Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.


All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see sermons down the left hand column of the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
Featured Sermon -

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The sabbath day under attack again

Social development minister Alex Attwood has said it is time to take a fresh look at the current 1pm to 6pm restrictions for larger shops in Northern Ireland. In doing so he hopes to boost the economy, benefit tourism and encourage regeneration of towns and city centres. Read the whole article here

The idea that extra opening hours will boost the economy, etc. is simply ludicrous. There will be no extra money spent by shoppers. It will just be spread over a longer shopping period. What is spent in larger shops will be taken away from smaller ones. There are also all the additional costs associated with longer opening hours.

Sadly this is simply another attack upon the sanctity of the Lord's day. The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. We are commanded to: Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Man is robbing God when he takes the sabbath day and uses it for himself instead of setting it aside for the worship of the Lord. 

Sabbath desecration comes at a cost. The spiritual, physical and material well being of people will be aversely affected by neglecting the sabbath day. The closing chapter of Nehemiah illustrates the point very effectively:

In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.
There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?
Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy, Nehemiah 13:15-22
.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

But we don't live in OT times any more...

The Lord's day and sabbath are different.

In Christ we have rest.

Rev Brian McClung said...

We certainly don't live in Old Testament times but we do still live under the moral law as a rule of life.

The Lord's day is the Christian sabbath. They are one and the same. The sabbath day under went a change to mark Christ resting from the work of redemption as the OT sabbath marked God resting from the work of creation.

The Old Testament economy post Sinai had additional 'sabbaths', eg. the sabbath of the land and other days associated with certain feasts.

The fourth commandment to remember the sabbath day is part of the moral law which is a reflection of God's nature and predates the civil or ceremonial law given to Moses and Israel at Mt Sinai.

This is obvious from the opening words of the fourth commandment which commanded those gathered at Mt Sinai to 'remember' the sabbath day to keep it holy. You can't remember that of which you haven't previously been told. It implies that the requirement to keep a sabbath predates Sinai.

This is to be expected as the Moral law can never be set aside and is binding upon all mankind. It is the standard by which all mankind will be judged at judgment bar of God.

We certainly rest in Christ but that has no bearing on keeping the sabbath day holy. Keeping a sabbath is part of keeping Christ's commands which we are required to do as a demonstration of our love for Him, John 14:15 if ye love me, keep my commandments.

Rev Brian McClung

Anonymous said...

What if I need to take public transport to meet with the church on the Lord's day. What should I do?

Hypothetically, if I had a baby that needed milk on the sabbath, what should I do?

I actually feel terrible when I see people working on the sabbath, but where do we draw the line?

Rev Brian McClung said...

Anonymous

The New Testament sets out the two exceptions on keeping the 4th commandment - Matt 12:1-8 the works of necessity & vv 9-12 the works of mercy.

These two points are also emphasised in the explanation given in the Shorter Catechism:

Question 60: How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

Answer: The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

If your hypothetical situations fit into either of these then well and good. If not, then they are breaking the fourth commandment.

It is worth remembering that our forefathers would not have had to deal with the issue of public transport on the Sabbath or buying from a shop as both would have been closed due to widespread observance of the sabbath even among the unconverted.

Brian McClung

Anonymous said...

In Colossians 2:16-17, the apostle Paul declares, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Similarly, Romans 14:5 states, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

Rev Brian McClung said...

Anonymous

You fail to differentiate between the 'sabbaths' of the Mosaic economy and the 'sabbath day' which was established from the beginning of time.

The first text of Scripture you quote applies to the first category which indeed has been fulfilled in Christ. The mosaic sabbaths at the time of certain feasts and the sabbath of the land, etc. were indeed shadows of good things to come.

This has no bearing upon the moral law which was in force prior to Mt Sinai [see prior comment] and continues to be in force when the mosaic economy has passed away. The observance of a sabbath day is part of God's moral law and can no more be set aside than God can change. This is because the moral law is a reflection of God's nature and God's nature is unchangeable.

The second reference you mention is referring to exactly the same thing. It was developing situation in the NT Church where converted Jews were leaving behind the old economy. Many struggled with this hence the writing of the book of Hebrews to show to them these things had passed away.

