Law of God 

 

 

 

 

 

How much do I love you?

 

Let me count the ways...

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1.   I will have no other gods.

2.   I will not make or bow down to any image.

3.   I will not dishonor you and your name.

4.   I will remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

5.   I will honor my father and mother.

6.   I will not murder.

7.   I will not commit adultery.

8.   I will not steal.

9.   I will not lie.

10. I will not covet what belongs to my neighbor.

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Reasons for Sunday are not Biblical #2

by Bill Wong

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church in the Catechism of Trent also uses Colossians 2:16-17 to try to justify why  it "thought it well" to create a Sunday observance to override God's 7th day Sabbath.

 

 

Reason #2 – Colossians 2:16-17 (“shadow and substance”)

 

 

This is what Colossians 2:16-17 states:

 

Colossians 2:

16   Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17   Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.   (KJV)

 

 

But as we have just read in Galatians, God’s Sabbath is not weak or worthless or an elementary thing of this world. The Bible truth shows that Colossians goes much, much further to make it clear that the Sabbath or anything from God is not called an elementary principle of the world:

 

Colossians 2:

8     See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men,

     according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

 

18   Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels,

     taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

19   and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments,

     grows with a growth which is from God.

20   If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world,

     do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,

21   "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"

22   (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)--in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

23   These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and

     self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.     (NASB)

 

 

We can see that the elementary things of this world are contrary to Christ (verse 8 and 20), who is the Lord of the Sabbath and so, once again, cannot be referring to the Sabbath.

 

If we read carefully, we see that the apostle Paul again is actually indicting the Roman Catholic Church as the one which is fleshly and lives according to the elemental principles of the world. It is the Roman Catholic Church which has various un-Biblical religious “solemn” practices, engages in observing visions, worships angels and has set procedures to tell its believers what to refrain from and even what to eat (eg: Lent)?

 

 

So what does Colossians 2:16-17 mean? Christianity today has been taught that it means the Sabbath should no longer be observed, because the Sabbath is just a foreshadow, but Christ is the actual thing.

 

The reader should note the difference between Catholic and Protestant thinking on this regard. The Roman Catholic Church believes in their version of the 10 Commandments, but not the Sabbath and God’s version of the 10 Commandments. Protestants generally do not believe that the 10 Commandments are binding at all including the Sabbath. Both use Colossians 2:16-17 as the primary reason to support their views and worship on Sunday.

 

There are two problems with using these verses to try and do away with God’s Sabbath as binding to Christians.

 

 

A. )   The view that what foreshadows something, the Sabbath, is rendered obsolete at the coming of Jesus is not Biblical.   The Sabbath is symbolic of the eternal rest in Jesus Christ our Lord. This eternal rest did not come when Jesus came in the flesh almost 2000 years ago. This eternal rest is still future as we can all attest. This means that the foreshadowing observance of God’s Sabbath is still in force until that eternal rest arrives.

 

A perfect example of this is the Passover. Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God. Jesus being the Passover Lamb is perhaps the ultimate foreshadowing in the Bible. Yet the Bible tells us we should still be observing the Passover:

 

1 Corinthians 5:

7     Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.

      For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

8     Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness,

      but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.   (NASB)

 

We know that Jesus was sacrificed as our Passover almost 2000 years ago, so why is Paul still telling Christians they should be observing the Passover (and Feast of Unleavened Bread)? The answer is that the fulfillment of the Passover symbolism has not yet been completed. This is the same thing as the Sabbath.

 

Remember, Jesus Christ is all things to us as God has ordained. This means as the Passover Lamb of God and the Lord of the Sabbath, we are to observe these days as God commanded. When will the Sabbath and Passover be finally complete? At the very least, only when God’s plan of salvation has ended for all mankind. We must note, however, that the Bible does not actually tell us that observance will stop in eternity.

 

So the rationale that Christianity tries to use to do away with the Sabbath (and the Passover) for Christians in Colossians 2:16-17 is not correct or Biblical.

