Christians worship on Sunday because of the Sunday Resurrection and the deliberate Sunday appearances of the resurrected Christ. Really?

vlcsnap-2016-07-26-18h27m22s21

Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.

Table of Contents

  1. The Introduction
  2. Christianity is a Jewish faith
  3. God told the Jews when to worship
  4. God wants Gentile believers to keep the biblical Sabbath
  5. The Scriptures say that New Covenant Sabbath-keepers will receive a better name, a better heritage and much more!
  6. Early Christians assembled on the Sabbath Day
  7. If the Sabbath has truly been abolished then why should the Church still assemble?
  8. The Sabbath law was done away with in the New Covenant but it will soon be mandatory in the New Covenant. Wait, what?
  9. The Sabbath law is a necessary inference of Genesis 2:2-3
  10. The seven-day week betrays the ongoing relevance of the Sabbath
  11. Are there certain commandments in the Mosaic Law which are no longer applicable? If so, what does this mean?
  12. The Law has been “abolished” yet it “remains in effect.” Are you confused? So am I!
  13. According to Hebrews 4:9, there remains an “observance of the Sabbath”
  14. Are those who disregard the Sabbath being disloyal to God?
  15. Exploring the origins of Sunday worship
  16. Hijacking the “Lord’s Day”
  17. Extra-biblical Evidence of Sabbath-keeping Throughout Church History
  18. Constantine, Antisemitism and the persecution of Sabbath-Keepers
  19. Ecclesiastical forgeries and the Roman State Church’s involvement in Sunday Worship
  20. Keeping the Sabbath obligates one to keep the whole law? Really?

The Introduction

This may come as a shock to some, but in all of the Bible, there is no verse which commands Christians to come together for corporate worship on a Sunday. Neither is there a verse which records Christians coming together for routine worship on a Sunday.

There is the oft-cited Acts 20:7 which mentions a Sunday evening Christian gathering (which would actually be Monday in Jewish reckoning) where the apostle Paul preached until midnight, but the purpose of this meeting was for fellowship and dinner, hence the term “breaking bread” which is used therein. Sometimes “breaking bread” can also refer to partaking in Holy Communion a.k.a. the Lord’s Supper (e.g. Matthew 26:26, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Nevertheless, this biblical phrase, on several occasions including this one (see Acts 20:11), only referred to eating a meal (e.g. Lamentations 4:4; Luke 24:30,35; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:11, Acts 27:33-35 etc.). Another verse often cited is 1 Corinthians 16:2 but this verse pertains to private preparation, doesn’t even mention a Christian gathering, and is therefore wholly irrelevant to the matter of corporate worship. Continue reading

Advertisements

Will God Ensure that Everyone gets a Chance to Hear the Gospel—Even the Aborted Baby?

58333

Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.


Election According to Foreknowledge is the Key!

Was the Gospel, as the Bible claims, really preached to every creature which is under heaven? Or should we, like many other Bible teachers, conclude that these words spoken by Paul are merely hyperbole? Curiously, one way to confirm the seriousness of this claim lies in one’s understanding of the doctrine of election. According to the Bible, before Christ created the world, He wrote down the names of several people in His [i.e. the Lamb’s] Book of Life (Revelation 13:8; 3:5; 17:8, 20:15; Luke 10:20, Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). It turns out that this book contains the names of all those who are considered ‘elect.’ Elect is a term which refers to those persons whom God has chosen ahead of time to inherit salvation. In Bible verses such as 1 Peter 1:2 and Romans 8:29, the Bible tells us that God’s choices about who to elect were based upon His foreknowledge or His knowledge-known-ahead-of-time. This is what is known as the doctrine of election.
(Also see What Does The Bible Mean By Election?Elect according to the foreknowledge of God & Fore knowledge is a Condition)

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [i.e. elect] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

