Sabbaths (Questions and Answers) - RR145C5

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Sabbaths (Questions and Answers)
Course: Course - Christian Resistance and Tools of Dominion
Subject: Subject:Christian Reconstruction
Lesson#: 5
Length: 0:59:01
TapeCode: RR145C5
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Christian Resistance and Tools of Dominion.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

[Dr. Rushdoony] (Today we are going to talk about) restitution and about the meaning of forgiveness, about restoration and more. I think one of the things that makes the name of Christ to stink before men is the fact that so many churchmen are lawless.

Not too many weeks ago when I was in the South, I had a long distance call, someone wanted urgently to talk to me. He was a young man, a very brilliant young man, who has become a most earnest and dedicated Christian. He is still in his twenties and he has become head of a small but growing corporation, which indicates something of his talent. And it was his desire to bring some Christians into the organization. He virtually controlled the thing, lock stock and barrel, because of his brilliance everyone was deferring to him. And he brought in a Christian who came highly recommended, and put him in charge of finances. And he called me because he had just had to fire him and was beginning to have the books and records audited, and finding that were shortages already of over two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. And he found that this man had been in several big churches in different states, all fundamental churches, in each community he had been a major problem with his financial shenanigans, in each case it had been hushed up, we must forgive our dear brother, and good letters of recommendation been given. And he was now being told he should do the Christian thing, and forgive him. I said: “have you tried to talk with him?” He said: “yes I tried to take a brother with me in terms of the Scriptures, and talk with him, and he refused to talk with us.” And I said: “take him to court. Because now he is as a publican and heathen, and treat him as such.” Because too long, men like that continue their course with the Churches stamp of approval. And men like that are con-operators, using the name of Christ. [00:03:36]

Well, I brought that up because someone mentioned something...[edit]

Well, I brought that up because someone mentioned something like that to me. And I felt it was high time we all recognize that when a person refuses to hear the counsel of elders, they are, according to our Lord, to be treated as a heathen and a publican.

We had some questions that dealt with the Sabbath and its meaning. Now very briefly, to go over the doctrine of the Sabbath, it is basic to God’s law, it is in the Ten Commandments, it requires of us rest, one day in seven, one year in seven, and the fiftieth year. Moreover, an interesting aspect of the Sabbath is this. From everything we know, from very ancient Hebraic records, the Old Testament Sabbath was observed from sundown of the night before, to dawn of the morning after. So it was actually a day and a half. And the Puritans observed the Sabbath in the same way. And my wife and I do the same. Our Sabbath begins Saturday at sundown, and ends at dawn on Monday. Let me say, also, parenthetically, Sabbath in the Old Testament is not Saturday. The Seventh Day Adventists are all wrong.

First, the Sabbath commemorates the seventh day, Exodus tell us this, Exodus twenty-eight to eleven. In Deuteronomy five, we are told it celebrates the Passover, their deliverance from Egypt, for the Lord with a might arm rescued you from captivity. So it celebrates the day of salvation. And our day of salvation is the day of Christ’s resurrection. But in the Old Testament the Hebrew Sabbath was on the day of the week, of the day of the month, not the day of the week. Well, let me make that point clear. The Hebrew calendar was twelve months of thirty days each. Three hundred and sixty days. The five left over days were made into special Sabbaths, three at the end of one six months, two at the end of the other. This meant that the first day of the first month was a Sabbath, the eighth day, the fifteenth day, and so on. The date of the month, so that every six months, the Sabbath fell on a different day of the week. Just as your birthday and mine are on a particular date of the month. But every year a different day of the week. The Hebrew Sabbath went by the day of the month. The date. Because when the Passover was established, they were told that this was the beginning of days and of months, and of Sabbaths for them. It’s very clearly specified in Exodus and Leviticus. [00:07:35]

After approximately the time of Constantine, then,...[edit]

After approximately the time of Constantine, then, because now there was a pattern of the Christian Sabbath, the Jews decided it would be simpler for them to regularize their calendar. And instead of observing their old calendar, which they kept only for the date of Passover, they conformed to the Roman calendar, and chose Saturday as their Sabbath. So the idea of the Seventh Day Adventists is all wrong as is to what is the Sabbath. We still maintain the Hebrew calendar, for the date of Easter. That’s why it shifts.

