"If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is
born of Him" 1 John 2:29
Are you hearing and doing what pleases the Father or are you frustrated and caught up in the same sins time
and time again? I
Is the Sabbath for New Testament Believers today?
Was the Sabbath only for the Jews?
Often believers have been taught that the Sabbath was only for the Jews; that its the "Jewish Sabbath". Yet not many have taken the time to search the scriptures to test this claim. Why? Because many think the Old Testament has been done away with so there is no need to. Matter of fact we have run into many pastors that never bring up the aspect of testing everything as the New Testament commands us to.
In scripture we must first look at the claim that God's law in the Old Testament was only for the "Jews". What does scripture state...
"One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you."
"The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God."
"You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nations or any stranger who dwells among you."
"One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the strangers be before the Lord. One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger who dwells with you."
So its clear there is one law for both Jew and Gentile believers that followed God. One body, with one law who are saved by one Shepherd. One big question we have to ask is this... "Is this confirmed by the Messiah, Jesus? Did He ever teach or talk about the Sabbath and that it was just for the Jews or is it for all mankind, both Jew and Gentile/foreign believers?"
Again let us search the scriptures to find the truth...
"and He (Jesus) said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."
Unfortunately many believers and pastors claim the sabbath was only for Jews/Israelites but lets look at some definitions to see of this is true. Strong's concordance defines the word "man" in Mark 2:27 is G444 not as Jew or Israelite but this...
Apples to Oranges
Too many times believers confuse the hard sayings of Paul, read 2 Peter 3:14-16 and forget to look at the context of the passage/s.
When Paul uses phrases like "the Law of Sin", "the law of sin and death" "curse of the law" & "under the law" he is referring to non-believers. They cannot be justified by keeping the the law (salvation by works) - they must have faith in the Messiah.
When he uses phrases like "law of liberty", "law of the Spirit" "law of Christ", "law of righteousness", "law of God", "law of faith", etc it refers to what our behavior should be AFTER we become a believer, a new creature in Christ. 2 Timothy 3:16 states all scripture is useful for training in righteousness which includes loving obedience to the Father & His instructions. Paul states the Law is holy, righteous and good. Why? Because IF we obey THEN we do not sin and we are blessed.
Jesus in Mark 2:27 when He said the Sabbath was made for 'MAN' the word used is 'antrhopos'.
In Strong's Concordance 'anthropos' is G444 meaning all human beings; i.e. mankind.
This word in scripture was NEVER used in reference to only Jews!
So here is Jesus talking about the Sabbath, saying God made it for all mankind. And if continue reading you will also see where Jesus refers to the Sabbath in a still yet future time just prior to the Great Tribulation!
Now this is a very hard thing to accept especially if you have been taught your whole life the Sabbath has been done away with. Yet if we continue searching the scriptures we find even more proof that Sabbaths of the Lord have not been done away with. Consider the following...
"and He (Jesus) said to them (the Pharisees and His disciples), "The son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."
Now here is an interesting question - if the Sabbath was to be done away with, then why does Jesus say He is Lord of the Sabbath? We have had many conversations and one pastor said "If you observe the Sabbath today then you are sinning against God!" So if does that mean Jesus is the Lord of sin? Of course not! Matter of fact we see the Sabbaths of the Lord in the New Millennium, so if we carry on with the false interpretation of this pastor we talked to, then God is going to force people to sin in the New Millennium, which is crazy. See how important it is to test everything in context and see if things like the Sabbaths observed in all times, past, present and future? Yes. To see more on how the Sabbaths are in all times see # 3 entitled "Is the Sabbath observed in all times? Past, Present & Future?
If you still ignore these facts about the Sabbath being observed by all mankind and say "Jesus is my Sabbath" so I don't have to observe the Sabbath" please go to the Doctrine Test page and read # 24
'Only Jews observe the Sabbath' for more details.
