There have been some controversies concerning the Seventh-Day Sabbath over the years, and one of them is that it is mainly given to the Jews and that Gentile Christians do not need to observe it. We shall examine some of the facts from the biblical perspective and see whether or not it is correct.
1 The Origin of the Seventh Day Sabbath
Few Christians realize that the Seventh-Day Sabbath did not originate from Mount Sinai where God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel, but it all began at Creation.
"Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." (Gen. 2:1-3).
All the physical universe, including man and the other creatures, have been created in six days; but God's work did not end there. After the sixth day Adam and Eve would have just existed without the consciousness of God and a close relationship with Him. It requires a consecrated time to commune with their Creator. “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done." Creation was not completed until God had rested, "blessed the seventh day and sanctified it." The Seventh-Day Sabbath is the finale of God's Creation. It was created so that our first ancestors could have a day of rest, of blessings and also to worship God. From the perspective of Creation alone, it can be understood that the Seventh Day Sabbath is given not only to the Jews or any particular race, but to all mankind. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, "The Sabbath was made for man. . .” (Mk. 2:27)
2 The Seventh Day Sabbath was created before sin entered man
The Seventh-Day Sabbath was created and given to man before sin entered the world. There was no death, no religion, no covenant, no law, no nation, no Jew or Gentile and of course no racial distinction. The Seventh Day Sabbath was given when the world was in a perfect state.
The Seventh-Day Sabbath was not part of the Old or New Testament because man had not sinned when it was given. It was not intended to be a shadow of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ and the cross, for then we would have a shadow of death cast on the Seventh Day of Creation before death ever existed. There was no question of different religions worshipping the Creator on different days of the week because God had already sanctified the seventh day for that purpose. The benefits and privileges of receiving rest, blessings and sanctification from observance of the Seventh Day Sabbath are not given to any particular nation, race or religion. It was given to mankind.
Some have made the wrong assumption that no one had observed the Sabbath for more than two thousand years because there was no mention of it from the time of Creation until the children of Israel were in the wilderness. Although the Sabbath is not mentioned in the six successive books after the first five books of Moses, yet it cannot be assumed that the people of God did not observe it. The Bible informs us that Noah "found grace in the eyes of the LORD. . . was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. . . Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did" (Gen. 6:8-9, 22). Having obedience and knowledge of the seven-day cycle of events, it is probable that Noah had kept the Seventh-Day Sabbath (Gen. 7:10; 8:10,12).
It is unknown how the nations of the world had adopted the seven-day week, but the Bible records that it was known during the time of Jacob (Gen. 29:27-28). Towards the end of the 19th Century, during the Industrial Revolution, France tried to adopt the ten-day week. They had hoped that industrial productivity would increase by working nine days and resting one day. This plan failed because workers became sick and productivity actually declined. Nations or persons who do not observe the Seventh-Day Sabbath would suffer adverse consequences.
3 The Seventh Day Sabbath was made for mankind
One of the most important statements made by our Lord Jesus Christ completely destroys the teaching of the Seventh-Day Sabbath given only to the Jews. It is found in Mark 2:27, "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." Here is the great truth. The Sabbath is made for man. It is for man's benefit. Surely the Day of Rest, of Blessings and to worship God must have been given to the whole human race and not only to the Jews. It is unthinkable for a just and impartial God to make the Sabbath only for the Jews. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not say so. He said that the Sabbath was made for man, and He knows better than anyone else in the world because "the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath" (Mk. 2:28).
4. The Seventh Day Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments
It must be understood that although the Ten Commandments that were written on two tablets of stone were given to the nation of Israel on Mount Sinai, they were also Moral Laws that were given to mankind. Examine every one of the Ten Commandments and you will see that they are applicable to every human being throughout the ages. For this reason the Bible states:
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. For this is the
whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing whether it is
good or whether it is evil " (Ecc. 12:13-14).
