Do you know that Sabbath-keeping is so important that God performed a great miracle that extended over a period of 40 years? Yes, 40 long years - the giving of Manna from heaven itself in order to teach the Israelites exactly which day was the Sabbath.
Why did God take utmost care to make sure that the Old Covenant Israelites knew which day was the Sabbath rest day? To make absolutely certain that the Sabbath Day be kept as a day of rest!
Jesus Christ, Himself, took great care to keep this day throughout His life it was His “custom”! And God’s early New Testament Church which Christ built through His twelve apostles kept this exact very same day too!
Immediately after Christ’s death when there could be no possibility of time being lost from that day to this, God again was very careful to point out to us that “in the end of the Sabbath” day dawns “toward the first day of the week” Sunday (Matt. 28:1).
Why has God done this? Because He wants to point out to us today that the 7th day of the creation week - the Sabbath Day has continued from the time of creation in the same relationship to the other six days that God divinely placed it in. That the Sabbath was, and still is to this day, the 7th day, and not Sunday, which is the first day of the week. That it is the Sabbath Day that we must keep!
There must be a compelling underlying reason why God has kept this great day identified down through the ages, and why the people who truly have followed Him have always kept the Sabbath.
Why the Sabbath is God’s Most Important Day
God has created this, the most important day the Sabbath -- so that on it we, mankind, may have personal constructive contact with him. He who is creating us, at this very time, to be Sons in His restful Kingdom. No other day in this whole world compares with this remarkable day. Why? Because no other creative work of such supreme magnitude is going on.
The scope of what this memorial day to creation portends even exceeds anything that God Himself has ever attempted to do. It portends pictures -- to man the pinnacle of God’s creative endeavors, the completion of us into God Beings, beings by far and away above any other beings or things that exist!
No wonder that God has set this day to be far above all others for the minds of men to observe! And no wonder that God has meshed the remembrance of this supreme creative act into the recurring seventh day of the week. No other day on earth can even pretend to represent such lofty heights of achievement! For God is the Supreme God! This day is honored by God’s presence among those who keep it, and among those who submit to Him as their Creator.
No wonder God, from the very beginning, set one-seventh of man’s time to the honoring of this great work of creation which God is bringing about within man!
And no wonder it is that those who have really known the true God have, down through the ages, always kept this particular day, not another day of the week which God did not command for this purpose, but this particular day. They kept the 7th day commonly called Saturday! They did not keep any of the ordinary days of the week such as Sunday.
So, now let’s understand fully how those who lived in the past and were privileged to know God’s plan did zealously keep this day. And let us understand that the keeping of the Sabbath is God’s inspired example to us to rest on this great day. For without our keeping it there will be no eternal rest for us!
Would God set apart a certain day of the week, put His blessing on it, make it holy time, command that it be kept holy forever, and then let that day be lost so that we would not know when that time is? Absolutely not!
We can be certain that God’s seven-day weekly cycle, the six week days followed by the exactly placed seventh day, the Sabbath, has remained unaltered from creation until today! And that the Sabbath day the 7th day -- has been kept by those who have been privileged to be God’s own people.
Did God create every physical thing of our present world in six days (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)?
And what did God do on the seventh day, the Sabbath day (Gen. 2:2)? He rested, did He not? Same verse. “Sabbath” means rest.
Did God “sanctify” that is, set apart and make holy this seventh day by resting on it (Gen. 2:3)? Note the words, “sanctified it: because that in it He had rested.”
COMMENT: This, then this special seventh day which God here created by resting, and here set apart and made Holy, and here put His blessing upon (v. 3) is the special day out of the seven-day week that God commands all mankind to observe!
Did righteous Abraham keep this Sabbath rest (Gen. 26:3, 5)? Does this prove that Abraham was not confused as to which day of the week was the true Sabbath? Doesn’t Luke 13:28 show that Abraham, because of his obedience will receive eternal life in the Kingdom of God?
COMMENT: God could not have positively stated that Abraham kept all of His commandments if he had been keeping the wrong day. If Abraham were keeping the wrong day for God’s Holy Sabbath, he would have broken this one point of God’s law and thereby been guilty of breaking the whole law (James 2:10)!
Also, it was utterly impossible for Abraham to be mixed-up about the weekly cycle, because Jesus Christ (Melchizedek, his close “friend James 2:23; Gen. 14:18-20), was there in Jerusalem to instruct him! Yes, we can be absolutely certain that Abraham kept Holy the right day, the 7th day of the week.
