But that thinking is typical man. We want to change things for our benefit. We don’t want to do what is right. We want to do what is convenient. If the Sabbath isn’t convenient, then we will do our best to try to discredit it, or water it down to soothe our consciences. As you will learn later, it was the Catholic Church that changed the Sabbath from the seventh day of the week to the first. This was in order to accommodate the pagans who worshiped the sun on the first day of the week: sun-day.
But there is no excuse for not keeping the Sabbath. No watering it down. Either it is part of the Ten Commandments or it isn’t. If it is, then we must keep all of them. If it isn’t, then none of the Ten Commandments need to be kept.
Going back to our original text, what does it mean then? Worldly churches take it to mean that the Sabbath was made for man to do with as he pleases. If he wants to keep it, fine. If not, no problem. It was made for you.
But that isn’t what Jesus is saying. He is stressing the point that it was made FOR man. Big difference. Air was made for man. Can you decide not to breathe any longer? Can you choose to replace air with CO2? I don’t think so. Air was made FOR you. What about food? It also was made for man, Genesis 1:29, 30. But you can’t live very long without it. You can’t choose to eat metal instead of food. Food was made FOR you. You cannot live without air or food.
However, He didn’t say, “Choose your Sabbath.” He didn’t say, “Pick any day that is convenient to you.” No, He gave us a specific day, the seventh day, to come apart from our weekly activities and to meet with God.
The Sabbath was blessed and made holy by God. It is His gift to us. It is like a birthday. You don’t want people celebrating your birthday whenever they choose. You would like them to honor that day, on that day. That day is when you will be holding your party. So if they hold their party the same day, time and place you do, you all can enjoy each other’s company and companionship together.
Same with God. He comes apart from His busy schedule to meet very specifically on that day with us. But if we have chosen another day as “holy”, we will miss His special blessing and presence. What a shame. But this brings up an even greater concept.
Love. Who do you love? If you love God you will do what He asks of you. He only asks you to take one day off, the seventh day, and meet with Him. One out of seven isn’t so hard. Yet because of our selfishness and love for self, we refuse His invitation and miss His special blessings.
The 1st Commandment is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Yet we make our life, our work, our money, our church, our commitments and our entertainments our gods. We tell God to go take a hike, “We’ll catch you later when it is convenient for us.” Is that love to God?
If anyone: minister, priest, church or friend tells you that you can choose any day you want as your Sabbath, they are not your friends. They are your enemies. Only God is your friend and those who agree with God and do what He commands.
Some worldly churches will tell you that you can keep every day holy. No you can’t! Again, man tries his hardest to change God’s plain statement. Let’s read it again and see what the truth is. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping IT holy. SIX DAYS you shall LABOR AND DO ALL YOUR WORK, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do ANY work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, or your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11.
Jesus never broke the Ten Commandments that He commanded us to keep. He couldn’t. If Jesus broke any one of them, or taught us to break them, He could not be our Lord or Savior. The only way He can be our Savior is by keeping all the commandments. And He did. “Can any of you prove Me guilty of sin?” John 8:46. Not one of them could.
Jesus is emphatic: “but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me.” John 14:31. Isn’t it time for you to love your Father and Jesus, your Lord, and do exactly what they have commanded you? Isn’t it time to stop trying to wiggle out of your responsibility and begin to obey God and keep His Sabbath?
If you have been keeping the pagan, worldly sabbath, the first day of the week, then what is so difficult about changing your allegiance from the pagan god to the God of the Bible? It is so simple. Just obey God.
But you may bring up the text in Revelation 1:10 where “On the Lord’s Day I (John) was in the Spirit.” You may ask, “Wasn’t that Sunday?” No, it wasn’t. The only “Lord’s Day” ever recorded in the Bible is God’s Seventh day Sabbath. He is Lord of the Sabbath. That’s His “Lord’s Day”. “Sunday” is never mentioned in the Bible as the Sabbath. There are only about eight references in the whole Bible to the first day of the week, and none of them command us to keep it holy. None of them show that God changed the blessings from the Sabbath to the first day of the week. Yet there are over 100 texts in the Bible that show the seventh day of the week as God’s Sabbath and how we are to keep it.
“Ignatius is claimed to be the first known Christian writer to argue in favor of Christianity’s replacement of the Sabbath ‘with Sunday’.” (Wikipedia) Ignatius lived between about 50 - 117 AD. He also invented the “church” system and the term “Catholic”. It was Ignatius who basically invented Catholicism. He fell away from God and was what John said of people like him. “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” 1 John 2:18.
