"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15
Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?
Author:
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: Aug 11, 2015
Updated: Mar 15, 2017

I never thought I'd have to write about this topic, but in light of the recent amount of emails I've received about it, I see now that this is another issue in which Christians are being led astray, and it needs to be addressed. I want make one thing very clear to those who read this and believe that Christians are supposed to keep the Sabbath: There is not one person I have ever met who keeps the Sabbath as instructed in the Old Testament law. (We'll cover that more later.)

Let's begin with the Lord Jesus Christ, when He healed the man by the pool of Bethesda:

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
-John 5:8-11

In order to understand why the Jews were accusing Christ, we need to go back to the Law given in Exodus:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 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.
-Exodus 20:8-11

The Jews were not to do any work on this one particular day, nor were they permitted to make anyone else do work, but we just read in John 5 that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded a man to do work on the Sabbath. Why? Because Christ came to fulfill the law, and to free men from it.

And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
-Mark 2:23-28

It was always acceptable to do good to others on the Sabbath day in the Old Testament, even when it required work to be done, but the main problem is that most Christians don't understand that the Sabbath is prophecy of things to come.

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
-Colossians 2:11-14

All that which we cannot attain in our flesh under the law, the Lord Jesus Christ has cleansed our spirits and made us clean by His blood. Therefore, we ought not to let any man judge us in respect to sabbath days, to tell us we are not right with the Word of God because we don't keep the ordinances of the Sabbath according to the Old Testament law.

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
-Colossians 2:15-17

From the very beginning, the Lord God created a day of rest as a reminder of what will happen, that He would send a redeemer (the Lord Jesus Christ) to give us rest from our work. Sadly, there are preachers out there who teach false doctrine on this matter, that all men must observe the ordinance of keeping the Sabbath according to the law, and even worse are those Christians who write me in ignorance and arrogance that they have kept the Sabbath according to the Word of God.

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
-Galatians 4:8-11

Like a dog returning to his vomit, the Christians freed by Christ to turn bondage again:

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
-2 Peter 2:19-22

Though Christ cleans us and gives us liberty, often Christians turn immediately to a preacher who teaches them corruption of New Testament doctrine, and end up going back into bondage under the law Christ freed us from. It was better that they never knew the way of righteousness in Christ, than to know it, and turn from it afterwards.

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
-Mark 7:13

Before we get into details, I'd like to point out that when you question a Christian who believes everyone needs to keep the Sabbath, their answers are fascinating. If you simply ask them what it means to "keep the Sabbath," they typically respond that it's a day of rest, but if you ask them what they specifically mean when they say "a day of rest," they'll say that you aren't supposed to work, and this is based on the commandments to Israel in the Torah.

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: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
-Exodus 16:23

So according to the law, the Jews were not supposed to work, nor make anyone else do any work, and if they were to eat a cooked meal, they were not supposed to cook on the Sabbath.

Have you cooked a meal on the Sabbath day? You have not kept the Sabbath.
Have you eaten at a restaurant on the Sabbath day? You have not kept the Sabbath.

Jews who look to keep the Sabbath go to great lengths to do so, much more so than people who write me emails acting like they keep it:
"It is permissible to keep food warm on a gas flame or electric burner which has been turned on before Shabbat, as long as the source of heat is covered. This is usually done by covering the stovetop with a thin sheet of aluminum referred to as a blech (Yiddish for 'tin'). It is preferable for the blech also to cover the control knobs for those burners which it covers, to prevent one from adjusting the flame on Shabbat... Food placed on the blech for Shabbat must be at least one-third or preferably one-half cooked. All salt, spices and liquid must be added before Shabbat begins."
-Chabad, "Jewish Practice - Food Preparation on Shabbat," retrieved Aug 5, 2015, [chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/95914/jewish/Food-Preparation-on-Shabbat.htm]

But it goes so much deeper than that: Did you use electricity that's hooked up to a grid on the Sabbath? If you turned on a light in your house, you're making people at the electricity company work, and you have not kept the Sabbath. (Same goes for your church building too!)

Have you turned on the air conditioner in the summer? You have not kept the Sabbath.

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
-Exodus 35:2-3

The term "combustion" in the phrase "internal combustion engine" means that fires are being sparked repeatedly. If you drove your car to your church building, you did not keep the Sabbath, starting fires thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of times, which a Jew would be put to death for doing under the law.

