I want you to understand something that we’re going to try and do in this article. Our goal is to demonstrate the continuity of the Sabbath.
Now what I want you to know about the Sabbath commandment is that the Sabbath is unique in the Ten Commandments because, unlike the other commandments, which need only to be preached and proclaimed, the Sabbath has to be proved. I mean, if a minister stood up in any church, whether it’s a Sunday keeping church or a Sabbath keeping church, he stands up into the pulpit and says “today’s presentation is on the seventh commandment, thou shall not commit adultery.” Does he need to spend anytime proving that commandment is still valid in this present age? The answer is NO.
You take any of the other commandments- thou shall have no other Gods before me… thou shall not make any image or likeness of any kind… you go through the commandments, and it is the only one that you have to first stop and say, “wait a minute, is this commandment even exist/valid anymore?”
Is not this commandment obsolete? The Sabbath commandment? Before we can ever get to the actual meaning of the Sabbath, we have to even demonstrate biblically if the Sabbath still stands.
So what we’re going to do here is do our very best to break up the broad sweep of human history. Now I want you to think about human history all the way back from the time of Eden restored and we’re going to break the sweep of human history up into eight.
Eight easily identifiable ages. Easily remembered, easily identified and we’re going to look at the Sabbath in every one of these epocal ages. And we’re going to ask ourselves the question, “Was the Sabbath binding here?” And what we’re going to discover is that in every one of the ages, we have ample biblical evidence that the Sabbath was in fact binding. This argues then to the continuity of the Sabbath and demands that the Sabbath is still enforced today with the rest of the other commandments.
The first age is the pre-fall age. That is Eden, the pre-fall age. Was the Sabbath binding in the pre-fall age? We’re going to take a look at that. The second age is the patriarchal age. We move from the pre-fall age to the patriarchal age both pre-flood and post- flood, Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob. But the patriarchal age gave way to our third, and that was the prophetic age- the time of Israel, the time of Moses, the time of prophets moving into that. But what are the prophets really prophesying about? Repentance, yes. Forgiveness of sins, yes!
But mostly they prophesied about the promised Messiah. So that would be the 4th- the pre-fall age, the patriarchal age, the prophetic age, the promised Messiah. But then Jesus ascended to heaven to the right hand of God and the New Testament church was born on the day of Pentacost. So that is the fifth age- the Pentacostal church or the Apostolic church. The sixth age is the Papal church, that would be the middle aged church. Then the seventh is the present day church and the eighth is Paradise!
We are going to go through this entire sweep of history, these eight epocs, these eight ages. I’m going to ask the question, “Is there any biblical evidence that the Sabbath was binding in every one of those ages?” That’s the goal of this article. Pre-fall age, look at your bible and go to Genesis chapter 2. We’re gonna begin right there in verse one.
In Genesis chapter one, you have the remarkable picture that God gives of the creation of the heavens and the Earth by the voice of God. God creates the world in six literal days, and after those six days we come to Genesis chapter two beginning in verse one. Notice these words, “thus the heavens and the Earth were finished and all the host of them. Verse two, “and on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done and He rested on the Seventh day from all His work that He had done.” Verse 3, “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it God rested from all His work He had made in creation.”
This is an absolutely fundamental text. This is a fundamentally important point. God creates the world in six days. He comes to the seventh day and the text says that God Himself rested on the seventh day.
It’s fascinating that there is no command in the book of Genesis to rest. But I have a question for you parents out there today. Is your command more influential in the lives of your children or is your example more influential in the lives of your children? How many of you have ever said to your children, “Do what I say not what I do.”? If you’ve said that, you learn very quickly it does not work.
Now here we have the example that God says, “Alright, I’ve made everything in six days. Now comes the seventh day.” God Himself says on the seventh day, “I’m going to rest.” And then it says because God rested that day, God blessed that day, the seventh day, and God made the seventh day holy.
The Sabbath has its foundation in the creation story. Now in the English version of the bible, you will not find the word Sabbath there. But in the original version of the bible, it says, “On the next day, the Sabbath, God’s Sabbath.” So it does not refer to the seventh day as the Sabbath, but it does refer to the seventh day as the day that God Sabbaths on. What the bible says is God Himself Sabbaths on the seventh day. In Exodus chapter 20 we see the command to remember the Sabbath day.
Exodus chapter 20 verse 11, the bible says the reason to keep the Sabbath is because, “in six days the Lord made heaven and Earth, the sea and all that is in them and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
In the very Sabbath command itself, the text itself says that the reason we observed seventh day is because God initiated it at creation. I’d like to let you know that you can absolutely rest assured that the Sabbath was created in Eden.