Continue reading Should Christians Observe Sabbath – Pt 2 – Jim Staley
I want you to understand something that we’re going to try and do in this article. Our goal is to demonstrate the continuity of the Sabbath.
Now what I want you to know about the Sabbath commandment is that the Sabbath is unique in the Ten Commandments because, unlike the other commandments, which need only to be preached and proclaimed, the Sabbath has to be proved. I mean, if a minister stood up in any church, whether it’s a Sunday keeping church or a Sabbath keeping church, he stands up into the pulpit and says “today’s presentation is on the seventh commandment, thou shall not commit adultery.” Does he need to spend anytime proving that commandment is still valid in this present age? The answer is NO.
You take any of the other commandments- thou shall have no other Gods before me… thou shall not make any image or likeness of any kind… you go through the commandments, and it is the only one that you have to first stop and say, “wait a minute, is this commandment even exist/valid anymore?”
Is not this commandment obsolete? The Sabbath commandment? Before we can ever get to the actual meaning of the Sabbath, we have to even demonstrate biblically if the Sabbath still stands.
So what we’re going to do here is do our very best to break up the broad sweep of human history. Now I want you to think about human history all the way back from the time of Eden restored and we’re going to break the sweep of human history up into eight.
Eight easily identifiable ages. Easily remembered, easily identified and we’re going to look at the Sabbath in every one of these epocal ages. And we’re going to ask ourselves the question, “Was the Sabbath binding here?” And what we’re going to discover is that in every one of the ages, we have ample biblical evidence that the Sabbath was in fact binding. This argues then to the continuity of the Sabbath and demands that the Sabbath is still enforced today with the rest of the other commandments.
The first age is the pre-fall age. That is Eden, the pre-fall age. Was the Sabbath binding in the pre-fall age? We’re going to take a look at that. The second age is the patriarchal age. We move from the pre-fall age to the patriarchal age both pre-flood and post- flood, Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob. But the patriarchal age gave way to our third, and that was the prophetic age- the time of Israel, the time of Moses, the time of prophets moving into that. But what are the prophets really prophesying about? Repentance, yes. Forgiveness of sins, yes!
But mostly they prophesied about the promised Messiah. So that would be the 4th- the pre-fall age, the patriarchal age, the prophetic age, the promised Messiah. But then Jesus ascended to heaven to the right hand of God and the New Testament church was born on the day of Pentacost. So that is the fifth age- the Pentacostal church or the Apostolic church. The sixth age is the Papal church, that would be the middle aged church. Then the seventh is the present day church and the eighth is Paradise!
We are going to go through this entire sweep of history, these eight epocs, these eight ages. I’m going to ask the question, “Is there any biblical evidence that the Sabbath was binding in every one of those ages?” That’s the goal of this article. Pre-fall age, look at your bible and go to Genesis chapter 2. We’re gonna begin right there in verse one.
In Genesis chapter one, you have the remarkable picture that God gives of the creation of the heavens and the Earth by the voice of God. God creates the world in six literal days, and after those six days we come to Genesis chapter two beginning in verse one. Notice these words, “thus the heavens and the Earth were finished and all the host of them. Verse two, “and on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done and He rested on the Seventh day from all His work that He had done.” Verse 3, “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it God rested from all His work He had made in creation.”
This is an absolutely fundamental text. This is a fundamentally important point. God creates the world in six days. He comes to the seventh day and the text says that God Himself rested on the seventh day.
It’s fascinating that there is no command in the book of Genesis to rest. But I have a question for you parents out there today. Is your command more influential in the lives of your children or is your example more influential in the lives of your children? How many of you have ever said to your children, “Do what I say not what I do.”? If you’ve said that, you learn very quickly it does not work.
Now here we have the example that God says, “Alright, I’ve made everything in six days. Now comes the seventh day.” God Himself says on the seventh day, “I’m going to rest.” And then it says because God rested that day, God blessed that day, the seventh day, and God made the seventh day holy.
