Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sabbath Day: 7th Day, 1st Day, Every Day or a Future Day of Rest? (Part II)

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16, NKJV)

Inspiration – “Inhalation”
Inspire – “Inhale; to influence, move or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

“All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking…” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV)

The reason I begin with this Scripture is to clarify that ALL Scripture, not some Scripture as some would have us ascribe to, is inspired or God-breathed whether we understand it all or not. Either we accept that or not. Whether God wrote some with his own finger or chose someone to use and write what he wanted to say through them. He, God, wrote it. That is the premise, the only foundation upon which we as Christians (Jews or Gentiles) ought to build.

     Jesus validated the Scriptures as well by referring back to them in many instances with “It is written…” THE Word of God, used the Word of God to reply to questions from the religious leaders and others of his day. It is all we have to stand on. There are many sects and cults that have been spawned that use Scripture out of its context by manipulating it to say what they think or want it to say and have added to and twisted the Word of God. I, for one, do not claim to understand all of Scripture, but I am instructed by the Word and the Holy Spirit to live up to the light or enlightenment that I have received.

     Therefore, in respect to the Sabbath day, as a non-Jew who lives under the dispensation of the New Covenant of grace, I am fully convinced that I am in alignment with Scripture to keep the Sabbath-or Day of Rest on Sunday, the 1st day of the week, provided that I actually make it a true day of rest and refrain from work. I will refrain from speaking from the Jewish standpoint, though Jesus and the Apostle Paul were both Jews and the scriptures I will reference either Jesus himself spoke or Paul was used to write. For it is written:

       “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One man esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it….But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:4-12)

     The reason I worship and hold Sunday, the 1st day of the week as a Sabbath day of rest is not based on tradition. Yes, it is how I grew up, but I’ve always been one to question practices if I do not see them supported in Scripture. If I believed God, through his Word was really telling us to keep the Sabbath as the 7th day instead of the 1st day of the week, I’d have no problem in doing so. However, that is not my conviction based on Scripture or upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

     When Jesus, the Word made flesh, spoke to the scribe of his day, the Jewish teacher of the law and said that the most important commandment is this, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength’… And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no greater commandment greater than these.” That was a wrap for me and apparently, it was a “wrap” for the scribe as well.

     When God used Paul, who had been a zealot, “…circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless,” (Phil. 3:5-6, NIV) to say:

     “Owe no man anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)
     This is in keeping with Jesus’ answer to the scribe. Note, by the way, that in both responses by Jesus and Paul, they were referring to the Ten Commandments. They both quoted the Ten Commandments in their responses and encompassed them all by saying, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Jesus said in Matt. 22:40.) And Paul’s answer that, “…if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying…”

     I cannot do this study justice in this blog and there are enough books written on the subject. However, it is sufficient for me to cross-reference all the New Testament Scriptures, since I am a born again Gentile under the New Covenant and sealed with the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, I do not find any Scriptural support to “preach” that the Sabbath day be maintained as the 7th day of the week.

     Finally, Jesus said to the Pharisees who questioned him as to why his disciples were doing what was “not lawful on the Sabbath,” he replied, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28) I believe the previous statements quoted above and this statement here, gives indication as to why God created the Sabbath. Yes, God rested on the 7th day after creating the world. Yes, God gave the Sabbath command to the Jews as well as the other nine commandments and many others as well. It’s necessary because being human we would not take the time to rest and reflect or give a full day of worship unto God. However, glory be to God, for the Believer, every day is a type of Sabbath. Through the blood of Jesus we have entered into a new dispensation of resting in Christ though the ultimate day of rest will not be until Christ’s return. Every day we are to worship God and give ourselves as a living sacrifice – every day (Rom. 12:1). Some will not get this concept or understand it (can’t say that I understand completely myself), but I believe the Word of God and do my best to live according to the Word of God and not according the traditions of men. I do not have the time or space to go into being under the law vs. being under grace as Paul talks about in Romans chapters 4-6 except to leave you with the few verses below.

