Andreas Fischer’s 26 Reasons for Keeping the Sabbath
Andreas Fischer was a Sabbath keeping minister in reformation-age Germany. In the 1520s and 1530s, he spent time spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and obedience to the Sabbath in areas such as Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia, Bohemia, and perhaps Saxony. His testimony for the faith is incredible.
One time the authorities tried to hang him from a castle tower, but the rope around his neck broke and he escaped. He continued preaching the gospel for years after this event and repeatedly returned to areas from which he was expelled or persecuted. He was martyred for his faith about 1540/1541. He is truly an inspiration. We reviewed his work for the gospel message last month on the Sabbath Sentinel Blog. To read more about the events leading up to his work and the work he did, click here.
Andreas was part of a movement which lasted about 70 years. Though that specific movement faded from the pages of history, modern technology allows us to keep his work and memory alive. By reading and sharing this post with others, we get a chance to honor this martyr for the faith. I am encouraging people to please share this post to honor the sacrifice that he and others made for our beliefs.
He wrote a work which detailed at least 26 reasons to keep the Sabbath. We only know the work existed because a counter work was composed to refute him. From this opposition work, Fischer’s beliefs have been at least partially reconstructed. Though the enemy sought to expunge his memory and work for the Lord, we can bring his work and memory back to life. I encourage everyone to share this article with as many people as possible.
We have listed his reasons for Sabbath keeping below, which are taken from pp 37-39 of Daniel Liechty’s book “Sabbatarianism in the Sixteenth Century.” Andrews University Press: 1993.
“1. There are Ten Commandments of God which constitute the Covenant. The Sabbath commandment is one of these. Therefore, if one breaks the Sabbath commandment, one violates the Covenant.
2. Moses and the Old Testament prophets, as well as the Apostles in the New Testament, all teach that one should keep the Ten Commandments, which includes the Sabbath.
3. The New Testament teaches that the Ten Commandments should be kept. The New and Old Testaments speak with one voice on this issue.
4. Christ works in the heart of the believer the will of God. Yet the Decalogue, the Covenant, expresses directly the will of God. Therefore, Christ works in the heart of the believer to create the desire to keep the Sabbath.
5. The Sabbath commandment is one of the longest commandments in the Decalogue, which indicates its importance.
6. Faith in Christ does not abolish the law (Romans 3:31) but rather through Christ we are able to uphold the law. This includes the Sabbath.
7. Even before Moses it is said that the Patriarchs kept the Commandments. If by this was meant the Decalogue, it must have included the Sabbath.
8. According to the New Testament (James 2:10), if you break one of the commandments, you are guilty of breaking them all. This indicates the importance of observing the Sabbath.
9. It is to be understood that when Paul or any of the Apostles referred to one or two of the laws, this was a customary abbreviation. They were referring to the whole of the Decalogue.
10. Paul and all of the New Testament Apostles held their meetings for worship on the Sabbath.
11. While the Sabbath is mentioned repeatedly in the New Testament, there is no mention of Sunday. (Fischer said that if Sunday were spoken of in the New Testament as the Sabbath, he would gladly hold the Sunday.)
12. Christians and Jews have much in common-they worship the same God, and both insist that this God is the only true God. Christians furthermore believe that salvation has come through the Jews, True, Christians are not Jews. Nevertheless, Christians should welcome Sabbath worship as another point of commonality with Jews.
13. Christ, the apostles and all of the earliest church fathers taught Sabbath worship.
14. It was Pope Victor and the Emperor Constantine who instituted and decreed Sunday worship. God instituted and decreed Sabbath worship.
15. All Christian assemblies for many years after the time of Christ met on the Sabbath.
16. The will of God (Ecclesiasticus 1; Baruch 4) is eternal and therefor independent of any written form of God’s law.
17. Because the fifth commandment is called “the first commandment with a promise” (Ephesians 6:2), it is improper to place the first four commandments (which include the Sabbath) in the context of promise and fulfillment.
18. The Holy Spirit works in the believer the commandments of God.
19. It is exactly the “New Creature in Christ” who will keep the commandments of God.
20. The Sabbath should be kept out of love for God. The motivation is love, not servitude.
21. The Spirit of Christ works in the believer “ all good works.” Therefore, the believer will not forsake the Sabbath.
22. Only Christ is truly free for sin, death, hell and duty to the law. But Christ fulfills that law in the heart of the believer, and the believer is therefore also free from the oppressiveness of the law, for he will follow the law out of joy and not out of compulsion.
23. The teachings of Jesus and those of the apostles must be read in light of Ecclesiasticus 1. Therefore, when the Scriptures speak of the will and commands of God, they always mean the Ten Commandments. Where the Sabbath is not specifically mentioned, it was left out only for the sake brevity; references to a spiritual Sabbath are allegory; when Paul wrote that love fulfills the law (Romans 13), he meant that we will and obey the law out of love; James 2:8ff. refers to the Decalogue; when in Ephesians 2:10 the believer in Christ is said to be a creation of God for doing good works that were prepared beforehand, this can only mean the Decalogue.
24. The “natural law” is nothing other than the Decalogue. Paul used this natural law (1 Corinthians 5) to admonish the man involved with his father’s wife, yet Paul is called the servant of the Spirit and not the servant of the letter. Therefore, his appeal to the Decalogue in the form of the natural law proves that it was not his intention that the Decalogue be thrown out as “written law.”
25. Only the priestly law has been superseded. This is what the New Testament refers to whenever it speaks of the law having been abolished. Likewise, the council in Acts 15 dealt only with the issues of the priestly, ceremonial law. Likewise Hebrews 7 refers only to the Priestly Law.
26. Christians must come to Christ in both body and soul together. You cannot be constantly separating the “inner” from the “outer.” Therefore, the “Sabbath of faith” must be seen as allegory and does not mean at all that the Sabbath should not be held externally.”
These reasons both build our faith in keeping the Sabbath and give us important perspectives to share with others about Sabbath keeping.
Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President – www.biblesabbath.org