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Think to Change Times and Laws

Think to Change Times and Laws

The article starts out kosher enough, citing a passage in Luke 6:1–5, wherein Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for accusing His disciples of breaking the Sabbath commandment. The Savior referenced an Old Testament episode involving David, who, in an emergency, did what was normally not to be done. Then, to help these Pharisees understand with whom they were dealing, Jesus said, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (v. 5).

It’s a powerful story. First, it shows the uniformity between the Old and New Testaments and how the living Word, Jesus, upheld the written Word of God. Second, it shows that Jesus took the Sabbath command seriously and, by His example, taught us how to keep it. Third, by His proclamation that He is “Lord of the Sabbath,” Jesus revealed His divine status.

The Third Commandment?

So far, so good. Titled “Why are you doing something forbidden on the sabbath day?”, the article first, and rightly so, said that “Jesus didn’t come to do away with the Law, but He came to bring people back to the original intent of the Law.” 

That’s, of course, crucial truth. God’s law, the Ten Commandments, was written by the finger of God in stone (Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10), showing not only that it came directly from God but also its immutability and perpetuity. It stands in contrast to the other laws, the ceremonial laws (dealing with sacrifices and cleanliness and so forth), which were written on parchment (17:18) and were applicable only to ancient Israel.

However, what comes next is fascinating. “The original Law,” it says, “comes from Exodus 20, a law commanded by God. It is the third of the Ten Commandments: ‘Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.’”

The third of the Ten Commandments?

Sorry, but in the Bible, the Hebrew Bible, the Sabbath commandment is the fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8–11).

How, then, did the Sabbath commandment wind up, as the article states, as the third?

Changing the Law of God? 

Maybe you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal?” Maybe it’s just a typo. Or maybe the order of the commandments was switched.

Unfortunately, this was no accident; neither can it be relegated into the realm of mere technicality. History tells us that the Roman Catholic Church removed the second commandment, to “not make” (v. 4) nor “bow down to” (v. 5) idols and images, and then divided the tenth commandment, to “not covet” (v. 17), into two to make up for it. Read through most any Roman Catholic depiction of the Ten Commandments to see for yourself. 

And all one needs to do is visit a Catholic site or home to see why the attempted change was made. From the miniature crucifix personally owned to the bronze statue of St. Peter in his namesake’s basilica in Vatican City, the statuary of the Roman Catholic Church is prolific. Despite years of explanations, justifications, and semantics on veneration versus worship, the fact remains that the church did tamper with God’s law to suit its manmade rituals. It makes this statement in the article rather ironic: “Jesus wants to refocus people’s minds to the origin of the Law and do away with subsequent man-made complexities around it.”

But it gets worse. Despite the clear teaching that the seventh day, Saturday, is the Sabbath, the article instead equated it to Sunday, the first day of the week, claiming it as “the Lord’s Day.” Sadly, this is another change that the Catholic Church made to God’s law. In The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine,we read:

Q: Which is the Sabbath day?
A: Saturday is the Sabbath day.

Q: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. 

And most unfortunately, as anyone can easily gather, the majority of Protestants have also taken up this manmade practice.

Daniel’s Prophecy

Interestingly enough, about 2,500 years ago, the prophet Daniel, in depicting the rise and fall of ancient world empires, wrote about the Roman church and even predicted that this power “shall intend to change times and law” (Daniel 7:25). As we have learned, this prediction has been directly fulfilled by the Catholic Church—it altered God’s “times” in the seventh-day Sabbath, and it altered the “law” written with God’s own finger, the Ten Commandments.

Scripture, too, is very clear: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2), God said. This truth is now more relevant than ever, for we are also told that in the last days, God’s faithful people are those who, among other things, “keep the commandments of God” (Revelation 14:12).

However unwittingly, this article in many ways reveals issues that will eventually play out in earth’s final events. To find out how, start with our free, online article “ Why God Said Remember.”

1 Peter Geiermann, The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1957), 50.

This article contributed by Clifford Goldstein
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