The Sabbath has its foundation in the creation story. Now in the English version of the bible, you will not find the word Sabbath there. But in the original version of the bible, it says, “On the next day, the Sabbath, God’s Sabbath.” So it does not refer to the seventh day as the Sabbath, but it does refer to the seventh day as the day that God Sabbaths on. What the bible says is God Himself Sabbaths on the seventh day. In Exodus chapter 20 we see the command to remember the Sabbath day.
Exodus chapter 20 verse 11, the bible says the reason to keep the Sabbath is because, “in six days the Lord made heaven and Earth, the sea and all that is in them and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
In the very Sabbath command itself, the text itself says that the reason we observed seventh day is because God initiated it at creation. I’d like to let you know that you can absolutely rest assured that the Sabbath was created in Eden.
The bible says your sins have separated you between you and your God. If the Sabbath was essential for Adam in Eden, why wouldn’t the Sabbath be essential for us outside of Eden, in this world that is tainted and saturated with sin?So there is no question in the first era, in the first epocal age pre-fall, the Sabbath stands. But the next age is the patriarchal age. Someone is always going to claim that the Sabbath commandment never occurs in the book of Genesis, and that’s true.You can read Genesis chapter 1 all the way to Genesis chapter 50. The Sabbath commandment does not occur in the book of Genesis. But I got news for you. None of the commandments occur in the book of Genesis because the book of Genesis is not a book of laws. It’s a book of origins and beginnings.So then do we have any evidence that the patriarchs, Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, prior to the flood, kept the Sabbath? The answer is yes.
Genesis chapter 26 verse five says, “Because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, commandments, statutes, and my laws.” This is hundreds of years before we ever arrive at Mt. Sinai and Abraham is keeping God’s commands, ordinances, statutes, and His charge.
First Kings chapter two says David is dying and on his death bed. He had some words of instruction for Solomon, his son. “Now the days of David drew near that he should die and he charged Solomon his son, saying, “I go the way of all the Earth. Be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, commandments, judgments and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses that you may prosper in all that you do, wherever you turn.” All four of those words are referred here by David to Solomon-the commandments, the ordinances, the laws and the statues as occurring in the law of Moses.
Abraham came first, so did God have ordinance in the days of Abraham? And all of those things were later codified. Your bible is in the form which is called the codex form. In the days of Jesus, they weren’t in the codex form, they were in scrolls. And so the word codify means to write down or to formally write down.
Moses was responsible not for initiating the law, not for the creation of the law, and not for the giving of the law the first time. He simply codified a law that had already existed in the days of Adam and onwards through the patriarchal age. Incidentally, there are very powerful evidences of the fact in the book of Genesis that the law existed because this nasty little thing called sin existed. Can you have sin when you don’t have a law?
No. For example, Cain killed his brother Abe. And remember what God said to Cain? He said, “Hey listen- if you do what’s right you’ll have no problem, but if you don’t do what’s right sin lies at the door.” Is there such a thing as sin in the days of Cain? Absolutely!
And Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because of their growing immorality and sin. This all happened before the time of Moses. And how about this one? When Potiphar’s wife laid hold on Joseph and Joseph pulled himself away. He said, “How can I commit this great sin?” Well what sin is he talking about? Of course the 7th commandment- thou shall not commit adultery. Now here’s the point: all of those commandments existed, but they were oral in their passing on and tradition.
They were codified at Mt. Sinai. We already know that the Sabbath existed in the pre-fall era and in the patriarchal era. But how about in the prophetic era, the time of Moses? Well, rest assured that the Sabbath was kept and honored in the prophetic age, the age of Israel, and nobody disputes that because everybody to this day knows that the Jews keep the Sabbath.
Exodus chapter 20 verses 8-11 says, “God through His great prophet Moses delivered the 10 commandments to the people of Israel.” And right there in Exodus chapter 20, you have God speaking, thundering from Mt Sinai, the 10 commandments. There it is again, “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Six days you labor and do all your work but the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work.”