Have you turned up the heat on your gas furnace in the winter? You have not kept the Sabbath. (That goes for electric heaters too!)

And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.
-Numbers 15:32-36

Have you done any cleaning on that day? You have not kept the Sabbath.
Have you done any yard work? You have not kept the Sabbath.
Have you done any gardening or lawn care? You have not kept the Sabbath.

It doesn't take much research on any Jewish educational website to learn that doing business transactions, traveling, using a broom to sweep, using a telephone (i.e. you can't call EMTs if someone has a heart attack at your church pinic), TV, radio, alarm clocks, computers, and much more:
"Examples of this prohibition include: carrying in one's pocket; carrying anything in the hand; wheeling a baby carriage or shopping cart, going outside with gum or food in the mouth."
-Chabad, "Jewish Practice - The Shabbat Laws," retrieved Aug 5, 2015, [chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/95907/jewish/The-Shabbat-Laws.htm]

Taken your baby out in a stroller or car seat? You have not kept the Sabbath.
Carried your Bible to a church building? You have not kept the Sabbath.
Brought food for your Sunday school class? You have not kept the Sabbath.

I could list out more than this, but hopefully the point has been proven. I've never met anyone who has kept the Sabbath. I'm not saying no one does because there are Jews today who take great pains to do so, but the people who I have personally met do not keep the Sabbath according to God's Word.

Remember just a moment ago we read in the Old Testament law that the Hebrews were to stone to death the man doing work on the Sabbath, and now let's read an opening argument from Life Hope & Truth Church about why Christians ought to keep the Sabbath:
"When God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses—His holy law that is permanently binding on His people (Matthew 5:18)—He specifically included the seventh-day Sabbath as the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11)."
-Erik Jones, "How to Keep the Sabbath as a Christian," retrieved Aug 11, 2015, [lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/sabbath/how-to-keep-the-sabbath]

It's amazing to me that someone could be such a hypocrite, teaching men that they must follow the law of God in the Old Testament, but ignore the details behind those laws. Let's look at their Scripture reference:

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
-Matthew 5:18

It's as if they read the Bible (or rather their new-age versions) until they see the word "law," and then they stop reading. The question we have to ask is, "Has the law been fulfilled?"

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-Galatians 5:13-14

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
-Romans 13:8

The blindness of these people is incredible because if they would read one verse earlier in Matthew 5, they'd find this answer:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
-Matthew 5:17

Our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, and therefore we are not bound by the ceremonies and days and times. He established a BETTER covenant, on BETTER promises:

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
-Hebrews 8:6

Paul rebuked Galatia for turning back to the old bondage of the law:

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
-Galatians 4:9-11

Continuing on this leavened website, they tell us their principles for how to keep the Sabbath:
"We keep the Sabbath by abstaining from work... The Sabbath command in Exodus 20:10 specifically states: 'The seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work.'... The Sabbath is a day when we pause from our normal labors and activities and rest for 24 hours on the seventh day of the week (from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday as the Bible counts time). "
-Erik Jones, "How to Keep the Sabbath as a Christian," retrieved Aug 11, 2015, [lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/sabbath/how-to-keep-the-sabbath]

I started laughing when I read this because no where in his writing does the author at all mention the specifics of what defines "doing work," because Christ Himself did work on the Sabbath. The hypocrisy of this is so intense because they're eager to teach Christians they need to abide by Exodus 20, but ignore Exodus 35:

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
-Exodus 35:2-3

And did anyone think about the pastor for a moment? If his work is to teach and feed the flock, why is he not resting on the Sabbath?

We read earlier that, according to the Lord God, if you light a fire, you are not keeping the Sabbath day holy. Folks, it all comes down to convenience, meaning that they'll keep the Sabbath holy, so long as it doesn't inconvenience them too much, but being prevented from cooking or starting a car is just too much hassle, so they keep the things that are easy for them to keep, and ignore the rest of it, which is precisely what the Pharisees were doing.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
-Matthew 23:23

Don't misunderstand when He said "these ought ye to have done" because at that time, in that dispensation, they were supposed to be tithing and keeping the Sabbath but after Christ bled on the cross, fulfilling the law, tithe and Sabbath were put away in exchange for a better covenant. The point is that these men were so focused on keeping the law, they ignored proper judgment, discernment, mercy, faith, love, hope, and charity.
(Read "Is Tithe a Christian Requirement?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Some of these Pharisees in the books of Acts became believers on Jesus Christ, but there was a problem that came with it:

