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Sabbath

God sanctifies places and things to communicate to His people. He set apart the ark of the covenant and tabernacle. He set apart His holy book—the Bible.

He set apart His Holy Son—Jesus, and He set apart a holy day—the Sabbath. God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it… (Gen. 2:3).

The Sabbath is the celebration of God’s complete and perfect creation. As Judah Halevi explains, “The observance of the Sabbath is in itself an acknowledgment of His omnipotence, and at the same time an acknowledgment of the creation in His divine word.”

The fourth commandment instructing us to keep the Sabbath day holy is thirty percent of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments contain 322 words. 98 of those words are are about the Sabbath.

The Sabbath was held in high esteem in both in Jewish circles and in early Christianity. The Sabbath was made at creation, two thousand years before there were any Jews. After Abraham’s time the Sabbath applied to all people, aliens, and animals within the gates of the Israelites. (An alien is someone who is not a native of the land. This is the Hebrew “ger,” a righteous non-Hebrew who has been grafted into Israel. See Romans 11:13-21.)

God intends that the Sabbath be regarded as something honorable, something significant, not for its own sake, but because of what it represents. Keeping the Sabbath is the only one of the holy days to be ordained in the Ten Commandments. It is tied to two specific and highly significant acts in history: 1.) God’s “resting” after six days of creation (Gen. 2:2) and 2.) Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (Deut. 5:15).

God’s model of work and rest demonstrates how much of our lives is to be spent in labor and how much is to be spent in worship. In both the Old and New Testaments, the Sabbath calls to mind God’s sovereign rule and His merciful redemption.

The Sabbath is Not a Yoke of Bondage

It’s a day of joy, rest, eating, and enjoying Scriptures, fellowship, etc. The Sabbath was never intended to be a restraining time of punishment. What would your reaction be if your boss came to you and said, “I want you to take tomorrow off to rest. Enjoy yourself, eat, rest, read, just don’t even think about work.” Would you feel burdened?

The Sabbath is a holy time of resting from our weekly work in order to come into a joyous worship of God. It is a time of release from the stress and pressure of making a living. It is a time to rest from our normal pursuit of physical gain and to remember our Creator.

Keeping the Sabbath honors God, our Creator, who also rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:3). It also unifies our families and sets priorities for them. This day of rest refreshes us spiritually and physically—providing time when we can gather together and when we can reflect on God without the stress of our everyday activities.

History

The Sabbath is Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Leviticus 23:32: “‘…from evening to evening you shall celebrate your Sabbath.’” The Sabbath starts at evening, which is sunset. Genesis 1:5 reads, “…the evening and the morning were the first day.” There is no Biblical proof it was ever changed.

  • Genesis 2:2-3. God rested after six days of creating. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all His work which God created and made.
  • Exodus 16:4-5, 22 they were told that God would provide a food that they should gather six days of the week. On the sixth day they would gather twice as much as on the other days. Moses explained that the seventh day was a Sabbath rest.
  • Exodus 16: 27-30 God expressed displeasure that some people tried to gather manna on the Sabbath day. He said that they “refuse to keep My commandments and My laws.”  Notice God did not leave which day as a to the choice of the people.
  • Exodus 20:9-11 Six days shalt thou labor, 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: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  • Luke 4:14-16 shows that it was Christ’s custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath.
  • Acts 13:14-15. Paul preached in a synagogue on the Sabbath.
  • 1 Corinthians 11:1 New Testament command to keep the Sabbath.

When Did Sabbath Change to Sunday?

The New Testament is totally silent with regard to any change of the Sabbath day or any sacredness for Sunday. There is not one scripture claim it was changed (there are 40 clarifying circumcision).

The adoption of Sunday observance in place of the Sabbath did not occur in the early Church of Jerusalem by virtue of the authority of Christ or of the Apostles, but rather took place several decades later.

In 132 A.D. Bar-Kokhba led a revolt against the Romans. When he was done, 50 percent of the population of Judea was dead and tens of thousands of men and women who remained alive were sold into slavery. Jews were forbidden to set foot in Jerusalem, and the province was renamed Palestine. It was a dangerous time to be identified with the Jews. During this period, the predominate day of worship among Christians gradually began to change from the Sabbath to Sunday. The day changed, in part, because of the need to disassociate the Christian movement from the Jewish nation.

Years later, the Church of Rome: Canon 29, Council of Laodicea, 364 C.E., worried about Judaizing and gave the following statement: “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, the Sabbath, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day (Sunday) they shall honor, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia states that it was the Catholics who changed the day of worship from Sabbath to Sunday and claims this as a mark of its authority. Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine said, “Sunday observance is from when the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

The Sabbath should be enjoyed as a day of rest, family worship and strengthening relationships and focusing on Christ. Let it bring unity and focus to your home.

