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Isn't the Sabbath JEWISH?
The Sabbath was made by God on the seventh day of Creation. That’s a long time before the Jewish people came to be.
God also made marriage at Eden. Nobody claims marriage is “just for the Jews”.
Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for MAN, not man for the Sabbath.”
“Man” is used in the generic sense, as it is in:
John 1:9: This was the true light that gives light to every MAN who comes into the world.
And all the early Christians, and the Lord Himself, were Jewish. Don’t throw out everything Jewish! But the Sabbath is not Jewish—it is actually Christian. The seventh day is called “the Sabbath of the Lord,” therefore it is Christian. It was never called “the Sabbath of the Jews”.
Jesus actually created the Sabbath:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD. 2He was with God in the beginning. 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Hebrews 1:1: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS; But unto the Son he saith…10And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of THINE hands.
Colossians 1:13-16: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For BY HIM were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Nehemiah 9:11-15: And You divided the sea before them, So that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; And their persecutors You threw into the deep, As a stone into the mighty waters.12 Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar, And by night with a pillar of fire, To give them light on the road Which they should travel.13 “You came down also on Mount Sinai, And spoke with them from heaven, And gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments. 14 You made known to them YOUR HOLY SABBATH, And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, By the hand of Moses Your servant. 15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, And brought them water out of the rock for their thirst, And told them to go in to possess the land Which You had sworn to give them.
1 Corinthians 10:1: Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that ROCK WAS CHRIST.
Once we realize that Christ was the Creator and the Lawgiver, it changes our attitude towards the Sabbath, His holy day. We understand that the Seventh day Sabbath is actually Christian—a living memorial of His wonderful creation.
Why should people keep the Sabbath?
Matthew 4:4: But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
There is no command to keep holy the day of crucifixion or the day of resurrection. The ordinance of baptism is the memorial of both:
Romans 6:3-6 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him THROUGH BAPTISM INTO DEATH, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, certainly we also shall be in the LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Baptism means “to immerse” and there is only one baptism.
Ephesians 4:5 ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism;
A great many things have become twisted during the process of time. Many teachings foreign to the apostles crept in to the early Christian church. Baptism was corrupted into the sprinkling ceremony. Another casualty was the Sabbath. The change of Sabbath was never divinely approved.
God Himself says
Exodus 20:8 “REMEMBER the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
The burden of proof must be on those who contend that God made a change.
John 14:15-21 “If you love Me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Since Jesus spoke on Mount Sinai and wrote the commandments with His finger, they are HIS commandments.
1 John 3:4: Whoever commits SIN also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
It doesn’t matter which commandment we break; any commandment broken is breaking the law.
1 John 2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and DOES NOT KEEP His commandments, is a LIAR, and the truth is not in him.
When God made the Sabbath, He rested, blessed and sanctified it. It was set apart for a special, holy purpose.
The fourth commandment admonishes us to work six days:
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your WORK, 10 but the SEVENTH DAY is the SABBATH of the LORD your God. In it you shall do NO WORK: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and RESTED THE SEVENTH day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
How to be sure that the Sabbath is still the same day as it always was:
Historic evidence: Faithful Jews have always kept the Sabbath, from the time of Moses to the present. The only calendar change was in 1582, when Pope Gregory removed ten days, but this only affected the dates. Thursday 4th October was followed by Friday 15th October. Astronomers, encyclopaedias and chronologists all agree that the sequence of days has never changed.
Linguistic evidence: Many languages around the world refer to the seventh day as the Sabbath. The Babylonian language for instance was in use hundreds of years before the Hebrew race was founded by Abraham. That language designated the seventh day of the week as “sa-ba-tu,” which means Sabbath or rest day and is just one more indisputable proof that the Bible Sabbath was not and is not exclusively Jewish. Very few realize that the word Sabbath and the concept of resting from work on the seventh day of the week (Saturday) is common to most of the ancient and modern languages of the world. This evidence is totally independent of the Scriptures and confirms the Biblical teaching that God’s seventh day Sabbath predates Judaism. The concept of a Saturday holy day of rest was understood, accepted and practiced by virtually every culture from Babylon through modern times. In the study of the many languages of mankind you will find two important facts:
1. In the majority of the principal languages the last or seventh day of the week is designated as “Sabbath.”
2. There is not even one language which designates another day as the “day of rest.”
Mark 15:42: Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,
Mark 16:2: Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
The majority is not always right.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the REMNANT of her seed, which KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Throughout the Bible, the righteous have always been in the minority:
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Even ministers can reject the truth:
Ezekiel 22:26 Her PRIESTS have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have HIDDEN THEIR EYES FROM MY SABBATHS, so that I am profaned among them.