Well, to continue. The animal that you had, the animals, and the land, were also to rest. You find this in Exodus twenty-three ten and eleven, Leviticus twenty-five one through seven, and twenty through twenty-two. There was to be no debt beyond six years, Deuteronomy fifteen one to six, and twelve through eighteen, make this very, very clear. Debt is slavery. Solomon says the borrower is a servant, or literally, a slave to the lender. And we are not allowed to mortgage our future indefinitely because we belong to the Lord. We’ve been bought with a price, therefore be ye not the servants of men. So only short-term debt is permissible, six years at a maximum. The seventh year, we are to rest. And you see, well, we’ll come to the implications of this.

The Bible also commands that there are to be interest-free loans to fellow believers, who are in need. These are not business loans, these are loans to help a brother in need. We find this in Exodus 22:25, Deuteronomy 23:10, 20. Leviticus 25:36, 37. And there are references to it elsewhere. Now this is an important fact. And this loan, if it could not be repaid was also to be forgiven after six years. A loan could be made to an unbeliever, for ten, twenty, thirty years. But not to a believer. [00:10:39]

An unbeliever is a slave to sin...[edit]

An unbeliever is a slave to sin; therefore debt slavery doesn’t make any difference to him. He is by nature a slave. Incidentally, the long term loans are a new thing, I did not know them as a boy. When I was a boy, we bought our farm; it was on a five year note. And all notes were five and six years, at least in our part of the country. It was after the war we saw ten, and then fifteen and then twenty, twenty-five and thirty year notes, on farms and houses come in. as this country became radically paganized. But what we are seeing now, and it’s a tremendous thing wherever it is done, various churches are establishing, through the deacons, an interest-free loan fund, to which members can contribute. And anyone in the congregation who has an emergency situation, can go the deacons and get an interest-free loan out of their fund. The churches that do this are finding that it is bringing the members closer together, people contribute to the fund regularly, to help increase it, and the people are brought closer and closer together because now they are mindful of one another, as they contribute to that fund. And this is a return to something that Scripture requires, and once was very extensively practiced. But we’ve forgotten about it. And having forgotten about it, we have departed from something that is very, very much stressed in Scripture. We are to be mindful one of another.

Now. A couple of very important points here in regards to the Sabbath. Ezekiel twenty is a very important chapter on the Sabbath. Let’s look at a few of the verses. Beginning with the tenth verse, God here is describing His redemption of Israel out of Egypt. Ezekiel twenty, beginning with verse ten. Ezekiel 20:10-12 [00:13:31]

10Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.

 11And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.

 12Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.”

Now let’s jump down to the eighteenth verse. God indicts them in between for their pollution of His Sabbaths, verse eighteen he says again… Ezekiel 20:18-20

18But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:

 19I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;

 20And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.”

Sabbaths in the plural, because He’s referring just not to the weekly Sabbath, but to the seven year and the fifty year Sabbath, the Sabbath of the land, the Sabbath from debt, all the Sabbaths. Ezekiel 20:20-22

“20And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.

 21Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

 22Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.”

Now, the point here, and elsewhere in Scripture, concerning the Sabbath, is that it has a particular status as a sign, a covenant sign, between a nation, its people, and God. So that the Sabbath is a law, in which the nation itself is to show that it is in covenant with the Lord. This is why it was a matter of concern in earlier years, that the nation observe the Sabbath, and I can remember as a boy, pastors speaking about the fact that God would judge America, if America were faithless to the covenant sign. The Sabbath. [00:16:28]

Up to a point, we can keep the Sabbaths, but there...[edit]

Up to a point, we can keep the Sabbaths, but there are certain aspects of the Sabbath, which involve national life. After all, if you have a Sabbath for everyone, it requires the nation to say that, all except the essential works, which require continuous operation, will have to observe a seventh year, and these people who work, say in power plants or dairies or something, it will be by rotation, they will have their Sabbath. But it will be by rotation. You see, the Sabbath is a sign to God that a nation honors the Lord of the Sabbath. Because the Sabbath means rest. We associate the Sabbath with worship; we’ve become churchy in our doctrine of the Sabbath. Well, every day we are to worship God, at the table, upon rising, and upon sleeping. Moment by moment, and then not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, to worship Him together as a body, week by week. But the basic meaning of the Sabbath is rest. It means that we do not put our trust in our labors, and what we do, but in what the Lord has done for us. It’s a staggering fact, one day in seven, one year in seven, and a fiftieth year as well. It almost makes you think, what can a godly people accomplish? They’re not going to be working much of the time. But, God says, you shall produce more. You’ll be blessed.

