The Sabbath of Jesus Christ
Most Christians observe Sunday as their day of worship. But the Holy Bible teaches we must keep the SABBATH. Jesus the Son of God declared He was the One who made the Sabbath in the beginning. The Church He built did not depart from the holy tradition of observing the seventh-day Sabbath.
Many think it doesn’t make a difference whether one keeps Saturday or Sunday. If there is no word of God, then it really doesn’t matter what we choose to do. But the Word of God is the SUPREME AUTHORITY which decides what is right or wrong. And Jesus Christ will use this same Word of God to judge every man.
Jesus taught that we must live by EVERY WORD OF GOD!
If we are true Christians and not hypocritical liars, we should be very concerned about what the Word of God has to say about the Sabbath. If we are not careful and diligent to seek the truth, we might find ourselves cast out from the Kingdom of Jesus Christ!
by Aloysius Abdiel
TO THE LAW AND TO THE TESTIMONY!
There is an amazing prophecy in the eighth chapter of the Book of Isaiah. It speaks about the coming end-time crisis that is going to trap millions of people on the earth. The world will be plunged into global war, famine and horrible epidemics. People are going to suffer as they never did before. There will be great fear and panic, instead of seeking the God of the Bible, men will seek the help of spirits and necromancers.
Isaiah 8:19-20 says, “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? TO THE LAW AND TO THE TESTIMONY! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn” (New International Version).
What does To the Law and to the Testimony mean?
The Bible is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament begins with THE LAW — the first five books written by Moses. The New Testament begins with THE TESTIMONY of Jesus — the sayings of Jesus recorded by four witnesses: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The LAW in the broadest sense is all the Old Testament scriptures (John 15:25, 1 Cor. 14:21). The TESTIMONY is all the New Testament scriptures.
Only the Father and Jesus Christ should be worshipped. Invoking angels, praying to Mary and to the saints, calling up dead relatives, or even praying to the Holy Spirit are subtle forms of occultism where Satan can come in and impersonate!
Men should seek the God that is revealed in the LAW AND THE TESTIMONY. The Law and the Testimony is the BIBLE! The Bible is the most important document given to men. It contains truths, instructions, promises, history, poems, and prayers. The living God who made the universe and the earth moved His servants to write the Bible (2 Peter 1:21). The Bible is the WORK OF GOD (2 Tim.3:16)! It was written to be an instruction manual for man. If a man desires to know about the true God and the way to eternal life he must search the scriptures daily (John 5:39-40, Acts 17:11).
A true servant of God who is teaching people to enter the Kingdom of God will teach from both the Old and the New Testament (Mat. 13:52). Anyone who preaches outside the Bible has no light — he is an impostor!
To the Law and to the Testimony is a warning: we must base our beliefs only on the Old and the New Testament scriptures. Christian doctrines and customs must come from the LAW AND THE TESTIMONY — FROM THE BIBLE AND ONLY THE BIBLE!
To the Law and to the Testimony is an appeal from God that His people return to the faith once delivered (Jude 3). Original Christianity was Bible Christianity. No pagan traditions, no pagan festivals, no man-made doctrines, no human concepts, just plain Bible doctrines.
To the Law and to the Testimony is also a reminder that we are to treat the Old and the New Testament with equal importance, both testaments are equally essential for salvation (2 Tim. 3:15-16).
Jesus Did Not Abolish the Law
Almighty God visited this earth 2000 years ago. He stayed for a while as a lowly man among the Jews. He was Jesus of Nazareth. He was The Way and The Truth (John 14:6). He was the EMBODIMENT OF TRUE RELIGION — He taught and lived the true religion of God. If we want to know about the true religion, we must study the perfect life-style of Jesus and examine His teachings and His doctrines.
Jesus said, “DO NOT THINK THAT I HAVE COME TO ABOLISH THE LAW OR THE PROPHETS” (Mat. 5:17, NIV). Jesus made a double declaration, “I HAVE NOT COME TO ABOLISH THEM BUT TO FULFILL THEM.”
The fundamental code and teaching found in the five books of Moses and in the writings of the Prophets is NOT ABOLISHED! Jesus did not come to start a completely new religion. His message was built on the foundation of the Old Testament. From Mat. 5:18-19, we see how JESUS PLACED HIS AUTHORITY BEHIND THE LAW OF MOSES. He did not come to replace the law, He came to magnify or make complete the Laws of God!
Today, there are men who misapply Paul’s writings and teach the Law, the Ten Commandments, and the Sabbath were all abolished on the cross. This is not true and anyone who believes such teaching is going to cut himself off from God and endanger his own salvation!
We must never forget that JESUS IS GREATER THAN PAUL. It is a great error to think Paul’s theology is more progressive than His Master’s. Secondly, Paul did not preach the Law was done away, he himself wrote, “Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not all! Rather, WE UPHOLD THE LAW” (Rom. 3:31).
Jesus Was a Law-keeper!
The Jesus that is revealed in the pages of the Bible was One who had a fiery zeal for the Laws of His Father. He declared, “I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me,” and, “I have obeyed My Father’s commandments” (John 14:31, 15:10, NIV).
This world worships a Jesus who has long hair and one who does not look Jewish, one who is a member of a Triune God, one who was born on December 25th, died on Good Friday, and got resurrected one and half days later on Easter Sunday, did away with the Sabbath and replaced it with Sunday, permitted the use of crosses, statues, pictures and did away with the “harsh” Ten Commandments.
This is nothing but a counterfeit Jesus — a Jesus who is out of harmony with the truth of the Bible. By worshipping this pseudo Jesus men have rejected the commandments and truth of God, and replaced them with the traditions and fables of men (Mark 7:8).
The Bible declares the Messiah Jesus to be the GREAT LAW-GIVER PROPHET (Isa. 33:22, Deut. 18:15-20).
How can a Lawgiver come and do away with the Laws of God?
Jesus not only spoke the COMPLETE LAW OF GOD, HE MADE THE LAWS OF GOD HIS LIFESTYLE (John 15:10)! As a Son in human form, He learned TO OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD under suffering (Heb. 5:8)!
So important are the Ten Commandments, Jesus warned His hearers that no one can inherit eternal life by disobeying these commandments (Mat.19:17).
The Ten Commandments will not save anyone because the commandments by themselves have no saving power; neither do they have the power to impart eternal life (Gal. 3:21). However, they tell us, how to live, what conduct God expects of us, and what is right or wrong in God’s eyes, and give us knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20).
The power to save, to walk in righteousness, and to inherit eternal life comes from the Person of JESUS CHRIST!
It is Jesus who saves; and He saves us from SIN — FROM BREAKING OR DISOBEYING THE LAW — so that we may inherit eternal life (Mat.1:21, 1 John 3:4).
Love and the Ten Commandments
Many professing Christians believe Jesus’ death did away with the Ten Commandments and in place of them He introduced only two commandments, based on love; love God with all our heart and love our neighbour as ourselves.
But how do we love God? And how we do love our neighbour? If the word of God did not specify for us, someone might draw a picture of Jesus and pray to it thinking that this is a way of loving Jesus, or a man might sleep with another man and think this is a way of loving his neighbour.
It is clear we must love God and man by God’s terms. God decides what true love is. The word of God tells how to love God and how to love our fellow man.
How do we love God?
There are four fundamental ways: Pay Him exclusive worship, don’t use physical aids to worship Him, don’t take His name uselessly, and observe the day He made sacred.
How we do love our fellow man?
There are six fundamental ways; don’t harm anyone, don’t have sex outside marriage, don’t take property or money which is not yours, don’t tell lies and don’t lust for anyone or anything that does not belong to you.
All these are the TEN COMMANDMENTS!
Keeping a Christian religion without paying obedience to the Laws of God is a HATEFUL THING in God’s eyes (1 Sam. 15:22-23, Prov. 28:9). Christ says, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Mat. 12:7). The word “mercy” comes from the Hebrew word chesed, it means bowing humbly before the Lord to seek His will and His grace. In another words, desiring to do His will, not ours. The Apostle Paul defines love as, “NOT SEEKING ONE’S OWN WAY” (1 Cor.13:5).
God does not want sacrifice — display of worship, vain rituals, man-made customs and traditions, loud proclamations of one’s beliefs, boastful testimonies or even a bragging form of tongue-speaking — WHAT HE WANTS FOR US IS TO HUMBLE OURSELVES TO HIM AND DO HIS WILL.
If we truly and sincerely love the Lord Jesus Christ, we will OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS (John 14:15). And if we profess Jesus Christ as our Lord, we will DO WHAT HE SAYS AND PUT INTO PRACTICE HIS TEACHINGS (Luke 6:46-47, Mat.7:24-27).
The Danger of Not Keeping All The Laws
Jesus Himself said, “If you want to enter life, OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS” (Mat.19:17, NIV). Here, Jesus lays down a condition for eternal life: although eternal life is a free gift from Christ, this free gift cannot be met with a disobedient and rebellious spirit; a person must humbly obey the commandments, then Christ will be pleased and happy to give to him the gift of eternal life.
Jesus’ brother, James, writes that ALL THE TEN LAWS MUST BE KEPT, one cannot pick and choose what to obey. If a person breaks one law and keeps the other 9 laws, he is still considered a sinner (James 2:10-11)!
Continuous disobedience and rebellion to all the commandments of God will forfeit a person’s hope of eternal life. When Christ sets up His kingdom, such a person will have no place in it (1 Cor. 6:9, Eph. 5:5). Jesus Christ, the Righteous-Loving Judge, will tell all those who practice lawlessness to GET OUT HIS PRESENCE (Mat.7:23)!
A life of disobedience to the Ten Commandments is a life of A LIAR AND A HYPOCRITE! “He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4, New King James Version). People who call themselves Christians should walk in the same way as the Founder of Christianity (1 John 2:6). The true disciples of Jesus FOLLOW HIM, they keep the Ten Commandments just as He kept them (John 15:10).
