ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS
How could God bless Shiphrah and Puah for lying to Pharaoh?
Exodus 1:16 contains the instructions of the Egyptian king to the Hebrew midwives concerning the murder of Hebrew male babies at the time of delivery: "When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth ... if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live" (NASB). This, then, was a command for them to commit infanticide. The narrative goes on to say that in order to avoid perpetrating this heinous act, they resorted to a strategy of delay. That is to say, they managed to slow up their response to the call from a woman in labor to such an extent that the baby was already born and safely tucked away in its crib by the time they finally arrived at the house.
As the midwives explained to Pharaoh, "The Hebrew women …. are vigorous, and they give birth before the midwife can get to them" (Exod. 1:19, NASB). From the standpoint of the midwives' arriving too late, this was probably true. They simply did not divulge the fact that their tardy arrival was deliberately planned. They might easily have been caught by the Egyptian police if they had been put under twenty-four-hour surveillance; so they ran a real risk of detection, trial, and execution. But when faced with the choice between penetrating systematic infanticide against their own people and misleading the king by a half-truth in order to avert this calamity, they rightly chose the lesser ill in order to avoid the greater. God did not honor and bless these two brave women for their withholding part of the truth; rather, he blessed them for their willingness to incur personal danger in order to save the lives of innocent babies.
In this connection the question is sometimes raised as to how just two midwives could have served a community of two million people during a period of high birthrate. Of course they could not have served so many Hebrew mothers without numerous assistants. But it was normal Egyptian practice to set up a bureaucratic chain of command in connection with almost every government agency or activity. Each department had its own overseer, directly responsible to the head of government, whether on the national level or on the provincial level. In this case the king appointed two seasoned professionals in this field to operate a regular obstetrical service under government supervision. We cannot tell how many assistants Shiphrah and Puah had at their disposal, but they apparently instructed them carefully about the technique of late arrival in order to preserve life. Thus Pharaoh had only the clever overseers to deal with and to interrogate, and they turned out to be more than a match for him. Hence God gave them both the blessing of raising many children of their own, as a reward for their courage in risking their lives to save the babies of others.
How could a good and loving God instruct the Hebrews to plunder the Egyptians (Exod. 3:22)?
Was it not dishonorable for them to borrow jewels that they never intended to return?
First of all, there is one important matter of translation to clear up. The KJV translates the first clause as follows: "But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment." The verb translated "borrow" is sd'al, which is the common word for "ask, ask for, request, inquire of." (F. Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament [Oxford: Clarendon, 1968], p. 981, cite three instances for the meaning "borrow": Exodus 22:14 [13 Heb.], 2 Kings 4:3, and 6:5. In these passages the context makes it clear that the items requested were intended for temporary use by the person who took them into custody, with the understanding that they were later to be returned to the owners.) In the case of Exodus 3:22; 11:2; 12:35 (where sd'al is also used), however, it is not at all clear that there was any pretext of mere temporary use. Therefore the normal meaning of "ask for" should be assigned to 3:22, as NASB renders it: "But every woman shall ask of her neighbor ... articles of silver and articles of gold, etc." They simply requested these items as gifts as they prepared to depart from Egypt, never to return. The Egyptian inhabitants were well aware of this intention and would have been under no illusions about getting their jewelry back again.
But why were the Egyptians so willing to donate such treasures to their erstwhile slaves? In the context it is quite apparent that they were desper-
ately afraid that the disaster of the tenth plague might be repeated once more, and that they might lose still more of their children and their livestock. As Exodus 12:33 tells us, "The Egyptians urged the people [i.e., the Hebrew people], to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, 'We shall all be dead'" (NASB). The narrative then continues (vv.35-36): "Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians" (NASB).
The verb for "plundered" in verse 36 is wayfnasflu, coming from nasal, which in the piel stem means "strip off, spoil, deliver someone from [danger]." It is not the usual term for plundering the enemy after he has been killed on the battlefield; that would be salal. But nissel clearly is used here in a figurative sense, for the narrative plainly states that the Israelites simply made an oral request for a parting gift; and they received what they asked for. To be sure, there was a compelling factor of fear that moved the Egyptians to be so generous in parting with their treasures; so there was a certain sense in which they were despoiled by the departing Hebrews. They trembled with dread at the awesome power of Israel's God and the stroke of His destroying angel who had wrought such havoc on the night of the Passover.
As for the moral question whether such an act of spoliation (if we may describe a willing surrender of property by such a term) was ethically justifiable, or whether it was compatible with the goodness and love of God, we must bear in mind that for generations, even centuries, the Israelite population in Egypt had been subject to oppressive and brutal enslavement. Systematic infanticide was practiced toward their male offspring; they had been compelled to work for nothing in order to build Pharaoh's treasure cities and his other public works. There was a sense in which these jewels of silver, gold, and gems were only their just due; and they furnished only a partial compensation for all the anguish and toil to which they had been subjected. From this standpoint there can be no legitimate moral question raised concerning this whole transaction.
In Exodus 4:24 whom did the Lord meet? Why did He seek to kill him? What is the connection of the details of vv.25-26 to the subject of v.24?
In Exodus 4:24 the antecedent of "him" is "Moses." Why did God inflict him with such a near-fatal illness? In all probability it was because of Moses' neglect of the covenant sign of circumcision in the case of his own son, Gershom. We are driven to this conclusion by the fact that Moses could not recover and escape the death that threatened him until Zipporah had performed this rite on their son (v.25). Obviously she was strongly averse to this measure and did it only under compulsion, for she parted company with her husband after reproaching him as "a bridegroom of blood." It may have been that the Midianite practice was to reserve circumcision for lads who had just attained puberty rather than performing it on young and tender infants. But the Abrahamic tradition was to perform it when the child was eight days old (Gen. 17:12). Failure to receive circumcision meant that the boy would be "cut off from his people."
Now since Moses had been appointed for a responsible role of leadership, he was duty bound to serve as a good example to the people of Israel and to show faithfulness to the covenant obligations inherited from Abraham. The only way Moses could be forced into taking this step—against his wife's wishes—would be to afflict him with a potentially fatal illness. And so this is precisely what God did.
How could the Israelites have sojourned 430 years in Egypt if there were only three generations between Levi and Moses (Exod. 6:16-20)?
In common with almost all the genealogies of this type recorded in the Pentateuch (cf. Num. 26:28-34), the general practice is followed in Exodus 6 of listing a person's family tree by tribe, clan, and family group. As D.N. Freedman points out (in G.E. Wright, ed., The Bible and the Ancient Near East [London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1961], pp. 206-7), this type of classification was common in ancient Near Eastern practice. In Egyptian royal genealogies we find that several links are omitted between Rameses II in the Nineteenth Dynasty and the kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty in the Berlin genealogy published by Borchardt (in Kitchen, Ancient Orient, pp. 54-55).
It is quite obvious that if by Moses' time (according to Num. 3:27-28) the combined total of Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites came to 8,600—all of whom were descended from Kohath—the Amram who had perhaps one-fourth of 8,600 "children" (or 2,150) could not have been the immediate parent of Moses and Aaron. They could hardly have had over 2000 brothers in that one family! While Moses' father may in fact have been named Amram, he could not have been the same Amram as produced that many descendants.
Fortunately in 1 Chronicles we have many genealogies that are more complete, and these indicate that there were nine or ten generations between the sons of Jacob and the generation of Moses. For example, (1) 1 Chronicles 7:25 tells us there were ten links between Ephraim and Joshua: Beriah-Rephah-Resheph-Telah-Tahan-Ladan-Ammihud-Elishama-Nun-Joshua. (2) Bezalel, who designed the tabernacle (Exod. 31:2-11), was in the seventh generation from Jacob (cf. 1 Chron. 2:1,4-5,9,18-20). (3) Elishama, mentioned in Numbers 1:10, was in the ninth generation from Jacob (1 Chron. 7:22-27).
Nine or ten generations between Jacob and Moses harmonizes very well with a 430-year sojourn for the Israelites in Egypt (i.e., between 1875 and 1445 b.c). This would average out to 43 years per generation. (The 215-year theory, espoused by those who follow the Septuagint reading for Exod. 12:40, would yield only 215 years for the sojourn, for an average of 21 years per generation. In the case of Bezalel and Joshua, this is well nigh incredible. So also is the increase of the original 70 or 75 in Jacob's immigrant group to over two million souls by Moses' time.)
Do not Exodus 6:26-27 and 16:33-36 indicate a biographer of Moses other than Moses himself?
Exodus 6:14-27 is a long paragraph giving the names of the first three of the twelve sons of Jacob and their first generations of descendants, who became the heads of the various subtribes through whom genealogical descent was reckoned by the time of the Exodus. But most of the attention is devoted to the priestly tribe of Levi and the line of Aaron and Moses. The survey concludes with the following words: "It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, 'Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts.' They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron" (vv.26-27, NASB). These comments certainly sound like those of a historian rather than the personal memoirs of Moses himself, at least so it is supposed by most Bible critics of a subevangelical or liberal persuasion.
