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Is the Seventh Day Sabbath abolished after the Death of John the Baptist?
"The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.” (Lk. 16:16)
Some people have used the above Scriptural verse, which is a statement of the Lord Jesus Christ, to teach that Christians no longer have to keep the Ten Commandments that include the Sabbath Commandment after the death of John the Baptist. If we read the verse that follows it we can see that the Lord Jesus Christ did not mean that at all.
“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.” (Lk. 16:17) Here in Luke 16 verse 17 the Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear that not one bit of the law will be done away with.
When we read the Holy Bible we cannot just take one verse by itself and try to interpret what we want it to mean. That is a very shaky and unreliable way to interpret the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Mt. 18: 16). The Gospels written by Matthew, Mark and Luke are called Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and similar wording.
Let us read from the Gospel of Matthew that has a similar text and find out what the Lord Jesus Christ actually meant by that statement.
“For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” (Mt. 11:13)
Here we get a much clearer meaning of what the Lord Jesus Christ said. What were the prophets and the law prophesying? The answer is very obvious. All the Old Testament prophets and the Law have written prophecies concerning the Messiah – Lord Jesus Christ.
After His death, burial and resurrection Jesus talked to two men who were travelling to Emmaus and they were discussing the events that happened in Jerusalem (Lk. 24:13-24).
“Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" (Lk. 24:25-26).
The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples. “Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” (Lk. 24:44-45)
Now here is the true meaning of the Lord's statement: “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” All the Old Testament prophets had prophesied about the Messiah – Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament prophet that prophesied concerning the Messiah – Lord Jesus Christ. Here is what John prophesied:
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, "After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.' I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water." And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, "Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God." (Jn. 1:29-34)
John the Baptist was the last prophet who had prophesied about the Messiah – Lord Jesus Christ. John was beheaded before the Lord was crucified.
What the Lord Jesus Christ said: “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” has absolutely nothing to do with the Ten Commandments or the Sabbath being abolished. This statement of the Lord Jesus Christ had been grossly misinterpreted, and may have caused many people to break the Ten Commandments and the Seventh Day Sabbath. A wrong interpretation of God's word can be destructive (2 Pet. 1:20-21; 3:16).
In the Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus Christ said it very clearly that the Ten Commandments that include the Sabbath Commandment will be in effect until the End of the World.
The Gospel according to Matthew dispels all doubts that the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath Commandment are effective until the End of the World (Mt. 5:17-19).
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:17-19)