Should Christians Observe Sabbath – Pt 2 – Jim Staley


And He Rested Part 2 of 2

And HE Rested: Misunderstood Verse of the Bible

Colossians 2:16 is one of the most popular verses that people bring up to me and it says this, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of a new moon, or of the Sabbath days: (Verse 17) “Which are shadow of things to come; but the body is the Messiah.” So He’s telling us do not let anybody judge you on these things.
The question that is a very important for us to ask is this: Is he saying don’t judge you, don’t let them judge you for not keeping it? Or don’t let them judge you for the way that you are keeping it? Both are very valid questions. Let’s find out what the context is going to suggest by backing up to verse eight which gives it all away. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.”
So right here, and as a matter of fact, he’s going to say it again in verse 20 “Since you died with the Messiah to the basic principles of this world, why, is that you still belonged to it, the world, do you submit to its rules.” The world’s rules, (Verse21) “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” (22) These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.”
They are based on human commands and teachings so we are seeing that Paul is warning his converts in the book of Colossians that there is going to be a group of people that are going to come up to you and they’re going to judge you and thereby try to get you to do things their way using the traditions and doctrines of men. If we interpret Colossians 2:14 through 16, it is saying that this group of people is trying to get Paul’s converts to keep the Sabbath. We know for an absolute fact that the Sabbath is the fourth commandment from Yahweh. It is not a tradition or a doctrine of men. It is not philosophy, it is not vain deceit. It never did say to worship angels or cut themselves as the rest of the chapter goes and talks about all of these laws that Paul is against are the extra traditions and the doctrines of men that they made up that he’s against. So now Colossians 2:16 is thrown out the window because now we realize that he is not talking about the biblical Sabbath, he’s talking about them imposing the doctrines and traditions of men.

And He Rested: The Circumcision Party

It is much more likely that the Judaizers are judging the new converts for not keeping the Sabbath the Way they keep it. In the same context, he says “hey I wish that they would just emasculate themselves” and all their trying to do is put a notch on their belt. They’re trying to say that these converts belong to us, they’re our students. “We’re the rabbis, we’ve been around a lot longer, Paul’s a maverick we’re up and counseling Jerusalem, we are the circumcision party, we know what we’re doing” and that’s how they’re beginning to become a nuisance to Paul.
Every time he’s coming out of town, they’re coming in town and he’s warning them don’t do things the way that they do them. Do them according to the commandment like Jesus said do what they tell you to do for Moses to see but don’t do what they do. So while we are in Colossians chapter 2, let’s deal with this one verse cause which says “when you were dead in your sins (in verse 13) and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with the Messiah. He forgave us all our sins, that’s critical he saying that he forgave us all in our sins and in the next verse he says this (verse 14) “having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross” but the key is in verse 13 when it said that Yeshua forgave us of all sins. Remember there’s a curse from the law? He’s doing away with the curse, he’s forgiving us of our sins and that’s why what he says in verse 14 “have a cancel the written code, what’s He talking about there? Well, let’s read it in a different version and I’ll think you understand a lot better.
A better rendering is in the ISV version; international standard version says this having erased the charges that were brought against us with their decrees that were hostile to us. He took those charges away when he nailed them to the cross were the (Lamsa) or the Aramaic version says this and by his commandments he canceled the written bond of our sins which stood against us and he took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross; Now does not make a lot more sense if it is that he became the curse for us if he tells us that? We broke the law we deserve that, right?
Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23, so all of us have fallen short of the glory of God, we all have broken the commandments and we all deserve death and he became death for us. He did not do away with the law; He did away with the death or the curse. If He did away with the law, then we have a problem because now there’s no definition of sin, there is no curse and there’s no need for a savior and how can Yahweh throw anyone into hell on judgment day at the end of the thousand year millennial reign of the Messiah for breaking something that doesn’t exist? So were breaking all kinds of logic in that permanent state of the rules there.

And He Rested: Did the Early Church Meet on Sunday?

