Why the Sabbath?

Maybe the Question should really be: Why not? There is this controversy that the 7th day of the week, is of Jewish origin. Well the only way that could be true is if God is Himself Jewish! But who created the Sabbath, and who was the first Sabbath Keeper? We need only look at  Genesis 2:2-3  “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had 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.” God rested, there were no Hebrews to say this is our day. God established and made this day holy! It is derived by God Himself. In fact well before Abraham and Moses we have the Sabbath introduced, it was not given on Mount Sinai In fact we have a statement before the Moral Law was given this declaration in Exodus 16:23: “And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD:” This day is already considered Holy to the Lord, not to the Jew. In fact an indictment is made by God in verse 28: “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” If we are to understand the Hebrew in this text that we have the word “my”, a personal pronoun, referring to the commandments and laws, this particularly in reference to the Sabbath. The stigma that some how this is a Jewish event does not agree with the scriptures. We must recognize that God instituted the Holy Sabbath day and therefore is not under human scrutiny. Just like murder or stealing or lying, these all come under the purview of the Law Giver. And by the way that Law Giver was God, Moses was just the spokesman in introducing these laws. Otherwise in order to be fair in this assessment then we would have to refer to the other 9 commandments as Jewish to be  reasonable to the text.

A jump to the New Testament . . . If we understand that God gave the Sabbath and it’s guidelines, not the Jewish Traditions that were added, then we would say that in order for Jesus to honor His Father, He kept His Father’s day Holy! Jesus was accused by the Pharisees of not keeping the tradition of the elders. There is a stark contrast between God’s Sabbath and the added laws the Jews inserted to make the Sabbath a burden and not a blessing! Allow the scriptures to speak for themselves: Luke 4:16 “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. Custom: habit this is something that He maintained.

What about Paul the Apostle in dealing with Gentiles? If there was a change . . . should it not have been introduced into scripture in such means that there would be no debate, no dispute as to the validity of another day? Strangely the New Testament scriptures fall silent about another day to be kept by Jew or Gentiles . . . but we have this from: “Acts 13:42-44  And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.  Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”

If another day should have been mentioned should not that have been inserted here? . . . where Paul is dealing with the Gentiles who are coming to belief? Why did they not just meet on the next day: Sunday, instead of waiting a whole week for the next Sabbath? This would have been the perfect opportunity to recognize this fact. Instead we have confusion for the Sunday keeper.

Perhaps a statement from Jesus might help here. Matthew 24, all scholars agree that Jesus is giving signs of what will happen after His crucifixion. Signs of the destruction of Jerusalem and also of the times just preceding His return. One of those signs evidently concerning the destruction of Jerusalem can be found in Matthew 24:20: “ But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:” The destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD would devastate the Jewish people. But Jesus gives a warning to flee the Holy City when they saw the armies coming. Yet we see here that He says pray that your flight be not in the Winter, the hardships caused by cold weather, neither on the Sabbath day. Why mention Sabbath if it no longer applies to believers? And this is definitely a future date in mind.

We could have those who believe in Sunday make this statement:” But Jesus if you say this you are causing confusion to your followers. You say the Sabbath, but now there are others who teach the Lord’s day. Which one is it?”  God is not the author of confusion, but just like at Babel millenniums before man creates his own problems.

We do not see from any Old or New Testament scripture the indication that a change in a day of rest was to take place. It would have to have been an issue that was clear for all believers to understand! But where is it? We read into scripture too easy at times. We say oh we keep Sunday because it is the Lord’s day. Then who changed God or man? Evidently God, yet His 10 Commandment laws have never been abrogated. The Ceremonial system is another matter and that was because of the reformation that would come with Jesus perfect life and sacrifice on the Cross. Jesus did not die to deliver us from the Sabbath that God made Holy!

The final synopsis is this: who changed God or man? Why was there a change needed if God made the Sabbath perfect and Holy? Why do we read in Isaiah 66 that in the New Kingdom we will be keeping that same Sabbath Holy if it is now Sunday? Who changed? Here are a couple of quotes to give you the indication:

Cardinal James Gibbons, The  Faith of Our Fathers (Ayers Publishing, 1978): 108: But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scripture enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.

Chancellor Albert Smith for Cardinal of Baltimore Archdiocese, letter dated February 10, 1920: If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath day by God is Saturday. In keeping the Sunday, they are following a law of the Catholic Church.

   Just two quotes taken from www.amazingdiscoveries.org reveal that the Catholic Church has accepted responsibility for changing the day of Rest, and you will find nowhere any Biblical scripture that will tell us that  Jesus nor the Apostles changed the day.

    So, why the Sabbath? Because God is the creator of the Sabbath day of rest, not man. He therefore had the only right to change it. All reasoning for making the argument that man had the right is using extra-biblical rational.  Well, here I stand on the Bible alone not human tradition. Let us reason together!

 

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