|Volume 22 Number 6 August 2020||
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Dear Louis and Rodney, This is a disturbing article on your website [referring to an article about the Sabbath]…The darkness of this world is growing, the Christian world is shrinking and loosening. I have been to many Christian churches and most of them teach and follow the same false teachings like [the article]. Shall we follow G-d and our Saviour Jesus Christ or any ignorant and deceiving men? As simple as a child, when we read cited verses, we know that Christ Jesus abolished not the Law. Sabbath keeping is one of the Law that last forever. Sabbath Worshiping is the commanded sacred worship service from our G-d. Return and repent from all false teachings and ask for His forgiveness. Let us make a simple and straight choice and submission to our G-d: obey and follow Him and His commandments. Hope that the evil one will not deceive you or blind you to not Love our G-d as He commanded. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes and ears to see and hear His Voice.
Sixty-six books comprise the Bible, and they were written by about 40 different divinely inspired penmen across approximately 1,600 years. Thirty-nine of those Bible books are in the Old Testament, and the remaining 27 books are in the New Testament portion of the Bible. Two different, God-given law systems appear in the Old Testament: Patriarchy (a family-type religion) and Judaism (a national religion); another or third God-given law system is in the New Testament: Christianity (a universal religion).
It is no wonder, then, that the apostle Paul wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV). Another translation renders the verse, “…handling aright the word of truth” (ASV). The student of God’s Word must distinguish between the Old Testament and the New Testament. One must know the difference between Patriarchy, Judaism and Christianity, or the difference between family religion, national religion and universal religion.
Several New Testament passages demonstrate that the Old Testament, though the foundation and forerunner of the New Testament, has been replaced by the New Testament. While Jesus did not “destroy the Law” or Old Testament, He did “fulfill” it (Matthew 5:17 NKJV). It was always God’s intention to replace the Old Testament Law with the New Testament. Notice the Old Testament prophecy and the corresponding New Testament fulfillment regarding the New Testament replacing the Old Testament.
Behold, the days are coming, says 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 that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says 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 did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:7-13)
Consequently, the Old Law or the Old Testament has been replaced with the New Testament. The Old Law or Old Testament has been “abolished” (Ephesians 2:15) and “wiped out…taken out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Since the cross of Jesus Christ, mankind has “been delivered from the law” (Romans 7:6). The next verse describes that law from which man has been delivered by citing the Ten Commandments. Man, today, no longer looks to the Old Testament—not even to the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament—for religious instruction. The Old Testament remains valuable and useful (Romans 15:4) but not for instructing anyone concerning Christianity.
Whereas directly or indirectly perhaps nine of the original Ten Commandments have been reinstituted in the New Testament, to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8) has not been repeated in the New Testament. Instead, the first day of the week rather than the seventh day of the week is designated in the New Testament for the obligatory day on which to worship God weekly (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). In addition, Jesus arose from the grave and, later, the Lord’s church came into existence on the first day of the week.
Keeping the Sabbath involved much more than worship (e.g., travel restrictions), and it included the sacrifice of animals in worship. No one claiming to be a Christian actually keeps the Sabbath today. Anyone who attempts to keep any portion of the Old Law today is “estranged from Christ” and “fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
Was Jesus a Sinner?
A CNN host, discussing the current craze to destroy monuments, made this analogy. “Jesus Christ—if you believe in, if that’s who you believe in, Jesus Christ—admittedly was not perfect when he was here on this earth. So why are we deifying the founders of this country?” (www.dennisonforum.org). What is the basis of his pronouncement that Jesus was not perfect? Essentially, growing up in a traditional Christian denomination, the CNN host found himself at odds with biblical teaching, specifically on same sex relations. He objected to Scripture stating one engaging in such practices would not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:10).
If one accepts the premise that Scripture is the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17) and that the teaching of Scripture condemns such a lifestyle, then, for those who accept that lifestyle, Scripture is wrong, and thus, Christ cannot be perfect. It is an intellectual exercise done to justify a way of thinking and a way of living. However, as the saying goes, wanting something to be so does not make it so.
Such is not surprising, as recent polls show that some 44 percent of American believers think that Jesus sinned (www.christianheadlines.com). The survey also revealed a dramatic decline in the number of Americans who hold to a biblical worldview. According to the survey, about 51 percent of American adults have a traditional view of God as opposed to 73 percent in 1991, a 22 percent drop from 30 years ago. George Barna stated of these results, “Tens of millions of Americans consider themselves to be Christian but do not believe that God is really in control or cares what happens to them.” He noted the shift in worldview from thirty years ago, saying that people went from “learning and thinking about God” to becoming “more self-absorbed,” rejecting the existence of absolute moral truth.
Scripture, however, offers a different view of Christ than this. Jesus was without sin and deceit (1 Peter 2:22). He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). He was tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He is holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners (Hebrews 7:26). In Him there is no sin (1 John 3:5). Of course, someone can say anything about anyone, but the testimony of Scripture has been confirmed and established time and again. The recording of history in the Bible is presented fairly and accurately. It was written when people of that time could have offered a differing view historically, but it has withstood its critics and has been verified time and again. The issue is not the accuracy of Scripture but sin in the human heart.
God’s Word has been rejected and vilified from ancient times. People have sought to minimize it and destroy it, but the Word of God still stands. Hearts can be hardened against it, but it is still the basis on which everyone will be judged someday (John 12:48). Isaiah’s statement, repeated by Peter, still endures. “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever” (Isaiah 40:6, 8; 1 Peter 1:24-25). Humanity is corrupt with the deceit of sin, which only leads to condemnation. The truth of the Gospel sets one free (Romans 8:31-32), offers an abundant life (John 10:10) and provides eternal life (James 1:25).
Who will we choose to believe? There are only two options—God or Satan. How sad to reject the truth that can save for the lie that will only destroy. The greatest challenge for us all is to be honest with ourselves and evaluate our motives. It will be too late standing before God in Judgment to change sides, to reevaluate what one believes. “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Corinthians 6:1).