A Biblical Critique of Pat Robertson's New Book
The Ten Offenses

Chapter SEVEN

Commandment Four:
Observe a Sabbath Rest
 
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
EXODUS 20:8 NLT


   The back cover of The Ten Offenses by Pat Robertson asserts:

   Courts run amok, fueled by secular allies, are eroding America's spiritual foundations. As a consequence, the historic blessings and benefits of the Ten Commandments are being spun as a great offense to our religiously diverse culture. Nothing could be further from the truth. "Religious pluralism thrives in America as a result of our Christian heritage, not in spite of it," says Pat Robertson. He calls on all Americans to reclaim their spiritual roots―to reaffirm the central role of God's fundamental laws―before its too late.

   Pat Robertson, right from the title of chapter 7, is himself promoting a subtle but profound act of rebellion against God's Sabbath Commandment. It was an act of apostasy and rebellion prophesied in the Old Testament book of Daniel, and it will have immense consequences in the near future. It is the intent of this critique to repair this breach, and tell you the biblical truth, to be the restorer of the paths to dwell in.

    In the introduction to his chapter on the Sabbath Commandment, Pat says

" ... God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai, reminding the Israelites that they had been slaves in Egypt. Now one of the blessings of freedom was a day each week for rest, ... a chance to meditate on the fact that their Creator brought forth the glory of creation in six days, and then on the seventh day rested." ...

    A small but significant omission should be noted in the chapter's introduction. Israel did not first learn of the seventh day Sabbath rest at Sinai. This was presented to them before they ever arrived at Sinai, in chapter 16 of Exodus:

Exo 16:23 And he [Moses] said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: ...

    Days before Moses and Israel arrived at Sinai, manna from heaven began falling six days of the week, but on the seventh day, a particular day specified by God, no manna was to be found. Israel was to collect a double portion on the sixth day, and rest, collecting nothing, on the seventh day. Almost immediately however, some ignored God's command, and violated it by going out to search for manna on the Sabbath day, bringing a sharp rebuke on Moses and Israel:

Exo 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
Exo 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

    Violating God's Sabbath Commandment is a very serious matter, something that even Pat Robertson acknowledges at the close of the chapter's introduction (pg. 102):

 "We violate God's Fourth Commandment at our peril."

    I could not agree more with that last sentence. It is that nugget of truth that must be kept in mind as we dissect and correct what Pat Roberson maintains in the rest of the chapter. There are 10 subsections to examine:

A Correct View of the Sabbath

    Here Pat relates how the religious leaders of Israel had corrupted the Sabbath observance with their rules of Tradition, making the Sabbath an intolerable burden on the people, even to the point of criticizing Jesus and his disciples for violating the Sabbath rest by picking grain when passing through a field. Pat warns:

 "... we should carefully avoid being legalistic about the Sabbath, lest we become like the oppressive religious leaders of Jesus's day."

    Pat then relates how his very busy father, a U.S. Senator, always maintained a sense of perspective about the need for periodic rest, that he "practiced a correct understanding of the Sabbath rest". While he may have thought he did, he probably did not keep a Sabbath day his entire life, for reasons that will become clear.

The Blessing of a Sabbath Rest

Isaiah 58:13-14 is quoted, and Pat says he has adopted it as his own standard. It reads in the King James:

Isa 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
Isa 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

    It is a wonderful promise from God, a promise of blessings, but blessings conditional upon obedience. Note that the Lord calls the Sabbath "my holy day". Remember the rebuke of the Lord to Moses when some of the people went out to collect manna on the Sabbath? That day was, and is, the seventh day of the week, Saturday.

Taking a Day for Sabbath Rest

    Here, amazingly enough, Pat acknowledges that the Bible Sabbath is, in fact, Saturday, observed from sundown to sundown. So the truth is that it was on Saturday, a day specified by God, that Israel was forbidden by God to search for manna. It was on the seventh day, Saturday, that some of Israel rebelled by not resting as instructed (Exo. 16:27-28). It is Saturday that Isaiah 58:13-14 speaks to, and the Lord promises a blessing to those who do His will on that day. In spite of what Pat Robertson knows to be true, that Saturday is God's specified Sabbath day, he writes the following:

"Sunday in biblical times was called "the first day of the week" (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). Since this was the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the early Christians―most of whom were Jewish―held their meetings on Sunday rather than Saturday. As custom developed, the Christian Sabbath, or day of rest and worship, became Sunday, and this was the day established by law in America."