But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
-Acts 15:5

Now let's read what Peter had to say to them:

And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
-Acts 15:7-10

Peter was a Jew, and he pointed out that the Jews were unable to bear the yoke of the law, so they shouldn't be turning people back into it. After Peter and James spoke what ought to be taught, they sent out letters to all the churches saying:

Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting [corrupting] your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment... For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
-Acts 15:24-29

Notice that they did not mention keeping the Sabbath at all because, just as circumcision and many other signs and ceremonies given to the Jews, it was no longer required of those who believe now that we have the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. Though they claim to be teaching in the name of Christ, these men who teach Christians they need to keep the Sabbath are corrupting the souls of those who believe.

If you get far enough into a conversation with those Christians who falsely teach we need to keep the Sabbath, you'll find that with their lips they'll tell you that it's "a day of rest," but with their hearts, they believe something completely different from what the Bible tells us. They really believe that you need to go to a church building (and in most cases they expect you to tithe) and if you've done that, according to them, you've "kept the Sabbath," but I would like any Christian to show me any verse in the New Testament Scripture which remotely gives such a commandment.

This leavened website makes an attempt, using the most common answer you'll hear when asking about the New Testament:
"We keep the Sabbath by attending Sabbath services... God’s people are specifically warned to not neglect 'the assembling of ourselves together' (Hebrews 10:25)."
-Erik Jones, "How to Keep the Sabbath as a Christian," retrieved Aug 11, 2015, [lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/sabbath/how-to-keep-the-sabbath]

Pa$tor$ Love Keeping The $abbath

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
-1 Timothy 6:10

Many preachers out there love to make sure you're pressured into showing up at their church building every week, and often will use Hebrews 10:25. Often, they aren't quoting it for your benefit; they're quoting it for their own benefit, speaking with a double heart, meaning they say one thing that looks good on the outside, but inside they have a hidden agenda.

They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
-Psalm 12:2

Most of the "keep the Sabbath" teachings out there are advertisements that produce more income for a pastor and his church building. There is a very simple reason for this that most church-goers are unwilling to even consider: If you're sitting in a pew once a week at their church on their "sabbath morning," the odds of you giving them some money is much higher than it would be if you're not sitting in their church.

Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
-Titus 1:11

For example, Creflo Dollar, minister of the Devil, explains to his congregation why they have come to his church service:
"I can't help it that you don't choose to come to church sometimes... some people say, 'Well why do you go to that church?' [Answer] 'So I can be fed.' You don't come here so you can be fed. You come here to help me and Taffi fulfill this mission... you haven't been called so you can be fed the Word."
-Creflo Dollar, Sermon to His Church Congregation, retrieved Aug 11, 2015, [youtube.com/watch?v=A1Jz3o-0GiE]

That's the real reason behind his desire for people to show up; so he can purchase multi-million dollar jets.

There's also a very interesting correlation that, most of the time, those who teach Christians need to keep the Sabbath are the same ones who also teach the false doctrine that Christians need to observe storehouse tithing. Creflo Dollar teaches storehouse tithing, and so does the leavened Life, Hope and Truth website I quoted above.
(See Eric Evans, "Tithing: What Is It?," retrieved Aug 11, 2015, [lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/finances/tithing]; Read "Is Tithe a Christian Requirement?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Beware the connection between the love of money and keeping the sabbath.

Let's go to Hebrews 10, and read a few verses to gather some context:

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
-Hebrews 10:19-25

Did you notice a very important context that is MISSING from these verses? The Sabbath! There is nothing in Hebrews 10 that is remotely referring to observing the Sabbath.

