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The Sabbath is a heavily-laden commandment. I cannot promise to exhaust all its meanings. 1. It is the landmark of creation. The Sabbath is the conclusive rebuttal of Darwinism. It is the evidence that the material world was the deliberate design of an Intelligent Creator God, not some chance accident. Genesis 2:1 (NIV) Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Exodus 20:11 (NIV) For in six days YHWH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore YHWH blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 2. It is THE day of worship for the children of God: Leviticus 23:3 (NIV) "'There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a DAY OF SACRED ASSEMBLY. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to YHWH. Acts 16:13 (NIV) On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. Hebrews 4:9-10 (NIV) There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. (While there may be another meaning to these verses, the literal meaning is obvious, and can’t be missed) 3. The Sabbath is THE day of learning Scripture as a congregation: Acts 15:21 (NIV) For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and IS READ IN THE SYNAGOGUES ON EVERY Sabbath." The apostles took it for granted that we, the non-Jew Christians, would congregate EVERY Sabbath, and learn the Torah. How wrong they were! Acts 13:42, 44 (NIV) 42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. ……… 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. (Note that these were gentiles see verse 45). 4. It identifies the Object of worship: Ezekiel 20:20 (NIV) Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. THEN you will know that I am YHWH your God. Revelation 14:7 (NIV) He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." 5. It acknowledges that it is our God who sanctifies us; that on our own we are hopeless: Ezekiel 20:12 (KJV) Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am YHWH that sanctify them. (See also Hebrews 12:14 on the relevance of holiness). 6. The Sabbath confirms that we were redeemed by our God, that in our strength we had no hope of deliverance: Deuteronomy 5:15 (NIV) Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that YHWH your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore YHWH your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. 7. It is integral to acceptable worship: Isa 56:6-7 (NIV) And foreigners who bind themselves to YHWH to serve him, to love the name of YHWH, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." 8. The Sabbath is a fore taste of what the saved will enjoy, when this wicked world has been incinerated: Isaiah 66:23 (NIV) From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says YHWH. 9. It is our heritage, as demonstrated by our Messiah, and by the apostle to the gentiles: Luke 4:16 (NIV) He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, AS WAS HIS CUSTOM. And he stood up to read. (See 1 John 2:6) Acts 17:2 (NIV) AS HIS CUSTOM WAS, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures. (See 1 Corinthians 11:1) There is some confusion concerning two verses in particular. I’ll make some passing comments on them. 1. Acts 20:7 (KJV) 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 I have heard mature men use this verse to support the theory that the Sabbath was replaced by the First Day. Please note the following: The biblical day begins at sunset and ends at sunset following. Hence these people met AFTER the Sabbath (which, using the Roman day system, would be Saturday evening). And Paul spoke until mid-night. Sabbath services are not held in the night. This was a meeting to break bread (see also Acts 2:46). This ceremony was observed any day, AND IN HOMES. This particular room was not the Church or a synagogue. And Paul took advantage of the occasion to address the people, because he was going to leave the following day, the First day, when it was light. This was NOT a Church service. 2. Colossians 2:16 (NIV) Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. This verse has nothing to do with diet, the Sabbath, or religious festivals. Rather, it is protecting Christians from subjecting themselves to the judgment of men. Period. No one is authorised to judge another. That is the prerogative of God. (See James 4:11-12 and John 8:7-11). The Sabbath belongs to God, and was given to men. It will endure past the present world. I hope you find this useful. Bless.
The Sabbath day literally means ' to cease'. When God told us to 'remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy' (set apart) Exodus 20:8. He wanted us to remember the Creator God, the One who not only created us, but also sustains us by His power. He gave Adam and Eve a rest, a special day where they could physically and mentally rest from their labors. And also to refocus their minds on Him. In our materialistic society we too need to balance our work with our time for God. If they needed it back then, how much more do we need it today! The Sabbath also means ' to celebrate ' a weekly birthday of His creation, If everybody adhered to this command there would be no room for evolution. It helps to remind us as we look back in our lives, and see where God has left His 'footprints' in our lives and remember when we first accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Truly, God loves us! It was never meant to be a burden, but a pleasure. If it is, we haven't truly rested in Gods saving grace. It is as we walk in the spirit that we appreciate what He has given us in the gift of the Sabbath. Isaiah 58:13,14 says 'If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of The Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in The Lord And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth..'. The Sabbath was, and is and always will be Gods gift to humanity.
I grew up in the church. I know how important Saturday and Sunday were to my paternal grandmother. Saturday was for rest, and Sunday was for worship. Greed disrupted that reverence years and years ago. The 5-day workweek was expanded to 6 days, then 7. Employers just juggled days off. No longer was the week a sure thing, like school. No longer were lots of parents able to take their kids to church on Sunday. Stores across the nation started opening on Sunday. I recall going to a movie one Sunday afternoon, after attending church services that morning. Eventually, I had to face my grandmother. Now stores are open 7 days a week, some 24 hours. There is no reverence for a day of worship, for relaxing with family and friends. Liquor laws are history as more and more counties and states offer booze on Sunday. Years ago we started fiddling with the clock so that merchants could fill their greed for more shoppers, more money, never mind that our children had to stand on corners to ride school buses in the dark. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Greed comes by stuffing our ears with cotton and placing God's Word in a shoe box in the closet. I'll take Saturday as a day of rest and Sunday as a day of worship every time.
