Question: How do I keep the Sabbath day holy? 😁 😇 Lessons from the life of Jesus, the Apostles and the old testament:
- It first involves keeping the right ‘day’ i.e. Friday sunset to Saturday sunset in accordance with God’s definition of a day in Genesis when Sabbath was instituted for man, and not Sunday, which is a man-made change instituted by the Roman Church. There is no Bible-based proof of a change in the day. Christians should do as Jesus did; Jesus and the apostles kept Friday sunset to Saturday sunset as Sabbath to God – Luke 4:16, 31; Acts 17 v 1-2; 13 v 14, 27; 16 v 13; 18 v 4. Also read Luke 23 v 54-56 (clearly stating that the Sabbath commandment was still valid in Jesus’ time); Luke 24 v 1; John 19 v 14 & 31, 20 v 1 (NB: Preparation Day is the day before Sabbath i.e. Friday); Mark 16 v 1-2 (Jesus rested on the Sabbath – Saturday – and rose on Sunday).
- Resting from our labors and not doing what we typically do on other week days, including not buying/selling (Nehemiah 10:31). Isaiah 58:13-14 says that we shouldn’t go our own ways or do as we please or speak idle words; then we will find joy in the Lord and He will cause us to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and cause us to feast on the inheritance of Jacob. Why would we want to miss out on such a wonderful promise, moreso as it’s a clear instruction from the mouth of God with blessings attached?! Isaiah 56:2, 4-7 also has more blessings attached to keeping the Sabbath. Also remember that Israel’s first captivity by Babylon was because they disobeyed God’s commandments with respect to keeping the Sabbath – see Jer 17:19-27; 2 Chr 36:16-21; Dan 1:1-2.
- Focus our mind on God and holy things, spending time worshipping God in Church, observing His glory and majesty in nature, praising Him etc. Did you know that we will continue keeping the Sabbath in heaven?! See Isaiah 66:22-23. God demanded that we keep this day holy right from when He created the world, before His never-changing holy law was hand-written and given to Moses, and He expects His true children to obey as it was made for them, for their good (Matt 12:1-14). Some say that we can keep any day or every day as the Sabbath, but God’s words are sacrosanct, both in the instruction and the how. Heaven and earth may pass away but not one jot of what He’s said will go unfulfilled. Revelation 18-19 has stern warnings for anyone who adds to or takes away from any word that God has spoken.
Conclusion: The thing with Bible blessings and promises is that we only experience them in the doing! Prove God in this and see Him move. Taste and see that the Lord is good! When I discovered the truth about the Sabbath (the actual time period to keep and how to keep it), I was astonished. After years of practicing keeping it, I now joyfully look forward to the sabbath every week.
One quick testimony here: Once upon a time, after spending almost a year looking for a job, I finally got an offer to join the leadership programme of a global company based in Singapore that would have taken me to many countries over the next twelve months. At this stage, I was already tired of job hunting so I was naturally very excited to receive my first offer, which was an FX-paying contract. But over the past year during my waiting season, I had learnt about keeping the Sabbath faithfully and didn’t want to lose my new found joy because of my job. Therefore, before I signed the contract, I mentioned to the HR manager that I keep the Sabbath between Friday sunset to Saturday sunset and I hope this is something they would be able to respect if I accepted their offer. They said that they needed to think about it. This was a Friday. I remember fasting that weekend but sadly they came back on Monday to say that they couldn’t guarantee this, and immediately pulled the offer. I was so dejected but I took strength in God’s word and promises, and saw this as a test of my faithfulness. Guess what happened? Literally that same day, later in the evening, the process that led to the job I subsequently accepted, commenced. The offer I accepted was over 2x more than the base salary I was negotiating with the other company, they relocated me to the country I really wanted to be in, and the head of HR who was Jewish perfectly understood my Sabbath desires and not once has my keeping it ever been at risk. Glory to God!
Below are the best materials that I found most useful in studying/learning the truth about the Sabbath:
Question: Is salvation only for literal Israel as we know it today? Simply said – NO!