It is written:
“Before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account where there is no law. (Rom. 5:13, NIV)

“The law was added so that the trespass might increase…” (Rom. 5:20, NIV)

“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14, NIV)

“…in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” (Col 2:9)

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us…nailing it to the cross.” (Col. 2:12-14, NIV)

“Therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Col. 2:16-17, NIV)

     The commission of the Messiah, Christ, was simple: “…Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20)

     Therefore, I submit to you, let that be our focus, not disputing or debating as to which day is the Sabbath day. Jesus kept the Sabbath as a Jew, but then he died and rose again on the 1st day of the week. He fulfilled the law (Matt. 5:17-18), that is, he fulfilled the requirements of the law, he embodied the law and when we repent of our sins – the breaking of the law, and accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, the embodiment of the law now lives within us, namely Christ.

     So we preach Christ. Everything is fulfilled in him according to the Scriptures. Preaching and practice are now made simple. Preach Christ and him crucified and resurrected. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Let that be our message. If anyone has anything else to say or preach, let that be between him and God (Rom. 14:22). ”Each of us will have to give an account of himself to God.” (Rom. 14:12)

My Prayer:
Father, make us one. Teach us how to love you with all our heart, mind, soul and body. Help us to love one another as ourselves. Let there not be division among us. Instead help us to walk together in unity so that our lives may glorify you and so that the world may believe in your sent one – Jesus Christ.

Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


  1. Its interesting as I have been reading a book about priesthood, that raises the question of whether the sabbath should be a day or as yu suggest in your title, part of every day. he suggest that the point being made is about making sure we do rest, and that we rest in God. Therefore it doesnt need to be a day but should form some part of every day. Its an interesting one and not sure I feel particularly strongly about either, other than we should always make time to rest in God..

  2. I am glad you started with scripture.
    Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, For as much as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

    I cut and pasted your words from amongst all you wrote and these words are the reason and the only reason I will continue to blog and comment with anyone until I believe they are a lie:

    "If I believed God, through his Word was really telling us to keep the Sabbath as the 7th day instead of the 1st day of the week, I’d have no problem in doing so. "

    First you don't have to choose. you can keep both.
    One is your choice and the other what God asked us for.

    like tithe you can give more but God asked for a tenth.

    Now let me also say as I have always said:" keeping the 10 commandments is not about salvation. Salvation is a free gift of Grace through Jesus Christ it is how we obtain reconciliation to god and forgiveness of sin it is the door to relationship with God."
    I am not a Jew because ...,well I'm not. I was not born it and not raised it; it's more than a religion it is a heritage and life style foreign to me in many ways; so God does not see me that way; that is not our relationship (God and I ). I am not seventh day Adventist, who believe everyone going to worship on Sunday is deceived by the devil, and have the mark of the beast, and are lost when Jesus returns. I am not a Jehovah's Witness who deny the deity of Jesus/Christ; I do not belong to any cult or sect of "Christianity". I am Just a child of God who loves his father and every day I want to show him how much. Like the woman in Luke chapter 7 who had been forgiven much and loved much. I am there. That is me. "...'; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little.".

    We say we love God but we do not Obey him, or trust him or reverence him (Fear and Respect him).

    Don't you see that the people who said they loved God the most who were teaching the love of God...KILLED HIS ONLY PERFECT INNOCENT SON.
    LET that sink in.

    How can God trust us we suck on record (pardon my vernacular). Our history is no good our promise is a lie, our best is the worst and our righteousness a filthy rag. How is he going to know who loves him? not by our words and deeds that is for sure.
    one minute we love god and want to be a virgin the next we lust and have to stop our selves from sex ..but the lust has already condemned us....

    On our own we can not do it living in this world survival makes us sin over and over in our minds and bodies; but it does not have to in our hearts.

    in our hearts the truth can be hidden from the devil and the world we can be in the world but not of the world we can hide the truth where only God can see it and only we can change it as an individual not as a church or religion because they each have their own rules and we follow those to the best of our ability too: tax cheat here, bounced check there, white lie here, curse word there, Judgments here, condemnation there...Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

    I say all this to be clear I am not judging, just trying to help people who say they love God and I believe they do ...; I want to help them because that is why God spared me like the King of Nineveh I heard the preaching of Jonah "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.". Jesus is coming soon there are no more generations this is it. we do not have 40 years I will see the return of Jesus in the clouds. 1Thes 4:16

    The ten commandments is more than the law of God it is his Character. it is the seed sown in the world that truly yields the fruit of Love . Real love; God's love. (to be continued

  3. Hi Beverly -

    I immensely enjoyed this piece that is of the Word of our Lord. You thoroughly provided scriptures to support what you have expressed here. This piece has me compelled to delve deeper into the matter, and I shall do that.

