Sabbath In the End-times

We have compared the Sabbath temptations we face today with Jesus’ wilderness experience, tracing Sabbath through Old and New Testaments. Having sought out the basic themes for Sabbath-keeping, now we tie it all together, looking at specifics for Christians in the end-time. In question is how shall we observe the holy day that Jesus kept.

What God looks for in us is not a cold, legal attitude, but the warm-hearted spirit of loving reform. Interacting with Him changes us. He seeks those who will worship in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23, 24)—not whose lips draw near but hearts remain far from Him (Isaiah 29:13). When His people have departed, they need to reform and return. Moses saw eventual hope. Although Israel would depart from God and suffer scattering, later would come renewal.

From there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 4:29).
The benefit and result of all reform must meet in the last generation. These are the Christians who finally show in their lives the fullness of the gospel. In all the history of planet earth, if ever any church was raised up to demonstrate what is the result of following Jesus fully, this is it.

Turning our attention to the holy day that Jesus kept, we realize that behaviors we have engaged in on God’s holy day are either:

Sabbath-appropriate, or
To be avoided during Sabbath, or
Not to be done during Sabbath
And so, let’s address very plainly some specifics.

Sabbath and Travel

In earlier times, believers usually could walk to the worship center. Travel by automobile and rail created a new situation. Population has also shifted from rural to urban. In some cases, participation in worship events during Sabbath hours would be impossible without for-pay public transportation. Our travel needs fit into two categories:

local, limited, covenant community-related travel
distant travel
Our goal during the Sabbath should be to limit local travel. If possible we should avoid situations where we must pay tolls, fares, or parking fees, and should seek to minimize labor for ourselves and others. If it is too far to church for us to walk, we may be able to arrange to ride with someone. A last resort would be the use of public transportation. If this is your only option, try to purchase a pass before the Sabbath. This doesn’t remove the labor of the driver, but because it is public transportation, he would be driving whether you took the bus or not. You have not initiated his labor.

Distant travel is a different category. This means means driving or flying long distances during Sabbath. While honoring God and His Sabbath may make matters inconvenient, such travel can almost always can be avoided if one is determined to honor the holy day that Jesus kept.

We should be careful about driving automobiles on Sabbath. Doing so can create special needs (mechanical repair, towing, purchasing fuel). Drivers must maintain a certain measure of concentration. There is a labor in driving. Energy used this way cannot be devoted to worshiping God. Many must drive an automobile in order to travel to church, and this is understood. This is limited local, covenant community-related travel. But distant travel should be avoided.

Sabbath and Food Preparation

If we engage in unnecessarily elaborate preparation of food during the Sabbath hours, we contradict its spirit. Exodus 16 is clear. Preparing food by means such as boiling or baking is considered excessive labor.

Have we forgotten so soon the lesson Jesus taught Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)? Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing food; Mary was listening to Jesus’ teaching. Jesus gently reproved Martha and approved Mary’s choice. This incident may not have involved a Sabbath, but the principle remains. Sabbath is a time to simplify. Prepare your food ahead of time.

When we eat during the Sabbath hours, we need to be thoughtful. In order to set the Sabbath apart, we want to limit our eating to:

the simplest foods
precooked foods
These foods require but minimal time and energy in order to prepare; labor intensity is minimum. Rewarming food in the microwave oven involves minimum labor.

It is common for the women in our churches to do much of the food preparation. But we must not think that somehow women have less need to participate in the worship of the covenant community. If there is a community meal on Sabbath (for example, one immediately following the Sabbath worship service), those who prepare it can accomplish the needed activity without needing to miss the last portion of the worship event. Let our sisters remain with the congregation until the worship event concludes. Afterward, limited meal preparations can be made.

The Sabbath in Relation to Various Activities

Eating in Restaurant

What about eating in a restaurant during the Sabbath? What if we enter but do not pay for our meal until after the Sabbath has ended? Then money is not changing hands on the Sabbath. But those preparing the meal are serving us for pay. This takes place during Sabbath hours. Then our behavior is exactly opposite the fourth commandment, which says that during the Sabbath, neither we nor our servants are to work for us. Here may be an opportunity for immediate reform.

Working

Setting the Sabbath apart as a holy day means cessation from work. Of course, we will not engage in secular work in any form on Sabbath. We are the one religious body in particular that God has raised up to highlight the seventh day Sabbath. Under no circumstances is one permitted to become a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church if he is not committed to faithful observance of the Sabbath. He will not engage in secular employment during the Sabbath hours. Such behavior is grounds for removal from membership from the covenant community.

We should labor in a loving-manner with the offender and pray that God will strengthen him to repent. Many violate the Sabbath who are not engaged in intentional rebellion; many simply have not been shown the way. Jesus loves us and is ready to help. We must not turn our backs on Jesus now—not when we are so close to His Second Coming!

Study and Exams on Sabbath

We are not to engage in doing classwork, studying for class, or taking examinations for credit during the holy day that Jesus kept. We may be tempted to study on Sabbath but this is time for fellowship with brother and sister believers. If there is study, it should be kept to investigation of the Scriptures. Arrangements may be made so that examinations may be held at some time other than the Sabbath.

Shopping and Hanging Out

Shopping during the Sabbath violates the prohibition against engaging in commerce (buying and selling). This is the open treatment of Sabbath as one of the six working days. Remember, when we ignore the Sabbath, we are undermining remembrance of God as Creator. Our lives testify for the sacredness of Jesus’ Sabbath day when we faithfully refrain from buying and selling on Sabbath. In this way, every Sabbath provides practice in preparing to be faithful in the time of final conflict when none can buy or sell but those who have chosen to receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 13). Nor should we loiter in places of business during the Sabbath. These businesses are violating God’s holy day, prompting people to sin. Our presence in such settings would suggest to others that we are engaged in activity that is not Sabbath-appropriate.

Sleeping

Sabbath is a time for communion with God and for the blessing of our meeting together in holy convocation with fellow believers. Sometimes we find ourselves weary during the Sabbath day, and we may feel like sleeping. This should alert us that we are working too hard during the week. We should not so exhaust ourselves during the six working days that we can hardly stay awake during the daylight Sabbath hours. Slow down. Be human. Come into the Sabbath hours ready to worship the holy God with energy!

Labor-saving Devices

We have labor-saving devices that accomplish for us what otherwise would have to be done by our physical labor. But a machine running during Sabbath is still humming in the background. The use of such machines can distract. These are holy hours. Not only should we permit our animals to rest, but most will experience a closer Sabbath time with Jesus when we begin to turn off our electronic devices.

Sabbath and Sports Activities

God’s Word urges us to set apart the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. It urges us to avoid doing our own things, business or pleasure, on His holy day. Activities such as soccer or other sport ought not be engaged in during the Sabbath. Even friendly physical competitions are inevitably distracting. They do not draw to God on Sabbath but turn hearts from Him. Let Sabbath be a time for communion with God.

Sabbath and National Holidays

There are three kinds of observance: (1) the holy day that God instituted for all time; (2) holy days that God instituted until Jesus’ death on the cross, and (3) other. In the “other” column is Sunday observance, along with all national “holidays” etc. These are observances instituted by men.

The world-system will always suggest that we engage in the observance of traditions. But how we treat Sabbath is the clear indicator who we are really worshiping. God reminded His people,

And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God (Ezekiel 20:18-20).
Jesus, referring to the traditions of the Pharisees, says, “in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). We should have crystal clear vision about days that are holy and days that are not.

Holding Organizational Meetings

We have a responsibility to be faithful stewards over the tithes and offerings God receives through His church. In such meetings we go over the monthly financial report. We plan how we will spend the moneys, some for common maintenance, some for expansion, some for paying bills, some for evangelistic fliers to be mailed out. We deal with the furnace problem, the parking lot expansion, the latest rules that the government expects the church to comply with. We deal with repairs that must be made and equipment to be purchased. There is no way to handle these topics on the Sabbath without jeopardizing our sense of its holiness.

Sometimes there will be a true emergency and we may need to hold a church board meeting on the Sabbath. But our regular organizational meetings should not be held on Sabbath. When we have a board meeting, we will almost always find ourselves discussing something that has to do with the world system that is passing away (1 Corinthians 7:31). Jesus warned us that we cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).

Preparation and Simplicity

Sabbath is not just about what we cannot do on the seventh day, but includes our positive stewardship over the week God has given. Preparation for proper Sabbath observance begins, not at sunset on Friday evening, but sunset Saturday night. It starts with the first day following Sabbath.

