The Sabbath is an extremely important topic. It is vital for the world today to understand the truth about the Sabbath and for the world to have the correct understanding of the Sabbath.
The reason why the Sabbath is of extreme importance is because it will be the final great test of loyalty that God will challenge the world with. This will be a test to prove who will truly love Him and who will prove their loyalty to Him.
The only logical place to find the first Biblical record of the Sabbath origin is in the creation story found in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 1:1-10 and Genesis 2:1-3 we read about God’s amazing power to create the world and every thing in it by His divine imperative of speech:
“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6).
Thus the Sabbath is an eternal witness that commemorates the creative power of the One who spoke all things into being.
The record given in the Fourth Commandment
The Bible shows us that God chose a human time cyclic to create the world in six actual days revels to us God’s concern to give us a divine example to imitate to work six days and to rest and to respect his divine example by keeping the holy Sabbath that was sanctified and blessed by God Gen 2:3 .
“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 20:11).
“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:3).
The Truth as Taught by Jesus
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27, 28).
Here Jesus declared three important sayings. 1. Jesus applies a significant meaning because the word “man”—anthropos (mankind) suggests its universal human function and not just a day that was applicable to the Jews alone. 2. Then Jesus traces the Sabbath to its origin in creation to clarify that it was created for the universal keeping of humanity. 3. These verses reveal to us another significant declaration that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus is the owner of the Sabbath. Jesus originated the Sabbath at the end of his amazing work of the creation of the world. The seventh-day Sabbath, or Saturday, is a day or institution that belongs to God alone.
While the Sabbath is given to mankind (Mark 2:27), it belongs to God himself (Mark 2:28). Jesus’ lordship over the Sabbath also represents His authority over mankind. This is very important to understand because any other false day of worship or rest then becomes an institution set up by man’s authority and is established for man’s glory, such as Sunday.
Sunday observance is a Roman Catholic institution so to honor and reverence this day and keep it holy would mean that the pope, who is head of the Roman Catholic Church, has authority over us. This means that we are honoring man and tradition over the authority of God and His word.
There is no evidence in Scripture that Sunday is called the Lord’s Day but rather it is called the seventh day or Saturday. Revelation 1:10 speaks about the “Lord’s day” (kuriake hemera). This is the same expression found in Mark 2:28 and rightfully belongs to the seventh-day Sabbath and not Sunday the first day of the week.
There is a parallel in the historic record of the Old Testament that proves the fact that the expression “Lord’s day” applies only to the seventh day Sabbath and not Sunday.
“But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God” (Exodus 20:10).
Even before God had written the 10 Commandments with his own hand the seventh day was called the Sabbath of the Lord.
“And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field” (Exodus 16:25).
So to apply Sunday, the first day of the week, to the expression “Lord’s Day is to simply ignore and distort the plain truths of evidences found in God’s holy word.
Jesus is a Model of Sabbath-keeping
In the New Testament Gospel of Luke we have Luke’s account of the opening scene of Christ’s ministry which provides us with the very important relationship between the Savior and the Sabbath (Luke 4:15-20). We learn some very important facts in this record of Luke on Christ and the Sabbath.
“And 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 for to read” (Luke 4:16).
Not only do these words become the opening scenes of Christ’s ministry, they also describe Christ as a habitual observer of the Sabbath.
And this is of extreme importance because Jesus taught that he is the perfect model of a holy and righteous life. He taught that He is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6) Jesus is the model of the way humanity should live in holiness and righteousness and his doctrine and truth and example should be followed.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
To keep the Sabbath means to follow the divine example given at creation. It means that we acknowledge God as Creator that we choose to participate in God’s rest and blessings for mankind.
Christ’s Warning Regarding the Sabbath
Jesus gives a warning to the Christian Church regarding the Sabbath in prophetic end-time prophecy of Matthew 24.
“But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now” (Matthew 24:19-21).
Jesus is here speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem which took place 30 years after his crucifixion and resurrection. In this warning to His disciples we can clearly see that Christ did not intend for his holy Sabbath to have been substituted with another day of worship (Sunday) but that the Sabbath should continue throughout all the generations until the end of time of human history.
Long after the death and resurrection of Christ, the Sabbath was still keep by God’s faithful people. We see in the book of Acts that after the martyrdom of Stephen, Paul went searching for Christians in the Synagogues of Damascus (Acts 9:2; 22:19) which shows us that they still attended church on the Sabbath day.
