“Not One Jot or Tittle” – Trying
to Change the Sabbath
Assessment of From Sabbath to Lord’s Day: A Biblical, Historical,
and Theological Investigation, edited by D.A. Carson
Ryan Case perused the paper on The
Sabbath at our site and decided
it fell quite short of any scholastic value. He is pastor of Grace Community
Reformed Baptist Church in Lethbridge. (There’s a mouthful - an
attempt at perfection with “statement of faith” included!
Do they think God is impressed?)
He suggested I read D. A. Carson’s From Sabbath to Lord’s
Day with the hope, I suppose, of my being persuaded that Sunday, and
not the Sabbath, is the day of the week Christians should observe as
a day of worship and departure from mundane activities.
He expressed skepticism that I would read material written by men:
“(btw, read d.a. carson’s book on this issue...oh, wait,
it’s written by a man, so you won’’t, tho’ you
expect me to read your website, which is also written by man (you)....hmmm,
another inconsistent strawman...)”
Wherever he got that notion is beyond us. The Lethbridge Public Library
network did not have the book, so I asked them to go outside the system,
which they did and procured it for me. I mention this for two reasons:
One, the Ryan Cases need to know that true saints are not insecure about
reading material that they disagree with, as is the way of so many hunkered,
bunkered, clunkered religious groups, many of them well established,
such as Catholics, Baptists, Mennonites, Hutterites, Mormons, Seventh
Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the list goes on and on.
Two, we will even take the trouble to obtain such literature for others’ sakes.
We take seriously the falsehood abounding everywhere in His Name about
the Kingdom and the Congregation of God, and we are ever ready to contend
for the faith once delivered to the saints, even as Jude urged the saints
Here, then, is what I find in From Sabbath to Lord’s Day. First,
comments in general, then addressing of the subject matter.
Unlike my brief and simple paper, The
Sabbath, Carson’s book is
highly scholastic with an abundance of references and notations provided.
It is impressive - at least to man! I grant all that. In that regard
at least, my paper stands as a wilting poplar sapling beside an age-old
giant California redwood.
The question is, “Are giant redwoods what it is all about in the
Kingdom of God?”
“And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before
men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among
men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15 MKJV).
What about the simplicity in Christ Jesus? What did Jesus say about
the very kinds of works as Carson’s?
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father,
Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hid these things from the
wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father: for
so it seemed good in Your sight” (Matthew 11:25-26 KJV).
Jesus also said, “Truly I say to you, Unless you are converted
and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of
Heaven” (Matthew 18:2-3 MKJV).
Paul alluded to this truth for the Corinthians:
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through
his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that
is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Do the wise of this world appreciate these truths? How can they, seeing
they haven’t repented of their wisdom and of trusting in themselves?
Now to the subject matter. The book is subtitled A Biblical,
Historical, and Theological Investigation.
Is There a Theological Basis for Changing the Sabbath to Sunday?
According to the theological aspect, the authors bring forth defence
of Sunday from the works of what are commonly referred to, in orthodox
Christendom, as the church fathers – people like Augustine, Irenaeus,
Ambrose, Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin, Clement, Origen, Athanasius, Eusebius,
Chrysostom, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Constantine.
They also refer to famous and revered reformers Martin Luther and John
Calvin as defenders of Sunday-keeping. It is important to note that they
do not consider the prophets and apostles worthy of mention, though these
are the foundation of the Household of God:
“Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but
fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, and are
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ
Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19-20 MKJV).
Could lack of attention to the prophets and apostles be because they
cannot be relied upon to support Sunday-keeping? Just who are these “fathers” that
they should receive so much more honorable mention and attention as authorities
on things spiritual than do the writers of Holy Scripture, those hand-picked
by Jesus Himself and appointed to sit on twelve thrones of judgment?
Why, they are, for the most part, if not entirely (I haven’t checked),
educated intellectuals, theologians, men who have highly impressed the
nominal Christian church to this day.
They are men wise in this world, men of intellectual fame and power.