Paul helps us understand this. In 1 Corinthians 16:2 an offering is being taken to provide relief to believers in Jerusalem. He asks that those who contribute set aside their offering on the first day of the week so that neither the details nor physical labor involved need be addressed on Sabbath.

The week is divided into three portions. The first through fifth are working days. The sixth is set apart especially for Sabbath preparation. Six times in the Bible the sixth day is called the PARASKEVAZO (the preparation) (Matthew 27.62; Mark 15.42; Luke 23.54; John 19.14, 31, 42). God took time during six days to prepare to meet with humans; we are to take time during six days to prepare to meet with God.

From the Wilderness into the End-times

Recalling our first presentation, the three testings that Jesus faced, applied to the Sabbath, were

the material over the spiritual—choosing outright violation of the Sabbath
the spiritual on our own terms—selectively observing the Sabbath
compromise—intentionally avoiding one’s cross, presenting a form of godliness with reference to the Sabbath
Self-deception is seen in all three approaches. The first is the temptation to believe that we really do not need to keep the Sabbath. The second is still partial self-deception, thinking that we may decide how to observe it. Under the third deception, compromise is out in the open. The trend is clear; the person is aligning his character in opposition to God’s law.

Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, our Recreator, went out into the wilderness to reprise Israel’s wilderness failure and come off victorious. Moreover, His experience has a direct relationship to us. He knew that in the end-time, we too would face an extraordinary test. We shall be prevented from buying and selling. Food will be withheld. The ultimate question will be whether we love Jesus enough to let Him be Lord of the Sabbath for us. As Lord of the Sabbath, He has marked out an intelligent path of Sabbath-observance for His people. He did not loosen but clarified our obligation.

The three temptations He met are those that we now face. Satan urgently desires to destroy us, so he tries to cloud our vision. His special ploys for us are to turn us into materialists, or to provoke us obey but selectively our own way, and most dangerous of all, the temptation to compromise. Jesus has shown how we are to resist all three temptations. In the strength and counsel of God, His pattern must become ours.

The Sabbath is a mirror. Unlike beliefs which might seem to be mostly points of intellectual agreement, obedience to Jesus according to His Sabbath commandment is not falsifiable. In the end, the Sabbath reveals what we are. For this reason, it is the key to Christian reform. We keep it holy because this reminds us that God is making us holy.

http://www.greatcontroversy.org/

Sabbath in the New Testament

Systematically now reviewing the major Sabbath texts in the New Testament. Our goal is to discover Bible themes for the faithful observance of the day Jesus claimed to be Lord of—the seventh day Sabbath.

19. Matthew 11:25-12:8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5. Grain incident/Lord of the Sabbath. The Pharisees say that Jesus’ disciples are violating the Sabbath by harvesting and eating a few handfuls of grain. Jesus counters that His disciples are guiltless. He cites David and his band eating showbread while fleeing Saul (1 Samuel 21:1-10). It was not proper for David to receive that bread, yet it was given and no divine displeasure expressed. The Gospel of Matthew has Jesus adding that on the Sabbath priests work in the temple and it is not held against them. He points out that He, Jesus, is greater than the temple, and that had they understood that God desired mercy rather than sacrifice (Hosea 6:6) they would not have claimed that His disciples were guilty of breaking the Sabbath. Jesus declares that He Himself is Lord of the Sabbath. Mark includes Jesus saying that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. God’s purpose is not to make the Sabbath a burden but to free man for communion with Him. Who was more in communion with God than His disciples in that field with Him? They were walking with Jesus on the Sabbath when instead they could have been sitting down to a meal of more than those few handfuls of grain. They were not engaged in excess. Just as taking a few handfuls of grain out of a stranger’s field was not theft, so gathering and eating a few kernels of wheat on the Sabbath was no violation of Sabbath. And, for you and I, plucking an apple or pear off a tree and eating it on Sabbath is no sin.

20. Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37. Teaching and Exorcism in Capernaum. Jesus conducts an exorcism on the Sabbath. Relieving people from demonic oppression on the Sabbath is doing good. Sabbath is release from bondage to a world-system that is under the sway of Satan (1 John 5:19; John 15:18; 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; Luke 4:6). Sabbath is like a fresh exorcism for every Christian, a removal from the relentless negative influences and pressures encountered in the daily grind. This release is essential for our sanity and spiritual progress.

21. Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11; 13:10-17; 14:1-6. Watering/recovering Ox, Sheep, Donkey, from Ditch. In similar incidents, Jesus compares healing on the Sabbath with watering a donkey, or rescuing an ox or other creature, even a man trapped in a ditch. He teaches that it is in harmony with God’s law to do good on the Sabbath. He equates saving life with doing good, acting harmfully with destroying life. He argues from lessor to greater. Ironically, because of His authentic Sabbath-observing behavior, antagonists become determined to kill Him. Jesus’ focus is on the positive, helping and delivering others. As in Isaiah 58 where the true fast is helping those in need, Jesus shows that Sabbath observance includes acts of goodness.

22. Luke 4:16-30. Jesus’ Teaching Ministry Launched in Nazareth. It was on the Sabbath that Jesus publicly announced His mission and was almost slain. The Sabbath is thus identified with freedom as a central motif in the purposes of Christ. Jesus’ normal practice, we find here, was to worship God in company with others on Sabbath. Our mission in these last days is an echo of His. The Holy Spirit is to be upon us, we are to proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, the recovery of sight, liberty for the oppressed, and to herald His intervention in this world.

23. John 5:1-18. Healing at Pool of Bethesda. Jesus again goes out of His way to heal on the Sabbath. He helps us understand that it is in harmony with doing good on Sabbath to carry one’s bed away from a healing that glorified God. Others, uninterested in the healing, wanted to know why the man was violating their interpretation of Sabbath-keeping by carrying his bed. It became known that Jesus was He who had healed on Sabbath, and the complaint was that Jesus was breaking it. Jesus’ answer was, “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (vs. 17). Jesus cannot mean that the Sabbath is no more, or that we are to disregard it. The Sabbath is God’s holy day but it was made for man. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are still engaged in bringing our deliverance; all this is accomplished for our benefit. Jesus’ work was not to violate, but to illuminate. Likewise, our present calling is not to violate Sabbath but to illuminate it.

24. John 7:14-28. Jesus Heals, Pharisees Circumcise. Jesus reminds the Pharisees that they circumcise a male even on the Sabbath if it is the eighth day after birth. No male who was uncircumcised was considered “whole” as a Jew. Jesus proceeds to point out that they are angry with Him because He has made “a man’s whole body well.” The fundamental problem with the Pharisees and others was that the Sabbath had been cumbered about by them with man-made prohibitions and imagined violations. Jesus showed that the Sabbath was better understood as a sign of God’s healing power. There was nothing inconsistent in Jesus’ practice of Sabbath observance. Seventh-day Adventists also need to be careful to avoid creating artificial human prohibitions, and to embrace the positive, healing aspect of Sabbath.

25. John 9:1-40. Jesus Makes Mud, Gives Sight. Jesus takes mud, mixes it with saliva, rubs it on a man’s eyes, and he receives sight—all on the Sabbath! The Jews say that by this act He has proven that He cannot be an agent of God because He is breaking the Sabbath. They had so confused themselves about the Sabbath that Jesus’ manner of observing it confirmed to them that He could not be the Messiah. But to participate in a restoration of sight by God’s power is no contradiction of authentic Sabbath-keeping. Restoring sight on this Sabbath was an echo of Jesus’ mission statement in Luke 4:16-30. We bring sight to the blind when we publicly demonstrate reverence for the holy day that Jesus kept.

26. Matthew 24:15-28. Pray Will Not Need to Flee. Jesus says that the Christian is to pray that in the end-time it will not be necessary to flee during the winter or on the Sabbath day. Praying that it will not be in winter means asking that God will intervene to limit the special hazards of winter travel. But Sabbath imposes no such hazards. The prayer that this situation of duress not occur during a Sabbath is powerful testimony. It not only makes very clear the continuing existence of Sabbath, but says that even the need to flee in an emergency is no license to completely ignore it. Sabbath remains so special that we are to pray that God will intervene in order to prevent the need to flee during it from arising when the final crisis is upon us.

27. Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42. Preparation Day. The distinction between sixth day and others in Exodus 16 is, in the time of Christ, especially employed to prepare for Sabbath. This highlights our need to make the fullest use of the preparation day, so that the Sabbath might be kept holy. It would be well for us henceforth to refer to the sixth day as “Preparation day.”

28. Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8. After Sabbath. The Sabbath is mentioned again after Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus’ followers waited until after Sabbath to prepare His body for burial; this is an example of deferring labor that can wait until after Sabbath.

29. Acts 13:13-52. Preaching on the Sabbath. Preaching is a Sabbath-appropriate activity, both then and now.

30. Acts 15:21. Reading from the Bible. Moses is read from every Sabbath. Another Sabbath-appropriate activity then and now.

31. Acts 16:11-15. Spiritual Meetings and Evangelistic Activities in Nature Settings. Paul went out through the city gate and found believers in God whom he further instructed. We can be indoors or outdoors on Sabbath; each situation offers a different setting for the worship of God.

32. Acts 17:1-9; 18:1-4. Engaging in Christian Apologetics. Paul entered synagogues and won converts to Christ, reasoning with others “from the Scriptures.” We may apply this to our own experience in spending some of the Sabbath hours instructing others from God’s Word.

33. Hebrews 3:7-4:15. The Rest That Remains. Israel in the wilderness is presented as choosing an attitude of unbelief and failing to enter God’s promised rest. This passage is about the need for perseverance. The author of Hebrews exhorts his readers to endure testing. A promise remains; those who believe enter into His rest. Entering Canaan was symbolic of the rest intended by God. The real rest, the sabbatismos, or state of sabbathness (vs. 4:9), is available to us as believers. Today is the day of opportunity; we can turn to Christ. To us—to end-time believers—there remains a resting, a living fully by faith. This kind of life is a sabbath-like, or sabbathized life, persisting in trusting in Jesus. It cannot make sense for His people today to claim to experience the beauty of gospel rest while at the same time denying His instruction and Sabbath rest. Life lived this way makes us restorers of the breach, repairers of right paths, rebuilders of the wall. Sabbath rest is gospel rest—trusting in God. This rest remains as a reality.

34. Revelation 1:10. In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. John received the Apocalypse on the Sabbath—most appropriate since the Sabbath will be the central issue in the end-time. (The only day identified as God’s day in Scripture is the Sabbath. See Isaiah 58:13; Mark 2:28). There is no better day for us, as John, to spend some of the time in quiet, personal communion with God.

Conclusion

In the New Testament we find further insight shaping our observance of the holy day that Jesus kept. In case after case, Jesus shines a light on true sabbath observance. He cuts through the crust of accumulated human traditions and shows the eternal blessedness of His holy day made for man.

http://www.greatcontroversy.org/

Sabbath in the Tanakh (Old Testament)

1. Genesis 2:1-3. This is the first text in the Bible where something is identified as holy. In Genesis two, the word “Sabbath” is not used, but God sets apart the seventh day as holy. He ceases from creative work. His cessation from creative work is a cue for us. If God discontinued creative work in order to commune with man, it is logical that we must discontinue creative work during the Sabbath hours in order to focus on worshiping Him.

2. Exodus 16:1-36. The people were still thinking of the food of Egypt. They complained. God chose to demonstrate His power by providing food for them. They were instructed to gather for themselves every morning, and on the sixth day, double. They were do all their cooking on the sixth day (Exodus 16:23). Then, on the seventh day, God would provide none; He had already provided double on the sixth. This was a test provided by God to see whether the people would follow His instruction. (The primary meaning of “law,” TORAH, is “instruction.”) God commanded them to minimize labor on the Sabbath (16:29, 30). The lesson is not obscure. We are to accomplish the necessary preparation for Sabbath before the Sabbath, and we have been given six days to do so.

3. Exodus 20:8-11. This is the fourth commandment. The statement begins with a positive: remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The command reiterates—no work during the Sabbath hours—not only for us, but for our family members, employees, or those who sojourn with us.

4. Exodus 31:12-18. The Sabbath is to be kept as a sign to remind us that God sets us apart. It is to be observed as a covenant. Those who profane it are cut-off from Israel. Those choosing to work on the Sabbath (during the time of the Hebrew theocracy) were to be killed. If we know what God requires, and choose to disregard it even in part, then we must ask ourselves: will we truly understand that it is God who sanctifies us? Disregard for the Sabbath leads to disregard for personal holiness. It leads us to forget God.

5. Exodus 35:1-3. Moses assembles all Israel for instruction, and the first item on his list is the Sabbath. We are to do our work during the six days but not on the seventh. On that day, no work, no fire. Some have puzzled over the fire prohibition, but we recall Exodus 16:23, where the Israelites were commanded to bake and boil their food on the sixth day. That is, they were to kindle fire for cooking on the sixth day. But the Exodus 35:2 prohibition against fire is a prohibition against cooking on the Sabbath.

6. Leviticus 23:3. Immediately before outlining the various ceremonial Sabbaths, the weekly Sabbath is presented as distinct from them. It is a day for holy convocation. That is, the Sabbath is not only a day for personal cessation from work, but it is a day for gatherings of believers. In our case, we should not absent ourselves from church on the Sabbath (see also Hebrews 10:24, 25).

7. Leviticus 24:8. The priest placed the showbread in the sanctuary on the Sabbath. Here is a positive activity that occurred during the Sabbath. Some Sabbath injunctions are positive. (See also 1 Chronicles 9:32.)

8. Leviticus 26:1-46 (2). There is a general truth associated with the Sabbath as well—that God blesses obedience but sends trouble when we disobey. The blessings for obedience listed in this passage are: (a) plentiful harvest, (b) peace and safety in the land, (c) victory over enemies, and (d) God will dwell among His people. But, if they are disobedient, God brings the opposite. Applying this general truth to God’s interaction with His church today, it is not difficult to understand why we need Sabbath reform. Our own disobedience in keeping Sabbath is key to preventing God from blessing us. If we seek His blessings in general, so that the Korean union can have God’s blessing and afford to employ more pastors and grow and be witness for the truth of Jesus, then we must return and obey.

9. Numbers 15:32-40. Israel is in its camp, observing the Sabbath according to the commandment (“Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day” Exodus 16:29). Now, just looking at the text, two options: either the man was an Israelite or not; it is not specified. If he is an Israelite, he is more guilty. In any case, a man appears within sight of the camp collecting sticks. Perhaps he is gathering in order to build a fire and cook food. Men apprehend him. Instruction comes down: God says that he must be killed. He is executed. Immediately following, God gives Israel an aid to help them remember His commandments—He commands them to sew blue tassels to the fringes of their garments. The stick man could not have been unaware that within his sight, millions in the camp were quietly engaged in a holy observance. The Israelites understood that even non-Hebrews who dwelt near them were subject to God’s command to the community not to profane the Sabbath. The lesson for us is to be careful to maintain in and around our community, so much as possible, the sanctity of the Sabbath.

10. Deuteronomy 5:12-15. Here we have the Sabbath command as in Exodus 20:8-11, but this is later and Moses includes slaves among those who may not do work on the Sabbath. Deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt is mentioned as a reason for Sabbath observance. “Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day” (vs. 15). If we are Christians, then we have been delivered by Jesus. In the strength of God we are enabled to keep the Sabbath day holy. We are witnesses to the power of God. Others are made in God’s image and He wants to deliver them too. Not just we ourselves but all are to be free. If we engaged others to work for us during the Sabbath we would be denying this. We must completely avoid all secular work during the Sabbath, not only for ourselves, but work we might ask others to engage in.

11. Nehemiah 10:31. Here is explicit prohibition against engaging in commerce—buying and selling—on the Sabbath day. Occasions for buying and selling on Sabbath had been few in the desert waste. In Nehemiah’s time, however, Israel had entered Canaan; they are now a nation with cities. Engaging in commerce during the Sabbath hours is destructive to maintaining a sense of its holiness. The lesson for us? Like Israel, we must be aware that changes in situation sometimes require additional safeguard behaviors in order help us preserve the holiness of God’s Sabbath day.

12. Nehemiah 13:15-22. Nehemiah observes people treading wine-presses, carrying loads, and engaging in commerce inside Jerusalem on Sabbath. While Nehemiah directly warns the perpetrators, he also forthrightly confronts Jerusalem’s leaders. “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath” (vv. 17, 18). Nehemiah charges those possessing influence with the profanation of the Sabbath. Because they could have prevented it, the leaders share strong responsibility for the people in these sins. Sabbath-breaking actively draws God’s wrath upon Israel. He commands that the gates of the city be closed during the Sabbath hours and sets guards at the gates to keep the Sabbath holy. But the merchants camp outside the walls of the city. Even this, Nehemiah forbids, warning that if they do it again, he will send men out after them. This passage teaches us that those who find themselves in positions of influence toward God’s people are responsible to exercise that influence to guard the sanctity of His holy day. They are especially responsible for helping guide the covenant community aright, that His wrath may be avoided and His blessing upon it encouraged.