But what exactly did God know ahead of time and how does this foreknowledge fit into God’s rationale for choosing one person but not another? The Bible tells us that God is not a respecter of persons (Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:11, Acts 10:34) so we know that God’s foreknowledge has nothing to do with one’s physical appearance, nationality or one’s efforts of any sort. If Hebrews 11:6 is right regarding the claim that God rewards those who diligently seek Him, then the only logical and biblical conclusion regarding the criteria which God used when choosing His elect is faith (i.e. whether a person, if given the chance, would obey the gospel). Continue reading

Does the Old Testament condone polygamy?

polygamy

While I was reading an NPR article entitled: Same Bible, Different Verdict On Gay Marriage I ran across a claim that I have encountered one to many times and that has galvanized me into responding with this blog entry. An excerpt from the article states:

LaBerge resigned her post as minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) after the denomination voted last year to ordain non-celibate gay clergy. She says the Bible is clear.

“From the Old Testament and throughout the New Testament, the only sexual relationships that are affirmed in scripture are those in the context of marriage between one man and one woman,” she says.

Actually, the Old Testament does condone polygamy. Still, LaBerge says, from Leviticus to Paul’s writings in Romans and First Corinthians, homosexual acts are called vile and detestable, and legalizing same-sex relationships does not change the sin.

As the author (Barbara Bradley Hagerty) interjects the phrase: “Actually, the Old Testament does condone polygamy,” I am left thinking to myself, Really? Where in the Old Testament is the reader told that God allows polygamy? To be sure, there are several accounts of Old Testament men who had multiple wives (1 Samuel 1:1-2, 2 Samuel 5:13, Judges 8:30, 2 Chronicles 11:21, 13:21, 1 Kings 11:3 etc.) but then there are also several accounts of Old Testament men who worshiped idols (1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 16:30-31, 2 Kings 21:1-3, Judges 2:11-13, Hosea 13:2 etc.), yet no one in their right mind would claim that the Old Testament condones idol worshiping. Continue reading

Life is a test and all things in this life are just distractions!

It has become apparent to me that all things in this life are just distractions. Yes, I mean ALL things that do not involve reading, learning and loving the Word of God. There are of course good distractions and bad distractions. A good distraction is that which will eventually lead one to the pages of God’s Word, which in reality are the only words of life (Philippians 2:6, 1 John 1:1). One example of a good distraction is a godly wife who urges her husband to go and lose himself in the pages of the Word of God (1 Corinthians 7:33). Another example of a good distraction is a daily hour of passive commute time (e.g. on a train) which allows a prudent believer to routinely engage the weighty parts of God’s word. It is a distraction because it is a commute, but it is a good distraction (if re-purposed advantageously) because it forces one into a routine of Bible study which might not otherwise be as routine. There are also necessary distractions such as eating and sleeping. Nevertheless, these necessary distractions are still distractions as they do not lead us to the Word of God, though they enable us to continue that quest. Living a spiritually healthy life is all about managing the many distractions that are in one’s life. Do not get caught up in distractions.
God—understanding that we need significant amounts of undistracted alone time with Him in order to truly know Him and excel in this test that is life— prudently designated 1/7th of our time here on this earth as distraction-free. In His study guide for how to pass the test, He called this distraction-free time, the Sabbath. He promised that those who partook of worship and rest during this period would experience the blessings specifically associated with this time segment. However, most have seen this Sabbath as an affront to their own personal time and/or have decided to redesignate another unblessed and unhallowed time-segment as their Sabbath. They have also shunned the idea that the entire time-segment needs to be distraction-free and have hence encumbered their Sabbath with all sorts of distractions which are sure to limit the time spent in the word of God.
Surprisingly, many times our own family members can be the greatest distractions. Jesus in Matthew 10:25 says: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” A brother, a relative, or a friend can prove to be a bad influence and therefore a bad distraction. We pursue earthly distractions because we think that they will bring us happiness. But the Bible tells us that Christ has gone to prepare mansions in Heaven for those who believe in Him (John 14:1-3). The earthly success that we desire is merely a glimpse of the joy that believers will realize in Heaven. The Bible in Psalms 16:11 tells us that “in God’s presence is fullness of joy; [and] at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Therefore, if we do not seek to place ALL of our dreams, desires, and hopes in Christ then we have misunderstood our purpose here on earth and will surely encounter disappointment. This is why Paul in Colossians 3:2-3 says “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” The success that we desire is “hid with Christ in God.” Though we may encounter success in this life, that is not the purpose of life. Each person whom God allows to live in this world must realize that they have entered a test, a final examination. This a profound test as it involves our future well-being. There are only two outcomes for this test: a future eternal life with Christ in a world which unlike our current one is not cursed (Genesis 3:16-19, Romans 8:20-22, Revelation 22:3) or dying the “Second Death” which the Bible tells us is experiencing eternal torment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8). Hence, the outcomes of this test called life involve the greatest incentive (i.e. the good news of the gospel) and the greatest disincentive (i.e. the failure to obey the gospel). No one knows when the test will end; for some people, the test ends a lot sooner than they hoped or expected and some sadly find out that they have not done what it takes to even get a passing grade. Therefore, we all need to be concerned with passing the test with flying colors. How do we pass the test with flying colors? By realizing that all things in this life that do not involve reading, learning and loving the Word of God are distractions. Once we understand this then we can manage the distractions in our life so that we will leave this life with a rich understanding of the true knowledge of God. Do not, therefore, allow the distractions in your life to steal your destiny. Many church-goers will end up in dying the Second Death because they thought it was more important to chase “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). The Bible reminds us in 1 Timothy 6:10 that in chasing these distractions, many have “erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” From the day we are born, we are told and taught to covet “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” and sadly most people will die in pursuit of these earthly treasures. Jesus urges us not to pursue these earthly treasures and warns us that “moth and rust will corrupt” them and that “thieves break through and steal” them. Christ’s advice is to instead “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matthew 6:20). So how do we lay up treasures in Heaven?

