Some will say that this perpetual (never ending) covenant that is a sign forever, (Exodus 31:13-17) applies only to the Israel of God and that much is definitely correct. But the question is; who is the Israel of God today?
Paul wrote, “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel” Romans 9:6. What does this text mean? Those “of Israel” refer to people belonging to the literal Jewish nation but just because people are “of Israel,” or Jewish, doesn't necessarily mean they are truly Israel indeed.
Paul said there is an “Israel according to the flesh” (1 Corinthians 10:18) and an “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:14-16) centred in Jesus Christ. The “Israelites … according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3-4) refer to literal Jews who can trace their blood line back to Abraham but who do not as yet believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Paul wrote, “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God.” Romans 9:8. Thus this group although it has a wonderful religious heritage is made up largely of people who spiritually “are not the children of God.”
In the New Testament sense, “the children of God,” applies only to those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord (John 1:12). “The Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16) refers to a composite group made up of both Jews and non-Jews who believe in the Crucified one, have died to self and been born again (see verses 14-15). This group is called “the Israel of God” because it is God centred, being made up of people who have a genuine experience with the Lord. Sadly, the majority of Israelis today don’t fit this description.
Writing to non-Jews, or Gentiles, Paul wrote, “And if you belong to Christ, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise” Galatians 3:28-29. This passage teaches that a Gentile, if he “belongs to Christ,” is mystically injected into “Abraham's seed,” which according to Isaiah 41:8 is Israel. In Galatians 6, Paul summarized his doctrine by saying that anyone, circumcised or uncircumcised, who becomes a “new creature” through faith in Jesus, is now part of “the Israel of God”, verses 14-16. See also Romans 2:28-29; 9:6-8 and Galatians 3:28-29. Thus before the cross we had a literal Israel but now those that are Christ’s after the cross are a spiritual Israel.
There are many who do not understand that those who belong to Christ are spiritual Jews and the Israel of God under the New Covenant. If we reject this truth then we cannot be under the New Covenant. Observe who the New Covenant was only made with. This came into effect when the Jews rejected God’s message from Stephen (Acts 6:8-7:60) and stoned him. This ended the 70 * 7 prophetic years, (see also Matthew 18:21-22) which God gave Israel to end their rebellion and sin against Him. (Daniel 9:24) Needless to say they did not and this is why at this time the Gospel now went to the Gentiles also. See the 70 weeks of Daniel and 2300 day prophecy for comprehensive detail.
Hebrews 8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”
Is the Mark of the Beast Sunday Worship?
This teaching on the mark of the beast is often attributed as being exclusive to a Church known as Seventh day Adventists but there are in fact several Churches that understand and teach this truth. Are we saying that the mark of the beast is Sunday worship which some foolishly mock? Not exactly. The mark of the beast is exactly what the beast power said it is. Their ability to change the law of God and have most of the Protestant world follow her. The fact that this happens to be Sunday worship is beside the point. It is about worshipping on a day commanded by man in place of worshipping on the day Commanded by God. Acts 5:29 says, “…We ought to obey God rather than men.” It is also about keeping man made traditions in place of God’s Commandments. Jesus made it very clear that He does not want us keeping the traditions of men in place of the Commandments of God. See Mark 7:6-9.
In Daniel chapter 3, the king commanded all to bow down and worship the golden image when they heard the music. But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused because it would mean disobeying the Commandments of God. This is what it is all about. Obeying God rather than man. It is about giving our allegiance to our heavenly Father and obeying Him only when it comes to His Commandments. Those that mock this truth are yet to explain why Revelation 14:12 shows that those who do not get the mark of the beast are those who endure tribulation but still keep the Commandments of God through faith in Christ. There is only one Commandment that defines the worship of God and this is the very Commandment that the beast (Catholic Church) changed and what they personally claim to be their mark.
Common Sabbath Commandment Misunderstandings
There is a lot of confusion over the fourth Commandment and it is beyond the scope of this document to cover the multitude of misunderstandings and excuses but below are a few common ones in very brief detail. Besides the fact that the Ten Commandments are to last as long as heaven and earth, one of God’s Commandments would not come to an end without the Bible SCREAMING the change at us. God’s law does not change on assumptions.