To specialists in the field of comparative literature, however, an author's use of the third person singular when writing of his own deeds is entirely a matter of established literary convention, depending on the genre involved. In some genres, such as the personal autobiography, it was quite customary to refer to one's self in the first person singular. But in the case of a major historical account, it was more usual to refer to all actors on the scene in the third person rather than in the first, even though the author happened to be writing about an action in which he was personally involved.
The numerous historical records concerning the various kings of Egypt and their exploits were normally couched in the third person, except in instances where the words of the Pharaoh are directly quoted. The Greek historian Xenophon, in his Anabasis, characteristically refers to himself in the third person; likewise does Julius Caesar in his Gallic Wars and his Civil Wars as well. Yet no one questions that these were the genuine works of Xenophon and Caesar.
Furthermore, it would have appeared quite strange to the Hebrew reader (as well as to us modern readers) if in this genealogical account the author had suddenly brought himself into it with such wording as this: "These are the heads of the fathers' (households) of the Levites according to their families. It was actually us, Moses and Aaron, to whom the Lord said, 'Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt....' We were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh the king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt" (Exod. 6:25-26). Nothing could sound more bizarre than this sudden intrusion of first person forms in the midst of an objective account of this sort. Hence a conformity to the usual conventions governing this genre of the historical narrative furnishes no evidence whatever against Mosaic authorship of such verses as these.
As for Exodus 16:33-34, the same principle obtains. "And Moses said to Aaron, 'Take a jar and put an omerful of manna in it.... As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the Testimony, to be kept" (NASB). Any normal historian, especially one who was not a boastful monarch of Egypt or Mesopotamia, would record actions in which he was personally involved in an objective style of speech just like this. Moses was writing an official record for the benefit of the entire nation; he had no intention of converting this record into a self-exalting personal memoir.
Why did the Egyptian magicians display the power (according to Exod. 8:7) of performing miracles as Moses and Aaron did (cf. also Exod. 7:11,22)?
Scripture indicates that Satan has power to perform "lying wonders" (2 Thess. 2:9) through his wicked agents for the express purpose of leading mankind astray. Christ warned that "false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect" (Matt. 24:24). From Exodus 7 and 8 we learn that Satan displayed this power and employed this strategem even in the time of Moses. Satan will continue to do so even in the final days of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 13:13), when his agent the False Prophet will perform "great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men" (NASB).
Counterfeit miracles, then, are Satan's stock in trade. Yet it should be carefully noted that Satan-empowered miracles are based largely on deception and illusion and generally involve some kind of clever trickery. Pharaoh's magicians showed a skill not much different from that of professional magicians today, who know how to produce rabbits or doves out of their hats. Their staffs that turned into serpents when cast on the ground may have been snakes that they had charmed into rigidity that made them look like staffs until their bodies hit the ground. Their frogs, apparently few in number compared to the overwhelming host that Moses' rod produced, may have been concealed at first like the rabbits in the magician's hat. But when they failed in their attempt to reproduce the stinging gnats that Aaron's rod had brought forth, they had to admit to Pharaoh that their art was merely human (or merely satanic, at least); for this new plague could only be explained as "the finger of God" (Exod. 8:19).
More importantly, the magicians' power was utterly inadequate to cope with the blood and the frogs produced by the Hebrew leaders. Neither were the magicians able to remove them from afflicting the land of Egypt. Hence their clever trickery was completely valueless and impotent before the true miracles performed by God in the ten plagues.
Why did God slay all the firstborn Egyptians when the Egyptian people had no control over Pharaoh's decision not to allow the Israelites to leave his country (Exod. 12:29-30)?
There is no way for nations to be dealt with other than on a collective basis. The fortunes of the citizens of any country are bound up with the government that guides their national policy, whether that government be a democracy, a party dictatorship, or monarchy. A wise and successful government passes on its benefit to all its citizenry, as when its armed forces defeat an invading host on the battlefield.
A foolish or wicked government, like that of King Ahaz in the days of Isaiah the prophet, brings disaster and distress on all its subjects, regardless of personal merit. So it was with Egypt in Moses' day. The consequences of the decisions made by Pharaoh and his court were binding on all the people. Throughout history, ever since governments were first organized on the tribal level, it has been so.
Thus when Egypt's king decided to break his solemn oath by repeated acts of perjury and to set at defiance the almighty Lord of the universe, there could be no result other than the final, dreadful plague of which Moses had forewarned. By the terms of this judgment every firstborn male throughout Egypt, whether man or beast, was to lose his life, even as all previous nine plagues had affected the entire population of the Nile Valley.
Conceivably a coup d'etat might have toppled Pharaoh from his throne in time to avert this approaching catastrophe, but his subjects were content to let him make the fateful decision as their lawful ruler. A loss of life in the family of the king alone—or even in the households of his aristocracy— would scarcely have sufficed to compel Egypt to grant a release of the entire Israelite nation and all its cattle. Nothing short of an all-inclusive calamity visited on the entire people would serve to bring about the deliverance of God's people from the bondage they had suffered in Egypt.
[SO THIS PARTLY PUTS ROMANS 13 AND GOVERNMENTS INTO A CONTEX. OBEY LAWS OF GOVERNMENTS THAT ARE NOT IN OPPOSITION TO GOD’S LAWS AND HIS “SPIRIT OF THE LAW” - WE ARE THUS BEING GOOD CITIZENS; BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE TO BE FOLLOWING BLINDLY THE GOVERNMENT WE ARE IN. WE DO NOT USE “BLIND OBEDIENCE” I. E. THE CLASSIC EXAMPLE WOULD BE FOLLOWING BLINDLY THE GOVERNMENT OF NAZI GERMANY UNDER ADOLF HITLER THAT CAME TO POWER IN 1933/34 TO THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO. ANOTHER EXAMPLE WOULD BE THAT ROME ALLOWED FREEDOM TO THE JEWS TO PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION IN ALL ITS WAYS, ALL THAT ROME DESIRED WAS THEY BE GOOD CITIZENS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE - Keith Hunt]
How could the various plagues fail to affect the Israelites as well as the Egyptians if they were imposed on the whole land of Egypt, as Exodus 8:16 and 9:22 say they were?
Neither in the Bible nor in any other literary document are we at liberty to take terms like "all" in an absolute sense if the context clearly indicates a qualifying restriction. In Exodus 9:6, for example, we read, "So the Lord did this thing on the morrow, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the sons of Israel, not one died" (NASB). The exception is expressly made for the Hebrews living in Goshen, which was apparently populated only by the Israelite population along with their household servants (some of whom were apparently non-Israelite; cf. 12:38).
No explicit exception is made for the Hebrews in connection with the first three plagues, the plague of blood (7:17-25), the plague of frogs (8:1 -14), and the plague of lice (8:16-19); yet there is no mention made of their afflicting the Israelites themselves. In the case of the first two, at least, it is stated that the Egyptians suffered their effect (7:21; 8:4), without reference to the Hebrews. But in connection with the fourth plague, that of flies, a clear distinction is drawn in 8:21: "I will send swarms of insects [or flies] on you and all your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of insects, and also the ground on which they dwell" (NASB). Likewise, in the case of the murrain, "the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Israel" (9:4, NASB).
As for the sixth plague, it is clearly stated that the boils came on the magicians and all the Egyptians, but there is no mention of Israelites (9:11). As for the seventh plague, that of the hail and lightning, it is expressly stated (v.25) that it struck "all that was in the field through all the land of Egypt, both man and beast.... Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were there was no hail" (vv.25-26, NASB). Likewise with the ninth plague, that of darkness, "there was thick dark-ness in all the land of Egypt for three days.... But all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings" (10:22-23, NASB). As for the tenth plague, it is undisputed and unquestioned that the death of the firstborn took place in every household except those in Goshen that had sprinkled the blood of the Passover lamb on the lintel and doorposts of the front door (12:29-30).
There is, then, no confusion or contradiction in the entire narrative. Those plagues that afflicted the rest of Egypt did not touch Goshen, where the Israelites lived. They struck all the land of Egypt and all the Egyptians except the believing children of Israel and their special enclave in Goshen.
Is there any evidence that any Pharaoh's son ever died in connection with the Israelite Exodus?
Exodus 12:29 states the episode in the following terms: "Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle" (NASB). The question arises as to whether there is any Egyptian evidence that might corroborate this tragic loss of the crown prince in a period corresponding to the Exodus itself. The answer to that question is affirmative, for it is implied in the Dream Stela of Thutmose IV.
To establish the time locus, we should take note of the fact that the Exodus, according to 1 Kings 6:1, took place about 480 years before the cornerstone was laid for Solomon's temple in Jerusalem. Since Solomon's reign began in 970 B.C., and since he commenced the building of the temple four years later (in 966), the Exodus must have occurred back in 1446 or 1445. According to the usual chronology agreed on for the Eighteenth Dynasty, Thutmose III (who was probably the "Pharaoh of the Oppression," from whom Moses fled after killing the Egyptian [Exod. 2:11-15]) died in 1447 B.C. His son Amenhotep II assumed the throne and became (if our chronology is correct) the Pharaoh of the Exodus. He reigned until 1421, when he was succeeded by his son Thutmose IV (1421-1410).