Did Laban the Syrian, father-in-law to Jacob, know the weekly cycle (Gen. 29:26-27)? Note the word “week.” Laban lived just a few hundred years before Moses, about 1750 B.C.
COMMENT: Even the heathen knew which day was God’s Sabbath! In the library of King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (6th Century B.C.), archeologists have found many clay tablets relating to the epic of creation, according to the limited knowledge of the Babylonians. One of these tablets reads: “On the 7th day he (God) appointed a Holy Day (the Sabbath) and to cease from all business he commanded” (Henry H. Halley, Pocket Bible Handbook, p. 64).
Here is absolute proof from the ancient records, collected by this Assyrian king that the Babylonians knew God had set apart, at creation, the 7th day of the week as a holy day of rest! However, with the passing centuries, all semblance of the true Sabbath was lost to the heathen, although many Near-Eastern nations kept a form of a seven-day week. Of this form of the week it is said: “Its antiquity is so great, its observance so widespread that it must probably be thrown back as far as the creation of man. The week and the Sabbath are thus as old as man himself” (A Dictionary of the Bible, by Wm. Smith, p. 745)!
Exact Day for Sabbath was Revealed to Ancient Israel
Recall that the ancient Israelites, descendants of righteous Abraham, had gone down into the land of Egypt a land which God considered a type of sin (Ex. 1:1).The Egyptians had neither God’s seven-day week nor did they rest on the Sabbath Day. Nor did they know the true God. For their pagan ancestors, from the time of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11: 1, 8-9), refused to keep the Sabbath; therefore they had lost sight of the true God.
For hundreds of years the Israelites were in pagan Egypt. During this time the Egyptians, fearing the nation Israel might grow too great in the land, set out on a course of afflicting the Israelites with hard bondage in order to hold down their population growth. The Israelites then became slaves of the Egyptians (Ex. 1:10-11). Because the Israelites were in pagan Egypt in slavery many generations, they too lost the knowledge of the day upon which the Sabbath rest was to be observed. So, the Israelites dwelt there in sin, not keeping the Sabbath day whereby they would know, by reminder the true Creator God, They therefore did not obey His laws.
That is why God had to reveal to the Israelites exactly which day was the true creation Sabbath shortly after delivering them from Egypt sin (Ex. 12:41, 51).Study now the astonishing manner in which God revealed exactly which day was the true Sabbath Day, and the astounding bearing it has upon your life today!
Did God say He would rain Bread from the very heaven (Ex. 16:4)? What was the name of this bread manna (v. 15)?
For what purpose was this bread to be rained down (Ex. 16:4)? Note the words, “My law.”
COMMENT: The word “law” here refers to the Sabbath Commandment (Ex. 20:8).
Was the general purpose of this manna to serve the Israelites also for food (v. 13)? Note that it was.
Was each person to gather twice as much manna on Friday as they gathered on the other days of the week (Ex. 16:5)?
Was the double amount of manna gathered on Friday enough for two days enough for both the Friday on which it was gathered, and for the next day, Saturday, the Sabbath Day (Ex. 16:23)?
COMMENT: Note that they were to lay up for Saturday, the Sabbath, what was left over from the double portion they gathered on Friday! Why? Understand:
Did God say He would not have them work on the Sabbath Day at gathering manna as they did on the other six days, for He would miraculously withhold manna from falling on the one special outstanding day of the week (Ex. 16:26)?
COMMENT: Then no manna falling on the Sabbath Day as it did on the other six days of the week positively identified to the Israelites the exact day which was the Sabbath, did it not? It certainly did identify the exact Sabbath to the Israelites! This was the great outstanding miracle that identified the Sabbath Day to the Israelites.
Note God performed three great miracles each week by the use of the manna to point out to Israel the exact day of the Sabbath that they had lost
1. God gave them manna on the six week days. 2. God withheld the manna each Sabbath day. 3. God preserved the left-over portion of the Friday’s manna so that it would be used for the Sabbath, and thereby gave the people a rest from gathering on the Sabbath rest day.
As each and every Sabbath Day made its appearance, as the days went by, God identified each of these Sabbath Days to the Israelites by a special miracle of withholding the manna from falling on the Sabbath day, this special miracle for each Sabbath day of the year, and He did this for forty long years, year in and year out! God thus performed 2,080 special miracles spaced exactly seven days apart, within a period of 40 years solely for the purpose of burning into the minds of the people that He commanded the seventh day to be kept, not Sunday, which is the first day! He commands we keep the Sabbath, the 7th day.