The Sabbath of the Lord is not a ceremonial sabbath that was practised because of sin. Breaking it or any of the Ten Commandments is sin. The ceremonial law was written in a book and that is why it was also called the “Book of the Covenant.” This is where God would have written it if it was for Israel only but God wrote it in stone with the other nine Commandments. Have you ever heard the expression “it is not written in stone?” Written in stone means forever. On paper and in a book is temporary. So put very simply, there were two specific laws. One was temporary and only for the Jews and was nailed to the cross. The other was written in stone and was eternal and for everyone. If the Sabbath of the Lord was temporary and only for the Jews, which law would you place the Lord’s Sabbath in? Would you place His Sabbath in the temporary law or the eternal law? And your answer is? And where did God place His Sabbath? Precisely! God placed His Sabbath exactly where it belonged. He placed His Sabbath in the law that was eternal and for everyone! Unless you believe that God is a fool and the author of confusion, then this alone reveals the truth. God makes a distinction between His Sabbath and the ceremonial sabbaths in the Ten Commandments by exhorting, “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God:” (Exodus 20:10, Deuteronomy 5:14). It is the Lord’s Sabbath! It did not belong to Israel. God further demonstrates this by calling His Sabbath, “My Sabbaths,” as in His weekly Sabbaths, (Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20:20) while calling the ceremonial sabbaths that were only for Israel, “Her Sabbaths.” (Hosea 2:11, Lamentations 1:7) Loving God with all your heart and your neighbour as yourself does not turn the Ten Commandments into nine or none. (Matthew 22:35) Jesus said ALL the law hang on these two Commandments as He quoted Deuteronomy 6:5, which is seventeen verses after the second reading of the Ten Commandments when no one can argue the fourth Commandment was being kept. See also Jesus greatest Commandments. The Sabbath has existed since creation (the only reason we have a seven day week) before sin and Jews and God asked us to “remember” the day when He personally gave His law and ALL FLESH keep the Sabbath forever in the new Heaven and Earth. (Isaiah 66:22-23) Luke 23:56 says they “rested the Sabbath day according to the Commandment.” Luke was written 30 to 50 years after the cross. Jesus confirmed the Sabbath would still be kept when the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. (Matthew 24:20) further proving the Sabbath was not changed in honour of the resurrection. See also New Testament Sabbath. Leading historians say the Sabbath was kept by everyone till at least 90-120 A.D. when persecution for Judaism became so intense that some began keeping Sunday saying it was in honour of the resurrection to avoid persecution and death. Baptism is the memorial of the resurrection commanded in the Bible. God attested the correct day matters when he tested His children to see if they would keep His Commandments by testing if they would keep THE seventh day. (Exodus 16:4-30) We worship God every day but if we kept the Sabbath every day, we would not be Holy, we would be lazy. We should not mock God when He says the Seventh Day by telling Him He is wrong saying we can keep any day or the day does not matter. It is not the Sabbath of the Jews. There were no Jews at creation or when the Ten Commandments were given, and God is not a God of confusion or some FOOL that mixes temporary laws with eternal laws. The Ten Commandments are love and for everyone. The Ten Commandments or just the Sabbath were not nailed to the cross according to Colossians 2:16. Paul speaks of the ordinances (ceremonial law) which had yearly ceremonial sabbaths that were nailed to the cross. Galatians 4:10 does not say that we can observe any day or that the Sabbath was bondage. Paul refers to the ceremonial law here also that he called bondage, which it was, and this law did include Days, Times, Months and Years. We cannot decide to keep or not keep the Sabbath based on Romans 14:5, which is about Jews and Gentiles judging one another and was over the yearly feast days of the ceremonial law. Note the following Commentary on Romans 14:5 and how it associates all three of these passages and with the ceremonial law.
People's New Testament by B. W. Johnson. One man esteemeth one day above another. A second difference of opinion is now cited. Some, Jewish converts or Gentiles who did not understand that the old covenant was ended, believed that the Jewish [ceremonial] Sabbaths and new moons should be kept sacred. Compare Col 2:16, and Gal 4:10.
While comparing these two passages, note that the ceremonial law (Mosaic Law, Ordinances, Law of Moses etc) had meat and drink offerings, Holy feast (days), new moons (months) and sabbaths (yearly) that were Jewish only and ended at the cross. See also Adam Clarke and Albert Barnes Commentaries on Colossians 2:14-16, Albert Barnes and People’s New Testament Commentaries on Galatians 4:10 and Adam Clarke on Romans 14:5.
God’s law has not changed based on our assumptions such as, “Hey! That looks like a Sunday meeting so the Sabbath must now be Sunday.” The expression “lay by him in store” in 1 Corinthians 16:2 means putting aside at home. The needs were clothing and food etc, which would be taken from the field or storage and would not be done on Sabbath but left until the first opportunity after which would be Sunday. Acts 20:7 is not a Sunday meeting. It was after sunset and before midnight on the first day of the week. Bible days begin and end at sunset. This meeting was on what we call Saturday night. Breaking bread is done at every meal and is a term used by the Jews for having a meal together as was the Lord’s Supper a meal with the deciples.
Acts 20:7 King James Version “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”
Acts 20:7 Good News Bible “On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day.”
Acts 20:7 New English Bible “On the Saturday night, in our assembly for the breaking of bread, Paul, who was to leave next day, addressed them, and went on speaking until midnight.”
Acts 2:46 King James Version “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”
Acts 2:46 Good News Bible “Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and they had their meals together in their homes, eating with glad and humble hearts,”
See more on why the “first day of the week” cannot possibly be the Sabbath.
The Mark of the Beast Symbolism - Page 9