Now it so happens that a stela was found in a shrine connected with the great Sphinx at Gizeh, which recorded a dream appearance of the god Har-makhis, who solemnly promised the throne to Thutmose when he was only one of the princes in the royal family during the reign of his father: "I am thy father [i.e., his divine patron, not his biological father], Harmakhis-Khepri-Re-Atum. I shall give thee my kingdom upon earth [i.e., Egypt] at the head of the living" (Pritchard, ANET, p. 449). This elevation to kingship was, according to the god's instructions, to be followed by the pious undertaking of removing all the desert sand that had drifted against the recumbent figure of the Sphinx and rendered his chapel (located between his gigantic paws) inaccessible to the worshiping public.
The possibility exists that this oracle, which Thutmose later had recorded in this votive inscription, was simply an assurance that Thutmose himself would be preserved from death until his father had passed away, thus enabling him as crown prince to ascend the throne of Egypt. But since this would have been the normal sequence of events, hardly requiring any unusual favor from the gods, it is far more likely that Thutmose was not the crown prince at the time he had this dream. There must have been an older brother who was next in line for the throne. Therefore it would have to be a very special act of providence for Thutmose to become his father's successor. And that providence must have entailed the premature death of his older brother. How did it happen that this older brother met an untimely end? Exodus 12:29 seems to furnish the answer to this question.
How can the second commandment be reconciled with God's directions for pictorial ornamentation in the tabernacle (Exod. 20) and the temple (1 Kings 6:1-38; 7:13-51)?
The second commandment (Exod. 20:4-5) deals with the sin of idolatry and concerns itself, therefore, with the fashioning of carved images or other representations of "any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth" (NASB) for the purposes of worshiping them as numinous powers or deities. The connection between the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (v.3, NASB), and the second commandment is very close, and furnishes a setting in which to understand the true, full intent of this prohibition. Verse 5 continues this commandment by specifying, "You shall not worship them or serve them" (NASB). In other words, there are to be no material likenesses made of persons or things that are likely to be worshiped as supernatural or divine. That this is God's intention is clearly brought out by the passages cited in the question. Exodus 25:18,20 specifies: "You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat.... And the cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another" (NASB).
In the great temple of Solomon, the inner sanctum was to be guarded by two images of cherubim at least fifteen or eighteen feet tall ("ten cubits"), with a wing span of ten cubits as well (1 Kings 6:23-27). These cherubim would of course be invisible to the general public because of their location in the Holy of Holies, protected from view by worshipers outside by its drape or hanging. As such they could not become objects of worship. But there were also figures of cherubim that were carved into the wall of the "Holy Place," along with palm trees and open flowers (6:29,32). Apparently they were hardly susceptible of becoming cult objects when they were used as ornamentation along the walls in a recurring pattern of this sort. Therefore they were not considered objectionable or contrary to the mandate of the second commandment.
How can Sunday replace Saturday under the fourth commandment?
In Exodus 20:8 God's people are commanded: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." The seventh day of the week is to commemorate the completion of God's work of creation (v.l1 concludes, "The Lord ... rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it"). This commandment ranks with the nine others to form the Decalogue, and there is no suggestion even in the New Testament that the Ten Commandments are not binding on the conscience of Christian believers or that the number has been reduced to nine rather than ten. In the absence of any divine instruction to the contrary, we may assume that the fourth commandment is still binding on us. But the real question at issue is whether the sanction of the seventh day Sabbath has been by the New Testament transferred to the first day of the week, which the Christian church generally (apart from Sabbatarian groups) honors as the Lord's Day, otherwise known as the Christian Sabbath.
[NOTICE THEY ADMIT THE SABBATH DAY COMMAND WAS NOT OBLITERATED AND ONLY 9 WERE LEFT IN THE NEW COVENANT. I GREW UP IN A CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL [ANGLICAN - THE CHURCH OF THE QUEEN] AND A LOCAL CHURCH FOR SUNDAY-SCHOOL. I WAS TAUGHT TO MEMORIZE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AS GIVEN IN EXODUS 20. SO I HAD A FULL UNDERSTANDING OF EVERY WORD OF THE 4TH COMMANDMENT. AS ALL CHRISTIANITY I KNEW FROM AGE 7 TO 19 WAS OBSERVING SUNDAY, IT WAS NATURAL FOR ME TO THINK AS I DID, THAT SUNDAY WAS THE 7TH DAY OF THE WEEK. NOT ONE PERSON EVER TOLD ME DIFFERENTLY, UNTIL I CAME TO CANADA AND IT WAS MY BAPTIST LANDLORD WHO TOLD ME SUNDAY WAS THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, TO MY UTTER SHOCK! Keith Hunt]
New Testament Evidence for Sunday Worship
[NOW THEY START ON THE SO-CALLED NEW TESTAMENT EVIDENCE THAT THE 7TH DAY SABBATH WAS TRANSFERRED TO SUNDAY THE FIRST DAY - Keith Hunt]
The heart of the apostolic manifesto to the Jewish and Gentile world from Pentecost onward was the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ: "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses" (Acts 2:32, NASB). The bodily resurrection was God's certification to the world that the Savior of mankind had paid a valid and sufficient price for sinners and that He had for them overcome the curse of death. Christ's effectual atoning sacrifice and conquest over sin and death ushered in a new era, the age of the New Testament church. As the Lord's Supper replaced the Old Testament sacrament of the Passover, as the death of Christ replaced the sacrifice of animal offerings on the altar, as the high priesthood of Christ "after the order of Melchizedek" replaced the priesthood of Aaron and constituted every born-again believer as a priest of God, so also in the case of this one commandment out of the ten, which was in part at least ceremonial, there was to be a change in the symbol appropriate to the new dispensation, as the following facts seem to teach.
[THEY SAY PARTLY CEREMONIAL—— WOW…. AS FROM AGE 7 WITH THE FIRST 1/2 OF EVERY SCHOOL DAY WAS IN THE BIBLE, I NEVER EVER GOT THE SMALLEST INCLINE TO THINK THERE WAS ANY “CEREMONIAL” ASPECTS TO THE SABBATH. JUST BECAUSE ANIMAL SACRIFICES WERE DONE ON THE WEEKLY SABBATH, SO THEY WERE DONE ON EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR, UNDER ANCIENT ISRAEL. THE SANCTIFYING OF THE WEEKLY SABBATH WAS VERY CLEARLY DONE IN GENESIS 2, AND WAS NOT CEREMONIAL IN ANY WAY - Keith Hunt]
Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, according to all four Evangelists (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). Thus Sunday took on special importance as the weekly day of celebration for the triumph of the Resurrection.
[NOPE IT DID NOT TAKE ON ANY SPECIAL IMPORTANCE BY THE FIRST CENTURY APOSTLES. THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE WORD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT STATES THE APOSTLES EVER TAUGHT ANY “SPECIAL IMPORTANCE” TO THE DAY CHRIST WAS RESURRECTED— THE RESURRECTION ITSELF WAS WHAT THEY TAUGHT AND WAS IMPORTANT, NOT THE DAY. THIS IS ALL THE SILLY VAIN ATEMPT BY TODAY’S “CLERGY” TO MAKE SUNDAY REPLACE THE 7TH DAY SABBATH - Keith Hunt]
Jesus personally appeared to His followers in visible, bodily form and conversed with them on Easter Sunday. (1) He first appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18). (2) He next appeared to the other women who had brought spices for the embalming of His body (Matt. 28:7-10). (3) He appeared personally to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34). (4) He walked and talked with Cleopas and his companion on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:15-32). (5) He appeared to the ten disciples and their friends on that same Sunday evening—His first appearance to a gathered assembly of Christian believers.
[SO WHAT??? WHERE DOES IT SAY IN HIS APPEARING TO THEM, HE TOLD THEM SUNDAY WAS NOW THE WEEKLY SABBATH? THAT THE FIRST DAY WAS NOW SANCTIFIED AND HOLY DAY, THAT ALL THE RULES FOR 7TH DAY SABBATH OBSERVANCE WAS NOW TO BE TRANSFERRED TO SUNDAY? NO SUCH WORDS CAN BE FOUND, IT’S ALL IN THE SILLY MINDS OF PEOPLE WANTING TO CONTINUE OBSERVING THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK - Keith Hunt]
Exactly one week later, on a Sunday night, Jesus again appeared to His disciples; and this time the skeptical Thomas (who had been absent on the previous Sunday) was on hand. To him Jesus presented the physical evidence of His nail-pierced hands and feet and His spear-stabbed side in order to convince Thomas that He was alive again and was going about in the same body that had been crucified on Good Friday.
[WHERE DOES IT SAY JESUS HERE TAUGHT THEM TO OBSERVE SUNDAY AS THE NEW TESTAMENT HOLY DAY? IT DOES NOT, BUT PEOPLE WILL GRASP AT ANYTHING, READ INTO EVENTS, TO UPHOLD THEIR FALSE TEACHINGS OF SUNDAY OBSERVANCE - Keith Hunt]
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church took place on Pentecost. Since the Crucifixion took place on a Friday, the offering of the wave-sheaf (typical of the Resurrection) took place on the "morrow after the sabbath" (Lev. 23:10-11)—on a Sunday. This means that forty-nine days later, the Feast of Weeks (known in Greek as Pentekoste, "Fiftieth [Day]") fell also on a Sunday. Obviously it was the Lord Himself who chose to honor Sunday by bringing about both the Easter victory and the "birthday" of the New Testament church on the first day of the week.