But as such, they are loved by the world and are not true saints of God,
as they and nominal Christendom would have us to believe. These are men
who have never been born again. Intelligent, educated, knowledgeable,
powerful writers and speakers, mighty men of renown, yes, but not children
of the Kingdom of God, as judged by their fruits.
So then who are they to rightly divide the Word of Truth? Or who are
they to tell anyone that God’s Law can or should be changed in
so much as a jot or a tittle? Who are they to abolish the Fourth Commandment
when the living stones of the foundation of the Church of God have established
Here is what R. J. Bauckham of the University of Manchester records
in Carson’s book (p. 280-281):
“On 3 March, A.D. 321 the emperor Constantine
promulgated a law requiring a total, public rest from work ‘on the most honourable
day of the Sun.’ Only farmers were exempt. On 3 July, A.D. 321
a second law permitted the fulfillment of vows as appropriate on Sundays
and, consequently, the legal transactions necessary for manumitting slaves.
This legislation is the earliest clear reference to Sunday as a day free
The question of Constantine’s motive is difficult. It is at least
clear that his model cannot have been the Jewish Sabbath (on which agricultural
work was especially prohibited) but rather the Roman pagan holidays.
Constantine can hardly have chosen the Christian day of worship by mere
coincidence; he must have intended to benefit the Christian population,
to which he had already granted toleration. But he may also have had
sun worship in mind.”
Bauckham goes on to say that “there was
scant theological justification for this and even long after Sunday
rest had become a fact in the Roman
Empire it had little theological backing.”
Whether there was backing or not, who cares? What does it matter? Are
we to believe “church father” theologians and pagan sun-worshipping
emperors, or are we to believe the saints and the Scriptures, Whose Author
is God? Who was Constantine to impose a law on men contrary to the Law
of God? (As a matter of historical record, he was a sun worshipper to
his grave, as well as a nominal Christian, hedging his bets.)
So much for a theological basis for changing the Sabbath to Sunday.
Is There a Historical Basis for Changing the Sabbath to Sunday?
Carson and his cohorts argue that there is evidence of Sunday worship
as early as the 2nd Century. And to that I say, “So what if there
was evidence of it in the 1st Century?” Hear what Paul had to say
about the danger of error in his days:
“For I know this, that after my departure grievous wolves shall
enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also men shall arise from
your own selves, speaking perverse things in order to draw disciples
away after them. Therefore watch and remember that for the time of three
years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears” (Acts
So what if there was evidence of whatever falsehood as early as in Christ’s
days in the flesh? Does error’s early appearance justify and grant
it authority to remain? Shall believers be respectful of age above truth
So much for a historical basis for changing the Sabbath to Sunday.
Is There a Biblical Basis for Changing the Sabbath to Sunday?
Carson concludes that Sunday is the “Christian Sabbath” (whatever
that is supposed to mean); however, after much discussion, it seems these
defenders of Sunday-keeping themselves are willing to concede that there
is no conclusive Biblical substance to support a change from the Sabbath
to Sunday as a holy day set apart from the rest of the week. Indeed,
the words of the Lord quite conclude otherwise on this matter:
“Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets.
I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, Till
the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in
any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. Therefore whoever shall
relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he
shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall
do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew
Doesn’t that just about say it all? But devils will oppose, and
carnal men steeped in tradition and given to man-pleasing will argue
- case closed. So we are going to have to accept being one of the few
to be called “great” in the Kingdom of Heaven while many,
if they are recognized in the Kingdom at all, will be called “the
“The Lord’s Day”
Only once in the entire Bible do we find the expression “the Lord’s
Day,” and it is used by the apostle John:
“I came to be in the Spirit in the Lord’s Day and
heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10).
A significant debate takes place about what John meant by the term.
Carson says there are four possibilities:
- John could have meant the weekly Jewish Sabbath (Saturday).
- He could have meant Sunday.