“You or your son or your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, the soldier who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heaven and Earth, the sea and all that is in them and rested the 7th day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
It’s fascinating that the Sabbath commandment begins with the word remember. The word remember comes from the latin meaning to call to mind. That’s the “member” part and the “re” means to do it again. So remember means to call it to mind again. Really when God says to the children of Israel, “Remember the Sabbath” it’s saying “you had it, now call it to mind again.” I find it fascinating that when you look in the History of Israel during that prophetic age, in times of faithfulness and prosperity, the Sabbath was honored and kept. But in times of rebellion and disobedience, the Sabbath was neglected. The faith of the people of God went along with their faithfulness to the command.
Jeremiah 17 verse 27 says, “If you do not listen to me to keep the Sabbath day holy and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates and each shall devour the pharisees of Jerusalem and it shall not be quenched.”
You have the Jewish nation and they began to disregard the Sabbath. They were living in Jerusalem but God is telling them, “If you do not get faithful in this area, I’m going to destroy your cities. It’s gonna be a nightmare for you.”
And it’s fascinating that they did not listen and ultimately were taken captive to Babylon. While they were in Babylon, they learned a lesson and that’s when they became overboard about how to keep the Sabbath. That’s when they began to develop all their legalistic rules.
Yes God wants us to remember the Sabbath day. God wants us to do what the Word of God says about the Sabbath. But God does not want us to go the way of the pharisee and make unending mountains of unbiblical rules of how to keep it.
God says in this prophetic age, when the Jews were at the peak, essentially, “If you listen to Me and obey this commandment, you will have prosperity. But if you don’t, you will have adversity.”
You can rest assured that the prophets in Israel to whom they prophesied were called by God to know, honor, proclaim and enjoy the Sabbath.
Remember the Sabbath
by Keeping it Holy
Sabbath Scripture for New To Sabbath
Please begin this course by familiarizing yourself with scriptures concerning Sabbath. We ask that you pray before you begin and allow God to show you what He wants to reveal to you. Please read ALL scripture, considering the full context, background, and how it fits in with the Bible as a whole. Each scripture is listed below in the King James Version, but you will need your Bible as you go along so that you can get a deeper insight.
Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 16:21-30, 20:8-11, 23:12, 31:12-17, 34:21, 35:2-3; Leviticus 16:31, 19:3, 19:30, 23:3, 26:2; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Nehemiah 10:31, 13:15-22; Isaiah 56:2-6, 58:13-14; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Ezekiel 20:12-24; Amos 8:4-7; Matthew 12:1-12; Mark 1:21, 2:23-28, 3:1-5, 6:2, 16:1; Luke 4:16, 4:30-31, 6:1-10, 13:10-17, 14; John 5:1-19, 7:21-24, 9, 19:31; Acts 13:14, 13:42-44, 15:21, 16:13, 17:2, 18:4.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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. 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.
And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord : bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord : to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 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. 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. 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. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 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.
Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord : whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.
Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.
Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.
Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant.
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein; Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the Lord. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.
Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
And 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 for to read.
But he passing through the midst of them went his way, And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things. And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.
And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
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When my husband and I started out keeping Sabbath, we tried many times to have a good Sabbath with zero to minimal preparation. I’m here to tell you that just doesn’t work.
I’m generally an organized person. But at this stage in my life, with two preschoolers and a four month old, I don’t always FEEL like taking extra time for preparation. When I prepare for Sabbath, though, I have the opportunity to experience it as God intended.
What Is Prior Preparation?
I’m going to bring you into my world for a minute to illustrate the idea of preparation. When a woman is in her last trimester of pregnancy (like I was recently), she tends to experience something called nesting. It is an urgent desire and pressing to have everything done BEFORE the baby arrives. There are a hundred little things to take care of when a new baby joins your family and it makes life so much smoother to get them done beforehand. Once the baby arrives, you will want to spend all your time getting to know him/her.
Here is another illustration from God’s Word. Think about Mary and Martha preparing for Jesus’ visit to their home (Luke 10:38-42). Martha had invited Jesus to come. She wanted to be a good hostess and was driven maybe by a sense of perfection, accomplishment or just to please. She was so absorbed in her tasks that she didn’t even think about taking the special opportunity to sit down and get to know Jesus better. Jesus points out to Martha that Mary sat down with Him as soon as He came through the door. She didn’t want to waste one minute on doing something that was of less value than knowing her Savior. That is the true reason for prior preparation for Sabbath!