Paul is saying that each one needs to be persuaded of this in their own mind. He also joins reference to the day and eating together. That would indicate that he has in mind the OT economy with its feast days.

Paul certainly isn't teaching that the moral is not binding upon a N.T. believer for he teaches that it is in the previous chapter Rom 13:8-10.

Brian McClung

Gerry said...

ah the Sabbath,

according to a free presbyterian publication called Separated unto the Gospel the sabbath is the day following six days of labour, what ever day that be.

What ever day that be.

Obviously then for someone like a market trader who takes off say a monday and tuesday so that he can maximise on the shopping habits of the general public, and I have a friend who does exactly that, according to Separated unto the Gospel the day following his six days of labour is Tuesday. And if he observes that Tuesday as his observance the Lord's Sabbath he is not doing anything wrong albeit might have to put up with the occasional christian protest outside on a Sunday.

If there are Free Presbyterian Shop owners who open for business on a Saturday I wonder how they would feel with 7th day adventist Sabbath Protests outside? Its hypothetical as I believe the 7th day adventists to be too Christian to be that Judgemental.

Regards

Gerry

Gerry said...

Rev Brian McClung said...
We certainly don't live in Old Testament times but we do still live under the moral law as a rule of life.

Off topic for 'Sabbath' but as I have only recently found your blog working through them find them very interesting.

In the centre of the Free Presbyterian open-air meeting in Belfast at the homosexual parade 2010 - photos on your blog, is a woman wearing a white trouser suit.

An Abomination according to, Deuteronomy - you said 'We certainly don't live in Old Testament times but we do still live under the moral law as a rule of life.' Morality of dress - I remember a situation when I and another member of the Gospel Hall called to assist (by arrangement) a young female member of the assembly who had just moved in to a new flat with the heavy lifting. That young lady pleaded with us before we left not to mention to anyone that she had been wearing jeans. I apart from that have never seen a Christian woman in the assemblies wearing that which pertaineth unto a man

So we have a Christian Protest with an abomination within it, protesting about another abomination - Something not right about that.

regards

Gerry

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry

It is seriously disingenuous of you to misrepresent the FPC position on the Sabbath/Lord's day.

I am going to post the whole paragraph and the link. I believe that it clearly explains what is mean by that statement. Taking a sentence out of context becomes a pretext and that is exactly what you have done.

It reads:
It should be carefully noted that the fourth commandment not only stipulates that one day in seven is the Lord’s, but it is also written in such a way as to permit the change of the actual day of the week for the observance of the Sabbath without violating the commandment itself. This commandment does not say that man is to remember “the seventh day to keep it holy,” but he is to “remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.” We point this out because of the error of many in insisting that the word sabbath means “seventh.” It does not. As already noted, the word “sabbath” means rest or cessation. The Lord simply commands us to keep holy the day of rest. Moreover, the fourth commandment does not state that “the seventh day of the week is the sabbath.” Rather, it states that “the seventh day is the sabbath.” In other words, by the term “the seventh day” the Lord speaks of the day following the six days of labor, whatever those six days of labour might be. Therefore, by this clear language, the fourth commandment was written so as to allow a change of the day for the observance of the sabbath without in any way violating the commandment.

Separated unto the Gospel - www.fpcna.org/fpcna_about_sep.asp?chapter=sep_sunday

Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry

On the issue of the photograph. The FPC does not bar anyone from coming, standing and listening to any open air. We were in the middle of Belfast on a Saturday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

How do we know whether the sabbath is ritualistic or moral?

If its ritualistic, then Ephesians 2:15 surely applies doesn't it?

Rev Brian McClung said...

Anonymous

We know it is moral because it predates the mosaic 'ritual' introduced at Mt Sinai. God's moral law didn't come into existence at Mt Sinai. As a reflection of His own nature it always existed from the beginning of time. The sabbath is one of two institutions predating the Fall. [Marriage being the other one.]

I have pointed out before the word 'Remember' at the beginning of the 4th commandment. You can't 'remember' that of which you haven't previously been told. It implies that the requirement to keep a sabbath predates Sinai. This we know to be the case from Genesis chs 1&2.