After the Apostle Paul was converted to Christianity the scriptures state that it was his “custom” (Acts 17:2) to meet regularly on the Sabbath in synagogues not only with the Jews (Acts 13:14; 17:2; 18:4) but also with the Gentiles (Acts 13:44; 16:13; 18:4).
Even though the Apostle Paul in the book of Hebrews teaches that the Levitical priesthood and its services we’re “abolished” (Hebrews 8:13; 10:9; Hebrews 8:13), Paul explicitly presents the “Sabbath rest” as a divine blessing that still “remains” (Hebrews 4:9) The verb “remains means permanence that’s why the Apostle Paul gives an exhortation to “strive to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:11). The fact that the Apostle Paul says one must make efforts “to enter that rest” implies the permanence of the Fourth Commandment and how it must be kept. The Apostle Paul’s point is simply this – that as God ceased on the seventh day from His creation work, so believers are to cease on the same day from their labors and keep the Sabbath holy.
The Sabbath as a Sign from God
Sabbath serves also as a special sign. The very nature of a sign is to point to something beyond itself, to mediate a meaning of a reality. Also a sign is synonymous with the word seal.
“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctifies them” (Ezekiel 20:12).
“And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God” (Ezekiel 20:20).
“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you” (Exodus 31:13).
Sabbath keeping is intimately connected with a sanctified life, the life which under the power of Christ keeps the commandments of God. When we see the deceptive efforts of Satan to draw people away from the God’s seventh-day Sabbath, this alone should be enough to convince us how important the Sabbath is.
It is very sad to hear professed Christians arguing that God will accept any day as His holy day of rest. But as we have been looking at the Sabbath as a sign that God gives to His people we understand that the Sabbath commandment contains the seal of God. The Sabbath reveals the holy character of God for it speaks of holiness of life. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) Those who will be sealed will possess a Christ-like character. The manifestation of this character will be displayed in a virtuous, humble keeping of God’s seventh-day Sabbath.
The holy seventh-day Sabbath which has been forgotten by most professed Christians is to be reestablished before the return of Jesus. Satan has introduced his pagan counterfeit into the Christian Church. And he had done this through the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church is the only church which claims Sunday to be the mark of its authority.
“Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act… And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical authority in religious things” (H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons. Nov 11, 1895).
“The Catholic Church, for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday” (The Catholic Mirror, September, 1893).
Now a very important question that we have to ask is what is wrong with the biblical seventh-day Sabbath that Protestant and Catholics needed to change it to Sunday, the first day of the week.
Sabbath and Sunday have Difference in Authority
Sabbath keeping rests upon an explicit biblical command (Genesis 2:2-3; Ex 20:8-11).
Sunday keeping derives from paganism and was incorporated by an apostate and corrupt system that has attempted to place itself about the authority of the Bible.
“The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of the Sabbath observance is proof positive of that fact.” The Catholic Record, London, Ontario September 1, 1923.
This helps us to understand the great deception that’s over taking the world with Sunday keeping, which originated with pagan literal sun worship and adopted by the corrupt apostate church in Rome.
It is very important to know that there is no commandment of Christ or of the apostles regarding a weekly Sunday or an annual Easter Sunday celebration of Christ’s resurrection. We have commands in the New Testament regarding baptism (Matthew 28:19-20), the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:24-25; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) and foot-washing (John 13:14-15), but we find no commands or even suggestions to commemorate Christ’s resurrection on a weekly Sunday or annual Easter Sunday.
The silence of Sunday keeping in the New Testament is major since most of its books were written many years after Christ’s death and resurrection. Had Jesus wanted to memorialize the day of His resurrection, the ideal time to institute such a memorial would have been to do it to the actual day of His resurrection, yet we have no record of that in the entire Bible.
Nowhere in Scripture has Sunday, the first day of the week, been substituted for the seventh day. No record of any such change that can be found. Christians who observe Sunday as a day of rest and worship do so without any scriptural authority.
Sabbath Observance in Heaven
The Sabbath observance will continue throughout eternity because, as stated before, the Sabbath is an eternal witness that testifies that God is the eternal Creator of the world. Speaking of Sabbath observance in the new earth, the prophet Isaiah prophecies that all who are redeemed will honor and worship God by glorifying God on His holy and sacred day, the Sabbath.
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to an-other, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 66:22 23).
So we can clearly see that the Sabbath can never be done away with because it is an eternal witness that testifies that God has the legitimate right to receive honor and worship; not only for creating the world but also for redeeming it. Just like God restores the world by creating a new heaven and a new earth God also restores the seventh day Sabbath by restoring it to its rightful authority in the lives of His redeemed creation.