13. Isaiah 56:1-8. Keeping the Sabbath is here paralleled with refusing to do evil. Even the foreigner, if he embrace the Sabbath, is included in Israel. Sabbath is presented as an agency of integration, so that others may be included in God’s covenant community. The non-Jew may join Israel. Joy is explicitly connected with Sabbath observance. Isaiah refuses to limit the Sabbath to ethnic Jews. The Sabbath is a bridge into God’s covenant community. This passage helps us to understand that the Sabbath must not be minimized; it is nothing to be ashamed of, hidden from others, or downplayed. On the contrary, it is among the most evangelistic of Bible institutions. God sanctified the day before ever there was a Jew. Sabbath is a day for all who would seek Him. Rather than downgrading the day, we must upgrade it. The Sabbath day with all that pertains to it is a positive help, and barriers to its profanation must be upheld. We are to close the gates to Sabbath profanation in the midst of the covenant community.

14. Isaiah 58:1-14. Isaiah warns. He identifies the sins of Israel, among them, superficial religiosity, quarreling, and self-centered pleasure-seeking. But true believers will release the oppressed, help those in need, aid the afflicted, and guard the Sabbath. They will refuse to engage in doing their own things, their own business, even speaking their own words on God’s holy day. If we would experience the blessings of Sabbath, we too must guard its sanctity. There should be no overlap between secular business and God’s holy day, or talk that pertains to worldly matters mixed with talk that pertains to the worship of a holy God.

15. Isaiah 66:23. This text states that Sabbath observance will continue in the new earth and throughout eternity. All will be Sabbath-keepers. Sabbath is essential to man, in past, and in future. We do not advance beyond Sabbath observance; we return to it.

16. Jeremiah 17:19-27. Why are we to keep the Sabbath? For the sake of our lives (17:21). The promise is given that if the Sabbath is kept holy Jerusalem will stand forever, but if the Sabbath is profaned, Jerusalem shall be burned. The same issues are mentioned as before: working and bearing burdens on Sabbath. This prophecy explains why Jerusalem was burned and the temple destroyed in 70 A.D. The Sabbath is a benefit for us; its violation is a lightening rod for disaster. This was true in the past and it is true for believers today.

17. Ezekiel 20:1-49(12-26). The Sabbath is a sign so that God’s people might remember that He sets them apart. But Israel ignored this sign, and Sabbath violation is one of the stated reasons for the Hebrews’ divine sentence to forty years of wilderness wandering. In this passage, God warns them about the temptation to follow tradition and convenience more than His ways. Listen: “And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God” (20:18-20). The lesson for us is to consult God’s commands and refuse to be trapped in any tradition or practice presuming to obey His rules so that it conveniences us but destroys the sanctifying effect of the Sabbath.

18. Amos 8:5. This text warns against an attitude of disregard for the Sabbath. Those obsessed with commerce wait impatiently for Sabbath to end, that they may engage in buying and selling. Indifference, even hostility toward the Sabbath, marks a pattern of injustice and oppression that will ultimately result in God’s judgment poured out upon the land. Feasts and observances will be turned into lamentation and the insincerity of the people rejected by God (See also Lamentations 2:6, 7). God does not discontinue His Sabbath, but turns their Sabbaths into mourning, and causes the apostate to forget the Sabbath.

Conclusion

Even but a brief review of these 18 Tanakh passages is remarkably fruitful and clarifying. Tanakh is rich in instruction about Sabbath and how to observe it in a spiritually healthy manner. But there is more!

http://www.greatcontroversy.org/

How the Sabbath Was Changed

No Change Documented in the Bible
In both Old and New Testament there is not a shadow of variation in the doctrine of the Sabbath. The seventh day, Saturday, is the only day ever designated by the term Sabbath in the entire Bible. Not only was Jesus a perfect example in observing the weekly seventh-day Sabbath, but all His disciples followed the same pattern after Jesus had gone back to heaven. Yet no intimation of any change of the day is made. The apostle Paul, who wrote pages of counsel about lesser issues of Jewish and Gentile conflicts, had not one word to say about any controversy over the day of worship. Circumcision, foods offered to idols, and other Jewish customs were readily challenged by early Gentile Christians in the church, but the weightier matter of weekly worship never was an issue. Why? For the simple reason that no change was made from the historic seventh day of Old Testament times, and from creation itself. Had there been a switch from the Sabbath to the first day of the week, you can be sure the controversy would have been more explosive than any other to those Jewish Christians.

History Gives Some Clues
If the change did not take place in the Scriptures or through the influence of the apostles, when and how did it happen? In order to understand this, we must understand what happened in that early church soon after the apostles passed off the stage of action. Paul had prophesied that apostasy would take place soon after his departure. He said there would be a falling away from the truth. One doesn’t have to read very far in early church history to see just how that prophecy was fulfilled. Gnosticism began to rise up under the influence of philosophers who sought to reconcile Christianity with Paganism. At the same time, a strong anti-Jewish sentiment became more widespread. Very speculative interpretations began to appear regarding some of the great doctrines of Christ and the apostles.

The Conversion of Constantine
By the time Constantine was established as the emperor of Rome in the early fourth century, there was a decided division in the church as a result of all these factors. I think most of you know that Constantine was the first so-called Christian emperor of the Roman Empire. The story of his conversion has become very well known to students of ancient history. He was marching forth to fight the battle of Milvian Bridge when he had some kind of vision, and saw a flaming cross in the sky. Underneath the cross were the Latin words meaning “In this sign conquer.” Constantine took this as an omen that he should be a Christian, and his army as well. He declared all his pagan soldiers to be Christians, and became very zealous to build up the power and prestige of the church. Through his influence great blocks of pagans were taken into the Christian ranks. But, friends, they were still pagan at heart, and they brought in much of the paraphernalia of sun-worship to which they continued to be devoted. We mentioned in a previous broadcast about the adoption of Christmas and Easter into the church. At the same time, many other customs were Christianized and appropriated into the practice of the church as well.

Sun Worship
At that time the cult of Mithraism or sun-worship was the official religion of the Roman Empire. It stood as the greatest competitor to the new Christian religion. It had its own organization, temples, priesthood, robes—everything. It also had an official worship day on which special homage was given to the sun. That day was called “The Venerable Day of the Sun.” It was the first day of the week, and from it we get our name Sunday. When Constantine pressed his pagan hordes into the church they were observing the day of the sun for their adoration of the sun god. It was their special holy day. In order to make it more convenient for them to make the change to the new religion, Constantine accepted their day of worship, Sunday, instead of the Christian Sabbath which had been observed by Jesus and His disciples. Remember that the way had been prepared for this already by the increasing anti-Jewish feelings against those who were accused of putting Jesus to death. Those feelings would naturally condition many Christians to swing away from something which was held religiously by the Jews. It is therefore easier to understand how the change was imposed on Christianity through a strong civil law issued by Constantine as the Emperor of Rome. The very wording of that law, by the way, can be found in any reliable encyclopedia. Those early Christians, feeling that the Jews should not be followed any more than necessary, were ready to swing away from the Sabbath which was kept by the Jews.

Historical Accounts
Here are historians, Catholics and Protestants, speaking in harmony about what actually took place in the fourth century. After Constantine made the initial pronouncement and legal decree about the change, the Catholic Church reinforced that act in one church council after another. For this reason, many, many official statements from Catholic sources are made, claiming that the church made the change from Saturday to Sunday. Refer to one from the Encyclopedia Britannica under the article, Sunday. Notice: “It was Constantine who first made a law for the proper observance of Sunday and who appointed that it should be regularly celebrated throughout the Roman empire.” Now you can check these statements in your own encyclopedias or go to the library and look into other historical sources.

Here is a statement from Dr. Gilbert Murray, M.A., D.Litt., LLD, FBA, Professor of Greek at Oxford University, who certainly had no ax to grind concerning Christian thought on the Sabbath question. He wrote: “Now since Mithras was the sun, the Unconquered, and the sun was the Royal Star, the religion looked for a king whom it could serve as a representative of Mithras upon earth. The Roman Emperor seemed to be clearly indicated as the true king. In sharp contrast to Christianity, Mithraism recognized Caesar as the bearer of divine grace. It had so much acceptance that it was able to impose on the Christian world its own sun-day in place of the Sabbath; its sun’s birthday, the 25th of December, as the birthday of Jesus.” History of Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge.