What is the
The bible says that believers today are "New Covenant" believers. Now the majority of pastors and believers say they are "New Covenant" believers. And when you ask them where can one find that in scripture, what this entails, etc. most have a hard time finding it, that is if they know it at all. So let us turn to the book of Jeremiah where God tells us exactly what it is...
"... I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (remember we as gentile believers are grafted into Israel according to Romans 11) - not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers... but this is the covenant that I will make with house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be My people...
For I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more."
Notice this "New Covenant" NEVER says that God's law or commandments were to be done away with. Rather we see that ALL of it was to be written on our hearts and minds with the sole purpose of not continuing in sin. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentile/foreign believers confirmed this in Romans...
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live in it any longer."
Paul even goes so far to confirm that God's law, AFTER we become believers and obey from the heart, has not been done away with...
"Do we make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law."
Paul again confirms that we are to obey and not just be "hearers" of God's word...
"for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified."
So it is clear that none of God's law/commandments has been done away with but its to be written on our hearts. Now that we have seen what the New Covenant entails, let us look more closely at the Sabbath and if it applicable for all times.
Is the Sabbath observed in
all times? Past, Present & Future?
We all know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. His mercy, love and other attributes endure and go on forever (eternity). We see that God's law is the same through all times; we even see that what was a sin in the Old Testament, was a sin in the New Testament and its still a sin in the New Millennium and beyond. These are indisputable facts that no major christian denomination refutes. With that said let us look at the Sabbath to see if God set up the Sabbath to be observed in all time periods, past, present and future. Then we will also look to see if the prophets ever prophesied that the Sabbath would be done away with and in closing we will look at what the words of the Messiah who is the final authority about the Sabbath, when it is still observed and if it applies to only the Jews or to both Jew & Gentile/foreign believer.
Lets look at what the Sabbath actually is because many believers think its 'going to church' but nothing can be further from the truth. Let us look at the Ten Commandments which were written by the finger of God on the stone tablets...
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day (friday night to saturday night) is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor you son, nor you daughter, nor your male servant, nor you female servant, nor your cattle, nor the stranger (Gentile believers) who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.
Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
Notice the Sabbath is not referred to as the "Jewish Sabbath". Matter fact in the entire bible the Sabbath of the Lord is NEVER called the "Jewish Sabbath". Why? Because as we pointed out earlier, God's law applies to all mankind, both Jew and non-Jew/Gentile/foreign believer. The passage also states God blessed it and made it holy. Notice the passage does not say the Sabbath is 'going to church' though there is no commandment saying you cannot go to church if you want to. So what else do we see about the Sabbath...
"Speak also to the children of Israel (of which foreign believers are grafted in to according to Romans 11), saying: 'Surely My (God's) Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you many know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you."
So we see many New Testament passages where we today, are grafted into Israel (Romans 11) and that we are adopted into the family of God, etc, etc. We also see we are one body and the Messiah will return for one bride. Clearly there is no confusion with God about this and He even states its a sign of those that follow Him. So how long does this apply? Was it just for the people, Jews & Gentile believers of the Old Testament? Let us look at another verse to answer that question.
"Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant."
The first thing we need to answer is "Was observing the Sabbath just for people in the Old Testament?" Let us look at the phrase "as a perpetual covenant" and see what this means. The word 'perpetual' in the dictionary is defined as "continuing forever; valid for all time; occurring continually. It comes from the middle English word perpetual, from Anglo-French, from Latin perpetuus which means 'uninterrupted', from per - through + petere meaning 'to go on'. To go on forever. Now its a good start to use the dictionary but let us confirm this definition by looking that original Hebrew in which this verse was written and see if its the same...
So according Strong's Concordance the definition of 'perpetual' is indeed forever. Its the same word used to describe God's mercy and love which endures 'forever' (owlam H5769). Without a shadow of a doubt the definition means forever, for eternity, for all times. Yet many will reject this definition and say "But the old Covenants have been done away with... there are none in effect today!". Interesting because I, myself used to say the exact same thing because that was what I was taught. However does the scripture actually teach this?