[WHERE DOES IT SAY ON THE PENTECOST FEAST, IN PETER’S SERMON, OR ANY OF THE PEOPLE CALLED APOSTLES IN THE NT, THAT AS PENTECOST WAS ON SUNDAY, SO SUNDAY WOULD NOW BE THE WEEKLY SABBATH? IT DOES NOT, NO SINGLE WORD IN THE WRITTEN NEW TESTAMENT SAYS NEW COVENANT CHRISTIANS WERE TO NOW KEEP SUNDAY HOLY, THAT ALL THE RULES FOR SABBATH OBSERVANCE WERE NOW TRANSFERRED TO SUNDAY - Keith Hunt]
After Pentecost it seems that the Christian community continued to celebrate the seventh-day Sabbath as before, by gathering with other Jews (both converted and unconverted) for the reading of the Torah, for preaching, and for prayer. But there is no demonstrable reference to Christians ever gathering on the Saturday Sabbath to celebrate the Lord's Supper or to hold a distinctively Christian assembly. They joined in synagogue worship on Saturdays because they felt themselves to be Jews, even though they believed in Christ. In fact, they believed that they were better and more authentic Jews than those who had rejected the Hope of Israel.
THE READING OF THE NEW TESTAMENT MAKES IT VERY CLEAR THERE WAS NO ARGUMENT ABOUT WHICH DAY OF THE WEEK WAS A HOLY DAY, THE WEEKLY SABBATH DAY. CHRISTIANS DID NOT ATTEND THE 7TH DAY SERVICES JUST TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL TO OTHER JEWS. PAUL EVENTUALLY GAVE UP ON THE JEWS, AND WENT TO THE GENTILES. NOT ONE WORD FROM PAUL’S TEACHINGS TO GENTILES SAYS HE TAUGHT THEM TO OBSERVE AND MEET ON A NEW HOLY DAY, THAT BEING SUNDAY. THE WEEKLY SABBATH WAS SO INGRAINED IN JEWS AND PROSELYTES (GENTILES TO JUDAISM), IT WAS AT LEAST ON PAR WITH PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION. THE ARGUMENT AROSE ABOUT PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION AND THEY HAD A MINISTER MEETING TO DECIDE THE SUBJECT— SEE ACTS 15. IF THE WEEKLY SABBATH WAS GOING TO BE CHANGED YOU CAN BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR AS WE SAY, THAT A MINSTER MEETING AS IN ACTS 15 WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN CALLED, TO EXPLAIN THIS “NEW TRUTH” THAT HAD BEEN REVEALED BY CHRIST HIMSELF IN PERSON OR FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT INSPIRING ALL THE APOSTLES TO THIS TRUTH OF A NEW HOLY DAY. NOTHING CLOSE TO ANY OF THIS CAN BE FOUND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND SURELY THE 7TH DAY SABBATH WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION, SEEING THE 7TH DAY WAS SANCTIFIED FROM GENESIS 2 - Keith Hunt]
But they also met on Sunday mornings for worship and Holy Communion, and quite possibly on Sunday evening as well, when they had more preaching and the partaking of the agape meal, or "love feast" (Acts 20:5-12).
[MEETING ON ANY SUNDAY DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY TEACH THAT SUNDAY WAS NOW THE WEEKLY HOLY SABBATH DAY. MEETING ON SATURDAY NIGHT, OR SUNDAY NIGHT, DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY SANCTIFY SUNDAY AS THE WEEKLY SABBATH. THE TRUTH IS THE FIRST CENTURY TRUE CHURCH OF GOD DID NOT OBSERVE THE SO-CALLED “LORD’S SUPPER” ON SATURDAY EVENING, SUNDAY MORNING, OR SUNDAY EVENING. THAT IDEA COMES FROM FALSE CHRISTIANITY OF THE SECOND CENTURY AS ROME MOVED AWAY FROM OBSERVING THE LORD’S DEATH AT PASSOVER TIME. ALL THAT HISTORICAL FACT IS PRESENTED IN DETAIL IN OTHER STUDIES ON THIS WEBSITE. IT IS OFTEN CALLED THE PASSOVER-EASTER QUARTODECIMAN CONTROVERSY IN CHURCH HISTORY - Keith Hunt]
In 1 Corinthians 16:2, Paul gave this instruction to the Corinthian church: "On the first day of every week let each of you put aside [lit., 'put by himself] and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come" (NASB). The collection referred to was the relief fund for starving Hebrew Christians of Judea who were so hard hit by famine. Paul could hardly have been referring to a habit of saving carried on simply in private homes, for there would then have been no point to his referring to any one special day of the week. Anyone who is saving up for some special cause and setting the money aside in a "piggy bank" would be free to do so on any day of the week. He would hardly be expected to wait until Sunday to touch his private piggy bank. The only plausible basis for mentioning a particular day of the week was so that they might all contribute to the benevolence treasury (note the use of the word thesaurizon, "saving," which really means "putting into a treasury [thesauros]," the very same term as was applied to the offering box set up in the court of the Jerusalem temple) according to what their income had been during the previous week ("as he may prosper"), presumably the 10 percent prescribed by the Old Testament. This pooling of their individual contributions into a common receptacle would enable them to amass a considerable sum for famine relief. With all these factors in view, it is safe for us to conclude that the Corinthian church was in the habit of meeting on Sundays and that they took up offerings of some sort in connection with those Sunday worship services.
[UTTER NONSENSE AS SOME “CLERGY” OF PROTESTANTISM HAVE SAID REGARDING THIS SITUATION OF 1 COR. 16. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY SUNDAY MEETINGS OF THE TRUE CHURCH OF GOD. IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH LAYING BY “HIMSELF” WHAT GIFT PAUL WAS GOING TO COLLECT FROM THEM ON A WORK DAY - ON SUNDAY; AND SO THEN TAKE THOSE GIFTS TO THE NEEDY CHURCH AT JERUSALEM. IT WAS GOING TO TAKE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE (MAYBE PAUL HIMSELF) TO BRING THEIR GIFTS TO JERUSALEM, HARDLY A COLLECTION OF MONEY IN AN OFFERING DURING A SUNDAY SERVICE. NOTHING HERE SAYS SUNDAY OR THE FIRST DAY WAS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH THAT WAS NOW SANCTIFIED AND HOLY AND TO MEET FOR CHURCH SERVICES. BUT PEOPLE WILL READ INTO WHAT IS NOT THERE TO JUSTIFY THEIR FALSE THEOLOGY - Keith Hunt]
After Paul had spent an entire week at Troas, according to Acts 20:5-12, he concluded his stay with the Christian community there by presiding at their Sunday evening service. This could hardly have been a special meeting held for evangelistic or Bible-conference purposes, for otherwise there would have been no discernible motive for him to tarry there for seven days (v.6). Paul was quite pressed for time, since he had to make it to Jerusalem in time for the annual Feast of Pentecost (v. 16). We must therefore conclude that he waited until the regular Sunday evening service at Troas so that he might have as large a congregation as possible. (There can be no legitimate question as to whether "first day of the week" could have referred to Saturday evening—as some have argued— since Troas was a city of major size and commercial importance, and it was beyond question predominantly Gentile. Therefore for them the "first day of the week" would have begun at midnight, as it did for the Roman world, and as it does for us today.) Paul then preached to a packed church at the upper story level; and they protracted the meeting all night until the dawn of Monday morning, when they held a simple love feast together before saying goodby (v. 11). The institution of Sunday worship was firmly entrenched at Troas and obviously approved of by Paul.