 

 

B. )  Deliberate modification of the text and hiding the true meaning of verse 17.          

 

This is how it reads in older translations of the Bible:

 

  Colossians 2:

16   Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17   Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.   (KJV)

 

 

This is how it reads in newer translations of the Bible:

 

Colossians 2:

16   So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

17   which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.   (NKJV)

 

 

However, this is how it should read if it was translated correctly without bias:

 

Colossians 2:

16   Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17   Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Christ.

 

 

Please note where they differ.

 

The correct rendering “but the body of Christ” has become “but the body is of Christ” in certain translations and “but the substance is of Christ” in others. There are two things happening here.

 

First, the word “is” has been inserted in the English when it should not be.

 

Second, translators have changed the word “body” and its intended Biblical meaning in the phrase “body of Christ”.

 

When these two things are combined, it changes the meaning of the verse entirely to make it fit into, or actually create the foreshadowing and reality ideology.

 

However, it is not “substance is of Christ” (NKJV) or “substance belongs to Christ” (NASB) or “the reality, however, is found in Christ” (NIV). These are all incorrect translations which have a bias against the Sabbath interpreted into them.

 

It is simply the “body of Christ”.   When we read the Bible, it is vitally important to get the right context. The correct context can be found in the same book or another book (and most complete context is to understand the Bible as a whole), because the Bible explains itself. The apostle Paul tells us what the “body of Christ” is in the preceding chapter, Colossians 1:

 

Colossians 1:

18   He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,

     so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.   (NASB)

 

24   I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ,

     for the sake of His body, which is the church,    (NKJV)

 

 

Paul is telling us that the body of Christ is the church (the body of believers). It is the same Greek word ‘soma’ for body used in Colossians 1:18, 24 and Colossians 2:17. (Note: 1 Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 4:12 also use ‘soma’ for body in “body of Christ”)

 

The body of Christ in Colossians 2:17 is a reference to the Lord’s body – His church. It does not mean a philosophical ideology regarding foreshadowing and reality which translators try to make you believe by first inserting ‘is’ and then changing the word ‘body’ to ‘substance’. It means the body of Christ – His church, and not a supposed “reality” is Christ.

 

So what is Paul telling the Colossians?   He is telling the body of Christ in Colosse (the Colossian church) that only the body of Christ can and should judge its own matters; the body of Christ should not allow others/outsiders to judge them or make decisions for them regarding the Sabbath and the holy days/feasts of God.

 

This is not the first time Paul has warned a church that they must not allow outsiders or non-believers to have a say or have any authority in their affairs. The church is set apart by God and must not be subject to the whims and decisions of those who do not obey God’s will. Only God’s people can judge God’s people. If we will one day judge angels, it is an impossibility that we should allow ourselves to be judged by unbelievers now.

 

This message is echoed in the Corinthian church:

 

1 Corinthians 6:

1     Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?2    Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you,

     are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

3     Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

4     So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?

5     I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,

6     but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?     (NASB)

 

 

The fact that the Colossians are told to not allow unbelievers to affect what they are to do in regards to the Sabbath and feasts means that the Colossians observed the Sabbath and feasts, which is exactly what we read about Christians in item ‘A’ above when the apostle Paul tells us to observe the Passover.

 

Why does Paul have to keep reminding Christians to not be influenced by unbelieving pagans and others? Because those who imitate Christ are not of the world, but the ones who seek to influence us are of the world. They are of the elementary principles of the world, and not of God, but we are of God:

 

John 15:

19   If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.   (NKJV)

 

John 17:

14   I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

15   I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.   (NKJV)

 

 

Those who are of God must not fall away, because “bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33) and we must “keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

 

 

We read earlier that Paul warns the Colossians to keep away from the elementary principles of the world:

 

Colossians 2:

8     See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men,

     according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ   (NASB)

 

 

We see that empty philosophy and deception and the traditions of men are considered elementary principles of the world that the believer should stay away from. The elementary things of the world are opposite of Christ and the Christian.