Those who believe only on Jesus’ Name, but do not obey all of His commandments will soon come to realize that they cannot have God’s friendship on a regular, consistent basis — many of their prayers will be left unanswered. If we want to gain God’s favour and have our prayers answered, we must keep His commandments (1 John 3:22). Those who keep all of God’s commandments have confidence to approach Him, they become God’s friends — God knows them and they know Him!
Those who embrace a just grace, no law religion are only harming themselves. A time will come when they will really need God’s help — in an accident, in a sickness, in an assault, in a bankruptcy — BUT THERE WILL BE NO ANSWER FROM HEAVEN — even though they cry with all their hearts (Prov.1:28)!
We must understand that God’s grace is shown so that we might repent or change. If we receive God’s love and grace, we must reciprocate it. How? By keeping His commandments!
We cannot expect to continually receive God’s grace, God’s favour, and God’s blessings when we go out and live a life of disobedience and rebellion to His righteous laws.
THE WORD, THE CREATION, AND THE SABBATH
Before Jesus Christ became a human being, He existed with God the Father from eternity. He had many names and titles, but He often revealed Himself as “The Word of the Lord” to the prophets and the holy men of the Old Testament (Gen. 15:1, 2 Sam. 12:9, 1 Kings 17:8, Jer. 1:4, Ezek. 33:1, Zech. 1:1).
The first verse of the book of John speaks of TWO DIVINE PERSONALITIES — God and The Word. The Word has the same status as God — He is God, as God is God!
Verse 3 states that The Word made every created thing. Ps. 33:6 corroborates this by stating The Word created the entire universe merely by speaking and commanding.
John 1:14 says The Word became flesh — He became a man — JESUS OF NAZARETH. The same Jesus of Nazareth was the CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH!
Jesus Christ first created time for the earth: by making the earth spin on its axis, approximately twelve hours of light and twelve hours of night were made for a day. He then created the dry ground and the seas. He created the green plants. He created the animals. He created man. He took six days to do all this. On the seventh day, the Lord did no work, He rested, and by this He created a REST DAY — THE SABBATH (Gen. 2:2-3).
A sundown-to-sundown day was created. A seven-day week was created. And the last day of the week — the seventh-day — is the SABBATH OR REST DAY — of The Word.
There is no power or authority that can abolish the day or the week. Men have tried and failed! As long as the day and the week exist, THE SABBATH DAY MUST ALSO EXIST — IT CANNOT BE DONE AWAY!
The Word blessed the seventh day and made it sacred (Gen. 2:2-3). The Word did not bless the first day of the week — Sunday — neither did He bless all the days, ONLY ONE DAY OF THE WEEK WAS BLESSED AND MADE HOLY — THE SEVENTH DAY!
The seventh day was blessed for a purpose. On this day The Word desires man to seek for Him and be blessed! The seventh day was set apart from other days. This day — from sundown Friday to Saturday sundown — is HOLY TIME. Such time must be used for the worship of the Master Planner and the Great Creator of the Universe: God and The Word.
In the Garden of Eden, The Word instituted the perpetual covenant of marriage for Adam and Eve. Eve was made to be the wife of Adam. Marriage was made for the human creation, it was a holy institution come from God.
In the same way, The Word made the Sabbath for the human creation. It was made for man’s own benefit; it was to be the SECOND PERPETUAL COVENANT for the human race. If the institution of marriage is still sacred, then the seventh day is also to be considered sacred. If marriage must be kept inviolate, then the Sabbath too be must be kept holy!
BOTH THE COVENANT OF MARRIAGE AND THE SABBATH COVENANT CAME FORM THE LORD OF COVENANTS — JESUS CHRIST!
The Lord of the Sabbath
About 4000 years after The Word created the Sabbath, He appeared in a body of flesh and declared, “For the Son of Man is LORD OF THE SABBATH” (Mat. 12:8, NIV).
When Jesus made that statement not one word of the New Testament was penned. Those who heard Him understood what Sabbath He was talking about. He was referring to the Old Testament Sabbath — the Jewish Sabbath, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset — this was the only Sabbath that existed in Jesus’ time. This was the original Sabbath — the same Sabbath of creation. This Sabbath was kept by the Jews during Christ’s time and is still observed by pious Jews today.
What did Jesus mean by saying the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath?
First of all, the Son of Man is a title of the coming Messiah or God-King of the earth (Dan. 7:13). Jesus is implying, “I THE MESSIAH AM THE CREATOR OF THE SABBATH DAY, I THE MESSIAH AM THE OWNER OF SABBATH DAY, I THE MESSIAH AM THE SUPREME AUTHORITY BEHIND THE SABBATH DAY.”
No man has the authority to make a day holy, no man has the authority to change the day of the Sabbath, and no man has the authority to allow work to be done on the Sabbath. It is CHRIST — the Messiah — who makes a day holy, He decides when the Sabbath occurs and He tells us how the Sabbath should be kept.
Christians are actually Messianics — they are disciples and followers of the Messiah. By His authority, Jesus has already declared which day is to be the true day of worship for Christians — the people of the Messiah. The proof is in writing, we can all read it in Mat. 12:8, Mark 2:28, and Luke 6:5. JESUS OF NAZARETH HAS MADE THE JEWISH SABBATH HIS MESSIANIC SABBATH — THIS IS THE TRUE CHRISTIAN SABBATH!
There is no new Sabbath day, there is no change for the Sabbath. The SAME SABBATH OF THE OLD TESTAMENT is the SABBATH OF JESUS THE MESSIAH.
Since Jesus has become the Lord of the Sabbath, every scripture in the Old Testament where it reads the Sabbath of the Lord now becomes the SABBATH OF JESUS CHRIST!
Jesus’ Sabbath Testimony
Jesus Christ said He came into the world to bear witness of the TRUTH (John 18:37). In other words, Jesus came as a DIVINE WITNESS of Almighty God. When He spoke He gave DIVINE EVIDENCE of everything; who and what God was, and what God stood for.
We must pay careful attention to every statement or every testimony made by Jesus because they contain the message of eternal life for all humanity. If we fail to listen and obey these statements, we will not have any eternal life!
All three synoptic gospels record the precious words of Jesus: THE SON OF MAN IS LORD OF THE SABBATH (Mat.12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5). In the Bible, the number three signifies finality and certainty (Acts 10:16; 2 Cor.12:8). When a statement is repeated three times in the Bible, it means the issue concerned is definite, unequivocal and precise. These three scriptures indicate the decision made by the Lord Jesus Christ is FINAL AND COMPLETE: THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH IS TO BE THE SAME SABBATH REVEALED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
There can be no dispute, no alteration, no compromise; THE SABBATH ISSUE HAS BEEN SETTLED ONCE FOR ALL — NOT BY MAN — BUT BY THE VERY LORD OF THE SABBATH. The true Sabbath is the same Sabbath revealed to the ancient Israelites. Again, the Lord spoke THREE TIMES to command the Israelites to keep the Sabbath (Ex. 31:13, 14, 16). This shows the seriousness of the Sabbath Day. And the Lord who spoke to the Israelites was the One who became Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 10:4; Jude 5)!
Jesus’ Other Testimonies About the Sabbath
Jesus bore testimony: “THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN...” (Mark 2:27, NIV)
The Sabbath was a purposeful creation — it was not created in vain. “For the Word of the Lord [Christ] is right, and all His work is done in TRUTH” (Ps. 33:4, New King James Version). One of those works during the creation week was the seventh-day Sabbath.
If the Sabbath is a work of truth, then there is nothing wrong with it that it should be abolished or altered. Is the seventh-day Sabbath deficient of truth and purpose, that God should want to abolish or change it?
Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man. Man means not only Jew, but also African, Asian, Hispanic, European, Anglo-Saxon, and every other race of mankind. The belief that the Sabbath is exclusively for the Jews is unscriptural and erroneous because NO JEWS EXISTED WHEN THE SABBATH WAS MADE!
Jesus testified, “IT IS LAWFUL TO DO GOOD ON THE SABBATH” (Mat.12:12, NIV). Jesus is telling the people what actions would or would not violate the Sabbath command. What good would such instructions be if the Sabbath was going to abolished?
Jesus also testified, “PRAY THAT YOUR FLIGHT WILL NOT TAKE PLACE IN WINTER OR ON THE SABBATH.”(Mat. 24:20, NIV).
This is end-time advice for the true followers of Jesus. Why should the disciples in the last days be concerned about traveling on the Sabbath, if it has already been abolished?
The Sabbath Was Jesus’ Custom
Sabbath-keeping was an indelible custom in Jesus’ life. “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” (Luke 4:16, NKJV). It was a PERSONAL HABIT of Jesus Christ to observe the Sabbath Day. It was part of His culture, His tradition, and His life!
Most people have forgotten Jesus was entirely Jewish and that the Saviour of the world had a Jewish culture (John 4:22). The true gospel proclaims a Davidic-Messiah (2 Tim.2:8). A Davidic-Messiah is not only One who physically descends from David, but One who would grow up in the same cultural and traditional mould of David, a man after God’s heart (1 Sam. 13:14, Acts 13:22-23).
Although David made serious mistakes, he was devoted to all of God’s laws (1 Kings 15:5). David was a type of the coming Messiah who would delight in obeying God (Psalm 40:7-8). David’s respect and obedience of the Sabbath is evident from Psalm 92 — the special psalm he sang on the Sabbath day. Sabbath-keeping was very much a part of David’s culture and tradition. Christ came into the world as a descendant of David, He would carry on the same basic traditions of David which included the keeping of Sabbaths.
When Christ appears in the Book of Revelation, He is declared as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Root of David (Rev.5:5). The Lion of the Tribe of Judah means the King or Ruler of the Jews and the Root of David means the origin or creator of David and his family.
This shows even in His glorified God-state, Jesus does not renounce His Jewish identity and culture. He is proud to associate Himself with David and the Jewish race. He sees His true Church as a people resembling Jews (Rev. 2:9, 3:9).
The Sabbath Will be a Stigma
After the middle of the first century, when the Jews revolted against Roman occupation, the Jewish race together with its religion and its culture became an object of hatred and prejudice all over the Roman world. Many, especially those in Rome, wanted to dissociate themselves from the Sabbath because it carried a stigma of being Jewish.