Malachi 2:7-9 “ For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 8 But you have DEPARTED from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” Says the LORD of hosts. 9 “ Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base Before all the people, Because you have not kept My ways But have shown partiality in the law.”
Jeremiah 23:1 “WOE to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have SCATTERED My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD.
Jeremiah 50:6 “ My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have LED THEM ASTRAY; They have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; They have forgotten their resting place.
It was Jesus’ custom to keep the Sabbath:
Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And AS HIS CUSTOM WAS, He went into the synagogue on the SABBATH day, and stood up to read.
John 15:10 IF YOU KEEP My commandments, you will ABIDE IN MY LOVE, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
How should we keep the Sabbath?
Matthew 12:12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is LAWFUL TO DO GOOD on the Sabbath.”
WHEN should we keep the Sabbath?
Genesis 1:3 And there was EVENING, and there was MORNING—the first day.
All the Bible days start at sunset and finish at sunset (the dark part of the day first and then the light part). Only much later did we start measuring days from midnight to midnight. So the true Sabbath starts at sunset Friday night and finishes at sunset Saturday night.
Jesus’ followers kept the Sabbath:
Luke 23:54-56 That day was the Preparation, and the SABBATH drew near.
55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they RESTED on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
Paul was selected by God to take the message to the Gentiles (non-Jewish world):
Acts13:46-48 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: " 'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' "
Paul refers to ‘the voices of the prophets which are read EVERY SABBATH DAY” – more than 15 years AFTER Jesus’ death and resurrection:
Acts 13:27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read EVERY SABBATH, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.
Acts 13:13-14 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the SABBATH day and sat down.
Acts 13:42-44 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next SABBATH. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the NEXT SABBATH ALMOST THE WHOLE CITY came together to hear the word of God.
If Paul’s practice had been to worship on Sunday, would he not have said, “You don’t have to wait until next Sabbath to hear this; I’m preaching tomorrow (Sunday)!”
Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for THREE SABBATHS reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
Paul’s custom was to go the temple on Sabbaths.
Acts 18 1 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue EVERY SABBATH, and persuaded BOTH JEWS AND GREEKS.
Some say that Paul only went into the temple to persuade the Jews on their Sabbaths. But we have seen that Paul regarded himself primarily as the apostle to the Gentiles. And whether or not there were Jews around, it was Paul’s custom to worship on Sabbaths:
Acts 16:12-13 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. 13 And on THE SABBATH DAY we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.
Jesus warned His disciples abut the coming destruction of Jerusalem, which was to happen nearly 40 years LATER. He said,
Matthew 24:20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter OR ON THE SABBATH.
Jesus never intended for His people to cease from keeping the Sabbath. Some say the reason for Him saying that was merely because the city gates would be closed on that day, making it hard to get away. This is not truth, for three reasons:
1. Jesus knew that the Jews would open the city gates to battle the Romans, even on the Sabbath, as recorded by Josephus (Josephus, Jewish Wars, Book 2 Chapter 19).
2. Jesus warned even those “in the field” “those outside the city” or “out in the country” to pray as He told them – yet there were no gates to deal with for those followers.
Matthew 24:18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
Luke 21:21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.
3. Finally, the command to flee is addressed to “them which be in Judea” The land of the Jews called the province of Judea was not surrounded by walls and gates. Yet Christians in all Judea were to pray that their flight be not on the Sabbath day.
Some say that the Sabbath was part of the old covenant, which was done away with. There are MANY laws and MANY covenants spoken of in the Bible. To identify which law or covenant referred to, one must look at the text very carefully. Many verses are seriously misunderstood because the wrong law or covenant is assumed.
Sabbath days – Besides THE Sabbath, that is the weekly Sabbath of the fourth commandment, the ceremonial law demanded several other sabbath days, associated with the Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Tabernacles, and Day of Atonement. These were annual sabbaths and fell on different days of the week every year.