Let’s look at it just from the human point of view. If a people have to live godly and debt-free, that their normal basis is, owe no man anything save to love one another, and only when they have an emergency situation are they to go into debt and only for a short term. They’re going to be provident. [00:19:11]

They’re going to be provident...[edit]

They’re going to be provident. And it’s surprising how far you can make a small income go if you’re not paying for dead horses. If you’re not paying for things in the past. It makes you future oriented rather than past oriented. You see, just as sin and guilt keep you looking backward, whereas Christ keeps you looking forward through His atonement. So when you keep His Sabbath, and you do not live under a heavy burden of debt, you’re future oriented. Now it isn’t easy, especially in a time of inflation. Now I know it’s hard to do without certain things, and my wife and I had to wait a good many years, until just this past decade, to have our home. The Lord blessed us because we waited until we could afford a house that we could pay off in six years. I won’t take time to go into the story of the providential dealings of the Lord with us, we found something and how we got it, a far better house than we ever thought we could have, and how they came down incredibly in what they wanted in the price, it was in probate, if we could come up with so much cash, which was exactly what we could do, because they had to have the cash. They took sixty-five thousand less than they had it listed for, and others were offering them for, on long term. Because we had prepared for it most of our lives. God blesses us when we obey His word. You cannot have an inflationary society if you observe God’s Sabbaths. If there’s no long term debt how can you create an inflationary society? Debt, or inflation, rather, in past days was created by falsifying the coinage. Modern inflation is caused by fiat paper money and credit expansion. The purpose of the fiat paper money is so that the State can go on increasing its debt structure. But if it obeys God, it cannot do that. [00:22:19]

And who will buy bonds that can be repudiated on the...[edit]

And who will buy bonds that can be repudiated on the seventh year? It will compel fiscal responsibility. It would create social stability. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. That’s the spirit of the Sabbath. The spirit of inflation is to have larceny in your heart and to say, I want something that I cannot afford and I’m going to have it now. And I’m going to depend on inflation to enable me to pay off good debts with much cheaper money. Because money is getting progressively worthless. And in another year it will be worth, any money you have, twenty-five percent less than it is now. Because of inflation. And that’s that. So the Sabbath laws are very important. They do produce, where they are observed, a godly society. A non-inflationary society. And peace of mind because we rest in the Lord. We are provident, we are productive.

Now are there any questions about the Sabbath, before we go ahead?


[Audience] I have a question in the general area, that we…{?}… if you use an Old Testament law, do you see it as obligatory upon the believer as a covenant, or as a principle of God’s system?

[Dr. Rushdoony] It is the righteousness of God set forth, and now, as Paul says, we’ve been saved that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled, put in force, in us. Now that we are born again, the Law is no longer outside of us, but it is written on the tables of our hearts. So it’s our way of life, it’s the way of holiness. Be holy, even as I am holy. So it’s not something alien any longer, it is something that the new man within us wants to do.

[Audience] ..{?}..

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. What the Ten Commandments set forth are the ten basic principles, and then the other laws give specific cases of all of these. So that all the other laws give us a specific example, of what it means not to kill or not to steal or not to bear false witness, or what blasphemy means, what honoring one’s parents means. [00:25:40]

[Audience] Would you say that would apply then to the...[edit]

[Audience] Would you say that would apply then to the dietary laws as well?

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. Incidentally, the colonies observed, by the way, the Old Testament law very closely. Very, very closely. Virginia, by the way, until the War of Independence, required only the head tax. They felt that was the only legitimate tax in terms of Scripture.

[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. What He did, and what ended in His work in the cross, was the sacrificial system. I don’t like the term ceremonial law, because that is demeaning. It is not a ceremonial law, a ceremony is a form. The laws of the Temple and the laws of sacrifice are laws dealing with the sacrificial system and atonement before Christ.

Now, as I believe I’ve mentioned, my background is Armenian. And in Armenia, to this day, under the Communists, the farmers observe the Old Testament sacrificial laws. So I come from a background where that was done. What they do is to take the calf or the lamb that they’re going to kill for family use, to the door of the church, and they there kill it on a special block or stone that is there, and they lay their hands on it and pray, and they have a set prayer that all of them have memorized. And they say, Lord I know it is not the blood of bulls and of goats that redeems me from sin, but the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior. And we shed this blood remembering His shed blood.

