Is the Sabbath Relevant Today?

June 11, 2020   |   Category: End of the Age   |  

The fourth commandment is, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Is this scripture still relevant today? And if so, what day should we observe it and how? We will look to the Bible for these answers on today’s edition of End of the Age!

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15 Responses to “Is the Sabbath Relevant Today?”

  1. Gary DeMara

    This is the worst excuse for not keeping the Sabbath. Robbins has no clue! The Sabbath was made for man at creation. It has never changed, except by man (the Catholic Church). Jesus kept the Sabbath. You need to read “Saturday or Sunday which is the Sabbath” by David C. Pack. You will be ashamed after reading this book. You guys need to teach the TRUTH, and not make excuses for sinning against God. Have you ever hear that if you break one of God’s laws, you break the other nine also? God says He is the Lord of the Sabbath. So, based on your poor explanation, the New Covenant, made the 7th day Sabbath on Saturday obsolete? Therefore, God’s position was taken away as being the Lord of the Sabbath? The Catholic Church (by a pagan ruler) officially change the day of worship to Sunday (also a pagan day).

    • Doug Norvell

      “SHOULD CHRISTIANS KEEP THE SABBATH?”
      By: David K. Bernard

      Groups such as the Seventh-Day Adventists have raised many questions about the Sabbath in the minds of Christians. Should we still keep the seventh-day Sabbath of the Old Testament? Should we keep Sunday as the Sabbath? Has Sabbath keeping been abolished under the new covenant? What meaning does the Sabbath have for us today?

      The Command and Its Significance
      The command to keep the Sabbath was first given in the law of Moses and is part of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). The word sabbath comes from a Hebrew root that means “to rest, cease, desist, leave off” (Gesenius). On the pain of death, the Israelites were not to do any work on the Sabbath-not even cooking, lighting a fire, gathering firewood, or traveling (Exodus 16:23-30; 20:8-11; 31:12-17; 3@:1-3; Numbers 15:32-26). While the Sabbath was a day of worship, sacred assembly, and special sacrifices in the Tabernacle and Temple (“an holy convocation”), for the average person it was primarily a day of rest at home (“a sabbath of rest…in all your dwellings”) (Leviticus 23:3). Historians agree that synagogues and local Sabbath worship at them did not come into existence until after the destruction of the Temple in 721 B.C.
      Several passages of Scripture disclose that the Sabbath was given uniquely to the nation of Israel: “Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you” (Exodus 31:13). (See Ezekiel 20:12-13.) “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).
      These passages also reveal a twofold significance for the Sabbath law. First, as we have already seen, the Sabbath provided a weekly day of rest from all work. It was instituted for people’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, not because the day itself was sacred. As Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). This provision of rest was especially significant to the Israelites, for the Sabbath was a constant, vivid reminder that God had delivered them from slavery and entered into covenant relationship with them.
      Second, the Sabbath served to sanctify the nation of Israel, that is, to set it apart or separate it from all other nations, for no other nation observed the Sabbath. Along with laws concerning diet, farming practices, and clothing, the Sabbath law distinguished the Israelites from everyone else and identified them physically as Jehovah’s chosen people.

