaters.
Commandment 3: Exodus 20:7, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain" is suggested by Jesus in Matthew 6:7, explaining to the disciples how to pray, "...do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do." Also, "Hallowed be Thy Name," from the Model prayer in Matthew 6:9. We are taught to ask in His Name anything we want, call on His Name for salvation, and that there is no other way to be saved but by that Name. We are taught that only the evil people "blaspheme the Name by which you are called," James 2:27. Truly no Spirit-filled believer will lightly use the Name of the Lord.
Commandment 4: Exodus 20:8, "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy..." Since the fourth commandment is the subject of this research, allow me to discuss it last.
Commandment 5: Exodus 20:12, "Honor your father and your mother." This one is quoted verbatim by Paul in Ephesians 6:1-3. In addition the Spirit-filled apostles command the people of God to honor widows, honor the king, honor all men! Spirit-filled living is respectful living. Disrespect is a sure sign that the enemy is present.
Commandment 6: Exodus 20:13, "You shall not murder." James put it this way in 2:11, "...if...you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law." Romans 13:9 has Paul summing up the last 5 commandments in the one concept of love. Rather than destroy the law, Paul says, we live it out by loving. The sentence of death is destroyed, but the righteous requirement of the law lives on and prospers in us.
Commandment 7: Exodus 20:14, "You shall not commit adultery." In Galatians 5:19, adultery is listed as one of the works of the flesh. Those who practice these works will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Commandment 8: Exodus 20:15, "You shall not steal." And in Ephesians 4:28, "Let him that stole steal no more."
Commandment 9: Exodus 20:16, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," becomes "Do not lie one to another..." in Colossians 3:9.
Commandment 10: Exodus 20:17, "You shall not covet." Paul says, "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you as is fitting for saints... no... covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God." (Ephesians 5:3, 5)
And so the commandments come full circle. Worshiping false gods to worshiping the works of man's hands and every evil practice in between was forbidden by Moses and is forbidden by Jesus and the apostles. That is to say, the same Spirit has directed all His messengers to give the same message, even though intensified, to God's people. And now that message is to be fulfilled in God's people by the Author Himself.
Now what about that fourth commandment? There is no specific command by any apostle to keep the seventh day holy. There is also no specific repeal of the Sabbath command of 4,100 years. There is likewise no command to rest on the first day of the week. If all other commands are in evidence in the New Covenant's Spirit-filled life, what are we to assume about this one? If indeed every man is to be convinced in his own heart of the truth (Romans 14:5) then it seems to me that he will be convinced only by a word from God. A Gentile who has been taught first-day Sabbath may, like myself, eventually be called upon to seek out the truth. It seems, though, that if he does not, he is under no condemnation. Eventually all this will be made right, when Jesus comes. And there is no question in my mind about which day will be the Kingdom standard . The prophets are very explicit about the coming seventh-day Sabbath experiences of the people of God.
For now, I prefer to relate as much as possible to the saints throughout Scripture who rested on the seventh day, met most any day, and had a special meeting on the first day, the day of the creation of light, the day of the resurrection, the day of the church's founding. But I would be hard-pressed to show you a New Testament verse that puts all that together. But one of my reasons for writing this report is to show that the Sunday-Sabbath folks would be equally hard-pressed to prove that that day is a day of rest equal to the original Sabbath of the Lord. The weight of evidence shows that Rome, not Scripture, is the basis for this teaching.
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And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. I love to write Scriptural works. Who are you? Would love to fellowship with believers who respond .