God has never, since He created the world, performed such a continuous set of miracles of like length and magnitude to convince man of man’s need of obeying a Commandment! That is just how important the resting on the Sabbath day is!
God identified the Sabbath Day exactly to the people by a miracle of not showering their food, the manna, from heaven. There was none in the field that day. They could not go out and work at gathering their manna on the Sabbath rest day as they had to on the six previous ordinary days of the week which included Sunday, etc. God caused them to rest on the proper day, the Sabbath day which commemorates the Eternal Rest, which man may enter into.
For forty long years, year in and year out, they were drilled exactly on which day was the memorial day to the creation that was going on within them the Day which pictures the goal of creation -- divine creative rest of man in God’s Kingdom.
God allowed them enough added blessing so that they did not have to work at gathering on God’s sanctified Sabbath Day: God preserved enough of the manna which they gathered Friday so that it would take care of their Sabbath needs. They could rest on the Sabbath rest day and still be as well off as though they had worked! And God will bless us also if we will only obediently rest upon the Sabbath day which God has commanded, instead of disobediently resting on any ordinary days of the week such as Sunday (the day of the sun), etc.
Even though the ancient Israelites had the manna to show them the exact day to keep as the Sabbath, and the Jews Judah, which composed one of the twelve tribes of Israel had the correct day to keep as the Sabbath, they did not continue to keep it! But Abraham kept the Sabbath and will be in the Kingdom. And David too will be in the Kingdom of God (Ezk. 34:23). Always the righteous of ancient times and they were extremely few -- did keep God’s true Sabbath.
Jesus Christ Kept the Sabbath
Down through the ages, this all-important day, the Sabbath day has continued. And the associated, recurring seven-day week, which makes the exact day of the Sabbath so easily identifiable, has continued also.
God has not ceased to remind man of the necessity of keeping the Sabbath rest. Christ, the messenger of the New Covenant, came with power, power of the Holy Spirit, power which all of us may share. Power to keep the Sabbath commandment as God really wants it kept! And Christ, by keeping the Sabbath, became our example! Christ is our example, not lifeless manna, but a living flesh and blood example to us to keep it. Christ kept the Sabbath, and all those who followed after Him kept it. All these are reminders that endure to this day. Are all examples for us today!
Who was with God from the beginning (John 1:1)? Was it He who was known as the Word (same verse)?
COMMENT: Remember that in the beginning, before there was any earth, there existed God, who became the Father, and God whom we know as the Logos, the Word or Spokesman, the One who later became the Son, Christ!
Wasn’t it Christ, then, who actually created all things (John 1:3)? So was it not Christ Himself, who created the Sabbath (same verse)? How extremely important!
COMMENT: It was Jesus Christ who actually created the Sabbath. He is the one of the God Kingdom (presently composed of two persons), who created the Sabbath, and all creation.
Isn’t this the reason Christ called Himself “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5)?
COMMENT: Jesus was the “Lord” or God of the Old Testament. It was he who made the Sabbath at creation (Gen. 2:2-3), just as He created everything else that exists (Col. 1:16). For this reason Jesus has authority over the Sabbath. As the “Lord” one with authority, the master, the ruler Christ was and is the only One to determine when and how the Sabbath should be kept!
Did the Lord God of the Old Testament (Christ), who created the Sabbath and was (and is) Lord of it, became very God in-the-flesh, the Christ of the New Testament (Heb. 2:9, 14; I John 4:1)?
COMMENT: Christ, from very birth, had the power of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Even at the early age of twelve Christ was teaching the learned men (Luke 2:46-47)!
As Creator of the Sabbath, ruler, and God-in-the-flesh, Christ knew exactly which day to keep as the Sabbath day, and He knew exactly how to do it. Observe Jesus later rebuking the Jews for wrongly trying to make the Sabbath a burdensome yoke of bondage by reminding them that He was the Lord who created it (Mark 2:24-28)!
Christ, having the fullness of the Holy Spirit from birth, kept the Sabbath perfectly. Jesus never once broke the Sabbath! Had He ever broken it in the slightest point, He could not have become our Savior! Hebrews 4:15 says He was without sin!
