Why Do I Keep the Sabbath?

8“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
11For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11 NKJV

Unlike the other 10 commandments, the Sabbath was instituted at creation (Genesis 2:2-3).

When God commands the Israelites to keep the Sabbath, He says "remember"—it is the only commandment that He prefaces this way.

Many assert that the commandments are done away with, but there are several places in the New Testatment where Christ says "if you love Me, keep My commandments" and even in Revelation, it talks about the people of God keeping the commandments. What commandments do you think they keeping? (Note: when Christ said love God and love your neighbor, the first 4 commandments concern our love for God and the last 6 commandments concern our love for our neighbor; He simply summarized the whole of the law.)
Christ and the Sabbath
Speaking of Christ and the Sabbath, let's look at what Christ actually said about the Sabbath.
  • Perhaps the most quoted example is that from Matthew 12, in which Jesus and the disciples are picking grain to eat on the Sabbath
  • In Matthew 24:20, Christ tells the people to pray that the hour of destruction does not come upon them on the Sabbath
  • Christ stays in the grave during the Sabbath; it is only after Sabbath that He is risen. (Matthew 28:1-7)
  • Jesus heals on the Sabbath. (Mark 3:1-4)
  • His custom was to teach the word in the synaguoge on Sabbath. (Luke 4:16)
  • Jesus speaks of freeing people on the Sabbath. (Luke 13)
Context is important when looking at these verses. The Pharisees were legalistic; they believed they could be saved by keeping the law and had created laws on top of the laws to keep from breaking the original law. In Romans 7:6, Paul talks about the letter of the law verses the spirit of the law and in other places he talks about us being in the Spirit, not under the law. Remember the Spirit is the Holy Spirit, part of the Godhead that wrote the law. Christ Himself said that He came to fulfill the law, not abolish it (Matthew 5:18; 24:34). Paul is not saying "do what thou wilt" (that is a satanist motto), Paul is saying the Spirit will guide you. The Jews had laws about how far one could walk on the Sabbath and wether you could pick something up or not. It had become a burden of "don't"s. When you follow the Jesus in the gospels, you will see that He had a custom of keeping the Sabbath, it just didn't look like what the Pharisees defined. What did Christ do on the Sabbath that the Jews objected to? He healed (did good), He freed (loosed from the bonds of sin), He ate straight from God's creation. Christ was reminding them not to get so caught up in the letter of the law that they miss the whole point.

Daniel 7:25 speaks of an antichrist who thinks to change times and law. The Sabbath is the only commandment given that is both a time (Sabbath) and a law (keep it holy). Ironically 1 Timothy 4:1-3 talks about "doctrines of devils" that include forbidding to marry and abstaining from meats. Keeping the Sabbath was abolished and replaced with Sunday worship by the Catholic church.[1] The Catholic church also forbids their preists to marry[2] (despite the fact that the Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:2 that a bishop/pastor is a man with one wife), and during lent (which is not observed in the Bible), they forbid their members to eat meat on Friday.[3]
6Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth— to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” 8And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” 9Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 13Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” Revelation 14:6-13
The first angel in Revelation 14:6-7 proclaims a message about giving glory and worshiping God, "who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water." Notice the following:
  • In Exodus 20:8-11 where the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy is given, God gives us a reason to keep the Sabbath: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." This language is almost identical to what the angel says in Revelation.
  • Those who do not receive the Mark of the Beast—"the patience of the saints"—are keeping the commandments of God
  • Those who die in the Lord are given rest (which is the literal translation of the word Sabbath). Christ desires to give His people rest in Matthew 11:28-29 as well. Paul outlines more on rest in Hebrews 4.
The Bible talks about signs, seals, and marks. Two are of particular interest to us: the Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast. First let's define a seal. A seal signifies authority, acts as a signature, and is a mark of an office.[4] If you think about a formal signature or seal, it usually has three parts: a name, title, and territory. For instance, if I were to sign a formal letter or email in my career, I would sign: "Shiree Hughes, Ph.D., Embedded Systems Engineer, <Company I Work For>" Leaders do the same thing today: Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America. The 4th commmandment is the law that contains this information about the Lord: the Lord, Creator of Heaven and Earth. Now, with that information, compare the following passages:
  • Exodus 13:9
  • Exodus 31:12-18
  • Deuteronomy 6:1-8
  • Deuteronomy 11:13-18
  • Revelation 7:3
  • Revelation 9:4
  • Revelation 13:16-18
  • Revelation 14:1;9
  • Revelation 17:5
  • Revelation 20:4
The seal of God is following Him and His commandments; the mark of the Beast is following man and the laws man comes up with (this goes well beyond the Sabbath, but the Sabbath is a start).

In Exodus, the reason given for keeping the Sabbath is that God is the creator. In Deuteronomy, the reason given is that He brought the Israelites out of bondage. Both of these reasons show us a full picture of who God is: He is the Creator and He is the Redeemer. The Sabbath is a reminder that He both created us and saved us from bondage. It also points forward (and backward) to God's perfect creation where there exists rest and freedom from bondage.

Why are people against keeping the Sabbath?
God said "I'm going to give you a day where you don't have to do anything. You can take a break, relax, enjoy the planet I gave you, fellowship with your friends, etc." and people are saying "No, I don't have to do that." We'll pick up with this thought in next week's episode on how I keep the Sabbath.

The blue thread I mentioned that symbolizes the law: Numbers 15:37-41
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV

References & Footnotes

  1. Rev. Peter Geiermann, C.SS.R. The Convert's Catcheism of Catholic Doctrine, pg 50. 1910
  2. Clerical Celibacy in the Catholic Church". Wikipedia; visited August 10, 2020
  3. Marisa Iati. "Can Catholics eat the Impossible Burger during Lent? Sure — but it’s kind of missing the point, experts say.". The Washington Post. February 28, 2020
  4. "Seal". Merriam Webster Dictionary; visited August 10, 2020
  5. Ree Hughes. "Keep the Sabbath Holy". PSALMS to God. June 2015
  6. Ree Hughes. "Keeping the Sabbath: Was it Abolished?". PSALMS to God. July 2016
  7. Pastor Ivor Myers. "The Blueprint Prophecy Series Pt. 1: The War in Heaven". YouTube. May 1, 2020
  8. Pastor Ivor Myers. "The Blueprint Prophecy Series Pt. 2: The War on Earth". YouTube. May 2, 2020
  9. Pastor Ivor Myers. "The Blueprint Prophecy Series Pt. 3: The Final Conflict". YouTube. May 3, 2020

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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