Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.
We are finishing up the book of Galatians. I think we have finished that in about two studies. I was just thinking — There are two books that are attacked by the Protestants in general as being against the Sabbath and they are Romans and Galatians. I think if anyone had understood Galatians that they would understand Romans, but I thought it might be good if we went through Romans this time. It is a longer book. We did some time back start through Romans and take the first two chapters. Romans Chapter 1 The Old Testament The Gentiles Gentile Intellectuals Israel of Old Simon Magus — Mystery Religion Romans Chapter 3 Romans Chapter 4 Romans Chapter 5
The word 'apostle' means 'one sent forth,' proclaiming a message. Actually, it was a proclaiming of a message, but it was not what today in Protestant religion would be called a 'soul-saving' crusade. Jesus did not come on a soul-saving crusade. Never did He invite people to come forward and 'give their hearts to Him' as Billy Graham does, for example, today and other protestant ministers. Never did He try to talk anyone into being converted. In fact, in the book of John you will read that when He was passing through Samaria, the Samaritans, for some 600 years, had been Babylonians that had been moved in there after Shalmanezer of Assyria had conquered the nation Israel and northern two thirds or three fourths of the land. And had moved all the Israelites out of the land and taken them as slaves over to the land of Assyria on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. Then he moved Babylonians in there. Now they were people of the Babylonian mystery religion spoken of in Revelation 17:5 as the 'mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots.' She is a church that has had daughter churches come out of her and they are called harlots. But it is the old Chaldean mystery or Babylonian mystery pagan religion with the name of Christ tacked on, with grace made a key doctrine but it was grace turned into license or as the Bible words it, lasciviousness, which is license to disobey.
Now as the apostles started out, they met with quite a lot of opposition immediately. The immediate first opposition came from Jews who would not accept Christ as the Messiah; so, the first preaching of the apostles was pretty much their testimony that they were eyewitnesses to the fact of the resurrection of Christ, proving that He was the Messiah. They spent 3 1/2 years — almost every day — with Him before His crucifixion. After His death and resurrection, they had spent 40 days with Him and therefore, they were eyewitnesses of the fact that He was the identical man that they were with for 3 1/2 years who was resurrected from the dead proving His Messiahship.
You see the angels had inhabited the earth prior to that and the Government of God had been set up and a throne was set on earth with the archangel Lucifer ruling in the throne to administer the government of God. But he had turned away from it, had rebelled and rejected the Government of God and so the Government of God was not being enforced in any way or administered. Adam had been given an opportunity to qualify to sit on that throne, but he would have overcome the former Lucifer, who now is called Satan in order to do it. He would have to reject the way that Satan had turned to. He would have to accept the Government of God and accept God as the Supreme Ruler over him. That is precisely what Adam did not do. Therefore, when Adam rejected God, God drove him out from the Garden of Eden lest he go back and take of the tree of life and eat and live forever, or his children and descendents after him. In other words, God closed off the Holy Spirit from mankind except those few God would choose and that were pre-ordained predestined to be called to have a part in preparing for the restoration of the Kingdom of God on the earth which Lucifer had done away with. We need to have all of that background in mind when we come to understand the New Testament.
God had said to Adam in effect: "You made the decision for yourself and for your children who will become the population for the whole world. Therefore, I sentence you and the world that will come from you to 6,000 years of being cut off from Me and My Holy Spirit. You have rejected Me and My Government and have rejected Me as your Spiritual Saviour, so now go form your own gods and your own religion and your own fund of knowledge, because what you took was the knowledge to yourself of what is right and wrong. You don't know what is right and wrong — I was going to tell you and you wouldn't listen to me. Therefore, you decide for yourself what to believe and what not to believe. Form your own governments. And form your own type of society since you have rejected Mine."
In the Middle East at the time of Christ, the Babylonian mystery religion that had come from Chaldea had been transplanted into the northern part of Palestine by the Assyrians over 700 years before Christ. The Jews called the people of northern Palestine — the people from. Samaria — dogs. They would have nothing to do with them. I've given you some of the background to the ancient religions before Christ. They knew nothing of God — they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. They didn't have the Holy Spirit.
When did these religions get started? Immediately after the flood one of them was started by someone mentioned in Genesis 10 who built Nineveh and other cities, that is, Nimrod (and his mother, wife, Semiramis). We get a lot of her over in Egypt — you still see hotels named after her. She is the one who started the ancient religions that came first into ancient Egypt and then into the Babylonian Mystery religion. But they knew nothing about God. God had shut them off. However, there was some knowledge of God handed on, but it was a perverted knowledge and all mixed up. Anything that is handed on by mouth does get twisted and changed — sometimes in less than one year, let alone the many years that passed by.