Isn't it wonderful to live in a country where we are free to worship, rest, celebrate, hold beliefs, convictions and behave according to those convictions? I want to affirm and celebrate those freedoms. When I read scripture I find that the law must have been written in some fashion in the hearts or minds of humankind from the beginning. Otherwise it would not have been a sin for Cain to kill Abel, Joseph would not have told Potiphar's wife that he could not sin against God by laying with her. Gen 39:9. 2nd The Israelite's apparently knew about the Sabbath commandment before Mt. Sinai. Because first it was set aside (sanctified) at creation, there is no reason to suspect that God's followers did not observe that day for many generations. They were forced into 400 years of slavery in a very pagan culture (Egypt). So we find even before Mt. Sinai, that God was wondering "Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day." Exodus 16:28-30 NIV This very well may imply that they were, to some extent, keeping the Sabbath before Mt. Sinai (just not very well). It also implies that God had not necessarily intended that Sinai would be giving new laws that had never before been realized. The New Covenant is actually listed in the Old Testament before it is in the New Testament. Jeremiah 31:33. Compare this with Hebrews 10:16. One says I will make a new covenant with Israel, one implies that the covenant is being made with the followers of Jesus Christ. The law which was a school master was to point to Christ, but I believe God wanted to write these in the hearts of humanity all along. The seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, the one which Jesus Christ is Lord of, the Lord's Day if you will (technically every-day is His...He made them all), is the day that scripture say's we will all celebrate once we get to heaven and the earth made new (Isaiah 66:23). Christians typically worship on the first day of the week. In honor of the Lord's resurrection. There is nothing wrong with worshiping the Lord on that or any day. However there are no commands to worship the Lord on any particular day in the New Testament, but the 4th commandment is referenced when the women Luke 23:54-56 "And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." There is obvious reference to the followers of Christ continuing to gather weekly on the seventh day of the week. While it does not refer to them as 'worship' gatherings. You cannot derive from the text that they were not worshiping either. Sometimes when in Jewish locals they would do this in synagogues, and when not they would meet in homes, or out in nature (God's creation is in itself a sanctuary for humans). I enjoy ceasing from my attempts to earn my living, my attempts to get ahead, my attempts to build myself up and rest in the completed work of Jesus Christ. I celebrate the creative work He has done as well as the redemptive work He has done. I celebrate the fact that no matter what I do, that I cannot save myself. Could I do this on the 1st day of the week? Why yes, I could, and I do frequently attend church on Sunday with my brothers and sisters in Christ who are so inclined. I enjoy immensely sharing in the celebration with them. Could I do this on the seventh day Sabbath, and still be a faithful Spirit filled follower of Jesus Christ, saved by grace through faith, under the New Covenant? Yes I could, and I do each week.
In Genesis as God was creating the world we notice in Genesis 1:10 it says at the end of the verse "and God saw that it was good." and then we see the same thing in verse 12, 18, 21, 25. It's like God is reflecting on the things He had made and is satisfied with His creation. But now notice Genesis 1:31 "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good..." So after God had finished he said everything was "VERY GOOD" and he was thrilled with His creation. In Gen 2:1,2 says He rested from all His work. In other words He took a relaxing breath and said this is wonderful! If you notice too, Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day and then God showed them how to keep the Sabbath on the seventh day. God showed the example by resting on the seventh day so we can also rest from our labors on the seventh day. We read in the 4th commandment of Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 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: 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." This is amazing because this is the only commandment that has to do with time. Also the first word is "Remember" because He knew that most of the world would forget. God was not tired or weary (Isaiah 40:28-31) He had ceased from labor is what that word "rest" means. It's like you went to work and you work for 8 hours and then you stop or cease from working. God wants us to remember Him because He is our creator and also our redeemer (Isaiah 43:1). When we rest from our labors during the week and spend time with God on Sabbath (Saturday) we are recognizing Him as our Lord and Savior. In Isaiah 58:13,14 the bible says, (NLT) “Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord ’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. Then the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the Lord, have spoken!” It is very important to have a personal relationship with Jesus and as we grow in Christ we will learn that even Christ kept the Sabbath (Luke 4:16). If you read in Job 38:7 the angels were also thrilled about Creation. Read the previous verses and in verse 7 they "shouted for joy". There is so much to share regarding God's rest, but this is just a start. God's blessing upon you as you study His word.
Sunday: fulfillment of the sabbath. "Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death." - St. Ignatius of Antioch The third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the sabbath: "The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD." c.f. Deut 5:12-15 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship as a sign of his universal beneficence to all. Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.
It is just my opinion that the Sabbath is from Friday evening sunset to Saturday sunset and Sunday is the first day of the week. Therefore I try to refrain from doing any work from Friday evening to early Sunday morning as the first day of the week. Not sure positively that is the correct way of doing things In God's commandment to keep it holy or not. As I am not Hebrew or Jewish and have no way of knowing how their calendar actually works it to be the way God ordained it. I refuse to shop or do any hard work from Friday night sunset to Saturday evening sunset and my work starts on Sunday morning as the sun comes up. At least I try to...not perfected that yet, but still do not do any shopping on Saturday or Sunday at all. I am still trying to sort that out and am a work in progress on this subject. Any helpful tips would be awesome! God Bless.
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