‘Pick & Choose’ Theology of Ray Comfort – Ten Commandments but not the 4th - Part 2
We continue the article of Ray Comfort and test his claims that the Sabbath has been done away. He includes the article "Freedom from Sabbath-Keeping" in every Evidence bible he sells. Here is the article... http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/freedomfromsabbathkeeping.shtml
The question is, is this claim true and more importantly what does the bible teach?
13. “to the Jew he (Paul) became a Jew…” “That meant that he went to where they gathered on the day they gathered.”
Note: This might seem right on the surface but as we saw Paul preached to both Jews and Gentiles; even towns people that did not believe, who did not gather on the Sabbath, he preached to them on the Sabbath. Even when gentile believers came to hear, Paul did not tell them “lets meet tomorrow on Sunday because the Sabbath had changed or been done away with”. This disproves Ray’s point, especially when we look at what the scriptures actually state.
14. “D.L. Moody said…”
Note: Instead of searching the scriptures for what God’s word teaches, Ray relies on a man who teaches against the Sabbath. Who is more credible? A man who can error or God’s word that is never in error?
15. “if we keep part of the Law (even out of love for God), then we are obligated to keep the whole 613 precepts”
Note: Another claim that can be found NOWHERE in scripture – that if we keep part we must keep it all 613 commandments. I have heard this flawed argument and I always ask the person to show in scripture where this is taught. Unfortunately no can because it is not in scripture. Remember we already discussed that there are part parts of the law that only apply to men, other to women, etc. etc so it is impossible for anyone to keep all 613.
Now Ray claims to be a New Covenant believer but he forgets Jeremiah 31:31-34 which states that God’s law is to be written on our hearts and minds. We are grafted into Israel according to Romans 11 and other scriptures that support this. Question is “are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” Paul answers this question in Romans 6:1-3…
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live in it any longer?” Romans 6:1-3 Since sin is transgression of the Law according to 1 John 3:4 and the Sabbath was a commandment in God’s law, then its safe to say not observing it is a sin of omission. Now Paul also says this in regards to the law of God…
“Do we then make void the Law through faith? By no means! On the contrary, we establish the Law” Romans 3:31
In other scriptures Paul talks on how people should not be complacent in their spiritual walk because they are circumcised – notice in 1 Corinthians 7:19 the importance to obeying the Commandments of God is…
“Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.” 1 Corinthians 7:19
Obviously he is talking about a believer’s behavior after salvation. Paul also talks on how obedience is righteousness… ”Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Romans 6:16
So while Ray claims keeping the Sabbath has been done away with, we see that obeying God’s commandments, including the Sabbath, is a part of our righteousness. Unfortunately Ray and many others see that obeying this commandment of observing the Sabbath is optional or not required at all in our daily lives. If that is the case then why are believers in the tribulation (a time still in our future) seen enduring these trying times by obeying the commandments of God AND keeping the faith of Jesus as Revelation 14:12 if they are optional? You see being saved by grace, having faith and obeying God’s commandments are compatible. God’s law, His torah (instructions on how to love Him, our neighbors which results in life and blessing) works hand in hand with Grace and His Spirit.
What bothers me is a person who has so much zeal for witnessing to people about God and His word, he certainly ignores a lot of what is taught in God’s word concerning the Sabbath. If it has been done away with as he claims, then we should not see any further reference to gentile believers observing the Sabbath. Matter of fact we would expect to see God, His prophets and the disciples teach, preach and prophesy against it; that it would stop, etc. So what do the scriptures show? Consider the following…
If the Sabbath was done away with then…
• Why does Jesus state He is the Lord of the Sabbath in Matthew 12:8?
• Why does Jesus state that the Sabbath was made for ‘man’ in Mark 2:27? BTW the word ‘man’ in the Greek is anthropos meaning all mankind, not just Jews.
• Why do we see Jesus talking about the Sabbath during the last days, which is still in our future i.e. the tribulation ref. Matthew 24 “pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on the Sabbath”, if it has been done away with upon the death and resurrection of the Messiah?
• Why do we see scriptures talking about how all mankind will worship God on the Sabbath during the New Millennium ref. Isaiah 66:23 “And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another (describing God’s feast days), and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh (all mankind, not just Jews) shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.”
