Friday, January 15, 2016

More on Israel/Jews, Christians and the Sabbath.

by Diane M. Hoffmann

On an earlier post (click here), in my response to a reader about the issue of whether or not Christians need to keep the Jewish Sabbath, I mentioned that I would continue to respond to this topic.

Well, today I pick up here on the argument brought about by people who believe in the Btitish-Israelism theology... (I will have more on this specific subject in another post, but you can read the previous post on the link just above).

One reader's arguments includes quotes from scriptures such as Exodus 31:13, 17, reiterated in Deuteronomy 6:8, where Sabbath keeping was to be a sign of no labour for pay… and other scriptures that speak of a perpetual covenant, relating it to the Israelite Holy days given before the break away from the Jews.

Then he gives more scripture (i.e.: Exodus 20 and 24:7 and refers to the Irsraelites as being “us Anglophones" -- i.e. British-Israelism)… 

He then quotes Acts 7:38 and Romans 3:2 which indicate that Israel/Jews were to maintain the oracles of God as a reason for keeping the Sabbath.

There is no argument here, Israel/Jews indeed were to receive the oracles (the words) of God. The whole of the Old Testament is made up of the oracles of God.  

Nevertheless, the New Covenant came after the Old, delivered by Jesus Christ (God in the flesh), which is also made up of the oracles of God.

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."  (Matthew 5:17) (KJV)

This was predicted in the Old Testament:

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that 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 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 31:31-32).

And confirmed in the New:

“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:” (Hebrews 8:8)

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people" (Hebrews 8:10)

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." (Hebrews 10:16)

The 10 Commandments are still in effect today, every day:

1._Thou shall have no other gods before me.

2._Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image...
3._Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain...
4._Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5._Honour thy father and thy mother...
6._Thou shalt not kill.
7._Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8._Thou shalt not steal.
9._Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10._Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house...

Are YOU keeping
ALL of these, every day?

We need to know the Old Testament in order to understand the New Testament.  But the Sabbaths and Feasts are not for the purpose of Salvation. We are saved by Grace.

In one of his sermons, C. H. Spurgeon deals with the topic of the New Covenant:
You see, dear friends, the first covenant was in these terms,—"You do right, and God will reward you for it. If you deserve life, God will give it to you." Now, as you all know right well, that covenant was broken all to pieces; it was unable to stand by reason of the weakness of our flesh and the corruptness of our nature. So God set aside that first covenant, he put it away as an outworn and useless thing; and he brought in a new covenant,—the covenant of grace; and in our text we see what is the tenor of it: "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." This is one of the most glorious promises that ever fell from the lips of infinite love. God said not, "I will come again, as I came on Sinai, and thunder at them." No, but, "I will come in gentleness and mercy, and find a way into their hearts." He said not, "I will take two great tables of stone, and with my finger write out my law before their eyes." No, but, "I will put my finger upon their hearts, and there will I write my law." He said not, "I will give promises and threatenings that shall be the safeguard of this new covenant;" but, "I will with my Spirit graciously operate upon their minds and their hearts, and so I will sweetly influence them to serve me,—not for reward, nor from any servile motive, but because they know me, and they love me, and they feel it to be their delight to walk in the way of my commandments." O dear sirs may you all be shares in the blessings of that new covenant! May God say this of you, and do this to you; and if so, we shall meet in the glory-land, to sing unto the grace of that eternal God who has wrought so wondrously with us, and in us, and for us!   

You can read the complete sermon at


Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.
Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
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