In the last days, the Jews will again be vilified and hated because they will go all out to preserve the city of Jerusalem under Israeli occupation. This would create tremendous tension and anti-Semitism will again rear its ugly head all over the world. Satan will quickly use anti-Semitism to make people hate and reject one of the great commandments of God — the commandment which has become a pillar of Jewish culture — the Sabbath!
Anti-Jewish sentiments should never be present in a true Christian. If the Jews are evil, it is God’s prerogative to punish them, we must not choose to hate and despise the Jewish race — lest we end up hating the very culture of the true Jesus!
It seems that in every generation, God has imposed some kind of stigma on His people to test their loyalty to Him. When the unmarried Mary, pregnant with the Messiah, came to Jerusalem to worship, she had to suffer the stigma of being thought of as a loose woman. The disciples of Jesus had to carry the stigma of being the followers of a sorcerer and a bastard, because that’s what the religious authorities labeled Him!
In the modern era, the true disciples of Jesus will have to carry the stigma of being Judaziers because they adhere to the tradition of the Sabbath.
If we are to be true Christians and the true friends of Christ, we should not worry about what the world thinks of us, after all it was this world which became an enemy of Jesus and murdered Him! We should be more concerned about what our Master thinks of us; we should take pains to please Him.
The Master was a SABBATARIAN — He kept the Sabbath week in, week out. Christ says the disciple is not to be above the Master — they can neither be better nor different. The true disciples FOLLOW THE MASTER — wherever He goes! (Rev. 14:4). And if the Master enters the seventh day with rest and worship, WE SHOULD DO THE SAME!
Wherever the true disciples are today, they will be practising the WAY OF LIFE which Jesus of Nazareth brought. This way of life consists of WALKING IN THE TRUTH (2 John 4). The Truth is GOD’S OWN WORD (John 17:17). The Sabbath is a creation and a law of God’s own Word. The same cannot be said of Sunday. To keep the Sabbath is to LIVE IN THE TRUTH, but to keep Sunday is to LIVE IN A LIE!
The true disciples of Jesus will keep the Sabbath regardless of any consequence. For the sake of the truth, they are willing to suffer persecution from their families, neighbours, and the authorities; they are willing suffer unemployment or paycuts and even martyrdom! This is because they love their Master and the Truth!
THE TRUE CHURCH AND THE SABBATH
Jesus said, “I will build My Church and the gates of hades [the grave] will not overcome it” (Mat.16:18, NIV).
Notice Jesus said, “MY Church” — it is His exclusive possession. He is the sole head. He is the foundation. He is the life of His Church. The Church is not a building, a corporate organization or a hierarchy. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia, which means called out ones. The Church is simply people called out from various backgrounds, religions, worldly churches, to become the scattered people of God — the official name of the true church is the Church of God (Gal. 1:13, 1 Cor. 11:16, 1 Tim. 3:5, Acts 20:28).
The true Church of God was formed in the city of Jerusalem in 31AD when God sent the Spirit of Jesus into 120 of His disciples (Acts 2:1-7). This Church has continued throughout the centuries — sometimes in very small numbers — neither men nor demons can destroy the true Church!
Jesus also said His church would be A DESPISED LITTLE FLOCK (study Luke 6:22, 12:32). They will not comprise big organizations accepted and liked by the world. The true Church will always be evilly spoken of and hated by the world (Acts 28:22). The world cannot get along with the members of the true Church because by practising the Truth, the church bears witness that the whole world and its churches are in error (John 7:7, 1 John 5:19).
The true Church is likened to the branches of a grapevine connected to the woody stem which symbolizes Jesus Christ (John 15:5). This means the true Church will exist as SECTS all over the world, united and attached to Christ. Sects are not cults, but are small groups or small churches.
Who are the people that make up the true Church? And just how is the true church identified?
Rev.12:17 explains how the true people of God in the last days will be COMMANDMENT-KEEPERS AND FIRM BELIEVERS IN THE TESTIMONIES OF JESUS.
1 Tim. 3:15 tells the true Church is a FOUNDATION AND PILLAR OF TRUTH.
To put it plainly, the true Church consists of people who obey all the Ten Commandments and who love and adhere to the truth of the Bible — they get their religion from the Bible, they will not put up with doctrines or customs of man.
Since the fourth commandment is about the Sabbath, the true Church is a Sabbath-keeping Church, and because the teaching that Jesus changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday is an outright lie, the true Church of God does not observe Sunday as their day of worship; instead it keeps a BIBLICAL Friday sunset to Saturday sunset Sabbath.
A Memorial and a Vision
The most conspicuous of the Ten Commandments is the Sabbath, because it won’t take long for faithful Sabbath-keepers to be noticed or singled out from society.
God made the Sabbath to be a seal for His people (Ex. 31:13). It is a badge, a symbol or an emblem showing who are the true worshippers of the true God. Those who observe the Sabbath are automatically segregated from society, they even become different from other Christians. What actually takes place is the Sabbath-keeper takes on the identity of the called-out ones of God Almighty.
The seventh-day Sabbath helps the Sabbatarian to pause and worship the Sabbath-Maker; for in the first six days the One who made the Sabbath also made the earth and all things in it. The Sabbath functions as a weekly memorial for the true people of God: it reminds them that their Lord was the Originator of the Creation and the King of the Universe.
Apostle Paul writes, “So then, a SABBATH-REST [the Greek here is sabbatismos] still remains for the people of God for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from His” (Heb. 4:9-10, New Revised Standard Version).
The first six days of weekly cycle pictures 6000 years of man’s rule while the seventh day pictures 1000 years of peace and rest under the Messiah’s government because one day is as 1000 years to God (2 Peter 3:8).
Paul is explaining that the people of God must continue keeping the tradition of the Sabbath — sabbatismos means the keeping of the Sabbath — because it serves as a vision to help the people of God to attain to that future rest — the 1000-year millennial rest — they will have in the eternal kingdom of God.
Early Christians Were Sabbath-keepers
After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day, 3000 converts were added to the Church through the inspired preaching of the former Galilean fisherman, Peter.
Who were these 3000 converts?
Jews — either racially, or converts into the Jewish faith (Acts 2:5-11). They were devout Jews, meaning they were pious in their religious duties, they were faithful in keeping the Sabbath and the Festivals revealed in the Hebrew scriptures.
It is important for every Christian today to realise the early Christian Church was very Jewish in character.
Church members frequented the Jewish Temple for prayer (Acts 3:1, 5:12). Both Christians and Jews kept the same days of worship: the weekly Sabbath, the Passover, the seven days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.
Before the Pentecost experience, Jesus had given commandments and instructions to His disciples (Acts 1:2). One of those commandments was not to leave Jerusalem, but to celebrate the annual Sabbath of Pentecost there (Acts 1:4, 2:1). The custom and culture of Sabbath-keeping remained strong and deep among the original 120 disciples (Acts 1:12).
The Jerusalem Church of God — the original and pure church — was a SABBATH-KEEPING Church! Both the Bible and secular history give AMPLE PROOF of this.
The early Christians were labeled as a NAZARENE SECT (Acts 24:5). The reason they were called a sect is because people did not see them as a separate religion, but a group within the parent religion of the Old Testament. They did not change much in their outward religious obligations; these Nazarenes — or the followers of Yeshua the Nazarene — were still keeping the weekly and annual Sabbaths when they fled to Pella before the siege of Jerusalem. This was about THIRTY YEARS after Christ’s resurrection (Ency. Brit., 11th edition, volume xix, pg. 319, Hurbut’s Story of the Christian Church and Church History, Apostolic Age to A.D. 70).
The Jerusalem Church of God was the roots of the true Christian religion and the true Church of God. Its history and experiences were recorded because God wanted it to be a pattern for the other Churches to imitate (1 Thess. 2:14).
Paul, an Apostle to the Gentiles, was seen as a RINGEADER OF THE NAZARENE SECT. This means he also must have kept the Sabbath. The Bible corroborates this by proving he was a habitual Sabbath-keeper (Acts 17:2). After his death, the descendants of his Gentile converts were known to the world as Paulicians. They persisted in the tradition of the Sabbath (The Key of Truth, Fred C. Conybeare).
First Gentile Christians Were Sabbatarians
The book of Acts tells us the first Gentiles called into God’s church were the Italian, Cornelius, and his family. Why was Cornelius the first one to be called to become a Christian? What made Cornelius’ conversion swift and easy?
The Bible records Cornelius as a “. . . devout man and one who feared God with all his household . . .” (Acts 10:1-2, NKJV). Before his conversion, Cornelius was no idol-worshipping heathen; he worshipped and prayed to the God of Israel. He was a God-fearing Gentile — the Geri hashair.
The Geri hashair were not merely Gentiles calling on the name of God of Israel and doing their own thing. They were non-Jews who attached themselves to the synagogue (The Dictionary of the New Testament Theology). The Geri hashair KEPT THE SABBATH and all the Jewish festivals and even observed Mosaic dietary laws.
Cornelius followed the same prayer times as the Jewish synagogue (Acts 10:30, 3:1). If Cornelius was praying like the Jews and fasting like the Jews, isn’t it obvious he was also observing the Sabbath like the Jews?
Because Cornelius the Gentile already knew the God of Israel and part of His will, God saw fit to call him and his family to become full-fledged members of His Church. When Cornelius and his family heard Peter preach, their minds readily accepted and believed his message, and God reciprocated by giving them His Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44).
Many of the Gentiles who were entering into God’s Church WERE ALREADY SABBATH-KEEPERS. When Paul preached the Gospel in the towns of Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, he preached to many of the Gentiles who were attending synagogues services with the Jews. These Gentiles were the Geri hashair; they came to the synagogue on Saturday morning and listened to the Laws of Moses being expounded by the Jewish rabbis (Acts 15:21).
In Pisdian Antioch, the Geri hashair were so accustomed to the Sabbath, they petitioned Paul and Barnabas to come on the next Sabbath to preach to them (Acts 13:42).