    There you have it, the prophesied breach that calls out for repair. There is absolutely no biblical proof, not one verse, that the Apostles ever abandoned the Sabbath to keep Sunday. See Did the Apostles Keep Sunday?

    Remember that in the previous section, Pat told us he had adopted Isaiah 58:13-14 as his standard. Well, Isaiah 58:13-14, talks of keeping the seventh day Saturday Sabbath. It has no application what-so-ever to the first day of the week, Sunday. It is impossible to keep God's designated Sabbath day on Sunday. Where was this breach of God's law prophesied?

Dan 7:25 And he [the little horn] shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws [of the most High]: ...

    There is only one of the Ten Commandments of the most High God that deals with time, and that is the Saturday Sabbath Commandment (Exo 20:8-11), which Daniel says the little horn power would think to change. Since the Reformation, Protestants have long held that the little horn of Daniel 7 is the papacy, the Roman Catholic Church, and Catholics boldly admit they are responsible for the change of God's law:

  The Church, on the other hand, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, to the first, made the Third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord's Day. The Council of Trent (Sess. VI, can. xix) condemns those who deny that the Ten Commandments are binding on Christians.

Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Commandments of God, Volume IV, © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company, Online Edition © 1999 by Kevin Knight, Nihil Obstat - Remy Lafort, Censor Imprimatur - +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 153.

Commerce on the Lord's Day

    This section begins with the statement:

"In America, keeping the Sabbath as 'the Lord's day' has largely become an antiquated idea."

    But the Sabbath is Saturday, and Pat knows this. To be exact, his statement is wrong, it is worded backwards. What Pat means to say isIn America, keeping 'the Lord's day' [Sunday] as the Sabbath has largely become an antiquated idea. He is lamenting the fact that people have lost their sense of Sunday as a day of rest. He goes on to relate the gradual erosion of Blue Laws, intended to protect the Sunday rest, to the point that now Sunday is probably the busiest day of the week for most retailers. It is interesting to point out that Sunday keepers have historically sought the policeman and civil government to enforce Sunday Blue Laws on the whole community, while at the same time branding the 7th day Sabbath keeper a legalist, and an enemy of grace, for merely teaching that according to the Holy Bible, the Sabbath commandment has no application to Sunday, and should still be kept on Saturday as God has commanded.

A Day that Belongs to God

    Pat now asserts:

"According to the God of the Bible, Sunday belongs to Him. ... Christians have worshipped on this day throughout time, the point is that for centuries Sunday has been the one day that belongs to the Lord."

    Not one Bible verse is offered as proof that Sunday is decreed by God to be a Sabbath, or that it is declared by God to be the Lord's day, because there is no such verse. That Christians have observed the day for nearly 2000 years is undisputed, it is indeed a Tradition of the church, but it lacks any Bible support, it has no "thus saith the Lord". Pat's statement above is false―though he earnestly and sincerely believes it, it is a lie.

The Blessings of the Lord's Day

    The word Sabbath is used in this section (not the Lord's Day) to promote the physical and spiritual benefits of keeping Sunday as a day of rest. Don't change a word, read Sabbath properly as meaning Saturday, and this section seems to need no correction.

A Reminder of God's Rest

    Besides wrongly using the term Sabbath to mean Sunday, Pat quotes Revelation 1:10 where John says he was in the spirit on "the Lord's day." This is the only instance in the entire Bible where this phrase is used. Note the following from a Catholic writer about Rev. 1:10-

The ninth text wherein we meet the expression "the Lord's day," is the last to be found in the apostolic writings. The Apocalypse, or Revelation, first chapter, tenth verse, furnishes it in the following words of John: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day;" but it will afford no more comfort to our Biblical friends than its predecessors of the same series. Has St. John used the expression previously in his Gospel or Epistles? — Emphatically, NO. Has he had occasion to refer to Sunday hitherto? —Yes, twice. How did he designate Sunday on these occasions? Easter Sunday was called by him (John 20:1) "the first day of the week." Again, chapter twenty, nineteenth verse: "Now when it was late that same day, being the first day of the week." Evidently, although inspired, both in his Gospel and Epistles, he called Sunday "the first day of the week." On what grounds, then, can it be assumed that he dropped that designation? Was he more inspired when he wrote the Apocalypse, or did he adopt a new title for Sunday, because it was now in vogue? A reply to these questions would be supererogatory especially to the latter, seeing that the same expression had been used eight times already by St. Luke, St. Paul and St. Peter, all under divine inspiration, and surely the Holy Spirit would not inspire St. John to call Sunday the Lord's day, whilst He inspired Sts. Luke, Paul, and Peter, collectively, to entitle the day of judgment "the Lord's day." Dialecticians reckon amongst the infallible motives of certitude, the moral motive of analogy or induction, by which we are enabled to conclude with certainty from the known to the unknown; being absolutely certain of the meaning of an expression can have only the same meaning when uttered the ninth time, especially when we know that on the nine occasions the expressions were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  
Nor are the strongest intrinsic grounds wanting to prove that this, like its sister texts, contains the same meaning. St. John (Apoc. first chapter, tenth verse) says "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day; "but he furnishes us the key to this expression, chapter four, first and second verses: "After this I looked and behold a door opened in heaven." A voice said to him: "Come up hither, and I will show you the things which must be hereafter." Let us ascend in spirit with John. Whither? — through that "door in heaven," to heaven. And what shall we see? — "The things that must be hereafter," chapter four, first verse. He ascended in spirit to heaven. He was ordered to write, in full, his vision of what is to take place antecedent to, and concomitantly with, "the Lord's day," or the day of judgment; the expression "Lord's day" being confined in Scripture to the day of judgment exclusively.

— The Catholic Mirror of Sept. 23, 1893.

   The writer of the The Catholic Mirror article rejects the notion that "the Lord's day" of Revelation 1:10 refers to Sunday, because in the biblical context, "the Lord's day" of Revelation 1:10 simply cannot mean Sunday. There is another meaning of the phrase indicated strongly in scripture, but overlooked by The Catholic Mirror:

Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Mark 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Luke 6:5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

   Remember that in Isaiah 58:13 the Lord called the seventh day Sabbath "my holy day"? In the above verses it is also quite clear that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath day, referring to the biblical Sabbath, the Sabbath instituted at creation and written on tables of stone by the finger of God (Exo. 20:8-11). The only day of the week John would have considered to be "the Lord's day" was not Sunday, but the biblical seventh day Saturday Sabbath spoken of by Jesus Himself as "my holy day".

   Pat goes on to say that those who pick a day other than Sunday to rest are fighting the culture, and will find keeping any other day but Sunday very hard if not impossible.

The Sabbath versus Sports and Shopping

    "In America, the Sabbath no longer belongs to Jehovah God, but to the gods of professional sports."

    The truth is that God has no problem with Super Bowl Sunday, or sports on any Sunday. Neither does God have a problem with commerce or shopping on Sunday. Sunday is not "the Lord's day", it is not the Sabbath of the Bible. Sunday is just one of the six days on which work is allowed by God. Sunday sacredness is nothing more than a Tradition of Men that makes void the law of God. It is impossible to violate or keep the Sabbath of the Lord on the first day of the week, Sunday. The biblical Sabbath day is Saturday, the seventh day of the week, specified by God, and either you keep it or break it on that day.

An Example of God's Blessing

    The Chick-fil-A restaurants, which are closed on Sundays in an honest but misguided effort to keep the Sabbath commandment, are presented as an example of how prosperous one can be when keeping Sunday a holy rest. The Pharisees likely thought that a rich man (Luke 16:19-31) was blessed by God in his prosperity, and surely saved, yet he was actually lost!  In a similar manner, the apparent success of Chick-fil-A restaurants does not prove that God is pleased by Sunday keeping.

God Knows Best

    "... failing to take a day of rest as commanded by God causes us to miss tremendous benefits that could be ours. By not honoring the Sabbath, we are missing out on blessings that would keep strong the fabric of our nation, our communities, our families, and ourselves. ... We therefore should ask ourselves, Will we receive the blessing of the Lord and the heritage of Jacob [Isaiah 58:13-14], or will we experience emotional burnout? The choice is ours."

    If Pat Robertson wants to adhere to Isaiah 58:13-14 as a standard, he is to be commended in principle, but he needs to admit it speaks only about Saturday, not Sunday, and then seek to repair the breach:

Isa 58:12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Isa 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
Isa 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

    As Pat Robertson rightly stated: "We violate God's Fourth Commandment at our peril." There is a prophesied breach in God's law (Dan 7:25) that needs to be repaired, but that repair cannot be effected by keeping Sunday. If Pat Robertson, or you dear reader, truly wish to keep the true Sabbath of the Lord God, as the Bible teaches, it can only be done on Saturday, the seventh day. Then you will be rightly called, "The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."


Pat Roberson's web site promotion of The Ten Offenses.
Sunday is NOT the Sabbath!
Rome's Challenge.
The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.
The Battle of Armageddon.
Sabbath Truth



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