Let us look at a few Scriptures that refer to events that happened before the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, and we shall see that they are Universal Moral Laws for mankind. God revealed the commandment against murder to Cain (Gen. 4:8-15). He even revealed the commandment against adultery to Abimelech, a heathen king (Gen. 20:1-8). Joseph knew the commandment against fornication (Gen. 39:7-9). The Bible may not have recorded the other commandments nevertheless it does not mean that the people did not know them. Yahweh God said: “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My Statutes, and My laws.” (Gen. 26:5). Abraham certainly knew God's commandments and laws long before the Ten Commandments were given to Israel.
We shall now discuss the Sabbath Commandment. Before the children of Israel reached Mount Sinai, God had revealed the exact Seventh-Day Sabbath to them (Ex. 16:23-25). The reason for Israel not having the knowledge of the Sabbath at that time is obvious. They had been slaves in Egypt for many years therefore it is unlikely that their Egyptian masters would have allowed them to observe the Sabbath (Ex. 1:11-14). After revealing the Sabbath to the Israelites God said to them, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?” (Ex. 16:25-30). Even the language of the Sabbath Commandment suggests that the Israelites had forgotten what it was. It begins with the words: “Remember the Sabbath Day. to keep it holy.” (Ex. 20:8) If God had asked His people to “remember” something, there is an implication that it existed before, and they had forgotten about it. The children of Israel must have observed the Sabbath before they became slaves in Egypt. God had placed the Sabbath in His Ten Commandments not only for the Jews but for all mankind.
5. The Sabbath Commandment is still kept in the New Testament
It is claimed that all the other nine commandments were repeated in the New Testament except the Sabbath Commandment which was abolished. First of all, let us understand the New Testament began after the death of Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:15-17). If the Sabbath Commandment had been abolished in the New Testament the disciples of Christ knew nothing about it because after the Lord's death and burial they "rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment." (Lk.. 23:56). Our Lord Jesus Christ had never even given the slightest hint that the Sabbath Commandment would be abolished after His death. On the contrary He had emphasized, “Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 5:17-19). The Sabbath Commandment cannot be broken.
Some try to prove the abolishment of the Sabbath by quoting: “Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ " (Cot 2:16-17). In writing to the Colossian Church Paul was referring to the festival sabbaths such as the Feast of Pentecost that required food and drink offerings (Lev. 23:15-18). The Jewish Christians continued to keep the feasts after Jesus Christ had ascended into heaven (Acts 2:4; 20:16). At the Jerusalem Conference the Holy Spirit had revealed that Gentile converts need not keep the festival sabbaths but they were required to observe the four abstentions (Acts 15:19-21, 28-29; 21:25). However, some Jewish Christians had insisted the Gentile converts to also keep the Mosaic laws (Acts 21:20-21). The intention of Paul's letter to the Colossian Church, “Therefore let no one judge you . . . Sabbaths. . .” was to give them the assurance that no one could judge them for not keeping the festival sabbaths or new moons that required food or drink offerings. This passage of Scripture strictly refers to the festival sabbaths and not to the Seventh-Day Sabbath that continued to be kept by both the Jewish and Gentile Christians alike (Acts 13:42,44).
6. God wants to bless Christians who keep the Sabbath holy
The Sabbath Commandment states: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh say is the Sabbath of the LORD your God, In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates." (Ex. 20:10). Sabbath-keeping is extended to “strangers” that refers to guests who may even be Gentiles. The primary function of the Sabbath is to have rest therefore it is a blessings. On the contrary, toil and hard labor is a curse (Gen. 3:17-19). Any person who entered the home of an Israelite would enjoy the benefits of the Sabbath.
God spoke through the prophet Isaiah concerning His blessings that is given to every person who keeps His Sabbath.
"Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it, who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” (Isa. 56:2)
God not only wants to bless the Israelites but also any person who keeps His Sabbath therefore He says "Blessed is the ... son of man". The prophet continues:
"Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants - Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant - Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My House of Prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My House shall be called a House of Prayer for all nations." (Isa. 56:6-7).
