Host: Bojidar Marinov
We need to be careful, therefore, when we read any of the Ten Commandments individually and isolated from the larger context, for we are running the risk of concocting a system of fake obedience to the Law which in itself is a violation of the Law. And the Fourth Commandment is no exception to this rule.
The Sabbath, Its True Meaning
Welcome to Episode 16 of Axe to the Root Podcast, part of the War Room Productions, I am Bo Marinov, and for the next 30 minutes we will be talking about the Sabbath, the Fourth Commandment, the real Biblical meaning of the Fourth Commandment, and about the attempts of modern Pharisees to keep the Fourth Commandment in ways contrary to its very meaning and purpose. We will look at the greater covenantal frame of the Ten Commandments, at the ways any Commandment can be twisted so as to go against that frame, we will look at the impossibility of keeping the Fourth Commandment in its literal meaning today, and then at the reason for that impossibility: God’s emphasis on the ethical/judicial meaning of the Commandment, over its literal and ritual meaning. At the end, we will look at the real covenantal meaning of the Fourth Commandment – a meaning that has been either omitted or deliberately avoided by modern churchmen, because it has required actions of positive and active mercy and liberty, which the prevailing anti-Christian culture finds offensive.
Let me start with a disclaimer: I will be arguing here against the technical, literal application of one part of the Fourth Commandment. But despite of what some may imagine, nothing of what I say here is against Sunday church gatherings or against setting one day out of seven for literal rest from work. Nothing of what I say here condemns anyone who has chosen – as a matter of his personal choice – to diligently attend a church every Sunday. Nothing of what I say here condemns any denomination or church that has chosen to perform certain ritual motions on Sunday as a matter of liturgical expediency – as long as, of course, those ritual motions are not openly idolatrous, like worship of Mary, or honor services of agents of the pagan government, like police, or preaching of anti-Biblical ideologies. My purpose here is not to replace one kind of Pharisaical legalism with another kind of Pharisaical legalism; my purpose here is oppose the “forcers of conscience” (a phrase I borrowed from the great Puritan author John Milton), those who take their own private interpretation of the Fourth Commandment, despise the Christian liberty established in the New Testament interpretation of it, and try to bind the conscience and the bodies of the people of God by chains that Christ specifically rejected. And in doing so, they ignore the heavier matters of the Fourth Commandment, the ethical/judicial meaning of it, that is, the righteousness and justice that follow from it, in the larger context of God’s Covenant. I am arguing here for Christian liberty and Christian duty: liberty under the Law, and duty under the Law. And the Law is the totality of the Word of God, Old and New Covenant, one Word of God.
When we discuss the Ten Commandments, of course, we need to have one important thing in mind: The Ten Commandments are only maidservants to a larger covenantal context; they are not the larger context themselves. When Jesus was asked which the greatest commandment was (Matt. 22; Mark 12; Luke 10), His answer didn’t include any individual commandment of the Ten, nor the Ten as a whole. His answer went above and beyond the Ten Commandments, to a commandment that won’t normally be noticed if one does a simply cursory reading of the Law, because the commandment is not even mentioned in the first four books of Moses. It is only mentioned in the last book, Deuteronomy, and there is it repeated multiple times in different versions (4:29; 10:12; 11:1; 13:3; 19:9; 30:6, to mention a few). The Commandments was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Mark and Luke add, “and with all your strength.”) The Ten Commandments, therefore, are only a lower order of commandments: which is not to say that they are less important or dispensable but only that they are an extension, a development or application of that greater commandment. (In fact, of the two greater commandments, “Love God” and “Love your neighbor.”) This subordinate character of the Ten Commandments is very important, for it tells us that the Ten would have no meaning nor make any sense whatsoever unless they are read, interpreted, and obeyed within the larger frame of the greatest commandment. It also tells us that when interpreted outside that frame, the Ten Commandments can easily be twisted into something they were never meant to be. I like to give the example with telling your son to wash the dishes. The command to wash the dishes presupposes several smaller commands – put water and soap on the dishes, rinse the dishes, dry the dishes, etc., – but it is possible to obey all these smaller commands to the tee and yet not have the dishes washed. (And we know kids can be specialists in faking obedience by doing the details of the smaller things while leaving job unfinished.) Take for example, the Sixth Commandment: if we just interpret it literally and try to obey it literally, isolated from the rest of the covenant, we shouldn’t have death penalty, for the word for “murder” is no different from the word for innocent manslaying. Jesus also gives examples, in Matt. 23, of literal interpretation of commandments which is isolated from the larger context of the covenant and thus eventually contradicting the covenant. We need to be careful, therefore, when we read any of the Ten Commandments individually and isolated from the larger context, for we are running the risk of concocting a system of fake obedience to the Law which in itself is a violation of the Law. And the Fourth Commandment is no exception to this rule.