 

What is of Christ? It is the Sabbath – He is the Lord of the Sabbath. The Christian must stand according to Christ and not allow pagans to do the thinking for them and tell them what to do according to the elementary things of the world and not according to God’s will.

 

The true meaning of Colossians 2:16-17 which is “but the body of Christ” and not “but the substance is of Christ”, can be seen from the verses immediately before and after it.

 

 

In Colossians 2:

 

6     Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

7     having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed,

     and overflowing with gratitude.

 

Comment: Paul says the believer should walk as Christ did and be firmly rooted in Jesus and His truth.

 

 

  8     See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men,

       according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ  

 

Comment: Paul warns since we are built up in Christ, Christians are not to believe the philosophy and deception of the traditions of men which are of the world and not Christ.  

 

 

9     For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

10   and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

11   and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands,

      in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;

12   having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God,

     who raised Him from the dead.

13   When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him,

     having forgiven us all our transgressions,

14   having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us;

     and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

15   When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

 

Comment: Paul then describes the awesome person of Christ. He reminds us how we are now one with Him, being committed to Him as our Lord and Redeemer. He tells us of the Lord Jesus’ great sacrifice to forgive us and save us from the penalty of our sins. This sacrifice is also a victory over the enemy and what is not of God, but of the world. Note verse 10: in Him we are made complete and He is the head of everything.

 

 

16   Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--

17   things which are a shadow of what is to come; but the body of Christ.

 

Comment: Notice the transition: immediately after praising Christ and how we are His and built up in Him, Paul then uses the word ‘therefore’ in verse 16. Which means, since we belong to Christ and we are the body and He is the head (as seen in Colossians 1:18), we must not let those who are not His – those who belong to the elementary principles of the world, affect us – the body of Christ, in what we do. Specifically: since we are the body of Christ, “therefore no one is to act” as our judge in the observance of the Sabbath and feasts of God; it is something only God’s people do amongst themselves.

 

 

18   Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels,

     taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

19   and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments,

     grows with a growth which is from God.

20   If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world,

      do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,

21   "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"

22   (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)--in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

23   These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and

      self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

 

 

Comment: Notice the transition again. In order to contrast the body of Christ and the Sabbath as what is holy to God which outsiders must not be allowed to dictate what we are to do, Paul then lists some of the things that these deceivers do which are the traditions of men and according to elementary principles of the world and not of Christ, and which we, the body of Christ, must absolutely avoid.

 

Again, Sabbath observance is not an elementary thing of the world, but it is God’s will. Paul contrasts the Sabbath as being set apart and opposite of the elementary things of the world. The Sabbath is opposite of philosophy, empty deception and the tradition of men.

 

Paul’s message in Colossians 2 is that we must hold fast to what is true. We must not allow unbelievers or deceivers to sway us or deceive us into doing what is not right. The Sabbath is God’s commandment. The Lord Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. The Bible commands no observation of Sunday.

 

What Colossians 2 really tells us is the opposite of what those who try to do away with God’s Sabbath believe or want it to say. Those who are the body of Christ with Christ as our head, will not allow those who are not of the body, decide for us what we are to do regarding the Sabbath. These outsiders will use philosophy, deception, the traditions of men, and worldly things to convince the body of Christ to do wrong and disobey God’s will.

 

No amount of human argument and a creation of man, which is what Sunday and its rationale are, should deceive us into going against the will of God. God is all-knowing and all-wise. He is above what we can ever imagine.

And so are His commandments. They should not be ignored and overruled by commandments of men.

God is eternal and so are His commandments, which is a reflection of the will and holiness of God.

 

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church says the Bible changed the Sabbath to Sunday

 

The Roman Catholic Church then proceeds to state the following which refer to the other two Biblical verses:

 

“The Jewish Sabbath Changed To Sunday By The Apostles

 

The Apostles therefore resolved to consecrate the first day of the week to the divine worship, and called it the Lord's day. St. John in the Apocalypse makes mention of the Lord's day; and the Apostle commands collections to be made on the first day of the week, that is, according to the interpretation of St. Chrysostom, on the Lord's day. From all this we learn that even then the Lord's day was kept holy in the Church.”