Now when we come to Rome, Paul is talking in Romans 1 about the Gentiles who thought by that time — the time of Christ — and after in the first century A.D. that they had developed a great fund of knowledge. We have the great philosophers of Greece and Athens and Paul came to them and they had this idol marked to the unknown God — and Paul said the God that they ignorantly worshipped he would declare to them -the true God.
Now we come back to the time of the Jewish religion. First there was a division in Israel way back over 1,000 years before Christ in the days after David and Solomon died, and Solomon's son, Rehoboam descended the throne when the people rejected him as their king and made Jeroboam their king. Judah stayed with Rehoboam and the tribe of Benjamin stayed with Judah. That formed the kingdom of Judah but Israel now had a new king. The first thing Jeroboam did was to change the annual festivals from the seventh month to the eighth month because he was afraid that they would go down to Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles and decide to go back to King Rehoboam. He also changed the day of worship from the Sabbath to the next day — this is where the Sunday worship started among Israelites. That was the sign that God had given Israel by which the world would know that they were Israel because no other nation on earth ever kept the Sabbath.
The Arab nations observe Friday. The so-called Christian nations observe Sunday. I don't know whether any religions observe Monday. Anyway, the Sabbath had been a sign to identify God because in six days God had made this present world and created everything in it — plant and animal life and man, and on the seventh day He rested — and the seventh day is a memorial of the Creator and creation is the proof, after all, of God.
Now when Israel was taken captive between 721-718 B. C. and the Babylonian mystery religion moved into their places in Northern Palestine, it left only Judah. A little over 100 years later between 604-585 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon invaded Judah, conquered them and destroyed the temple of Solomon and moved the Jews out of there. So, the land was more or less idle for quite a while. But 70 years later God wanted a colony of Jews to go back and build a second temple to be there when Christ would come which was still going to be 500 years later. So He stirred up the spirit of king Cyrus of Assyria and that is the way He communicated to Cyrus — so Cyrus gave a decree to send a colony of Jews back to Jerusalem. It grew into a fairly good-sized colony, but it was not Israel and it was only a small part of Judah.
In the book of Ezra, you will find the tribal names of those people who went back, and every one of them is of the tribe of Judah, Benjamin or Levi. I forgot to mention that King Jeroboam not only started Israel keeping the Sabbath on Sunday and observing the Feast on the eighth month, but he also exiled the tribe of Levi which was the tribe of the priests which had the highest income. There were really 13 tribes and most of them were larger than Levi, but each Levite was getting about 3 1/2 times as much money because he got 10%. So, Levi became one of the tribes of the kingdom of Judah.
Zerubbabel was the governor of that colony and Joshua was the high priest and Ezra and Nehemiah were two of the prophets sent down there. Zerubbabel and Joshua were merely types of two men in our day who were to build the spiritual temple to which Christ will come the second time, that is the Church — and apparently also to be the two witnesses to preach before the whole world on television that will be satellite-relayed over the whole earth. How do I know that? Because it says that the people all over the earth will rejoice when they see their dead bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem just 3 1/2 days before the second coming of Christ.
While we were going through the book of Galatians, I explained that the rituals were the physical law of ceremonies that the Israelites had to do every day. But it was only a temporary substitute and was no longer in force after the reality of the Holy Spirit came. These rituals were just like the law of animal sacrifices, which were substituted for the sacrifice of-Christ and were not in use after Christ came and died. On the rituals and sacrifices, they built a complete law.
And as I explained, Gentile nations had a different system instead of the forgiveness of sins, for there was nothing like the forgiveness of sins in Gentile religions. Pagan nations never had anything like that at all. That is why I say the Babylonian mystery religion adopted the doctrine of grace — and they turned it into license to disobey and did away with the law of God.
Now I'm coming to the end of this background. The Jews enforced these rituals and said that they had to observe these rituals — yet those ritual laws were only for ancient Israel under the old Covenant and are replaced entirely by the sacrifice of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament church. That is the main difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Covenant is an agreement that has not yet been made. But it is being proclaimed and we are to live under its conditions now or we will not make it into the Kingdom of God.