Leviticus 23:37-38 ‘These are the feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day— 38 BESIDES THE SABBATHS OF THE LORD, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the LORD.
The weekly Sabbath was never changed.
Matthew 5:17-19 "DO NOT THINK that I have COME TO ABOLISH the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, NOT THE SMALLEST letter, not the least stroke of a pen, WILL BY ANY MEANS DISAPPEAR from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the LEAST of these commandments and teaches others to do the same WILL BE CALLED LEAST in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
No Law = no sin: IF Jesus abolished the Ten Commandments at the cross, then not only would it be right to break the Sabbath, but also to kill, steal lie and commit adultery. If there were no law, there could be no sin. The law of God defines sin.
1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits LAWLESSNESS, and sin is lawlessness.
Romans 4:15 And where there is NO LAW there is NO TRANSGRESSION.
If there is no sin, there is no need of a Saviour! The function of God’s law is to point out sin:
Romans 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN what sin was EXCEPT THROUGH THE LAW. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."
Christ’s death proves that the law is still in effect. If God had intended to do away with the law, Jesus need not have died.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
After mankind broke God’s law, God had three options:
1. Make man pay the penalty and wipe out the human race.
2. Abolish or change the law. By lowering His standard mankind could live. But who would want to live next to a murderer or cheat or thief? As long as God is God it will be wrong to lie and steal and kill.
3. He could provide a substitute to pay the price for mankind’s sin. He offered His own life as a substitute so we could live! This is the only solution that exercises both the justice and mercy of God. It was the only answer that allowed God to save the human race and still uphold His law. It may have been easier for God to change His law but at the cost of sacrificing His integrity.
Attacks on God’s Law:
1. Satan says: “Forget about God’s Law. All you need is faith.”
Your BIBLE says:
Romans 3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we UPHOLD THE LAW.
Faithful believers will obey and establish the law in their hearts, while unbelievers laugh at God’s requirements.
2. Satan says: “Don’t worry about God’s law. All you need to do is pray.”
Your BIBLE says:
Proverbs 28:9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.
3. Satan says: “Don’t worry about God’s law. Just believe in God.”
Your BIBLE says:
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
4. Satan says: “Don’t worry about God’s law. The vital thing is to love God.”
Your BIBLE says:
1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to OBEY his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY HE WHO DOES THE WILL of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Is the Law opposed to Grace?
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are NOT UNDER LAW, but under grace.
This does not mean we have a licence to sin! We are under the JURISDICTION of the law but not under the CONDEMNATION of the law.
If a Christian continues to sin they painfully wound Christ anew:
Hebrews 6:6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus,
Those who claim they are free to break God’s law are not living under grace but under DISgrace! If God did away with the jurisdiction of the law there would be no need for grace and Jesus’ gift is in vain.
The apostle Paul felt the need of God’s grace:
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but CHRIST LIVES IN ME. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
May we sin because we are under grace?
Romans 6:14-15 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. 15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Not a question of law OR grace, but of law AND grace. Law convicts us of sin, we go to the arms of our loving Saviour and He offers us His grace and forgiveness for our sin.
The two covenants:
A covenant is an AGREEMENT between two parties. There was an old covenant and a new covenant, BOTH BASED ON THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. The covenant was an agreement ABOUT the law, not the law itself.
The old covenant was made at Mount Sinai, when the people promised to keep the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, ALL THAT THE LORD HAS SADI WILL WE DO, and be obedient.
Exodus 34:27-29 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." 28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.
The first covenant was ABOUT the Law but not the law itself. It was do to with promises about keeping the law.
Hebrews 8:6-9 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a BETTER COVENANT, which was established upon BETTER PROMISES.
7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Jeremiah 31:31-33 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will PUT MY LAW IN THEIR MINDS and write it ON THEIR HEARTS. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, WRITTEN not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone [the Old Covenant] but ON TABLETS OF HUMAN HEARTS [the New Covenant].
The Sabbath is a test. Even if we cannot see the reason for it, or think that it is important, God said to keep it, and our part is to obey. Just as Eve saw the fruit on the tree and had to make a decision as to whether to obey God or not, so we must choose.
The point is not obedience because we agree or not, but because God said it.
Sabbath in the New Earth:
Isaiah 66:22-23 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.
23And 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.
More information on the SABBATH.