- It is surmised by some that John could have been speaking of the anniversary
of what they call the “Easter” resurrection. [Notice how
these men expect to be credible in the things of God while naming such
momentous days - Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, no less
- after the abominable pagan goddess of sex, prosperity, and fertility?
They use the name of the “queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 44:17-25),
instead of the term “Passover” (translated from “pesach” – the
original Greek word in Scripture). And those seeking truth are supposed
to believe these people? I hardly think so. How about you?]
- Finally, there is the notion that John was speaking of “the
Lord’s Day” eschatologically, referring to the end of days when the Lord is to
return to the earth, destroy all the wicked, and reign, thus establishing
a state of rest for all of creation.
What about “The Day of the Lord”?
There is an oft-used similar term, “the Day of the Lord,” which,
it seems, they do not equate to “the Lord’s Day.” Why
not, may I ask? What is the difference between “the Lord’s
Day” and “the Day of the Lord”?
Consider that we have never red of the Sabbath or of Sunday (the first
day of the week) referred to as “the Lord’s Day” or “the
Day of the Lord” anywhere in Scripture. Sunday has historically
been the day of the sun.
“The Day of the Lord” or “the Lord’s Day” is
the momentous event of God’s judgment, whether on an individual,
a nation, or the world:
“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that
is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall
be brought low…And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and
the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be
exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:12-17 KJV).
The Power of a Comma - On What Day Was Jesus Resurrected?
Though the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest physical event
ever to have happened on earth, nowhere in Scripture do we find:
One, that His resurrection day
is known as the “Lord’s day” or “the
Day of the Lord.”
Two, that Jesus was raised from the dead on Sunday or the first day
of the week. Look for yourself. What it does say is that when Mary Magdalene
came to His grave early Sunday morning at sunrise, He was not in His
There are those who think the Bible emphatically states Jesus arose
on Sunday (the first day of the week), as expressed in Mark 16:9 in these
versions, for example (there are other versions as well):
(RV) “Now when He was risen early on the first day of the week,
He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven
(KJV) “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week,
He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils.”
But there are other versions that give a different sense by adding a
comma and causing the reference of the word “early” to pertain
to the time of His meeting Mary and not to the time of His resurrection:
(CEV) “Very early on the first day of the week, after Jesus had
risen to life, He appeared to Mary Magdalene. Earlier He had forced seven
demons out of her.”
Was His resurrection on the first day of the week, or did He appear
to Mary then, after He had risen?
Peterson puts it this way in The Message:
(MSG) “After rising from the dead, Jesus appeared early on Sunday
morning to Mary Magdalene, whom He had delivered from seven demons.”
Do you see what I mean? Try other translations, adding another comma:
(EMTV) “Now having arisen[,] early on the first day of the week,
He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven
(HNV) “Now when He had risen[,] early on the first day of
the week, He appeared first to Miriam from Magdala, from whom He had
cast out seven demons.”
Commas can speak volumes. Did Jesus rise early, or did He appear to
Mary early, on the first day of the week?
Try the first two translations again, this time with a comma inserted
after the word “risen”:
(RV) “Now when He was risen[,] early on the first day of the week,
He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven
(KJV) “Now when Jesus was risen[,] early the first day of the
week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven
What a difference one comma added or subtracted makes! But while it
can be anyone’s guess as to where commas should be (the original
Greek text had none), we need to rely on the rest of the Scriptural testimony
and godly reason, but primarily on gracious revelation from God, to know
Three Full Days and Three Full Nights – According to His Word
So when did Jesus rise from the dead? Does the Bible tell us? Not directly,
but if we know when He died and was buried, and if we believe Him when
He says He would be buried for three days and three nights, then we can
know when He was raised up:
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of
the huge fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three
nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40 MKJV).
Since Christ was buried just before sunset at the beginning of the Passover
on Wednesday, He therefore rose from the dead just before sunset on Saturday,
marking the completion of three days and three nights. Going longer would
Him into the fourth day. Therefore, Jesus rose near the end of
the weekly Sabbath, just before sunset on Saturday evening. On the Jewish
after sunset Saturday evening is when the first day of the week begins.