Looking a bit further into historical statements, Dr. William Frederick says: “The Gentiles were an idolatrous people who worshipped the sun, and Sunday was their most sacred day. Now in order to reach the people in this new field, it seems but natural as well as necessary to make Sunday the rest day of the church. At this time it was necessary for the church to either adopt the Gentile’s day or else have the Gentiles change their day. To change the Gentiles day would have been an offense and stumbling block to them. The church could naturally reach them better by keeping their day.” There it is, friends, a clear explanation by Dr. Frederick as to how this change happened. Another statement very parallel to this one is found in the North British Review.

But let’s move on to a statement from the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 153. “The church after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath or seventh-day of the week to the first, made the third commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s day.”

Catholicism Takes Credit for the Change
Now a quote from the Catholic Press newspaper in Sidney, Australia. “Sunday is a Catholic institution and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles. From the beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.”

The Catholic Mirror of September 23, 1894, puts it this way: “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.”
From two Catechisms. First, from the Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine by Reverend Peter Giermann. “Question: Which is the Sabbath day? Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day. Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church in the Council of Laodicea transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

Second, from Reverend Steven Keenan’s Doctrinal Catechism we read this: “Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept? Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day; a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”

Then from Cardinal Gibbons’ book, The Question Box, p.179, “If the Bible is the only guide for the Christian, then the Seventh-day Adventist is right in observing Saturday with the Jew. Is it not strange that those who make the Bible their only teacher should inconsistently follow in this matter the tradition of the Catholic Church?”

One more statement taken from the book, The Faith of Millions, p. 473. “But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn’t it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible and not from the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, of course, it is inconsistency but this change was made about fifteen centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They have continued the custom even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text from the Bible. That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair.”

That is a most interesting statement, and it is a very true statement.

What is the Sabbath Day..

What is the Sabbath Day truth?
One very controversial subject among Christians today is God’s Seventh Day Sabbath. Some Christians are not even aware that the Sabbath is Saturday.

The Bible tells us clearly in Daniel that a persecuting power would change God’s laws which it did – the Seventh Day Sabbath became the first day sabbath without God’s approval. The book of Daniel also refers to this change of God’s law by the antichrist power as reaching to the host of heaven and trampling the heavenly sanctuary under foot. We find the same expression used in Hebrews chapter ten in reference to wilful sin.

Hebrews 10:26-29 “For if we sin WILFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth NO more sacrifice for sins, … He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

This passage warns us that there remains no sacrifice to cover wilful sin and to continue in wilful sin is to trample the Son of God under foot and to treat Christ’s work on the cross as an unholy thing despite being under grace. This is a warning we should take very seriously.

The change to the Sabbath day came about over hundreds of years and by the death of millions of Christians. This is another fact that most Christians are unaware of. Select the following to watch a typical true story of the death of a Sabbath keeper by burning.

Why is the Sabbath Day truth not taught?
If these points are true, why don’t we hear more pastors teaching them? If the Sabbath is Saturday, then why don’t the majority keep the true Sabbath day? How could the majority be wrong and even more to the point, do we still have to keep the Seventh day Sabbath at all? Revelation 13 tells us that Satan would give position and authority to the persecuting power described in Daniel that changed God’s law. Why do you think Satan did this? This power that persecuted the saints for 1260 dark years murdered anyone found keeping the Seventh day Sabbath according to the Commandment of God. Anyone that had a different view to this persecuting power was considered a heretic and heretics were to be burned. As a result, the Sabbath truth was nearly murdered out of existence and since most Churches originated from this persecuting power, most Churches now ignorantly keep the wrong day they instituted. The final change to the Sabbath day was in the fourth century but note that the change originated from Satanic and pagan Sun worship as early as 2000 B.C. Remember that Satan was responsible for all of this and did not go to all this effort for no reason.

Since the majority grow up with Sunday worship as their custom, it becomes very much a mind set and people are also very reluctant to accept change or alter their lifestyle. Saturday is also a day that is not convenient for most Christians and so sadly, most would rather not know truth and go into denial. Because of these factors, even when a pastor is presented with the Sabbath truth, it becomes difficult to both accept and see. This instantly gives the enemy the upper hand as he now just whispers in your mind, “the day does not matter. If it mattered everyone would know about it and would be keeping Saturday.” Sadly, all too many listen and never investigate and Satan continues to be victorious in keeping Christians ignorantly breaking one of the Commandments of God. Billy Graham was said to have acknowledged the Sabbath truth but stated, “If I were to teach this truth, I would lose most of my listeners.” Jesus said we are to both obey and teach the law and one cannot sacrifice truth at any cost. The enemy has gone to extreme lengths to make sure the Sabbath truth is not taught or believed and continues to go to extreme lengths and deceptions to keep us ignorant of this truth. Knowing he has done this, Christians should realise that it is very relevant and extremely important we know why. For example, how important is sin to God?

Many say the Sabbath was changed to Sunday in honour of the resurrection and others say it was nailed to the cross. Others will tell you any day can be kept as the Sabbath day as long as you keep one. And still others say as long as you do everything to the glory of God the Sabbath is as good as kept. And yet still others will say it is legalism. Worst of all, and this is becoming more popular by the decade, some say the Ten Commandments are gone. Never underestimate the enemy’s ability to slowly and subtly bring heresy into the Church and make those with the most Biblical truth to get labelled falsely as cults or legalists. It should be obvious that Satan will always attack truth the hardest and sadly he has no trouble finding those he can deceive to accomplish his task very convincingly. The fact of the matter is that what is popular is not always truth and what is truth is not always popular.

Since the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments that defines what sin is, why wouldn’t Satan attack this one Commandment that is the easiest one to attack and do everything in his power to ensure that it does not get recognized or taught so he can get many to live in lawlessness? If one truly studies this and checks it with unbiased history, you will in fact find that Satan has achieved this goal and because most Christians do not study the Word and tend to rely on what their friends or pastor tells them, the lie continues to perpetuate.

What is the Sabbath Day all about anyway?
Our Creator God starts off the fourth Commandment with the word “Remember.” This is because He knew it would be lost and forgotten. God asks that we keep the Sabbath set apart for Holy purposes so we can draw nearer to Him. The Fourth Commandment to remember the Sabbath concludes the section of the Ten Commandments that specifically helps define a proper relationship with God, how we are to love, worship and relate to Him. It explains why and when we need to take special time to draw closer to our Creator. It is also a special sign between us and God forever, that it is Him that sanctifies us; Him alone who we belong to and worship. The Sabbath, the Seventh day of the week was set apart by God as a time of rest and spiritual rejuvenation. So why is this Commandment so frequently ignored, attacked and explained away by so many Christians? Could it be because the challenges to the Sabbath Commandment are views generated by the ruler of this present evil world? After all, this being wants us to accept these views because he hates God’s law. He does all he can to influence us to ignore, avoid and reason our way around it. On our calendar the Sabbath begins at sunset Friday evening and ends at sunset Saturday evening.

Those that keep the true Sabbath day say that it is a blessing and their favourite day of the week. The Sabbath is quality time with family and relaxing and fellowshipping with God and other Christians. Jesus said we are to not only obey the Ten Commandments but teach them also yet some people are doing the opposite. Why are these people so determined to take this blessing from those who keep the Sabbath properly, and in the way Jesus intended and not like the Pharisees who turned it into a legalistic burden? What spirit is behind this? Why do so many professed Christians try so desperately hard to avoid this special time with their Creator God on His Holy day? The Sabbath should be our favourite day of the week and it is for those who have searched for the Sabbath truth and found it. God says we are to find this day a delight and a blessing. God did not say we should call it legalism or a burden!

Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a DELIGHT, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shall honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shall you delight thyself in the LORD…”

Like all the other nine Commandments, IT IS a Commandment of love and thus loving God with all your heart includes all the first four Commandments. We know this for a fact because right after the second reading of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy chapter 5, we are shown in Deuteronomy 6:5 that LOVING God with all our heart, might and soul is to keep ALL the Ten Commandments that had just been read in the previous chapter only 17 verses earlier. That of course makes ALL Ten Commandments eternal. Our God is not a God of confusion that mixes a law that defines what love and sin is with something that is not love or not sin. Whether we understand it or not, to try and find reasons as to why the Sabbath is changed or ended is no different from trying to find excuses as to why it is now acceptable to worship idols or commit murder etc. There is another law found in the Old Testament that was only for the Jews and had ceremonial sabbaths but God did not place His Sabbath in this law. He placed it in the Ten Commandments because that is where it belongs.

