The Sabbath

by Gertrude Battle (Used by permission)


l. The Origin of the Sabbath

A. When and where was the Sabbath made? Gen. 2:1-3

At the close of creation. The week was not finished until the Sabbath was made. What three things did God do on that day? He rested (not because He was weary; neither were Adam and Eve weary, having just been created); He blessed it (or made it a holy day, there in the Garden of Eden); and He sanctified it, or set it apart for a special use. God did not wait until He reached Sinai before making it a holy day.

B. Where was the Sabbath commandment placed when God wrote the Ten Commandments? Ex. 20:8-11

Right in the very heart of the Decalogue. It could have been lopped off either end, but it is a little hard to take a chunk out of the middle of anything.

II. Christ - The Creator

A.Who is the Creator? John 1:1-3 , 14 ; Col. 1:13-17 ; Heb. 1:1, 2

God created the world by His Son; He redeemed the world by His Son; and He will judge the world by His Son.

B. Is it not only right to honor Him for this and all the other things He has done for us? Rev. 4:11

C. Why has He made all the beautiful things in nature? Ps. 111:2-4

People go for miles just to see the beauties of this world, such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Redwood Forests, etc. He made all His wonderful works to be remembered, not the works themselves, but the Creator of them.

III. God has a Day

A. Does God have a day which belongs to Him? Rev. 1:10

There is a day called the Lord's Day.'

B. What day is the Lord's Day? Matt. 12:8

It is the Sabbath Day.

C. For whom was it made? Mark 2:27, 28

For man, or mankind. There were no Jews at that time.

IV. God's Seal in the Fourth Commandment

A. How long will God's name and memorial endure? Ps. 135:13

Only in the fourth commandment do we find the name of the Lawgiver, the God whom we worship. A seal consists of three things: The name of the ruler or person, his title, and his territory over which he rules. The president's seal is Bill Clinton, President, United States of America. God's seal is the fourth commandment:The Lord, the Creator, who made the heavens and the earth and all that in them is. If you take this out of the Law you have no way of knowing who the Lawgiver is.

V. The Sabbath the Sign

A. Of what is the Sabbath a sign? Ex. 31:16, 17

This was a sign to all the world that the Jews worshiped the God of heaven, who created them.

B. Of what else is it a sign? Ex. 31:13 ; 2 Cor. 5:17

It is a sign of sanctification or re-creation. It should mean even more to the Christian. A sign of the new birth experience.

VI. Always to be Kept

A. Did Jesus keep the Sabbath? Luke 4:16

Yes. It was His custom.

B. Did He mean for His disciples to continue to keep the Sabbath after His ascension to Heaven? Matt. 24:15-20 Luke 21:20

In the year A.D. 66 a Roman general by the name of Cestius surrounded the city of Jerusalem with his army, evidently intending to take the city. But for some unknown reason he withdrew his army and left. The Jews in the city overtook him and almost completely destroyed his army. However, the Christians in the city remembered the words of Jesus, that when they saw the city surrounded with armies they were to leave. They obeyed the warning, and when the city was destroyed four years later by Titus, not a Christian was found there. They had gone up first to the city of Pella and after that on up to Antioch where they settled and which became the center of Christianity for many years. But Jesus had told them to pray that this would not happen in the winter time as it would work a hardship on mothers and small children, nor on the Sabbath Day. It was about 35 years after Jesus' admonition before this happened, yet they were to pray all that time that they wouldn't have to break one Sabbath. Their prayers were answered. It happened in the fall and on a week day.

C. How many times is it mentioned in the book of Acts that the disciples had services on the Sabbath? Acts 13:14 , 42 , 44 ; 16:13 ; 17:2 ; 18:4 , 11

There is a record of at least 84 times.

D. Will God's people keep the Sabbath in the New Earth? Isa. 66:22, 23

Yes. If God's people kept the Sabbath before man sinned and were commanded to keep it after he sinned (it was doubly necessary then that they might never forget their Creator), and the Jews were punished severely when they persisted in breaking it; it was kept by Jesus; it was kept by His disciples; and it will be kept in the New Earth. Is there any reason why God's people should not be keeping it now?

The First Day of the Week

How many times is the first day of the week mentioned in the Bible? Once in the Old Testament and eight times in the New Testament. Let's examine all eight of them that are in the New Testament.

VII. First Day of the Week Referred to Only Eight times in the New Testament

Matt. 28:1 - All this verse tells us is that the Sabbath was past, the first day of the week was dawning.

Mark 16:1, 2 , 9 - It was early on the first day of the week that Jesus rose from the tomb.

Luke 23:54 , 56 ; Luke 24:1 - Here we have all three days in their order; Friday, the preparation day; the Sabbath according to the commandment; and the first day on which Christ arose.

John 20:1 , 19 - Why were the disciples in the upper chamber? Were they there celebrating the resurrection of their Lord?

Mark 16:10,11 ;Luke 24:10,11 - Did they believe He had risen? No.

Acts 11:27-29 - What was taking place at this time in Jerusalem? Aside from being persecuted, they were also suffering from famine brought on by a drought. The believers from the surrounding area were sending them relief.

Rom. 15:25,26 - Paul was also concerned about them.

1 Cor. 16:1-4 - This was no Sabbath service. Is there anything mentioned about tithes or offerings? No. It was a relief offering for the saints.'

VIII. Paul's Third Journey, and His Last

Acts 20:4-14

When did the day begin and end according to Bible time? Lev. 23:32 ; Mark 1:32

From sunset to sunset.

Why did Paul preach all night to these believers? Acts 20:25 , 36-68

Because he knew it would be the last time he would ever see them in this world. Paul and Luke remained at Philippi while the rest of the brethren sailed on over to Troas. Five days later Paul and Luke met them there and they stayed there a week, which must have ended on the Sabbath. That night Paul continued to preach to them while the rest of the brethren, including Luke this time, sailed around that point of land to Assos, where they waited for Paul. The next morning after he had eaten an early breakfast, Paul walked across to Assos and joined his friends. They then sailed on down to Mitylene, a journey of about 40 miles, that Sunday morning.

We have examined all eight of the texts that mention the first day of the week and have found nothing to indicate that the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh day to the first day. You will have to look elsewhere than the Bible for this change.

If you wish to find anything about Sabbath-keeping, you may find it from Genesis to Revelation. However, you have to look into history to find anything concerning Sunday-keeping.


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Updated 7/26/2006 by Kim Rollins