He taught His disciples, the future leaders in His Church, exactly how He, as the “Lord of the Sabbath,” intended that day to be used! Jesus showed by His example and teaching how the true Sabbath ought to be kept, and set His Church an example of how the whole Christian way of life is to be lived (I John 2:6)!
God intended the Sabbath to be a blessing for mankind not a curse! And Jesus showed us by His living example, in principle, and by direct teaching, how the Sabbath is to be observed so that it can be a great joy and blessing to us all!
Did Jesus set His Church an example of how the whole Christian way of life is to be lived (I John 2:6)? Remember, Jesus teaches us, who are His disciples, when and how to keep the Sabbath, for He is the “Lord” of the Sabbath, the true Lord’s Day!
Was it Christ’s “custom” to attend church services on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16, 31)?
COMMENT: Jesus did not meet with the people on the Sabbath because it was a “convenient” opportunity to preach to them. But He met with them in obedience to the command to convoke for worship services on the Sabbath (Lev. 23:3).This is the day He would obviously keep Holy since He is the One who originally established and commanded it to be observed in the Old Testament.
It was His “custom” or habit to keep the true Sabbath from is early youth. Once a person does a thing consistently for a length of time, it becomes a habit with him and a customary thing. So it was with Jesus. He did not keep Sunday or any other such practice instituted by man.
Aren’t we, because Christ lived perfectly in God’s sight, exhorted to do the same things as Christ did including keeping the Sabbath (I Peter 2:21-22; I Cor. 11:1)?
Saturday Not Sunday To Be Kept
God has continued to see that the proper day of His seven-day Creation week on which to rest has constantly been made known since the death of Christ. God has left reminders through Christ’s Apostles, and Church that lived after Him, as to which day we are to keep. Both the Apostles and the true Church they established kept the Sabbath Day. Because their acts are to be examples for us these are recorded in the Bible for this very purpose! They are forceful reminders for us that we must keep the Sabbath Saturday. We now have the Holy Spirit, and are without excuse for not keeping it. Let us understand these examples which are for us today!
Did God, at once, after Christ’s death conclusively show leaving not a shadow of doubt -- that Sunday is not the day we are to keep (Matt. 28:1)?
COMMENT: Note that Christ had just been crucified. Within only three days after this, God pointed out in clear language for us today that the Sabbath Day, which we are to rest on, is followed by the ordinary first day of the week Sunday -- a work day. God pointed out that although Christ was crucified, the Sabbath still remains, as always, the 7th day of the week Saturday. Saturday is the day on which we must rest!
Doesn’t Mark 16:2 also verify the fact that Sunday is the first day of the week, and directly follows the Sabbath which is still the 7th day of the week? Note the words, “When the Sabbath was past early in the morning of the first day of the week,” It is obvious that it does.
Doesn’t Luke 23:56 verify the fact that it is the Sabbath Saturday - that we are to rest on?
COMMENT: Nowhere in your Bible is Sunday commanded to be kept! And no hint anywhere that the Sabbath has been done away. Of course not, God has ensured that the Sabbath remains identified, down through the centuries!
We now see that the Bible clearly tells us that the Sabbath is the 7th day of the week, and the next day following the Sabbath is the first day of the week, which we know as Sunday. The question is, where could the erroneous idea come from that Sunday is the commanded day of rest, from the Bible? NO! Nowhere does the Bible command the first day Sunday -- to be kept. Sunday-keeping can easily be traced to paganism which crept into religion shortly after Christ’s death.
The word “Sunday” does not appear any place in your Bible (except in the corrupt “New English Bible”) but the phrase “first day of the week” is found exactly 8 times. If the true day of rest was changed by Bible authority, the only authority which we must recognize as from God Himself, we must find that authority in one of these 8 verses or not at all. The 8th places of appearance of this phrase are Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7; I Corth. 16:2.
In not one of these 8 verses is there found authority for changing the Sabbath day of rest to Sunday, the first day of the week.
The Apostles and Early New Testament Church kept the Sabbath
Does history show that the apostles and the New Testament Church which Christ founded continued to keep the Sabbath right on after the death of Jesus Christ? Let us examine and see that they did!
Did the Christian women who came with Jesus from Galilee still observe the Sabbath day very shortly after Jesus was crucified (Luke 23:55-56)? Was the first day of the week Sunday, the day after Saturday still a regular work day (Luke 24:1)?
