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BULLETIN ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY TWO
OF DIVINE DESIGN AND 3 Major Principles
THE TEN POINTS
1. THE EXPLICIT CREATION PRINCIPLE AND ITS GROUND - Exodus 20:8-11
SALVATION REALITY, OR "WORK" IN THE INITIAL LABOURS OF GOD - which is greater,
and when did it occur ? and by whom ? and how ?
HISTORICAL FACT - when for the apostles after the crucifixion did rest from horror
first come ?
4. THE CONCEPT OF CREST - do you preferentially commemorate the day of challenge or its lowest ebb, or the day of highest attainment and victory ?
ECCLESIASTICAL EVIDENCE -
a) Jesus appeared in victory in the midst of His apostles on that first day of the week:
a matter of personal example.
b) Collection day for the Corinthians is explicit, that set apart for this congregational function - I Corinthians 16:2. It is in this same first day.
c) Both first major meetings of the apostles' assembled members were on this same first day of the week, concentrating on the cross and resurrection, a fact dramatised by the arrival of doubting Thomas on the same commemorative first day (i.e. a genre - Luke 24:33-39, John 20:19-28). THIS day twice incorporated formal test time, to help lay down the very foundations of Christianity. Charging that "a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have!", He went so far in the matter as to challenge, "Handle Me and see!" Here was the ultimate in the practical, the empirical, in open testimonial triumph.
d) This first day of the week has transmitted itself by force of example, reality, events and critical actions, into Church history as norm for centuries.
6. THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE - This use of the one day rest in seven is just that for God. It is not, whether on the Saturday as was, or on the Sunday, as attested, departing from this analogy to God's own 6 day labour, with one day rest. It was ingrained into His product, man, and so required expressly. It has the advantage of reminding escapists who do not care about a day of rest, that divine creation is not to be seen as a figure of speech, but a mode of construction as in a factory.
To lengthen this is to insult God, defile the transfer to the working model, man as made, as in Genesis 5, 9, into normal history and make God's account of creation subject to man and his imaginings, precisely as in other aspects of corrupted theology. In this parallel to Adam and Eve in evasive thought, there is only presumption if not arrogance, and that wayward elevation of man into becoming nothing less than co-author of clear text, muddying it.
7. THE MESSIANIC DECLARATION - Christ directly declared Himself to be LORD OF THE SABBATH (Mark 2:25-28), so taking over not the reality (historic fact, 6 steps then 1 of rest), but what remained to do, that is, show WHICH day and WHY. It was to fashion the new summit in the Gospel, not a heaven breaching 'Mass' (Acts 3:19ff.), or exotic 'mystery', but an earth staggering mastery. He did not fail to use His declared mastery of the Sabbath: but this not to annul it, as if to re-write history, but to expand it into the magnificence of accomplished truth. In parallel, Christ is the master of all destiny - John 5:19-23).
8. THE CANCELLATION OF A FALSE ALARM - What then of Colossians 2:13ff. ? In the Majority text, always a first port of call because of its high percentage textual family status and the faithfulness of God in a magnificent preservation, there is a PLURAL on the topic of sabbaths in the Greek at this point. The things brought together in the list in 2:16 are comparatively minimal but the biblical evidence (see next paragraph) is very different from that. This fits with the textual evidence, so that it reads 'sabbaths' in listed harmony, in 2:17.
Further, the effort to delete this point is made ludicrous in that the 'sabbaths' and the rest noted, are stated to refer to things to come, as a shadow cast backward from the future. It is incontestable, however, that THE sabbath had its stated meaning in what was PAST, even back to the creation. Confusion of such things in reading God's word is adding to it against itself, a practice condemned in Proverbs 30:6. Moreover the place of the Sabbath can as in obedience, even be crucial, a functional reality not an option, as in Jeremiah 17:19-27 and Ezekiel 20:12-14 alike.
9. THE WISDOM IN THE INTERPRETATION OF A PRINCIPLE - As in Mark 2:22, divine principles need to be applied. Just as, Christ indicated you are ill-advised to sew new cloth onto a failing garment, so is it ill-advised to cancel the one in seven rest day ordered and practised for millenial times, based on creation specifications. You may in the sewing have a diverse patch colour, but not a change of basic quality.
10. THE DEPLOYMENT OF ONE IN SEVEN AS A CHRISTIAN AID (Colossians 3:1-3). This day of rest is a great facilitator of spiritual reflection, inspiration and concentration.
THREE PRINCIPLES OF FUNDAMENTAL BIBLICAL
1. There is to be NO TRADITIONAL INCREMENT TO WHAT THE BIBLE ACTUALLY STATES ABOUT THE DIVINE PROVISION OF ONE DAY IN SEVEN FOR REST.
2. There is in this field to be a MINIMALIST approach, for the point is rest, not the satisfaction of ecclesiastical bureaucracy.
This day of rest is A PROVISION OF HEAVENLY LOVINGKINDNESS, not a rigor! (Isaiah
It is neither to embarrass emergency, nor spiritual quietness and relish, but minister to these. It is a great opportunity to look to God your Creator, for spiritual respiration (deepening your relationship), inspiration, wooing, warning and leading. It is like a lubricant to the pistons, a fair wind on the sails and a vision for valour.