For some time now I have been feeling as if I need to answer a question. “Why do I keep the Seventh-Day Sabbath?” This post is intended to be the answer to that question.
Before I begin, I would like to make it very clear I am not interested in debating biblical doctrine with anyone, that is an exhausting endeavor and to be honest, I simply don’t have time for it. I believe scripture, when rightly divided, speaks for itself. 2 Timothy 2:15
I would also like to say that salvation is by grace alone, and not by works. Eph 2:8-9
A great friend of mine recently sent me a couple of rules for bible study that are very profound.
1: “Text without Context is Pretext.” Let’s break that down a little more: (TEXT)—a verse or passage of Scripture used as authority for doctrine; (without) (CONTEXT)—the parts of a discourse which precede or follow the sentence quoted; = (PRETEXT)—pretense, false appearance or conclusion.
2: Do not allow what may be somewhat unclear to keep you from doing what you can understand. The Bible is very clear on many points of doctrine that do not fall within the difficult to understand category. Start following what you understand to be TRUTH as IT IS WRITTEN and the Lord will make the other that is difficult to understand or misunderstood to be clear in time.
These 2 rules will help us “Rightly divide” the Word of Truth.
When was the Sabbath instituted?
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
Two words I want to define from this passage in vs 3.
1a : held in reverence : venerated <the blessed saints>
b : honored in worship : hallowed <the blessed Trinity>
c : beatific <a blessed visitation>
2: of or enjoying happiness; specifically : enjoying the bliss of heaven —used as a title for a beatified person
3: bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune
1: to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use: consecrate
2: to free from sin: purify
3a: to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect to
b: to give moral or social sanction to
4: to make productive of holiness or piety <observe the day of the Sabbath, to sanctify it — Deuteronomy 5:12(Douay Version)>
So, the seventh-day Sabbath was instituted the first week the world was in existence. God both BLESSED and SANCTIFIED the Sabbath day. It is held in reverence by God and set apart.
How reasonable is it to say that God created this day, held it in reverence and set it apart, and then failed to mention it to Adam or anyone from that time until the 10 commandments were given some 2000 years later?
Genesis 26:5, God says, “Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” What commandments? What statutes? What laws? It is unreasonable to assume this does not include the Blessed and Sanctified Sabbath day instituted by God in the first week of creation.
I am including an incredible article on the question of whether the Sabbath was kept from creation until the 10 commandments were given on Mt Sinai.
Here is a direct quote from this article:
“Perhaps the most striking proof that the Sabbath was well-known before the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai, is found in Exodus 16, three to four weeks before Israel arrived at Mt. Sinai. In this chapter the Sabbath is seen as something known and accepted. But whether new or not, this is emphatically before the giving of the Ten Commandments.
In verses 22-24, Israel was told to gather enough manna for two days and promised that it would not breed worms or putrefy (stink). In verse 25 Moses tells them the next day is the Sabbath, and he repeats it in verse 26. When some of the people broke the Sabbath by looking for manna on that day, verse 27, God angrily demands to know how long Israel was going to refuse to keep His laws, specifically the Sabbath, verses 28-29. So then the people rested on the Sabbath, verse 30.
If the Sabbath was so new to Israel, just announced to them in fact the day before, it is understandable some could have been confused about its proper observance. In such a case, God’s anger hardly seems justified if He had just introduced the Sabbath the day before. No, Israel had long known of the Sabbath, and God’s anger was aroused because some of the people failed to honor His day as He had directed.”
What is the Law?
|The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)|
|1||“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.|
|2||“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.|
|3||“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.|
|4||“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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. 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.|
|5||“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.|
|6||“You shall not murder.|
|7||“You shall not commit adultery.|
|8||“You shall not steal.|
|9||“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.|
|10||“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”|
12 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My Sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 Therefore you are to observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death. 16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”
Sure seems to say that doesn’t it?
29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
Welcome to the family. You are a descendant of Abraham. An Israelite.
Here is a great article on this subject.
What did Jesus say about the Law?