This is because:
- According to the Bible, there is no longer Jew or Gentile. (Gal 3:26-29; Rom 9:6-8; Gal 3:6-7). Anyone has the privilege to be spiritual Israel now because of literal Israel’s unbelief, which climaxed at the stoning of Stephen i.e. at the end/fulfillment of the 70-week prophecy, Israel’s time of grace, subsequent to which the message of salvation went to the gentiles, led by Paul – see Daniel 9:24. In light of this, we can now be grafted into the tree of salvation that is Christ. Christ is the tree, Jews were the original branches but have been broken off, while you and I (gentiles) can partake in the salvation of the tree by faith in Christ! Nevertheless, the Jews can still be grafted back into the tree, but only if they believe in Jesus. (Rom 11:11-24)
- Literal and pure Israelites from the lineage of Jacob barely exist today and one would be hard bent to find any pure ones according to the 12 tribes. This is because of all the captivity the Israelites have experienced over many years, including the near wiping out of tribes such as Benjamin and assimilation of Simeon into the tribe of Judah as recorded in the Bible. Besides, the territory Israel inhabits today is so much smaller than what was promised in Exodus 23:31.
This is not saying that God isn’t with the Israelites anymore but that based on the Bible, salvation from the curse of sin is now available to anyone who believes in the death of Christ on the cross and confesses their sins to Jesus. It is not the exclusive preserve of any tribe/peoples on earth.
That said, you’ll have to agree that the Jews are a special people. You can’t help but notice that they dominate the top 1% richest people in the world! There’s surely a lot we can learn from their history and lifestyles, a lot of which is based on the Bible. Many practices from the Torah (5 Books of Moses) they still do, and they continue to tap into the blessings of God since time immemorial for doing these things – promises which are also available to us if we are faithful to do what’s needed of us by the Bible.
Some clarification on keeping the law, as the new testament uses the word loosely:
- It’s true that the ceremonial/sacrificial laws written by Moses have been nailed to the cross i.e the killing of animals et al, as they pointed to Jesus and His role in fulfilling God’s plan of redemption. In other words, it’s meaningless to expect justification from sin if you’re still killing animals after Jesus died.
- The laws on food and sanitation are still relevant for us as they teach us how to take care of our body (the temple of the holy spirit). Their health benefits have also been attested to by scientists, doctors et al. 1 Cor 10:31 says if we eat or drink, we should do it all for the glory of God. This naturally implies that there is an eating or drinking that is not done to God’s glory. Isaiah 65:3-4 & 66:15-17 tell us that God will consider obedience to His law on clean/unclean meats in the judgement, that those who eat port, rats etc. will come to a terrible end. When we know better we’re expected to do better otherwise it’ll be ascribed to us as sin.
- The Ten Commandments (God’s moral law, written with His finger, on sapphire stone carved out from His very throne, kept in the most holy place, inside the most holy item – the ark) were never nailed to the cross. Without the ten commandments we basically do not know what sin is! Obedience to the ten commandments is an area which Satan has deceived many Christians to think they can ignore in a claim of salvation by grace alone. Many forget that you can’t build your Bible beliefs simply on one verse alone as you must compare scripture with scripture to have a solid foundation to stand on (Isaiah 28:9-10; 2 Tim 2:15). When you do this you discover that yes salvation is by grace through faith but you must prove your faith by your works! 💡 If we say we love God we must keep His commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 5:2-3) and anyone who breaks and teaches others to break them will be called least in the kingdom of God (Matt 5:19).
Almost anyone would agree to keeping nine of the ten commandments but when it comes to keeping the fourth commandment which starts with “Remember”, there’s suddenly a lot of confusion as to what the Sabbath is and if it’s necessary. Think about this: if killing, stealing, adultery or idol worship are sinful, isn’t it equally sinful in God’s eyes to not keep the Sabbath how He demands it? 🤔🤷🏾♂️ There are so many promises and blessings attached to the Sabbath all through the Bible which, surprise…the Jews know and remain faithful in tapping into, amongst other things!
You can study more about The Two Laws here.
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