In the light of this, there are two myths preached in some modern churches concerning the Sabbath and the Fourth Commandment, which myths are based on an interpretation which is, in the final account, contrary to the covenant of God.
First, the myth that the Sabbath is a “day of worship.” R.J. Rushdoony dealt with this myth in his book, Institutes of Biblical Law, chapter 4, so here I will give my short refutation of it. Nowhere does the Bible declare the Sabbath to be a “day of worship.” It is a day of rest; and that’s the very meaning of the word “shabath”: rest. The pattern work/worship does not exist in the Bible; the pattern in the Bible is work/rest. The first version of the Fourth Commandment, in Exodus 20:8-11, specifically ties the Sabbath day to the Creation week:
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
To imagine that this verse speaks of a work/worship pattern is to imagine that on the seventh day, God worshipped. Aside from the fact that there is no way for God to worship (that is, bow down), we have at least an indirect testimony that on the day of rest, God wasn’t even around in the Garden in order to be worshiped. If Adam and Eve committed their sin on a seventh day – as is the belief of many commentators – God only returned to them at the end of the day. They were supposed to rest, not to worship.
The Law of God had provisions for enforcing the Sabbath, and not a single one of these provisions had anything to do with ritual worship. They all had to do with rest vs. work. There was no mandatory ritual attendance, and there were no penalties for not attending. Ritual worship continued during the week, and there is no indication whatsoever that that ritual worship was in any way related to the rest on the Sabbath. In fact, worship was much more than the ritual worship, it was the whole life of the covenant man and the covenant community, as we see mention of worship outside the Temple and outside the Levitical system.
Not only was not ritual worship related to rest, it was itself work, not rest. As strange as this may sound to modern churchian years, this concept of worship as work is very clearly taught in the Bible. There was a whole tribe set aside to conduct ritual worship, and that tribe was specifically denied any inheritance in Israel – the Levites. Their inheritance were the tithes and offerings from the rest of the tribes; that was their payment for their work. Jesus specifically declares that the ritual worship in the Temple was work, not rest, and He called it a desecration of the Sabbath in Matt. 12:5: “Have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?” His opponents didn’t object to this: obviously, it was a common interpretation that priestly work in the Temple is breaking the Sabbath, but it didn’t incur any guilt. But the Law mentions nothing specific about priests breaking the Sabbath and being innocent. The only logical conclusion, therefore, is that the regular duty of the priests – ritual worship – was considered work, not rest, and therefore was technically a violation of the Sabbath. The fact that the priests were still innocent was a fact of serious significance for the New Covenant where all believers are now priests; but we will tackle this later.
Since worship was clearly work, not rest, the pattern work/worship is actually work/work, and is not the Biblical pattern given in the Fourth Commandment. Ritual worship – including modern churchian ritual worship – is work, not rest, and as such, is a violation of the Sabbath, had the Sabbath been applied today as literally as it was in the OT times. Those who sigh in abandon how great and holy is to worship on the Lord’s Day have actually bought into a non-Biblical idea. The Sabbath was rest, rituals are work. The only thing that keeps us innocent is not our worship on Sunday – which has no special place or magical significance as worship at all – but the fact that we are now priests, and something greater than the Temple is here. This alone should make every Christian understand the concept of Christian liberty, as over against modern Pharisaism.
The second myth is that it is possible today to keep the Sabbath in the literal way it was commanded in the Law of God.