So either He rose towards the end of Saturday, or the Lord is a liar
or misinformed; I don’t think we would be too wise to question
the word or judgment of One able to raise Himself from the dead, do you?
You see, Jesus was not crucified on Friday, as is supposed by orthodox
Christendom – He died on Wednesday afternoon and was buried before
the Passover began. They cleared away His body before the Passover (ordained
a Sabbath day according to the Law of Moses – Leviticus 23:7) Therefore
He was buried before sunset on Wednesday. He was in the grave through
Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, and
Saturday (the Sabbath) until dusk, a full three days and three nights,
no more and no less, exactly as He said.
Would a Sunday Resurrection Change the Law?
For argument’s sake, let’s say Jesus was resurrected on
the first day of the week, as some argue.
So what? Who gives man the right to presume to change the Law of God,
which Jesus said would not be changed one jot or tittle till heaven and
earth pass away? God does not change, and His Law does not change – His
Law is immutable. Only man changes, and he presumes to change God and
His Law. Doesn’t this remind you of someone Daniel was speaking
“And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear
out the saints of the Most High, and plot to change times and laws. And
they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one-half
time” (Daniel 7:25 MKJV).
The Catholic Church blasphemously claims to have the power and authority
to change God’s Law and to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday of
its own volition, in spite of the Law of God and the Scriptures. It also
scoffs at those called “Protestants” who claim to preach
nothing but the Bible, yet keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath, following
the lead and authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, the authorities
of both the Catholic Church and the Protestants concede that there is
no Scriptural foundation or justification for changing the Sabbath to
So much for the theological grounds for changing the Sabbath to Sunday;
so much for the historical grounds for the change, and so much for the
Tradition a Treacherous Traducer
The Catholic Church attributes equal authority to tradition and Scripture.
Speak of quicksand! In other words, we believe both God and men! But
does God agree with that approach? Let’s see:
“For what if some were without faith? Will their lack of faith
nullify the faithfulness of God? May it never be! Yes, let God
be found true, but every man a liar. As it is written, ‘That You might be
justified in Your words, and might prevail when You come into judgment’” (Romans
Do you not see the foolishness and contradiction of such a policy? You
either believe God or men - you can’t have it both ways.
The Sabbath Intended Only for Israel?
There is an argument put forth by Carson et al that the Sabbath was
a covenant with Israel - only for Jews and not for the rest of mankind.
That is such specious reasoning, and it is easily proven so by godly
reason based in Scripture.
First, ages before there was such a one as a Jew out of the loins of
Abraham, the Bible speaks of the seventh day in which God rested. Might
that be a pre-Judaic Sabbath?
Second, Jesus said:
“The Sabbath came into being for man’s sake, and not man
for the Sabbath’s sake” (Mark 2:27 MKJV).
“Came into being”? You mean it wasn’t invented or
introduced by Moses, but was created? And was Jesus speaking only of
Jews or of all men?
Third, keeping the Sabbath is One of the Ten Commandments, which are
eternal, if we are to believe the Word of God:
“For ever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in heaven” (Psalms
“Thy Word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous
judgments endures for ever” (Psalms 119:160 KJV).
“Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets.
I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, Till
the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in
any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18
Fourth, are the dissenters of the Law of God going to be consistent
and tell us that the other Nine Commandments apply only to Jews? If that
is so, are Gentiles free to kill, steal, and commit adultery because
the Sabbath does not apply to them? What does James say?
“For whoever shall keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point,
he is guilty of all” (James 2:10 MKJV).
Dare we presume he was not including the Sabbath in his instructions
to believers, be they Jews or Gentiles? I know that as a non-Jew, I was
killing myself in not keeping the Commandments, and I know you are too,
because God’s Law is everywhere:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
because the thing which may be known of God is clearly revealed within
them, for God revealed it to them. For the unseen things of Him from
the creation of the world are clearly seen, being realized by the things
that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without
excuse” (Romans 1:18-20 MKJV).