COMMENT: Notice the words “according to the commandment” in Luke 23:56. Just a few days after Christ’s death, the early Christians knew the Sabbath commandment was still in effect and they were keeping it! And the first day of the week, the day after Christ’s resurrection, was still an ordinary work day the day on which the women brought their spices to anoint Christ’s body. However, they first, “rested the Sabbath Day.”
Did Christ, while He was yet alive, knowing that His apostles would establish His Church as a Sabbath-keeping Church, also leave a warning to that Church group regarding the improper use of the Sabbath (Matt. 24:20)?
COMMENT: Note that the people were warned not to exert themselves greatly even under stress on the Sabbath Day if it were at all possible. Christ showed here that His Church would respect and keep His Sabbath rest commandment. His Church the true Church of God -- in its infancy fled from Jerusalem when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. True Christians were keeping the Sabbath at that time! (Part of this great prophecy is dual and yet to be fulfilled.)
Was Paul even personally taught by very Christ Himself in preparation for his ministry (Gal.1:11-12, 15-16)?
COMMENT: After Christ’s death, Christ personally taught Paul, Paul alone in Arabia (Arabia Petraea). Had Christ done away with any of His Father’s laws or made changes regarding the Sabbath to some other day, He certainly would have revealed it to Paul personally. But no changes were made and Paul returned and taught the true Church of God exactly what Christ commanded him to preach regarding it.
Does worldly recorded history also verify the fact that the apostles observed the Sabbath? Notice the frank admission of the Catholic Church. It says, “The apostles, too, observed the Sabbath, as did most of the Jewish converts to Christianity.” (From page 3 of the Catholic booklet, “Yes I Condemned the Catholic Church.”) Note the words, “The Apostles.”
Christ kept the Sabbath day and Paul and the apostles followed Christ in keeping it. What does Paul command us to do (I Cor. 11:1)?
COMMENT: Christ set the Sabbath-keeping example for His apostles. And Christ commissioned His apostles - Paul among them -- to follow Him. We are to follow Paul, as Paul followed Christ.
Just how was the Sabbath regarded by converts in the early church? Did Paul preach to the Jews and Gentiles on the Sabbath day (Acts 13:14-16, 42)? After the Jews left the synagogue, did the Gentiles ask him to preach to them again on the next Sabbath (v. 42)? On the next Sabbath, how many from the city of Antioch came to hear Paul (v. 44)?
COMMENT: Notice carefully that it was the practice of many Gentiles to meet with the Jews on the Sabbath. And because these Gentiles were interested in the Gospel, they besought Paul to speak about Jesus again on the very next Sabbath day! Paul, the apostle to the Gentile nations -- said not one word here or elsewhere that the Gentiles should cease their practice of assembling on the Sabbath for worship!
The Jews and Gentiles attached no sacredness to any other day at that time. If Sunday were the regular day on which the Gentiles worshipped, as many today falsely teach, these Gentiles would have invited Paul to preach to them on the very next day, Sunday, instead of allowing the whole week to go by until the next Sabbath! The Sabbath day was observed by the early church as God’s true day for worship and rest years after Christ’s resurrection!
Did Paul even keep the Sabbath by a riverside when no synagogue was nearby (Acts 16:12-13)?
COMMENT: Notice that Paul went to the riverside because it was a quiet place where he could rest and pray. There certainly wasn’t a group of Jews assembled there which Paul could “conveniently” preach to on the Sabbath! However, he did explain the Scriptures to the women who “resorted thither,” that is, he explained it to women who where there.
Wasn’t it always the apostle Paul’s “manner” to observe the Sabbath just as it was Christ’s “custom” to observe the Sabbath (Acts 17:1-2; Luke 4:16, 31)?
Was it Paul’s “manner” to keep the Sabbath because he felt like it, or because Jesus Christ dwelt in him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 2:20)? Is Christ always changing His mind about which spiritual laws of God are to be obeyed and which day should be kept as the Sabbath? Or does Christ’s will remain “the same forever (Heb. 13:8)?
Did Paul labor at a job for six days of the week and then observe the 7th day Sabbath by resting and preaching (Acts 18:1-4, 11)?
COMMENT: For 18 months in the city of Corinth, Paul labored unceasingly during the first six days of each week as a tent maker. But he did not preach on the first day of the week (Sunday) he preached only on the Sabbath, the 7th day.
If we could find even one verse in the New Testament giving as strong authority for Sunday observance as this one does for Sabbath-keeping, we should certainly have Bible authority for keeping it. But we cannot! It just isn’t there! Seventy-two times in 18 months in this one city an example was given us to keep the Sabbath day.