First of all, even if it was possible, no one is really keeping it, not even self-proclaimed sabbatarians. The key here is the light switch on Sunday morning. I have talked hundreds of times to people who claim to be sabbatarians who are quick to hurl accusations against anyone who works on Sunday or misses a church service on Sunday, and I have always asked the question: “When you wake up Sunday morning, to you flip that light switch on the wall?” They all say they do. And they all refuse to acknowledge what that means: On Sunday, there are people out there working for profit, in power stations, power grid control rooms, water supply companies, Internet suppliers, telephone companies, traffic and air control towers, on board of ocean ships, jetliners, and railroad engines, etc., etc., etc. And our modern alleged “sabbatarians” have no problem using the services of all these people, using the electricity, gas, water, phone services and internet services produced by these people. And then they turn around and condemn those same people for their work on Sunday; while they consider themselves holy because they are not like those people who work on Sunday and whose services provide for their comfort on Sunday.
I have asked this question hundreds of times, and I have never seen a single “sabbatarian” even stop to consider the contradiction in his own position. Not a single one said, “This is true, I have been inconsistent, I need to stop using these services on Sunday, because I am taking advantage of work I condemn by my own theology, and with my money I encourage people to work on Sunday.” To the contrary, sabbatarians either ignore the question, or give such ridiculously inept explanations that I have been quite tempted at times to doubt these people’s sanity. Most of the time they come up with the excuse that hospitals need electricity and water and gas on Sunday, and this is a “work of necessity or mercy,” and therefore there is no problem to use that electricity. But wait, you and your church (using massive amounts of energy for air-conditioning on Sunday) are not a hospital; there is nothing in your situation that calls for a work of necessity and mercy. Just because someone else needs help doesn’t mean you are entitled to the same help without any need. Christians in history went without air-conditioning or running water for centuries; your “necessity” is a false necessity, you are simply being a spoiled American, not a person in a situation of necessity. Others come up with the bizarre rule that if there is no exchange of money on Sunday, it is not a violation of the Sabbath, and therefore it is OK to purchase services from people violating the Sabbath if the payment is the next day. I mean, how much more Pharisaical can we get? The Law of God says nothing whatsoever about the time of payment as a condition for violating the Sabbath; it is a completely man-made rule. And obviously, if applied consistently, it would justify any work on Sunday – provided the payment is on the next day. Seriously, is the commandment about work, or is it about the time of payment?
But modern sabbatarians continue using the services of people who work on Sunday, making up lame excuses either for themselves or for the people who violate the Sabbath (as per their definition) to provide for their comfortable, spoiled lives. At the same time, they accuse of “violation of the Sabbath” the fact that restaurants open on Sunday, and heap condemnations on Christians who go to restaurant after church. When I point to them that restaurants are a work of necessity and mercy because they also provide for travelers in town who have no place to go to to get food, suddenly this argument of necessity is not valid, and there is no excuse for restaurants to stay open on Sunday, nor for Christians to use them. If there is a modern example of Jesus’s words in Matt. 23:4 and Luke 11:46, it is modern sabbatarians: “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.” Very obviously, modern sabbatarians know perfectly well that the direct, literal keeping of the Sabbath is impossible today, and they themselves don’t even try to keep it, but they use it to send other people on guilt-trips.
Keeping the Sabbath today is impossible for another reason too: The modern pattern of week cycles independent of annual cycles is not the system described in the Law of God. (Rushdoony explained that as well in Chapter 4 of his Institutes, and quotes Curtis Clair Ewing.) It is impossible for the modern pattern to have been active then because certain days of certain months were set aside for doing work, and under the modern system, they would have fallen on a Sabbath day one year in seven. (See Exodus 12:3, 5, 6, 24; Lev. 23:15). Also, specific days of specific months are declared Sabbaths in the Law – if these are simply weekdays kept as Sabbaths, this would violate one part of the Fourth Commandment: “six days you shall work.” In the Law of God, the weeks were tied to the year; the year started on the first day of the week, and the sabbaths were fixed on the same dates every year. The year of 365 days was split in 52 fixed weeks plus one extra day. The extra day was an extra sabbath added after the 7th Sabbath after Passover (Lev. 23:15-21), making Pentecost be a two-day, 48-hours Sabbath (the 49th and the 50th day after the Passover Sabbath). The Hebrew calendar was strictly a solar calendar, not a solar-lunar calendar, and the week cycle was tied to the year cycle, not independent of it.
Thus, keeping the Sabbath according to the modern calendar (which has the additional problem of leap years as well) has nothing to do with keeping the Sabbath according to the Law of God. At best, it is simply taking a tradition much more recent than the Law of God as given to Moses, and arbitrarily assigning some ritualistic/magical quality to certain days according to that tradition.