If we can find one instance were God made or established a covenant with the same word 'perpetual' AND we could see undeniable proof this covenant was still in effect today, that would prove 100% without a shadow of a doubt that the Sabbath, using the same word 'perpetual' is still applicable for all believers today. Let us search the scriptures to find the truth...
"Thus I (God) establish My covenant with you; Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said: 'This is the sign of the covenant which I will make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you,
for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.'"
Have you ever looked and seen a rainbow after the rain? Yes. So is the Sabbath still in effect today for all people, both Jew and Gentile/foreign believer. The same word 'perpetual' is used and it just like the Sabbath its goes on for all time. Remember Jeremiah 31:31-34 states the New Covenant does not abolish God's commands or covenants that He established as seen with the rainbow. Still not convinced? Lets look and see if the Sabbath is observed in the New Millennium after the Messiah returns.
Its important to see that God's Sabbaths are present in all time periods, past, present and future. If we see the Sabbath being observed in the New Millennium then that will also confirm we are to observe the Sabbath today; that were is no pause button for believers today when it comes to the Sabbath of the Lord. Lets look at Ezekiel and the passages that specifically talk about the New Millennium...
"Thus say the Lord God: The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days;
but on the SABBATH it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened...
Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gate before
the Lord on the SABBATHS and the new moons."
Every bible scholar agrees that this passage and others are referring to the time of the New Millennium which is still in our future. This again proves that observing the Sabbaths of the Lord NEVER ceased. That it is something that we are to do for all time! Of course we need more than just one verse to prove this, so let us look at the words of the Messiah Himself and if He mentions the Sabbath in a time that is still in our future...
Jesus, the Messiah in His teaching in Matthew 24 is noted about a time just prior to the great tribulation, when He returns. So does He mention the Sabbath? Lets see...
"and pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on the SABBATH. for then there will be great TRIBULATION such as
has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be."
Here we see Jesus, talking to His disciples and us today in His word that the Sabbath is still in effect in our future. This is very hard to believe because so many have been taught just the opposite, that the Sabbaths of God have been done away with. If that was so then why did Jesus mention it? We know He is never wrong so we must follow the words of the Son of God. If you think that obeying the commandments of God is not important in the tribulation/end times, and there is no reason to obey God from the heart, please go to the Doctrine Test page and read # 25 entitled 'Obeying God's commandments in the Tribulation/End Times is not important' for more detailed information.
The Enemies Secret Plan...
Now what does the Enemy have to do with God's law or His appointed times such as the Sabbath? Simply put if something is very important to God (and us) then the Enemy will do whatever He can to stop believers from doing what God set forth in His word. Conversely if something is not important, or something like God's law and appointed times (the Sabbath, Feasts of the Lord) then the Enemy would not waste time on these things. So again let us search the scriptures to see what the plan of the Enemy, the Anti-Christ, is described in the book of Daniel...
"The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He (the Anti-Christ) shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time."
Notice that the Enemy during the End Times will intend to change TIMES and LAW! This is referring to the Enemy getting people to not follow and observe the things like the Sabbaths of the Lord or the Feasts of the Lord. To rebel against what God establish should be observed for all times. The Enemy will also try to change God's law, His instructions which He gave us so things would go well with us and our children. You see the Enemy knows that if we obey God, He will bless us. So if the Sabbaths, Feast and God's law has been done away with, then why is the Enemy in the End Times find it so important to deceive the believers?
The only answer is that these things have never been done away with! We see the Sabbaths of the Lord being observed for all times in scripture; we see the same with the Feasts of the Lord and the same with His commandments. Remember sin is transgression of the law as it says in 1 John 3:4 so its no wonder the Enemy is so hell bent on leading believers astray. In light of these startling facts perhaps we need to test everything we believe to see what is biblical and what is not.
For a more in depth discussion and testing on the Sabbath and if it is for believer today, check out the following Video...