The next point is, how do we keep it? The worldly churches will tell you that Jesus worked on the Sabbath, so it is OK for us also to work on the Sabbath. No He didn’t. Jesus CANNOT break His commandments. If He did, you and I would have no salvation. The “work” of the 4th Commandment is a worldly work to support your family and do your own things. The “works” of God do not fall into that category. You are allowed to do the “works” of God on God’s day. Works of God are to heal the sick, visit the prisoners, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, preach the gospel, etc. All of these are just fine to do on the Sabbath. Jesus gave us these examples in His life and ministry. That is what so upset the Pharisees. They hated Him because He was making a mockery of their religious practices.
Please, repent of the hard heart and stiff-necked way you have been living. Confess your sins and turn to Jesus and say you are so sorry for breaking His Commands. Turn from your way and walk in His way.
“The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in His ways, that you will keep His decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey Him. And the Lord has declared this day that you are His people, His treasured possession as He promised, and that you are to keep all His commands.” Deuteronomy 26:16-18.
The next question that comes up is, “What day is the seventh day? Has the calendar been changed since the time of Christ?” No! The weekly cycle of our calendar has not been altered since the day of Christ, or the week of creation. God will not allow His week and His Sabbath to be lost or confused.
Continuing on we read that the women also came and followed and saw where the body was laid. “But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” Even in death Jesus kept His Commandments. The disciples and the women kept the Sabbath. Jesus never changed it. Jesus died on Friday and rested in the tomb over the Sabbath, just as He commands us to rest on the Sabbath.
Luke 24:1 then tells us that the women went back to the tomb after the Sabbath was over. It was the “first day of the week” when they went to see the body of Jesus. But Jesus wasn’t there. After resting over the Sabbath, He got up on the first day of the week and continued His work, just as commanded in the commandments. Jesus never broke the Sabbath, or any of the commandments.
Now, what day is the first day of the week? What day do you celebrate the resurrection of Christ? Don’t you celebrate the resurrection of Christ on the first day of the week, Sunday? Why is it so easy to know what days He died and rose on, yet have such a difficult time knowing what day the Sabbath is? The Sabbath comes between the Preparation day and the first day of the week. Between Friday and Sunday.
Not too difficult is it? But the stubborn heart refuses to accept truth. The rebellious always want to do it their way. They will always be searching, but never coming to the truth.
No problem with keeping Sunday. No problem with going to church on Sunday. No problem with accepting what the world says. But when it comes to doing what Jesus says, wow, what a problem we have. We just hate to give up our sins and follow Jesus. That is why only a few will be saved.
If you are going to church that teaches Sunday worship, I suggest that you take them the truth. If they accept the truth, wonderful. The next week you, along with all of them, will be holding services on Sabbath. But if they don’t accept the truth, you must, “Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;...” Revelation 18:4.
If you believe in God, you will obey Him. If not, you will receive your reward for working evil. I choose to obey and receive my reward for working righteousness. Your choice. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. Choose you this day whom you will serve. When did Jesus rise? He rose at three o’clock Sunday morning. How do we know this? “You will not allow your Holy One to experience corruption.” Psalm 16:10. Corruption, decay, begins to set in 36 hours after death. Jesus died at three o’clock Friday afternoon at the time of the evening sacrifice. 36 hours later he arose. “On the first day of the week, early in the morning and while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and noticed that the stone had been removed from the tomb.” John 20:1. Prophecy explained it all. Jesus taught His disciples using prophecy.
This verse was used by the apostles in their defense of the resurrection of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost, Peter used this verse twice to convince the Jews that the prophecy had been fulfilled in Jesus. (Acts 2:27, 31). Then, Paul used this text in Antioch to defend the resurrection of Jesus to the Jews. (Acts 13:35, 37).
Many worldly churches teach that Colossians 2:16, 17 did away with the Sabbath. Remember, you can never use Scripture to do away with Scripture. That is from the devil. God doesn’t contradict Himself. “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.”
First, we are not talking about the Ten-Commandment Sabbath. The sabbath mentioned above has to do with eats, drinks, religious festivals and New Moon celebrations which are “shadows of things to come”.
