The Sabbath Quesiton
Sabbath and Sabbaths and Christians and Jews
By Your servant, Dan L Baxley
This study started off as a question answered in the Q&A section of this Website. I have, in various parts of other studies, mentioned the Sabbaths and in bits and pieces expressed my position. But, due to a much loved reader, wanting more clarification and how I understood the Biblical teaching about the Sabbath, I decided to expand this answer and to come to a better view and understanding this Subject deserves. There is an Old Covenant position and a New Covenant position and a lot in-between, depending on who you are talking to or learning from. A certain lack of understanding what the real Mark, Sign, or Seal of the Living God is, has become a stumbling block -- a trip over the corner stone -- for many in all forms of Christian religions. Those concerned about the Holy Sabbath, tend to say or teach, that it is the 7th day of the week that is the Mark or Sign for who is or is not His people, His Children, Gentile or Jew. It was certainly set as a sign between the people of Israel and YaHWeH but this changed with the New Covenant Mission our Lord and Savior. He not only came to become our Salvation but to REVEAL the Father, someone no one recognized until He came and Revealed Him. From that time forward, the Mark or Sign or Seal (these words all mean the same thing) of the Living God was and has always been, His Holy Name. More on that later.
There is no argument about which day is the Sabbath of the Bible -- the Sabbath set by our Creator. Genesis gives a vivid account about each day and what happens on each day creative act. Let's have a quick look at this Sabbath day doctrine. The Muslims say it is Friday, the Jews say it is Saturday, and the Christians say it is Sunday. Who is right? Let's go to our Creator's word and see. This is just to establish His word over the words of men, and then to see what our obligation is. I believe that is what you are asking, right?
(Gen 1:31) God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.(Gen 2:1) Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.(Gen 2:2) By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.(Gen 2:3) And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.
What the Christian Church argues is that the Day of Rest, or Worship was changed from the 7th day to the 1st day, the say our Lord and Savior was supposed to have been raised from the dead, at the Rising of the Sun, so our Savior Rose, or so they say. However, if we follow the actual Crucifixion and death of our Savior we Find that He died in the evening, and the only proof He gave that He was and is the Messiah, to the Jews, was the sign of Jonah -- That He would be three days and three nights in the grave. Looking at this revealing from our Lord we can see that He was NOT resurrected on a Sunday Morning. So, let's have a look, and see how we know this.
Mat 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you."Mat 12:39 He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.Mat 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. NIVMat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. KJV
We are told the hour YaHshua died on the Cross, and close to the time he was placed in the Grave (Tomb), all happening the evening of His death on the Cross. He said, three days and three nights. If you read the Creative account in the Book of Genesis you will see that days and nights are counted from evening to evening for a full 24 hour period. From evening to morning, explains the period to be counted. As evening falls so the next day begins, as we understand day and night. So, it would begin each evening at sunset going through the next morning to the next evening for the start of the next day period.
Following the creation from evening to morning and counting three each we do not come to a Sunday morning resurrection, we actually come to Satruday, the 7th day evening. The Tomb was found to be EMPTY Sunday morning -- He was already resurrected by that morning.
Of course this argument does not count with the Roman Church because it was decided by their authority to change this time from the 7th day, Saturday, to the 1st day, Sunday, and by their authority all arguments are void. Sunday it the Sabbath for them. Reminds some about a particular individual that is accused of doing this very same thing, as an enemy of our God and Savior -- Dan 7:25 -- "He will speak against the Most High and oppress His saints and try to change the set times and the laws."
Where does this leave us with the New Covenant? Is the New Covenant mere a rehashing of the Old? No, it is not. For if the First Covenant with the people of Israel had been without fault then no need for a New Covenant would have been necessary. The Law is not abolished, but it has been Changed. One major Change allows for the entry into the original Covenant made with Abraham. Let's take a look. Believe me, this will lead us to understanding the Sabbath in the New Covenant that we Make with Him at the Cross. There was a change and there remains a change for Israel/Judah.
Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.Heb 8:6 But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:Heb 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand tolead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.(Heb 8:9) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.(Heb 8:10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest.
If you read the context of these verses just quoted you will see that that New Covenant is to be made with Israel and Judah (verse 8), and it will be a time no one will teacher another about the Father and the Son. This is a time still to come, but is an example of a change in progress. But, still, what about the Covenant made with Jew and Gentile? What about this New Covenant and the Sabbath? We know that that New Covenant for Israel and Judah is still to come, unlike what many are teaching, just read the words Paul is quoting from the Old Covenant and ask if this is happening today, and it is not.
(Heb 8:12) For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."(Heb 8:13) By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
Paul is quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34 -- The New Covenant the Christians claim is not this Covenant, it can't be because half of it is yet to be fufilled. This New Covenant was offered and refused. This New Covenant, to the House of Israel and the House of Judah is still in the future, and we can see the wording in the last verse (13), "...aging and will soon disappear." Remember, Paul is quoting this AFTER our Savior has been crucified and AFTER He had ascended into Heaven to be with the Father. This is a prophecy still to be filfilled with both Houses of Israel.
What about the Covenant made with the Gentiles then, is it the same? Yes, and no, it is the same as the one made with Abraham, not with Israel and Judah, but the Abrahamic Covenant is greater than all other Covenant's YaHWeH would make with men.
(Rom 9:6) Not as though the word of God has taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:(Rom 9:7) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall Your seed be called.(Rom 9:8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Paul narrows down just who the Israel is -- from the seed of Isaac, your seed will be called -- and these are the children of the flesh, as opposed to the Children of the Promise. In Romans 9:1-5 Paul goes to great lengths to show what the benefits the people of Israel had, the blessings, even to the ancestry of the Messiah coming through them as well as the preservation of th word, but all of this is of the flesh. They too were children of promises and covenants (more than one) but still, remaining children of the flesh and children by adoption (verse 4).
(Rom 9:14-16) What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. NIV (My not: What? It does not matter how a man or woman feels? It is not about your Heart of my Heart? This reveal should put an end to all of that business about being of good Heart)
(Rom 9:15-16) For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. KJV (My Note:YaHWeH, repeats Himself and when He says the same thing twice, we should take it seriously)
We who confess YaHshua as the Son of the Living God, then we are children of the Promise -- the Promise made with Abraham. That promise is open to the whole World. First to Israel, through Isaac, but in the flesh, now has come the adoption by the Spirit (Rom 8:14-15) and if anyone wants to argue about this? Who are we or anyone to question His purpose?
Reading the rest from the NIV:
(Rom 9:25) As He says in Hosea: "I will call them 'My people' who are not My people; and I will call her 'My loved one' who is not My loved one,"
(Rom 9:26) and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' "
(Rom 9:27) Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.
(Rom 9:28) For the Lord will carry out His sentence on earth with speed and finality."
(Rom 9:29) It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."
(Rom 9:30-31) (Question) What then shall we say? (Answer) That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.
(Rom 9:32) Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."
(Rom 9:33) As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a Rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame."
That Stone or Rock is our Lord and Savior, YaHshua. It is by and through Him that we have found our Faith and are found worthy, not for being better but because we have not rejected that Rock layed in Zion, YaHshua, Son of the Living God having come in the Flesh and dying for us, and not us only, but the for the Jew too.
What does this have to do with the Sabbath day? Everything. The people of Isarel/Judah were Sabbath keepers and the strictness of this observance went hot and cold throughout their history, but during the time our Savior walked in the flesh among them, they were hot for all things Torah. YaHshua butted heads with the religious authorities on many occasions. One particular confrontation YaHshua put things in their proper order.
(Mat 12:11) He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?
(Mat 12:12) How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
(Mat 12:13) Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.
(Mat 12:14) But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill YaHshua.