God knows that we all yearn for some measure of earthly happiness which I will hereafter refer to as “these things.” That is why He has provided us with a non-destructive way to arrive at “these things.” A way which doesn’t involve the pursuit of distractions. In Matthew 6:33, God says “seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all ‘these things’ shall be added unto you.” In Psalms 37:4, God says “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” In Psalms 145:19  we read “God will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”  In John 15:7 Christ says “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Therefore, anytime you (or anyone you care about) find yourself yearning for “these things” or wondering whether you will find some modicum of success in this life, just remember God’s advice: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, delight yourself in the LORD, fear Him, abide in Him, and allow His words to abide in you.
To many, this advice may sound counter-intuitive. After all, why would someone want to read a Bible if they can’t eat, buy clothes, or do not have anywhere to sleep? Yet, we must remember that all our help comes from God. I am weak having my own burdens. I need God’s grace every day just to survive. But my King is strong and He is still coming back soon! He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He supplies my needs in proportion to how relentlessly I pursue His Word.

A Christian’s Funeral Remarks

As a bible-believing Christian, I knew that my brother John would die someday but I never imagined that he would die so young and abruptly (at the age of 40). Many worldviews are content with rationalizing death as a natural part of life. They tell us that death is necessary and even warn us of the dire consequences of a world without death. Death is supposed to be the solution for overpopulation. Death is alleged to be the driving force behind human evolution. Death, we are told, is something that we must get used too since we will all face it someday. Continue reading

7 Unmistakable Modern-day Fulfillments of Bible Prophecy

prophecy

One of the most startling things that sets the Bible apart from any other book which has ever been written is the Bible’s ability to accurately predict history ahead of time. No other book—including the Muslim Qur’an, the Hindu VedasRamanyanaBhagavad Gita, Upanishads, the sayings of Buddha, the sayings of Confucius, the Book of Mormon, etc.—can boast of foretelling future events with unmistakable accuracy except the Bible . In fact, most of these texts contain no prophecies whatsoever. This is why apart from biblical Christianity, no other worldview including: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Bahá’í, Jainism, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism, etc. can account for what has happened in the past, what is currently going on in the world, nor what will unfold in the future. Fulfilled prophecy is therefore one formidable verification that the biblical worldview is the only one which can make sense of the world that we live in. Accordingly, the God of the Bible challenges the gods of all other worldviews to issue a prediction about the future so that the world may see who is really God (Isaiah 41:22-24, Isaiah 44:7-8). So far, all other worldviews have utterly failed. Continue reading

Did you know that the Bible is actually alive?

