Welcome to True to the Word’s first book review! This review is for the book, Sabbath Light, written by Vincent Wisely.
Book Outline: The author’s desire is to provide a clear, concise, biblical foundation for the continued observance of the Sabbath.
Does the book have Christianity as its foundation? Yes, as it addresses the need for mankind to obey the 4th commandment - the Sabbath.
How did the book cause reflection on God’s commandments?
Promotes God as the only God
The first commandment starts out with, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the Land of Egypt, out of the house of boundage. God identifies clearly who He is - the God of the Exodus. He then goes on to say that we shall have no other gods before Him. The Sabbath commandment ends with God saying that the Lord made the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day. These two statements make this connection: we are called to serve a God who created everything and rescued us from the bondage of sin, The same God requires we show Him our reverence for Him by observing the only day in the week He named, blessed and made holy - the Sabbath.
Promotes being free from idols or refrain from promoting idols
Vincent Wisely made a very good point about how the Sabbath is the busiest day in secular society. When I found out about the Sabbath, after reading the ten commandments in December 2015, I wondered when I was going to do my shopping, laundry, housework, etc. But that thought went quickly away as I reflected on all of the Sabbaths I had missed and my will, by God’s grace, to move forward, obeying the 4th commandment.
Does not use His name in vain
Vincent Wisely reflects on Matthew 15:9, “and in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of man.” Sunday as the day of rest and worship was created by man, not God.
Promote the Sabbath or refrain from promoting Sunday as the day of worship?
Vincent Wisely gave a concise theory of the four part strategy Satan uses to get mankind to abandon God’s law for his counterfeit alternative. This strategy has been used to attack the pillars of foundation for our society: Who we worship, marriage and family. When I heard the outline, I certainly recognized the strategy. Vincent Wisely does an excellent job of presenting how Sunday worship was introduced into the church by man and why we need to humble ourselves and return to observing the Sabbath, the 4th commandment of God.
Vincent Wisely reminds us that the 4th commandment is the only commandment that starts with the word, “Remember,” for a good reason, God knew mankind would replace His holy day.
Honours parents or refrains from promoting dishonour of parents?
A family enjoying the Sabbath together is a beautiful thing to witness. In an ideal society, parents would use Jesus’ teachings to lead the way in how to spend the Sabbath as God intended it. Jesus rested, read scriptures, taught in the synagogue, walked, did good, and healed on the Sabbath - it was not a burden for him to set the day aside, as His Father had commanded Him.
Speak against theft or refrain from promoting theft?
Vincent Wisely compared not observing the Sabbath with not giving tithe (Malachi 3:8-10). Not giving tithe robs God of a 10th of the resource He has given us and asks us to return to Him, as a token of faith and reverence. Not observing the Sabbath robs God of the time He expects us to put aside to worship Him.
What connection did the subject matter have with Christian standards?
Scripture alone (the Bible is our only authority)
Vincent Wisely gives a very clear introduction about where we get the Sabbath from and why it has not changed. He presents the typical arguments given against obeying the commandment and effectively shows how none of them are supported by scripture. For example: The argument that Sabbath is a Jewish tradition or law, when Genesis 1, 2:1-3 states that Sabbath was created at the beginning of creation, before any nations existed. Wisely references Mark 2:27 when Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Man, as in mankind - not a specific nation.
Vincent Wisely points to scripture that states that the law of God is perfect and eternal, referencing Psalm 93:5 and Psalm 119:152. I am reminded of Psalm 19:7-11: The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them your servant is warned and in keeping them there is great reward.
Vincent Wisely explains the difference between the ordinances given to Moses by God, for the people and God’s eternal law. He explains how God specified your laws, and My laws in His word. Marking a difference between the ordinances that were temporarily given to man, through the man Moses and the eternal law.
Wisely references passages in Genesis where sin is mentioned, showing that the moral law existed before they were written on the tablets of stone with God’s own finger: Genesis 4:7-8, Gen 26:5. He also references Isaiah 42:21, 1 John 3:4, and passages from Romans that explain the nature of the law.