There is evidence of sabbath observance after the Fall in earlier times. The phrase in the Authorised Version: 'And in process of time it came to pass…' Gen 4:3 is translated in the margin 'at the end of days'.

This may well be a reference to the observance of the OT sabbath which came at the end of the week.

Furthermore, the NT Sabbath is in itself a shadow of the future day of rest in glory, see Heb ch 4. The Bible principle is that something does not cease unto that which it shadows comes to pass. As we still await that future day of rest then here is another reason why the 4th commandment to observe a sabbath is still binding upon us today.

Rev Brian McClung

Gerry said...

Dear Sir I disagree that I have taken anything out of context in fact just the opposite, and I am glad that you posted the whole paragraph something I could not do, due to copyright.

"It reads:
It should be carefully noted that the fourth commandment not only stipulates that one day in seven is the Lord’s, but it is also written in such a way as to permit the change of the actual day of the week for the observance of the Sabbath without violating the commandment itself"


Still no mention that it has to be a Sunday only that it is one day in seven, in other words one day of a week, so if someone like a market trader chooses 1 day in the week that follows his six days of labor he is in keeping with the Commandment so far.

This commandment does not say that man is to remember “the seventh day to keep it holy,” but he is to “remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.” We point this out because of the error of many in insisting that the word sabbath means “seventh.” It does not. As already noted, the word “sabbath” means rest or cessation. The Lord simply commands us to keep holy the day of rest.

lets assume the market trader understands that Sabbath means rest or cessation and that he does rest on that day. and that he keeps that day holy, that day not being a Sunday.

Moreover, the fourth commandment does not state that “the seventh day of the week is the sabbath.” Rather, it states that “the seventh day is the sabbath.” In other words, by the term “the seventh day” the Lord speaks of the day following the six days of labor, whatever those six days of labour might be. Therefore, by this clear language, the fourth commandment was written so as to allow a change of the day for the observance of the sabbath without in any way violating the commandment.

Again illustrating that nothing by me has been taken out of context, the over-riding context of the paragraph is that the the commandment is written in such a way to allow for a change of day without violating the commandment. In the pre-Christ era and while He walked among us the Sabbath was observed on the 7th day of the week Saturday. And the institution of the Sabbath was in relation to the week of creation, Where God worked on creation 6 days and rested on the seventh day of that week. And as you say the 4th commandment is written so as to allow a change, as the Market trader has done.

Would you not therefore agree that the market trader is wholly in keeping with the commandment and that no where does it say that it has to be a Sunday.

And would you not further agree especially as one who believes in the right to religious freedom, that the protests by certain groups to enforce their chosen day on other believers who have a differing view is an attempt to deny the very same religious freedom you hold as precious.

And would you further agree with me, now that I have pointed out that my posting was not out of context, that the the Commandment is written to allow a change of day without violation and no specific day is mentioned that such protests are more arrogance than anything else, ie, 'only our day is right' No day is mentioned in the 4th Commandment only that it is 1 day in 7.

Gerry said...

Thanks for the answer in relation to the woman dressed as Deuteronomy describes as an abomination at the Homosexual protest. On the issue of the photograph. The FPC does not bar anyone from coming, standing and listening to any open air. We were in the middle of Belfast on a Saturday afternoon.

Am I right therefore in assuming that the meeting being held against the march, a glorification of another abomination, that someone in the group will have opened their bible and pointed out to the lady the error of her way, her sin and the need for salvation, after all she is a captive audience prevented from leaving by the metal barriers around the meeting?

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry

Only someone who wants to perpetuate debate would argue that the section on the Christian Sabbath/Lord's day in 'Separated unto the Gospel' countenances a sabbath other than the last day of the week in OT times and the first day of the week in NT times.

I can't post the whole section as there is a word limit in the comment section on Blogger but I am happy to let others judge for themselves.

I enclose the link again:
www.fpcna.org/fpcna_about_sep.asp?chapter=sep_sunday

Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry

Seriously off topic again!!

It is hardly the time or the place. To contend on one front at a time is wise counsel.

But I do agree with your basic point and have preached on modesty in woman's clothing and directed those to whom I was preaching to the text in question.

Now please stay on topic!!