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus said until heaven and earth passes away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Has heaven and earth passed away yet? I have heard it argued that Jesus fulfilled the Law, so now ALL is accomplished. If that application is true in this context, then why did Jesus go on to speak about those who teach others to annul one of the least of these commandments? He was quickly approaching the end of His ministry, and ALL was to be fulfilled, was it not? This is clearly an application outside of the context of the words of Jesus. Also, I can’t help but wonder that “sin is the transgression of the law” 1 John 3:4, however, if there is no law, there can be no sin…….really? Does that make any logical sense to you? Why do we need to confess sin if there is no sin?
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
It is interesting to note that here in Matthew, Jesus is quoting 2 Old Testament scriptures:
1: 4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5
2: 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18
Now let’s look at Jesus’ answer to the question about the greatest commandment.
I’ve heard it told that the 10 commandments were essentially “reduced” to 2 commandments. I would like to look at Jesus’ second commandment first.
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
I have a few questions for you:
1: Is it loving to honor my Mother and Father?
2: Is it loving to my neighbor to not commit murder?
3: Is it loving to my neighbor to not commit adultery?
4: Is it loving to my neighbor to not steal?
5: Is it loving to my neighbor to not lie?
6: Is it loving to my neighbor to not be envious?
Now for the first response:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Here are a couple more questions.
1: Is it loving to my God to have no other gods before God?
2: Is it loving to my God to not worship idols?
3: Is it loving to my God to not take His name in vain?
4: Is it loving to my God to remember and observe His Sabbath?
Jesus simply summarized the 10 commandments. His 2 commandments encompasses ALL of the 10 commandments.
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
Love God, Love your neighbor. (10 commandments)
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Love God, Love your neighbor. (10 commandments)
Did Jesus keep the Sabbath?
16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.
2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?
10 And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
Jesus even observed the Sabbath when he died, he died on preparation day, rested in the tomb on Sabbath, and arose on the first day of the week.
15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.”
Jesus observed the Sabbath. This is clear from scripture. In Matthew 24:15-20, Jesus is foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem. In verse 20, He says to pray that day will not be on a Sabbath. This is also mentioned in Luke 21:20-24. We know from history that the destruction of Jerusalem took place in AD 70 by the emperor Titus. It is apparent from Jesus’ words that Sabbath would still be in effect in the year AD 70. Why else would he mention it?
Didn’t Jesus do away with the law when He was crucified?
As we have already covered, Jesus said if we loved Him, we would keep His commandments. He also made mention of the Sabbath at least in the year AD 70.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
This passage is often used to declare that the law of God was nailed to the cross and we are no longer obligated to keep His commandments. Let’s look at this passage closely and in context.
Verses 11-13, Paul is explaining what Christ did for us and how those who have believed in Him are now spiritually circumcised:
11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
Here we see the subject under discussion is the means of our justification. Paul is saying that, when we repented and were baptized, our “body” of sin was buried in a watery grave, and our sins were completely forgiven through our faith in the sacrifice of Christ. After being raised out of the water, we were “made alive” with Him and we now have been forgiven of all our transgressions.
Let’s look at the rest of this passage:
14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
In the context of the passage, what is Paul saying here? I owed a debt, the certificate said so, this debt is against me, to the point of hostility. (I am reminded of the verse “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 6:23) This debt is hostile towards me.
Keep in mind that the Romans had crucified many thousands of people in the 70 years before the Crucifixion. They had established patterns for much of the procedure. It was common for those who were about to be crucified to be part of a procession, moving from the court in the city to the place of crucifixion outside of the city. As part of the procession, one of the guards commonly carried a sign that announced the crime that the person was condemned for. The audience Paul was writing to were very aware of this. The sign for Jesus was designed to be the decree against Jesus, in other words, His “Sin” that was nailed to the cross with Him.
Jesus took this hostile debt I could not pay and nailed it to the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” He was nailed to the cross and LITERALLY became my sin.
This passage is in no way talking about God’s 10 Commandments that He wrote with his own finger. It is most certainly not a proof text for not having to keep the commandments of God. This passage is confirmation that my savior Jesus took my debt of sin and TOTALLY paid the price for it. Praise God!!!