We see this very attitude among professing believers who worship the day over the good. Some, in Israel today, would have you stoned, if left up to them, for doing anything they see as violating the Sabbath day -- this, of course, among the Ultra Orthodox Jews living in Israel, not the secular people of Israel. Still, if given the power certain religious people would punish you for not observing what they call the Sabbath they way they do. Remember, when YaHshua was making this correction, the Old Covenant was still in force. But in this demonstration of forgiveness and kindness and doing something that was unquestionably good to do, the religious authorities went away to plott how they might kill YaHshua -- just think about that for a minute. We have other examples where YaHshua had disagreements about what was right and what was wrong thing to do on the Sabbath day. It is interesting to note that these are the First Verses to mention the Sabbath in the New Testament writings. Does that mean anything? Maybe not, but it is interesting that the first Gospel account waits until the middle of our Savior's Ministry to mention the Sabbath.
The religious leaders of that day attempt to correct our Savior and His Disciples for breaking the Sabbath but YaHshua sets them straight. Now, remember, according to Torah, to violate the Sabbath is worthy of death, however, we see that even the Pharisees had watered things down -- not one of them picked up stones, they merely asked for an explanation.
(Mat 12:1) At that time YaHshua went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and His disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
(Mat 12:2) But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto Him, Behold, your disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.
(Mat 12:3)-4 But He said unto them, Have you not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
(Mat 12:5) Or have you not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath Days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?
(Mat 12:6) But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the Temple.
(Mat 12:7) But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.
(Mat 12:8) For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath Day.
The Gospel of Mark adds: (Mar 2:27) And He said to them, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." (My Note: This is another clue that YaHshua was present at the time of Creation)
(Mat 12:9) And when He was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
(Mat 12:10) And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath Days?", that they might accuse Him.
(Mat 12:11) And He said to them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath Day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
(Mat 12:12) How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath Days.
(Mat 12:13) Then said He to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
(Mat 12:14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him. (My Note: this is something we still find today -- do it our way, as we read it, or die and lots of brothers and sisters have paid the ultimate price for not running on the broad path with the majority)
A couple of things here; YaHshua's disciples were Jews and would have been aware of the Sabbath law, but they seem to put hunger over the day they are on. The Pharisees immediately jumped on this and questioned YaHshua about his disciples breaking the law. Notice, they did not jump on the disciples but on YaHshua for allowing it. YaHshua corrected their view, by giving an example from the Torah concerning a time that King David did a similar thing and no one question him, and then YaHshua went on to point a finger at the priesthood and how they continually break the Sabbath Law by the mere fact that they work in the Service to the Temple on the Sabbath day. Another interesting point is that the Pharisees, such sticklers for obedience to the Sabbath Law, were following YaHshua and His disciples around looking to catch them in some violation, but YaHshua did not bring that to their attention, why not? Because, technically, by the understanding YaHshua was trying to impress upon everyone, including the Pharisees, is that doing your duty on the Sabbath is not wrong.
That was all before YaHshua had gone to the Cross. At that point in time the Covenant with Israel/Judah was with them only. Now we can go into the teachings about the Sabbath, after His crucifixion and the outpouring of His Blood as our Passover offering, and the Change to be made bringing the Covenant made with Abraham and then to the World.
Many in the 7th day Sabbath churches use the following verses in an effort to prove that the Sabbath has not been done away, or abolished -- YaHshua never said that the Sabbath was ever abolished, and neither do I, it is the application of that great day of remembering and as a blessing, or at least, meant to be a blessing. And they are right, of course, but they miss the point themselves. Yes, there remains a Rest to the People of God. Let's read --
(Heb 4:8) For if YaHshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
(Heb 4:9) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
(Heb 4:10) For he that is entered into His Rest, he also ha ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
(Heb 4:11) Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest (sabbath), lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
The YaHshua mentioned in verse 8 is the YaHshua (Joshua) that led the children of God into the promised land. The people of Israel and Judah were Sabbath day keepers, and yet we are told they never entered the Rest or Sabbath or YaHshua. If they were Sabbath keepers then how can this be true? Because it is not talking about a Sabbath day of rest but of a time period of rest, a greater Sabbath Day. That Rest is when you are now living for Him not just for yourself, when you work is His work. Even as an emplyee of another person, we are to work as if for our Lord and not men. Some will work in a calling others will work by example and others always working in the word ready to give and answer for the hope in them. Entering His Rest, that Rest or Sabbath that remains is to do His work in our lives every day of the week, not just one day.