      The Sabbath and the New Covenant
      The church today is not under God’s covenant with Israel as epitomized by the Ten Commandments, but under the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34-; Romans 7:5-6; Galatians 3:23-35; 4-:21-31). As a result, the church no longer observes the physical signs and ceremonies of the old covenant, such as circumcision (Galatians 6:15). God and His Word are unchanging, but some of His commands relate only to certain people or a certain time. While God’s moral law never changes, Christians are not subject to the ceremonial law of the Old Testament (Mark 7:14–19; Acts 11:5-9; 15:1-29).
      The Jewish Sabbath was part of that ceremonial law; the Sabbath is not inherently moral. In Isaiah 1:10-20 God contrasted ceremonial observances-including blood sacrifices, feasts, and Sabbaths-with moral standards, saying He detested the Israelites’ keeping of the former because they did not live up to the latter.
      If Sabbath keeping were a universal, eternal moral duty, God would not have expressed displeasure with it under any circumstances.
      Similarly, Jesus compared the Sabbath to other ceremonial law, which could be superseded even under the old covenant in cases of higher moral need (Matthew 12:1-13). Jesus and Paul affirmed the moral law of the Old Testament; they referred to some of the Ten Commandments as stating eternal moral standards, but it is notable that they did not mention the Sabbath law in these references (Mark 10:19; 12:28-31; Romans 13:8-10).
      God used the ceremonial law including blood sacrifices, dietary laws, circumcision, Sabbaths, and feasts-as types and shadows of truth to be found in Christ and His gospel. Since we now have the substance, or reality, we no longer need to observe the types and shadows. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17).
      Other New Testament passages also show that Sabbath keeping is not a requirement of the new covenant. It is permissible to regard a certain day as special, but it is wrong to make it a moral duty for oneself or others. “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it…Let us not therefore judge one another any more” (Romans 14-:5-6, 13). “How turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Galatians 4-:9-11).
      Jesus observed the Sabbath because He was a Jew living under the old covenant. For the same reason, He was circumcised and observed the Jewish feast days. At the same time, Jesus claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath, indicating that He could apply or change it as He saw fit (Mark 2:28).
      At first, Jewish Christians apparently kept the Sabbath as part of their culture. In Acts 10-11 Peter and the Jewish church were still adhering to Jewish dietary laws for the same reason. In Acts 21 Paul underwent a Jewish purification ceremony, which included a Temple offering, in order to reassure Jews that he was not trying to destroy their culture. He also attended synagogues often in order to preach to Jews. But in Acts 15 the Jerusalem Council ruled that Gentile Christians did not have to keep the law of Moses, except for four items that they listed in a letter to all the Gentile churches. Significantly, the Sabbath was not one of them.
      Some people point to the creation story as proof that the Sabbath law is eternal. God “ended his work” of creation and “rested” on the seventh day; moreover, He “blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it” (Genesis 2:2-3). When God gave the Ten Commandments, He cited this precedent as justification for the Sabbath law (Exodus 20:1 1; 31:17).
      Since Genesis was one of the five books of the law originally written for Israel, the creation story was naturally used to support the Sabbath command to Israel. While the Genesis account indicates the need for a weekly day of rest, it does not command Sabbath observance as such. The Bible nowhere states that people before the law observed the Sabbath as a day of rest or worship. Moreover, due to many changes in calendars over the centuries, it is impossible to say that the seventh day of Genesis 2 is the modern Saturday.
      We should also note that the Bible nowhere indicates that the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday or that God intends for Sunday to be a new Christian Sabbath.
      It should be pointed out that few persons keep the Sabbath law today. in order to do so, a person could not perform any work or light a fire. Thus he could not use any type of stove, heater, internal combustion engine, or electricity. Moreover, he could not cause anyone else to violate the Sabbath, which he would do if he ate in a restaurant or used utilities, the telephone, or the radio.

      Worship on Sunday
      Christians are to be faithful to local church meetings whenever they are held (Hebrews 10:25), and any day is appropriate for a special spiritual observance (Romans 14-:5-6).
      From the earliest times, Christians have usually conducted their main worship services on Sunday. Early believers chose the day of Christ’s resurrection to emphasize that they were not under the old covenant, which the Sabbath symbolized, but under the new covenant, which His resurrection instituted. Thus the believers at Troas met on the first day of the week for worship (Acts 20:7), and Paul instructed the Corinthians to collect offerings on the first day (I Corinthians 16:2). John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” when Jesus appeared to him in a vision (Revelation 1:10).
      Jesus Himself established the precedent of meeting on the first day. Not only did He first appear to His assembled disciples on the evening of His resurrection day (John 20:19), but His next appearance to the group was on the same day one week later (John 20:26). (“After eight days” is reckoned in the ancient Jewish manner, counting both the starting and ending day.) And the Holy Spirit fell on the assembled disciples on Pentecost Sunday.
      Sunday was a normal work day in the pagan Roman Empire, so Christians usually met on that day in the early morning or in the evening. After Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal and then began supporting it, he proclaimed Sunday an official holiday. He did not originate Sunday worship but merely legalized and facilitated the existing practice. However, his action did encourage the view that Sunday was a new Christian Sabbath.

