We have an exciting subject in this article. I get an enormous amount of e- mails, phone calls and people asking me to do this teaching for six years plus now. This is the year to teach on the Sabbath. For whatever reason Lord is having me do this, I’m excited that we are going to work through a lot of scriptures. We are going to determine at the end of this article what the Sabbath is, what it means for us today and how we keep it as we are supposed to keep it. So let’s get started talking about the Sabbath and work through the Scriptures to see what they have to say. First of all, there are several questions that we need to answer:
- Does God even care?
- Who was it given to?
- Why was it given?
- How long was it to be given for?
We will also be talking about several myths of the Sabbath like:
- What is the prophetic symbolism?
- Why don’t we keep the Sabbath of the Bible today? Was it really changed?
- If it is for today, how do we keep it?
Many of you will be thinking of some familiar verses in the New Testament that seem to say Sabbath is done away with, or that we don’t have to keep it because it’s not relevant for today, and that it was only for the Old Testament or for New Testament Jews. So I am going to bring this up right away so you know that we are actually going to cover every single one of those. One of the verses we are going to cover is Colossians 2:16 which says, “Let no one judge you for food, drink, new moons, or Sabbaths.” Another verse we are going to talk about is Romans 14:6 which says, “Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord, etc…” We are also going to talk about 1 Corinthians 16:1 where Paul takes up a collection for the saints in Jerusalem on the first day of the week and then Acts 20:7 where Paul is preaching on the first day of the week. A couple of other ones we’ll be talking about is Revelation 1:10 when John had a vision on the Lord’s day. We will find out exactly what is the Lord’s Day and that it is referring to Sunday. Lastly, we are also going to cover Galatians 4 where Paul talks about not going back to the elementary principles of the world.
And He Rested:
Days of Fasting
Romans 14:6 say, “He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He, who eats meat, eats to the Lord for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to Yahweh.”
Now, here’s what’s interesting. If you look at this from a very careful point of view, you are going to see the very beginning of Romans Chapter 14 is all about food. Interestingly enough, it says that he who is a strong believer decides that he can eat meat that’s offered to idols and he who is weak in the faith only eats vegetables because he’s not sure if the meat is coming from sacrifice of the sacrificial system or from the pagans. So the whole concept of food is carried down to Romans Chapter 14 and we get to an interesting verse that I want you to read a different way.
I want you to read it as if the entire context is exactly what it is- all about food.
“One man considers one day more sacred than another: another man considers every day alike, each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards that they as special do so to Lord he who eats meat, eats to the Lord.”
Now think about this. What I just said: He who considers one day special, let him do to the Lord. Which is saying that the one that says that this day is special is not eating.
As a matter of fact, history bears this out
We know that there was a huge debate in the first century about fasting and which day to fast on. You had some groups that fasted on one day and another group that fasted on another day. So in the midst of the topic of whether or not it’s okay to eat animals that have been sacrificed to idols and how that worked out and plays out, it’s not saying that you can eat unclean animals. It’s talking about a meat sacrificed to idols in the same context talking about food.
Does it make sense that He would address fasting saying, “Listen guys, you guys keep getting focused on making mountains out of mole hills.” If you think that Tuesday is okay to fast and another thinks it’s Thursday, you each consider whatever day. The Scriptures does not tell us which day to fast. So you eat meat on this day, you don’t eat meat on that day; it’s completely up to you.
Certainly, Paul the apostle is not advocating that anyone can choose any day that you want and the proof that this interpretation is correct is that Paul would have been strung up by his heels if he was telling all of the people that you can break the Sabbath! They have already dragged him into the courts on false accusations earlier in Romans and in Acts.
Now we are led to believe that he is advocating breaking the most staple law of all of Judaism and no one even bats an eye?
There was no debate; there was no first century historians that are telling us there was a huge debate or anything like that. No, there is no debate because that’s not what Paul meant in his readers and his listeners knew that.
And He Rested:
Motivation is Everything
Some serious questions that we should answer in this article are:
- Can we agree that when our Creator made the heavens and the earth that there were no flaws and he made all things perfect?
- Can we agree that everything that he made in the garden was perfect and he never intended or desired for anything to change for all eternity?
- Would you agree with me that if Adam had not sinned, everything that was said to be very good would still be perfect and unchanged?
- Would you agree with me that in the beginning all things were perfect, then Adam sinned and set the world into a tailspin of constant groaning and imperfections. But at some point in the future, when the Messiah comes back, He will restore all things back to the original state of perfection?