In the first Church or body of called out ones we read about two opinions:
(Rom 14:4) Who are you that judges another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yes, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
(Rom 14:5) One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
(Rom 14:6) He that regardes the day, regardes it unto the Lord; and he that regardes not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. He that eateth, eates to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eates not, to the Lord he eates not, and giveth God thanks.
You must be convinced in your own mind. You may change your mind, maybe more than once, some are even of two minds about a thing. Paul never liked that but itis true, and so the questions remains for those undecided, chose one or the other. What does this mean then, this, one or the other way, to be persuaded in your own mind? It means that some will and some won't and if the attitude is correct then neither are wrong, and it is not for us to being accusations, then, against and another brother or sister. Read verse 4 again, we are all servants, but not all servants are called to the same service. The potter makes different vessels for different purposes. We are all of the same Boby, with different, functioning parts. This, however, is not an answer for some and if given the opportunity would have others thrown into jail or worse.
But what about the 7th day of the week? Then we go right back to Genesis 2, where our Creator finishes the physical creation and what does He do?
(Gen 2:2-3) And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God (elohim) created and made.
What does that say to you? If there is a day, a particular day, then it is the 7th day. If there is a day we should pick, out of all the other days of the week then let it be that day. Men cannot and should not undo what He has done. This blessing He put on this particular day is from the beginning, before the Covenants -- apparently a day special to Him. Men, however, took this day and made it a thing or time period to worship.
So, what about the Holy Day? Those High Sabbaths?
The Holy Days outlined in the Torah , like all other days, were used and abused by the people. Just as they became Temple worshipers they took on these Holy Days as feel good times for themselves, learning very little if anything from them. The Holy Days are literally the Outline of YaHWeH's plan for mankind. The people and the religious leaders, however, truned these times of remembrances and observations into religious practices for their own gratification and purposes. Some made money during those times, others gained authority, others sat in judgment, everyone using those Sabbaths for their own purposes, even to using them to enslave the people to their own authority as leaders or religious authorities even given the power of life and death. So, what did our Creator have to say about these days, as they came to be used?
(Isa 1:10) Hear the word of YaHWeH, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
In sarcasm the people of God are compared to Sodom and Gomarrah -- no more deserving than they.
(Isa 1:11) To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? says YaHWeH; I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.(Isa 1:12) When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand, to tread My courts?
The actual desire for blood sacriice came from the people themselves, because they want to be like the bigger nations around them. At each step in dealing with a people or person, even, YaHWeH has met the peoples demands, like cattering to spoiled children. He would give them what they wanted but in doing so He would then lay down certain rules and regualtions for doing it properly, in total respect to the animal and for the reason and purpose and to total honor and respect for whom the sacrifice is meant, whether it be and animal or grains or days. In other words, "If this is what you want, okay, but here is how you will do it."
(Isa 1:13) Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.(Isa 1:14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates: they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them.(Isa 1:15) And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide My eyes from you: yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.(Isa 1:16) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
But what will and do the people professing to be the teachers and preachers of the people? What is their real attitude -- not all, of course, but enough. After all, Paul saw the wolves entering the Church even in his day, so how much worse nealry 2,000 years later? Here is the answer to how have we or any others response -- and we should all take this to heart.
(Mal 2:17) You have wearied YaHWeH with your words. "How have we wearied Him?" you ask. By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of YaHWeH and He is pleased with them" or "Where is the God of justice?"
Think on these words and then do what is right. But, do not judge me if I do not do it like you are doing it. You serve in your way and I will serve in mine. Both will meet YaHshua on the appropriate day and then enter all that He has restored and that will be a time when no one will be teaching anyone else about our Heavenly Father because we will all know Him in that Day. Peace
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