The Ten Commandments were written in stone while the ceremonial law was written in a book and hence it was also called the “Book of the Covenant.” Have you ever heard the expression “it is not written in stone?” Written in stone means forever. On paper and in a book is temporary. So basically God had two specific laws. One was temporary, written in a book, was not love, only for the Jews, practised because of sin before Christ and why it was nailed to the cross. The other was eternal, written in stone, was love, for everyone, was sin to break and hence was NOT nailed to the cross. Now consider this question very carefully. If the Sabbath of the Lord was temporary and only for the Jews, which law would you place it in? In the temporary law or the eternal law? And is that where God placed His Sabbath? No! God placed His Sabbath exactly where it belonged. He placed it in the law that was love and eternal and for everyone along with the other Nine Commandments that obviously will never and can never end. Since God is not a fool or the author of confusion, then this alone reveals the truth. God makes a distinction between the ceremonial sabbaths and His Sabbath found in the Ten Commandments by exhorting, “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God:” (Exodus 20:10, Deuteronomy 5:14). It is the Lord’s Sabbath! It did not belong to Israel. God further clarifies this by calling His Sabbath, “My Sabbaths,” as in His weekly Sabbaths, (Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20:20) while calling the ceremonial sabbaths that were only for Israel, “Her Sabbaths.” Her as in Israel. (Hosea 2:11, Lamentations 1:7)

If God sent an Angel to tell you that He loves you and sent His only Son to die for you and that He wants you to spend quality time with Him on a specific day that He blessed and sanctified, would you send the Angel back to God with the message, “sorry God, that day is not convenient for me” or “no God, I can’t spend that time with you on your Holy day, that’s legalism” or even, “tell God that it does not have to be on His Holy day and I will spend time with Him on that day that was used for Sun worship that He detested instead.” Is that what we would really say? Why is it so hard for us to rest in Jesus on His Holy day?

Many believe that there are only one or two denominations or groups that keep the true Sabbath day when there are in fact over five hundred different denominations of Sabbath keeping Churches that that keep the true 7th day Sabbath and the count is growing. Whole chains of Churches are changing back after attending Prophecy seminars run by people that have not been deceived by Satan’s attempt to keep Christians in the dark on the Sabbath truth or Bible prophecy believing it cannot be understood. Do these hundreds of different Church denominations with millions and millions of members know something that we don’t?

Why is the Sabbath Day so important to God?
We have already noted that God intended the Sabbath to be a blessing to us and has asked us to call His Sabbath a DELIGHT, but what else makes the Sabbath so important to God?

Most people understand that it is morally wrong to lie, steal, murder and to worship idols or take the Lord’s name in vain etc, but the reason Satan is so successful in keeping so many from the Sabbath truth is because it is easy for him to convince the multitudes it is not important. Sadly, most do not see the Sabbath as important as on the surface breaking the Sabbath does not appear to be morally wrong. The question is; does God see the Sabbath day as being important? If it is important to God then it has to be important to us. Since God made His Sabbath part of the Ten Commandments, it becomes sin to break the Sabbath as sin is breaking any of the Ten Commandments. Sin is the reason Jesus died on the cross for us and it does not get more serious than that. We should know how much God detests sin but what are some other reasons that make the Sabbath so significant?

Exodus 31:13-17 “Speak you also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a SIGN between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that does SANCTIFY you. … 15 Six days may work be done; but in the Seventh is the Sabbath of rest, Holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a PERPETUAL covenant. 17 It is a SIGN between me and the children of Israel FOR EVER: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the Seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

Ezekiel 20:20 “And hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a SIGN between me and you, that you may know that I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD.”

The Sabbath is a special SIGN that defines that we are God’s children and He is our God that sanctifies us and makes us Holy. It also defines therefore that it is God who we worship and love and give our allegiance to. It is not a SIGN when we keep a secular day and profane God’s Sabbath. There is a lot more that could be cited but this should be enough to help you understand why this day is important to God and why it is a sin against God for us to not keep His Sabbath day Holy. Is there anyone who does not want to be part of this SIGN?

Some will say that this perpetual covenant that is a SIGN forever, (Exodus 31:13-17) applies only to the Israel of God and this is correct. The question is; who is the Israel of God? Today there is an Israel of the flesh (1 Corinthians 10:18) and an Israel of God, Galatians 6:16. The Israel of the flesh consists of those who are Jews by birth. The Israel of God is anyone who belongs to Christ and is under the New Covenant. Many do not understand that if we are Christ’s then we are spiritual Jews and the Israel of God. If we reject this truth then we cannot be under the New Covenant. Observe who the New Covenant was ONLY made with. This came into effect when the Jews rejected God’s message from Stephen (Acts 6:8-7:60) and stoned him. See also Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6-8 and Galatians 3:28-29. See also Daniel’s 70 weeks or 70 weeks of Daniel.

Hebrews 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:”

Since the Sabbath is a SIGN that we are God’s children, if we reject His Sabbath, then aren’t we rejecting God as our Father? And since the Sabbath is a SIGN that it is God that sanctifies us, if we reject His Sabbath, then aren’t we also rejecting His sanctification? All God asks from us is one single solitary day in seven. We still have the other six secular days to do as we please. Is one day an unreasonable request from our Creator God? Christians claim to love God with all their heart, might and soul, yet how do most respond? The number seven represents completion and perfection to God and this is the only reason we do have a seven day week. If not for this very special Sabbath day God has given us, we would only have a six day week. If we do not use this Seventh day Sabbath which God blessed and sanctified for this one and only use, what point is there in having this Seventh day of the week? God added this one and only day with this one and only purpose, so we could spend Holy time with our Holy God that is a most beautiful SIGN that He is our God and we are His children. Again, despite this blessing, how do most respond? Believe it or not, I have had enough excuses now to fill an entire book. An appropriate name for this book would be, “The book of excuses for not having to spend time with your Creator God on His Holy day.”

How God must grieve every time someone chooses one of these 1001 excuses. Does God know our heart? If we use one of these excuses will God know? Does God know if we don’t want the truth about His day because it would be an inconvenience to us? If we use one of these 1001 excuses, can we truly say we love God with all our heart, might and soul? If we do not love God with all our heart, will God accept us into His kingdom?

What are the consequences for not keeping the Sabbath Day?
The book of James tells us if we break one Commandment we have broken them all. So if the Sabbath is Saturday and if we are supposed to be keeping the true Sabbath day then most Christians are guilty of breaking God’s law. The Bible tells us that only a few will find the straight and narrow gate. Was this referring to Christians specifically?

Noah preached for 120 years that a great flood was coming and only 8 were saved. Jesus said that at the time of His second coming it is going to be like in the days of Noah. Why do we only acknowledge what we want to see? God pleads with us as to why we would perish.

Hosea prophesied that God’s people would perish for a lack of knowledge which does not sound fair but then he explains it is because they would reject knowledge in regards to the Commandments of God, so He in return would reject them. Considering how many people have rejected knowledge on the Sabbath Commandment, this sadly makes perfect sense.

Hebrews 10:26-29 says there is no sacrifice to cover wilful sin and it is to trample the Son of God underfoot and count the blood of the New Covenant as an unholy thing despite being under God’s grace. Jesus says to those who practice lawlessness, He will deny access to the kingdom. So if we are supposed to keep the Sabbath day and are ignorant of this fact, how will we be judged? Would God burn someone in Hell for being ignorant? What about denial?

It appears that everyone has a different idea about this issue of the Seventh day Sabbath truth. When there is so much confusion and conflicting information you know that deception reigns and one seriously needs to investigate to find what the truth really is and especially when the consequences for deliberate sin is to be left out of the kingdom.

Are all the Ten Commandments still valid?
If something as important as the Ten Commandments were to change by even the smallest amount we would be told with crystal clear scriptures. Most Christians will not debate that nine of the Ten Commandments need to be obeyed but so many freely sweep one under the carpet that becomes too much of an effort for them. Denial of truth of any of the Ten Commandments has only one outcome as far as God is concerned and we do not want that path. Unless black and white scriptures can be produced that says the day has changed or been abolished, then the Sabbath is just as valid as the other nine Commandments and the consequences are the same for deliberately breaking any one of them. Does anyone believe they can freely murder as they please and still enter the kingdom of God?

