PROVING THAT MAN DID LOSE HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS TO GOD using the Sabbath principle and the 8th day circumcision principle.
(This article was originally written in response to some articles/debates on another site that were unrelated to any Hebrew Roots debates. However, I have not yet addressed the issue of the Sabbath on here to any great length and I thought this article would be complementary to my other articles concerning the HRM/Sabbath issues. If you want to have some real theology concerning the Sabbath, then here it is.)
In a previous articles, I have explained what the nature and condition of man became as a result of the fall and the knowledge of good and evil.
However, the argument made against this, is that this condition did not pass onto all mankind as an inherited condition or corrupt nature, and one aspect of this argument proposes that man is not born with inherited corruption and neither did mankind lose his image and likeness to God because this would make God the author or creator of sin. This position is further defended by stating that God does not create that which would be contrary to His creation as evidenced by at least 2 points in the Bible.
The first point is based on the context of Psalm 139 and more specifically, verse 14 which states:
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”
The second point is based on the Genesis declaration of creation in chapter one.
“And God saw that it was good.”(vs 25)
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”(vs 31)
Now, with these points in mind, I want to focus on the second one to show how the the Sabbath reveals that man lost the creation identity and condition that was considered good.
In Exodus 20 when the Sabbath command is given, it is explained with a clause that refers us back to creation and God’s rest. Here’s what we know of God’s rest concerning creation:
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
What we also need to know about the Sabbath command is, if we go over to Deuteronomy 5, Moses gathers the people and reiterates the Sinai/Horeb covenant along with the 10 commandments in the manner they were given in Exodus 20. However, when he reiterates the Sabbath command this time, Moses does not relate the commandment to rest at creation, but he puts the Sabbath command in relation to deliverance from Egypt:
“And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.”
Seeing that the Sabbath is accompanied with two references-one in relation to creation and one in relation to deliverance from Egypt, we need to go back and examine Genesis 2.
Genesis 2 tells us that all creation was finished, and that God rested from all His works, but along comes a man named Jesus who says something that would imply the complete opposite:
My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”(John 5:17)
And Jesus also says:
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”(John 4:34)
That’s interesting, don’t you think? To consider that the Bible tells us that the hosts of all creation were good and finished, so much so that God rested from all His work, yet Jesus appears and says that God has not been resting but working.
How does this effect the integrity of the Sabbath command or what does it mean? What is God working on, and what is Jesus also working on? Isn’t creation good and finished and providing rest for God. According to the arguments made against the sin nature it is, but Jesus Christ says something different.
What is all this work that has supposedly been taken place? And what work has been done for Jesus to proclaim upon the Cross…”it is finished”?
What did Jesus finish? There are three times in the Bible where God proclaims it to be finished, once at creation, once at the Cross, and once in the book of Revelation.
We have to examine this further by looking into another passage that deals with, both the Sabbath, and circumcision:
“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I did one work, and you all marvel. Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?'”
In this passage, Jesus combines the Sabbath, circumcision, Himself, and what He calls one work, which is making a man whole. However, as the writer points out, it wasn’t Moses that truly gave circumcision, but Abraham, and Abraham’s circumcision was on the eight day, not the Sabbath for the people under Moses to whom He was speaking. We can safely assume that Jesus was testing them on the issue of circumcision, but they did not catch it, nor correct it.
Jesus ties everything together because He includes the Sabbath which references both the rest of God and deliverance from sin/Egypt. He also ties in physical 7th day physical circumcision as being the lesser work than the actual work of Christ which is to make men whole. But the true circumcision is on the eight day, not the Sabbath. Eight day circumcision is the true covenant and this most likely, was the subtlety used here by Jesus Christ. Jesus was showing Himself to be the fulfillment of Abraham and the eight day circumcision sign of the covenant that comes by the will and work of God. Jesus Christ was the Isaac of God, and not the Ishmael.
Man did lose his image and likeness to God. What was good on the seventh day had to be made whole again on the eight, because mankind fell. When Jesus proclaimed on the Cross that it was finished, He restored the rest to God and makes man whole. He fulfilled both clauses of the Sabbath command which was rest to God and deliverance from bondage to sin/Egypt that was no fault of their own. It’s the eight day circumcision of inherited foreskin that was given to Abraham after Ishmael and before Isaac. It separates what is the will and works of man who does not rest, and the will and works of God who makes all things new and good.
A person’s gospel and doctrine should not be interpreted on their definition of what is good. It should be defined on what God defines as good. We can’t say that man is good and his nature is good just like it was declared at creation when everything I listed above says that God thinks the opposite.
I doubt that it was arbitrary when Paul said:
“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation…”