Don’t Waste Your Precious God Time
I shouldn’t waste one minute of my time doing anything I could have taken care of beforehand. And I shouldn’t try to take care of things during Sabbath that can wait until Sabbath is over. My desire and anticipation to know God better should be my motivation to get my work done before God “arrives” for Sabbath. He wants me to be standing at the door welcoming Him into my home and then spending the rest of the time at His feet.
I have had many Sabbath’s where I was driven to be a Martha. As I look back at those times, I am sad for the opportunities I wasted. My sense of accomplishment for getting my “tasks” done must have fallen far short of the closeness I could have gained with God.
Be a Mary
I am so glad that I have a choice to follow Mary’s example each Sabbath. But I have to begin my work early and stay on task so I can have it done BEFORE Sabbath begins.
Finding the Sabbath truth is an exciting time in the life of a believer! We check each Scripture that pertains to the day, and then we double check them just to be sure. We peruse the New Testament with a careful eye, looking for when the day may have been changed, but don’t find it because it’s not in there! Finally, upon diligent seeking, the truth is affirmed in our spirit by our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit. We are filled with joy at the new revelation, and resolve to begin observing the Sabbath for ourselves, and to share this truth with others. Our joy is often dashed, however, when our exciting news is received with less than enthusiasm. Our family, friends, coworkers and even our church congregation often do not understand the change in us. They can even be less than loving in their attitude toward us. Often, with growth in our journey with our God, the going will get tough! But do not fear obedience. Our Heavenly Father will walk you through it.
The first place it might get tough is with your family. Sabbath is a relatively new concept, and many will associate it with being Jewish or with rejecting the perfect work of our Messiah when He was crucified. We have been shown that Sabbath is for all of God’s children, but many don’t understand yet in their own journey. As we prepare to share the Sabbath truth with our loved ones, we can reduce the toughness by being ready for their questions. We have to do the Scripture study and have it on hand. Then we have to speak with the love of God in our tone. We shouldn’t highlight the “wrongness” of not observing Sabbath, but illuminate the “rightness,” the rest, the peace, and the commandment. Draw near in prayer to God, for He is faithful to answer your questions. He will help you to speak right words. We must give our loved ones time and walk out our talk! We may come across a loved one who has a hostile attitude toward our new obedience. This kind of trial can only be laid on the altar, with complete faith that God will work it out. Even when we face a hostile attitude, God would have us keep our own attitude loving and peaceful. It’s helpful to pray that God will soften their heart. We’re warned in the Bible that following Him will cost us something. How else could it be worth anything?
Many loved ones and friends might not understand when we don’t attend certain engagements or activities that fall on the Sabbath Day. Each occasion requires our prayerful consideration. Several events have an alternative solution. For instance, instead of just declining an early dinner party invitation for Saturday, we can find out if we could drop in after sundown to join the fun. Instead of not going to our nephew’s 2:00 p.m. birthday party on the Sabbath, we could take him out the previous evening for ice cream and cake (complete with candles and singing) and a movie. We can explain why we won’t be at the party and assure him that his birthday is important to us. This is an area where we can get creative. Again, some things just won’t pan out, and we give those to God.
At work, we face a whole different kind of battle. Trying to get the boss to reschedule our week if he’s used to us working the Saturday shift can be work in itself. Again, this is an area where we seek God and His will. We have to give our employer time to adjust the schedule if he can, or we may face what seems to be an impasse. We have to keep walking in love while our Father in Heaven works on our behalf. New employment might become necessary, or we may have to keep to our old schedule altogether. I have found that when I step out in obedience, my Father opens the right doors and makes the necessary adjustments come to pass. While we wait on God, we can spend our lunch break sharing the Sabbath Truth with our friends in our workplace. Then, we face each challenge individually as it comes.