Let’s look at the rest of chapter 2 of Colossians. The latter portion of the chapter is used to prove we shouldn’t have to keep the Sabbath.
16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
One of the things we need to keep in mind when reading this passage is that we should not allow what may be somewhat unclear to keep us from doing what we already understand. The bible is plain on the Sabbath. It was given at creation (Genesis 2:1-3). Jesus observed it (Luke 4:16). Paul observed it (Acts 13:42-44), and it will be observed in Heaven (Isaiah 66:22-23). The Bible mentions two kinds of sabbaths. The seventh-day Sabbath and the yearly sabbaths. The seventh-day Sabbath, instituted at creation and part of the Ten Commandment law, is a weekly reminder of the loving, all-powerful Creator. The yearly Sabbath relates specifically to the history of Israel. Col. 2:16,17 specifically states “Let no one judge you regarding sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come.” The seventh-day Sabbath is a memorial of creation not a shadow of something to come. Heb. 10:1 connects the law of shadows with animal sacrifice. Ezek. 45:17 uses the exact same expressions in the exact same order as Col. 2:16,17 and connects it all with the ceremonial systems of feasts and sacrifices (meat offerings, drink offerings, feasts, new moons, and sabbaths to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. Lev.23:3 discusses the Seventh-day Sabbath. Lev. 23:5-32 discusses the ceremonial sabbaths (Passover, verse 5; unleavened bread, verse 6; wave sheaf, verse 10; first fruits, verse 17;trumpets, verse 24; Day of atonement, verses 27-32; tabernacles, verses 34-36). Both the feast of trumpets (verse 24), and the Day of Atonement (verse 32) are specifically called sabbaths. These annual sabbaths were intimately connected to events foreshadowing Christ’s death and His Second Coming. They were designed by God to be shadows or pointers to the coming Messiah. Lev. 23:37 uses the language of Col.2:16,17 to describe these ceremonial sabbaths. Lev. 23:38 distinguishes the ceremonial sabbaths from the seventh-day Sabbaths by using the expression “Beside the sabbaths of the Lord.” Since Christ has come, the shadowy sabbaths of the ceremonial law have found their fulfillment in Him. The seventh-day Sabbath continues to lead us back to the Creator God who made us. God’s people will keep it as a distinguishing sign of their relationship to Him (Rev. 14:12, Ezek. 20:12,20).
What about Romans 14?
Sometimes it’s helpful to carefully notice what a Bible text does not say as well as what it does say. Verses 5 and 6 say nothing about either worship or the Sabbath. They simply talk about regarding a day. To say this particular day is the Sabbath is an unwarranted assumption. Rom. 14:1 sets the tone for the entire passage indicating that the discussion focuses on “doubtful disputations” or disputes on doubtful matters. Is the seventh-day Sabbath set apart by God at creation (Gen. 2:1-3) placed within the heart of the moral law (Ex.20:8-11) a doubtful matter? Certainly not! The key to our passage is found in verse 6 which states, “He that regards the day regards it unto the Lord, and he that regardeth not the day regards it not to the Lord. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord for He giveth God thanks, and he that eateth not to the Lord, he eateth not for he giveth God thanks.” The issue revolved around fast days not Sabbath days. Some Jewish Christians believed there was particular merit in fasting on certain days. They judged others by their own standards. The Pharisees fasted at least twice a week and boasted about it (Lk. 18:12). In Rom. 14, Paul is pointing out that to fast or not to fast on a certain day is a matter of individual conscience, not a matter of God’s command.
Didn’t the disciples keep the first day of the week?
7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. 9 And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for his life is in him.” 11 When he had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. 12 They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.