31507-biblewithlight-light-bible.1200w.tnUnless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.

Unlike any other book ever written, the Bible (i.e. the Word of God) is actually alive—in fact, according to 1 Peter 1:23-25, it is said that He “lives and abides for ever.” By He, of course, I am referring to Jesus the Messiah Who is also known as the “Word [of God]” in John 1:1 and the “Word [of God Who] was made flesh” in John 1:14. By the way, did you notice how I started out by talking about God’s Word but then transitioned into talking about a Person? From where did I get the idea that it is proper to refer to God’s written or spoken Word as a He? Actually, I got this idea from the Scriptures. The Scriptures, of Continue reading

Does the God of the Bible espouse murder and rape?

Friend:
So I got into another debate with a liberal on Facebook—gotta stop that, about abortion and the liberals endorsing it.  So, this woman tells me that God espouses murder and cites the following scripture (i.e. Judges 21:10-24, Numbers 31:7-18, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Deuteronomy 22:23-24, Deuteronomy 21:10-14).  Do you have any context to that?

James:

My responses to your request for context are below. Let me know if it helps or not. Continue reading

13 truths about speaking with tongues

holy_ghost
1. Tongues are (or were) real languages not gibberish.

2. Speaking with tongues (i.e. miraculously  speaking in a foreign language) was not meant to benefit believers, but to serve as a sign to persuade unbelievers.

3.The spiritual gift of tongues does not empower believers to speak an angelic language

4. The spiritual gift of tongues does not empower believers to speak a mysterious language.

5. “Praying in the spirit” or “praying in the Holy Ghost” is not a command to pray with tongues.

6. Paul criticizes, ridicules and discourages the practice of praying in tongues (without the gift of interpretation).

7. Speaking in tongues is useless unless there is an interpretation.

8. Not all believers are granted the gift of speaking with tongues.

9. God issues the command to be quiet in the church unless it is possible for the tongues to be understood (interpreted).

10. Since God is not the Author of confusion, speaking with tongues in church without providing a valid interpretation is not from God.

11. If tongues are spoken in the church, it should only be done by one person at a time, and then by no more than three persons in total. Therefore, a church collectively speaking in tongues is madness.

12. Women are not permitted to speak tongues in the church.

13. Tongues and other spiritual gifts will eventually cease.


1. Tongues are (or were) real languages not gibberish. See Acts 2:4-11 & 1 Corinthians 14:21-22

The words lâshôn [H3956] in the Hebrew and glōssa [G1100] in the Greek, literally refer to the tongue; a member of the body and the organ of speech located in the mouth. However, to lexicons of both the Old and New Testaments of the bible, this word tongue is figuratively used to refer to any “language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations.”¹ In fact, the English words gloss and glossary are both derived from their cognate glōssa. Therefore, when the bible employs the word tongue to refer to the spiritual gift granted by the Holy Spirit to believers, it is the gift of speaking a foreign language that is in scope.

Continue reading

Is Sin Alive In Our Bodies?

sin

The Conventional View of Sin

I would venture to say that most bible-believing Christians know how to define sin. In fact, when asked, I suspect that most of them would rightly tell you that sin is the breaking of God’s commandments, or as 1 John 3:4 says, the transgression of God’s law. Sometimes the bible uses other words when referring to sin. These words include: trespass [ma‛al H4604], iniquity [‛âvôn H5771and transgression [pesha‛ H6588]. Though some theologians have argued that there are significant differences between these words , it is absolutely clear that they all refer to the same idea and are thus effectively synonymous. Accordingly, we see the truth of this claim demonstrated in the Scriptures. One example that comes to mind is Psalm 32:1-2 where we read:

…Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity

Continue reading