Let's take a look at an anonymous coward (author will not give his name -- See John 3:19) who wrote the following on his website:
"Sabbath keeping Churches know that keeping the Sabbath day is a SIGN that it is God we love and worship and that we are His children. It is also a SIGN that it is God that sanctifies us and makes us Holy. These are wonderful signs and very much a blessing. What happens when we devote a full day to God because we love Him so? What is the result of spending quality time with anyone you love?"
-Anonymous, "Sabbath Observing Denominations - Sabbath Churches," The Ten Commandments, retrieved Aug 6, 2015, [the-ten-commandments.org/sabbathkeepingchurches.html]

But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
-Matthew 12:39

This anonymous author is redefining "keeping the Sabbath" as "spending quality time" with loved ones, but where is this defined in Scripture? He goes on to talk of loving one's neighbor as yourself, but that has nothing to do with the context of keeping the Sabbath, and thus it becomes clear that these men have been taught to love tradition, and thus they become blinded it.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
-Colossians 2:8

On the anonymous website, they bring up a long list of arguments people make against the Sabbath day, most of which I do not use, but saying that people like me "do not have a love of the truth," are "determined to destroy the truth at any cost," and "do not care how they abuse Scripture." Out of the small amount of Scripture he provides, I will address one of the arguments he makes from Jeremiah and Hebrews. Starting with Jeremiah:

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
-Jeremiah 31:31-33

The anonymous author then points out that the covenant is made with the house of Israel, and that we are heir to the promises. I agree, and that is exactly what is described in Hebrews 6-8, to which he quotes from Hebrews 8 as well:

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
-Hebrews 8:8-10

The anonymous author emphasizes the new covenant with the house of Israel, but skips over a VERY important line in this text:
"Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers"
What covenant did the Lord God make with their fathers?

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
-Exodus 31:17

Just as we learned in "Should Christians Celebrate Passover?" the Jews kept the feasts as a reminder of the promises of God, but after the Lord Jesus Christ came, we are freed from those ordinances because He has risen from the dead, sitting at the right hand of the Father, fulfilling those things written in the law. Just as Christ becomes our passover once the New Covenant has been established, Christ also becomes our sabbath.

Where do we find rest from our labor and our burdens? Do we look to the Sabbath?

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-Matthew 11:28

This brings up a very important question: How do we know which Old Testament commandments we are supposed to observe in the New Testament?

The answer to that question is very simple: If it's reiterated (repeated) in the New Testament after the Redeemer had gone to the cross for our sakes, then it's a commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ and His covenant to Christians.

How do I know that Christmas is a wicked event that Christians ought not to have anything to do with? Because condemning paganism and idolatry is repeated in the New Testament:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
-1 Corinthians 6:9

How do I know adultery is wrong as it was in the Old Testament? How do I know killing or stealing or coveting or lying is wrong as it was in the Old Testament?

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-Romans 13:9

But you'll notice one thing that wasn't mentioned: the Sabbath day. So the question is, "Where is the commandment to keep the Sabbath day repeated in the New Testament?"

I challenge any Christian right now, to pore through the New Testament, starting in Acts 2 with the Day of Pentecost, and go through the rest of the New Testament to find any commandment to keep the Sabbath, any condemnation of those who do not, or promises of blessing to those who do. When searching the New Testament, I can already tell you what you'll find; some verses in Acts talk about them going to synagogues on the Sabbath day, and outside of that, you'll only find one place the sabbath is even mentioned in the New Testament, and that is in Colossians 2 that I will quote here again:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
-Colossians 2:16-17

Now that we understand more about it, perhaps we can understand more clearly why the Lord Jesus Christ had the following conversation with the Jews who accused Him of not keeping the Sabbath. First, to gain proper context, let's look at John 5 again:

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
-John 5:18

They were looking to kill Him, but watch how they try to lie to Christ:

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
-John 7:16-20

So not only did the people lie, but Christ also pointed out that they were hypocrites in their accusation because they did not keep the law they were preaching. Just like many today have accused me of not keeping the Sabbath, but they don't keep it either, being willingly ignorant of the Word of God.

Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
-John 7:21-24

The question they were asking was "Why is He doing work on the Sabbath?" That's not the point. Christ wanted them to judge according to the specific works being done to determine if He was of God, but most of them were wrongly attached to their traditions as the evidence of righteousness, instead of believing in faith and judging matters by the spirit.

I'm not charging anyone with "legalism" here, but I am charging people with teaching false doctrine that does not exist in the New Covenant.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our passover and our sabbath. He, and He alone, is the fulfillment of these prophecies, and if we continue in those traditions, like celebrating passover and keeping the Sabbath, we are denying that He has fulfilled the law and prophets. If someone wants to have a specific day that they designate to honor the Lord God in their homes, that's perfectly acceptable, but when they teach the Body of Christ that they are required to do this, that's not acceptable, and I will not let them deceive my brethren.

