The Truth Found



Some have supposed that Colossians 2:16, 17, shows that the Sabbath pointed to redemption, and is therefore superseded by the work of Christ. But when we examine the nature of the Sabbath, as given in Genesis and in the fourth commandment, we at once see that Colossians 2:16, 17, does not refer to the seventh-day Sabbath, but to the yearly sabbaths and feast-days of the Jews; for we learn first that the Sabbath was made before the fall of man, and, therefore, before any plan of salvation was revealed. There is no intimation in the Bible that, until man had fallen, and so stood in need of a Saviour, the Son of God would appear in this world, and die for man. He most surely would not have died if man had not sinned. It does not appear more consistent with reason than with Scripture that the Lord should institute types or the plan of human redemption while man had but just been created, and as yet stood free from sin. TFNOS 11.1

The fourth commandment is the Sabbath law. and reveals to us the obligation to keep the Sabbath, and the ground and reason thereof. We here learn that it is the Lord’s Sabbath; for when he made the world, he rested the seventh day, and hallowed, or sanctified, it, as his rest-day. Now the difference between this and the typical sabbaths of the Jews is easy to be seen; they pointed to the work of Christ, and they had no meaning except as they recognized his work, and, of course, had there been no redemption through Christ, they would never have been instituted. But the seventh-day Sabbath was from creation a holy day, and every fact to which the fourth commandment points would have been just as true as it is now if Christ had not died. While those sabbaths recognized man’s guilt, and signified that God was willing to save, the seventh-day Sabbath would have occupied the same place it now occupies, and ever has occupied, even if man had not sinned. They were shadows of things to come; this is a memorial of things past. Thus they point in opposite directions, and cannot be classed together. They pointed forward to redemption; this looks back to creation. There is not an expression in Colossians 2. that can possibly be made to refer to the Sabbath of the Lord—the seventh day. TFNOS 12.1

By reading Leviticus 23, you will find several sabbaths mentioned besides the Lord’s Sabbath. These occurred yearly, as they belonged to certain days of the month, but not to any day of the week; and they were parts of the Jewish laws. In speaking of the seventh day, the Lord always called it his Sabbath; but in speaking to Israel of those yearly sabbaths, he says, “your sabbath.” TFNOS 12.2

Leviticus 23:32. Again he says of Israel: “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast-days, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” Hosea 2:11. These were all nailed to the cross. Therefore the Lord says by the apostle: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Colossians 2:16, 17. And not only is the difference shown between the sabbaths of Israel and the Sabbath of the Lord, but the two laws of which they were parts are also spoken of in such a manner that we can easily distinguish between them. Of that one to which the Jewish sabbaths belonged, he says, “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” Ephesians 2:15. This is the same as Colossians. But of the other he says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31. This was the law written on stone, of which the seventh-day Sabbath was a part. Therefore that is not abolished, but rather established, by the gospel of Christ. TFNOS 13.1

Some have supposed that the law of the seventh-day Sabbath was abolished, because the Jews were required to stone the Sabbath-breaker; and as we may not do so now, they therefore think that the law and its penalty have all passed away together. But to such we would say that by stoning the sinner it was designed to show the desert and reward of sin, even as the work of the priest showed the way whereby sins were remitted. But the real punishment of sin is left to the Judgment day. That this supposition amounts to no real objection is evident; for the transgression of other laws now in force was punished in the same manner in that dispensation. They were to be put to death for murder, blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, idolatry, disobedience to parents, and stealing. See Exodus 21:12, 15; Leviticus 24:14-23; Numbers 15:32-36; 35:30, 31; Deuteronomy 13:6-11; 17:2-5; 21:18-21; Joshua 7:11, 21, 25. We do not now stone the blasphemer, nor the idolater, yet we consider blasphemy and idolatry sinful. And so of Sabbath-breaking. They will all receive their reward in the day of Judgment. TFNOS 13.2