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church states as fact that the apostles created the Lord’s Day for worship, but this is not true. The apostles never conferred with one another to create a new day of worship or to call such a thing “the Lord’s Day”. There is no such commandment in the Bible that says Sunday is a new day of worship, much less that it is called the Lord’s Day. Such a statement by the Roman Catholic Church is a complete work of fiction which it composes by itself and for itself, declaring to all people that it has no shame and cannot be trusted with anything that comes out of its “mouth”.

 

The real fact is that the Roman Catholic Church proves itself to be a liar, because though it claims here that the apostles consecrated Sunday for worship as the Lord’s day, the Roman Catholic Church contradicts itself when it proudly boasts elsewhere that the Bible and the apostles absolutely did not create Sunday worship, but the Catholic Church did it all by itself.

 

Given below are statements showing the deception the Roman Catholic Church has created and put upon all believers to blind them to God’s truth:

 

“Question: How prove you that the church had power to command feasts and holydays?
“Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.


“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?

“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; -she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day of the week, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” - Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism On the Obedience Due to the Church, 3rd edition, Chapter 2, p. 174 (Imprimatur, John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York).

 

“Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change (Saturday Sabbath to Sunday) was her act...And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical authority in religious things.” - H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Catholic Cardinal James Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, Md.

 

 

“I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” - Father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802.

 

 

“Sunday is founded, not of scripture, but on tradition, and is distinctly a Catholic institution. As there is no scripture for the transfer of the day of rest from the last to the first day of the week, Protestants ought to keep their Sabbath on Saturday and thus leave Catholics in full possession of Sunday.” - Catholic Record, September 17, 1893

 

 

“Sunday is a Catholic institution and its claim to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles...From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.” - Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August 1900.

 

 

“Is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? 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.” - Catholic Cardinal James Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, 1917 edition., pp. 72-73.

 

 

“Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day - Saturday - for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes. Did Christ change the day’? I answer no!


“Faithfully yours, J. Card. Gibbons.” - Catholic Cardinal James Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, Md., in a signed letter.

“Sunday is our mark or authority...the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” - Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.

 

 

“Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday.... Now the Church instituted, by God's authority, Sunday as the day of worship." - Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About, 1927 ed., p. 136.

 

 

“From this we may understand how great is the authority of the church in interpreting or explaining to us the commandments of God - an authority which is acknowledged by the universal practice of the whole Christian world, even of those sects which profess to take the holy Scriptures as their sole rule of faith, since they observe as the day of rest not the seventh day of the week demanded by the Bible, but the first day. Which we know is to be kept holy, only from the tradition and teaching of the Catholic church.” - Henry Gibson, Catechism Made Easy, #2, 9th edition, vol. 1, p. 341-342.

 

 

"If we consulted the Bible only, we should still have to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is, Saturday." - John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies, 1936 ed., vol. 1, p. 51.

 

 

“For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.” - Catholic Virginian, article “To Tell You the Truth”, October 3, 1947, p. 9.

 

 

So we see that the Roman Catholic Church has lied in its catechisms and only after the damage has been done and the lie has succeeded in blinding people to the truth, it then confesses openly that the Bible and the apostles did not institute worship on the 1st day of the week, Sunday, but it did. By this time, many centuries have passed and this Roman Catholic tradition of Sunday worship has been deeply ingrained in the minds and practices of most believers.

 

This also shows that everything the Roman Catholic Church teaches cannot be trusted. Of special note is the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope, which is the head of Roman Catholicism. Is he really infallible if he teaches lies? Unless the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church are infallible liars?

 

Though the Roman Catholic Church has already declared to all that it is a liar and the Bible and the apostles had no role in creating a Sunday worship day, let us still proceed to address its remaining points in the Catechism of Trent that the Bible did create Sunday worship.

 

 

 

Please read the next article in the series -  'Reasons for Sunday not Biblical - Reason #3'



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