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
-Romans 14:5

Finally, I want to quote the leavened website again with their "principles" on how to keep the Sabbath:
"We keep the Sabbath by enjoying a spiritually fulfilling Sabbath. On the Sabbath, we are to pause from our normal routines—our work, shopping, errands, activities, sports, television—and spend the day doing things that are spiritually focused."
-Erik Jones, "How to Keep the Sabbath as a Christian," retrieved Aug 11, 2015, [lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/sabbath/how-to-keep-the-sabbath]

Folks, THAT is the problem right there; we have a generation that is so indoctrinated and trained into the traditions and pleasures of this world, they only take out time from their precious worldy habits to focus on the things of God one day out of the week. (And not really the whole day, just a small portion of it.) Furthermore, if people give up their worldly pleasures for a day, they're not enjoying the Sabbath, and therefore, if we follow the teachings of this website, they're not keeping the Sabbath. If the only spiritual focus you have is sitting in a church building pew for 45 minutes once a week, then you need to examine yourself immediately:

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
-2 Corinthians 13:5

I'm not saying Christians need to study their Bibles and pray every hour of every day, but you ought to do it some throughout the week. If a church building has become your only place of studying the Word of God, you are a part of CHURCHianity, not CHRISTianity, and if you believe and teach that all Christians must observe the Sabbath, then, according to the Lord Jesus Christ, you're no better than the dog licking his own vomit.


As a final note, I would urge Christians to beware of the "keep the Sabbath" folks out there, because that belief has become a cult, and in a cult, people become blinded by the traditions of men. For example, a man named James wrote me and asked about our position on the Sabbath, to which I sent him this article you just read, and here was his response:
"That was quite the rant filled with out of context Scripture and nasty generalizations of Sabbath keepers (Obedient Christians) you have written."

When you talk to others about this issue, don't be surprised by these responses, and being accused of being "inobedient" or "rebellious" against Christ. Though they are welcome to keep a day special unto the Lord as they personally please, when they teach the Body of Christ must do all these things along with them, they make the Word of God of none effect.

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
-Mark 7:13









QUESTION: What about Hebrews chapter 4? Does it not mentioned the Sabbath?

I had a man write us and complain that the sabbath was mentioned in Hebrews 4, but that's because he was using a corrupt NIV. (i.e. He didn't study Scripture to come to his conclusion; he feigned knowledge by doing a keyword search for the word "sabbath" in an NIV.) Certainly, Hebrews 4 mentions a day of rest, and God resting on the seventh day, but it does not mention the Sabbath.

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
-Hebrews 4:1

When the chapter begins with "let us therefore," that means there is context in chapter three that we missed. So let's go look at chapter three:

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
-Hebrews 3:7-11

The rest mentioned here is the rest of the Hebrews entering into the land God prepared for them. He punished them for their idolatry, causing them to wonder in the wilderness, and Paul is drawing a parallel with the Hebrew church (converted from the OT Jewish religion to the NT Gospel of Christ), that those who do not believe will not enter into the rest God has prepared for them.

And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
-Hebrews 3:18-19

One more time, the first verse of Hebrews 4:

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
-Hebrews 4:1

So we can understand now that this chapter is speaking of God's rest, by His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, prepared for those of us who believe by faith.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
-John 14:3

We born again Christian believe this, putting our faith into the Word of God that this is true, but the world does not believe this, and that's what Paul continues to talk about:

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
-Hebrews 4:2-3

This last line is very important to the context of this chapter because Paul is demonstrating that God had already established the Kingdom of Heaven for those that believe from the very beginnings of this world. This is why, earlier in this article, I spoke of the Sabbath being prophetic.

For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
-Hebrews 4:4-5

God told the Hebrews about the seventh day, and those who believe on God will enter into His rest, and again today, this is preached unto us in His Word.

Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
-Hebrews 4:6-8

Christ spoke of the day coming when He would return to give His saints rest.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-Matthew 11:28-29

The disciples asked Christ about the signs of his coming and the end of the world in Matthew 24. There is a day Christ will return and Paul reassures the Hebrews:

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
-Hebrews 4:9-11

The rest being spoken of here is the rest of the people of God in eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven, not to keep the Sabbath, but false preachers out there will still attempt to teach Christians that in order to enter into rest, you must keep the Sabbath. Don't be deceived. The Sabbath was a prophecy of things to come, and now that Christ has come, we look to Him as our Sabbath.


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