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Chapter 85

Ceremonial Sabbaths

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What was the result of blotting out the handwriting of ordinances?
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a 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." Col. 2:14-17.

Upon what were the ten commandments written?
"And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone. " Deut. 4:13.

In what manner were they written on these tables of stone?
"And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables." Ex. 32:16.
NOTE. - The law of God was engraved in stone, which would not admit of its being blotted out; neither would the expression "nailed to the cross" be applicable to tables of stone.

For whom was the weekly Sabbath made?
"And He said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27.
NOTE. - If made for man, it could not well be one of those things that were against Him.

When was the Sabbath made?
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them... And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made." Gen. 2:1-3.

What was man's condition then?
"And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Gen. 1:31.

Had man faithfully obeyed God from the beginning, would He have been counted a sinner?
"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." Rom. 2:13.

For what purpose were the sabbaths instituted which formed a part of the "handwriting of ordinances?"
"Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." Col 2:17. They pointed forward to Christ.

To what does the Sabbath of the fourth commandment direct the mind? Back to creation.
"For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore [for this reason] the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Ex. 20:11.

Were there any sabbath days in the old dispensation that were local and shadowy?
"In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath." Lev. 23:24. "Also the tenth day of the seventh month there shall be a day of atonement... It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls." Lev. 23:27-32.

What were these days for?
"These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything upon his day." Lev. 23:37.

Were these entirely distinct from the seventh-day Sabbath?
"Beside the Sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your free will offerings, which ye give unto the Lord." Lev. 23:38.
NOTE. - It is very evident from the study of this subject that the "Sabbath of the Lord" and the shadowy sabbaths were altogether different institutions, and that they were for widely different purposes. The first was to commemorate God's great creative work, while the others were shadows, pointing to the substance, Christ. When He to whom they directed the mind was come, they were no longer needed; for since His death the memory of Him is preserved through the memorial of the Lord's Supper.