From an economic standpoint – which means, from the standpoint of the Dominion Covenant as a greater context for the Ten Commandments – the theological excuse of “works of necessity and mercy,” while helpful at times, is not exactly Biblical. (And it’s not even helpful most of the time – why would modern sabbatarians want the restaurants and the hotels closed on Sundays when every city has some number of travelers residing in it during the weekend? Do they expect travelers to go around begging for food and shelter on Sunday?) While necessity and mercy were involved as motives in Jesus’s multiple cases of healing on the Sabbath, his examples given in reply to the Pharisees were not all cases of necessity and mercy. More important, His defense of His disciples for their violation of the Sabbath in Matt. 12:1-7 (remember, His disciples were picking grain) didn’t resort to the argument of works of necessity and mercy. Jesus went much farther than that, showing examples of violation of the Law – or of its literal reading – in the OT, and showing why those are to become the norm in the NT (“something greater than the Temple is here.”) This specific verse is one of the two avoided like the plague by modern sabbatarians, because it does show a very clear discontinuity which establishes – let me repeat and emphasize – that such violations of the Sabbath will become the norm in the NT. “Something greater than the Temple is here.” And, judging from the whole context of the NT, that “something greater” is to remain here, with us until the end of the age.
The emphasis on the phrase “necessity and mercy” is rather based on the need for a religiously sounding excuse. A better and more comprehensive term would be an economic term: works of maintenance and damage control. Jesus’s examples in response to the Pharisees were given in this context: taking one’s ox to the water on the Sabbath (maintenance) and pulling a child or an ox out of a pit (damage control). While the concept of mercy can be applied to the child, there is no necessity nor mercy involved in spending one’s Sabbath pulling an animal out of a pit – work that can be done the next day. Neither was there any necessity nor mercy involved in allowing the disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath – clearly forbidden in the Law. None of them were starving while they were with Jesus – Luke 22:35 says they didn’t lack anything while being with Him. The rule for work allowed on the Sabbath, therefore, was not necessity or mercy but preventing a capital loss. Work for the purpose of preventing a capital loss was allowed: if the animals go thirsty for one day, they will lose weight or will be less capable of work on the first day of the week. The same will happen if an animal is left in the pit and pulled out the next day: the next day will be lost to work, and the animal will probably be exhausted. Defense of the cities against enemies was allowed on the Sabbath: again, to prevent capital loss. It goes without saying that sailors could work on the Sabbath without incurring guilt, because a ship can’t be just left drifting in the middle of the sea. The same would apply to merchants and travelers: In situations where the literal keeping of the Sabbath would involve loss of capital, they were allowed to continue moving until they are out of danger. Etc., etc.
Some will think that reducing it down to loss of capital is rather profane. But remember, we are talking about the larger context of the Dominion Covenant. The Ten Commandments were not given with the purpose of destroying the economic base of human society; they were given with the purpose of enabling man to fulfill the Dominion Covenant. Loss of capital on the Sabbath day would have meant a zero growth world, if what man produces during the week is destroyed on the Sabbath day.
But in the last 300 years – under the influence of the Christian worldview developed in the Reformation – the economy of the world has moved more and more to a state where most of the economic activities, if interrupted on Sunday for 24 hours, would lead to a net loss of capital. This is not merely about hospitals and road assistance and rescue teams. It is not even merely about restaurants and hotels open on Sunday to serve travelers or people who have no ability to prepare their own food. We are speaking here of the mainframes of the modern economy, those without which the modern economy would return to a more primitive state of less capitalization, less productivity, and therefore may lead to suffering and starvation. Thermal and nuclear power stations can’t stop production one day every week. Cement plants, fertilizer plants, metallurgical plants, industrial laboratories, transportation systems – air, ground, and sea – power grids, mines and oil rigs, chemical plants, gas and oil storage facilities, industrial establishments of every kind – all these mainframes of our modern highly technological economy are not usually visible to the majority of people, and the importance of their uninterrupted production is seldom understood by most people. But the reason we can have nice things today at such low prices is exactly because these facilities continue working without interruption. Many of them have reactors working either at high temperatures, or under high pressures, or using highly toxic or radioactive reactions. For many of them, stopping the reactor and starting it again costs as much as the revenues from a month’s or even a year’s production; doing it every week will guarantee the economic failure of the plant. The very economics of these plants was predicated on uninterrupted production for at least a decade. I have worked as a Trade Manager of a fertilizer plant: Some of the reactors – as big as ten-story buildings – had to have a constant supply of raw material and continuous production, for stopping the production requires two months of clean up from the toxic residue. Metallurgical plants can’t stand a decrease of temperature to non-production levels for this will mean cracking of the concrete base and skeleton for many of them. Etc., etc., etc. Modern sabbatarians are usually clueless of these workings of our modern economy; the truth is, more than half of the jobs around the world today are in businesses that cannot afford to stop work one day out of seven. And modern sabbatarians just continue using these products while accusing those who produce them in “breaking the Fourth Commandment.”