The "sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD" certainly refer to Gentile Christians who need to understand their relationship with Israel. Before accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior they were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (Eph. 2:12). They need to realize that they were the “wild olive tree” that was grafted into the main olive tree. (Rom. 11:17-24). God's promise to all Gentile Christians who keep the Sabbath holy is that they will be brought to His holy mountain and their prayers will be accepted. God's House of Prayer, that is His Church, is not only for the Jews but "for all nations". The Church of Jesus Christ is a Sabbath-keeping assembly.
7. As LORD of the Sabbath Jesus Christ gave us the example
One of the most profound statements made by Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry is "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath Therefore the Son of Man' is also Lord of the Sabbath." (Mk. 2:27-28). Jesus Christ had established two great principles for the Sabbath. First, He had intended the Sabbath to be of spiritual and physical benefit to His people, not an impossible burden in striving to observe narrow man-made rules. The second principle is a declaration of lordship or supreme authority over the Sabbath. In other words, Jesus Christ was saying that He had created the Sabbath for man to observe and that He is the only One who can say how it is to be observed. This is a sovereign assertion that He is God, the Creator of the Sabbath. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things; and in Him all things consist." (Col 1:15-17). As Creator and Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus Christ wants everyone, Jews and Christians alike, in fact the whole of mankind, to keep His Sabbath.
During His earthly ministry the Lord Jesus Christ had established an excellent example in Sabbath observance. "So 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 to read." (Lk 4:16) Our Lord's observance of the Sabbath was a custom, a regular weekly affair. Some say that He did it because He was still under the Law. This is only partially true. The real reason for Jesus Christ's observance of the Sabbath is because of us. Did He not say that "the Sabbath is made for man"? As Lord of the Sabbath, He had given us an example how to observe it. “He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day." As His followers we should also attend church services on the Sabbath day on a regular basis. He read the Bible on the Sabbath day. "So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious word which proceeded out of His mouth." (Lk 16:21-22). The Sabbath service is the time to read the words of the LORD, to worship and praise Him. Jesus Christ healed the sick folks on the Sabbath and He said: “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath" (Mt. 12:9-13). The Sabbath is also a good day to pray for the sick people, not only during the church services but also in the hospitals and other places. The Lord Jesus Christ is our perfect role model. He leaves us examples so that we can follow in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21). Our Lord said, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” (Jn. 13:15) True Christians are described in this way. "These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God " (Rev. 14:4-5). A true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ will also be a Sabbath-keeper.
There are many sincere Christians who would do anything for the Lord Jesus Christ, but have yet to honor Him as Lord of the Sabbath, and also have yet to follow His example in keeping the Sabbath holy. They have not done so, not because of disobedience or disrespect for their Lord, but their actions are due to a lack of understanding of the Sabbath. If for no other reasons except that Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath and they want to honor Him in this respect, and also want to follow His example, they should, in all truth, keep the Sabbath holy as He did during His earthly ministry.
8. The Early Apostolic Church kept the Seventh-day Sabbath
There is much inaccuracy in the apologetics concerning Sunday observance. One of them is that the early Apostolic Church worshiped on two different days. They claim the Jewish Christians (Messianic Jews) continued to worship on the Sabbath day, while the Gentile converts (Christians) worshiped on Sunday (Lord's Day). If this is true then the New Testament will provide the evidence. On the contrary historical records show that the Jews and Gentiles worshiped on the same Sabbath day.
“And when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. . . . And the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. " (Acts 13:42,44)
The "whole city" that is mentioned here is Antioch in Pisidia (Turkey). Paul and Barnabas did not preach on the Sabbath because they wanted to use the synagogue. This was a Gentile city and they could preach anywhere. “Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region." (Acts 13:48-49) The Early Apostolic Church that consisted of both Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians, was a Seventh-Day Sabbath-keeping congregation. When Paul and Silas came to Philippi, a Gentile city in Greece, there was no synagogue but it did not stop them from worshiping on the Sabbath. "And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made . . ." (Acts 16:13). They preached to Lydia who became the first convert in that city. In Corinth Paul and Silas “reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks." (Acts 18:4). There is not a shred of evidence in the Bible that the Early Apostolic Church ever stopped holding public worship on the Seventh-Day Sabbath.
