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The Sabbath Day A Right Choice

By Dr. Henderson Ward

Some Christian denominations are adamant that Sunday is the right day of worship, while others are committed to worshiping on Saturday, and all agree that their day of worship is the only right one.

The truth is that those who see the New Testament as a new covenant between God and humanity, enacted through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, worship Him on Sunday, and those who regard the Old Testament, and hence the old covenant, as still viable worship him on Saturday.

People need to remember that there were laws in existence before God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel through Moses.

If there were no moral laws in existence before the Ten Commandments, then people who lived before that time could not have committed sin. To sin is to break God’s law and we have documentary evidence that people were sinning on a grand scale before Moses was born. The important question here now is what laws were in place from Adam to Moses and is that law applicable to us now?

For an answer we need to look at the moral character of humans.

In the New Testament where Paul is writing to the Romans, and in Chapter two he is reprimanding those who are unfairly and harshly judging one another, and from verse 12 he touched on the subject of sin and the law. Here is the pertinent verse:

“Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law” (Romans 2:14 New International Version).

This verse of scripture tells us two important things:

1. It tells us that Gentiles (anyone not a Jew) were not given and do not have the Law of Moses or the Old Testament Law.

2. It also tells us that Gentiles, without reference to the Law of Moses, are capable of and do practice the requirements of law as prescribed by the Law of Moses.

When looked at in conjunction with other scriptures (e.g. Galatians 3:13, Hebrews 7:12, Romans 2:12, and Romans 6:14) it becomes clear that Gentiles are held accountable to standards comparable to the Laws of Moses even though that particular Code of Law called the Law of Moses was not prescribed for them.

Since humans branched off into many ethnic strains since creation, and since the Bible teaches that all humans (Gentiles) are capable of, and on occasions do practice the requirements of law, as prescribed by the Law of Moses, then the answer must be found in our common ancestor Adam.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). So God created man in his own image… (Genesis 1:27). Since God is Spirit (God is Spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth, John 4:24) it stands to reason that creating man in his own image was not referring to man’s physical stature but his spiritual and moral constitution.

When God created man it was necessary for man to have a moral compass to enable him to fully actualized and give practical expression to his gift of freedom of choice or freewill. Without this moral compass man could wreak havoc on creation not knowing the magnitude of his misdeeds nor caring much for the consequences.

Therefore God, in order to avoid this untenable situation, imprinted on Adam’s heart his Divine Laws, and simultaneously a living conscience, which were to characterize, from henceforth, all human beings.

Many scriptures attest to this:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them”. (Romans 1:19)

“Indeed, when Gentiles who do not have the law do by nature things required by the law they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them”.(Romans 2:14-15)

“If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a law-breaker”.(Romans 2:26-27)

We can safely conclude that in the beginning God inscribed in man’s heart immutable principles of righteousness, justice and compassion, reflecting and attesting to God’s own character, thereby equipping man forever to deal with all contingencies of life.

That mankind suppressed and strayed from this amorphous Divine Law is not evidence of its non-existence, but rather testimony to man’s rebellious Adamic nature.

Today that Divine Law is still etched in our hearts but is codified in two laws as stated by Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37 -39).

These two laws, encapsulating all the Divine Principles of God however codified, are safeguarded and attended to by the Holy Spirit, prompting, and urging, through the conscience believers compliance with the will of Almighty God.

It is with great joy, and profound confidence, that all of us who worship God in spirit and in truth, who are born again of water and the spirit, who have committed our lives fully to Him, know that we are God’s children and can quote for affirmation the words of Paul “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16).

Israel traveled forty years from Egypt to their promised inheritance of Canaan and during that journey at a place called Mount Sinai God gave Moses laws to give to Israel. These laws are known as the Law of Moses or the Mosaic Law.

The Law of Moses or the Mosaic Law was always referenced as singular. This as we shall see is vitally important to our understanding because it codifies everything given to Moses at Sinai as a unified code. The Law of Moses or the Mosaic Law consists of three components as follows:

1. The Moral Law or Ten Commandments

2. The Civil (or Judicial) Law and

3. The Ceremonial Law

The Moral Law was the major law among the Israelites and took precedence above all others. This was the only law written by the hand of God himself (Exodus 31:18) and Israel welcomed it gladly and henceforth used it as the foundation for her theocratic government. It was these Ten Commandments that were placed in the Ark (Deuteronomy 10:5) where their symbolic nature represented the Covenant promises between God and Israel (1 Kings 8:9).

The Civil Law as part of the legal code, expanded, explained, and gave concrete examples of the application and use of the moral law as it affected peoples’ day to day lives. It dealt with such things as how to treat servants, physical violence and injury, penalty and compensation for theft, protection of property, the treatment of pre-marital sex, sorcery, false reporting, people in authority, abuse of power, repayment of loans, penalties for a range of offences and similar concerns (Exodus Chapters 21 22)

The Ceremonial Law differed remarkably from the others, since this component of the legal code dealt with procedures, and ceremonies for festivals, offerings and sacrifices, the type and design of priests’ garments, consecration of priests, the burning of incense, clean and unclean foods, fat and blood of animals, purification after childbirth, dealing with infectious diseases, unforbidden sexual relations and a range of ecclesiastical procedures dealing with worship and the tabernacle.

So where do people of faith, believers in Jesus Christ, saints of God who are rooted and grounded in the Apostolic Doctrine of the New Testament stand?

It is proper and right in keeping with Divine Law written in men’s heart, and codified for Israel in the Ten Commandments, that a day be set aside each week for rest and worship and for Israel under the Mosaic Law this day was Saturday the Jewish Sabbath.

The Apostle Paul took some people to task for emphasizing the Day rather than the Day’s Objective in these words”one man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special does so to the Lord” (Romans 14:5-6). It is clear then that the Jewish Sabbath Saturday is prescribed for the Jews and flows from the Mosaic Law as part of that covenant relationship.

It is clear as can be that no matter how you look at it the Jewish Sabbath. Saturday. is not prescribed for Christians and therefore Christians are under no obligation to observe its strictures.

Enough said.

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Volume 1 Five tough facts to be faced





Volume 1 You must first identify him


Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward’s career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013

email drhendersonward@yahoo.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

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