Is it not apparent that we all need a day off to rest from our work?
I have met people who do servile work seven days a week. They are visibly
dozy and listless - they really are. What does that tell you? How would
you like to do servile work seven days a week, month after month and
year after year? “All work and no play [or rest] makes Johnny a
Which Day Did God Bless and Sanctify?
I tell you, I very much appreciate the Sabbath to refrain from mundane
activities. I kept Sunday for years, but I never experienced rest or
blessing on that day like I do on the Sabbath. I thought, “What
is the difference between one day and another? How is it I have that
fulfillment on the Sabbath I never had when I set Sunday apart?” Then
the Lord quickened these words to me:
“And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in
it He had rested from all His work which God created to make” (Genesis
Sunday keepers do not rest, except in limited physical and mental terms.
There is no rest for those who honor the sun, whether they do so wittingly
or ignorantly, even if in their minds, they honor not the sun, but God.
Sunday is not sanctified by God.
Neither is it blessed. I know this for two reasons: one, I was once
a Sunday keeper and know the difference; two, the Word of God declares
that the Sabbath is blessed.
And God will not change His Law and bless Sunday as the Sabbath just
because we decide to keep it in His Name. There is only one way to honor
God, and that is not by substitutions, which He hates, but by obedience:
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves
Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love
him and will reveal Myself to him” (John 14:21 MKJV).
Does the Sabbath Save Us?
Does this mean that all who keep the weekly Sabbath are in good standing
with God and blessed? No way! Didn’t the Pharisees, Sadducees,
and scribes “keep” the Sabbath? Were the Pharisees not rather
meticulous about it? What good did it do them?
No, it is not about keeping the Sabbath at all; it is about worshipping
the Lord. In fact, worshipping the Lord in spirit and in truth is the
What spiritual good does it do the Seventh Day Adventists to keep the
Sabbath? Or the multi-fragmented WWCG? Or the Jews? No, the Law never
made anyone right with God or free and at peace; only Jesus Christ can
do that. But when we believe and obey Him, and He gives us the weekly
Sabbath as a gift for our sakes (He is the Lord of the Sabbath), then
we enjoy its great benefit in body, soul, and spirit.
What Did Jesus Do with the Sabbath?
Some argue that Jesus never kept the Sabbath, that He deliberately worked
on it, to demonstrate to the erring, legalistic Jews that the Sabbath
was about to change in its nature and application. This is not so at
all, except that the ceremonial sacrifices and the Levitical priesthood
would cease, their purpose fulfilled.
The day was approaching when saints would have that rest within as well
as without, made possible by His death, resurrection, and the giving
of His Spirit. The partial purpose of His healing people on the Sabbath
was to demonstrate that the Sabbath is made for man, not to be worshipped,
and that it is a day for doing good, as are all days.
The Sabbath a God
I have perceived that the SDAs worship the Sabbath. They are also prolific
with their images. They presume to keep the Fourth Commandment, but blatantly
disregard the Second. According to James, offending in one point, they
are guilty of offending in all. Therefore they do not keep the Sabbath
at all, and they murder, steal, and commit adultery. But oh, how proud
they are that they keep the Sabbath! Better to keep Sunday and be honest
about breaking the Sabbath.
The Sabbath Questioned
It is believed by some that the purpose of the Sabbath is to represent
the day when Christ will appear and bring all of creation into rest.
Fine, so He will, and He is even now. But must we complicate matters?
Why question its present-day validity? Why not ask the purpose of all
the other commandments as well?
What, for instance, is the purpose of, “You shall not steal,” or, “You
shall not commit adultery,” or, “You shall not murder”?
Is it not to have peace and goodwill among men by living lives ordered
wisely by God? So it is with the weekly Sabbath; it is set aside to remember
the Creator and His provision for us. It is a time of acknowledging that
it is He Who orders all things and provides for us, and not we ourselves.
Was Carson’s Book Worth Reading?