• Why do we not see any prophesy or statement from God saying He will take away His sign (the Sabbath) that He sanctifies His people ref. Ezekiel 20:12?
• Why does God tell us to hallow God’s Sabbaths that it’s a sign between Him and His people, that they may know He is the Lord their God in Ezekiel 20:20?
• Why do we see in the New Millennium that the gateway in the inner court of the temple shall be opened on the Sabbath ref. Ezekiel 46:1?
• Why do we see in Ezekiel 46:3, also during the New Millennium, do we see the people worship before the Lord on the Sabbaths?
• Why do we see in the New Millennium ref. Isaiah 56:6-7 state that the foreigners (gentile believers) “who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants – everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant – even to them I (God) will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.”?
In spite of all these references to the Sabbath with many occurring in the time of the New Millennium, people still choose to take scriptures out of context like Colossians 2:16-18 which states “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” Remember when we discussed if a quoted scripture used to support a belief and it causes problems and conflicts with other scriptures, then that means it’s a red flag for being taken ‘out of context’; well that applies to this passage and those who quote it as a way to dissuade people from observing the Sabbath. Since the Sabbath is seen in the New Millennium then Colossians 2:16-18 cannot mean its justification to no longer observe the Sabbath. Lets again look at the context of this passage and see if the Sabbath is the topic of this chapter.
Colossians 2:8-9 states “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;”
So the questions we must ask are these…
1. Is the Sabbath a philosophy and empty deceit?
No. God established the Sabbath and no scriptures teach that it is deceitful or based on the philosophy of men.
2. Is the Sabbath a tradition of men?
No. God established it for His people and those that observed it would be blessed.
3. Is the Sabbath according the principles of this world?
No. God established it as a perpetual covenant that continues for all time as a sign that we are to keep holy through all our days so it will go well with us and your children.
4. Is the Sabbath not according to Christ?
No. The Messiah observed the Sabbath and in the New Millennium all flesh will observe the Sabbath.
So from these questions and what the scriptures teach about the Sabbath of the Lord, we see Paul is not talking to the Colossians about the Sabbath no longer being in effect or that it is optional. Rather it was something else; the pagans in and around Colossia who were doing the judging and telling the believers they did not have to observe the Sabbath or Feasts of the Lord, that they could eat and drink things that were offered to idols in order to get them to disregard God’s ways. In other words it was the pagans that were trying to get the believers of Colossia to compromise and mix into their beliefs the pagan ways which God tells us not to do ref. Deuteronomy 12:30-32…
“Take heed to youself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, that you do not inquire after their gods, saying ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise’. You shall NOT worhship the Lord you God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for the burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.”
Additional Note: there are more scriptures but you get the point. How can Ray ignore &/or refuse to acknowledge all the scriptural proof presented for the Sabbath for all mankind, during all time periods, even during the New Millennium? If we follow Ray’s belief then we need to rip out all the books from authors that support the Sabbath to include Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles and even what Jesus Himself said in the gospels. This presents a huge problem because God states in both the Old and New Testament that we are to not ‘take away’ or ‘add to’ God’s word, especially when we see the passages about the New Millennium which is still in our future, where the Sabbath still is in effect. Perhaps when God stated that the Sabbath was a perpetual covenant ref. Exodus 31:16 (that never ends) He really meant it. To say otherwise means that God did not mean what He said and that is dangerous ground. BTW when Ray quotes Acts X:x where believers are told not to consume blood, it should be noted that is also a ‘perpetual’ statute that came from Leviticus 3:17…
“This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings; you shall eat neither fat nor blood.” Leviticus 3:17 So if we are not supposed to eat blood because it’s a perpetual statute and so is the Sabbath, which uses the same word ‘perpetual’ in Exodus 31:16, then why does Ray choose to only obey one and not the other? Hmmm…
16. Ray quotes from Charles Spurgeon
Note: While Spurgeon was a great preacher (whom I really enjoy reading), Ray again is making assumptions that all of what Spurgeon taught and said is 100% true but it is not. The only 100% correct source on God’s good doctrine is God’s word, the scriptures which spans 1,600 years (longer if you believe the account that God created everything); ; the document that has more archeological support than any other religion on the planet, with over 40 different authors. Yet none of these authors state, teach or gave a prophesy from God that the Sabbath was ever going to stop, change to another day or become optional. If that is the case then why does Ray quote Spurgeon? Simple, Ray quotes him because Spurgeon believed the same as him but sadly that does not make him right in this case. Again we need to go back to the scriptures for the truth. Let us look at what Spurgeon claims and what the scriptures teach …
• “I am no preacher of the old legal Sabbath” – funny but scripture shows it is neither old or has passed away as its present in the New Millennium and no prophesy was given by God that it would stop for anyone, Jew or Gentile believer.