If the Gentiles believers were not required to keep the Sabbath, they would either have asked Paul to come on a day of their own choosing or Paul himself would have told them that it was now unnecessary to meet on the Sabbath.
Another important point to consider is that if the Gentile believers were taught by Paul to forget about the Sabbath, this would have caused an explosive controversy in the Jerusalem council of elders (Acts 15:1-6). All the Jewish believers including the leading apostles would have immediately found fault with Paul’s ministry. If the issue of non-circumcision of the Gentiles had turned into a heated debate in the Jerusalem council of elders, how much more a debate would have resulted if Paul had taught the Gentiles to forsake the Sabbath?
Those who are not convinced they should keep the Sabbath should think deeply about these things.
I Cor. 5:7 contains UNDENIABLE AND IRREFUTABLE PROOF that Paul taught his Gentile converts in Corinth to observe the OLD TESTAMENT, OR THE SABBATHS OF THE BIBLE. Secular history also supports this: the Corinthians were condemned by their enemies for keeping the Sabbath (Church History by Lewis, pg. 218).
If we are honest, we will have to admit the early Christians observed the same Sabbath as the Jews — they were not Sunday worshippers!
If the religion of Peter, James, John, and Paul included Sabbath-keeping, how can we absolve ourselves from the responsibility of keeping the Sabbath today? Are any of us better than Peter, John, or Paul or are any of our Churches more dynamic or spirit-filled than the Jerusalem Church of God?
The time has come for leaders and their churches to return to the true Mother Church — the first Jerusalem Church of God — the SECT OF YESHUA THE NAZARENE — where the Sabbath was an indispensable custom.
HOW IS IT EVERYONE KEEPS SUNDAY?
There are well over 5000 different Christian denominations in the world. The largest group is the Roman Catholics, followed by Protestants, Pentecostals, and Evangelicals. Apart from these, there exist numerous sects and cults. With the exception of the Seventh-Day Adventists, Seventh Day Baptists and various Church of God groups, ALL KEEP SUNDAY AS THEIR DAY OF WORSHIP.
Why do so many churches observe Sunday when Sunday worship was not practiced by the early Christians? Where and how did Sunday worship come about? Who really changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday? And does it really matter whether we keep Saturday or Sunday?
Sunday is From ROME!
As we have seen in the previous chapters neither the Founder of Christianity nor His followers kept Sunday. In fact, there was no Sunday-keeping in the Church for the first one hundred years.
Then how and when did Sunday observance come upon the Christian Church?
Sunday actually means the day of the Sun! Sunday was a religious day for the ancient Romans. On Sunday mornings, they visited their temples and worshipped the Sun-God!
Emperor Constantine in his two constitutions of March 3 and July 3, in 321 A.D., described Sunday as A VENERABLE DAY — the day of the Sun of Latin adoration (Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in our Christianity, 1928, pg. 326).
Roman Church Changes the Sabbath
The Church in Rome was the first to apostatize from Apostolic Christianity. Anti-Semitism was strong among the Romans and this paved the way for anything Jewish to be rejected. Bishop Sixtus (A.D. 116-125) and Bishop Victor (A.D. 189-199) refused to keep the true Lord’s Supper on Passover Day and they told their congregations to stop this Jewish practice — a custom which was inherited from the Apostles.
People were told to have nothing to do with the blindness of the Jews. Slowly, the respect for the Sabbath was declining and some Churches began to observe two days: Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was still observed because many among the Church still believed this was the true Sabbath, but because of strong bias against the Jews and a false teaching that Jesus changed the Sabbath to Sunday through His resurrection, Sunday was fast turning into a popular substitute.
As the third century began to dawn, the visible church began to lean more and more towards paganism. Church leaders became more interested in increasing church membership rather than preserving the truth. With the influx of a large number of Barbarians into the Roman Church, the culture of the church changed, the Barbarians could not give up their heathen customs and festivals, so church leaders allowed them to keep them by asking them to attach Christ’s Name to them. This was how the Church became polluted with pagan customs and such a state has persisted even till this day!
The Roman Church became very powerful when the head of state — Emperor Constantine — gave his full support for it. The bishop of Rome emerged a powerful figure in Europe. He saw himself as the head of all the churches and gave himself exalted titles fit for a king. Indeed, the church in Rome was becoming a kingdom within a kingdom!
Over a period of time, many changes were made by the bishop of Rome. In the fourth century, the Catholic Church went so far as to ban people from observing the Sabbath!
The council of Nicea in 345 A.D. declared: “Christians must not Judaize (keep any Jewish custom) by resting on the Sabbath. . . .(Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. xiv p. 148).
The emergence of papal authority and its presumptuousness to change Holy Days and times, was prophesied 700 years earlier by the prophet Daniel: “. . . there was another horn, a little one. . . eyes . . . like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. . . he will speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute His saints and shall intend to CHANGE TIMES AND LAW” (Dan.7:8, 25 NKJV)
Augustine, the famous Catholic monk, admitted in 400 A.D., “The holy doctors of the church (Catholic hierarchy) have decreed that all the glory of the Jewish Sabbath transferred to Sunday” (Sabbath Laws, p. 284).
Many true Christians were persecuted and had their property confiscated, many fled the regions of the Roman Empire. In remote places — like Armenia, the British Isles, Asia Minor, Ethiopia — not yet under the thumb of Papal Rome, true Christians were free to observe the Sabbath.
How ironic it is, when the Christian Church was formed, the Roman Empire — the prophetic Beast of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 — was the archenemy of the Church, killing, burning and torturing her members, but after 300 years, the Roman Empire becomes [nominally] Christian, it then turns to kill, burn, and torture all those who stood up for the truth!
The Beast did not change its stripes — the Roman Church now became the image of the Beast!
The Bible warns that the Papacy will again rise in the last days, and dominate churches and even the world! The last man who sits on the Papal Throne will have the spirit of Satan and the power of many demons to deceive millions with fascinating miraculous signs and healings (2 Thess. 2:9-10)!
Those who pledge their loyalty to him will be sentenced to death by the coming Jesus Christ (Rev.14:10)!
Why Do Protestants Keep Sunday?
As a counterfeit religion became dominant in the Roman Empire, more and more compromise was effected by church leaders and people everywhere. Decisions were made by the church of Rome which were in direct conflict with the word of God: in 691 A. D., the Papacy said it was okay for the people to use stone or wood idols and pictures to worship God or Christ.
As the church corrupted doctrine it also became morally corrupt; the church in Rome became a den of thieves and a house of harlots: documented church history, some written even by Catholics, relate priests demanding money to forgive sins, bastards born out of the liaisons between priests and harlots, the clergy living in luxury, owning large amounts of property, totally uninterested in serving the common people.
Many became disillusioned and disgusted with those claiming to be representatives and vicars of God. There arose a movement to protest against the corruption and the excesses of the Catholic Church; they were called the Protestants and they were led by a former priest, Martin Luther.
During Martin Luther’s time, a man named Carlstadt wrote strongly about the Sabbath, vouching for its observance. Luther was very impressed with Carlstadt’s writings. He said, “Indeed, if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath — that is to say, Saturday must be kept holy.”
Martin Luther by now had earned the wrath of the Catholic Church; he did not want to create more problems with the Catholic Church, so he did not take up the Sabbath issue with the Roman Church. The Protestants as a whole accepted the Catholic position on Sunday. They knew the truth but they did not have sufficient character to act. This is the reason why Protestants keep Sunday today!
No Justification in Sunday-keeping
If any minister of a Sunday-keeping church is asked why his church observes Sunday instead of Saturday, he would probably reply that Jesus rose up from the dead on Sunday and because of this the Sabbath has been transferred from Saturday to Sunday.
Is this true?
The Bible clearly states Jesus died on the day of the Passover sacrifice (Mat. 26:2). Jesus died in the year 31 A.D. The Passover on 31 A.D. fell on a WEDNESDAY. Even if we are not accurate about the year 31 A.D., all of the four Passovers during His ministry never fell on a Friday!
Jesus gave the Jews a special sign to prove He was the Messiah: He would be in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights just like the prophet Jonah was in the belly of a whale (Mat.12:40). The prophet Daniel predicted the Messiah would die in the MIDDLE OF THE WEEK to put an end to all animal sacrifices (Dan. 9:27).
Which day is the middle of the week?
Wednesday! Jesus did not die on a Friday, but on Wednesday afternoon.
Since Jesus died on Wednesday, and was put in the tomb at late evening (Mark 15:42), three days and three nights — or 72 hours — from Wednesday evening would not lead to Sunday morning but to SATURDAY EVENING!
The truth is Jesus died on WEDNESDAY and rose from the dead on SATURDAY!
When His women followers came to anoint His body with spices on Sunday morning, He was already risen — the tomb was open, He was gone! (Mark 16:6)
Some claim the resurrected Jesus ordained Sunday worship by asking His followers to assemble on the first day of the week, quoting John 20:19.
Again, this is not true! Read this verse carefully; the disciples did not assemble for a religious service. Listen! Some of them did not even believe Jesus was resurrected, so how could they have had a Sunday service to honour His resurrection. This verse clearly states the disciples were together because they feared the Jews would arrest them! All this proves there is no justification for Christians to assemble on Sunday to worship Jesus Christ!
Obey and Love Jesus’ Authority
One of the NEW TESTAMENT commandments of God the Father is: “to believe in the NAME of His Son, Jesus Christ. . .” (1 John 3:23, NIV). The NAME of Jesus not only means His Person, but also HIS DIVINE AUTHORITY. His divine authority is found in the Bible. If we obey what He says through the Bible, then we respect His authority.
Sunday-worship does not carry the authority of Jesus Christ! Jesus did not speak it, nor does the Bible command it! Those who want to indulge in it and preserve it are giving their loyalty to a man of Rome and the Sun-God!
If we are sincere in our love for Jesus Christ, we will keep the seventh-day Sabbath because Jesus’ Name is stamped upon it — He made it, He owns it, and His word endorses it!