Since Paul followed the example of Jesus Christ who dwelt in him, did he command the Gentile Christians at Corinth to follow him exactly as he followed Christ (I Cor. 11:1)? Did he command the Philippians to do likewise (Phil. 3:17)?
COMMENT: Paul taught the converted Gentiles to imitate his obedience to God as he, Paul imitated Christ. Because of this command, the Gentiles also always assembled on the Sabbath day just as Christ did while in human form, in order to observe the day which God commanded in His Word. In like manner today, all spirit-begotten Christians will be imitating the obedience of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, and all of God’s true ministers, by keeping the Sabbath Day Holy (Rev. 12:17; 14:12).
Time Has Not Been Lost
The universal historical evidence is that early Christians in God’s original Apostolic Church observed the 7th day Sabbath! The facts from the Bible and recorded secular history to this effect are overwhelming. For almost 2,000 years, God’s true Church has continued to keep the 7th day Sabbath and the “testimony of Jesus Christ” the teachings of the Bible!
What startling fact conclusively proves that the Jews have preserved the weekly cycle and the true Sabbath up to the present time? After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Jews were driven into every nation on earth. They have remained scattered and separated until now.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Jews in China had no way of communication with the Jews in Africa. Nor did the Jews in Europe have any means of communication with those in other parts of the world. Yet, when communications were restored over every part of the world, we find all the Jews observing the same 7th day of the week!
If the weekly cycle had been changed or mixed up, the Jews in one part of the world would be observing one day for the Sabbath, while the Jews in another part would be observing another day. But everywhere, in every nation on earth, we find the Jews have always been keeping the same identical day Jesus kept, the 7th day, or Saturday.
The Jew is the miracle of all history. He is an irrefutable proof that we have not lost the right day for God’s Sabbath. Jesus said His Word would be preserved it has been! In Old Testament times God punished the Jews so terribly, by captivity, for not keeping the Sabbath Day, that they have never since forgotten which day it is.
The Sabbath day is not a day of any man, or group of men or denomination or nation or race. It’s God’s Sabbath! And the people of the entire world are to keep it!
God gave the Sabbath to all people to keep. He gave if from creation, before there were nations. God placed it in the great Ten Commandments as one of the four which are toward very God Himself. It is the key one which brings us into close relationship with our Creator.
Blessings for Observing the Sabbath
We know that we must keep the Sabbath day if we are to receive God’s supreme marvelous gift of eternal life with wonderful restful bodies in His Kingdom. But in addition to this, what other wonderful things does God promise to those who keep this great outstanding day, the Sabbath day?
How does God reveal He will bless us materially if we will keep the Sabbath (Isa. 58:13-14)? Note that God will cause us to “ride upon the high places of the earth.”
COMMENT: God will favor us with blessings which those around us who do not keep God’s true Sabbath day do not receive blessings in food, shelter, clothing, knowledge, and many other things that it often surprises us to receive. To be in God’s good grace and favor and therefore to be blessed by God, to be caused to ride upon the high place of the earth is important! And even more so now in the end of this age when this especially lawless generation is bringing untold suffering upon the whole world.
The “heritage of Jacob” is the heritage of righteous Abraham and all the righteous that are Abraham’s seed, the inheritance of this earth for an eternal possession. You can’t afford not to keep the Sabbath!
Aren’t those who keep the Sabbath promised they will be refreshed physically by the keeping of it (Ex. 23:12)? Note the word “refreshed.”
Now that we have learned the material blessing of keeping the Sabbath, let’s learn about the far more important eternal spiritual blessings which will result from out keeping of the Sabbath day of rest! Why should we forsake our own way and even our own thought about worldly things on the Sabbath (Isa. 55:8-9)?
COMMENT: Since the Sabbath is the “sign” which points directly to our eternal goal, becoming sons of God in the Kingdom of God, with eternal rest from this mortal body we are to learn to be more like God on this day! As human beings we do not, by our very carnal nature, think the spiritual thoughts that God thinks constantly. Here’s how we learn: We begin to think Godly thoughts on the Sabbath by studying, discussing, meditating upon God’s Word, learning, and praying to God!