Let’s work through Acts 20:7 that say this “Did the early church meet on Sunday? Do they really mean on Sunday? “Now on the first day of the week, which in Greek is Sabatton, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”
Now here’s the key behind Acts 20:7, is the phrase does not say first day of the week? If you’ll notice there, the word day is in italics meaning it is not in the original language. It actually says first of the Sabbaton or in literal rendering, first of the Sabbaths. Now that’s a far difference between the first day of the week and the first of the Sabbaths and what we find out is in the context of the verse right before that because it says after the days of unleavened bread.
So we know we are in the days of unleavened bread and without going into all the history, the day after the weekly Sabbath, Yeshua dies, three days later he rises from the dead. That day is first fruits, the day after Saturday which is the first day of the week of what we call today of the Roman calendar, Sunday.
That was what the Scriptures call the first of the shovel oaths. The first of the weeks, they had to count seven shovel oaths or seven Sabbaths and then they would come to the feast of Pentecost or in Hebrew it’s called the feast of shovel oath. Right here in acts chapter 20, what he’s really saying is that this is the feast of first fruits, this is the first of the weeks that they count the first of the Sabbaths.
Now the Greek translators clearly did not understand the feast days or they would instantly pick up on this that it says right in the context, this is during the feast of unleavened bread and the first of the Sabbath is that day. It is the day after the Sabbath was the first day in the week and that’s exactly what the context is saying. It is very important that we understand at the front of the Bible if we are going to understand the back of it.

And He Rested: Same Message, Same People, from Beginning to the End

1 Corinthians 16:1 says this, “Now concerning the collection for the Saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia even so do you. (2) Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” Now what’s most often assumed is that Paul is saying he’s instituting and proving that the first century church met on the first day of the week, they met on Sunday only. Well that’s not the case, because this the feast of first fruits which there is a Torah commandment that all the people are to take an offering in there to bring it to Jerusalem for the Levites as an offering before Yahweh.
It could absolutely be that because that’s what the Torah says and you’re supposed to that in the first fruits and that’s exactly what’s happening here. It could be what’s happening or number two; the other way that you can render this is literally the way we would say in English is one of the Sabbaths. It could also mean that. First it does not have to mean in the Greek mindset that the one before two. It can mean “one of”, if we look at the literal version of this, the LITV version says this which is a much better rendering, “On one of the Sabbaths, let each of you put buy himself, storing up whatever he prospered, that there not be collections when I come.” So what we see here is in one of the major Christian versions we have which is a much better rendering and are much more intellectually honest with the Scriptures cannot mean the first day of the week because the word is not week there, the word is Sabbath, the word is Shabbat or Sabbaton.
Acts 15:20, one of the most popular chapters that people bring up to say that the Sabbath was done away with, the law was done away with, we don’t have to do this or that because we only have to do these four things. Now let’s look at those four things, “But that we write unto you that they abstain from pollution of idols from fornication, from things strangled, and from blood.”
Are we to believe that the only four things that we as Christian believers are to do? That adultery doesn’t matter, taking the name of God in vain doesn’t matter, worshiping only one God doesn’t matter anymore, stealing doesn’t matter, clearly he didn’t go the whole list and clearly he did not mean that these are the only four things like most of us were believing.
Now most of us have heard of this verse, I’m going to suggest to you that you have never read the very next verse. So here’s the very next verse, verse 21 reads “For Moses of old-time hath in every city them that preach him, being read on the in the synagogues every Sabbath day.”
So what’s happening is very simple, the question is about whether or not you can be saved or not and still does these four things. James is saying “no, can’t be part of our fellowship if you are going to do this four things” and he says to everybody in standing is basically, “don’t worry about it they will learn the rest as they go because they’re in the synagogue every Saturday and every seventh day, every Shabbat.” Somebody is sitting in Moses’ sit. See how it all measures together? It has the same message, same word, same people from beginning to the end.