God the Father is now at the present writing down the names of all those who greatly respect the authority of Jesus (Mal. 3:16). Those who do not keep the Sabbath do not really respect the authority of Jesus!
Those who greatly respect the authority of Jesus will be made the precious sons of God. They will be spared from the punishment of the wicked. A time is coming when God is going to draw a clear line between those who are truly serving Him and those who are not (Mal. 3:17-18).
Those who think the Sabbath law is just a minor and less-important commandment should think about Jesus Christ’s indicting words: “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. . . .(Mat. 5:19, NKJV).
Those who feel they can substitute Sunday for the real Sabbath should listen to what Jesus has to reply: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions” (Mark 7:9, NIV).
The Law of the Sabbath is a GREAT TEST COMMANDMENT. It tests whether we are willing to obey our Master when it affects our livelihood, our relationships, our reputation, and whether we have the character and faith to do what God says when everyone around us seems to be doing the very opposite.
That is why when God revealed the Sabbath to His people Israel, He said, “I will TEST THEM and see whether they will follow My instructions” (Ex.16:4).
DIFFICULT SCRIPTURES AND ARGUMENTS
There are people who have misinterpreted certain scriptures in the New Testament to show that the seventh-day Sabbath is no more in force. Because of such false teachings, many believe the Law, with the Sabbath, has been abolished, and some believe the New Testament Sabbath can be on any day of the week, but Sunday is chosen because it is most convenient
We are going to examine these scriptures one by one and see whether they really show that the Sabbath has been done away.
The Apostle Peter did say that some of Paul’s writings were, “hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their destruction as they do the other scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16, NKJV). Peter predicted false teachers would distort the true meaning of Paul’s letters.
The people who twist scripture are the ignorant and the unstable. The ignorant are those who are not well-versed with the Holy Scriptures. They formulate doctrines out of one verse; they are not thorough nor diligent in searching and examining the scriptures. They are extremely untrustworthy in handling the word of God and are unfit to be teachers; they don’t really understand the true meaning of the scriptures. This is because they don’t have the Spirit of Truth in them!
The unstable are those who don’t have a firm foundation in the word of God, they are like those who have no root, they often vacillate, not sticking to the trunk of scripture, they will support anything that favours the majority.
Both these groups of people tend to be antinomians. Antinomians are people who are against the Laws of God. And because they are anti-Law, they are also strongly anti-Sabbath!
These antinomians have very strong convictions that the Jesus did away with all the laws of the Old Testament. They seem to be very keen to use only Paul’s scriptures to show that the Commandments and the Sabbath are unnecessary for Christians to keep today.
We must understand this basic principle about the word of God: all scriptures — in the OT and the NT — are true doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16). Truth in the New Testament never disagrees with truth in the Old Testament. The NT is built upon the base of the OT. The OT supports the NT and the NT expands upon the OT. A single scripture extracted from the NT cannot contradict the foundation of the OT laws and doctrines; God is not the author of confusion; all the words of God are in perfect harmony; Jesus said scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35).
Galatians 3:10 & 13
Galatians 3:10 states, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. . . .”, and verse 13 says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. . .” (NKJV).
These verses are very popular among antinomian ministers who preached a grace without law gospel. They used these verses to show that those who observe the Sabbath and the OT Festivals are under a curse.
Such reasoning is devoid of true wisdom and even devilish! Jesus Himself observed the Sabbath and all the OT Festivals from childhood. Was He under a curse all His life? Was the early Church in Jerusalem under a curse for retaining the Sabbath, and was Paul — a habitual Sabbath-keeper — the writer of that statement, a hypocrite to have written one thing and practiced the opposite?
Verse 16 tells us that those who put their confidence in the laws of God to save them are under a curse. Rightly so, if we can obtain salvation through the Ten Commandments or be forgiven of our sins by just starting to keep the laws of God, what need is there of the Saviour Jesus or His shed blood?
Those who rely on the law for salvation are cursed because they will never be able to keep the law with their own strength — those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). The laws of God tells us what is sin, they do not have the strength to help us not to sin, and they do not have the power to impart eternal life (Rom. 7:7; Gal. 3:21).
In many of his letters, Paul insists that Christians must have the faith in, and of, Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, for justification, for salvation and for the free gift of eternal life. This is something the laws of God — no matter how perfect they are — cannot provide!
But does this faith in, and of, Jesus abolish the law? Does grace get rid of the laws of God? Paul himself answers: “CERTAINLY NOT! On the contrary, we establish [make stronger and more bounding] the law”! (Rom. 3:31, NKJV).
Galatians 3:13 explains how Christ redeems up from the CURSE of the law. Notice, it does not say Christ redeemed us from the law or that the law of God is a curse, but that we are redeemed from the curse of the law.
What is the curse of the law?
Christ took upon Himself all the curse of the law for mankind (Gal. 3:13). The curse of the law is simply the DEATH PENALTY for breaking the laws of God.
Both these verses do not in any way abolish the Ten Commandments or the Sabbath. Instead, they show the laws of God are so deep and so spiritual they must be observed with the help of the Spirit of Jesus, and any breaking of the laws of God, including violating the Sabbath day, still carries the DEATH PENALTY — it caused the brutal death of Jesus Christ!
Paul writes, “. . . having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances. . .” (NKJV).
Some conclude this verse says Jesus abolished the laws of God through His death. But does it? Jesus Himself made it plain: “DO NOT THINK THAT I HAVE COME TO ABOLISH THE LAW OR THE PROPHETS” (Mat. 5:17, NIV). If Jesus says He did not come to abolish the Law, how can Paul say Jesus abolished the Law? Is Paul better and greater than Jesus? Do you think Paul would dare contradict His Lord and Master?
This verse does not say the Ten Commandments are abolished, but the “enmity”. Just what is the “enmity”? The Greek word for “enmity” is echthra, which here means hatred or hostility. Read Eph. 2:14, 15. It tells how Christ makes peace between two peoples — the circumcised (Jews) and the uncircumcised (Gentiles). It is clear Christ’s death reconciled both Jew and Gentile to God; they are no longer separate, but one, in His body. Eph. 2:15 relates how Jesus abolished all racial hostility and racial segregation between Jews and Gentiles — because before Christ’s coming, Jews were forbidden to associate with Gentiles (Acts 10:28).
In the days of the Jewish Temple, there were laws written by men which informed the Gentiles that they could not enter farther into the Temple to worship Israel’s God. If they did, they would incite the hatred of the Jews and risk stoning. These laws were what Paul called “the law of the commandments contained in the ordinances.” Christ came to abolish these earthly laws; now Jew and Gentile, through Him, could come near to God and they could serve God shoulder to shoulder.
The Authorized Version has this verse translated: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat [eating] or in drink [drinking] or in respect [in participation] of an holyday, of the new moon, or of the Sabbath day.”
Many think this verse tells us we are not to observe the Sabbath and Old Testament Feast Days anymore. Augustine, John Calvin, and Martin Luther all applied this verse to support their argument that the Sabbath has been done away.
But the word of God is wiser than man, this word catches man in his craftiness (1 Cor. 3:19). Instead of debunking the Sabbath, this verse proves beyond any doubt that the true Christians in the first century — Gentiles — were observing the Sabbath and God’s Holy Days.
In Col. 2:8, Paul writes, “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.”
Philosophy, traditions of men and rudiments of the world all point to WORLDLY CUSTOMS AND HUMAN PRECEPTS. The Sabbath and the Holy Days mentioned in the Bible are by no means human inventions — they are DIVINE CUSTOMS AND HOLY TRADITIONS. Paul cannot be telling his converts to beware of what comes from God!
Verse 21 in the Moffat translation says, “Why submit to rules and regulations like, Hands off this! Taste not that! Touch not this! . . . These rules are determined by HUMAN PRECEPTS AND TENETS.” There were false teachers coming in among the Colossians and introducing asceticism — human do’s and don’ts — telling them they could not drink wine or eat meat during festivals, or have joy and glee during the Holy Days.
Verse 18 in the Revised Standard Version reads, “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and WORSHIP OF ANGELS.” False teachers were trying to introduce a cultic-worship; they were persuading the Colossians to invoke certain angels during their Sabbath and Festival worship, they claimed these angels could intercede for them before God.
The Colossians were facing a double threat: asceticism and angel-worship. Asceticism was taking them away from the simplicity of Christ while angel-worship was cutting them off from Christ who is the one-and-only Mediator. Paul tells the Colossians not to allow human opinion or human precepts to dictate how they should live. Instead, Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Body of believers, is to be the focus of their Sabbath and Festivals worship — not any angel. And in regard to drinking wine or eating meat, the Colossians should look to Christ’s perfect example — He ate and drank with moderation.
Thus Colossians 2:16 should read as: “Let no one therefore judge you in eating or drinking, or in respect of a feast or a new moon or Sabbath, which are shadows of things coming, but the Body belongs to Christ.”
Paul admits the weekly Sabbaths and the annual festivals are a mere shadow when compared to the glorified Person of Christ in the coming Kingdom of God, nevertheless they are not useless shadows, they lead and point to the reality — the working of the master plan of God the Father in Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, Col. 2:16 does not do away with the Sabbath. In fact, it reinforces the belief that the early Christians — even Gentiles like the Colossians — were Sabbath-keepers. Think about this for a moment: if they were not observing the Sabbath and the Festivals of God, how could false teachers have visited them during Sabbaths and Festivals and mislead them with human philosophies and ascetic restrictions?
Rom. 14:5 in the Authorized Version states, “One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth everyday alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”
Many believe this verse is a license to keep any day as the Sabbath, or that now everyday is a Sabbath.
If such reasoning is true, why did God in the first place single out one particular day — the seventh day — to be the Sabbath? Even Sunday-keepers are wrong, because everyone can decide for themselves which day to keep, and it need not be a Sunday, it can be a Monday, a Tuesday, or any of the other days.
So what is the real meaning of this verse?
We should read the entire chapter of Romans 14 before coming to any conclusion. Paul concludes the issue by stating in verse 21, “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall” (NIV). EATING MEAT AND DRINKING WINE is what the whole issue is all about.
Some new converts in Rome were vegetarians and teetotallers. Some abstained from meat on one day and ate it on another day — such practices even persist today in many cultures. There was no infringement of the laws of God, just that these new people were so used to their normal diet and practice, Paul left them to themselves to decide when they wanted to have meat days or meatless days. It was a personal matter between the person and his Lord, other brethren were not to pass judgement (verse 6,10).
This verse has nothing to do with the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not a matter of personal choice; a man cannot decide which day to observe, he cannot esteem which day is more holy than others — only the Lord can do that — and He has already decided which day is holy: THE SEVENTH DAY!
Paul wrote, “You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years” (Gal. 4:10, Authorized Version). Many carelessly assume Paul was rebuking the Galatians for keeping Sabbaths and Jewish Festivals. Such reasoning by these people is immature and unwise. Before we make any conclusions, we must gather all the facts first. Verse 9 in the New International Version says, “. . . 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?”
Verse 3 says they were slaves of the elements of the world. What were these elements of the world? They were superstitious beliefs of the pagan world. Many ancient cultures believed astral gods controlled their destiny. There were many kinds of superstitions which claimed certain days or months or years were either favourable or unfavourable for transactions, marriage, planting of crops, etc.
This is what Paul is referring to in Gal.4:10. He is definitely not talking about the Sabbaths of the Lord, because these Sabbaths are never to be considered weak and miserable principles, they are the product of the Word of God!
Furthermore, the Galatians were pagans before conversion. They never kept the Sabbath, the Passover, Pentecost, or the Feast of Tabernacles. How could they be rebuked for days they never kept before?
Mat. 12:5 in the New International Version says, “Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath, the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?”
According to the Law of Moses, the priests were to offer two lambs everyday, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, coupled with these was a cereal offering and a wine offering (Num. 28:1-8). The slaughtering, skinning and burning of the animals all required physical work. On the Sabbath day, there was to be an extra offering of two lambs (Num.28:9-10). Thus there was double work on the Sabbath!
To add to these duties, the priests were to make 12 loaves of unleavened bread and offer them as shewbread in the holy place (Lev. 24:5-9).
But Jesus said the priests were not guilty of breaking the Sabbath although they did work on that day. Why? Because their work was a spiritual work of God. They were making sacrifices to God — it was an act of worship — a work which was very appropriate on the Sabbath. They committed no sin, just as we do not commit sin if we work hard by praying long hours or by prolong studying of the Bible on the Sabbath.
The New King James Version has this verse in the following manner, “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath. . . .”
In the eyes of the Jews, Jesus broke the Sabbath.
Think about this, how can the Lord of the Sabbath violate His own Sabbath?
The Jews were using their own standards in judging Jesus. The Pharisees had literally hundreds of restrictions about how to avoid breaking the Sabbath. Jesus had just healed a man and He told the man to carry his mat. This trivial action was counted as Sabbath-breaking to the narrow-minded Pharisees.
There was no need for Jesus to tell the healed man to carry his mat, He did it deliberately; to prove that all such human restrictions were a useless show of piety.
At a later time, Jesus healed a blind man by rubbing the man’s eyes with a clay paste He had made by spitting on the ground. This “work” was again deliberately done on the Sabbath to provoke a reaction from the Pharisees (John 9:6-14). The Pharisees again judged Him as a Sabbath-breaker, yet Jesus did not break any Sabbath law, He just broke the Pharisees man-made laws surrounding the Sabbath, to expose the futility of such childish laws.
Acts 20:7 records: “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” (NKJV).
Does this verse show the early Christians at Troas under Paul’s ministry observed Sunday?
First, we must explain a popular misconception: break bread does not mean participation in the Lord’s Supper. Acts 2:46 also says, “. . . breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.” This verse very clearly explains that breaking bread simply meant EATING A MEAL!
One more break bread verse is in Luke 24:30: “Now it came to pass, as He [Jesus] sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.” This could not be the Lord’s Supper because the Lord had already celebrated it with His disciples 5 days ago! It was simply AN EVENING MEAL!
The term breaking bread was a common connotation for eating a meal during Jesus’ day, just like many Asians still term eating rice as having a meal. In those days, people ate a kind of bread which was a bit hard and it needed to be broken or torn apart with the hands before eating.
In Acts 20:7, Paul and his fellow Christians came together on the evening of the first day of the week for a farewell meal. After this meal, Paul prolonged his message until midnight. This was not a Sunday night, but a Saturday night because according to Bible reckoning, the first day of the week begins late Saturday evening after sunset. The next day — Sunday — Paul took a 19-mile walk to Assos. A 19-mile walk is some work.
If Sunday was the Christian Sabbath, then the Apostle had sinned by wasting holy time and labouring on a journey! Obviously, Paul thought nothing about Sunday-sacredness — he treated Sunday as a normal workday!
Is there any scripture in the Bible which tells us that the Sabbath has been changed from Saturday to Sunday?
A famous Catholic cardinal by the name of Gibbons has made this testimony in his book, Faith of our Fathers, “But 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 sanctify.”
Silly and Cunning Arguments
There are some arguments which some people make for not keeping the Sabbath. Some say, how can we keep the Sabbath when the days are different all over the earth.
Isn’t this so silly?
When the Lord made the Sabbath, didn’t He know the earth was round, didn’t He make a rotating earth? We simply keep the Sabbath when the seventh day comes to us, the earth spins on its axis to make a day, and when the sunset of the seventh day begins, we enter Sabbath time — wherever we are.
Some ask, how do we know that Saturday is the real seventh day of the week? Throughout history, men have changed the dates of the calendar, but not the succession of the days of the week. For instance, in 1582, the Catholic Church reformed the calendar; Thursday, October 4th was followed by Friday, 15th October. The Catholics themselves admit the order of the days in the week has never been interrupted (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 740).
The seven-day week has never been broken since the creation! About 100 hundred ancient and modern languages still retain Saturday by its God-given name: SABBATH.
There is also a cunning argument that Joshua’s long day added one more day to the week and this shifted the seventh-day to Sunday (Josh. 10:12-14). The truth is, Joshua’s long day still consisted of one day because God measures a day from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:32). Joshua’s long day had 12 hours of darkness and (12 + 24) hours of daylight but it was still one day — sunset to sunset — although it had a total of 48 hours!
Furthermore, if Joshua’s long day had shifted the seventh day to Sunday, Jesus kept the wrong day because He always kept a Saturday-Sabbath (Mat. 28:1).
HOW TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH
The Lord Jesus Christ said, “The Sabbath was made for man. . .” (Mark 2:27, NKJV). God had a great purpose in making the Sabbath; it was made for the BENEFIT OF MAN. The Sabbath is a GOOD AND BENEVOLENT THING. When God made the Sabbath, He BLESSED IT (Gen. 2:3). This means all those who obey the command to rest and worship on the seventh day will receive a blessing from the Lord in this present life and also in the life to come.
The prophet Isaiah wrote about the second coming of Jesus Christ. One of the works He expects to see among His chosen ones is the PROPER OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH. NON-JEWISH CHRISTIANS, TOO, ARE EXPECTED TO KEEP THE SABBATH (Isa. 56:1-2, 6).
Jesus Christ promised that all those who do not defile the Sabbath Day will inherit the best regions of the Kingdom of God — the Holy Land — the same land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Isa. 58:13-14).
Because the Sabbath is not a trivial matter in the eyes of the Lord, we must make every effort to do what is pleasing to Him on the Sabbath Day.
No Work on the Sabbath
The word “Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew shabath, which means rest. It implies we must cease working, put down our tools or close down our businesses. This is the first requirement of observing the Sabbath: we must not do the kind of work we do to earn a living, or any kind of heavy routine work. For instance, a farmer should not work his farm on the Sabbath, a shopkeeper should close on the Sabbath, a clerk should not go to the office to work on the Sabbath, a housewife should not do her normal workload on the Sabbath, a student should not study his books on the Sabbath. People must either stay away from their work, or from their workplaces on the Sabbath — these are not do’s and don’ts — but a very basic command from the Great King of the Universe (Ex. 20:8-9, 23:12, 31:15). No Sabbath-keeping can begin unless one is willing to abide in the no-work and no-business rule during the hours of the Sabbath.
The Sabbath begins on Friday sundown and ends at Saturday sundown (Lev. 23:32). We must make sure we don’t play a game of brinkmanship with God; ending our work just as the sun sets on Friday, or going out for work even before the sun sets on Saturday. Friday sunset to Saturday sunset is not our time to fool around with, but is HOLY TIME made by the Lord. If we misuse or disrespect this time, the Lord will hold us accountable for irreverence of His Holy Name!
A Day of worship
The prophet Isaiah also prophesied the Sabbath would be observed week after week — FOR 1000 YEARS — in the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ (Isa. 66:23). Jesus Christ will strictly enforce the seventh-day Sabbath as a UNIVERSAL DAY OF WORSHIP in His kingdom. Every Sabbath, all races and peoples will turn to the Throne of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem and fall down on their faces and worship the Great King!
The Sabbath is a foretaste of that wonderful Messianic Age (Heb. 4:9). Christians who are seeking for that Kingdom are to come before the Messiah on His Sabbath — in spirit and truth — and fall down on their faces and worship Him!
Worship is the fundamental activity of the Sabbath Day. We must worship — pray, praise, give thanks, or sing psalms — to God Most High and His Messianic Son on the Sabbath. It is true we can worship Them at any time or on any day — but a whole day is specially set apart by Them, and we must, unless we are ungrateful and rebellious, make use of this day to communicate and fellowship with the Heavenly Powers. The Sabbath is a time when we leave worldly cares behind and enter into the world of Jesus Christ!
The Lord said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST.” (Mat. 11:28, NIV). This saying of Jesus has never been so true but for the Sabbath Day. If we come to the Throne of Grace on the Sabbath, the Lord will give us true rest. He will take away our burdens, He will soothe our minds, He will calm our being, and He will even heal us of our sicknesses and infirmities!