Some would like to interpret the meeting described in Acts 20:7 as a Sunday Service. Let us examine the text that is supposed to support Sunday observance and see whether or not it is so.
“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together." (Acts 20:7-8)
It appears that the disciples were holding a Holy Communion service on Sunday evening, but this is really not the case. Why do we say that? First, the Biblical day begins in the evening (Gen. 1:5,8,13). On that occasion the disciples had met on a Saturday evening, not Sunday. Second, the terminology "break bread", when used in isolation, does not refer to Holy Communion which always include "the cup of blessings" (1 Cor 10:16; 11:23-29; Mt. 26:26-29). Breaking of bread could be a daily meal (Acts 2:46; 27:35-36). The text in Acts 20:7-8 was, in fact, describing a farewell meal for Paul who was walking to Assos the next day (Acts 20:13-14). There was no Sunday service at all.
Another verse that is often used to support Sunday observance is this:
"On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come." (1 Cor. 16:2)
Some imagine this verse describes Sunday services where the congregation drops their offerings on the collection box when it was passed round. There is nothing like this at all. First, the collection was for the brethren in Jerusalem that were experiencing famine (1 Cor. 16:3; Acts 11:27-30). Second, they were not collecting money because it could not buy food in Jerusalem. What they were collecting was, very likely, food (edible fruits) that was much needed in Jerusalem. (Rom. 15:25-28) The fruit that Paul sealed was a method of food preservation (Rom. 15:28). Paul's instruction to the Corinthian Church to "lay something aside" is for them to collect and preserve the food in their own homes, and not on the collection box, as is the modern practice. The first day of the week is the day after the Sabbath, the day when they start working and collecting the food (Mt. 28:1). There were no Sunday services in the Corinthian Church because the saints began collecting food on that day.
Having exhausted all the so-called evidences in the New Testament to prove the validity of Sunday observance some use the "Lord's Day" in Revelation 1:10 as a last resort. Was the apostle John referring to Sunday? Is there any scriptural support for this? Absolutely none! If there be any scriptural meaning for the "Lord's Day" it has to be the Seventh-Day Sabbath. Why? Jesus Christ is “Lord of the Sabbath" (Mk. 2:28). In the Fourth Commandment "the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God" (Ex. 20:10; Isa. 58:13). The word of God settles this once and for all!
9. How did Organized Religion began Sunday Observance?
Since there is no record in the New Testament stating the First Century Church ever kept Sunday as a special day of religious worship, its origin must have been post-apostolic. Let us read what learned historians have written concerning observance of the Seventh-Day Sabbath and Sunday.
"The Sabbath had been a prominent feature in the Jewish creed and practice, and since much bitter prejudice grew up between the pagan converts and the Jewish elements in the church, the heathen element gradually gained control, and succeeded in effacing much of what they considered Judaistic. The fact that Justin Martyr and others began to press their antinomian theories shows that the Sabbath was yet an institution which had a strong hold on the church, even on the Gentile converts. The Sabbath was not discarded during the apostolic days." (A History of the Sabbath and Sunday by John Kiesz, p.15)
"The first Christian church was established at Jerusalem by apostolic authority, its doctrine and practice became a model for the greater part of those founded in the first century . . . These Judaizing Christians were first known by the outside world as 'Nazarenes.' . . All Christians agreed in celebrating the seventh day of the week in conformity to the Jewish converts." (History of the Christian Church, pp.50, 51, 69)
“This picture of the Nazarenes matches very well that of the Jerusalem Church we have reconstructed earlier. The possibility exists therefore that the Nazarenes represent the survival both the ethnic and theological legacy of primitive Jewish Christianity. The fact that they retain Sabbath-keeping as one of their distinguishing marks shows persuasively that this was the original day of worship of the Jerusalem Church and that no change from Sabbath to Sunday occurred among the Palestinian Jewish Christians after the destruction of the city.” (From Sabbath to Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi, p 157)
The apostle Paul had warned the early Christians concerning the falling away of the church:
"For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw awaw the disciples after themselves." (Acts 20:29-30)
"For fifty years after St. Paul's life, a curtain hangs over the church, through which we vainly strive to look; and when at last the curtain rises, about A.D. 120, with the writings of the earliest Church Fathers, we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul.” (The Story of the Christian Church by Jesse L. Hurlbut, p.41)
God had revealed through the prophecy of Daniel that during the “fourth kingdom" (Roman Empire) the saints of the Most High would be persecuted and the “fourth beast" (Roman Emperor) “shall intend to change times and law” (Dan 7:23-25). How amazingly accurate is Daniel's prophecy!