Our church congregation challenges may prove to be the most difficult. The Sabbath doctrine is a very personal one. We must cling tightly into our prayer life for direction and be able to discern God’s “voice” from our own, or even from the voice of the enemy. Some are greeted with encouragement and support from their church families,and others, like myself, are excommunicated from their congregation. It isn’t that our brethren hate us, it’s that they haven’t yet had the truth revealed to them from On High. Again, we must be patient and loving. In the event that our church family should make us unwelcome in their fold, it will become necessary for us to trust God to set us up within a like-minded church family. We can be encouraged to remember that our Savior had the same problems with the religious leaders in His Day. We can be sure He hears our prayers and even our frustrations because He’s been there!
Tough times in the life of any believer will come and go. This is the way of our fallen world. We need not despair, though, because we have an advocate praying for us in Heaven who has already overcome the world. The blessings of keeping the Sabbath will always outweigh the tough times we’ll face in doing so! As we walk through our valleys, we keep our Heavenly Father first, we press into Him for guidance and we exercise the fruits of the Spirit in us when dealing with those who are bringing us grief. We can be encouraged in Scripture by Isaiah, who tells us that, when our Messiah reigns on Earth, all of God’s family will gather and celebrate Sabbath together!
Many of my Christian friends have asked me why I observe Sabbath on Saturday, when Christian churches hold service on Sunday. For a couple of years now, I’ve always answered that I can’t find where it was changed in the Bible. It’s become apparent to me my answer might not be sufficient for some, because their pastor tells them it’s an incorrect answer. But, dear friends, the Bible stands! So, let’s check it out together, shall we?
Bible Study Time: Select an online Bible program you’re comfortable with, being sure it has a keyword search feature. Next, look at any calendar, making sure we’re in agreement that Sunday is the first day of the week…Saturday, the seventh. Okay.
I’m searching the King James Bible, because it’s the most common Christian Bible.
First Search: Let’s begin by searching the phrase,”first day of the week.” The phrase came up only twice, other than finding the tomb empty. The first instance is in Acts. Paul stops in to have dinner and fellowship with the disciples and talks until midnight because he is leaving in the morning. This is not referred to as Sabbath here, nor is it a large gathering, although there were many believers at the time. It was the disciples, a term most often used to describe the original ones.
Acts 20:7 “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”(KJV)
The second time the phrase appears: Paul is writing to tell the Corinthians to lay aside money on the first day of the week, each as God had prospered them, so they wouldn’t have to gather money when he arrived in town. Again, no mention of the day being the Sabbath…or of a “church meeting.” 1 Corinthians 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (KJV)
Second Search: Because many call Sunday “The Lord’s Day,” I searched that phrase and found only one occurrence.
Revelation 1:10 (John speaking) “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,” (KJV)
Giving Christianity the benefit of doubt, I also searched “The day of the Lord.” In EVERY instance, that phrase referred to “end of days.” So what John was saying is that in the vision God was giving him, he was seeing “end of days” via the Holy Spirit.
It’s become apparent to me my answers may not be sufficient for some, because their pastor’s are telling them it’s an incorrect answer. But, dear friends, the Bible stands!
Starting With The Bible!
We started with the Bible and let God lead from there. It can be easy to look at a list of “do’s and don’ts” and get hung up on achieving a goal or looking like others who keep the Sabbath.
Third Search: I keyword searched the phrase “seventh day” and got 48 scriptures. I could list them, but I’m not sure there’d be space here due to limits, and to the amount of Scripture my next search produced! “Sabbath” got 146 Scriptures!
Does it sound like the God you know? Jesus taught about Sabbath, He observed it. If the day had changed, don’t you think His teaching might have included that?
Colossians is a book about, among other things, false teachings. Verse 16 reminds believers “…Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an Holy Day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.” Each of these things God gave guidelines for, and expects us to observe them. In fact, after Christ’s return, we will still observe them, under his reign! (See Isaiah 66)
And so my friends, for me, God Himself would have to
stand in front of my eyes to convince me His day is Sunday, not Saturday. No man will be able to do it. I think it’s part of the deception God warned about in 2 Timothy 3. God told us to test everything. Authenticity is my heart’s desire.
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