      Spiritual Application
      From the Sabbath law we can draw a principle of enduring importance and continuing application: the need to provide a time of rest for our bodies and our spirits. In addition, Colossians 2:16-17 speaks of a deeper significance, describing the Sabbath as a type or foreshadowing of a greater reality to be found in Christ. Like the Levitical sacrifices, the Sabbaths are fulfilled in Him.
      In other words, the Sabbath points to the spiritual rest that Jesus promised. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” He invited, “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Significantly, in the passage immediately after this statement, Jesus indicated that the Sabbath law was ceremonial in nature and asserted His lordship over it (Matthew 12:1-13).
      It is specifically through the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking in tongues that we partake of the spiritual rest Christ provides. Isaiah 28:11-12 promises, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”
      The Apostle Peter apparently alluded to this promise when he preached in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” The last clause of this verse describes the gift of the Holy Spirit, as shown by Acts 2:38, a parallel statement from another sermon of Peter’s: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
      We also receive sanctification, or power to separate from sin and identify with Christ, through the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). Just as the physical Sabbath provided physical rest and sanctification for the Israelites under the old covenant, so the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, provides spiritual rest and sanctification for the church under the new covenant. Just as the Sabbath was a constant reminder of Israel’s deliverance from bondage and of their covenant relationship with God, so the Holy Spirit is a constant reminder of our deliverance from sin and of our new covenant relationship with God. The Spirit gives us power over sin (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:4-), and the Spirit effects the new covenant in our hearts (II Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:8-11). By living in the Spirit, we enjoy the true Sabbath every day.
      The enduring significance of the Sabbath is beautifully described in Hebrews 3:7-4-:11. Because of their unbelief, the Israelites did not enter into the rest that God provided for them, but the church today still has a promise of spiritual rest. And according to Hebrews 4-:4-, this spiritual rest is the true and ultimate fulfillment of God’s rest on the seventh day of creation.
      Hebrews 4-:9 states emphatically, there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God:’ The word rest here a translation of the Greek word sabbatismos, which literally means a Sabbath keeping or a Sabbath rest (Thayer). Does this verse refer to physical Old Testament Sabbath observance? No. The next verse states that our Sabbath consists of resting, or ceasing, from our works, just as God did from His (Hebrews 4:10). In other words, to enjoy true spiritual rest, we must renounce the works of the flesh and stop trying to earn salvation by our own works. Instead, we must exercise faith in Christ’s work on our behalf. Through faith, we receive His Holy Spirit and live daily by the Spirit’s guidance and power. The Spirit works in us to regenerate and sanctify, thus preparing us for the eternal Sabbath rest.
      Of course, true faith is not passive; it is an active reliance upon God that issues forth in obedience. Thus Hebrews 4-:11 admonishes, “Let us labour {be diligent, make every effort} therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
      Yes, we have a Sabbath rest-the refreshing presence and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit that we enjoy every day. And, yes, the ultimate Sabbath rest awaits us still-eternal rest in the presence of the One to whom the Old Testament Sabbath points: Jesus Christ our Lord.

  2. Alejandro Mario Canclini

    Moon cicles are not synchronized with the Roman week, so many are resting on Saturday, not Sabbath. GOD save us in the only NAME, gracias.

  3. olivia

    First of all Dave, your explanation of the Sabbath is not honoring God’s Word. In the book of Genesis 1 and 2 at creation God made the Sabbath Day of rest sacred to God. He did 6 days of creation and then He himself rested on the 7th Day making the 7th Day Sabbath a memorial of creation and it is still a memorial of what God created. There is no where in the Bible that says God changed that Day of rest. I believe by man not setting the 7th day aside may very well be the reason for so much tension and strife in our society today. When Jesus was on this earth He clarified the true meaning of the Sabbath showing the original purpose for its institution and what was in God’s heart, what was God’s desire here? Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27. Which means we as humans need rest and our creator gave us that example of rest at creation on the 7th day. You can’t really escape that! This is what convinced me that we are to set aside the 7th Day as Sabbath. It’s not the 7th Day issue that emergencies as the relevant one, it’s the issue of the role of the law and our liberty in Christ. This is the Bible Prophecy of Isaiah 66:22 “So as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make will remain before me saith The Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another shall all flesh come to worship before me saith The Lord.” When? On Shabbat saith The Lord!

    • Doug Norvell

      The Bible tells us that the Sabbath of the Old Testament was a shadow of things to come. Colossians 2:16-17 says this, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
      We no longer honor the Sabbath by doing the physical things that the Old Testament stated. The Sabbath was meant for our rest and that is literally what the word “Sabbath” means. Even Jesus allowed His disciples to pick corn on the Sabbath day and He defended them. He said that the Sabbath was made for the man, not the man for the Sabbath. If observance of a day was the point of the Sabbath, how do we explain these things? The observance of a day is not the answer to the Sabbath. If it was all about the observance of a day then we would have to honor more than Saturday. The Law contained multiple days that were considered Sabbath days. For example, Jesus died on a Wednesday and that Thursday was a Sabbath day. John 19:31 tells us that it was a High day, referring to an additional Sabbath within a week. The observance of a day is not what God intended.
      Isaiah 28:11-12 records a prophecy about the rest. It says with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people, this is the rest. In Hebrews 4 we learn more about the rest. The rest for God’s people is the Holy Ghost. When we receive the Holy Ghost and renew ourselves in the Holy Ghost we honor the Sabbath. It is through the Holy Ghost that we honor, observe, and remember the Sabbath; the rest of God.

