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Does Colossians 2:16 abolish the Fourth Commandment?
{Mini Bible Study} Does Colossians 2:16 abolish the Fourth Commandment?
            Many Christians are taught to believe that the verse Colossians 2:16 abolishes the Fourth Commandment of GOD’s eternal Ten Commandments which deals with the keeping of GOD’s seventh day Sabbath, but something that most Christians are also NOT taught is that there are two distinctly separate sets of laws in the Holy Bible. Those laws were the Ten Commandments of GOD himself, and the Law of Moses, also known as the “ceremonial law”. 
            We will first look at the verse itself, then study the bible to see which law the author of the verse is referring too.
            Colossians 2:16 reads:
            “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:” Colossians 2:16
            We notice that this verse along with mentioning the “Sabbath days” also mentions “meat”, “drink”, “a holy day” and “the new moon”. If we study GOD’s Ten Commandments we will notice that none of the commandments have anything to do with meat, drink, a holy day or the new moon. These things all had to do with the festival days kept in the Ceremonial Law of Moses. The Ceremonial Law of Moses had 7 Festival Days that were also known as “Sabbaths”. So this becomes a definite clue as to which law this particular verse belongs too.
            Another clue as to which law this verse is referring to can be found just two verses earlier in Colossians 2:14 which reads:
            “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” Colossians 2:14
            Notice in this verse it specifically states that it was the “handwriting of ordinances that was against us” that was nailed to the cross.
            To better understand what the “handwriting of ordinances against us” is lets study how each law came into being. First we will look at the Ten Commandments of GOD. The bible tells us that:
            “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18
            In this verse we specifically see that the Ten Commandments were written by GOD himself. GOD had engraved the commandments in stone with HIS OWN FINGER, they were not “handwritten” by men. It should also be pointed out here that the Ten Commandments are the only part of the bible that GOD took the time to WRITE HIMSELF! This should be an indication of their importance to HIM.
            Next let’s look at how the Ceremonial Law of Moses came into existence. In Deuteronomy 31:24-26 we read:
 “And it came to pass, when MOSES HAD MADE AN END OF WRITING THE WORDS OF THIS LAW IN A BOOK, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, TAKE THIS BOOK OF THE LAW, AND PUT IT IN THE SIDE OF THE ARK of the covenant of the LORD your GOD, that it may be there for a witness AGAINST THEE.” Deuteronomy 31:24-26
            Notice that it was the ceremonial law that was dictated to and handwritten by Moses that was placed beside the Ark of the Covenant as a witness “against us”, not the Ten Commandments of GOD. GOD’s Ten Commandments have never been “against us”. If we believe that Colossians 2:14 above is actually a depiction of the Ten Commandments being nailed to the cross we have to ask ourselves why would GOD nail a law to the cross and “take it out of the way” if that law stated that HE was the ONLY GOD? Also, if we believe that it was the Ten Commandments that were nailed to the cross we also must believe that the commandments concerning murder, theft, adultery, idol worship and others have also been removed, which simply would not make any sense.
            Therefore it becomes easy to see with honest and accurate bible study that the law that was nailed to the cross and taken out of our way was the Ceremonial Law of Moses, NOT the Ten Commandments of GOD or any part of the Ten Commandments, because it was the Ceremonial Law of Moses that was the handwritten witness against us, which Colossians 2:14 shows as being nailed to the cross.
            Applying any part of Colossians 2:14 or 2:16 to the Ten Commandments uses both verses completely out of context because the law that is a witness “against us” is easily defined in the bible as the Ceremonial Law of Moses and also the “Sabbath days” mentioned in Colossians 2:16 could only refer to the Festival Days of the Ceremonial law and still be used in context with the rest of that verse also.
            It is also important to mention that the phrase “Sabbath days” is used in its plural form to show a multiple set of days as you only find in the Ceremonial Law, whereas in the Ten Commandments there is only one singular Sabbath day.
            It makes perfect sense that the Ceremonial Law would be nailed to the cross as it mainly pointed forward to the coming and sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, and also the Ceremonial Law dealt with sacrifices and other rituals of atonement that Israel had to carry out until the crucifixion. But once Jesus died on the cross sacrifices were no longer necessary and the Ceremonial Law was done away with forever and “nailed to the cross”.
            About HIS Fourth Commandment GOD explicitly states:
“O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” Deuteronomy 5:29
GOD states HIS commandments are to last FOREVER. HE confirms it for us again in Psalms:
The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” Psalms 111:7-8
Notice once again we are told that GOD’s Ten Commandments last “forever and ever”!
Jesus also confirms for us:
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18
Have Heaven and Earth “passed away”? Obviously not, so how can any of the Law of GOD, HIS Ten Commandments have changed? Unless we wish to believe Jesus lied or was mistaken we can only accept that GOD’s Law has never changed. Jesus said NONE of the Law of GOD would change. Actually Heaven and Earth are just going to be recreated, they will never actually  and cease to exist. What Jesus is saying is just another way to drive the point home that GOD’s law will last forever since Heaven and Earth will never truly cease to exist. As we can confirm in this next verse:
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD” Isaiah 66:22-23
Notice that this verse takes place in the future AFTER judgment day, when Heaven and Earth have been recreated. They have not ceased to exist but will continue on for eternity. Also notice the verse boldly states that “ALL FLESH”, not just Jews, will be expected to “come to worship” before GOD “from one Sabbath to another”.
            If Colossians 2:16 nailed the Ten Commandments and more precisely the Fourth Commandment Sabbath day to the cross, why is GOD telling us here that we are expected to keep it forever?
I hope this mini study has been helpful to you. Time is short and we need to be deciding do we live by what men tell us to do or do we live by what GOD has asked us to do?
Remember the bible tells us in the New Testament book of Revelation that:
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14
Do you have the keys to the “Gates into the City”? If not here they are, freely given to you by GOD himself:
1)      Have no other GODS but the GOD of the Holy Bible
2)     Do not engage in idol worship
3)     Do not take the LORDS name in vain
4)     REMEMBER the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. GOD’s Establish SEVENTH DAY SABBATH on Saturday, not the beast’s/antichrist’s counterfeit SUNDAY Sabbath. (Remember, you break ONE you break THEM ALL and Satan has worked very hard to make sure all mankind breaks the fourth commandment for a reason!)
5)     Honor thy mother and father
6)     Do not murder
7)     Do not commit adultery
8)     Do not steal
9)     Do not bare false witness (lie)
10)  Do not covet (greed and envy)
These are the keys to the city, freely given by GOD for our own protection. Keeping GOD’s commandments are not a means to salvation but instead an evidence of salvation as Jesus himself instructs us:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – Jesus Christ (John 14:15)
Peace and GOD BLESS,
Ken Elliott jr 2009