    Of vital imporatance are those two commandments that you cited - to love GOD FIRST ...and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

    Sometimes, people get caught up in rituals and traditions and fail to love. Without love, the Bible says, we are nothing.

    May we fervently promote and DO Matthew 6:33 - KJV, that states, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

  4. Shalom. Is this position what the Messianic Rabbi taught?

    Shalom In Messiah

  5. Hi Yuri,
    The Rabbi did distinguish between the Jewish keeping of the Shabbat and the Gentile keeping of the Shabbat even under the new covenant. His family and possibly congregation still keeps the original rituals of the Shabbat along with the various festivals. I wish he'd spent more time on it, but this past week he focused on the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. I wanted to hear more of the rituals and the application to the comming of the Messiah. For example, the reference to the sacrifices, which are no longer kept because the temple is no more and all the rituals pertaining to the sacrifices were fulfilled in the ultimate sacrifice of The Lamb of God-Jesus. I wanted to learn more about, from a historic-Judaic tradition, the implications of the rituals associated with the Shabbat and how it pertained to Christ fulfilling that as well. If I get a chance to I'll see if he's open to me either talking with him one on one, have him refer me to certain writings or visit the synagogue. He did give the last option as an invitation.

    Ultimately, Yuri, I go by the Word. I simply want some references that will give further insight and understanding to how God was working to bring it all together in Christ. That statement Jesus made in Matt. 5:17 and the proceeding verses, are pretty powerful and I don't think we really get it. As I read the rest of the chapter as Jesus addressed a few of the commandments and broke down what the intent of them were, primarily being a heart issue; he repeatedly said, "You have heard it said to those of old..." again and again, "But I say to you that...." and this in conjunction with his declaration that, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill..." and in verse 18, "...I say to you, till heaven and earth pas away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." Brings about more questions to the seeker. He came to fulfill and yet all has not been fulfilled. How does he fulfill? I don't think many of us deeply ponder these nuggets and the Jewish rituals God instituted and as the Rabbi stated, "God is a God of rituals" but not just for the sake of rituals. They have a purpose or purposes. And I believe on what I'm gathering so far from that little nugget the Rabbi gave and this passage of Scripture (which he didn't reference by the way), that we, many Jews and Gentiles are missing the link in Christ.

    It's as though, the Jews have a full understanding of the rituals and the Gentile believers don't and the Gentile believers have the new covenant understanding of Christ but there is a gap whereas the two should come together to bring about a full understanding - like two pieces of a puzzle; the one can't fully display the picture without the other and I want to see the whole picture.

    There's more swirling around in my heart and spirit on the matter, but I can't articulate it without further study.


  6. There are other ways to look at the issue at hand. One is by the weight of evidence. (I would go through the entire Bible and put all the verses in support of Sunday on one side, and all the verses pertaining to Shabbat observance on the other; together with the related circumstances and evidence. And way out the matter with much prayer and fasting.

    The Rabbi talked about rituals; and yes, these have the substance in Yahshua. The whole temple serves has depth of meaning about Yahshua.

    For example, the The gate to the temple (represented Yahshua)(Jn.10:9), The Brazen alter in the court yard (represented the Cross), The Brazen Sea; where the Priests washed (represented Baptism) the twelve cakes on the Table of Shewbread (represented Messiah) Jn.6:35) The veil separating the Holy from the Most Holy (represented His flesh) Heb. 10:20

    Regarding the Shabbat vs. Sunday question; Yahshua says Whosoever will let him come unto me and drink....IF any man thirst let him come unto me and drink.

    If Shabbat believers are wrong about the Shabbat then there is certainly not anything to lose;(at least they kept a day holy) if they are right on this issue then there remains a rest for the people of Elohim. (Heb.4:9)

    Shalom In Yahshua

  7. I really enjoyed this thought-provoking post. And the comments have been most informative.

    I really do think you captured the essence of the issue, though - it is to worship the Lord our God with our whole being. And we are to do that in both private and public worship.