There may well be no better example of what II Corinthians 11:4 means about teaching “another Jesus – whom we have not preached” than the question of who – or what — changed the Sabbath from the day YHVH specified and said we were to keep “forever” (Exodus 31:16, etc). While I won’t belabor the issue of blame — since there’s plenty to go around — it is easy to confirm that a political sell-out to Emperor Constantine culminated at the Council of Laodicea in the fourth century. More instructive is the more-or-less official attitude of the Roman Catholic Church on the matter, since they proudly proclaim that the change to sun-god-day (the first day of the week) is NOT at all mandated by Scripture, but instead somehow “proves” the “authority” of “the Church” to overrule the Almighty Himself on the topic. Even a quick web search will show the well-known writings of folks like archbishop James Cardinal Gibbons and various RCC doctrinal publications figuring prominently, and often even boast that the FAILURE of the ‘protestant churches’ to correct the Sabbath day to the Biblical one confirms their acceptance of that “authority”.
But I’m much more interested in what our Savior said — and DID – than what those who claim the power to change what He Wrote may allege. After all, since the Bible REPEATEDLY forbids “adding to” or “subtracting from” what He Wrote (1), warns against false prophets who try to, “entice” us (2) and Yahushua Himself said he “came not” to change ANY of His Word so long as “heaven and earth” still existed (3), it seems pretty clear that He wasn’t kidding when He said “I change not“, and remains consistent, “yesterday, today, and forever“. (4)
The silly rationalizations of apologists for concessions to paganism (such as the oft-cited claim that early Christians met on the ‘first day’) is easily dismissed as well. If you preferred to do business with your brethren in Him, but wanted to avoid doing so on the Sabbath, what is more natural than waiting until after the sun went down? (We already know that Paul occasionally preached well past dusk!) And there’s certainly nothing at all wrong with meeting, and worshiping, on any or EVERY day of the week!
But the most damning heresy I know of was expressed by a question I recently saw on another website, which prompted these essays:
“Why did Jesus break the Sabbath commandment?” [sic]
Yahushua of Nazareth, the Branch of the “Netzir”, certainly did not. And anyone who so accuses Him of doing something that would — by His own Words — mark Him as “least in the Kingdom” (3, again) is without question preaching “another Jesus“. (5)
The details of what He really DID do and preach, as John noted, would fill many books. But a few important facts should serve to make the point – at least initially. I submit that as you “study for yourself”, more examples will become obvious. But the central point remains:
He NEVER “broke” His own Written Word, concerning His Sabbath or anything else! But He certainly did break the hypocritical “traditions of the elders”, concerning the Sabbath and “many other things” they did (6).
What He did, repeatedly and deliberately, was to utterly make an open mockery of the FALSE “law”, the forbidden “additions to” His Word of the Pharisees. Do NOT confuse tradition with His Law! Our Savior certainly did not; this was the why He was so careful to point out that He came NOT to “destroy the Torah or the prophets” but instead taught “with Authority” what was actually Written…because He was the Word Made Flesh.(3, yet again!)
There are less than ten specific “do and don’t” directives concerning Sabbath in the entire Torah. But by the time of Yahushua, the “elders” had added well over fifteen hundred of their own! These so-called “laws” were the burdens that our Savior railed against!
Read the story of the healing of the blind man on the Sabbath carefully! (7) EVERYTHING He did was an explicit “slap in the face” to the vain “traditions of the elders”, the “doctrines of men” that those hypocrites had “taught as doctrine“. (8)
When He picked up a handful of dirt, He VIOLATED an explicit “commandment” of the elders! When He spit in His hand, be deliberately VIOLATED yet another! When He “made mud” – another! “Anointed his eyes” – another! It was not ONLY the fact that He “healed” on the Sabbath that was a problem: EVERY single act He took in healing that blind man was a deliberate and specific affront to those prohibited “traditions of the elders”! And when He told that man to travel to the pool at Siloam (a distance in excess of the mandated “Sabbath day’s journey” limit) and wash — He commanded at least two more!
And yet NOT ONE of those false “commandments” that He broke were HIS! They were nothing but traditions of men, they were all prohibited “additions” to His Written commandments, and they were all thus EXPLICIT violations of His Torah! The Pharisees were “hypocrites” because they knew, or should have known , all of that.
Part of the problem, of course, is that “the church” — for seventeen hundred years or more — has done exactly what He was so critical of the Pharisees and scribes for doing…
…they changed times and seasons (9), and “added to” and “subtracted from” His Word. They rewrote the rules for everything from Sabbath to marriage to idolatry. “By their traditions” — just as He condemned the Pharisees for doing — they have “made the commandments of YHVH of no effect“.
To say that our Savior violated His own Word is to call Him a liar, and a fraud. He knew exactly what He was doing, and why.
NOWHERE, EVER, did He break the Sabbath! But He did demolish man’s desecration of it. And since “heaven and earth” still exist, and He clearly said that not so much as “one yod or tiddle” (3) of His Word would pass away in the meanwhile, there seem to be many people who preach that “other Jesus“.
But Paul wasn’t one of ’em.
- Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32; also the End of the Book (Rev. 22:18-19).
- Deuteronomy 13:6 – but check out the whole chapter!
- Matthew 5:17-19. There seem to be a number of people who “twist” these verses as well, by failing to check out the correct meaning of the words He used to mean “fulfill”, or to “complete”, or “fill up” with His intended meaning!
- Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8.
- II Corinthians 11:4 again. (Paul was right – people DID “bear with” those heresies. And if you’d like a second witness to his concern, check out Galatians 1:7-9, where he repeats the point twice and then goes on to make the distinction between religious “tradition” and what He taught as well.)
- See all of Mark chapter 7, and Matthew chapter 23.
- John 9.
- Matt. 15:9, Mark 7:7, in both of which He references Isaiah 29:13.
- This sounds suspiciously similar to the prophecy of Daniel 7:25…