You might say we are practicing to be very God on the Sabbath when we literally saturate our minds with, and think upon, the principles of God’s laws which reveal God’s character how God thinks and acts! So then, by properly keeping the Sabbath, we are acting out or portraying our future destiny, that of being Gods in the very Kingdom of God. What a blessing it is to be allowed to do this, and with God’s own blessing upon us for doing it, too!
The Sabbath will become a great delight to us as we learn the ways of God and thrill to the prospect of becoming His very Sons. And this day will give us the Spiritual Lift and Inspiration needed to help us do the next six days of work with joy and real purpose of mind. It will help us to realize that our everyday experience of putting God’s Word into practice is building in us the very character of God. Only when we keep the Sabbath in this way can we fully realize why Jesus said it was “made for man” to be a great blessing for us!
What kind of a “Name” does God promise those of us who faithfully observe His Sabbath every week (Isa. 56:4-7)?Will God make faithful Sabbath-keepers His joyful Sons with positions of rulership in His own house, His Temple the headquarters church of the whole world? The first 15 words of verse 5; first 18 words of verse 7; and Rev. 3:12, what a tremendous thing!
COMMENT: God specifically promises us that if we do not pollute His Sabbath, but keep it in the spirit, become Spiritual “eunuchs”, with no prospect of rebellion as well as rest physically on the exact true Sabbath day, we will inherit an “everlasting name, “ the name “God”! We’ll become the Sons of His family, the God Family and be co-rulers with Christ in the Kingdom of God with headquarters in Jerusalem, Palestine!
Does God give us a glimpse of the Eternal City in which we’ll live in as His Sons (Rev. 21:1-2; 22:14)? Skim rapidly the rest of the 21st chapter and verses of chapter 22 for the glorious description of the breath-taking beauty and splendor that will surround us in “The New Jerusalem”!
COMMENT: All of these tremendous blessings can be yours if you have the “sign” of obedience to God that will distinguish you set you apart as one destined to inherit God’s incomprehensible riches, eternal life of rest and never ending joy and accomplishment in the Kingdom of God.
Curses for Not Observing the Sabbath
We now know the wonderful glorious breath-taking things that a loving Creator will shower upon those that keep His Sabbath day.
But what if one does not keep this great Sabbath day that God has commanded to be kept? Is there anything wrong in that? Can’t we just go on ignoring this special day which God has created? Just keep any day we choose? Or just not keep any day at all?
NO! We can do none of these! God’s true Sabbath Day is to be kept! God gave the Sabbath to all people to keep. He gave if from creation before there were nations. God placed it in the great Ten Commandments as one of the four which are toward very God Himself. It is the key one which brings us into close relationship with our Creator!
Let’s understand the history of Old Covenant Israel. Israel, the nation that descended from righteous Abraham, to whom God promised the earth for an eternal inheritance. And from this history let us see just how extremely important God considers the keeping of His Sabbath by man is!
Did God pronounce “death” to any person in ancient Israel who did not keep the Sabbath (Ex. 31:14)? Wasn’t Sabbath-keeping so important that God made a double covenant with the Israelites that they would not beak the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8; 31:13)?
COMMENT: The keeping of the Sabbath is that important! In Old Covenant times the righteous judgment of God upon those who refused to keep the Sabbath Day rest was the death penalty (II Cor. 3:7-8). Anyone breaking the Sabbath was immediately put to death! (Today the punishment is delayed but just as sure if one persists in breaking the Sabbath.)
What curses did God say would come upon the nations if they did not keep his commandments (Lev. 26: 14-39)? Wasn’t even the land to have its “Sabbath” rest from their working it, because they would be away in captivity (vs. 34-35)? Note the words “Sabbaths” is used three times in these two verses.
What else did God say He would do to the nation Israel if it would not obey His commandments (Deut. 28:15 to the end of the chapter)?
But Israel refused to keep God’s commanded Sabbath rests! So did God carry out the curses He said He would put upon the nation Israel? Israel, the nation composed of ten tribes, collectively known as the House of Israel, and two tribes collectively known as the House of Judah? What did God do to the House of Israel (II Kings 17:18)? Why? (vs. 16-17)? Did God remove Israel from His sight (v. 23)?
COMMENT: In 721-718 B.C., the House of Israel went into a very great punishment a punishment extending over 2520 years. The reason for this was the same for which God punished Israel in the wilderness, for rebelling against Him, and specially for breaking His Sabbaths! It’s a common failing of carnal nature. This terrible punishment is a warning to us also not to break God’s Sabbath.