And He Rested: The Pagan Gentiles
Galatians 4:9 it says this, “But now that you know God or rather are known by God, how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”(10) You are observing special days and months and seasons in years!” It is critical that we understand the context. So let’s go to verse eight, it says, “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.”
So what we’re saying here or what we’re supposed to believe in Galatians chapter 4 is that Paul is rebuking the Gentiles for going back to Judaism. He’s rebuking them for going back to the Sabbath when the fact is right here in verse eight when it says that they never knew God. As a matter of fact, it says even further than that, it says that they served other gods! These were pagan gentiles. These were Gentiles that were in polytheistic belief structure and every cultic society in the first century and still today every cult had their own Sabbath, their own new moons, their own festivals and feast days.
He’s saying, “listen, you just came out of a religious structure that totally put you in bondage through those horrible earthly man-made doctrines and principles.” if you do what the circumcision party is telling you to do and you believe that you can only be saved by doing the things they tell you to do and keeping the Sabbath the way that they keep telling you to keep it, and you rely on that for your salvation then you’re going back to this same exact disgusting principles that you were in, in pagan polytheistic cultism.”
These were Gentiles, they were not Jews. How can I go back to something that they never observe before? You should that know one of the biggest proofs that the Sabbath is definitely still valid for today is the proof of silence. The Sabbath was the most important and staple wall of the Jews. If Paul or Yeshua would have been teaching against it or broke it in any way, they would have immediately been brought out into the court and charged in stone.
Several times, Yeshua was falsely accused that he actually broke the Sabbath but every single one of those in a more careful observation; you’ll come to the conclusion that he was not breaking the Torah at all. He was breaking their laws, the extra laws that they had added to the Torah, He never broke His Father’s word. He said He kept it perfectly and as a matter-of-fact if he would have broken one of the Sabbath laws, He would not have qualified to be our Messiah because to be the Messiah he must be sinless.

And He Rested: Proof by Silence
There is no such recording, no such debate because there was never such a memo that was ever given out, the Sabbath was always relevant and it still is today. There is absolutely no evidence that the early believers did not celebrate the Sabbath. None! Hopefully you can see there is an abounding amount of information that they kept it and you know what a lot of the argument comes out says that they never said “keep the Sabbath” or if the Sabbath is the most foundational wall in all of first century Judaism, do they have to tell them to do it when everybody knows to do it.
That’s like saying that you’ve had your license for your whole life, you’re driver’s license, that we have to come back where we reinstitute the entire constitution of America and now we have to come back and tell you to stop at a red light or stop at a stop sign. It’s understood because it’s always been there.
There’s no reason to tell them to do something that is so basic and fundamental to their faith. But here’s the number one proof that the Sabbath is still relevant today, look at this, Matthew 24:15 says, “therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (Verse 16) “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” (Verse 17) Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. (Verse 18) And let him who is in the field not go back and get his clothes. (Verse 19) “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days. (Verse 20) And pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on the Sabbath. (Verse 21) For when there will be great tribulation, such as not ever been before since the beginning of time nor ever will be.”
What are they talking about? He is specifically talking about the end of time, the great tribulation, the very beginning of the great tribulation, and Jesus the Messiah, Yeshua is saying do not pray that it’s not on the Sabbath he is expecting that all of his believers will be keeping the Sabbath. If he did not expect that, he would certainly not have mentioned that pray that it’s not on the Sabbath because if it didn’t matter that he certainly would not have said that. So the very fact that he is telling the believers that the end days, right before the Messiah comes back to pray that is not on the Sabbath proves without a shadow of doubt that in the back of his mind I would submit in the front of his mind he is expecting his followers to believe and keep the Sabbath.

And He Rested: No Work for Anyone

Most people feel in their heart of hearts that something just not right, I mean keeping the Sabbath is the fourth commandment, there is no scripture saying to get rid of it. If there was, it would be prophesied for Yahweh says that nothing happens on planet Earth without a prophecy first. So if He puts it in stone, He has to prophesied it, it was prophesied that the high priesthood would change but was never prophesied that the Sabbath would change.
Most people feel that in the spirit that they know that it’s not right that the Sabbath is for today. The number one question becomes “How do I keep it?” So let’s go to a few verses and I’ll tell you what my own personal family does. First of all, Exodus 20:10 says this, “but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou you shall not do any work, thou, nor my son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor a stranger that is within your gates.” So the very first thing that we learn from the Scriptures on what we cannot do on the Sabbath is we’re not supposed to work.
Now amazingly that somehow offends people, to me it’s encouraging I don’t have to work, there is one day a week that I absolutely do not have to work and that is on Shabbat and it’s the most “looked forward to day” of my week.
Yahweh is our provision, you know what? (Ex 34:21) says “six days you shall labor but on the seventh day you shall rest, even during the ploughing season and harvest you’ll rest.” What is this saying? This is saying that even if you’re in the middle of the greatest harvest or its going rain the next day, He says “obey my commandment!”