The reason this meeting is mentioned in the narrative is because Paul was leaving the next day and worked a mighty miracle in raising Eutychus from the dead. It is clear that the meeting is a night meeting. It is the dark part of the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). In Bible times, the dark part of the day preceded the light part (Gen. 1:5) The Sabbath was observed from Friday night at sunset to Saturday night at sunset. (Lev. 23:32, Mk. 1:32). If this meeting is on the dark part of the first day of the week, it is in fact a Saturday night meeting. Paul has met with the believers all Sabbath. He will depart the next day, Sunday, so the meeting continues late into Saturday night. The next day, Sunday, Paul travels by foot to Assos, then sailed to Mitylene. The New English Bible reading of Acts 20:7 also confirms this as a Saturday night meeting, with Paul traveling on Sunday. If Paul considered Sunday sacred in honor of the resurrection, why would he spend the entire day traveling and not worshiping? The record indicates that Paul was a Sabbath keeper (see Acts 13:42-44; 17:2; 16:12,13; 18:4).
I worship on Sunday, in honor of Jesus’ resurrection. What is wrong with that?
I want to point out from history, who claims that the solemnity of Sabbath was changed from Saturday from Sunday.
“It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, NJ ‘News’ on March 18, 1903.
“Protestants … accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change… But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that … in observing Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the pope.” Our Sunday Visitor, February 5th, 1950.
“Of course these two old quotations are exactly correct. The Catholic Church designated Sunday as the day for corporate worship and gets full credit – or blame – for the change.” This Rock, The Magazine of Catholic Apologetics and Evangelization, p.8, June 1997
- Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; —she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority. Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism; New York in 1857, page 174Q. In what manner can we show a Protestant, that he speaks unreasonably against fasts and abstinences?
- Ask him why he keeps Sunday, and not Saturday, as his day of rest, since he is unwilling either to fast or to abstain. If he reply, that the Scripture orders him to keep the Sunday, but says nothing as to fasting and abstinence, tell him the Scripture speaks of Saturday or the Sabbath, but gives no command anywhere regarding Sunday or the first day of the week. If, then he neglects Saturday as a day of rest and holiness, and substitutes Sunday in its place, and this merely because such was the usage of the ancient Church, should he not, if he wishes to act consistently, observe fasting and abstinence, because the ancient Church so ordained? Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism; New York in 1857, page 181
Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” -Rev. Peter Geiermann C.SS.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50
- Q. Should not the Protestant doubt when he finds that he himself holds tradition as a guide?
- A. Yes, if he would but reflect that he has nothing but Catholic Tradition for keeping the Sunday holy; … Controversial Catechism by Stephen Keenan, New Edition, revised by Rev. George Cormack, published in London by Burns & Oates, Limited – New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benzinger Brothers, 1896, pages 6, 7.
“The Church, on the other hand, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, to the first, made the Third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day. The Council of Trent (Sess. VI, can. xix) condemns those who deny that the Ten Commandments are binding on Christians.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Commandments of God, Volume IV, © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company, Online Edition © 1999 by Kevin Knight, Nihil Obstat – Remy Lafort, Censor Imprimatur – +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 153.
”The [Roman Catholic] Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.” The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, p. 4.
“All of us believe many things in regard to religion that we do not find in the Bible. For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the Church outside the Bible.” The Catholic Virginian, “To Tell You The Truth,” Vol. 22, No. 49 (Oct. 3, 1947).
“… you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” The Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, 88th edition, page 89. Originally published in 1876, republished and Copyright 1980 by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., pages 72-73.
‘Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third – Protestant Fourth – Commandment of God… The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record, September 1, 1923.
Did you catch that? The Church (catholic church) is above the Bible? In response to that, I would like echo the words of Martin Luther:
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen” Martin Luther, Diet of Worms.
The issue is more than a matter of days. It is a matter of masters. Through a master stroke of deception, Satan has worked through apostate religion to change God’s law (Dan. 7:25). He has cast the truth to the ground (Dan. 8:12). He has made a break in God’s wall of truth. God calls us to repair the breach by keeping His Sabbath (Isa. 58:12,13). We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). To worship on the seventh day is to accept the authority of our creator Lord, who commanded the day be kept (Ex. 20:8-11). To knowingly accept a counterfeit day of worship is to accept an institution initiated and established solely by man in the apostasy. The real question is, then, whose servants are we-God’s or man’s? (Rom. 6:16). All the celebrations the day before or the day after my birthday do not make these days my birthday. The world’s birthday is the Bible Sabbath, the seventh day. It is a memorial to our loving Creator. No other day will do.