So we are going to answer these very serious questions, because ultimately we all deserve these questions to be asked and for every single one of them to be answered. If we look at Genesis Chapter 2, we are to find out that the motivation of God, the motivation of Yahweh, is everything. On the 7th day, God ended His work which he had made. He rest on the 7th day from all His work which he made and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because that in it He had rested from all his work which God created and made.
This is Genesis Chapter 2. So two verses into the second chapter of the Bible we are talking about a verse that is setting something apart. As matter of fact, the Hebrew word for “set apart” is “kudosh.”
So if you set apart the 7th day in the garden, when everything was said to be perfect and it was never His intention for anything to ever change from that perfection, and the Scriptures tell us that He is going to restore all things back to the beginning.
If he created Adam and Eve perfect and He created the earth perfect and all the animals perfect and he created the sun, the moon, the stars in the heavens perfect and when He finished everything and He rested on the 7th day and He said, “I hollow it, I set it apart, I make it completely different than all the rest of the days. I am making it holy,” just like He sets us apart and makes us holy from the rest of the world.
We are not like the rest of the world, we are set apart. The same exact words are used in Genesis 2:2. We as believers have the exact same word, we are consecrated and dedicated, sanctified, and set apart. That’s what He’s doing all the way back in the garden. So the point is this- if He sets it apart in the garden before they sinned, then isn’t it very logical to assume that Yahweh’s entire intent and desire is for it to never ever have changed?
And He Rested:
Restoration of the Sabbath
The restoration of the Sabbath is when Yeshua comes back. Let us find out if this is true. If it’s true in the garden then it has to be true for all time. Isaiah 66:22 says this, “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me says Yahweh, so shall your seed and your name remain.” Verse 23, “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, says Yahweh.”
Now the reason why this is so critical of a verse in Isaiah 66 is because when the Messiah is coming back. This is literally in the messianic reign. This is the thousand year millennial reign of the Messiah and during the millennial reign of the Messiah He says right here that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another all flesh will worship Him.
So the question is begging, why would He even mention the word Sabbath or Shabbat in Hebrew if there is no intention of the Sabbath being set apart or holy?
Zechariah 14:16 says this, “and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yeshua, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles.”
Verse 17, “And it shall be that whoso will not come up of all the families of the Earth under Jerusalem to worship the King Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.”
So we are seeing not only in Isaiah that we are going to be keeping the Shabbat, the Sabbath, the seventh day Sabbath, but right here in the millennium in Zechariah 14 we had more than a hint, more than a clue. We have a direct command that all of the nations of the world must come up for the feast of Tabernacles and they must honor the Lord’s Sabbath.
The importance of this is because we see this in the garden. The logic says that He never intended for it to go away to begin with. We see this in the end; we see this in the millennium which goes on for 1000 years. Ultimately this is what we have. If we believe that the Sabbath is not for today, then we have this strange paradox because from 4000 BC to the time of Yeshua, Yahweh cares, God cares.
Then from 30 A.D. to the present day he doesn’t care and when Yeshua comes back for the next thousand years He cares again.
And He Rested:
Common Myths about the Sabbath
Yahweh cared in the garden. He cares when His Son comes back. When He says that the seventh day Sabbath is forever then it is logical to assume that he still cares. But we’re going to test this theory in this article by looking at the common myths about the Sabbath.
Some common myths about the Sabbath are as follows:
- The Sabbath was given only to the Jews.
- The Christian Sabbath is on Sunday and the Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday.
- It ended at the cross and was not reestablished in the New Testament.
- Paul taught against the Sabbath.
- The New Testament church kept the Sabbath on Sunday.
So let’s start off with myth number one: It was only given to the Jews. First of all, we need to determine where the term Jew even comes from? Well, it is very important to understand this before we go any further because it is probably by far one of the biggest misconceptions of the entire Bible- that the Old Testament is for the Jews and the New Testament is for the Christians.
Well, it’s very important to remember that the word Jew comes from the term Judah or just a tribe of Judah and it’s not only the tribe of Judah but it’s also the southern kingdom. You have the northern kingdom, which was called the house of Israel and the southern kingdom, which was called the house of Judah.
It’s because the Jews came back from captivity for 70 years in Babylon in 586 BC and the northern kingdom never came back as they assimilated into the nations. So today, the word “Jew” can mean Israel and Israel in the Bible is all 12 tribes.
As for myth number two, we have a major scriptural problem because it’s two laws: one for the Jew, one for the Gentile. You should know that Deuteronomy says that Yahweh will have one law for the Jew and the Gentile, one people, one law, one God, one Messiah, and one lent.
Note: This article is transcribed from a sermon “And He Rested” presented by Jim Staley. More is covered in the video. We have divided the series into 3 parts. This is part 1 of 3.
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