Now, I talked to, and then they would give the priests portion to their pastor. I talked once to a group of country pastors some few years ago, Baptist preachers of the Deep South, and several of them said they could remember when that was still done here in this country. I wish I had taken down the names of some of them, but I had to dash on to another city and I had a flight to catch. But I am startled, again and again, to the extent to which we kept even things like that. Now the dietary laws, I keep, we’ve kept them for years, for years, my people kept them in the old country. And we’re finding increasingly that they have a dramatic effect on health, if you keep them. Very much so. And some doctors now are quietly commenting on that. I spoke once at a medical convention on a totally different subject, and a doctor, who was a Christian, came up and told me, I was just getting in the elevator to leave to go to the airport, he said: “I wish sometime I could talk with you about your dietary views.” I said: “Well they’re not mine, they’re the Bibles.” “Well,” he said: “I am finding that the forbidden meats are mildly toxic. They’re not good for you.”

And two weeks ago, yesterday and today, I was in North Dakota for a Christian School trial and the pastor who met me to take me to the trial, was forty-three. And he happened to mention to me, we were discussing something else, and he had left the church that was now on trial, he had been in poor health and had dropped out for a while, and he said, he recovered his health because the doctor took him off shellfish and pork totally. [00:30:15]

And had told him these things would contribute to such...[edit]

And had told him these things would contribute to such and such conditions in him, and when he grew older he’d be very arthritic. And he said: “Now I’m backsliding,” because, he said: “I really like pork and shellfish.” And I, I told him how I felt about it, and I said: “You’d better obey God’s word in this regard.” The doctor may not have been a Christian, but he knew what he was talking about. And God knew it from the beginning.

[Audience] In your view, would not to practice the dietary laws be sin?

[Dr. Rushdoony] I would say that it isn’t on the same level as some of the more serious things, it’s not something, unless people are really concerned and interested in the subject, to ride herd on them. I don’t jump people on this at all. But I feel, for myself, because I want to obey God’s every word, that it would be a sin for me to do it. It would really trouble me deeply. Now this has been a problem for me and my wife, because as we travel, sometimes we get served non-kosher things. The longer you’re off of it, the more toxic it is to your system, unfortunately. And my wife decided last year, when after not having touched it for, because she rarely is able to go with me, my mother’s ninety and lives with us, so someone has to be with her, but this was just preaching about fifty miles away in a church, and we were given some pork, and I took practically none because I was going to speak immediately after, and I didn’t want to speak on a full stomach. And my wife didn’t know that there was pork in it, in the dish that she was served, and she was sick for a week. And she found out later she had had pork, but she hadn’t touched it for so long that she was most susceptible to the toxic aspects of it.


[Audience] Just one more question, and I’m not certain about this, well, come to Mosaic Covenant, there was no sacrifice altar, {?} the dietary laws.

[Dr. Rushdoony] No. None.

[Audience] So it would not have been considered …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Well, let’s say that perhaps God regarded the punishment to be the eating of it. You see, you paid a price for it.

[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. Yes. There are more than a few things in Scripture that are very serious in God’s sight. Where he reserves the punishment unto Himself, such as tithing, which we’ll speak about in a minute. God does not allow us to enter into some areas. He reserves the right to punish and to govern in those areas to Himself. [00:34:11]

Because it would give us, give ...[edit]

Because it would give us, give us, as Church or State or man, too much power.


[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] I am familiar generally with John Zens position, he does not agree with me, of course, but he, from all that I know, seems to be a very fine young man. I don’t think I read what he had to say on the Sabbath, however.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. Now I don’t recall having read him on the Sabbath.

[Audience] {?}

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. And I was amused by his expression, a couple of years ago in an article, that he would be afraid to live in a country where anyone who believed in Biblical law was in power. Well now, why should he be afraid of God’s law being brought to bear? He doesn’t seem to be afraid of humanistic law. I should think one who is a Christian would be delighted in God’s law, and prefer it to humanistic law.

One of our men called him up and had a very cordial conversation with him by phone, but it’s too bad that he holds the position he does. He, I had one correspondence with him some time ago, when he was very, very distressed that we had published Bolton Davidheiser’s ‘To Be as Gods’. Are any of you familiar with that book? Yes. Well, it’s a very fine little book, in which Dr. Davidheiser, a man who was converted not to many years ago, a secular humanistic scientist, to a thorough going Christian faith. Well, he is pre-mil and (Schofielden?) which I am not. But I have known Dr. Davidheiser for some years and think very highly of him, and he’s a man who takes his faith seriously. He broke Biola, over their departures from the faith. And we asked him to write this book because we were together at a conference as speakers, and we had him speak for us once, and he developed the subject of how modern scientists are, by their own confession, trying to be God. Trying to play God. It’s a superb little study, very important. But John Zens wrote a long letter rebuking me for having anything to do with Bolton Davidheiser, because he was Armenian, and dispensational, and pre-mil. Well, that doesn’t bother me. My reformed and post-millennial position doesn’t bother Bolton Davidheiser either. We, I know he’s a wonderful Christian. And I’m very happy that we were able to publish that little book. And it has done a great deal of good among students. I just don’t understand that kind of narrowness. I believe what I believe, but other people, they’re the Lord’s servants, He’s going to judge them as He is me, and that’s, it’s not my prerogative to do the judging.