For my part, I am thankful to have red From Sabbath to Lord’s
Day. Ironically, in a book promoting Sunday-keeping, there were several
points that served to confirm the validity of keeping the Sabbath. These
men are like Islamic suicide terrorists. While destroying others, they
One suicidal point they present is that of an historical, social, political,
legal, religious motive for changing over to Sunday. The “troublesome
Jews” were despised by the Romans. They were considered a pain
in the eagle’s tail feathers. Consequently, all who were identified
with the Jews suffered ignominy and reproach. That meant keeping the
Sabbath would expose one to danger.
It was quite tempting for those lacking true faith to accept any excuse
to change to another day of public worship and abstention from work,
particularly to Sunday, which the predominant Roman society kept in honor
of their gods. So when the excuse of the Lord’s resurrection was
suggested to keep Sunday, one can imagine the popularity of the notion,
if not immediately, certainly gradually. What could better serve those
who were Christians in name only?
How Controversial Would a Change of God’s Law Be?
Here is another excellent point in the book. Max Turner of London Bible
“We must conclude that it is barely imaginable that first-day
Sabbath [Sunday] observance commenced before
the Jerusalem council [Acts].
Nor can we stop there, we must go on to maintain that first-day Sabbath
observance cannot easily be understood as a phenomenon of the apostolic
age or of apostolic authority.
If an apostolic decision was made after the council
on so important a matter as this, it would not have been an easy decision
to reach and
it would inevitably have left its mark in the epistles and in Acts. But
as we have see, Acts is silent on the issue, and Paul’s handling
of controversies involving the law and the Sabbath makes it difficult
to believe that he knew of any Sabbath transference theology.”
Think about it: “The violation of this law
[Fourth Commandment] carried the death
penalty, and its neglect was one of the reasons for
Israel’s national catastrophe” (these true words quoted
from the introduction, p. 22). That is how serious the matter of changing
the day must be! Yet there is not so much as a brief mention of it in
the Scriptures, which cover much of the 1st Century activities of the
congregation of God.
Wow! Doesn’t that say something? Why can’t
we just believe God and take things at face value?
The death penalty under Mosaic Law was an object lesson, teaching the
life-and-death importance of keeping the Law. Transgressing by murder
or adultery or violating the Sabbath brought death. Was God trying to
tell us something? Of course, He was! The one who breaks these laws suffers
the death penalty, one way or another, sooner or later.
Men need not execute offenders; they die by virtue of the way things
are intrinsically. (Please make no mistake: I am not against capital
punishment.) If I inhale, I take air into my lungs. If I commit adultery,
I die. If I cast off the Sabbath, I die. To the degree that I offend
in will and knowledge, to that degree I suffer consequence.
Carson’s book is an excellent example of the complexity of the
rebellious carnal mind. What labor! What a pain to have to do all that
research and study! And just to prove what? That one can break, or think
to change, God’s Laws and get away with it or do as one
pleases, provided it is in His Name, as though He will be what -
appeased or flattered?
What clever machinations men concoct in their unbelief and pride! How
they praise one another, scrambling and scrounging painstakingly for
those praises in their abject poverty of true worth before God! What
contortions! What deception! What insanity!
They go digging into apocryphal, non-canonical books and elsewhere to
find evidence to refute the Testimony of the Holy Scriptures. Why are
they not satisfied with the Bible? Could it be because the tradition
of their fathers and today’s social benefits are more important
to them than obedience to God? Could it be because the sun god is alive
and well in their souls?
Sifting for Suspect Support
These theologians very much remind me of evolutionists. They take great
pains to dig in hills and valleys for any evidence supportive of their
preferred foolish imaginations contrary to God’s Nature and Law
and the Testimony of Scripture. And while evolutionists call their nonsense “science,” these
religious scholars call their lies “theology.” Carson’s
book is brimming with common evolutionistic expressions like - probably,
may have, might have, must have, could have, would have, should have,
possibly, it appears, about, and likely.