[ONCE MORE READING INTO THINGS THAT ARE SIMPLY NOT THERE. YOU CAN HAVE A MEETING OF CHRISTIANS ON ANY DAY OF THE WEEK, ANY EVENING, GOING AS LONG AS YOU LIKE OR AS DESIRED FOR THE SITUATION AT HAND. NOTHING HERE SAYS THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK IS SANCTIFIED, MADE HOLY, OR THE 7TH DAY SABBATH LAWS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. TO MAKE SUNDAY HOLY, AS NOW THE NEW 4TH COMMANDMENT OF THE GREAT 10 COMMANDMENTS, YOU WOULD NEED WORDS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, THAT STATE SUNDAY IS NOW “HOLY” “SANCTIFIED” “THE SABBATH OF THE NEW COVENANT” “THE DAY THAT NOW REPLACES THE 7TH DAY” —— NO SUCH WORD CAN BE FOUND IN THE INSPIRED NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS. HOW EASY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR JESUS OR ANY OF THE APOSTLES MENTIONED AS APOSTLES, TO HAVE SAID A FEW SIMPLE WORDS LIKE “AND NOW WE HAVE THE FIRST DAY AS THE SABBATH” OR “NOW THE FIRST DAY REPLACES THE 7TH DAY” OR “AS CHRIST ROSE ON THE FIRST DAY IT IS NOW THE CHRISTIAN HOLY SABBATH DAY” OR “THE FIRST DAY HAS NOW BEEN SANCTIFIED BY GOD AS THE NEW COVENANT SABBATH” OR “THE CHURCHES SHOULD ALWAYS MEET ON THE FIRST DAY, AS IT IS NOW THE CHRISTIAN HOLY DAY OF THE WEEK.” NO SUCH SENTENCES CAN BE FOUND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT! - Keith Hunt]
The final New Testament reference to Sunday as a day of special meaning to Christians is to be found in Revelation 1:10: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet" (NASB). The voice was that of the glorified Christ Himself, who had come to commune with John on Sunday. "The Lord's Day" is expressed in the dative case: te kyriake hemera. There is no valid ground for questioning whether this really referred to Sunday. To this very day it is the regular word for "Sunday" in modern Greek, and it is plainly so intended in the earliest postbiblical witnesses (Didache 14:1, first quarter of the second century; Epistle of Barnabas 15:1, early second century). Justin Martyr (mid-second century) describes a typical order of service at a Christian service "on the day called Sunday" (First Apology 67). In his Dialogue with Trypho (a Jew), Justin argues that the command in Genesis 17 to circumcise an infant "on the eighth day" was intended by God as "a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath, our Lord Jesus Christ" (Chap. 41). By the early third century, Tertullian went so far as to insist that "we [Christians] have nothing to do with sabbaths or other Jewish festivals, much less with those of the heathen. We have our own solemnities, the Lord's Day, for instance, and Pentecost" (On Idolatry 14). In De Oratione (23) Tertullian urged the cessation of labor on Sunday so that it might be preserved as a day of worship for God's people.
[JUST BECAUSE WORDS ARE USED IN A CERTAIN CONTEXT DOES NOT MEAN THEY SAY THE SAME THING IN ANOTHER CONTEXT. THE ENGLISH WORD “PRESENT” CAN BE USED IN GIVING SOMEONE A PRESENT AND ALSO BEING PRESENT WITH OTHERS AT A FUNCTION. THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS A PROPHETIC BOOK WHICH FOR 90 PERCENT OF IT IS HAPPENING ON THE DAY OF GOD’S WRATH, THE DAY OF THE LORD AS THE PHRASE IS USED IN DOZENS OF PASSAGES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. NOWHERE CAN YOU FIND IN THE NT ANY WORDS SAYING THE 4TH COMMANDMENT IS NOW THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AND IS CALLED THE “LORD’S DAY.” AGAIN HOW SIMPLE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR ONE OF THE APOSTLES OF THE NT TO HAVE WRITTEN IN AN EPISTLE, “WE KEEP HOLY THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, WHICH IS NOW CALLED ‘THE LORD’S DAY’ AND THE CHURCHES GATHER TOGETHER ON THIS DAY” OR “THE 7TH DAY SABBATH IS NOW TRANSFERRED TO THE FIRST DAY AS CALLED ‘THE LORD’S DAY’” OR “THE SABBATH COMMANDS ARE NOW MOVED TO THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, WHICH WE CALL ‘THE LORD’S DAY.’” SUCH WORDS CANNOT BE FOUND IN THE NT. SILENCE IN THIS CASE DOES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE ESPECIALLY WHEN IT CONCERNS ONE OF THE GREAT TEN COMMANDMENTS.
LOOK THE 7TH COMMANDMENT “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY” IS THE COMMANDMENT THAT COVERS ALL SEXUAL SINS IN MARRIAGE AND OUTSIDE MARRIAGE. IT COVERS THE SINS OF HOMOSEXUALITY/LESBIANISM/BEASTIALITY/INSECT. IF THE 7TH COMMANDMENT WAS GOING TO BE CHANGED IN ANY WAY THAT COVERS THOSE SINS UNDER THE OLD COVENANT, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN WORDS IN THE NT TO TELL US, SUCH AS, “THE LOVE OF A MAN TOWARDS A MAN OR WOMAN TOWARDS A WOMAN IN MARRIAGE, IS PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE NEW COVENANT” OR “FORNICATION, SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE IS NOW ALLOWED UNDER THE NEW COVENANT.” AS THERE ARE NO WORDS, BUT THE VERY OPPOSITE GIVEN UNDER THE NEW COVENANT, THAT 7TH COMMANDMENT HAS NOT BEEN CHANGED IN ANY WAY FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW COVENANT. TO CHANGE ANY OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AS EXPANDED UNDER THE OLD COVENANT, WOULD TAKE SPECIFIC WORDS TO BE WRITTEN DOWN FOR ALL NT CHRISTIANS. SUCH WORDS OF CHANGE REGARDING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE SIMPLY NOT FOUND ANYWHERE IN THE NT. Keith Hunt]
A very interesting testimony is found in the Syriac The Teaching of the Apostles, dating from the second half of the third century, to the effect that Christ's apostles were the first to designate the first day of the week as the day for Christian worship. "The Apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation: because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the dead, and on the first day of the week He ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week He will appear at last with the angels of heaven" (Ante-Nicene Fathers 8.668). (For most of the quotations from the church fathers, I am indebted to Henry Waterman's fine article "The Lord's Day',' [Tenney, Zonder-van Pictorial Encyclopedia, 3:965-66].)
[SUCH WRITINGS ARE FRAGRANT FALSE TEACHINGS OF FALSE MINISTERS. WE FIND A NUMBER OF PASSAGES IN THE NT, WHILE THE TRUE ORIGINAL APOSTLES LIVED, WHERE WE ARE TOLD THAT EVEN DURING THEIR LIFETIME— MIDDLE CENTURY INTO THE LAST PART OF THE CENTURY (THE APOSTLE JOHN)— PEOPLE HAD COME INTO THE CHURCH OF GOD BRINGING FALSE DOCTRINE. JUDE HAD TO TELL TRUE CHRISTIANS TO “EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS.” PAUL TOLD THE ELDERS AT EPHESUS (ACTS 20) “FOR I KNOW AT MY DEPARTING SHALL GRIEVOUS WOLVES ENTER IN AMONG YOU, NOT SPARING THE FLOCK. ALSO OF YOUR OWN SELVES SHALL MEN ARISE, SPEAKING PERVERSE THINGS, TO DRAW AWAY DISCIPLES AFTER THEM (PEOPLE PLEASERS, THE “SAY WHAT THE PEOPLE WHAT TO HEAR” DECEIVERS). THE APOSTLE JOHN NEAR THE END OF THE FIRST CENTURY SAID, “LITTLE CHILDREN, IT IS THE LAST TIME, AND AS YOU HAVE HEARD THAT ANT-CHRIST SHALL COME, EVEN NOW THERE ARE MANY ANTI-CHRISTS, WHEREBY WE KNOW THAT IT IS THE LAST TIME” (1 JOHN 2:18). AND AS JOHN WENT ON TO SAY, “THEY WENT OUT FROM US, BUT THEY WERE NOT OF USE; FOR IF THEY HAD BEEN OF US THEY WOULD NO DOUBT HAVE CONTINUED WITH US; BUT THEY WENT OUT THAT IT MIGHT BE MADE MANIFEST THEY WERE NOT ALL OF US” (1 JOHN 2:19). AND THERE ARE OTHER PASSAGES FROM CHRIST HIMSELF ABOUT FALSE PROPHETS TO COME, SO GREAT WOULD BE THE DECEPTION BEFORE HE RETURNS, THAT IF IT WAS POSSIBLE EVEN THE VERY ELECT WOULD BE DECEIVED—MATTHEW 24. WHEN ASKED IF MANY WERE SAVED, JESUS ANSWERED, MANY WOULD TRY TO ENTER BUT FEW WOULD MAKE THAT FIRST RESURRECTION. IN FACT IF YOU ARE WILLING TO READ ALL THE RED WORDS OF CHRIST IN A RED LETTER NEW TESTAMENT, YOU WILL BE SHOCKED AT THE WORDS OF JESUS REGARDING “BEING SAVED.” BUT MOST CHRISTIANS DO NOT BOTHER READING THE WORDS OF THE VERY SAVIOR THEY SAY THEY FOLLOW. JESUS OBSERVED THE SABBATH WITH THE RELIGIOUS JEWS; HE ENTERED DEBATES WITH THEM ON MANY TOPICS, BUT NOT ON WHEN TO OBSERVE THE 7TH DAY SABBATH; HE DID NOT SAY ONE WORD THAT THE 4TH COMMANDMENT WAS GOING TO BE CHANGED. ALL OF THESE SILLY PLANET PLUTO IDEAS THAT THE SABBATH WAS CHANGED FROM SATURDAY TO SUNDAY, IS TRULY HOGWASH FROM SOME DARKENED PLANET FAR AWAY, OR PUTTING IT MORE BLUNTLY….THEOLOGY FROM THE DEVIL AND HIS CO-WORKERS - Keith Hunt]
In the light of these early Christian testimonies, we can see the unsoundness of the contention made by some Sabbatarian advocates that Sunday was not chosen to supersede Saturday as the day of Christian worship until the time of Constantine the Great (308-37). From apostolic times Sunday has been recognized by Christians as a day of worship and a day of rest. But what Constantine did was to issue a special edict prescribing Sunday as the official day of rest each week throughout the Roman Empire.