The earliest law that changed the observance of the Seventh-Day Sabbath to Sunday, according to church historians, is that of Constantine who became the first Roman emperor to accept Christianity. This law was promulgated in AD. 321. It reads:
"On the venerable day of the sun let the magistrates and people residing in the cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain sowing or for vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations, the bounty of heaven should be lost." - Given the 7th day of March, Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time. ("Codex Justinianus" lib. 3, tit. l2,3; translated in 'History of the Christian Church' by Philip Schaff - seven volume edition, Vol. 111, p.380)
Constantine was emperor of Rome from A.D. 306 to 337. He was an avid sun worshiper during the first years of his reign. Later he professed conversion to Christianity, but at heart remained a devotee of the sun to his latest breath.
"Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of that day is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine, 321 A.D." (Chambers' Encyclopedia; art "Sabbath')
This substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath is not a thing which the Roman Catholic Church either denies or attempts to conceal. On the contrary, it frankly admits it, and indeed points to it with pride as evidence of its powers to change even a commandment of God. Cardinal Gibbons, in his widely circulated book, "The Faith of our Fathers", wrote this:
"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctity." (Edition of 1893)
"The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine”, the work of Rev. Peter Geiermann, C.SS.R., received on January 25, 1910, the "Apostolic Blessing" of Pope Pius X. On this subject of the change of the Sabbath, this catechism states:
Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. (Second Edition, p.50)
While the Roman Catholic position regarding Sunday observance is based on the authority of the Pope and not on the Holy Bible; Protestant, Evangelical and Apostolic Christians that observe Sunday as a day of worship are greatly confused in the Sabbath issue. Where will you stand? On the side of the Roman Catholic Church or be counted as a true worshiper that the heavenly Father seeks?
10. The Father is seeking True Worshipers in the End Time
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (Jn. 4:23-24)
It is the will of God for all people of the earth to worship Him (Psm. 22:27-28; 66:4; 86:9). The Ten Commandments are not only guidelines for loving God and our fellowmen, but are also instructions on worship. The First Commandment instructs us who to worship - the One True God – (Ex. 20:1-3). The Second Commandment instructs us how to worship - in the Spirit and without images (Ex. 20:4-6). The Third Commandment instructs us how to worship - to honor and exalt the sacred name of the LORD our God (Ex. 20:7). In the Fourth Commandment God instructs us when to worship Him - the Seventh-Day Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11). Many sincere and honest Christians have fulfilled the first three commandments, but have yet to fulfill the Fourth Commandment. They have not worshiped God on the Sabbath, the day that He had sanctified and made holy.
A common deviation from the truth of the Seventh-Day Sabbath is the "one in seven principle". Their public worship on one out of every seven days is not compatible with the orderly sequence in God's Creation. The Sabbath cannot be placed on any other day except the seventh. The Genesis account places great emphasis on the Seventh Day. "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." (Gen 2:1-3) The Hebrew word for “sanctify” is "qadesh.” It means to separate from the secular or sinful, or set apart for a sacred purpose. What God had set apart from the other days man cannot make it common. The Seventh-Day Sabbath is God's holy day.