Why? Where is the, “Thus saith the Lord”? Not that these
men profess to be men of God that I know. Yet when they step forth, discoursing
on the things of God and of Scripture, presuming to be as close to the
truth as any, worth listening to, and suggesting others believe and follow
them, do they not deceive humanity? Does not humanity have respect for
men of high standing in this world? Sure it does.
So What Do Sunday-Keepers Know?
Wow! “Where Sunday-keeping started, we don’t know for sure.
When it started, we don’t really know. Why or how it started is
up for debate. Who started it, your guess is as good as ours – no,
wait – ours is better, but we must admit, it is a guess, albeit
so educated and painfully considered!
“Why must we admit it? Because, though there is not a shred of
evidence that supports Sunday-keeping in the Bible, hey! if the church
fathers supported it, shouldn’t we be OK with it?”
My answer to that last question: “If you put stock in the false
church, you might be OK with it for a time, until the Truth catches up
with you, but if you speak of the true Congregation of God, the Body
of Christ, and how Its members conduct themselves in Christ their Lord,
then you will be anything but OK with it. We can’t let you be OK
with it, because God won’t let you.”
Men of God and Men of Men
So what we need are men of God who stand in the gap between man and
God and cry, “This is the Truth! Here is the will of God! No playing
games! Must we all scrounge, crawl, rummage, beg, manipulate, gamble,
dream, lie, prostitute, and kill ourselves to receive sustenance from
the Heavenly Father? Will He not give everything needful and good to
those who walk uprightly? Does He not readily feed His children? Is He
faithful, or is He not?”
But we see that these men are not men of God; neither are they His children,
otherwise they would be fed with good food and share it liberally with
others. Instead, the very best Mr. Carson can offer us is summarized
in his introduction:
“Small wonder, then, that the Sabbath/Sunday
question continues to attract attention. It is one of the most difficult
areas in the study
of the relationship between the Testaments, and in the history of the
development of doctrine. If it is handled rightly, however, our further
study of this question ought to provide a synthesis that will at least
offer a basic model for theological and ethical reflections.”
Can you imagine the prophets, apostles, and godly teachers of old speaking
that way? That says it all right there, doesn’t it? The false go
by reason and the true by revelation. As it is written of evolutionists,
so is it written of these learned speculators and would-be teachers:
Romans 1:18-25 MKJV
(18) For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness
and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
(19) because the thing which may be known of God is clearly revealed
within them, for God revealed it to them.
(20) For the unseen things of Him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being realized by the things that are made, even His eternal
power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse.
(21) Because, knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were
thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish
heart was darkened.
(22) Professing to be wise, they became fools
(23) and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made
like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping
(24) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts
of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.
(25) For they changed the truth of God into a lie, and they worshiped
and served the created thing more than the Creator, Who is blessed forever.
Is not revelation so much better? Is it not so much better to be working
in the paradise of God than outside of it by the sweat of the brow with
thorns and thistles for reward? Is it not preferable to let the Holy
Spirit, rather than men, be our teacher?
The carnal man knows nothing better than worldly wisdom. Preferring
his own way, he is sentenced by the Judge of all the earth to life with
hard labor under the curse. But what do the Scriptures say?
1 Corinthians 1:18-21 MKJV
(18) For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost,
but to us being saved, it is the power of God.
(19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones.”
(20) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this
world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
(21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know
God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who
1 Corinthians 1:25-29 MKJV
(25) Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak
thing of God is stronger than men.
(26) For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according
to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble.
(27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the
wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the
things which are mighty;
(28) and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which
are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing
things that are;
(29) so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
The Simplicity of the Savior Versus the Complexity of the Carnal Man
I remember when I first tried to answer my little son’s questions,
while reading the passage on the Commandments in Exodus, about whether
we kept the Sabbath. “Why don’t we keep the Sabbath, Dad?” he
asked. I was confounded while giving him the usual explanations as to
how or why we kept Sunday instead of the seventh day of the week, which
day the Bible plainly sanctioned. How sad is that?