[SUNDAY SLOWLY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND CENTURY, WAS GETTING A FOLLOWING AMONG GENTILES; IF MADE THEM DIFFERENT FROM THE THOSE TERRIBLE JEWS WHO KILLED THE SAVIOR. IT WAS BECOMING POLITICALLY CORRECT TO SAY “GET AWAY FROM JEWISH THEOLOGY”— THE REMEMBERING OUR SAVIOR’S DEATH WAS BY ROME, MOVED TO THE OLD FAMOUS PAGAN “EASTER TIME”—— ALL THIS FULLY EXPOUNDED ON THIS WEBSITE.
THE FALSE APOSTLES WERE MANY AND WERE GAINING STRONG INFLUENCE DURING THE SECOND CENTURY. THEY WERE COMING IN TO THE TRUE CHURCHES OF GOD, AND MOVING OUT TO TAKE AWAY MANY FOR THEMSELVES; EGO, VANITY, MONEY, FAME, ALL CONTRIBUTED TO THOSE WHO MOVED OUT TO GET IN LINE WITH THE THEOLOGY NOW TAKING PLACE IN ROME.
NO ONE WROTE ANYTHING THAT THE 12 APOSTLES SAID ANYTHING ABOUT MAKING SUNDAY A HOLY DAY SANCTIFIED BY GOD; ALL 7TH DAY SABBATH LAWS MOVING OVER TO THE FIRST DAY, IS PURELY IMAGINATION OF TOO MANY SCIENCE-FICTION MOVIES THEY’VE WATCHED, AND SETTING UP A RELIGION THAT COVETED MORE AND MORE PEOPLE, GETTING A FOLLOWING, ALLOWING THEM TO KEEP THEIR OLD PAGAN DAY CELEBRATIONS AS THEY ENTERED THE “POPULAR” CHRISTIAN CHURCH COMING FROM ROME.
ALL THE “CHURCH FATHERS” SO-CALLED, WERE ROMAN CATHOLICS THAT BELIEVED THEY WERE THE TRUE CHURCH OF GOD, AND WERE INSPIRED TO CHANGE LAWS AS THEY SAW FIT. THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM IN TELLING YOU IT WAS THEY, AT ROME, WHO CHANGED THE DAY FROM SATURDAY TO SUNDAY, WHILE ALSO SAYING NOT ONE VERSE IN THE NT SANCTIONS OBSERVING SUNDAY, THE FIRST DAY AS A HOLY DAY, REPLACING THE OLD 7TH DAY SABBATH. THEY ADMIT IT WAS THEM ALONE WITH AUTHORITY FROM GOD TO MAKE THAT CHANGE AS THEY WERE GOD’S TRUE CHURCH—— WHICH IS JUST THE OPPOSITE OF THE REAL FACTS OF THE BIBLE AND CHURCH HISTORY - Keith Hunt]
Sanctifying the Lord's Day
Now that we have covered the New Testament basis for the adoption of the first day of the week as the distinctive day of worship for Christians, we turn our attention to the question of how the Lord's Day was—and is—to be sanctified by God's people. If our initial premise is correct and the Lord's Day is basically intended to perpetuate the special sanctity of the Sabbath, then it would follow that our reverence for Sunday should be equal to that of the ancient Hebrew believer for the seventh-day Sabbath.
[WOW….THERE IT IS IN PLAIN WORDS; THEY TEACH SUNDAY SHOULD EQUAL THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH. SO A LITTLE TIME SPENT SEARCHING THE VERSES ABOUT THE 7TH DAY SABBATH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, WILL TELL YOU HOW TO OBSERVE SUNDAY - Keith Hunt]
How is the Lord's Day to be sanctified? Well, if we consult the Decalogue, we find that it is to be marked by a cessation from self-serving, gainful employment that would be quite proper for the other six days of the week (Exod. 20:9-10).
[OH YES INDEED! BUT HOW MANY SUNDAY MINISTERS WILL PREACH THAT YOU DO NOT YOUR SECULAR JOB WORK YOU DO, ON 6 DAYS? HOW MANY WILL TEACH THAT FROM SATURDAY SUNSET TO SUNDAY SUNSET IS HOLY AND IF NEEDS BE YOU WILL GIVE UP YOUR JOB IF YOUR JOB OR COMPANY DEMANDS YOU WORK FOR SOME OF THAT TIME? HOW MANY WILL GIVE UP THEIR SATURDAY NIGHT FUN TIME OF WHATEVER, BECAUSE THEY KNOW THOSE HOURS ARE NOT YOURS BUT BELONG TO GOD AS HOLY TIME? SO WITH SUNDAY HOURS TO SUNSET; HOW MANY WILL PREACH AND TEACH THEY ARE NOT YOUR HOURS TO DO WITH THEM WHAT YOU WANT, BUT MUST BE HALLOWED AS HOLY TIME? IN TIMES GONE BY THE 1950s AND BEFORE, SUNDAY WAS A DAY MOST TOWNS CLOSED DOWN, MOST WORK CLOSED DOWN. PREACHERS TAUGHT THE 4TH COMMANDMENT WAS TO BE OBYED, THOUGH FOR THEM IT WAS SUNDAY. THE MOVIE “CHARIOTS OF FIRE” SHOWED HOW THE SCOTTISH MINISTER SELECTED FOR THE BRITISH OLYMPIC TEAM, WAY BACK WHEN, WOULD NOT RUN HIS RACE IN THE 100 YARD DASH BECAUSE IT WAS ON A SUNDAY. IT WAS QUITE THE SCENE IN THE MOVIE AS HOW DETERMINED HE WAS TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH (FOR HIM AND MOST MINISTERS THAT WAS SUNDAY). THE SOLUTION WAS GIVEN THAT HE WOULD RUN INSTEAD IN THE 440 YARDS RACE - Keith Hunt]
It is also, according to Leviticus 23:3, to be a day of public worship, a "holy convocation," and a day of special significance for the officiating priests. They were to replace the old showbread with fresh new loaves on the "table before the Lord" in the sanctuary (Lev. 24:8), and they were to double the normal offering on the altar of sacrifice (the "continual burnt offering") according to Numbers 28:9-10.
[TODAY MOST WILL ATTEND SUNDAY SERVICES IF THEIR WORK OR WHATEVER ELSE ALLOWS THEM. I DO NOT THINK SUNDAY WORSHIP PEOPLE THINK OF THE WHOLE 24 HOURS AS HOLY TIME; BECAUSE IT IS NOT TAUGHT TO THEM BY THEIR MINISTERS, FOR MOST MINISTERS TODAY KNOW THEY CANNOT PROVE FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT SUNDAY WAS EVER MADE HOLY, OR THAT THE LAWS FOR 7TH DAY SABBATH, WERE TRANSFERRED TO SUNDAY - Keith Hunt]
But the most illuminating passage in the Old Testament concerning the true celebration of the Sabbath is found in Isaiah 58:13-14: "If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth" (NASB).
Much of the concept conveyed by that passage found classic expression in the Westminster Shorter Catechism (60): "How is the [Christian] Sabbath to be sanctified? The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy (Matt. 12:11-12)."
[YES WAY BACK WHEN, SUNDAY MINISTERS TAUGHT THE 24 HOUR PERIOD WAS HOLY TIME, AND NOT OURS TO DO WITH AS WE WANTED OR DESIRED - Keith Hunt]
This was the ideal standard of the Puritan movement, which represented the finest flower of the Protestant Reformation in the English-speaking world. While that standard is now more often honored by the breach than by observance, it would be difficult to prove that the modern permissive attitude toward hallowing the Lord's Day has any foundation in Scripture.
[YES WAY BACK WHEN, SUNDAY WAS TAUGHT BY MOST SUNDAY CHURCHES AS HOLY TIME. BUT YOU CANNOT PROVE IT FROM SCRIPTURE - Keith Hunt]
It is often urged by those who advocate pure voluntarism in the use of Sunday that Colossians 2:16 abolishes almost all the sanctions of the Old Testament fourth commandment. This verse says, "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day" (NIV). A more accurate rendering of sabbaton would be "Sabbaths"—plural rather than singular. This is important here, for the Hebrew religious calendar possessed not only seventh-day Sabbaths but also feast-day Sabbaths, which were to be celebrated in exactly the same way as the Saturday Sabbath, regardless of what day in the week the first and last days of the feast might fall (especially in regard to the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles, both of which ran for eight days).
The general purport of Colossians 2:16 is that the distinctive holy days of the Old Testament are no longer binding on New Testament believers because "these are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ" (v. 17). Hence v. 16 would seem to be referring primarily to obsolete Old Testament ordinances, of which the seventh-day Sabbath was one, and probably the feast-day Sabbath was another.