Jesus is my Sabbath.
I want to quickly address this statement. Yes, I agree, Jesus is my Sabbath. Hebrews 4 speaks of the Sabbath rest that can only be achieved in trust in Jesus. I do not argue or disagree with this statement. Where I find fault is in the application, that because Jesus is my Sabbath, I don’t have to observe His holy day anymore. Where does scripture say that?
Yes, I rest in the fact that Jesus died MY death on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). My sin placed Him there. I am no longer guilty in God’s sight (Rom 8:1). However, this in no way negates me from my obligation to keep the Commandments of God. It is still sin to lie…steal…..kill…..etc. I will enter into His rest, I do this daily, and I ask Him for His peace and life that only He can give. I give Him permission to live His life through me. This is done through the ministration of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, John 15:26). And I also spend 24 hours a week in time of worship of Jesus, on Sabbath, His Holy and Blessed day. Eventually, when He returns for me, I will enter into His eternal rest in Heaven, where I will STILL keep the Sabbath (Isaiah 66:22-23) weekly.
4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
Friends, sin is still the transgression of the law. Just because you are now a believer and follower of Jesus Christ does not negate this biblical fact. A lie is sin, adultery is sin…..etc
I find it quite remarkable that we will all agree that violation of 9 moral laws contained in the 10 Commandments is sin, but then we will justify not complying with the only law that says to “Remember”.
Make no mistake here, there are absolutely no scriptures supporting the abolition of the Sabbath, God’s 4th Commandment!
17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
The transgression of God’s law is sin.
What can I and can’t I do on the Sabbath?
The answer is contained within the commandment itself:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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. 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.”
1: “In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within you gates.” Anyone in my household who is under my responsibility is to not work on the Sabbath day.
2: “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.” Creation, nature, His World that He created. It is a remembrance of God’s creative power. We often go hiking or kayaking on the Sabbath day. We have prayer and praise time in nature with Him.
3: “Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Since I have begun observing the Sabbath, my level of peace has increased in an amount I can’t even begin to put a percentage to. Think about it……for 24 hours out of the week, I don’t have to do ANYTHING!!!! NADA, ZILCH, NOTHING!!!!! How sweet is that? Dawna and I prepare extra food the day before so we don’t have to mess with cooking. We usually don’t even do the dishes on the Sabbath. We don’t schedule anything, other than the occasional hike out in nature.
4: For 24 hours out of my week, I get to be with Jesus. I never, ever, ever, had that much time with Jesus when I kept Sunday. Most Sundays, I would go to church, out to eat somewhere, and then rush home for a nap or to catch the football game. I would hardly think any more about God after the service was over. Think about it, how would you like to not have to do anything for 24 hours? In our society, it is unthinkable to have a day to yourself. Our time has to be filled up with something, right?
Since I have started keeping the Sabbath, I have grown closer to God than I ever thought possible. Observing His Sabbath, in my opinion, is the reason for this.
Additional info on the Sabbath.
A friend of mine sent this to me. I know I’ve already addressed some of these, but his statements after the verses are too good to not include.
Genesis 2:2-3 – God blessed and sanctified (set apart as holy) a specific day at creation as a memorial to creation. This was prior to any religious denomination or sect of people. The 10 commandment law was present and active in the Garden of Eden prior to the fall of man. Adam and Eve kept the Sabbath. From the very foundation of the world the Sabbath was meant to be a memorial to the human race of who his Creator was.
Exodus 20:8-11 – The Ten Commandments were finally written with the finger of God, The command from God is for us to remember the Sabbath Day that He created and bore His seal of authority.
Isaiah 58:13-14 – The Lord promises a blessing to all who remember and keep the Sabbath
Isaiah 56:2 – The Lord promises a blessing for remembering to keep the Sabbath, the memorial of creation.