So do all the Ten Commandments still stand or does the Bible indicate that we can live in wilful deliberate sin? We certainly are saved by God’s Grace through faith in Christ, but is this a license to continue in sin? Did Jesus die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin or so we could go on living in sin? What does the only source of truth that we can trust have to say on this very important topic that nailed our loving Saviour to the cross? Here are the answers put simply by scripture alone while covering the main areas of confusion.

What is the Bible definition of sin? 1 John 3:4. So where there is sin, there has to be a law. Romans 4:15. If there is no law then there can be no sin and if there is no sin then there is no need for a Saviour.

Did Paul say we can sin now that we are under Grace which would therefore show the law had ended? Romans 6:1-2, Romans 6:14-15.

Paul taught on the law and Galatians in chapters 2, 3 and 4 and Romans 3 that no flesh is justified by the works of the law and that righteousness comes by FAITH. Does this therefore mean that the Ten Commandments are made null and void through FAITH? Romans 3:31. So who is justified before God? Romans 2:13.

Did Jesus say He came to do away with the law? Matthew 5:17. Did Jesus say He was going to change the law by even so much as one single letter? Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17. Did Jesus say we have to teach the law as well as obey it? Matthew 5:19.

Does Jesus say that those who practise lawlessness, which is the breaking of the Ten Commandments, will enter the kingdom? Matthew 7:21-23, 1 John 2:4. So what does Jesus say that one has to do to inherit eternal life? Matthew 19:16-19.

Can we keep just nine of the Ten Commandments and are we judged by obedience to the law? James 2:10-12, Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17.

So what are the consequences for wilful sin, which is wilfully disobeying even ONE of the Ten Commandments? Hebrews 10:26-29, Ephesians 5:3, 5.

What are the blessings for not living in wilful sin, which is obeying the Ten Commandments in loving obedience? Revelation 22:14.

The passage in Matthew chapter 5 alone proves that not one letter of the law has changed which means that all scriptures used as arguments for ending or changing the Sabbath truth are being abused or misunderstood. The answers are indisputable and any other arguments would be in total contradiction to the words of Jesus, Paul and James just to name a few. I think Solomon summed it up well with his final conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

Did Jesus and the early Church keep the Sabbath Day?
If the Sabbath is an unchanged Commandment, then we should find Paul and the early Church keeping the Seventh day Sabbath. If this can be demonstrated, this would also prove that the Sabbath was not changed or abolished. So can we demonstrate this? We can of course and do in fact find Paul keeping the Sabbath as his CUSTOM was since childhood in a Jewish Synagogue.

A custom is something you do religiously and without failure. What was Paul’s CUSTOM and EXAMPLE while establishing the early Christian Church? Notice in the following verse that this is a Jewish synagogue and that Jews have all through history, without change, worshipped on Saturday as they still do today. Acts 17:1-2. The Jews and Pharisees which Paul was since CHILDHOOD have ALWAYS kept Saturday as the Sabbath. Acts 26:4-5.

This is proof conclusive of Saturday Sabbath keeping AFTER the cross and undoubtedly applies to both Jews and Gentiles if wondering. Acts 13:42-44; Acts 18:4. It was not only Paul’s custom and example but that of Jesus also and He is our perfect example. Luke 4:16. And unless Jesus is into making meaningless and nonsensical statements, He also clarified beyond all doubt that the Sabbath would definitely NOT end at the cross by His reference to the future destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, when he said, “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath” Matthew 24:20. See also New Testament Sabbath.

What Day is the Sabbath – Who changed the Sabbath to Sunday?
Below are statements from the Roman Catholic Church which give the simple answer as to why most Churches now keep Sunday as the Sabbath. Most Christians have no idea that this even happened or how it happened. Revelation 13 tells us that Satan gave his power and authority to the Catholic Church. Why? It was Satan’s plan to have this Church change the Sabbath to Sunday. Why did Satan do this? The Sabbath is about who we give our allegiance to. If we obey God and keep His Sabbath day Holy, we give our allegiance to God. If we obey the Commandment of the Catholic Church and keep their day Holy, who do we give our allegiance to then? The Catholic Church answers this question below with two of their quotes. But looking deeper, who gave this Church power so God’s true day of worship could be changed? Read Catholic Church Statements about the Sabbath or Sabbath Statements by the Catholic Church for more quotes.

Does the Bible support the change to Sunday?
“Most Christians assume that Sunday is the biblically approved day of worship. The Catholic Church protests that it transferred Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday, and that to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday.” Rome’s Challenge
http://www.immaculateheart.com/maryonline Dec 2003

“For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.” Catholic Virginian, October 3, 1947, p. 9, article “To Tell You the Truth.”

Who Made Sunday Holy?
“Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. ‘The day of the Lord’ was chosen, not from any direction noted in the Scriptures, but from the (Catholic) Church’s sense of its own power…People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” St. Catherine Church Sentinel, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995.

“Question – Which is the Sabbath day?
“Answer – Saturday is the Sabbath day.
“Question – Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
“Answer – We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50, 3rd edition, 1957.

Whose Day of Worship is Sunday?
“They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason…The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law…is the Catholic Church.” Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914.

“It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” Priest Brady, in an address reported in The News, Elizabeth, New Jersey, March 18, 1903.

Who Do We Reverence by Keeping Sunday Holy?
“It was the Catholic church which…has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.

“I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802. Hover here for a document clip or select for full original image.

Who was reaWe know the Sabbath was changed by the Roman Catholic Church, but who was really responsible and why? Many of you have probably already worked this out but let’s go through it anyway. Beginning with the early Church, Satan failed in his attempt at stopping the son of God so he turned his attention to the Church. He initially tried to destroy the Church by having all Christians killed, but martyrdom just made the Church grow faster and stronger. Satan soon realised that he could do more damage from within the Church, so he gave the Papacy its power, seat and position. Even though most Christians do not know the importance of the Sabbath day, Satan knows the Sabbath truth all too well and he also knew that it was the easiest of the Ten Commandments to attack, and so put his long term plan into effect. How successful was his plan and who is responsible for his success?

Satan fell from his position because of pride and because he wanted to be worshipped as God. Since no one in their right mind would worship Satan, he knew he could only obtain this worship from within the Church. The Seventh day Sabbath is about whom we worship and it is not a sign that we worship God or belong to Him when we keep the wrong day. Satan’s goal was therefore to have his own day of worship instituted in place of God’s and while achieving the primary goal of getting Christians away from a very significant Commandment and living in lawlessness. Using the Papacy as his agent, Satan changed God’s Seventh day Sabbath to a day in honour of pagan Sun worship, hence the pagan name Sunday. Satan also knew that sun worship was something that God detested and was one of the reasons why God allowed His people to fall into the hands of the Babylonians. Satan no doubt had great pleasure in this accomplishment as he would have Christians breaking God’s law and not fulfilling the sign of the Sabbath, as well as further upsetting God by taking away His day of worship in place of Satan’s and in favour of sun worship which is idolatry. How Satan must clap his hands in glee over this victory that so many people have given him.

Christians now assume that Sunday is the correct day and it becomes a mind set as this is what their custom was growing up, and anything different does not feel right and seems foreign. This was Satan’s plan from the beginning and sadly, he has been very successful. Today the ruler of this world works very hard at feeding our minds with thoughts that this Commandment is insignificant and Christians who are not wanting to be inconvenienced by change are all too happy to listen. It’s time for Christians to stop being deceived and wake up to the fact that Satan was responsible and return to all Ten Commandments of God and this precious SIGN that we are His children and it is our Creator God that we worship. Jesus laid down His life for you, how much of a sacrifice is it for you to change your day of worship?

For a very detailed account of the Sabbath to Sunday change, and how it actually begun 2000 years B.C. with the worship of Satan and the sun, and involves the origin of that mysterious number 666.

The Sabbath Day truth from creation to eternity
The Sabbath has existed since creation when God added the Seventh day to the week with the one and only purpose of a Sabbath rest. This is the only reason we have a seven day week today. God also blessed and sanctified this day for Holy use. This was done before sin had entered the World and was part of God’s perfect plan. Most Christians do not know that the word translated “rested” in our English Bibles in Genesis 2:3 is actually “shabath” in the Hebrew and means Sabbath. Here is the word Sabbath right at creation. In reference to the future destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, Jesus states in Matthew 24:20, “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.” This ONE statement alone PROVES that Jesus expected the Sabbath to be kept subsequent to His death. The gospel of Luke states in Luke 23:56 that when the body of Christ was being prepared, “they rested the Sabbath day according to the Commandment.” Luke’s gospel was written 30 to 50 years after the cross and Luke still shows that the Commandment is unchanged. If it were changed, Luke would have undoubtedly told us since it is one of the Commandments. Isaiah also prophesied in Isaiah 66:22-23 that, “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make … and from one Sabbath to another, shall ALL flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.”