[THE UNDERSTANDING OF COL. 2:16 IS NOT UNDERSTOOD BY THESE WITERS, OR BY ANY SUNDAY OBSERVING CHURCHES. WHAT PAUL WAS ACTUALLY SAYING IN CONTEXT IS THE DIRECT OPPOSITE FROM WHAT THE AUTHORS HAVE WRITTEN. A FULL STUDY OF THIS PASSAGE CAN BE FOUND UNDER MY SECTION “SABBATH AND FEASTS OF GOD” - Keith Hunt]
There is no good reason to believe that Paul intended to include the Christian form of the fourth commandment, that is, Sunday observance, as among the "shadows" that had already been fulfilled by Christ; the observance of the Lord's Day could hardly be classified as an Old Testament "shadow." In point of fact, it was a contemporary Christian ordinance zealously observed by those who trusted in Christ, the "Reality" (soma literally means "body"), rather than in obsolete or obsolescent Old Testament types (or "shadows"). Therefore, it is altogether unwarranted to draw from this verse an unrestrained license to use the Lord's Day any way one pleases. Church attendance and group Bible study are admittedly the most important elements in Sunday observance, but the principle of rest from self-seeking labor (except for those involved in works of real necessity or mercy) is surely at the heart of hallowing the Lord's Day—even in these days when the secularized culture around us holds that day in very low esteem.
For additional study of this topic see D.A. Carson, From Sabbath to Lord's Day (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982).
[WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT! THESE AUTHORS LIKE THE MINISTERS FROM WAY BACK, ARE TELLING YOU TO OBSERVE SUNDAY AS GOD’S HOLY TIME, AS OUTLINED IN THE TEACHING OF THE OLD TESTAMENT 7TH DAY SABBATH. BUT HOW MANY MINISTERS OF SUNDAY KEEPING WORSHIP SERVES TEACH AND PREACH, THAT IT IS SIN TO NOT OBSERVE THE SUNDAY, SO-CALLED “LORD’S DAY” CHRISTIAN SABBATH, AS LIKE THE RULES FOR OLD TESTAMENT 7TH DAY SABBATH? I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO A LONG WAY TO FIND A SUNDAY MINISTER TEACHING SUCH OBSERVANCE OF SUNDAY. WHY? VERY SIMPLE, THEY KNOW THEY HAVE NO LEG TO STAND ON; IT CANNOT BE PROVED FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT SUNDAY WAS EVER MADE HOLY, OR THE LAWS FOR OLD TESTAMENT SABBATH WAS TRANSFERRED TO SUNDAY. THEY TELL YOU TO LOOK AT D. A. CARSON STUDY. I TELL YOU TO LOOK AT MY STUDIES AND DR. SAMUELE BACCHIOCCHI’S STUDIES “FROM SABBATH TO SUNDAY” ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER “SABBATH AND FEASTS OF GOD” - Keith Hunt]
Why is there so much killing of human beings mentioned in the Bible, along with the frequent references to animal sacrifice on the altar? How does this square with the divine command "Thou shaft not kill" (Exod. 20:13)? (D*)
Since the Bible is a book about man in his state of sin, and since there is so much violence and bloodshed in human society, it was inevitable that frequent mention of manslaughter should occur in Scripture. But much confusion has arisen from the misleading translation of Exodus 20:13 that occurs in most English versions. The Hebrew original uses a specific word for murder (rdsah) in this sixth commandment and should be rendered "You shall not murder" (NASB). This is no prohibition against capital punishment for capital crimes, since it is not a general term for the taking of life, such as our English word "kill" implies. Exodus 21:12, right in the very next chapter, reads: "He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death." This amounts to a specific divine command to punish murder with capital punishment, in keeping with Genesis 9:6: "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man" (NASB).
Violence and bloodshed are occasionally mentioned in the record of man's history throughout Scripture, but never with approval. Yet there were specific situations when entire communities (such as Jericho) or entire tribes (such as the Amalekites) were to be exterminated by the Israelites in obedience to God's command. In each case these offenders had gone so far in degeneracy and moral depravity that their continued presence would result in spreading the dreadful cancer of sin among God's covenant people. Just as the wise surgeon removes dangerous cancer from his patient's body by use of the scalpel, so God employed the Israelites to remove such dangerous malignancies from human society. So far as sacrificial animals were concerned, this mode of worship, symbolizing the coming sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross, was taught to our forebears from the time of Adam and systematized for the believing community in the laws of Moses. "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins" (Heb. 9:22).
Why were there multiple marriages in Israel after the giving of the Ten Commandments?
The seventh commandment says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exod. 20:14). How did this affect the patriarchs like Abraham, who was given Hagar by his own wife, Sarah, to serve as her proxy in the marriage bed? Or Jacob, who not only married Leah and Rachel but also had children by their maids Bilhah and Zilpah? Perhaps the fact that the Decalogue was not given to Israel until five centuries later may have lessened the guilt of their multiple marriages. But how about King David, who lived four centuries later? Second Samuel 12:7-8 actually states that God "gave Saul's wives into David's arms" (cf. NIV), as if God Himself condoned this polygamy. How do we reconcile this with the monogamy that Jesus so clearly taught in Matthew 19:9 and which He asserted to have been God's intention from the very beginning of the human race?
Genesis 2:23-24, as Christ pointed out, teaches monogamy as God's will for man. After Adam was presented with his wife, Eve, the Bible records: "The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.'... For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (NASB). Now there is no possibility of a husband's constituting a unity with one wife if he also has another wife—or several others. This is made very clear by the analogy in Ephesians 5:23: "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body" (NASB). The implication here is that there is but one true church and that it stands in a relationship to the heavenly Bridegroom like that of the wife toward her husband. Christ is not the Head of many different churches; He has but a single mystical body—not several different bodies—and therefore His one and only church is viewed as the antitype of monogamous marriage. Polygamy is absolutely excluded.
As we examine the scriptural record, we come to the realization that every case of polygamy or concubinage amounted to a failure to follow God's original model and plan. The very first reference to polygamy in Genesis is found in the life of Lamech son of Methushael, who, in addition to his bloodthirsty vindictiveness toward those with whom he had quarreled, is recorded in Genesis 4:23-24 as boasting of his prowess to his two wives. After that there is no mention of plural marriage until the time of Abraham.
In Abraham's case, Sarah is always represented as being Abraham's only legal wife as long as she lived. But when she became convinced that she could bear him no children of her own, she presented him with her maid Hagar, to be her proxy in the marriage bed. This meant that Hagar became a concubine to Abraham, not his lawfully wedded wife. But even this attempt to "help God" carry out His earlier promise, that Abraham would become the ancestor of a great nation, turned out to be a cause of great bitterness and strife within their home; and ultimately Hagar had to be sent away, along with Abraham's son by her, the lad Ishmael (Gen. 21:12-14).
Abraham's son Isaac was married to but one wife, Rebecca, and was faithful to her all his life. But their self-willed son Esau broke their heart by becoming involved in polygamy and by marrying out of the faith—both of Esau's wives were pagans (Gen. 26:34). Later on Esau even took a third wife, Mahalath the daughter of his uncle Ishmael (Gen. 28:9) and Oholibamah as well (cf. Gen. 26). In so doing, Esau is not presented as a model for believers to follow.
In the case of Jacob, his only desire was for one woman, Rachel, the daughter of Laban. It was only through Laban's crafty maneuvering that Jacob was tricked into marrying Rachel's older sister, Leah, as well. Later on, as unhappy rivalry broke out between the two sisters in the matter of child-bearing, they resorted to Sarah's misguided expedient of presenting their husband with their handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah, to serve as proxies in the marriage bed. But so far as Jacob was concerned, there never was any desire on his part to become a polygamist. All he had done was fall in love with Rachel; and after that one thing led to another, until he had four sets of children. These of course became ancestors of the twelve tribes of Israel, and God was gracious enough to accept them all within His plan for multiplying the race of Abraham. But even the home of Jacob was a rather unhappy one at first, rent with jealousy and strife, and marked by cruelty and falsehood.
This whole problem of polygamy in Old Testament times is not easy to handle. Yet it really should not be equated with adultery so as to make it a technical violation of the seventh commandment; for in Old Testament times when a man took a second wife, he bound himself to her as much as to his first wife. Thus all of David's wives were equally "Mrs. David," so to speak. The concubines were likewise an exclusive obligation for the man to cherish, support, and provide for in every way. This was a far different matter than entering into illicit relations with another man's wife. So far as Saul's wives were concerned—or the wives of any other deceased king, for that matter—they were normally entrusted to the protection and care of his successor. Otherwise a later marriage to a king's widow might give the second husband a legal claim to the throne. (This was the reason Solomon was so alarmed by Adonijah's proposal to marry King David's youngest wife, Abishag; Solomon took this maneuver as part of a plot to overthrow him [1 Kings 2:22].) Therefore the rule was that once a woman became a king's consort (whether as queen, secondary wife, or concubine), she had a right to retain that status even though her royal husband had died. His successor would take her over. Presumably, however, a son would treat all his father's wives as respected pensioners in the palace, rather than entering into incestuous relations with them.