There is a great blessing to be found in Sabbath-keeping and the Lord Jesus is the One who will bestow that blessing. But we must be diligent and persistent in our prayers, then we will reap a full blessing from the Lord.
The Sabbath Bread
In the Holy Place of the Temple of God, was found a golden table, and 12 loaves of fresh unleavened bread were offered to God every Sabbath Day. After the bread was offered to the Lord, the priests could eat this holy bread (Lev. 24:5-9).
This signified that one day a PERPETUAL BREAD would be offered to all Israel at the altar of God; one day the Lord would share His food with His worshippers.
When Jesus came, He declared Himself to be: the Bread of Life, the Bread from Heaven, the Bread of God, the Living Bread, The Real Food (John 6:32-58). All these statements were made during a Sabbath service in a Capernaum synagogue (verse 59). Jesus spoke all these words to teach the Jews the deep spiritual purpose of the Sabbath; the Sabbath would be a special space of time for the Messiah to nourish His people. As the True Nourisher and Sustainer of mankind, Jesus Christ lays on His altar on the Sabbath Day, rich portions of heavenly food and spiritual drink. Those who come to the Lord of the Sabbath on His holy and blessed day will receive great blessings: He will feed them, He will quench their thirst, He will invigorate them, He will even share with them His own mind. They will come out of the Sabbath Day feeling joyful, calm, and confident to face and overcome all the problems and pressures of the workweek.
Read and Study the Scriptures
Even since the days of Moses, it has always been the practice of the Israelites to read aloud the oracles of God on Sabbath or Feast Days (Deut. 31:9-13). There was a time during Nehemiah’s day when the people of God stood and listened attentively to Ezra reading scriptures for a nonstop six hours (Neh. 8:2-3). So great was their passion for the word of God!
Synagogue services during Jesus’ time were never without the reading of scriptures (Acts 15:21). It was even Jesus’ personal custom to read aloud the scriptures on the Sabbath day: “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” (Luke 4:16, NKJV).
If God-in-the-flesh took time on the Sabbath Day to read His own scriptures, how much more should we as His creatures do it? When we read and study the scriptures, WE MUST READ TO LISTEN; this is because the scriptures carry the VOICE OF GOD! When we read the Bible, Jesus talks to us!
We must make sure not only our ears, but also our minds, our hearts, and our spirits listen to the word of God; because this word must penetrate to the deepest of our being. The words of the Bible are not idle words but contain profound spiritual messages which teach the way to eternal life (John 6:63). The word of God is the true spiritual food; it is the only thing that can nourish the inner being; it will bring peace of mind, inner happiness and contentment which this world cannot provide.
Bible study is so essential for proper Sabbath observance that those who miss out on it will not reap the blessings of the Sabbath Day. Come Friday night, after prayer, we need to motivate ourselves to read the inspired literature of the Creator of the Universe. John, Revelation, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Psalms, or Acts are suitable books to read on the Sabbath.
The True Day for Christian Fellowship
The Sabbath Day is the true day for Christian assembly and fellowship. The Lord closes the inner court of His spiritual Temple for the six working days but opens it on the Sabbath Day (Ezek. 46:1). When people assemble on the first day of the week to worship, THE LORD IS NOT PRESENT — He has shut the door of Divine access and no one can open it!
When Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath, He also put HIS NAME — HIS SIGNATURE AND HIS SEAL OF APPROVAL — upon the Sabbath Day. When His disciples meet on the Sabbath, they meet in HIS NAME. The Lord has declared the minimum number to make an assembly or a church is two or three, and when two or three gather to observe the Sabbath, they are doing a work in Jesus’ Name. Such an assembly honours Jesus’ Name, brings a blessing in Jesus’ Name, and invites the living presence of Jesus the Lord of the Sabbath (Mat.18:20).
The living and invisible Christ walks among the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God — assemblies or congregations — scattered all over the world; HE JOINS HIMSELF TO THEM, HE MAKES HIMSELF AVAILABLE FOR FELLOWSHIP, COMPANIONSHIP AND HEALING!
Because of the sacred presence of the Lord Jesus on the Sabbath, the people of God must know how to conduct themselves on the Sabbath Day, or during Sabbath services. We need to come for services with an attitude of, “desiring to know nothing else except Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 2:2). Those who fear God in the last days will talk with one another and meditate on the Name of the Lord (Mal. 3:16). This means they include Christ in their conversations, giving credit to His Name for His saving acts in their life.
In Luke 1:39-56, is a record of how two very holy women fellowshipped; Mary and her cousin Elizabeth discussed about the changes that were taking place in their lives because of the Messiah’s first coming. Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. . .” (Col. 3:16), and “Speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19, NIV). This is precisely how Mary and Elizabeth fellowshipped — their fellowship was rich with the scriptures — it was a GOD-CENTRED FELLOWSHIP — the ideal fellowship.
It is imperative for Christians to avoid talking about worldly matters on the Sabbath. If our conversation is just about our jobs, material interests, and worldly events, or if we are found gossiping, we violate the spiritual intent of the Sabbath though we may not be working on that day.
God wants His people to delight in the Sabbath in a godly manner. He does not want us to do our own thing, seek our own pleasures, speak our own words (Isa. 58:13-14). In a sense He is telling us: “Treat the Sabbath Day as a day of sheer joy because I am there to be with you, I am a Great King, make sure you show reverence, serve Me and not your own interests, make it a joy to pray to Me on the Sabbath Day.”
The key to successful Sabbath-keeping and Sabbath-fellowship lies in personal prayer. We need to go to our closets and make much private prayer to our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. Our hearts will then be filled with the Spirit of God, spiritual things will come naturally into our minds. We don’t need to pretend to be religious, the godly mind of Jesus Christ will help us to speak godly words of wisdom. Christ will use us to speak words of exhortation or words of encouragement and comfort to the brethren.
There are those who claim the Sabbath is a burden for man. Nothing, nothing could be farther from the truth! Only those who are ignorant of the love of God would think and feel like this about the Sabbath. They have no idea of how wonderful it is to observe the Sabbath Day and feel right with the Lord. They are losing out on the greatest fellowship and friendship which can come to them through the Sabbath Day!
It was the Pharisees who made the Sabbath a burden for the people, but the Son of God came to give new understanding about the Sabbath. He taught the Sabbath was a day of great liberation from the heavy yoke of Satan (Luke 13:16).
It is very likely that ON a Sabbath NIGHT, Jesus made the declaration Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.
A COMMAND OF LOVE AND LIFE!
Many Christians know in their hearts that Sunday is not the true Sabbath of the Bible. They know man, not God, changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday.
Then, why don’t they keep the true Sabbath Day?
Many lack the love of God and faith in Christ!
Jesus Christ said the greatest commandment of God is to love the Lord with all one’s heart, one’s mind, one’s strength, and one’s understanding (Mat. 22:37-38). This means loving the Master Jesus Christ more than anyone or anything else!
If our jobs demand us to work on the Sabbath, we have no alternative but to courageously quit our jobs and find another job which does not interfere with our Sabbath-keeping. We need to place JESUS CHRIST ABOVE OUR JOBS AND OUR SALARIES. We need to TRUST JESUS CHRIST TO PROVIDE AND TO BLESS US. He is fully able to open doors of employment for us and to feed our families.
Jesus said, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33, NKJV). If there is someone or something coming in the way of our affection and devotion to Christ — threatening our loyalty and obedience to Him — WE NEED TO GIVE THEM UP!
The Sabbath commandment is a real test to gauge how much we love the word of God. Do we have the intensity of love David had for the word of God? David told God, “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Ps. 119:72, NIV). Certainly the Sabbath is one of the Laws of God’s mouth, do we consider it more precious to us than our jobs and salaries?
The Sabbath is a DIVINE SEAL for the true believers of Jesus Christ (Ezek. 20:20). In ancient times, it was very important to have a seal on a document; if a document did not have the seal of a ruler, it was worthless. In the same way, a faith and a religion without the Sabbath seal is worthless!
The Sabbath seal carries the Name of Jesus because He is Lord, Owner, and Preserver of it! If we love the Name of Jesus, we will identify ourselves with that seal. We will be faithful to preserve the Sabbath in our lives because it gives us the identity of the people of God. We will not care what others think or how much we lose in this world for keeping the Sabbath because our eyes are on Jesus and on the reward He will bring with Him (Isa. 56:1-2).
Plain Obedience Necessary
The patriarch Abraham was a man of great obedience to the word of the Lord. Whenever the word of the Lord came to Abraham, he obeyed without arguing and believed without seeing (Gen. 12:1-4, 15:6, 17:23). Christians today need to emulate the faith and obedience of Abraham, they need to return to the faith of the forefathers (Rom. 4:12; Mal. 4:6).
When the Lord tells us do something, WE SHOULD JUST DO IT! We should never lean on our own thinking or decide for ourselves what is right or wrong. The Sabbath is a PLAIN COMMAND OF ALMIGHTY GOD; for those who love God there should be no excuses, “buts,” or compromises.
God was not pleased with Saul because he compromised with the word of the Lord. He thought “why don’t I do it my way.” And what happened? God rejected him as king! (1 Sam. 15:10-26).
And this is what is going to happen to many Christians, God will reject them from being kings and priests in His kingdom because they reject His word!
One should not work on the Sabbath, one cannot halfway keep the Sabbath — working in the morning and coming for services in the afternoon — neither can one keep the Sabbath on an off-and-on basis. There is a popular Biblical parable which says a little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6). A little compromise always opens the door for more and bigger compromises, and these will bring sin into our lives which will destroy our relationship with the Lord.
God is a Competent Provider
The reason God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ tell us to love Them is because They Themselves love us first (1 John 4:19). If we believe God loves us first, we will have the faith and courage to act on His word. We don’t need to be cowards. If we are going to lose our jobs for the sake of the Sabbath, the Lord will see to it we are taken care of. He loves people who are brave to stand up for His truth. On the other hand, God will be so displeased with the cowardly and the faithless — people who are afraid to obey God and trust Him — He will make an end of them in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8)!