Exodus 16:16-34 – The Lord established that preparation for the Sabbath required that a double portion of manna be collected on the sixth day preparation day (Friday) so the people could rest on the Sabbath from regular lines of work.
Nehemiah 13:15 – You break the Sabbath by continuing to work & trade on His holy day.
Matthew 15:1-20 – Men transgress God’s law with tradition
Mark 2:23-28 – Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath
Malachi 3:6 – The Lord does not change His Law
Mark 3:1-6 – Jesus redefines the correct manner and spirit of keeping the Sabbath.
Luke 4:16 – Jesus read Scripture in the synagogue on the Sabbath as His custom was.
Acts 13:14, 42-44 – Paul kept the Sabbath consistently many years after Jesus went back to heaven.
Acts 16:13 – Paul preached (conducted a church service) by the river on Sabbath
Acts 17:2 – Paul’s habit was to attend church on the Sabbath day.
Acts 18:4, 11 – Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months and kept the Sabbath faithfully.
Matthew 24:20 – Jesus warned of the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred 40 years after His resurrection and ascension. He still expected His followers to keep the Sabbath day.
Matthew 5:17-19 – Jesus came to fulfill (keep and live out) the law of God, not destroy it. This included keeping the Sabbath with the other 9 commandments. Warning against teachers instructing people to disregard any of the 10 commandments.
Ezekiel 22:26, 31 – God displeased with priest that profaned the Sabbath.
Isaiah 66:22, 23 – God says that we will keep the Sabbath every week in the new earth
Luke 22:14-20 – God commands that we keep the ordinance of humility (foot washing) and the breaking of bread and drinking of grape juice as a memorial of his death and resurrection. Not to change the day of worship.
John 13:12-17 – Ordinance of humility is the commanded remembrance for Christ sacrifice not the change of the day of worship.
Luke 23:53-56, 24:1 – The Sabbath was even kept in the death of Christ.
Exodus 31:17-18 – The Sabbath is a sign between God and His people
Ezekiel 20; 12 – The Sabbath is a symbol of our sanctification by God
Hebrews 4:4-6, 9-11 – The Sabbath is a sign of our rest in Christ Salvation, that just as the Words of His mouth created this earth, His Words abiding in us will have power to re-create our character in the image of Christ.
Mark 16:2 – Women disciples come to Christ grave on the first day of the week after the Sabbath. This establishes that Christ still intended for them to keep the Sabbath.
Matthew 12:11-13 – The Lord established that it is lawful to do well in service to others on the Sabbath day.
When does Sabbath start?
In Bible times the days did not begin and end at midnight as they do today. Genesis 1:5 says, “The evening and the morning were the first day.” A day began when the preceding day closed, at sunset. The dark part of the day came first, then the light part.
In describing how to honor one of the feast days, God instructed the Israelites, “From evening to evening, you shall celebrate your Sabbath” (Lev 23:32). “Evening” is when the sun becomes even with the horizon, what we call sunset. “In the evening, at the going down of the sun …” (Deut 16:6). “That evening, after sunset …” (Mark 1:32).
When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, Nehemiah had to teach them how to observe the Sabbath. To prevent the Israelites from carrying on their usual day-to-day business on Sabbath, Nehemiah commanded that the gates of Jerusalem be shut “when the evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath” (Neh 13:15-19).
When the sun goes down on Friday evening, Sabbath begins. It is this creation memorial that we are to remember and keep holy (Exodus 20:8).
Here is another article that has a really cool chart on languages and what their name for the 7th day of the week is and what it means. Pretty awesome.
More info on the catholic church’s involvement in changing God’s Law.
Everything you would ever want to know about the Sabbath.
There is a sermon on the Sabbath contained within this series. I recommend you watch all of the sermons in this series.
BE DONE ALREADY!
I know this has been a VERY long response to the question. So, why do I keep the Biblical Sabbath?
Because I love Jesus and want to honor Him.
May God Bless you and keep you in His Mighty Hands.
Earnestly contending for the faith,