And HE Rested: A Holy Gathering
Leviticus 23:8 says this, “But you shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh seven days: in the seventh day is a holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein. Basically in a nutshell, he’ saying that this is a great time to gather. This is a gathering of the saints together, but you may be in the place where you can’t gather with any saint. Maybe you live a part where nobody believes in the Sabbath. Well you know what? Your family is a holy convocation. Maybe you’re in a situation where you can’t meet on Saturday and that your congregation has to meet on a different day of the week because of some physical limitation you can’t.
When you do your best to meet on Shabbat, that’s what it’s all about. Doing your best to be holy is doing your best to do what he tells you to do through faith. That’s what cleanses us and makes us holy because he expects us to fall. There is no condemnation anymore for those who are in Yeshua. Now you can do the best that you can but when you do fall, you will not be condemned but before Yeshua died, it didn’t matter if you did your best at all, when you broke the law, you were condemned.
Isaiah 58:13 says this, “if you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and Yahweh’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please are speaking idle words, (Verse 14) then you will find your joy in the Lord.
So if you wake up every morning and you don’t have joy from the Yahweh feeling your heart, then I’m going to suggest to you that your pipe is clogged because the truth can only be one thing and that’s to set you free. The power of God works through two things, it works or truth and humility. So if your pipes are clogged with traditions and doctrines amend or anything else then the joy Lord cannot come through. Blessings do not flow when we are in disobedience. The scriptures are telling us that if take his Sabbath and we call it the light, that we are supposed to do whatever we want to do. This is not a day for us to be selfish and go do what we want to do instead this is a day to set apart, spend time with Him, and to love your family because there is no greater law than love your neighbors as you love yourself.

And He Rested: No Buying on the Sabbath
I would suggest to you that daddies need more time with his children, husbands need more time with their wives and vice versa. If you will do what the Bible tells you to do, it will bless you from the top down.
The people making an oath before Yahweh said this in Ne 10:31,”When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them or any holy day.” I have a lot of questions on this, Jim, on Shabbath, can we go out to eat? Can we buy things? Well it’s very clear in the Scriptures that we have His people making an oath before Him saying “we will not buy things from those that do not celebrate the Sabbath.” “Well Jim they’re going to be working anyway, I mean they’re working at burger king, I go to the drive thru or not, isn’t that a moot point? They’re gonna be working anyway!” Well here’s the question, are you being part of the solution? Or are you being part of the problem.
If everyone did what you do which is buy things on Shabbath and break the Sabbath according the commandment, then it always is continually is profane. But if everyone stops buying, guess what? They would shut everything down. I suggest that we each be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Every one of us will stand before Him one day and we will give an account for what we did. He knows what you do in public and He knows what you do in secret. The bottom line is this; we are not supposed to do whatever we do the other six days of the week. We are not suppose to work, no making other people work by buying from them and then making them wait on us. This is not a day to what we want to do, but a day to delight in the Lord and in our family which are the two top things on his list. It is a day to rest from life and to get our batteries recharged by plugging into His Word.
You know every single time that you spend time with the Father, He spends time with you. Every single time that you choose to sit on His lap, He will hold you. Every single time that you dig into His word, He will reveal Himself to you. How do you think he feels when you go six days a week and you decide to stop everything and honor your wife, to honor your children, to honor Him, to spend time with Him, and you choose to do what’s difficult in American Society which is not go out to eat, which is not buy things, which is not cause other people to work, and you do your part to turn this creation around? How do you think He feels when you go to that extent all for in the name of honoring Him. You see He never says that the road is wide and easy, He says that it’s narrow and it’s hard. And right now I see nothing but people in Christian religious circles taking the easy way out and I’m suggesting that it’s time to do the hard thing because hard things are coming and until we prepare, we will not be ready for the things that are ahead.