  4. Matt. 5:19, whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven…. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    • Doug Norvell

      Hebrew 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
      4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
      5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
      6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
      7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
      8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
      9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
      10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
      11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

      Now, notice I have put a really important part of this in (ASV) so that it may be understood a little better. Hebrews 4:Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they: but the word of hearing did not profit them, because it was not united by faith with them that heard. 3 For we who have believed do enter into that rest; even as he hath said,
      As I sware in my wrath,They shall not enter into my rest:
      although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he hath said somewhere of the seventh day on this wise, And God rested on the seventh day from all his works; 5 and in this place again,They shall not enter into my rest.
      6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some should enter thereinto, and they to whom the good tidings were before preached failed to enter in because of disobedience, 7 he again defineth a certain day, To-day, saying in David so long a time afterward (even as hath been said before),
      [k]To-day if ye shall hear his voice,
      Harden not your hearts.8 For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest hath himself also rested from his works, as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, that no man fall after the same example of disobedience.

      Notice it says that there is another Sabbath rest to-day, not just one day of the week, everyday. For the people of GOD, when we enter into this rest, we stop from our works as GOD did HIS and we received GODS rest. This is how we keep the Sabbath, every day. So, how do you enter into that rest that GOD requires?

      Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
      12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

      Praying in the Spirit is how we enter into GODS rest. But, GOD said some people cannot enter in, because of unbelief…

      Still don’t believe that is what the scriptures are speaking of?
      1 Corinthians 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
      4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself
      15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

      Paul says that when we pray in the Spirit we are being built up/edified, and he refers to the same scripture in Isaiah 28 from the LAW saying this is what GOD was talking about. 1 Corinthians 14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.

      When we pray in the Spirit on a daily bases, we stop from our thoughts, our works and link in with GOD and we are replenished, renewed and strengthened. The Sabbath is not about a day of the week, it is about connecting to the Spirit of the Lord.

  5. Dave, I must disagree with you about the Sabbath. God says to keep 10 Commandments not 9. Christ came to fulfill the law not destroy it. He lightened the burdens of the Sabbath from the Old Testament and rules the Pharisees added on. But he never changed it to Sunday or any other day. The Catholic Church in fact changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday as history shows. I just don’t understand why so many try to discard the Sabbath and say we are free from the law. I read the same Bible as you and I don’t read it was changed or eliminated. That’s probably why The 4th commandment says to REMEMBER the Sabbath because everyone wants to forget it. Rev 14:12 says – here is the patience of the Saints, here are they that keep the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. I believe he means all 10 because he didn’t say except the 4th. The Sabbath allows us to take one day out of the week to rest and to honor our creator. God says in Malachi 3:6- for I am the Lord, I change not….. I believe Him.

    • Doug Norvell

      “SHOULD CHRISTIANS KEEP THE SABBATH?”
      By: David K. Bernard

      Groups such as the Seventh-Day Adventists have raised many questions about the Sabbath in the minds of Christians. Should we still keep the seventh-day Sabbath of the Old Testament? Should we keep Sunday as the Sabbath? Has Sabbath keeping been abolished under the new covenant? What meaning does the Sabbath have for us today?

      The Command and Its Significance
      The command to keep the Sabbath was first given in the law of Moses and is part of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). The word sabbath comes from a Hebrew root that means “to rest, cease, desist, leave off” (Gesenius). On the pain of death, the Israelites were not to do any work on the Sabbath-not even cooking, lighting a fire, gathering firewood, or traveling (Exodus 16:23-30; 20:8-11; 31:12-17; 3@:1-3; Numbers 15:32-26). While the Sabbath was a day of worship, sacred assembly, and special sacrifices in the Tabernacle and Temple (“an holy convocation”), for the average person it was primarily a day of rest at home (“a sabbath of rest…in all your dwellings”) (Leviticus 23:3). Historians agree that synagogues and local Sabbath worship at them did not come into existence until after the destruction of the Temple in 721 B.C.
      Several passages of Scripture disclose that the Sabbath was given uniquely to the nation of Israel: “Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you” (Exodus 31:13). (See Ezekiel 20:12-13.) “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).
      These passages also reveal a twofold significance for the Sabbath law. First, as we have already seen, the Sabbath provided a weekly day of rest from all work. It was instituted for people’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, not because the day itself was sacred. As Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). This provision of rest was especially significant to the Israelites, for the Sabbath was a constant, vivid reminder that God had delivered them from slavery and entered into covenant relationship with them.
      Second, the Sabbath served to sanctify the nation of Israel, that is, to set it apart or separate it from all other nations, for no other nation observed the Sabbath. Along with laws concerning diet, farming practices, and clothing, the Sabbath law distinguished the Israelites from everyone else and identified them physically as Jehovah’s chosen people.

      The Sabbath and the New Covenant
      The church today is not under God’s covenant with Israel as epitomized by the Ten Commandments, but under the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34-; Romans 7:5-6; Galatians 3:23-35; 4-:21-31). As a result, the church no longer observes the physical signs and ceremonies of the old covenant, such as circumcision (Galatians 6:15). God and His Word are unchanging, but some of His commands relate only to certain people or a certain time. While God’s moral law never changes, Christians are not subject to the ceremonial law of the Old Testament (Mark 7:14–19; Acts 11:5-9; 15:1-29).
      The Jewish Sabbath was part of that ceremonial law; the Sabbath is not inherently moral. In Isaiah 1:10-20 God contrasted ceremonial observances-including blood sacrifices, feasts, and Sabbaths-with moral standards, saying He detested the Israelites’ keeping of the former because they did not live up to the latter.
      If Sabbath keeping were a universal, eternal moral duty, God would not have expressed displeasure with it under any circumstances.
      Similarly, Jesus compared the Sabbath to other ceremonial law, which could be superseded even under the old covenant in cases of higher moral need (Matthew 12:1-13). Jesus and Paul affirmed the moral law of the Old Testament; they referred to some of the Ten Commandments as stating eternal moral standards, but it is notable that they did not mention the Sabbath law in these references (Mark 10:19; 12:28-31; Romans 13:8-10).
      God used the ceremonial law including blood sacrifices, dietary laws, circumcision, Sabbaths, and feasts-as types and shadows of truth to be found in Christ and His gospel. Since we now have the substance, or reality, we no longer need to observe the types and shadows. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17).
      Other New Testament passages also show that Sabbath keeping is not a requirement of the new covenant. It is permissible to regard a certain day as special, but it is wrong to make it a moral duty for oneself or others. “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it…Let us not therefore judge one another any more” (Romans 14-:5-6, 13). “How turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Galatians 4-:9-11).
      Jesus observed the Sabbath because He was a Jew living under the old covenant. For the same reason, He was circumcised and observed the Jewish feast days. At the same time, Jesus claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath, indicating that He could apply or change it as He saw fit (Mark 2:28).
      At first, Jewish Christians apparently kept the Sabbath as part of their culture. In Acts 10-11 Peter and the Jewish church were still adhering to Jewish dietary laws for the same reason. In Acts 21 Paul underwent a Jewish purification ceremony, which included a Temple offering, in order to reassure Jews that he was not trying to destroy their culture. He also attended synagogues often in order to preach to Jews. But in Acts 15 the Jerusalem Council ruled that Gentile Christians did not have to keep the law of Moses, except for four items that they listed in a letter to all the Gentile churches. Significantly, the Sabbath was not one of them.
      Some people point to the creation story as proof that the Sabbath law is eternal. God “ended his work” of creation and “rested” on the seventh day; moreover, He “blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it” (Genesis 2:2-3). When God gave the Ten Commandments, He cited this precedent as justification for the Sabbath law (Exodus 20:1 1; 31:17).
      Since Genesis was one of the five books of the law originally written for Israel, the creation story was naturally used to support the Sabbath command to Israel. While the Genesis account indicates the need for a weekly day of rest, it does not command Sabbath observance as such. The Bible nowhere states that people before the law observed the Sabbath as a day of rest or worship. Moreover, due to many changes in calendars over the centuries, it is impossible to say that the seventh day of Genesis 2 is the modern Saturday.
      We should also note that the Bible nowhere indicates that the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday or that God intends for Sunday to be a new Christian Sabbath.
      It should be pointed out that few persons keep the Sabbath law today. in order to do so, a person could not perform any work or light a fire. Thus he could not use any type of stove, heater, internal combustion engine, or electricity. Moreover, he could not cause anyone else to violate the Sabbath, which he would do if he ate in a restaurant or used utilities, the telephone, or the radio.

      Worship on Sunday
      Christians are to be faithful to local church meetings whenever they are held (Hebrews 10:25), and any day is appropriate for a special spiritual observance (Romans 14-:5-6).
      From the earliest times, Christians have usually conducted their main worship services on Sunday. Early believers chose the day of Christ’s resurrection to emphasize that they were not under the old covenant, which the Sabbath symbolized, but under the new covenant, which His resurrection instituted. Thus the believers at Troas met on the first day of the week for worship (Acts 20:7), and Paul instructed the Corinthians to collect offerings on the first day (I Corinthians 16:2). John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” when Jesus appeared to him in a vision (Revelation 1:10).
      Jesus Himself established the precedent of meeting on the first day. Not only did He first appear to His assembled disciples on the evening of His resurrection day (John 20:19), but His next appearance to the group was on the same day one week later (John 20:26). (“After eight days” is reckoned in the ancient Jewish manner, counting both the starting and ending day.) And the Holy Spirit fell on the assembled disciples on Pentecost Sunday.
      Sunday was a normal work day in the pagan Roman Empire, so Christians usually met on that day in the early morning or in the evening. After Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal and then began supporting it, he proclaimed Sunday an official holiday. He did not originate Sunday worship but merely legalized and facilitated the existing practice. However, his action did encourage the view that Sunday was a new Christian Sabbath.

      Spiritual Application
      From the Sabbath law we can draw a principle of enduring importance and continuing application: the need to provide a time of rest for our bodies and our spirits. In addition, Colossians 2:16-17 speaks of a deeper significance, describing the Sabbath as a type or foreshadowing of a greater reality to be found in Christ. Like the Levitical sacrifices, the Sabbaths are fulfilled in Him.
      In other words, the Sabbath points to the spiritual rest that Jesus promised. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” He invited, “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Significantly, in the passage immediately after this statement, Jesus indicated that the Sabbath law was ceremonial in nature and asserted His lordship over it (Matthew 12:1-13).
      It is specifically through the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking in tongues that we partake of the spiritual rest Christ provides. Isaiah 28:11-12 promises, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”
      The Apostle Peter apparently alluded to this promise when he preached in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” The last clause of this verse describes the gift of the Holy Spirit, as shown by Acts 2:38, a parallel statement from another sermon of Peter’s: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
      We also receive sanctification, or power to separate from sin and identify with Christ, through the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). Just as the physical Sabbath provided physical rest and sanctification for the Israelites under the old covenant, so the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, provides spiritual rest and sanctification for the church under the new covenant. Just as the Sabbath was a constant reminder of Israel’s deliverance from bondage and of their covenant relationship with God, so the Holy Spirit is a constant reminder of our deliverance from sin and of our new covenant relationship with God. The Spirit gives us power over sin (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:4-), and the Spirit effects the new covenant in our hearts (II Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:8-11). By living in the Spirit, we enjoy the true Sabbath every day.
      The enduring significance of the Sabbath is beautifully described in Hebrews 3:7-4-:11. Because of their unbelief, the Israelites did not enter into the rest that God provided for them, but the church today still has a promise of spiritual rest. And according to Hebrews 4-:4-, this spiritual rest is the true and ultimate fulfillment of God’s rest on the seventh day of creation.
      Hebrews 4-:9 states emphatically, there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God:’ The word rest here a translation of the Greek word sabbatismos, which literally means a Sabbath keeping or a Sabbath rest (Thayer). Does this verse refer to physical Old Testament Sabbath observance? No. The next verse states that our Sabbath consists of resting, or ceasing, from our works, just as God did from His (Hebrews 4:10). In other words, to enjoy true spiritual rest, we must renounce the works of the flesh and stop trying to earn salvation by our own works. Instead, we must exercise faith in Christ’s work on our behalf. Through faith, we receive His Holy Spirit and live daily by the Spirit’s guidance and power. The Spirit works in us to regenerate and sanctify, thus preparing us for the eternal Sabbath rest.
      Of course, true faith is not passive; it is an active reliance upon God that issues forth in obedience. Thus Hebrews 4-:11 admonishes, “Let us labour {be diligent, make every effort} therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
      Yes, we have a Sabbath rest-the refreshing presence and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit that we enjoy every day. And, yes, the ultimate Sabbath rest awaits us still-eternal rest in the presence of the One to whom the Old Testament Sabbath points: Jesus Christ our Lord.

    • Rod radika

      Deu. 5:29 “O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with there children for ever!

      • Doug Norvell

        Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
        14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
        15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
        16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
        17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.