Ps. 33:18 says the Great God will devote His attention to those who fear Him. Ps. 34:9 says those who fear the Lord will lack nothing. In Ps. 37:25, David said in all his life, he had never seen the righteous forsaken or begging for bread.
Jesus revealed that His Father wants very much to be a REAL FATHER to us; He has the capacity to love each one of us in a most personal way. He has great concern for us; He knows the tiniest details of our lives, He values us more than all His other creatures (Mat. 6:26, 7:11, 10:30).
We must never try to keep the commandments of God with our own strength. This Satanic world does not welcome the laws of God. The Devil has his servants in many places to hinder and discourage us from keeping the laws of God. But God has raised up a Mighty Saviour — a Divine Warrior — to deliver us from all our enemies, so that we can safely keep His righteous and holy laws (Luke 1:69-75). Jesus Christ is standing at the right hand of God to mediate for us; He is the One who has totally outwitted Satan and has perfectly kept every one of the laws of God, He will offer us His power and His wisdom in our time of need; He is a fully competent High Priest to save, to release, to assist, to forgive, to provide, to bless all those who come to God through His office (Heb. 7:25).
Not Right to Say Sabbath is Not Practical
Despite all the written promises and assurances God gives in the Bible, there are those who think the Sabbath commandment is not practical in these modern days because five-day week jobs are hard to find.
They need to think about how practical it was for the holy men and prophets of old when they had to obey God under difficult circumstances; how practical was it for a 75-year-old Abraham to be told to leave his nice home, cut off family ties and head for a strange land; how practical was it for Joseph to be in prison for trying to avoid adultery; how practical was it for Job to have maggot-infested ulcers all over his body although he was a blameless man before God; how practical was it for David be thrown out of his own kingdom and be hunted as a renegade after being anointed as king; how practical was it for the prophet Isaiah to walk naked and bare his buttocks, how practical was it for the prophet Jeremiah to enter Jerusalem wearing a wooden yoke on his neck; how practical was it for the prophet Ezekiel to lie on the ground tied 390 days plus 40 days, subsisting only on hard bread and water; how practical was it for Daniel to be thrown into a den of hungry lions when he did nothing wrong before the king; and, how practical was it for God, the Word, to come down in the flesh, suffer every day of His life overcoming sin and the Devil, and then be arrested, be treated like a dog, face the jeers of a satanic crowd and die naked on the cross!
The men of God of old together with their Captain of salvation did not serve God when it was convenient for them. They did not shirk their responsibility of humble obedience when the situation looked impractical. They loved God so much they were willing to lose, to suffer, and to wait patiently. They defied the norms of society to obey God. They were not like dead fish that floated with the current, but they were like live fish that swam against the current. They stood up for the truth and for the requirements of their God. They became witnessing lights in a dark world of sin and error.
If we can’t measure up to the sacrifices and dedication of the holy men and women of the Bible, we simply won’t be there when they are resurrected to receive eternal life!
Physical Things are Temporary!
In these days of material pursuits, it is very difficult to convince people that physical life and physical possessions are very fleeting. People just bulldoze into life amassing wealth and satiating their senses. Many strut around in pride feeling invincible because they have plenty of money. Yet tragedy and failure can strike at any moment and they will end up the worst losers — nothing here and nothing in the afterlife!
For those who think giving up their jobs or their high salaries for the Sabbath is just too much for them, let them know for sure that a GREAT GLOBAL CRISIS IS ON THE HORIZON (Mat. 24:21; Jer. 30:6-7; Ezek. 7:5)! Chemical warfare, disease epidemics, death, famine, captivity, slavery, war, rape, torture, poverty, satanic deception, demonic terror, ethnic cleansing, holocaust crimes will terrorize the world for a hellish three-and-one-half years (Rev. 11:2)!
What use will be all those years spent so much on guarding and accumulating physical assets?
A Horrible Universal Slave-System is Coming!
An awful thing that is already starting to happen: the use of technology to control men’s lives. IT will lead to a universal human control system. As men work furiously to bring technology into every facet of human life, the Devil is laughing at the stupidity of the wise of the world. When everything has been prepared, the Evil One will come in through his henchmen — the Antichrist and the Beast — and make slaves of millions! No one will escape the surveillance of the antichrist authorities, they will want to control everyone and those whom they can’t control they will murder!
The Antichrist will control economies of nations; one can’t buy or sell or earn a living without having a smart card issued by the authorities who are allied to the Antichrist. To have purchasing power one must commit idolatry with the religious organization of the super False Prophet. One must be a member, a convert, or pledge support to the Antichrist’s political, economic, and religious system. Those who defy the system will suffer sanctions or martyrdom (Rev. 13:16-17)!
Those who give their allegiance to the Antichrist and His Prophet deny the true Creator Jesus Christ!
When Jesus Christ comes back, He will sentence the human disciples of Satan to the same destiny of their master; the lake of unquenchable fire! Those who pledge their support to the universal 666 human control system in any way — religious, political, and economic — will be taken by the angels of Jesus Christ and be dumped into the lake of fire to have their mind, body, and soul totally destroyed (Rev.14:9-10)!
Keep the Commandments of God
In view of the briefness of human life and the coming horrors, we must have wisdom in our hearts to discern what is most important and lasting in life. The wise king, Solomon, after going through many distressful and empty experiences came to the conclusion that the purpose and duty of man is simple: fear the Creator and obey His rules (Ecc. 12:13).
Although Jesus gives eternal life as a free gift and no one earns salvation as a form of wages, there are conditions to be met to receive the free gift of eternal life. Jesus said, “If you want to enter into life, obey the commandments” (Mat. 19:17, NIV). Jesus clearly explains, if we are to arrive at the destination of eternal life, we must first start by obeying the commandments.
What commandments are we to obey?
In the same text, Jesus quoted five of the Ten Commandments. Jesus taught we must keep even the least of the commandments (Mat. 5:19). So all of the Ten Commandments are important.
But does the Sabbath remain a commandment today?
Luke 23:56 says, “But they [Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome] rested on the Sabbath ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT” (NKJV).
These women were faithful followers of Jesus Christ, they followed Him on many missions and provided for Him. They knew Jesus’ lifestyle and habits. They often heard His preaching and they paid close attention to every word of His. After buying and preparing the spices to anoint the body of Jesus, they did not go straight to the tomb because they felt their work would not be finished before the Sabbath started (Friday sundown), instead they went home and observed the Sabbath and only on the next day — early Sunday morning — did they go to the tomb.
Even after Jesus’ death, these women saw the need to scrupulously observe the Sabbath. They were very certain the Sabbath had not been done away, they considered the Sabbath an IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT OF GOD — these were women who saw Jesus almost on a daily basis, they knew their Master wanted them to continue treating the Sabbath with respect. They must have heard Him preach several times about the sanctity of the Sabbath Day.
Sabbath is in the Will of Eternal Life
Not many realize the entire New Testament is a legal document — A WILL! The Testator of that will is Christ. One of the things He testified was that He was the Lord of the Sabbath of old (Mat.12:8). Another testimony was that the Sabbath remained a commandment of God (Luke 23:56).
When Christ died, His will — the New Testament — came into full effect. All those who are called to inherit the promises of eternal life, eternal sonship, and eternal property on the earth must meet the conditions stated out in the will: IF YOU WILL ENTER LIFE, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS — AND ONE OF THE COMMANDMENTS IS THE SABBATH!
The will of Jesus Christ also states that the Sabbath is not on the first day of the week but falls one day before the first day of the week (Mat. 28:1). This is from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. This was the Sabbath of the Old Covenant, but like the other nine commandments, it has been carried over into the New Covenant and made a prerequisite for eternal life!
In the New Covenant, the Ten Commandments are more binding than ever because they are to be written on our hearts and our minds (Heb.10:16). If the Holy Spirit is in us writing on our hearts, “Remember to keep the Sabbath Day holy,” how can our works contradict our hearts?
Sunday is Not Sacred at All!
Although many churches observe Sunday as their day of worship and assembly, many professing Christians hardly treat the day with respect. They regard Sunday as a holiday rather than a holy day. It is just services on Sunday morning, but the rest of the day is spent in leisure or work.
Isn’t it strange, that though many would fight to protect Sunday worship, yet on a personal basis, they are hardly treating Sunday as a sacred day?
There is simply NO DIVINE OR BIBLICAL AUTHORITY behind the practice of Sunday worship. Sunday-keeping is a mere tradition of men, although it has received the support of the mercantile world, the hierarchies of Christendom, and millions of deceived Christians. The Mighty Ones of Heaven — God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ — have not given one ounce of support for such a practice!
The Lord of the Sabbath rebukes all Sunday-keepers through His timeless word: “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men” (Mark 7:8, NIV).
End-Time Message For All Christians
Before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord, the Lord has sent a special end-time message to His people through His servant Malachi.
Malachi’s end-time message is given so that the elect of God will not be deceived by those who proclaim Jesus is the Messiah, but do not teach strict obedience to His laws.
The foundation of the law of Moses was the Ten Commandments which the Lord personally spoke and wrote with His own finger on two tablets of stone. This all happened at MOUNT HOREB (Deut. 5:1-22).
The Lord tells us chosen ones: KEEP THE LAW OF MOSES WHICH WAS GIVEN AT MOUNT HOREB (Mal. 4:4). But Moses made no law. All the laws were given by the Lord — the Rock of Exodus — the One who later became CHRIST (1 Cor. 10:4)! The laws of Moses were not Moses’ personal laws, but the great laws of CHRIST THE EVERLASTING, given during Moses’ era.
The fourth law spoken and written personally by the Rock of Exodus is: “REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY” (Ex. 20:8). This is a message for all those who are preparing for the return of the Messiah. Those who reject this message or treat it with apathy might have the door of eternal life slammed in their faces!
— written by Aloysius Abdiel, PO Box 302, Teluk Intan, 36000, MALAYSIA