Liberal-minded Christians often quote these verses to show that it does not matter which day we worship God.
"One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” (Rom. 14:5-6)
First of all, these verses do not refer to the Sabbath but to food and drink. In the whole chapter there is not a single reference to the Sabbath. Secondly, the Sabbath is established by God at Creation, therefore it cannot be decided by man which day to observe it. God's Sabbath is the Seventh Day. Man may pick any other day to be his sabbath, but it can never be the Sabbath of the LORD.
Does it really matter whether or not we observe the Sabbath on the Seventh Day? It is not for us to decide, but the important thing is that it matters to God whether or not we do. Let those who disregard or make light of the Sabbath take heed God's strong warning of not entering His rest.
"For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day from all His works'; and again in this place: 'They shall not enter My rest.' Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience. . . There remains therefore a (Sabbath) rest for the people of God. . . Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience" (Heb. 4:3-11).
The "rest" in Hebrews 4:.9 is translated from the Greek word "Sabbatismos" that refers to the Sabbath rest, and here it states: "There remains therefore a (Sabbath) rest for the people of God.” The "people of God" refers to the Messianic Jews as well as Gentile Christians who worship on the Sabbath. They are also the true worshipers that our heavenly Father is seeking. God is seeking you! The Sabbath rest is a type of the future rest in heaven. God wants His people to keep the Sabbath here on earth during this present age so that they can continue to have Sabbath worship in the new heavens and new earth (Isa. 66:22-23). Concerning the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ "according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells ", the apostle Peter wrote: "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pet 3:8-14). Could there be a co-relationship between God's Creation week and the duration of mankind's existence here on earth? Using the interpretation of one day equal a thousand years we have an interesting prophetic projection. From the time that Adam was created until the first advent of our Lord Jesus Christ there are 4,000 years. Two thousand years have expired since the time our Lord was incarnated, and we are already in the seventh millennium. "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." (Gen. 2:2-3) We are now living in the Seventh Millennium of man's existence on earth. Will He come soon to take His people to their eternal rest in heaven? But right now, God's people must keep the Seventh-day Sabbath here on earth.
In the Book of Revelation there are two sets of 144,000 "servants of God" in the End Time. The first set is from "all the tribes of the children of Israel" (Rev. 7:4-8). Being Israelites they are Seventh-Day Sabbath keepers. The second set are "redeemed from the earth" and "redeemed from among men" (Rev. 14:3.--4). They are Gentile Christians who also observe the Seventh-Day Sabbath. How do we know that? "These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Since Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath and He worships regularly on the Sabbath, these servants of God also keep the Seventh-Day Sabbath. It is a blessing to be numbered as one of God's servants. HalleluYah!
Observing the Seventh-Day Sabbath is not exclusive to the Jews or any of the Gentile Christian churches. Our heavenly Father is seeking true worshipers, that means individuals who worship Him in Spirit and truth. You can become a true worshiper right this very hour. That is what our Lord Jesus said. "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him." (Jn. 4:23). True worship of our heavenly Father begins with the heart. If you believe the Seventh-Day Sabbath is the truth, first give thanks to our Father in heaven for His revelation to you. Second, make a decision to observe the next Sabbath. You need to worship with a Spirit-filled congregation in your city. If you do not know any that worships on the Seventh-Day Sabbath, you can always do that right in your own home. Several true worshipers began worshiping on the Seventh-Day Sabbath by themselves, then with their spouses or families; later have congregations formed in their homes. These home-churches have been the basic units of the early Apostolic Church in the First Century, and they will also be the same in the End Time (Acts 2:46-47; 16:13-15; 28:30-31; Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Phm. 2). If you would like to know more about Spirit-filled Seventh-Day Sabbath congregations, do get in touch with the person who share this material with you or you can always write to us.
May God bless You
This Website is a presentation of Paul Wong to the ARK Forum
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Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
The ARK Forum on the Internet is international and non-denominational