What about the Sabbath

I know of no doctrine that has more virulent arguments around it than the Sabbath. Most of the arguments against the Sabbath are based on traditions rather than on the Bible.

Rampant hatred of Jews in the Roman Empire provided an emotional reason for the church to change from Sabbath-keeping to Sunday-keeping.  This anti-Judaism still persists in many parts of this planet. This is in spite of the Apostle Paul’s comments.

KJV  Romans 3:1-4 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Today, people take the Bible very lightly if they pay any attention to it at all.

Let’s establish some Bible facts:

1)  The Sabbath was established at creation. Long before the flood. This was some 2500 years before Moses and the “old covenant”.

KJV  Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

2) the Sabbath predates the entry of sin into this planet.  It is a special covenant between God and His people.

Exo 31:13-17 KJV Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

3) the covenant at Sinai was given directly by God.  It did include the Sabbath.

4) the covenant at Sinai was specifically called the covenant (not the Law) and was specifically the ten commands of God.

Exo 34:27-28 KJV And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.

28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

It always amazes me that people can say the ten commandments are still binding upon man, but they don’t keep the Sabbath.

5) Torah is a Hebrew term that specifically means “instruction”. When the word  “Torah” was translated into Greek by the Jews about 200 BC they used the Greek word “law” (nomos).

This has led to some confusing ideas about the 10 commandments being done away with.  When Jews read that idea in Paul’s writings they knew he was referring to the instruction, not the Commandments.

6) The new covenant was promised in Jeremiah 31.  It was the promise to put God’s instructions into our hearts.

Jer 31:31-34 KJV Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law(“torah”/instruction) in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

This is directly quoted in Hebrews beginning in 8:10 and explained in the passage continuing through chapter 10.

Heb 9:11-15 KJV But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Notice that the writer never speaks of any commandment being done away with. He only speaks of the sacrifices of animals being superseded by the sacrifice of Jesus himself.

Superseded indicates that something better replaces the less valuable.  This is the focus of Paul when he writes about the Holy Spirit working in believers.

Hebrews specifically speaks about how the sacrificial system could not cleanse our consciences of sin.  Only the blood of Jesus could cleanse us and remove the sense of guilt

7) The promises to Abraham were 450 years prior to Moses receiving the ten commandments directly from God.  In Galatians Paul makes it clear that promises are the basis of the covenants.  The promises precede the covenants.

8)  Adam and Eve received promises of salvation and victory over Satan in the same  way we receive salvation and victory over Satan by God’s word in our hearts.

9) Jesus spoke the parables about the soils to explain how the word works  or does not work in our hearts.  If we are good soil, we have an honest and pure heart where the word can work in us.

KJV  Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

10)  Paul makes a direct statement about our need to keep the Sabbath in Hebrews 4.

Heb 4:1-10 KJV Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

No human has the authority to pick and choose what he will do with God’s word.  There is only one way, God’s way.  Everything else is rebellion.

It is time for everyone to listen to God and choose who they will serve.

I choose to believe the Word of God and submit to Him.  I choose to live in His power no matter what people may think or feel.  I am not the final arbiter.  Only God’s word is the rule of faith for all Christians.

Jesus said,

Mat 15:3 KJV But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Tradition is based on human opinions and feelings.  It is at best a dangerous guide for living.  God never changes.  His plan for our salvation was conceived before this world was created.

KJV  Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

KJV  1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

by Richard Noel