Comments from reader:
"Steve, good article about the catholic church mass and Christmas. Why do you still worship on the catholics non biblical Sunday?
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am happy that we both agree to the evils of christmass. Christmass season is a time of the year when many who call themselves children of God rebel against Him. Some do it in ignorance and some do it with full knowledge of what this season is all about. Some day I believe many religious leaders will stand in shame when they have to give an account for their spiritual malpractice concerning their involvement in this wicked celebration of a false christ.
We worship on Sunday because like the early church we follow the Word of God. An honest student of the Scripture will easily see that the saints of the early Church met on Sunday (the first day of the week) for worship. Below are a few verses pertaining to this.
Act 2:42 “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
Act 20:7 “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”
1Co 16:1 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
We know that Jesus arose the first day of the week.
Luk 24:1 “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”
Joh 20:19 “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
Joh 20:26 “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.”
Matthew Henry’s Comentary
“Joh 20:26-31 -We have here an account of another appearance of Christ to his disciples, after his resurrection, when Thomas was now with them. And concerning this we may observe, I. When it was that Christ repeated his visit to his disciples: After eight days, that day seven-night after he rose, which must therefore be, as that was, the first day of the week.”
As you can see we meet on the first day of the week just like the early Church did. It was Jesus Christ Himself who established this by raising from the dead on Sunday, and meeting on consecutive Sundays with the saints of the early Church. We choose to follow the pattern set forth by Jesus Himself. Seeing that Jesus established Sunday worship it makes no difference that some pagans or Catholics may have met on Sunday as well for their worship. Some Pagans also meet on Saturday for their worship but only in ignorance would someone claim that the Sabbath of the “Ten Commandments” was tied to paganism.
We have to be careful when we come to conclusions based upon similarities of events or things. There are many things in pagan and Catholic rituals that are close to things ordained by God in the Scriptures. Yet we do not throw out the things that God commands because pagans or Catholics may do likewise. Christmass was never ordained by God and it is rooted in paganism and Catholicism therefore we reject it. Sunday worship and gatherings of the saints on the other hand, is found in the Word of God and instituted by Jesus Himself therefore we continue to follow the pattern regardless of what pagans and Catholics practice.
Also, we need to be careful and not confuse laws that belong to Israel alone with laws that belong to the Church alone. A classic example of this would be groups like the “Seventh Day Adventist” who try to say that the “Ten Commandments” apply to the saints in this age. The Word of God teaches differently. In fact, the Word of God clearly teaches that the “Ten Commandments" was only for Israel and not for the gentile.
In Exodus 19, God is going to make a covenant with a certain group of people. This covenant as one can read, is the Ten Commandments which follow in Exodus 20. A covenant is a legally binding contract between two or more parties. In this case, the text of Exodus 19 is clear that the covenant (contract) is between God and the children of Israel who were delivered from Egypt.
Ex. 19:1 “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they [into] the wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come [to] the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. 3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.”
There are two very important observations that a careful student of God’s Word will notice in these verses.
1. The Ten Commandments was a covenant that God made ONLY with the children of Israel.
Verse 1 “children of Israel”, verse 2 “Israel”, and in verse 3 “the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;”
It is clear that God is making this covenant with only one group of people, Israel! No gentile nations or people are even mentioned or hinted at in this passage. God is singling out one nation out of the entire world and making a covenant with them exclusively. Deuteronomy 5 even claims that the covenant of the Ten Commandments was not even made with the forefathers of Israel, but only to those under Moses who were led out of Egypt. Therefore, many men of faith such as Abraham, Noah and Jacob and his children, who are the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel, were not included in the covenant of the Ten Commandments.
Deut. 5:1 “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. 2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, [even] us, who [are] all of us here alive this day. 4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire, 5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,”
2. The result of the covenant that God made with Israel was that they would be a peculiar people, distinct and separate from all other people of the world.
Ex. 19:5 says “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people:”
The result of this covenant was to make Israel a “peculiar treasure unto me above all people.” This is important to grasp because it too means that the Ten Commandments were given ONLY to the children of Israel. If God made this covenant with all people of the world this could not be true seeing everyone would be following the same covenant and Israel would not be a separate, distinct and peculiar people as a result of the covenant between them and God.
Also, 2 Corinthians 3 tells us that the Ten Commandments are done away with and abolished.
2 Cor. 3:6 “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation [be] glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious. 12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13 And not as Moses, [which] put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [vail] is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3 is talking specifically about the Ten Commandments (verses 7,13) in comparison to the New Covenant. Paul says in verse 3 that they are ministers of the New Covenant (New Testament) which is not of the letter (Ten Commandments), but of the Spirit. The Ten Commandments are not part of the gospel, the gospel and the Ten Commandments are opposed to each other so that they cannot be mixed. The Ten Commandments brought forth death and condemnation while the gospel of the New Covenant brought forth life and a clear conscience before God.
Notice verse 7 refers to the Ten Commandments as a ministry of death, not one of life, and verse nine says the Ten Commandments were a ministry of condemnation, not one that would clear a guilty conscience. I am amazed that some people insist upon putting themselves and others under a ministry of death and condemnation. Why would anyone who is sane want to be under a covenant that could only condemn and kill them in the first place? Are they under a false delusion that a ministry of death and condemnation is able to bring them life and a clear conscience before God? No wonder the apostles, elders and brethren of Jerusalem said it was the subverters of souls who taught that Christians are to keep the law of Moses (Acts 15:24).
Verse 11 clearly teaches that the Ten Commandments are done away with and that the New Covenant is what remains. The so-called law keepers cannot explain verse 11. Verse 11 says that the Ten Commandments are done away with and the so-called law keepers say it is not. Who’s lying, the so-called law keepers, or God? I will give a little hint, it’s not God. Verse 13 declares that the Ten Commandments are abolished, how can a Christian be subject to something that is abolished and no longer in force? The reason some people insist that the Ten Commandments are in force today is explained in this chapter as well. It’s because they are blind by a veil upon their heart in their understanding of the Old Testament (verse 15). In other words, they don’t even understand the purpose of the Old Covenant and like the unbelieving Jews, they think that their righteousness is by the deeds of the law (Rom.9:30-33). This veil will only be removed when they repent by turning their hearts away from the ministry of death and condemnation (The Ten Commandments) to the cross of Jesus Christ where they will find life and a clear conscience before God.
There are some groups today who teach Sabbath worship based upon the “Ten Commandments”, yet as we see from God’s Word the “Ten Commandments” do not belong to the Church and in fact are done away with by the “New Covenant” which is in the blood of Christ. A Christian today is not under the law of the “Ten Commandments” but under a far greater law, which is the law of Christ. It is under the law of Christ where we find eternal life and a clear conscience before God.
Heb 10:7 “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”
The book of Hebrews chapter ten teaches that Christ took away the first covenant (condemnation and death), and replaced it with the New Covenant (eternal life and a clear conscience before God). I hope this helps you. Thanks for writing and may God richly bless you as you seek to serve Him.
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New Life Bible Chapel
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Steve (616) 604-0462
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