• “The Sabbath of the Jew is to him a task” – strange but in God’s word never makes this statement. Rather we see that the Sabbath is to be a delight and a blessing for God’s people, that it was for all mankind – that it would go well with those who observe it. The only time the Sabbath was a task was when believers hardened their hearts and followed the ways of their flesh and the world instead of repenting and following in the ways of God.
• “the Lord’s day of the Christian, the first day of the week, is to him a joy, a day of rest, of peace and of thanksgiving” – again no prophesy, no in-context scripture, prophesy or teaching supports this statement. So where are the scriptures supporting the Sabbath changed to Sunday and what was once a blessing, joy, peace and rest to the Jews and foreigners, no longer applies to them but somehow this change made it a task for them; that it suddenly changed to Sunday for Christians and only they now experience joy, peace, rest, etc because its on Sunday? Simply you cannot because none exist.
While I applaud Ray Comfort for using the word of God, specifically the Ten Commandments to evangelize to the lost (something I use myself when witnessing), I cannot condone his refusal to acknowledge the numerous scriptures showing the Sabbath never went away. What also bothers me is that God’s word is clear – we also know that if God changes something that involves his people He will reveal that in His word via His prophets. Amos 3:7 states the following…
“Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7
Any time we see God make a change or declaration for His people we always see a corresponding prophesy. However we do not see any prophesy about the Sabbath being done away with, changing to a different day or that it would only apply to the Jews and not the rest of mankind. Rather we see the opposite; that the Sabbath remains for all time, and into the New Millennium for all mankind (Jew and Gentile believer). If the Sabbath was done away with then why do we see the special blessings for foreigners who observe the Sabbath after the Messiah returns ref. Isaiah 56? Why are there references of defiling the Sabbaths as abominations if it was done away with?
Remember that God said to the ‘mixed multitude’ (Hebrews and foreigners who follow God ref. Exodus 12:38) to observe His law, His commandments, statutes, precepts etc. were given to both; that there was…
“One law shall be for native-born and for the foreigner who dwells with you” ref. Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 24:22 & Numbers 15:16.
We also read that the Sabbath was a perpetual and everlasting covenant for God’s people ref. Exodus 31:16. Its just like the perpetual covenant that God would not destroy the earth with water again with His proof being the rainbow as a sign. If both are ‘perpetual’ (defined as forever & everlasting by Strong’s) then why do we accept one as eternal but not the other? This shows that something is wrong with our theology and beliefs.
Now in light of Ray’s refusal to accept &/or ignorance when it comes to the Sabbath of the Lord, I am not saying he is a heretic (even though he tries to make it salvation issue as we saw earlier). I think he is misinformed and sincerely believes the Sabbath has been done away with. The question is, will he change his beliefs to be in accordance with the scriptures or continue to teach contrary to them? Remember what Yeshua/Jesus stated in Matthew 5:17-19…
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle will be no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19
Remember there are only two possible options.
1. Either the bible is wrong and Ray Comfort is right
2. The bible is right and Ray is wrong in this matter.
So choose this day whom you shall serve.
P.S. BTW I could write more on this topic but it would be redundant. What I would also like to say is that I too was like Ray where I only parroted what I was taught. I did not check the scriptures to see what the truth actually is. However God in His mercy and love showed me in His word that the Sabbath is indeed a blessing. My family and I have been observing the Sabbath for some time and we have grown closer to each other and closer to the Father. It is not a salvation issue but a quality of life issue. I just hope that others will test what they believe and follow God and His word, rather than the doctrines of men.