A little later on the whole thing changed and the Gentile religion was the opposition and that was a religion against the spiritual law, the Commandments of God. They did away with the Holy Spirit. They called the Holy Spirit a third person, an actual being. Of course, that doctrine was never given-universal approval until 321 and the time of Constantine. This is the trinity doctrine. In 1611 in England when -the Bible was translated into King James English, the trinity doctrine was still believed — and that is the reason Holy Ghost is used. It should be spirit. It was poured out. It filled people. A person isn't poured out.
Anyway, Paul is talking about how the gentiles were trying to do away with law altogether in the first chapter and how they had turned to wrong ideas and how they had not retained God in their knowledge, and he corrects them on that. In Romans 2, Paul goes after the Jews. The Gentiles thought they were so much better than the Jews because the Jews just had this old crazy Judaism religion whereas the Gentiles were proud of their human knowledge. But it was not the knowledge of God. In Romans 2 Paul corrects the Jews because they boasted that they had the law, but they didn't obey the law. We went through that, so I think we will just go right into Romans 3.
Verse 2: "Much every way, chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God."
Verse 3: "For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the belief of God without effect." What Paul had in mind there was something like this. In the last chapter of my book on the Human Potential I talk about people who say that based on what they've seen of people who profess Christianity, they don't want any part of it. They judge Christianity by the lives of the people who profess to live by it, but are not really living it at all. That is what he is talking about here — that if some do not believe God, does that change the fact that He exists.
Verse 4: "God forbid, yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Verse 5: "But if our unrighteousness (Jewish) commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? I speak as a man."
Verse 6: "God forbid; for then how shall God judge the world?"
Verse 7: "For if the truth of God has more abounded through my lie unto his glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner?"
Verse 8 "And not rather (as we be slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil that good may come? Whose damnation is just" He is referring there to a type of religion that some had. They said that since we do evil and God has grace, and through God's grace He can forgive it, then it shows the greatness of God in forgiving our sin. Therefore the more we sin the greater we make God and it makes God greater because He has more forgive so let us sin more. In the early years of Christianity, the Nicolaitans spoken of in Revelation 2 observed that kind of doctrine.
Verse 9: "What then? Are we better than they (we Jews). No, in no way, for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles that they are all under sin."
Verse 10: "As it is written there is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." Even the apostles didn't seek after Christ. Christ called them. Peter and Andrew didn't want to find Christ, they wanted to fish. As Jesus said, no man can come to Christ except the Father draw Him. And the Father predestinates and calls those He had predestinated to call. I do not think that that means that God knew thousands of years before we were born that I, by name, would be born in 1892 and that He would call me. What I do think is that God has foreplanned that a certain few would be called to certain positions when we get to this place and predestination has nothing to do with whether or not you will be saved or lost at all, but only with whether you are called at this time or whether you are not! But no man is seeking God. It is God who seeks us.
Verse 12: "They are gone out of the way, they are together became unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one."
Verse 13: "Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips."
Verse 14: "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness;"
Verse 15: "Their feet are swift to shed blood."
Verse 16: "Destruction and misery are in their ways."
Verse 17: "And the way of peace they have not known."
Verse 18: "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Verse 19: "Now we know that what things soever the law says, it says to them who are under the law that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God." Under the law in this case I think he may be referring to the Spiritual law — the Ten Commandments — and you are under the law when you've broken the law and the law then is over you and demanding your 1ife as its penalty. That life is going to have to be paid, but Jesus has ransomed us and paid it in our stead. Under the law doesn't mean under ob1igation to obey the 1aw. Everybody is under obligation to obey the spiritual law anyway.
Verse 20: "Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin." That should be marked in every Bible. Let me explain it this way. No man is justified by a ritual. They believed that a man atoned for his sins by punishing himself — that was the Gentile religions. The Jews took the physical rituals which included circumcision and the fleshly laws, and because they considered it irksome to keep doing it, then it was a type of punishment and they were using it to forgive their sins, but on the other hand it says by the law is the knowledge of sin. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is to tell us what sin is. Later Paul will say that he would not have known what sin was except by the law. Because he wouldn't have known it was wrong to covet if the law had not said that. In other words, obedience to the law doesn't forgive sin. That is what he goes on to say here — that everyone has broken the law. The law tells us what sin is.
Verse 21: "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets" (by the Old Testament scriptures).
Verse 22: "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ (not our faith in Christ, but the faith of Christ which will be given to us by the Holy Spirit) unto all and upon all them that believe for there is no difference."
Verse 23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Verse 24: "Being justified freely by his grace (not through our obedience today) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
Verse 25: "Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God." I'm glad it says the sins that are past. Grace does not forgive sins that you have not committed, you don't have license to sin.