The fact of the matter was that while polygamy was contrary to God's intention and ideal, nevertheless, because of what Christ called "the hardness of men's hearts" (Matt. 19:8), it was tolerated—especially in the case of a political leader whose dynasty would fail if he produced no son by his first wife. A state of civil war might well ensue from such a situation, with resulting bloodshed and disruption to the state. But then, of course, there were occasional references to plural marriages even in the case of private citizens, like Samuel's father, Elkanah. In the course of time, however, a better understanding of God's will in regard to marriage prevailed among God's people. From the time of the return from Babylonian exile (ca. 537 B.C.) onward, there is no reference to polygamy among God's people to be found in any of the post-Exilic books of the Old Testament. By Christ's time monogamy was the rule among the Greeks and the Romans as well as among the Jews, and Christ's affirmation of the "one flesh" principle of marriage (which makes sense only in a context of monogamy) found ready acceptance among His countrymen (Matt. 19:5-6).
Norman Geisler has a good summary of the biblical position on this question:
There is ample evidence, even within the Old Testament, that polygamy was not God's ideal for man. That monogamy was His ideal for man is obvious from several perspectives. (1) God made only one wife for Adam, thus setting the ideal precedent for the race. (2) Polygamy is first mentioned as part of the wicked Gainite civilization (Gen. 4:23). (3) God clearly forbade the kings of Israel (leaders were the persons who became polygamists) saying, "And he shall not multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away again" (Deut. 17:17). (4) The saints who became polygamists paid for their sins. 1 Kings 11:1,3 says, "Now King Solomon loved many foreign women ... and his wives turned away his heart." ... (6) Polygamy is usually situated in the context of sin in the O.T. Abraham's marriage of Hagar was clearly a carnal act of unbelief (Gen. 16: If). David was not at a spiritual peak when he added Abigail and Ahinoam as his wives (1 Sam. 25:42-43), nor was Jacob when he married Leah and Rachel (Gen. 29:23,28). (7) The polygamous relation was less than ideal. It was one of jealousy among the wives. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah (Gen. 29:31). Elkanah's one wife was considered a "rival" or adversary by the other, who "used to provoke her sorely, to irritate her..." (1 Sam. 1:6). (8) When polygamy is referred to, the conditional, not the imperative, is used. "If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights" (Exod. 21:10). Polygamy is not the moral ideal, but the polygamist must be moral (Ethics: Alternatives and Issues [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971], pp. 204-5).
[SOME OF THE ABOVE ARGUMENTS ARE WEAK AT BEST. THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT SOME POLYGAMIST MARRIAGES IN THE 20TH AND 21ST CENTURY (THOUGH THEY BREAK THE LAWS OF THE LAND) WORK OUT VERY GOOD. SOME PEOPLE IT SEEMS DO WELL IN A POLYGAMIST MARRIAGE. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT POLYGAMY WAS ALLOWED BY GOD BECAUSE OF THE HARDNESS OF THE HEART, OR WE COULD SAY WEAKNESS OF THE FLESH, EVEN AMONG PEOPLE THAT WILL BE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION. ALL GOD’S CHILDREN UNDER THE OLD COVENANT HAD THE SPIRIT OF GOD WORKING WITH THEM BUT NOT IN THEM, AS IT IS UNDER THE NEW COVENANT; HENCE A HIGHER STANDARD MUST BE MET FOR NEW TESTAMENT CHILDREN OF GOD—JESUS CAME TO MAGNIFY THE LAW OF GOD; THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME INTO PEOPLE, THE DIVINER NATURE, IN A WAY THAT IT DID NOT IN THE SAINTS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. HENCE HIGHER STANDARDS FOR SAINTS OF THE NEW COVENANT. POLYGAMY IS NOT ALLOWED BY GOD FOR HIS CHILDREN UNDER THE NEW COVENANT. I HAVE A FULL STUDY ABOUT POLYGAMY ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
What is the explanation of Exodus 24:9-11—the revelation of God enthroned to the elders of Israel who accompanied Moses to Mount Sinai?
According to Exodus 24:1, the Lord invited the seventy appointed elders of the Twelve Tribes to accompany Moses, Aaron, and his two sons, and to ascend the holy mountain for a certain distance up its slope, following at a suitable distance behind Moses. The purpose of this audience before the King of the Universe was to consecrate them for their holy task of assisting in the government of God's people.
It should be borne in mind that according to the earlier proclamation in Exodus 19:12-13, neither man nor beast was permitted even to touch or set foot on the holy mountain, under the penalty of death. Yet for this solemn occasion the seventy elders, along with Aaron and his sons, were permitted to gaze on the glory of God seated in blazing splendor on a sapphire throne. Normally they would have been struck dead for climbing even the lower reaches of Sinai, but in this case they were granted special permission to do so. Normally also it was impossible for mortal man to look on the glorious presence of God directly, without being smitten with instant death: "For there shall no man see me, and live" (Exod. 33:20). And so it is stated in Exodus 24:11 that "upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did not eat and drink." That is to say, they all were permitted to partake of the sacred meal in view of God's throne on Mount Sinai; and they survived the exposure to His holy presence without any damage to themselves or loss of life.
It should perhaps be added that what was seen in this theophany was a glorious representation of God in His regal splendor, not the essence of God Himself; for that has never been vouchsafed to human eyes (John 1:18).
How can we reconcile Exodus 33:20, where the Lord tells Moses, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" and Exodus 33:11, which states, "Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend"?
The Bible draws a clear distinction between gazing on God in His unveiled glory and beholding a representation or reflection of God in a personal interview or encounter with Him. John 1:18 declares, "No man has seen God at any time [that is, his full glory as Creator and Sovereign of all the universe]; the only begotten God [that is, Jesus Christ], who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him" (NASB). The apostle Paul adds that God the Father "has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6, NASB).
We behold the face of God by faith as we look to Christ, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9, NASB). God therefore showed His face and declared His glory through His Son, who was God Incarnate. But back in Old Testament times, God showed His face through an angel (as at the interview with Moses at the burning bush [Exod. 3:2-6]), or else through His glory cloud, which led His people through the wilderness after the Exodus.
At the dedication of the tabernacle (Exod. 40:34-35), this glory cloud came to rest over the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. Each week twelve loaves of sacred bread were offered to Yahweh on the table of "showbread," which was called in Hebrew sulhdn welehem pdnim ("the table with the bread of the Presence") because it was presented in front of the inner curtain (pdro-ke-t) that shielded the ark of the covenant from public view. The Presence (of God) remained over the mercy seat (kapporel), which surmounted the ark.
We are therefore to understand that Yahweh met with Moses and talked to him in some glorious representation that fell short of a full unveiling of His face. In that sense He talked with Moses face to face—somewhat as a speaker on television speaks face to face with his viewing public.
But what Moses was asking for in Exodus 33:18 went beyond this veiled appearance; to obtain full assurance of God's renewed grace to him and to the Israelite nation, Moses asked to see the very face of God. God warned that at such a vision Moses would instantly die (see 1 Tim. 6:16, which states that God dwells "in unapproachable light"). Yet, as a special confirmation of His personal favor and presence, Yahweh promised that He would reveal His back to Moses (Exod. 33:23), without showing His face. This Yahweh did when He passed by "in front of him" and set forth His gracious and glorious name (Exod. 34:6-7).
THE LAST ANSWER IS ONLY A POOR ATEMPT TO ANSWER THE INITIAL QUESTION. THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER [AS I PROVE IN MANY OTHER STUDIES] IS THAT GOD, THE SECOND MEMBER OF THE GODHEAD, WHO BECAME CHRIST, APPEARED AT TIMES TO PEOPLE AS A HUMAN FLESH AND BONE PERSON— GENESIS 18 TO ABRAHAM, AND WITH TWO ANGLES. JACOB WRESTLED WITH GOD, SAW HIS FACE, AS HE SAID AND LIVED [GENESIS 32].
GOD [ONE WHO BECAME JESUS THE CHRIST] TALKED FACE TO FACE WITH MOSES BECAUSE GOD CAME AS A HUMAN FLESH AND BONE PERSON.
WHY ON EARTH THIS SEEMS INCREDULOUS FOR SOME TO BELIEVE AND TEACH, BLOWS ME AWAY, FOR JESUS APPEARED AFTER HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, AS A PHYSICAL PERSON OF FLESH AND BONE; HIS DISCIPLES COULD TOUCH HIM; HE TOLD THOMAS TO PUT HIS HANDS/FINGERS INTO HIS SIDE AND NAIL WOUNDS IN HIS HANDS, TO KNOW IT REALY WAS HIM, IT WAS REALLY JESUS AND NOT SOME GHOST.
SCIENCE NOW KNOWS LIKE NEVER BEFORE, THAT EVERYTHING WE CALL PHYSICAL, IS NOT REALLY PHYSICAL AS WE THINK OF PHYSICAL. EVERYTHING IS MADE OF ATOMS, LESS THAN ATOMS. THEY SAY 70 PERCENT OF OUR HUMAN BODY IS WATER. SO WHY SHOULD IT BE THOUGHT UNIMAGINABLE THAT GOD, WHO IS SPIRIT [JOHN 4: 24], CAN MAKE HIS SPIRIT FORM INTO WHAT WE THINK IS MATTER AND APPEAR TO MEN? FOR GOD WHO MADE ALL MATTER, CAN DO WHATEVER HE LIKE WITH “SPIRIT” AND SO-CALLED “MATTER.”