The House of Israel refused to keep the Sabbath day, and therefore lost sight of who the true God was, so they went after strange gods. None were left behind in the land but the people of Judah. Only they remained free from onerous and cruel captivity. But this was to continue for only a short time for the curse was upon them too!
What did God do to Judah, the other part of the nation Israel, for not keeping the Sabbath? Did God cause King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to fulfill the curses which God had warned Judah would fall upon them if they refused to keep His Sabbath (II Chron. 36: 5-7, 16-19, 21)?
What happened to those who were not killed (v. 20)? Note verse 21- God points out that there is no avoiding of the keeping of God’s commanded Sabbath rest.
COMMENT: God means business, only curses can result from disobeying His Sabbath sign. The sacking and destruction of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar, which began in 604 B.C., and the captivity of those who remained, was a direct fulfillment of God’s warning to the House of Judah!
Notice now in Ezekiel 20 the summation of why God punished Israel so fearfully! Does God mention outstandingly that it was because of their not keeping the Sabbath (vs. 12-13, 16, 20-21, 24)?
Didn’t God for this reason point out that He would with fury rule over them with fury send them into punishment (Ezk. 20:34)? Does God say He will “purge out”- remove “the rebels” those who rebel against Him and do not obey (v. 38)?
COMMENT: These curses are dual! Sabbath-rejecting persons, and the Sabbath-rejecting world in which they live are headed toward this curse, And especially now at this time modern day Israelite nations, the blood-descendents of Abraham, are feeling this curse.
Modern-day Israelite nations the United States and Britain and several other of their blood-related nations -- are polluting God’s law, breaking God’s Sabbaths. Scan again Deut. 28:15-68 and watch these same identical prophecies now starting to be fulfilled in these countries before your very eyes. There is degeneration now occurring in these countries which will, after they have been weakened, culminate suddenly in their captivity!
Those Saved for Service Have Sabbath Sign
Do know that even Christ, the very Son of God Himself, had to keep the Sabbath in order to bear the Sabbath sign, the sign all must have if they are to be saved! Jesus Christ was made a human being exactly as you and I. There was no way by which he might regain eternal life other than by the way you and I must obtain it by the keeping of God’s Sabbath rest commandment -- and God’s other commandments.
Was the Word, who had been a very God, actually changed into Jesus, the mere mortal flesh and blood son of Mary (Heb. 2:9, 14; John 1:1)?
COMMENT: While Christ was on earth as the mortal son of Mary, He had to keep the Sabbath or die eternal death just the same as you and I must! For sin is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4), the Sabbath commandment law; and the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Eternal death Christ would have received if he had disobeyed.
But, Christ knew exactly the right day to keep as the Sabbath and He kept it! He made it His custom to keep it so He would bear the Sabbath sign. And, as a result, God the Father raised Christ up and saved Him for service in His Kingdom, and so Christ now sits as our High Priest, and coming King. Remember, Jesus is our example, and if He had to keep the Sabbath, we most certainly must.
(2) But didn’t Christ “labor” on the Sabbath day of rest? He certainly did! How? Did Christ “work” mightily at spiritual works on the Sabbath rest day (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:16, 31; 13:10, Matt. 12:5)?
How did Jesus uphold this act (Matt. 12:12)? Did Jesus not say it was lawful to do well on the Sabbath (same verse)?
But did Jesus, at the same time He was doing these mighty spiritual works, also warn against physical labor on the Sabbath rest day (Matt. 24:20)?
COMMENT: Remember, Jesus never once broke the Sabbath. Had He ever broken it in the slightest point, He could not have become our Savior. He was without sin (Heb. 4:15)! The “works” Jesus said He and the Father performed were spiritual works! In John 5:19-20, Jesus plainly indicated that He was doing the spiritual works of the Father on the Sabbath and not the physical works of men. This was proper to do on the Sabbath. He did not sin.
When you have properly worshipped God on the Sabbath and studied His Word and its application, and then put it into daily use and on the Sabbath day too, then you will have God’s Sabbath sign in the true and saving sense. You will be prepared to enter God’s Kingdom as a Priest and Ruler. God will save you and give you an efficient restful body for service in his Eternal Kingdom.
What does Rev. 14:9-11 point out? Note the word “Mark.”
COMMENT: If anyone does not have the Sabbath sign, he, or she in the very near future, is going to be forced by men to take the terrible “Mark” of the Beast, the keeping of Sunday. Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy!