Pentecost Proves the Sabbath

Pentecost Proves the Sabbath

by Kelly McDonald, Jr,

In Leviticus chapter 23, God revealed a series of celebrations to be observed throughout the year. One of them is called Pentecost. It also goes by other names such as Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, and First fruits (of the wheat harvest). It is a unique festival in two aspects. Firstly, it is the only holy day that does not fall on a specific day of the Hebrew Calendar. Instead, we must calculate its timing. Secondly, we must know when the weekly Sabbath occurs.

The verses about this celebration are found in Leviticus chapter 23:15-22. We will look at a few of these verses: “15 And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord…21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.”

Notice that Pentecost is the day after the seventh weekly Sabbath from Unleavened Bread. This means it always occurs on the first day of the week. Any church body who celebrates Pentecost on Sunday is acknowledging that the true Sabbath is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. This includes the Catholic Church. Some of their authors and clergy have admitted this!

John Laux, an author of textbooks for Catholic schools, wrote: “If we consulted the Bible only, we should still have to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is, Saturday, with the Jews, instead of Sunday…” (Laux, p 51).

John Gibbons, a Catholic Cardinal, wrote: “But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify” (Gibbons, pp 72-73).

The Catholic Church acknowledges the timing of the Biblical Sabbath. Any church that celebrates Pentecost on Sunday reflects the same belief. Pentecost proves the Sabbath.

Kelly McDonald, Jr, BSA President

www.biblesabbath.org

History of the Sabbath

Andrews History
History of the Sabbath

By J.N. Andrews

This one of the most important books ever written on the Sabbath. Andrews traces the Biblical and secular history of the seventh-day Sabbath, and the origin of first-day observance. It is a vigorous scriptural and historical defense of the Sabbath.

In this book, you will find convincing evidence to settle this long-drawn controversy between Sabbath and Sunday. You will be amazed to see the kinds of arguments and ways in which Sunday defenders tried to make it sacred – and how flawed these arguments are.

A thorough examination is essential for everyone to take a stand on this question. The evidence is here. May God grant you a willing heart, in order that you may stand by His side and His people, regardless of temporal consequences, for it is written, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

To order this thorough and exception book, click the link below!

https://biblesabbath.org/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=4&=SID

Ignatius and the Sabbath

Ignatius and the Sabbath

by Bob Thiel

“This is the second part of a multi-part series explaining why certain early documents that are claimed against the seventh-day Sabbath are misunderstood and not actually against it.

Many on the internet and elsewhere, have pointed to some basically 19th century translations of certain ancient documents in an attempt to support their contention that Sunday was observed early on by the original Christians. But do they support such?

Perhaps the most commonly cited major claim in favor of early Sunday worship is from Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians…”

(this article is an excerpt from the January-February 2015 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)

To read the rest of this article, which starts on page 18, click this link: http://biblesabbath.org/media/May-June2016.pdf

Understanding Colossians 2:15-17

Understanding Colossians 2:15-17
by Kelly McDonald, Jr.

In Colossians 2:15-17, Paul wrote “15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival [feast day] or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” (NKJV)

In this excerpt from Colossians, Paul proclaims our triumph over the forces of evil through Jesus Christ. He then shifts to explain that due to Christ’s victory over the enemy, we should not let anyone judge us in food and drink. The Greek word translated as food is brosis; it refers to food defined by Leviticus 11.

Paul then takes this attitude towards food and applies it to certain days. The word “regarding” in verse 16 is translated from two Greek words: en meros. En means inside of and meros means your share or participation in something. The believers in Colossae were eating and drinking during special times. Three specific kinds of times are mentioned: festival, new moon, and Sabbaths.

Some have used this verse to say that we can make any day a festival or Sabbath and no one can pass judgment on us. How do we go about understanding the terms festival, new moons, and Sabbath? How do we define them?

When we read the Bible, context is key. There are different kinds of context. One of the main forms of context is comparing all verses in the Bible on a given subject. Some people call this “using the Bible to interpret the Bible.” This type of research will generate many references and allow us to better grasp the subject.

It is imperative to understand that the entire Old Testament is the background material for the New Testament. When the apostolic authors, such as Paul, use certain terms they often are derived from their uses in the Old Testament. This is especially true with the subject matter we are considering. The Feast Days, New Moon Celebrations, and the Sabbath are mentioned together multiple times before Paul wrote Colossians 2.  I have listed three below:

I Chron. 23:31

“and at every presentation of a burnt offering to the Lord on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons and on the set feasts, by number according to the ordinance governing them, regularly before the Lord…”

Nehemiah 10:33

“…for the showbread, for the regular grain offering, for the regular burnt offering of the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the set feasts; for the holy things, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God.”

Ezekiel 45:17a

“Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths…”

Thus, we can see that these three special days are used together in the Old Testament. By the time Paul used these terms in his letter to Colossae, a context of meaning already existed. This does not allow us the opportunity to twist or change the meaning based upon what we want the verse to say, but how the Bible has already defined these terms.

The Greek words used for each of these three celebrations bears witness to this as well. The Greek word translated as festival is heorte. It is used 27 times in the New Testament; all of them reference the feast days in Leviticus chapter 23. Paul uses the verb form of heorte in I Corinthians 5:8 to instruct the Corinthians to keep Passover and Unleavened Bread.

The Greek word translated as New Moon is noumenia; it is only used once in the New Testament. It refers to the New Moon celebrations [while these are mentioned in Numbers 28:11-15, we do not have a lot of information about them]. Finally, the Greek word translated as Sabbath is sabbaton, and it is translated as Sabbath or Sabbaths.

Thus, the Colossians were partaking in Biblically approved food and drink during God’s appointed times. Other people were judging them FOR their participation in them! This is absolute proof that the early Christians celebrated them. Another question which arises in this discussion is as follows: Why were they being judged for Biblical behavior?

Colossae was a city in Asia Minor. This area of the world had been influenced by the Greek thought for centuries before Paul lived. A common philosophy among the Greeks was called asceticism. Asceticism is the belief that spirituality could only come through abstinence from things in life that were physically enjoyable – such as certain kinds of food. Thus, these enjoyable behaviors were considered morally wrong. Some ascetics treated their bodies harshly; they viewed it as a way to subdue their carnal desires as a preparation for spiritual experiences. Some thought angels could be seen through rigorous asceticism. Unfortunately, this man-made philosophy was present among the Colossian congregation.

To confirm this detail further, we will apply another kind of Biblical context. This method involves reading the rest of the chapter, which is verses 18-23: “18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”

These verses display obvious references to asceticism. Paul references spiritual experiences, including the worship of angels. Next, he references the doctrines and commandments of men (not the doctrines and commandments of God). Lastly, he describes their neglect of the body. The human teaching of asceticism cannot truly overcome the desires of the flesh; it temporarily restrains them.

In the Bible, the Festivals of Leviticus 23 and the seventh-day Sabbath are the most joyous times of celebration and feasting. The believers were eating the nicest foods and drinks available. The ascetics judged the Colossian believers for physical enjoyment during God’s appointed celebrations.

Paul concludes verses 15-17 by saying that these celebrations “…are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” The Greek word translated as substance is soma. It means body. These special times have past and future meaning [the shadow]. But a shadow only exists when light shines on a body. Paul explains that these days are more than just shadows; their true purpose belongs to Christ’s body. In other words, they are part of Him! In Leviticus 23:2, they are called the Feasts of the LORD.

In conclusion, Paul wrote that we should let no one judge us FOR celebrating these special times. Christ followed them on earth. If Peter’s shadow could heal a man, how much more can the shadow of Christ empower us and strengthen His body! This gives Christians yet another reason to celebrate them.

Kelly is President of the Bible Sabbath Association (BSA). www.biblesabbath.org

The Ten Commandments Twice Removed

Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments Twice Removed

By Danny Shelton and Shelly Quinn

Has the church been guilty of discarding the Decalogue?

A backlash of attention to the Ten Commandments–unleashed by recent U.S. court rulings–rallied Christians in defense of its public display. Amid the cresendo of concern, a lone voice vies for attention, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Is our defense of the Ten Commandments triggered simply by a sentimental interest of Christian culture? Is it posssible the Church stands before God as guilty as our government for discarding the Decalogue? With unflinching conviction, the authors join their voices with great Christian leaders like Billy Graham, D. L. Moody, John Wesley, and Charles Spurgeon, to trumpet the truth– God never revoked His Ten Commandments!

This book answers critical questions with compelling clarity and Bible evidence. Did the Ten Commandment exist before Mt. Sinae? Were they nailed to the cross? How do we de-mystify Paul’s writings about the Law? Does man have authority to change God’s law?

Click the link below to order this book!
https://biblesabbath.org/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=28&=SID

 

Sabbath Meditation #8 – The Breath of God

Sabbath Meditation #8 – The Breath of God

by Kelly McDonald, Jr

“The LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).

“Six days thou shalt do thy work and on the seventh day thou shalt rest. That thine ox and ass shall rest and the son of thy handmaid and the stranger may be refreshed” (Exodus 23:12).

In Genesis 2:7, we learn that God blew within man the breath of life, and he became a living soul. The Hebrew word translated as soul is nephesh. It refers to the biochemical processes that make us alive. This same word is used of the animal life (Gen. 1:20, 21, 24, 30). Even the fishes are nephesh-es!

However, God created man differently than other animals. The nephesh of mankind was initiated by a breath from Him. At this same moment, God also placed a human spirit within man. “But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding” (Job 32:8). This human spirit grants us understanding and allows us to have contact with God. It sets us apart from other animal life.

In Exodus chapter 23, God reminded us to honor the Sabbath so that we may be refreshed. The Hebrew word translated as refreshed is naphash. It means to be breathed upon or refreshed (as if by a current of air). It is the root word for nephesh.

In Exodus 31:17, this same word is used in reference to God being refreshed on Sabbath: “…the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed”. In John 4:24, Jesus told us that God is Spirit. While God is a Spiritual being, He was still ‘breathed upon’ or refreshed on the Sabbath.

As we meditate on these verses, we learn a deeper reason for the Sabbath. This special day has been empowered by God to provide a breath to refresh us physically, biochemically, and spiritually.

No other day of the week can provide this special impartation. Even God, who is Spirit and never changes, experienced this breath or refreshing.

These details grant us tremendous insight into the Sabbath commandment. We can now better understand why the instruction to honor the Sabbath is often repeated in the Bible and the gravity of honoring it.

The Sabbath is the only day with a breath from God that refreshes the breath God placed within mankind. Your nephesh and your spirit were created to receive this special current of air from God. The simple rules in the Bible that guide our observance of the Sabbath position us to receive it.

If the original breath from God in Genesis gave us life, what will His breath do for you every week on Sabbath?

Selah.

Kelly McDonald, Jr  –  BSA President www.biblesabbath.org

How to Keep the Sabbath Holy

How to Keep Sabbath
How to Keep the Sabbath Holy
by Doug Batchelor

What does it really mean to keep the Sabbath holy? How should we prepare for it in our homes, keep it in our churches, and live it fully in our hearts? Do our attitudes about the Sabbath matter to God as much as our actions?

Pastor Doug Batchelor invites you on an inspiring and practical Bible journey that will help you learn how to capture all the blessings God has packaged into the fourth commandment. A small book packed with a lot of wisdom.

To order this practical book on honoring the Sabbath, click the link below:

https://biblesabbath.org/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=108&=SID

 

Seventy years of BIBLE SABBATH ASSOCIATION: 1945 to 2015

Seventy years of BIBLE SABBATH ASSOCIATION

1945 to 2015

By Calvin Burrell
“The Bible Sabbath Association (BSA) has a 70-year history of bringing God’s people together across the lines of doctrinal and denominational difference that too often divide them.

The founders of BSA, George A. Main and his wife Mabel D. Main, were members of the Seventh Day Baptist Church. The first BSA office was in their home in Pomona Park, Florida, for more than ten years (1945-1955).

The longest-serving editor of BSA’s The Sabbath Sentinel magazine was Eugene Lincoln, a Seventh Day Adventist Church member from Indiana, Michigan and Maryland. His quarter-century as BSA editor was from 1960 until 1985, and he also served a term as BSA President.
The longest tenure for any BSA secretary-treasurer was a Church of God (Seventh Day) couple—Lawrence and Lottie Burrell. They served from their farm home near Fairview, Oklahoma, the national BSA office address from 1955 until 1995. The BSA service of the Mains, Lincoln, and the Burrells was mostly or all voluntary, a true labor of love.

More recently, servant leadership in the BSA has been provided by several persons who came from a Worldwide Church of God background and experience. These include Richard Wiedenheft, Ken Westby, Richard and Shirley Nickels, and others….”

(this article is an excerpt from the January-February 2015 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)

To read the rest of this article, which starts on page 3, click this link: http://biblesabbath.org/media/TSS_2015_Jan-Feb.pdf

 

 

How to Spend More Time with the Man from Galilee

How to Spend More Time with the Man from Galilee

by Aimee Zahora

 

(via GIPHY)

Many know that the man from Galilee is none other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Some might agree that spending time with this guy brings benefits. But, how? How can we spend more time with the man from Galilee. Below are four practices that I attempt to follow. These practices have brought me unquantifiable spiritual richness.

First Thing in the Morning: Musical Meditation

For most of my life, I would bounce out of bed a millisecond after my alarm buzzed through the silence and rush around in the fast lane to get stuff done. Over the past few months, a more gentle approach debuted in my conscience, making those initial waking moments soft and serene.

Meditation through music helps me connect with God. Focusing on Him and being still — listening for His inspiration — changes the course of my day. My awareness of what truly matters and my perception of simple beauty — birds, flowers, sunshine, etc. — intensifies.

Two of my favorite musical selections that resonate with me include Give Me Jesus by Danny Gokey and Psalm 34 by Shane and Shane.

Tune in to Powerful Sermons All Day

Whether you are exercising, taking a mental break over lunch, or winding down at the end of the day, be intentional about tuning into powerful sermons throughout the day. Below are three series-style sermons that have increased my spiritual prosperity.

If series aren’t your cup of tea, here are two stellar stand-alones.

Write Down the Good Things That Happened to You Today

A friend recently introduced me to the Thankful app. It provides a convenient method for electronically capturing a few concepts that express gratitude on a daily basis. The practice of gratitude is a simple game-changer to transform one’s mental trajectory.

Pictured below are a couple of my recent entries. I find it refreshing to look back at my entries every couple days or weeks. Not only am I amazed at how much I would have forgotten had I not documented it, but also my spirit renews through the review process.

Pray for an Open, Loving Heart and God’s Will

Spending time with the man from Galilee in prayer and meditation changes the course of life. Whether praying for specifics or big picture items, the intimacy of prayer enables soul restoration and divine guidance.

Personally, I am in the midst of a unique time of life. I have chosen to radically alter the course of my life to follow God more passionately. That choice includes ordering my day in ways that energize rather than deplete. Besides making a cross-state physical move from the north to the south, I am embarking on a new career.

Perhaps there are few times in life where we have the opportunity to be radical. Or, maybe opportunities present themselves many times, but we have to be in tune with God’s Will to perceive those opportunities. In any case, when the awareness comes, it’s time to act. Whatever stage of life you find yourself in, I encourage you to pray fervently for an open, loving heart — one that aligns with God Will. My experience has shown it to be fulfilling beyond measure.

Aimee Zahora is a Sabbath and Holy Day keeping follower of The Way and blogger on topics that ignite the Spirit. She is a member of the United Church of God.

Tags: man from Galilee, musical meditation, inspiration, powerful sermons, thankful, gratitude, prayer, opportunity

Did the Resurrection have any impact on the Sabbath?


Did the Resurrection have any impact on the Sabbath?

By Kelly McDonald, Jr.

Some claim that the resurrection of Christ changed the Sabbath. There are some problems with this assertion.

First of all, there is not a single verse in the New Testament that states “The Sabbath was changed by the resurrection”. The authors of the New Testament never make a claim similar to it. The Sabbath was established in Genesis and continues into the New Heavens and New Earth (Isaiah 66:22-24).

To learn more about the relationship between the resurrection and the Sabbath, we must read the book of Acts. In this vital book, we learn the teachings of the Apostles and the practice of their faith. In it, we will find vital clues to resolving this issue. We have some examples below.

Acts 13:13-15

“13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”

Pisidian Antioch is in the region known as Galatia. Paul wrote an entire letter to the churches in this region (the letter to the Galatians). We can clearly see that Paul practiced the Sabbath; he was also asked to speak when he was there. Let’s look at the content of his message.

Acts 13:28-31

“28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30 But God raised him from the dead: 31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.”

Paul focused his message on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. After preaching on Christ’s death and resurrection, not once did he mention it changing the day of rest away from the Sabbath. No alternative day to Sabbath is given. How did those in attendance respond to Paul’s message?

Acts 13:42-45, 48

“42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.… 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed..”

After hearing the message of Jesus’ resurrection, the Gentiles wanted to hear more about Jesus on the next Sabbath.  They never insinuated that this message would change or alter the Sabbath in any way. Verse 42 also refutes another common argument which states the Sabbath was changed for Gentiles. Clearly there is no connection between the resurrection message and the Sabbath being changed. But, there is another important detail to learn from these verses.

In verse 43, Paul taught them to continue in the grace of God. In verse 44, they met on the Sabbath with Jews AND Gentiles. He taught them about grace as they obeyed the Sabbath. This proves that grace and Law are not contradictory concepts. Gentiles were present and believed in Jesus.

Acts 17:1-4

“1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: 2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. 4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.”

In Acts 17, Paul preached in the city of Thessalonica. The writer of Acts is clear to point out that Paul’s manner or custom was to attend the synagogue on Sabbath. Greeks also attended to hear the message – and many them believed. In fact, a larger number of Greeks believed in Jesus than the Jewish people (only some of them believed). The resurrection of Jesus was the main content of Paul’s message; the Sabbath remained unchanged.

If the resurrection had such an obvious and unmistakable impact on the Sabbath – so important that the whole world must know – then why wouldn’t the first disciples receive and spread that message? You would think that Jewish people would especially need to hear this, right? Keep in mind – there is not a single verse in the New Testament that applies the resurrection to a change to the Sabbath.

Since this content was not addressed at all in the New Testament, then the authors never intended to convey any change to Sabbath observance.

When we hear people give reasons why they think the Sabbath has been changed or is no longer relevant, none of their reasons are found in the New Testament.

When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth, He honored the Sabbath. It was His routine observance. He chose this day, above all others, to fulfill the verses in Isaiah concerning the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 14:17-21). Jesus also said the following:

“27…The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27b-28).

In these two verses, Christ declared that the Sabbath was made for man – not for Jews or Israelites. It was established in Genesis 2:1-3 before God made any distinction of nations. He also proclaimed that He was Lord of the Sabbath. It is the only day of the week over which He proclaimed Himself Lord.

The resurrection had no impact on the Sabbath.

Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President – www.biblesabbath.org