Verse 26: "To declare I say at this time his righteousness that he might be just and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus."
Verse 27: "Where is boasting then? (The Jews were boasting because of the law and the Gentiles were boasting because they had such great knowledge so they thought) it is excluded. By what law? By works? No, but by the law of faith."
Verse 28: "Therefore we conclude that man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." You have to understand what justified means. Justified means that your guilty past is cleaned up and paid for. Justified is a matter referring to your past sins. You are not justified by your righteousness today; you are justified by the blood of Christ.
Verse 29: "Is he the God of the Jews only, is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also."
Verse 30: "Seeing it is one God which shall justify the circumcision by faith and uncircumcision through faith."
Verse 31: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid, yea we establish the law." If you break the law today, you still have to keep it tomorrow, and you have to have the blood of Christ to forgive you for breaking it.
Verse 2: "For if Abraham were justified by works (it is talking there not about works of the law, but of good works, of good performance and obedience) he hath whereof to glory, but not before God."
Verse 3: "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness." He believed and he also obeyed. He disobeyed on certain occasions too, but he did have faith.
Verse 4: "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned not of grace, but as of a debt."
Verse 5: "But to him that worketh not, but believes on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
Verse 6: "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works."
Verse 7: "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered."
Verse 8: "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."
Verse 9: "Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only or upon the uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness."
Verse 10: "How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision; but in uncircumcision." That is, before he was circumcised.
Verse 11: "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet been uncircumcised; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also."
You see, it isn't just that you believe and then go out and sin. What he is trying to get at is that we cannot obey God's law and live the perfect life in our own strength alone. It takes the faith to trust God to help us — through the Holy Spirit. Later you will find in Galatians and James that Abraham wasn't justified by faith alone, but also by works. His belief resulted in obedience.
Verse 12: "And the father of circumcision to them who are not of circumcision only but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being uncircumcised."
Verse 13: "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith."
Verse 14: "For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect."
Verse 15: "Because the law worketh wrath (because when you break it, the penalty is death) for where no law is there is no transgression." I've used this as an argument to people who say we don't need to keep the Ten Commandments — which they are done away. The law just didn't start when Moses gave the Ten Commandments — it started with Adam.
Verse 16: "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace, to the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all."
Verse 17: "As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations, before him whom he believed, even God who quickeneth the dead and calls those things which be not as though they were."
Verse 18: "Who against hope believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be."
Verse 19: "And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb."
Verse 20: "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief but was strong in faith giving glory to God and being fully persuaded that what he had promised he was able to perform." This is a definition of faith. God will perform what he has promised. All you do is know that he will do it. It doesn't depend on anything else you see, hear or feel.
Verse 22: "And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness."
Verse 23: "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him."
Verse 24: "But for us also; to whom it shall be imputed if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead."
Verse 25: "Who was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification."
Sometimes I think I would like to rewrite this whole book. It could be in language that everyone would understand.
Verse 2: "By whom we also have access by faith unto this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Verse 3: "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also knowing that tribulation worketh patience."
Verse 4: "And patience experience and experience hope."
Verse 5: "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us." I have this underscored also. Love is the fulfilling of the law. But the love we have, with which we were born and have developed in our life will not fulfill the spiritual law of God. It takes a spiritual love to fulfill that spiritual law, we were not born with it, and we cannot develop it. He gives us that love. God not only gives us His love — the Holy Spirit is the love of God. A love we have never had. It is also a new kind of faith, which we never had. It is something, which we can't work up. It is the same faith that Christ used to walk on water and heal the sick, and the same love that God has for all those He created. We are to have a divine love and faith — something that God will give us by grace — an unmerited gift.
Verse 6: "For when we were yet without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
Verse 7: "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die."
Verse 8: "But God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Verse 9: "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be delivered from wrath through him."
Verse 10: "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." There is so much there. The Protestant religion leaves God out of it altogether. They only have Christ. Jesus had to obey God and overcome Satan in order to sit on His throne. We have to do the same thing. God is the lawgiver. When we Sin, it is against God, not Christ, and we have to first be made right with God. God is the One who has eternal life to give. But we cannot be reconciled to God as long as we are under condemnation for having disobeyed God. We've got to get that past disobedience against God's law forgiven. Christ makes grace possible. He is the One who makes it possible.
But you've got to get right with God before Christ can save you. Christ's death reconciles us to the Father. Once we are reconciled to the Father then it is possible through Christ's life to be saved. God gave Christ for our sins and Christ gave His life. They both had a part in it.