In Genesis 4:3-7, Cain brought an offering from the ground which represents righteousness by works and so God was angry with him but Abel brought the firstborn of his flock as a sin offering which represents righteousness by faith. You cannot have a sin offering unless there is a law. (1 John 3:4) In verse 7, we also see God speak to Cain about sin lying at the door. The Bible also says where there is no law there is no transgression (Romans 4:15) so the Commandments although not yet codified had to exist from the very beginning or Cain could also not have been guilty of murder. See also Genesis 26:5. Besides the Seventh day being called the Sabbath in the Hebrew in Genesis 2:3, God also said the Sabbath “is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever” because “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17. Here God further confirms that the Sabbath existed from the beginning when it was added as the Seventh day of the week at creation. For even more proof, we also know that the Sabbath existed back in Genesis chapter 11. In over 105 languages in the world where the Sabbath has not taken on the Pagan name Saturday, it is still called the Sabbath in each of these languages as it was named at creation. This proves that when these 105 languages originated at Babel in Genesis 11, Saturday was recognized as the Sabbath day and was incorporated into the very name of the day. Since the Sabbath was sanctified and made Holy before sin at creation and the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments which is also seen being kept before the giving of the Commandments, it had to be kept by Adam and Eve.

It was also kept by Abraham, it was kept in the exodus from Egypt before the Ten Commandments were given when God tested His children to see if they would keep THE Seventh day as per the Commandment. It was kept by the Jews, it was kept by Jesus, it was kept by Paul, it was kept by the Apostles, it was kept by the early Church by both Jews and Gentiles, and this is also verified by Jesus who showed it would be kept in 70 AD when the temple was destroyed. History also further proves this by the fact that reliable unbiased history sources show that it was still being kept until around 90-120 AD where some Christians first changed to Sunday to avoid persecution for Judaism. History shows that the final part of the day change began with Constantine in 321 AD in favour of Sun worship, and was made law by the Catholic Church around 363-364 AD. The Sabbath was almost murdered out of existence through the dark ages when the Roman Catholic Church ruled as Church and state for those terrible 1260 dark years, and Revelation 12:17 speaks of a remnant of God’s original Church that would arise after these dark ages that Satan would hate and make war with because it would start keeping all of the Ten Commandments of God once again. To finish this all off, God showed Isaiah that we will still be keeping the Sabbath in the new Heaven and the New Earth. Here is the Sabbath being kept from creation beginning and throughout all eternity. The Sabbath is eternal as the other nine.

We should desire the truth about the Sabbath Day
Would it surprise you to know that Jesus never once even mentioned the first day of the week? As Christians, we should always be seeking after the truth, as Jesus is the truth. If we really love Jesus with all our heart, soul and might, we will always strive to find what the truth is at absolutely any cost.

However, with so many people saying so many different things, how can we possibly know what the truth really is? There is only one guaranteed way, and that is the inspired Word of God – The Holy Bible. The Bible is and should always be our final authority and not the advice of our Pastor or our most trusted friend. If we can find unbiased information on man’s knowledge of History on the Seventh day Sabbath truth, that can also be used to help us determine the truth but ultimately, we need to go by the Word of God.

The intention of this web site was not to cover all the excuses and truth about the Sabbath but to point you to a choice of sites that will help you find more on what the truth really is. In the top left column and at the bottom of this page, you will find links to many good web sites, not only on the Sabbath, but also on other topics that relate to the Sabbath day such as the ceremonial law and the Ten Commandments. If you want all the facts on the Sabbath, select God’s Sabbath Truth or Sabbath Truth. Select to find the proof of Who is the Antichrist. For real eye-opening information that reveals that sun worship started with Satan worship, see the full history of Sun-Day worship and how it entered the Church.

The Top Ten excuses used to avoid the Sabbath Day truth
It is absolutely incredible how many excuses are given by Christians who claim to truly love God come up with to justify why they do not need to obey one of the Ten Commandments that defines what sin is, and is a precious SIGN and blessing from God. As stated earlier, I have been given enough excuses to write an entire book. This is extremely dangerous and the many Christians who have deliberately sought out an excuse as to why they can disobey God are in for a very rude shock. Jesus says that to even those that do miracles in His name and call Him Lord but break any of the Commandments, He will say, “depart from me I never knew you.” Can you imagine the shock of so many Christians in the end that thought they could make excuses to disobey one of God’s Commandments and get away with it?

The words of Jesus on fulfilling the law are all we need to know the Sabbath truth. Jesus said that not even a letter of the Ten Commandments will pass as long as heaven and earth are still here. On the words of Jesus alone it is Ten unchanged Commandments and it is just as serious to worship idols or murder as it is to not keep the Sabbath Holy. This is far too serious an issue not to fully investigate. It is one thing to be ignorant of the truth but to not want to investigate if you are ignorantly living in sin will still condemn you. We must have a love of the truth as Jesus is truth and the Word is truth. Jesus means what He says and says what He means and we are not free to manipulate the words of any of the Ten Commandments to suit ourselves and still enter the kingdom. The Sabbath Commandment says we have six days to do our work but THE Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord and we are to keep THE Seventh day Holy. The other six days are secular and are not Holy and the Commandment is very clear that we cannot choose our own day. See also Exodus 16.

Here are fifteen of the most popular excuses used that all contradict the words of Jesus.

1. The Sabbath was changed in honour of the resurrection.
2. The Calendar was changed.
3. We don’t know which day is the true Sabbath.
4. We keep the Sabbath everyday.
5. We keep the Lord’s day.
6. The Sabbath was only for the Jews.
7. The Sabbath was Made for Man.
8. The Ten Commandments were abolished.
9. Jesus is our Sabbath rest now.
10. The Sabbath was abolished.
11. We are not under Law but under Grace.
12. Jesus broke the Sabbath.
13. You are Placing us under the Old Covenant.
14. The majority can’t be wrong.
15. The Sabbath was changed to Sunday.

http://www.sabbath-day.net/

The Great Controversy – Touching Lives Around the World

Wendy Luhabe—South Africa

Wendy Luhabe

“I’m a revolutionary person, in a quiet sort of way,” Wendy Luhabe, of
Johannesburg, South Africa, once told a reporter. As one of South
Africa’s most prominent businesswomen and social entrepreneurs, Luhabe
has accomplished a lot. But it was the book The Great Controversy that changed her life forever.

Wendy Luhabe’s résumé is filled with high-powered positions and
numerous international awards—she sits on the boards of seven major
corporations and is a board member of the Johannesburg Securities
Exchange. She is cofounder of the Women Investment Portfolio Holdings
and was named one of the 50 Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World. In
2006 she was appointed the first female chancellor of the University of
Johannesburg. She holds influential appointments across Europe, and has
received a prestigious award from the World Economic Forum in
Switzerland and honors from Japan. She has authored a book, Defining Moments, whose profits, through the Wendy Luhabe Foundation, are utilized to educate young disadvantaged Black women.
A Life-changing Gift
Nothing seemed to slow down Luhabe, a superachiever, until she
fractured her ankle in early 2010. While she was recovering at home, a
friend shared with her a set of DVDs by Mark Woodman, a South African
evangelist who introduced her to the concept of the great controversy.
After she told her son Lumko and daughter-in-law Zanele about the
amazing things she was learning, Zanele gave her the book The Great Controversy,
by Ellen G. White. Eagerly Wendy read the book and was so impressed
that she visited the Adventist Book Center, where she purchased “the
whole set of books” by Ellen White.
In addition, Wendy contacted Paul Ratsara, president of the
Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division. Ratsara offered to study the
Bible with her, and six months later, on October 23, 2010, he had the
privilege of baptizing Wendy Luhabe into the Seventh-day Adventist
Church.
“Having been an Anglican all my life, and searching for the past 10
years for a church that stands for truth, I feel blessed that my path
was led to the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” says Wendy. “Ellen G.
White’s books have been invaluable. When I read The Great Controversy, I
understood for the first time the significance of what happened in the
Garden of Eden, the crucifixion of Christ, the deception of my former
religion, the fact that the world is characterized by either good or
evil, and ultimately the controversy between sin and righteousness.
“I have given copies of this book to many people to read—including a bishop of my previous church. The Great Controversy was instrumental in my decision to convert from the Anglican Church, and led me to my baptism in October 2010.”

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