How do we know that the 7th day is still Saturday? The answer to that question is this: Because the Julian calendar was instituted in around 45 AD and was kept all the way up to the 1500’s, when the Gregorian calendar took its place. All the disciple did was count to seven, there was never a debate on what day Shabbath is, it was always on the 7th day.
As a matter of fact, the strongest evidence that Shabbath is today on Saturday is the fact that every single Jewish group in the world that believes in the 7th day Sabbath believes it’s on Saturday. There is no debate; there are no groups that are keeping it on Monday. Seven is always on Shabbath. The days change as far as what you call them but the order of the days never change. It is still one of the most holy laws of all of Judaism. You would think that they would get that right and they certainly have. So we can be rest assured and we know mathematically that Saturday is the 7th day.
Of course there are questions on special cases like “what if I’m a doctor or I have to work or I’ll lose my job, what should I do then? Well, here’s what I tell people, these are all special cases. First of all, it very important that you know that this not an issue on salvation, you don’t lose your salvation if you break the Sabbath. But you will be accountable for it on judgment day. There are two forms of righteousness; there is righteousness of Yeshua that covers you and your blood gets you into the New Jerusalem, that’s your ticket in. Then there’s your righteousness of all of the things that you did on this earth, the book of works that are opened up. This will be one of those works that we will be judge by. You know what, I’m not Yeshua, I can’t tell you what to do. All I can tell you is what the scripture says and then there’s this amazing entity called the Holy Spirit that was sent to instruct us, to teach us all things. This is a relationship and don’t make it a check mark list. So what I tell people is this, if you are forced to work, you’re a doctor or you have to work right now because you can’t get another job then give the money away. Give it to charity. Give it as an above and beyond of your local giving and offering in your local congregation. Give t to someone that needs it, don’t keep it for yourself if you have to and that’s the best answer I can come up with for that.

“The Sabbath was made for men” , Yeshua said. Not for the Jews, it was made all mankind in the garden. It was written down in stone on Mt. Sinai and was commanded to be kept forever. It was a sign forever between Yahweh and His people. Yeshua kept the Sabbath as did all of His disciples. We will be commanded to keep it when He comes back. The early gentile church fathers, who hated the Jews, stopped keeping the Sabbath on Saturday and started keeping it on Sunday because of their anti-Semitism. The Roman Catholic Church admits changing it. There is nowhere in the scriptures that prophecies of such a major change of what God called eternal, or even a debate in New Testament or other writings.
I hope that this article has helped you understand the most significant part of the connection between Genesis and Revelation 22 is this thread of the 7th day Sabbath or what he calls the seal of His people. One of the things that we do, we’ve been doing this in our family for several years now, on Friday nights, remember the Sabbath comes from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night, you do the best that you can. But just to give you a couple of ideas, one of the things are family does is to set it apart, we take out our fine China, we bring out our crimson red cloth and put it on our dining room table, we got wine glasses.
We have a little communion, we read the scriptures, we light the candles and I teach my family that the candles represent light and how the light is transferred to us and we’re the light of the world. There are a million and a half things that you can teach your own family, just through candles and light and the scriptures and the food that’s being prepared. I pray over my wife and children. The children bless one another and I can’t believe that I have been missing this, my whole life. I can’t believe that people call this bondage when it has revolutionized my family. If you do not celebrate the Sabbath, try it for one month and it will change your life. I promise you. Is it easy? No. We are all conditioned to do things the way we have always been doing them but as your family begin to get used to it, your kids will be eager every Shabbath because they know it’s “daddy time” as well as your wife knows that she is going to get you.
Then on Saturday, I spend some time teaching them. Fathers should be teaching their children that this is the day set apart to do that. This is my personal time that we get with the Lord. I’m just throwing out some ideas but the bottom line is set the Sabbath day apart for His glory. Yes, every day we should worship Him and everyday you can glorify Him but there is one day a week that He says that is His and set apart for nothing else but Himself, and that is the Sabbath, Shabbath on the 7th day.

Jim Staley Jim Staley (2 Posts)

Jim Staley is the director of Passion for Truth Ministries, Pastor/Teacher of Passion for Truth Fellowship in St. Charles, Missouri, as well as the director for The Final Return Conference. He is a part of the top archeological dig teams in Israel and is writing a book on the most recent discovery, which will change the face of Christianity forever. He is one of America’s newest and freshest Hebraic teachers and brings an articulate, entertaining, Spirit-led, and down-to-earth style to his teachings. Jim has been asked to speak at congregations, radio shows, and television programs around the world. Visit Passion For Truth


Jim Staley

About Jim Staley

Jim Staley is the director of Passion for Truth Ministries, Pastor/Teacher of Passion for Truth Fellowship in St. Charles, Missouri, as well as the director for The Final Return Conference. He is a part of the top archeological dig teams in Israel and is writing a book on the most recent discovery, which will change the face of Christianity forever. He is one of America’s newest and freshest Hebraic teachers and brings an articulate, entertaining, Spirit-led, and down-to-earth style to his teachings. Jim has been asked to speak at congregations, radio shows, and television programs around the world. Visit Passion For Truth