Wisely effectively shows how scripture documents Sabbath being kept all through the ages by those who knew God and understood there was a balance between His law and His grace. Jesus, who is the Word, perfect and full of grace kept the Sabbath, obeying His Father’s law. So Vincent Wisely asks:Why would mankind in the last days of earth’s history think they would be the only exception, throughout the entire history of this world? Why would we be the only age exempt from 1/10 of a whole, eternal law? Sabbath Light points to scripture that clearly shows the answer to these questions - we are not exempt.
Salvation through Christ alone (faith in Jesus, not by works)
While scripture states our works have nothing to do with our salvation, Sabbath Light highlights that Jesus’ sacrifice magnified the unchanging nature of God’s perfect Law. Transgression of the law by mankind resulted in the death of people and ultimately the death of Jesus Christ, a death that was rightfully our punishment for breaking a law that is still valid (Romans 6:23), as the Law has not changed. Jesus’ sacrifice was a payment for our sins, not a way for us to continue in sin (Romans 6:15). Vincent Wisely has somber comments for those who preach the message, “everything is covered by grace, so we can continue to live in sin - Jesus has covered it all.” The chapter that speaks of Christ’s sacrifice to free us from sin is called, Love is the Test. The word test is used, because Revelations 14:12 says, “12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” The test has always been the same and intensifies in the last days of earth’s history: Christian shall not allow themselves to be forced or deceived into compromising God’s law.
Recognition of the body as the temple of God
I am reminded of the verses from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. And Romans 12:1-2: 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
How did the book impact my faith?
I started reading the Bible from back to front in 2015 and was astonished when I saw the 4th commandment - it’s right there in black and white. By God’s grace I would not worship other gods, make idols, take the Lord’s name in vain, steal, cheat on my husband, murder someone, dishonour my mother, lie to people or build up jealous feelings against someone. So why would I not observe the Sabbath? The law is one law with 10 parts that cannot be separated. Sabbath Light was a delight to listen to, because it is based on the Law of God, which I know to be pure and eternal.
Did the book leave me with questions or further reflection?
Vincent Wisely mentions Rev 1:10 which says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” as referring to the Sabbath, not to Sunday. I also thought it referred to the Sabbath, but my understanding of the Lord’s Day now is that it refers to the day Jesus returns (Malachi 4:1-6 mentions the Lord’s Day), however I have not finished studying this.
This book review airs on the day that secular society and millions of Christians worldwide will choose to celebrate a man made tradition - ignoring the Sabbath for the traditions of this world. This review also airs at the same time as my film review for Facing the Giants. It causes reflection on how keeping the Sabbath, the 4th commandment, is a huge issue in the spiritual war we are in, as it means we have to choose to set ourselves apart, by setting aside the day God set apart, blessed and made holy, for us to acknowledge Him as our Creator and worship Him.
Sabbath Light uses the solid foundation of scripture to dismantle the deceitful arguments used to persuade Christians not to obey the 4th commandment of God. Vincent Wisely refers to Matt 15:9 and Mark 7:9 (Jesus warning us against putting man made traditions before the Law of God). I am reminded of Galatians 1:10: For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.
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Exodus 20:1-17 - the ten commandments
Matthew 15:9 (teaching the doctrine of man over the Law of God)
Malachi 3:8-10 (giving tithe)
Genesis 1, 2:1-3 (Sabbath during creation)
Mark 2:27 - The Sabbath was made for man
Psalm 93:5, Psalm 119:152, Psalm 19:4-7 (God’s perfect and eternal law)
Genesis 4:7-8, Gen 26:5 (God given law).
Isaiah 42:21, 1 John 3:4, (the the nature of the law)
Romans 6:15, 6:23 (consequence for sin)
Revelations 14:12 (endurance of saints who keep commandments)
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Romans 12:1-2 - who we belong to
Rev 1:10 (the Lord’s Day)