Verse 11: "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." That is, made at one with God. So many say that this atonement is Old Testament stuff — this reconciliation with God the Father, God the Father was not the God of the Old Testament!
Verse 12: "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." What did I say in the fourth chapter? That if there is no law there is no transgression. Adam had the law or he would never have known he had sinned. God pronounced the death penalty on Adam if he disobeyed. He couldn't do that unless Adam had known the law he would be disobeying. It isn't all recorded in Genesis — 2,000 years are covered in the first eleven chapters. But sin was imputed then.
Verse 13: "For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law." That is, from Adam until Moses.
Verse 14: "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (the penalty of the law was being enforced) even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." Adam was a type of Christ except that he went the evil way and Christ went the right way.
Verse 15: "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by the man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
Verse 16: "And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification."
Romans Chapter 1The first chapter of Romans Paul is addressing and it is a letter to those at Rome, not necessarily to Romans. It is just marked that way in the name of the Book. It is a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to brethren or saints at Rome. They were not necessarily all Romans but probably most were. There were some Jewish proselytes there. I might mention this as a little history of the early days of the New Testament. Jesus had taught His disciples for 3 1/2 years, and then He was crucified. He was with His disciples who became apostles 40 days after the resurrection. Then He was taken to heaven, but He told them to wait until they would receive the Holy Spirit, which they did receive ten days later on the Day of Pentecost to empower them to go out with the great commission.
The Old TestamentNow the Jewish converts, I explained this in a former Bible Study that we had here, I think that was when we were going through Galatians. Under the Old Testament, there were four types of law. Israel was made a Church and state. It was a civil state as well as a Church, but as a Church God had never given them the Holy Spirit. Only the prophets were given the Holy Spirit. But you see, at the time of Adam an Eve, at the creation of man, when Adam and Eve had rejected God, they rejected Him as the revealer knowledge and the source of basic knowledge. They also rejected Him as their God and Savior spiritually, but they also rejected Him as their ruler or governor or the one to rule them so far as a even a civil government would be concerned.
The GentilesWhat we have had since is that many nations have risen up — all descended from Adam and Eve and they have formed their own gods. They began to worship idols. For example, I just came back from China. The most ancient religion that is known of there is ancestor worship. They had ancestor worship in China about the same time as Egypt was worshipping Isis and Osiris. Then in China, they came to Confucianism and Taoism, which rivaled it. That must have come about the time that the- Greeks and Romans had their gods like Jupiter and Diana, and all of those ancient gods of mythology — made up in the imagination of men. Then a little later out of India came Buddhism and that came into China — and in India, they came later to the transmigration of souls in the Hindu religion. The world has had its various religions.
Gentile IntellectualsIn Romans 1 Paul mentions how these inte1lectuals had known something of God, but would not acknowledge Him as God. And had rejected everything good about God and had been turned to licentiousness and the Worship of idols and to homosexuality and every filthy minded thing and that they had looked down on the Jews because the Jews looked on the law.
Israel of OldIsrael lost their Sabbath, and so they lost their identity. They lost their language and didn't speak Hebrew any more. They lost their identity and therefore everybody thought they were Gentiles. They moved into Western Europe and Britain and into the United State, but you tell people we are Israel and they think you are crazy. But we are! A sign is something a businessman hangs up outside his business to show what he is. A sign identifies. The Sabbath is a sign between God and man. You find that in Exodus 31:12-18. Actually, the first sermon I ever preached was on that Sabbath Covenant found in that message.
Simon Magus — Mystery ReligionNow, a little later on this Simon-Magus that we find revealed in Acts 8 got the Babylonian mystery religion going. That religion didn't want any law whatsoever. Now get this, the first opposition against the apostles was that the Jews didn't believe that Christ was the Messiah and they wanted to enforce the ritual law. In other words, they wanted more law instead of just a spiritual law.
Romans Chapter 3Romans 3:1: "What advantage then has the Jew (talking about the difference between the Jew and the Gentile — the Gentiles had philosophy — human knowledge filled with myth and superstition, but the Jews had the law) or what profit is there of circumcision?" Circumcision is one of those things that Paul had explained was part of the-ritual law that as a religious ordinance was done away. However, he didn't say that if you were circumcised it is bad and shouldn't have been done or God wouldn't have had it done in the first place. But it is not a religious rite any more and hasn't been since Christ.
Romans Chapter 4Romans 4:1: "What shall we say then, that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?"
Romans Chapter 5Romans 5:1: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."