According To The Scriptures

The Sabbath Day


"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).

The wording of verse 11 indicates that the time when "the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" was at the completion of creation, not at the time of the giving of the commandments. The fact that Jesus said that the sabbath was made for "man" in Mark 2:27, rather than only saying that it was made for the Jews, is supportive of that. The wording of Exodus 16, where we find the first mention of a seventh day sabbath, suggests that the hearers were already familiar with the concept of a seventh day sabbath. Matthew 24:20 refers to the existence of a sabbath at the time of the seven-year tribulation period, which is yet future. Isaiah 66:22-23 testifies of a "sabbath" even further in the future, after the creation of "the new heavens and the new earth."

It is sometimes argued that if the Ten Commandments and the keeping of a sabbath are applicable to us today, that we would be bound to a seventh day sabbath. That is an error that is perpetrated in part by wrongly defining the word "sabbath." The definition of the word is not limited to the seventh day of the week. Sabbath is properly defined as an "intermission," a "rest," or a "special holiday." Besides the weekly Sabbath, the Bible also speaks of the Jewish Feasts as sabbaths. There was a sabbath year as in Leviticus 25. 2 Chronicles 36:21 speaks of a 70 year sabbath.

Hebrews 4:1-11 teaches of "another day" (v.8) wherein "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (v.9). The first day of the week should be kept holy in remembrance of Christ's finished work, as was the seventh day in honor of God's work of creation. Verse 10, speaking of Christ and His finished work, says, "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his."

In John 20:19 it is seen that on the first day of the week the disciples were assembled and Jesus came and met with them. According to John 21:14, Jesus did not show Himself to His disciples again until the next first day of the week, when, in John 20:26, "after eight days [after resurrection] again" He met with them. Jesus, who "is Lord also of the sabbath" (Mark 2:28), had every right to change the day of its observance to the first day of the week, and I believe that that is one of the things He taught His church while He was "being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). In Acts 2:1, on the day of Pentecost (50th day after resurrection), which would have been the first day of the week, the Lord’s church was assembled "with one accord in one place" with the presence of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 20:7, "upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached . . . ." In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, the "order to the churches" was that "the collection for the saints" was to be made "Upon the first day of the week." Revelation 1:10 shows that the book of Revelation was given on the Lord's day. The precedent is set with the New Testament examples of Jesus and His followers assembling themselves together on the first day of the week. Hebrews 10:24-25 says:

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

According to Hebrews 10:26-29, the forsaking the assembling of ourselves together is to "sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth" and to do "despite unto the Spirit of grace." Still on the same subject, verse 30 says that ". . . The Lord shall judge his people" and verse 31 that "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." True Christians "are not of them who draw back" (v. 39). The Lord's day should be kept holy until after the evening meeting. It should not be a day of buying and selling nor of things that would clutter the mind or detract from worshipping God. It is the Lord’s day.

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