Why couldn’t I give my son a simple, godly, Biblical answer? Shouldn’t
it be straightforward? How about the Word of God instead of the word
of man? Is that straightforward enough? Ask yourself: “Will a child
seeking God be profited by rationalization from high-minded doctors of
theology?” It was not easy to justify ignoring God’s clear
testimony and favoring an alternative to it, which the Bible did not
so much as vaguely support. That got me thinking – and praying
and asking God about it.
Count the Cost and Prosper
I had to count the cost, but having counted it and proceeding from there
to keep the Sabbath, I was opposed by near and dear. “You’re
into legalism! Christ died to free us from the Law! His sacrifice won’t
do you any good now! And just how do you propose to keep it anyway? Does
it really matter what day of the week we keep? We have over half of our
business on Saturdays! A lot of our customers can’t make it any
other day. If you close on Saturdays, you may as well shut the store
It was a battle. Sure enough – our business diminished by at least
half, as expected, and things were quiet for several months, until the
Lord quietly added other developments to our operation, not only improving
our financial picture, but our physical and mental health. He gave us
exciting, wonderful health business opportunities that ended up multiplying
our income from what it was before we began to keep the Sabbath.
And we rested one day a week for the first time in our lives, though
we had kept Sunday until that time. By God’s grace, my son was
right, and so was Jesus when He said:
“Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and
lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is
easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 MKJV).
By God’s grace, I had the blessed fortune of learning the perfect “theology” of
the Sabbath from a little child! Now we all look forward to the Sabbath
as we had never remotely looked forward to Sunday. How amazing and wonderful
is that? You won’t know it until you come into this knowledge yourself
of the day God blessed and sanctified. (To see how we came to experience
this for ourselves, read The Sabbath.)
When Will the Wise Wise Up?
Mr. Carson, when will you learn? When will you humble yourself, you
and your “venerable colleagues”? When will you discover the
secret of those simple, yet profound, words of the Lord that only children
understand in all innocence?
Stop feeding the proud and gullible, like Ryan Case, from the Tree of
Knowledge, destroying and being destroyed as you go. Repent, Mr. Carson,
Harold Dressler, C. Rowland, Max Turner, D.R. de Lacey, A.T. Lincoln,
and R.J. Bauckham, wherever you are, whether in this world or any other.
Proud men, full of knowledge, laboring so zealously and making fools
of yourselves in Christ’s Name, though not for His sake. When those
who admire and praise you return to dust, where will your praise be then?
What will you have left? Will you have God’s praise for teaching
contrary to His Law?
Lincoln writes on p. 199, “The Sabbath could
be seen as the goal of human history and the framework of the movement
to consummation. According to the Book of Jubilees (2nd century, B.C.),
long before the Sabbath was given to Israel by Moses it was celebrated
in the heavenly world, for it was seen as an expression of the divine
ordering of the world and of time (Jubilees 2:17ff., 30ff.).”
Lincoln is right. And if he is right, how can the Sabbath have been
only for the Jews? Mr. Carson keeps shooting himself in the foot with
his own gun.
What the Sabbath Is About
The Sabbath is God resting in man and man resting in God. It is Emmanuel
(God with us)! It is about the Law of God fulfilled in man that he might
walk in peace, harmony, and prosperity with his God on every level, in
quiet repose. The weekly Sabbath is a token of that blessedness of
those matured in Christ. This maturity is about knowing all that needs
to be known and the ability to do all that needs to be done. It is about
bearing the full fruit of God as He originally purposed.
I must say that without that inner reality in Christ, the weekly Sabbath
is empty, as are all things. I did not receive the Sabbath day of the
week until I had the Sabbath Day within. Now God has given me the weekly
day as a token of His work in me from which He has ceased. He now rests
in me and I in Him. I am His Sabbath.
This is the restoration to Eden by way of the flaming sword (the cross
of Christ). This is the Feast of Tabernacles of which Zechariah spoke.
Woe to those who do not keep that Feast, and great is the joy
and blessedness of those who do! Amen!