Such development of the world’s economy, though, must be expected: God promises growth of the Gospel, and with it, growth of the economic blessings of the Gospel, which will inevitably lead to economic activity in larger volumes and greater efficiency, which means technology. The technological developments of the last 300 years are the product of Christianity and its worldview applied in practice, as many authors have pointed out. In the final account, if sabbatarians wish to consistently maintain their position, they will have to abandon the world and live as hermits, for living in the modern world is impossible without taking advantage of something which involves working on the Sabbath.
Thus, from the perspective of the Dominion Covenant, the literal reading of the Sabbath is not only impossible to obey, it will be increasingly so. Jesus’s words that “here is something greater than the Temple” laid the foundation for it; the Christian worldview applied to economics and technology built on that foundation. So, expect more and more of this alleged “violation of the Sabbath” to happen, every day, more and more.
But violation of the Sabbath it isn’t. For the real meaning of the Sabbath, as Jesus shows, transcends the literal command to cease economic activity one day out of seven; and in fact, the real NT meaning of the Sabbath rejects the specific sundry judicial application of it. We saw so far why the literal meaning of the Fourth Commandment can’t be kept today. But then, why is this Commandment in the Law, one of the Ten Commandments?
The answer lies in this most profound, and yet utterly ignored today, theological statement of Jesus in Mark 2:27, given in the same occasion when His disciples were accused of violating the Sabbath by picking grain. Jesus ended His answer with the words, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” And then, to top it off, “So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Let’s stop here and consider. Jesus’s disciples were doing something for which, in the days of Moses, a man was executed – gathering resources on the Sabbath. Jesus didn’t defend His disciples by saying that what they were doing was legal. He in fact agreed with their accusers by using examples in the OT of other violators of the Sabbath and of the Temple regulations. His answer? “That’s OK, I am changing the understanding of the Sabbath: I didn’t make man for it, I made the Sabbath for man.” The very commandment was designed to point at man and his needs, acknowledge the needs of man in his state of helplessness and distress and constant toil, and give him rest. The strict judicial rules for keeping the Sabbath in Israel were temporary, and were understood as temporary even in the Old Testament. That this is true, we can judge from the reaction of Nehemiah to the violation of the Sabbath by many in Israel, including some from the nobility; instead of declaring death penalty against the violators, Nehemiah only reprimanded them. The Sabbath day was still in force as a special sign of Israel as a redemptive/ceremonial community, but Nehemiah was somehow aware that the strict penalties of the Law were not to be applied. Why? Because Nehemiah probably understood the great theological statement of Jesus: “The Sabbath was made for man.”
In the first of my three lectures on immigration, “Immigration and the Sabbath” (somewhere on Youtube), I have explained this meaning of the Sabbath. In short, Moses took his liberty to change the direct text of the Fourth Commandment as given from Mount Sinai. While the first version (spoken directly by God), said, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy,” the second version, spoken by Moses to the children, on the east side of the river Jordan, right before the conquest, replaced these words with the words, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.” Combining the two, we see that God’s rest on the seventh day was meant not to place additional burdens on man but to liberate man. Not to make man work for 6 days and then work for another day to please God with rituals and ceremonies. The purpose of God’s rest was to make everyone experience rest at the end of a week of hard work. As the Hebrews were entering the Land, and as they were about to become a nation of masters who would themselves control wealth and hire workers and own slaves, Moses was reminding them that the Sabbath regulations are not in the ritual but in the Remember Clause: Remember you were a slave, remember you were a foreigner, remember Egypt where you were beaten and forced to work, remember the exodus, the wilderness, the covenant God made with your fathers. And, as you remember all these things, remember that there is to be no oppression of men under your rule. Everyone, to the lowest pagan slave, is entitled to have his day of rest, a day when he will stay still and God will be the one working for him – in healing, sanctification, and even in washing his feet. The Sabbath was a commandment to justice and liberty, not a commandment to blind submission to ceremonial rules. Its focus were the weakest members of the society – the slave, the stranger, the widow, the orphan. Its focus was every man, for God wanted to work on that day for every man, while man stood still and accepted God’s service. And no, it wasn’t God serving man as his subordinate. It was God who was declaring that in the final account, all man’s work will be considered nothing, and only God’s work will remain. It was an evangelistic message.