Yes. [00:38:59]


[Dr. Rushdoony] No, a symbol is a more…

[Audience] {?}

[Dr. Rushdoony] It is in the sense of John, when he says, as he describes a series of our Lord’s miracles, that these were signs, they were witnesses and they were also a reality. Now, symbols signify something, but it is not in it of itself something. But a Biblical sign not only signifies something, but is something. So the Sabbath is the sign because it’s a very, very important reality, but it also stands for something even further.


[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Right, what you had with Israel, what Paul spoke out against again and again, was this, (and it is interesting that the Lord called Paul, a Pharisee’s of the Pharisees, of the strictest sect, to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, and Peter to the Jews. And Peter was a Galilean, and the Galileans had a very lax view of the Pharisaic regulations) when Paul speaks about the laws and the ordinances, he uses the word in a number of senses. The senses. He sometimes speaks of the law as a death penalty against us, at other times of the law in terms of the traditions of the elders. Their rules and their regulations, against which our Lord spoke also. The Pharisees wanted to prove their super holiness. They actually said that the text of Scripture was like water, the interpretation like wine. In other words, the very Word of God was like water, but wine, that’s superior, our interpretations are the reality. They strove for a super holiness that Paul himself had striven for, and now he sharply condemns. The classic example, to me, was the debate that was never settled. Over whether you could eat an egg that a hen had labored over on the Sabbath. What if it was laid on the day, or two days after the Sabbath? Had she been laboring over it on the Sabbath? How many days did it take for the egg to develop and hatch? So, that was debated back and forth, and another thing, and you can find the long debate on this, there were actual court decisions, so that you see, where, well, lawyers get their propensity for playing games with the law. [00:43:37]

The Commandment says thou shalt not commit adultery...[edit]

The Commandment says thou shalt not commit adultery. Then the Tenth commandment says thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Well, in actual trials of adultery, some Pharisaic lawyers went to court and they demonstrated the man was not guilty of adultery, because it was not his neighbors wife, she lived two miles away. And the second statement qualifies the first, therefore if it’s not your neighbors wife, it’s okay. Now that was actually a product of Pharisee-ism at its worst. Now Paul met this whole thing head on. So, his whole concern was with these non-essentials. Do you remember, he rebuked Peter for observing the dietary laws when he was among the heathens, just because some Judaizers appeared. Because you were not to make that the line of division, and yet what did Paul do when he went back to Jerusalem? He went through a ceremonial purification. And not because he was a hypocrite.

Alright, now as we come to that passage in Colossians, in Colossians two verses sixteen and seventeen…

Now, Paul there is speaking very sharply against the Judaizers. Remember, Acts tells us that a very large body of priests were converted, beginning at Pentecost. And they came into the Church, and they brought the Pharisee-ism with them. So that when Cornelius was converted there was a question, whether a Gentile could be brought into the faith without being brought into Judaism first. [00:46:17]

That was the question...[edit]

That was the question. Would he have to be converted into Judaism and circumcised, and then become a Christian. And Paul, Peter, James, all of them met that head on. No. You were converted to Christ. Then what do they say, they lay down some rules, most of which have to with diet. No eating of blood and so on. So, first it is Christ that is prior, then these things, let’s teach them but don’t make that the impediment. You don’t come to that first, you don’t say to them, first, before they know Christ, and the meaning of the doctrines of grace, you’re going to have to observe new moons and days and so on. But if you look at the things that were said in Acts at the council of Jerusalem, it’s surprising.


Flagrant sin among the Greek or Romans, the Greeks, you know said that sin was a spiritual matter, physical things were not sins. You could commit fornication, that wasn’t a sin. But sins were purely of the mind.

[Audience] Did I understand you said a moment ago that these obligations are placed on them prior to conversion?

[Dr. Rushdoony] No, no. They were the Judaizers and the Jews, required a man, before he could become a Jew, to observe the law. That was the procedure.


[Dr. Rushdoony] No, no, on believers.


