Wednesday,August 12,2020 21:02 PM
  • Home
  • Opinion
  • The Sabbath Commandment is still binding

The Sabbath Commandment is still binding

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th June 2015 12:29 PM

On Monday, June 1, 2015, a very helpful article entitled “Christians do not keep Sunday holy as a day of rest” was run in the New Vision.

The Sabbath Commandment is still binding

On Monday, June 1, 2015, a very helpful article entitled “Christians do not keep Sunday holy as a day of rest” was run in the New Vision.

By Nicholas Munu 

On Monday, June 1, 2015, a very helpful article entitled “Christians do not keep Sunday holy as a day of rest” was run in the New Vision.

Three days later, another writer responded on the same topic with an article entitled “Is Sunday the True Sabbath?” in the same daily.

The arguments presented were so compelling and raise many questions that deserve serious considerations with hard-hitting implications and can’t be addressed in a single article. Therefore the present writer will do his best to respond in a series of three short articles. The purpose of these articles, though, is not to rubbish what has been presented by the previous writers but to corroborate some points as well as to clarify on some.

Why the Sabbath Commandment is still binding

The previous articles had differing views on this subject. The first writer implied that the Sabbath commandment is still binding today while the second writer in his own words depicted it as “a symbol of the covenant” between “God and Israelites.”  I share similar views with the first writer and here is why I do so.

For one to know whether the Sabbath commandment is still binding today, one ought to first understand its position in the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses). Far different from the ceremonial rites and laws that Moses himself wrote and were “having a shadow of good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1), the Sabbath is enshrined within the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) written and delivered by God Himself in the two tablets from Sinai.

The dichotomy between what Moses wrote and the tablets that God wrote is ornately conveyed in the following verses; “And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” Deuteronomy 31:24-26.

It is worthwhile to note that Moses’ ‘book of the law’ was; (1) written by Moses and (2) placed beside the ark i.e. ‘in the side of the ark.’ In contrast, the Decalogue was; (1) spoken and written directly by God (Exodus 20:1; 31:18; 34:1; Deuteronomy 4:13) and (2) placed inside the ark (Hebrews 9:4). The Decalogue was the covenant into which God entered with the children of Israel. If they observed and followed it, they would be a peculiar treasure – a people consecrated – unto God (Exodus 19:5-6).

The scene in Exodus 19 depicts this covenant as a courtship between God and the people of Israel with Moses as the go-between. God proposed that He wanted them to be His people by them obeying His covenant (Vs. 5). Moses brought the words to the people and they unreservedly offered their acceptance saying “all that the LORD hath spoken we will do” (Vs.7-8). After the acceptance of the people (bride), Moses (the go-between) “returned the words” unto the LORD (the Bridegroom).

A ‘dating’ meeting was arranged to be after three days. For this meeting the Bridegroom (God) came in a most fulsome manner, ready to meet His bride. Of course today this trend is still the order of the day. Some men can spend the whole night ironing, polishing, and rehearsing. They make sure everything is perfect lest the bride turns away. So likewise God came with glory, trumpet, thunders, lightnings, and much power. The whole Sinai “quaked greatly” and was in smoke (Exodus 19:16-19). In this way, God manifested to the Israelites that He is the best and most powerful Husband (God) better than all other gods of the neighboring heathen nations. As they had accepted His proposal He was ready to be their God. Thus the marriage covenant was consummated by God delineating the Ten Commandments as the condition for their lasting relationship (Exodus 20:1-17). If they obeyed well and good but if they disobeyed a curse lied at their door with possible dismissal from the promise land.

Consequently, serving other gods, making graven images, swearing in God’s name, breaking the Sabbath, disobedience to parents, murder, adultery, stealing, lying, and coveting were forbidden from among the people of God. But Israel would later prove insincere to the covenant. Immediately after David, they went astray and served others gods. King Solomon under the influence of his heathen wives built in Jerusalem shrines for Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, and Molech (1 Kings 11:1-8). A wide apostasy spread from the time of Jeroboam I in which golden calves were setup, one in Bethel and the other in Dan (1 Kings 12: 25-33). The Sabbath was lightly regarded with some even treading wine presses and operating businesses on it (Nehemiah 13:16-22). The situation grew so bad that by the time Amos prophesied about 755 B.C., the needy and the poor were being sold for “a pair of shoes” Amos (2:6; 8:6). As a result of this disobedience the immanent curse was inevitable.

In 722 B.C. the northern kingdom with ten tribes was carried into captivity by the Assyrians. They intermingled with other heathens and can’t be traced. Today we refer to them as the Ten Lost Tribes. In 586 B.C. the southern kingdom too was carried into captivity by the Babylonians under king Nebuchadnezzar. But thank be to God, due to prophet Daniel’s prayer in line with a prophecy of Moses in Leviticus, Judah, the southern kingdom was reestablished in 539 B.C. with a decree from king Cyrus (see Daniel 9:1-19; Leviticus 26:40-45; Ezra 1:1-4). All these happened because of breaking the Decalogue.

The Decalogue was at the essence of the covenant between God and Israel. It was written by God Himself. However, God in His mercy also provided other information. It included; how to avoid sin, a way forward in the event that any person found himself in sin, other ceremonial rites, health rules, and civil laws to govern the conduct of the nation. All these additional guidelines were written by Moses in what is called Moses’ book of law and was placed beside the ark that contained the tablets.

Most of what Moses wrote prefigured the cross. They were to be discontinued when the real was revealed by the coming of the Jesus. For example the Passover, the sacrifices of lambs, and sanctuary services all pointed to Christ. Paul says Christ is “our passover” (1 Corinthians 5:7). John says Christ is “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). With the coming of Christ the true passover and true lamb of God, there is longer any need to observe those ceremonial rites and sacrifice lambs. Christians now are to look by faith to the cross of Calvary for the atonement of sins.

On the contrary, the Ten Commandments including the Sabbath commandment were not prefiguring the cross. They define our moral conduct and were not terminated at the cross. Today, 2000 years after the cross; idolatry, adultery, thievery, murder, and lying are still considered sins. However when it comes to the Sabbath commandment people jerk if not openly protest against the notion that it’s breaking is still a sin. But it is a sin.

Truth be said, all Christians are spiritual Israelites and are children of Abraham (Galatians 3:29). Thus when we profess Christ, we enter into a covenant with God. This is the ‘new covenant’. Under the new covenant, the unchanging God writes into our hearts the same laws that He wrote on the tables of stones (Hebrews 10:16-17; Jeremiah 31:33). These laws also include the Sabbath Commandment which is a memorial for God’s creative power (Exodus 20:8-11; Genesis 2:1-3) and redemption from the bondage of Egypt – sin – (Deuteronomy 5:13-15). The apostles understood this and continued to observe the Sabbath even after the cross (Acts 13:14, 42-44; 16:13; 18:4).

Perhaps what is most interesting is to note that the Sabbath will be observed for eternity in the new earth (Isaiah 66:22-23). The Sabbath Commandment is still in force today. Jesus said “one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law” and warned against any teaching that directly leads people to break any of God’s commandments (Matthew 5: 17-19). God bless you all

 The writer is an author and Biblicist

The Sabbath Commandment is still binding

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author