The seventh day Sabbath was never a shadow. Shadows were given after sin to point to the Messiah, as studied earlier. The Sabbath was given before sin, in the Garden of Eden and is not a shadow of anything. It is the reality of Jesus, who is the Ten Commandments in the flesh. (See the chapter: New Covenant.) The seventh day Sabbath was kept before sin, during sin and will be kept after sin in the earth made new. “‘As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all man-kind will come and bow down before Me,’ says the Lord.” Isaiah 66:22, 23.
Only Commandment keeping people will be going to heaven. People who refuse to keep the seventh day Sabbath cannot go. They won’t be happy there. Their lives have been spent in rebellion and they would not fit in. Heaven is where those who love God dwell. Heaven is where those who keep His Commandments will live. Heaven is for Sabbath keepers. It is for “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony (teaching) of Jesus.” “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 12:17; 14:12.
The seventh day Sabbath is also a day of “rest”. But it has a higher calling. It was blessed and made holy by God. It was given to the whole world and was to be kept everywhere in the world by all people. The following texts will help you to understand this principle.
1. What you will find is that these feast day sabbaths, one at the beginning and one at the end of each feast, were called “ordinances”. The seventh day Sabbath was never called an ordinance. That is why we must be very careful when we study the Bible.
2. Also, these feasts were given only to Israel as a nation. They had to do with temple services and ceremonies. They were not given to Adam, and thus were done away with when Israel ceased to be a nation in AD 70.
3. Feast-day sabbaths fell on different days of the week each year.
4. The next point is that these feasts day sabbaths are not the Lord’s Sabbath, but, “Which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.” Verses 2, 4, 37. Get the point, they are not the Lord’s Sabbath, they are man’s sabbaths. In verse 3 we read that the 7th day Sabbath “is a Sabbath to the Lord”. Big difference. Who’s Sabbath are you keeping? The Lord’s 7th day Saturday Sabbath, or man’s sabbath?
God also has His seal with His authority. His name is Jehovah or Lord. His title is Creator or maker of all things. The territory He rules is the Universe, the earth and everything therein. Those who have this seal will live forever in heaven. This seal is the 4th Commandment, the keeping of the Sabbath. I have an obligation to teach you “to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. I have attempted to fulfill my obligation. I have taught you how to obey the teachings of Jesus Christ. The rest is up to you. If you obey, we will meet in heaven and live eternally with our Lord and Savior. If you disobey, I will miss you. But you made your decision. You will reap what you sow. You will be rewarded fully for your work of wickedness.
Ever wonder why there is so little persecution in the United States towards Christians? It is because we are not living the Christian life. If we were, we would be persecuted. That is the promise. Try it. Keep the Sabbath and all God’s Ten Commandments for six months. See if you won’t be persecuted. If you are, it is because you have been born again. If you are not being persecuted it is because you are not walking in the way of Jesus.
Keep your eyes on Jesus. Look to Him and His truth. Don’t trust anyone, especially a minister or church who does not keep ALL the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath. Let Jesus and Jesus only be your guide. Study for His truth. Then follow it.
You may be wondering about certain “godly” people who claim to love Jesus and yet keep Sunday, and preach Sunday as the Sabbath. You could point to people in “high” positions as Billy Graham, or to Jan and her husband Paul on TBN or Joel Olsteen. You could look at them and think that they were wonderful Christians. Well, let’s take a look at those three examples and see if we can learn something from them. Remember about persecution for living righteously. How much persecution has Billy Graham gone through? Let’s see, with a personal income, salary, of over $200,000 a year, I don’t think he is going through much persecution. Do you?
How about Jan and her husband Paul on TBN? How much persecution are they going through for living the “righteous” life? Well, let’s see, with a personal income between them of over $500,000 a year, I don’t think they are going through much persecution, do you? Joel is worth over $40,000,000. And to think that they ask poor people to give to their greedy and selfish incomes, what wickedness!
I could go on and on naming names. There are preachers out there who are not following in the example of Jesus. They have jets, multi-million dollar mansions and servants to serve them. How very, very unlike Jesus. We are to follow the example of Jesus and Jesus only. Do you think they are going to give up that kind of salary, that kind of income, just for some silly old day that Jesus commands us to keep holy? I don’t think so. In fact, I know so. They have personally rejected the Seventh day Sabbath. They love the things of this world way too much to love God. They can put on a real show, but it is just a show. What do you think? We are not to look to people. Jesus and Jesus only.