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Roman 6:15

Comments (13)

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  1. Mattit_TOFY says:

    RT @heartofwisdom Ten Commandments contain 322 words. 98 of those words are are about the Sabbath.
    http://bit.ly/2tPHA8

  2. Nancy Sween says:

    @dsull_van and @heartofwisdom led me to this page about celebrating Sabbath. http://bit.ly/15vxt4

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by heartofwisdom: Ten Commandments contain 322 words. 98 of those words are are about the Sabbath. it http://bit.ly/2tPHA8

  4. Sally Sears says:

    Your book has been a source for years for many of us in understanding our Hebrew roots. This article is not only articulate and informative, it is unemotionally succinct and powerful. Thank you for putting tools in our hands to share with others.

  5. Beth Brewer says:

    Wonderful, interesting article by Robin Sampson regarding the #Sabbath: http://heartofwisdom.com/biblicalholidays/?p=87 #Biblicalholidays

  6. RT @brewcrew: Wonderful, interesting article by Robin Sampson regarding the #Sabbath: http://heartofwisdom.com/biblicalholidays/?p=87

  7. Malia says:

    Just started to read your book, Heart of Wisdom, am very much enjoying it so far thank you. Had a question about a scripture reference. On page 54 you list 1 Peter 1:35 for the promise that can not be lost, did you mean vs 25?

    Also have been trying to do research on the sabbath on my own had no idea when I came to your website that I would come across this article, so far it is one of the best explanations I have come across but I had a question. When I talk to people about the command not changing from the 7th day to the 1st day they always refer to the scripture that tells to lay by & store on the first day & Acts 20:7 when they met on the first day of the week. That seems to be at least one New testament reference to worship on the first day. Any info that could help to make it more clear would be very appreciated.

    • Luana Flacco says:

      I understand the confusion in the Christian world over this doctrine. So much has been lost and misunderstood due to man’s traditions. In Acts 20:7 “Now on the first (day) of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,” The word day is in italics and added by the translators. If you look up the original Hebrew for this phrase, the word used is Sabbaton (Strong’s G4521) It should read “Now on the first of the Sabbaths(Sabbaton)(50 days later is Pentecost) see verse 6 is talking about the Days of Unleavened bread. The translators do not understand about the Feast Days.

      Here is a good explanation of Hebrews 4:9 as well: http://www.churchathome.com/articles/has-christ-given-christians-rest-from-the-seventh-day-sabbath.html

      Also http://www.passionfortruth.com has a DVD called “And He Rested”. You may also find this title on YouTube by Jim Staley.

      I hope this helps and keep proving the scriptures and rightly divide the Word of Truth.

      Blessings,

      Luana

      • Joshua says:

        Luana, apparently in the time of the New Testament the Greek word “sabbaton” was used interchangeably to mean either “week” or “Sabbath day”. The same language is used in not only Acts 20:7, but also Mt 28:1, Mk 16:2,9, Lk 24:1, Jn 20:1, Jn 20:19 and 1 Cor 16:2. If for example you compare Mt 28:1 to Acts 20:7 you will see they use exactly the same language “the first day of the week” or “first of the sabbaton” but obviously the days differ; Mt 28:1 being the day the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) was raised (during the days of unleavened bread), whereas looking at Acts 20:6 it’s clear that Acts 20:7 is after the days of unleavened bread. Both “Sabbath day” and “week” are listed in the Strong’s Greek Dictionary entry G4521 you referred to, though they give no additional details. Whether or not the translators understood about the Feast Days or not I do not know, nevertheless in this case it seems to me the translation (at least the King James Version I just looked at) is faithful. I hope this brings light where light is needed and helps you and others better discern the truth and get to know our Lord and His will for us more certainly and truly.

        King Regards,

        Joshua

        • Joshua says:

          Luana, I was just following up on what I wrote and thinking a little more about it all. Am I correct in saying that to you the day the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) was raised is the same day referred to in Acts 20:7? If so what you say is perfectly valid, and if you don’t mind it would be great if you could explain this to me a little more or point me in the right direction. I myself only know a very little about the Feast Days, but I know that there is a count from the Sabbath that is during the days of unleavened bread to the day of Pentecost (50 days). So are you saying that the “first of the sabbaton” is the first day that is counted when counting to the day of Pentecost? Thank you for your attention.

    • jessalee says:

      I thought I would offer an answer to this last question… :) The early church meeting on the first day of the week does not make it the Sabbath day. They probably met on the first day because on the seventh the were keeping the Sabbath. Observing the Sabbath day as holy is not equal to a “church service” so in no way did the believers in the book of acts meeting on the first of the week change that day to the Sabbath. It was changed (not really) by the Roman Catholics to seperate themselves from the Jews as they were antisemitic.

  8. Dexter says:

    Your materials are awesome and educational and I must affirm you for providing a biblical worldview for education. With that I just wonder if you are an Advetist organization. It seems to me that you are sabbath keeper.

  9. Stevie says:

    It is important to remember that corporate worship with other believers is necessary and part of obedience, but the day that your church body chooses to worship on is not really that significant. The New Testament addresses this in a couple of different passages. Colossians 2:14-17 says, “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.” Also see Romans 14:5-6, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.”

    Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Constantine-Sabbath.html#ixzz2cKke85L4

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