And therefore, all the activities allowed on that day were the activities of evangelism. The priests profaned the Sabbath: not because God needed ceremonial service from human hands but because these ceremonies were His way to bring the Gospel to the pagan world, through shadows and parables and ceremonies. That’s why David was allowed to eat of the consecrated bread: He was the real preacher of the Gospel at the time, alone of all Israel. The priests were afraid to challenge Saul’s fascist statist order. The population was either subdued or joyfully participated in Saul’s totalitarian state. David was alone, and he was alone in declaring the will of God. He was a prophet and an evangelist, and the bread belonged to him by the virtue of his office and ministry.
It was for this reason that in the NT Jesus made sure that most of His recorded healings took place on a Sabbath day. There are case after case in the Gospels, of Pharisees outraged at this violation of the Sabbath. And yet, a violation it wasn’t; the Sabbath was made for man, and besides, the healings were part of His evangelism. The Sabbath was the day when God comes to man, not in man’s puny efforts to please God in the church, but in God’s work in man, for man, for the Sabbath was made for man.
Well, then, how this translates to our NT keeping of the Sabbath?
We are all priests now. And Jesus – the one greater than the Temple – is with us always, until the end of the age. The Sabbath is a constant reality today, for us. Our whole life is now a life of evangelism. We don’t offer sacrifices once a new moon anymore; our whole lives are supposed to be a living sacrifice to God, and therefore an evangelistic enterprise. From a Biblical perspective, we already live in God’s continuing Sabbath in history, the prelude to our final Sabbath. The keeping of one day our of seven is good for polity purposes (to borrow a phrase from Calvin), but its significance doesn’t go beyond the expediency of polity. In reality, covenantally, we are supposed to keep the Sabbath every single day, in resting from our own works and letting God work in us and through us. Every single day, without distinction, we are supposed to free the captives and the slaves, and to save those led to slaughter. Every single day, we are supposed to preach the righteousness and justice (emphasis on justice) of the Gospel. There is no special day in the week for worship and rest and evangelism; the special day has been one Sabbath-rest for the people of God (Heb. 4:9), and that day is today.
Everything else may be good and useful and expedient policy, but it is not a religious obligation.
I will end with the words of John Calvin from his catechism, quoted by R.J. Rushdoony in chapter 4 of his Institutes:
What do you mean by spiritual rest?
When we keep holiday from our own works, that God may perform His own work in us.
Is it sufficient to do so on the seventh day?
Nay, continually. After we have once begun, we must continue during the whole course of our life.
Why then, is a certain day appointed to figure it?
There is no necessity that the reality should agree with the figure in every respect, etc.
The Sabbath was made for man. And after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the covenant man was placed in a continual Sabbath. The only way of keeping that Sabbath is not by forcing a religious obligation for one day of seven – which Jesus Himself annulled as not applicable to the royal priesthood – but in becoming a true royal priesthood for the King of Kings.
The book I will recommend this week is Israel’s Calendar and the True Sabbath, by Curtis Clair Ewing. Ewing has many positions with which I do not agree, but this is a study worthy of consideration, especially in terms of some modern myths concerning the Sabbath. Read the book with discernment.
And, as I always do at the end of my podcasts, I would like to focus your attention on my real work: The mission field in Eastern Europe. God’s true Sabbath, the spiritual rest of justice and righteousness, has been ignored for centuries in Eastern Europe. Now is a good time to restore it: Through preaching and teaching, and publishing sound Christian literature. Building that intellectual foundation is what we have been working on for many years. These books that were translated need to be placed in the hands of the people. We need help for publishing. Consider visiting BulgarianReformation.com. Click on donate, and help us continue building. God bless you all.