[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] That’s right. He’s just, then he goes on to say, Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every day. He’s reminding them that they’re familiar with Moses. The Old Testament Scriptures at the time of our Lord were circulated, as (Edershine?) has shown, as far as China. The whole world was at a dead-end, as it were, spiritually. And there was interest in the Scriptures everywhere. We know that right into the Emperor’s household, there was curiosity about the Scriptures. Scholars have said that Virgil’s fourth eclogue probably echoed, others have debated it, but there’s reason to believe it echoed the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah. That they believed, however, that it had to be fulfilled in someone in the household of Caesar. [00:49:26]

So the whole world was alert to the Scriptures...[edit]

So the whole world was alert to the Scriptures. And we are told by our Lord that these proselytizers were going out all over the world, the Jewish proselytizers. But making their converts worse than themselves.

[Audience] Sorry to be so persistent, [Dr. Rushdoony] No I’m glad you are. [Audience] This is the issue for the controversy {?}. In verse nineteen would you comment {?}

The language appears that he’s saying, is the law an obligation, and maybe {?} would you comment on that?

[Dr. Rushdoony] They’re not to be troubled. The issue is: are they born again. That’s it, very simply. Now, because they are born again, they are then instructed that these are areas of concern, moral, religious idolatry, and dietary. These were areas of growth. Now we find in the Early Church that for some time there was an extensive keeping of all these things. Very seriously. But the dietary laws were dropped first. Because the dietary laws hit people the hardest. In other words, the thing that people change least is their eating habit. So, especially as the Church went in Northern Europe, these things were dropped. But we find in the Early Church that one of the constant problems was that people took the Old Testament so seriously that just to be safe they were observing two Sabbaths. The Hebrew Sabbath and the Christian Sabbath. We know that up until the tenth or eleventh century the Popes were issuing bulls against Scotland, because the Scottish people were observing the Passover. It was Christ’s Passover, they called it, but with a lamb. That was how they celebrated Easter. The lamb is the type of Christ, so they had a communion service at which a lamb was eaten. Now I cite these to illustrate how seriously they took the every Word of God. We all know that right up till the present circumcision has survived. Not because we see any religious significance, but because people have believed, Christians through the centuries, that well, God commanded it and even though now the sign is baptism, there must be a holy purpose in it. Now we know that there are very, very important health reasons, that effect not only the man but the woman, to give her immunity from cervical cancer, for example, for circumcision. [00:53:12]

So you see, even in little things like that, we’re...[edit]

So you see, even in little things like that, we’re finding that God knew what he was talking about. Even to the circumcision on the eight day. Blood does not coagulate in a baby until the eighth day. Recently they’ve developed anti, they’ve developed coagulants, to give to the baby so they can circumcise him immediately. But I find that many parents are saying, no we don’t want our baby given a shot, we’ll wait until the eight day.

Does that help at all?

[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. Very good point, because…

[Audience] Am I understanding that right?

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes, you are.

[Audience] {?}

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. You see, what had happened in Israel was that the law had become the way of salvation. So much so, that when the temple was destroyed, it really didn’t make much difference apart from the grief of the temple being destroyed. Because as far as their doctrine was concerned, nothing happened. The sacrificial system disappeared without any feeling of a loss. And yet if they had been true to the Old Testament, they would have had to say the sacrificial system is basic to our faith, basic to salvation. But they had turned the law into a plan of salvation. And therefore they looked to the law. So they went ahead with their works, they went ahead with just what they had been doing, the sacrificial system disappeared. [00:56:05]

But what Paul makes clear is there is no justification...[edit]

But what Paul makes clear is there is no justification in the law. None. It’s only the way of holiness, the way of righteousness, the way of obedience. Now, in Galatians six, sixteen, there’s an interesting term which the Early Church called itself. ‘And as many as walk according to this rule, peace on them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God‘. Then Church called itself the New Israel. And it was only with time that the term Christian replaced Israel. In some of the early writing they speak of themselves as the New Israel of God.


[Audience] Back to the area of the Sabbaths and the immediate and practical application, are you basically saying then that as …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. We cannot, for example, take the seventh year off unless we’re very well to do. Because we don’ have a national situation. University professors still get a sabbatical because the sabbatical was once a principal in almost every area of life, when we were more Christian. It’s a survival. Survival without faith. But where we are able to apply the Sabbath in our lives, we are to do so. And all I can say is my wife and I feel we’ve been richly blessed for observing it, with regard to debt and with regard to other things.

Well, if there are no further questions, shall we go on to tithing now? [00:58:29]