Why Don’t Christians Keep the Sabbath?

In Blogs by Bruce Scott68 Comments


“Why don’t Christians keep the Sabbath?”

That’s a good question and one not so easily answered. After all, there is no biblical text that clearly states, “You shall not keep the Sabbath.” Instead, in the Old Testament God highly emphasized the keeping of the Sabbath (Exodus 31:16). Not to do so was punishable by death (35:2). Keeping the Sabbath was also part of the Ten Commandments (20:8). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul regularly went into the synagogue on the Sabbath (Acts 17:1–2). Even Jesus kept the Sabbath. If Jesus kept the Sabbath, then why don’t we as His followers do the same?

Let’s try to answer the question with other questions.

What is meant by “the Sabbath”? The Hebrew word Shabbat (Sabbath) comes from a word meaning to desist, cease, or rest. There are actually many Sabbaths mentioned in the Bible, and they were given to national Israel by God (Exodus 31:13). But generally speaking, the term Sabbath refers to the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week that runs from Friday’s sunset to Saturday’s sunset, the day on which God rested or ceased from His creation work (Genesis 2:2). This is usually the Sabbath that people mean when they ask the question, “Why don’t Christians keep the Sabbath?”

Don’t Christians already keep the Sabbath? Some Christians would say yes because they refer to Sunday, the day on which they worship, as the Sabbath. Why do they do that?

Historically, calling Sunday the Sabbath could have arisen out of mere tradition. Since the Jewish people called the day on which they worshiped, Saturday, the Sabbath, so, too, Christians, who customarily met on Sunday (Acts 20:7)—the day the Lord Jesus was resurrected—called their day of worship the Sabbath.

On the other hand, Christians calling Sunday the Sabbath could have arisen out of a further effort to supersede or replace Israel as the chosen nation. Replacement Theology, in which the church is considered to be the true “spiritual Israel,” has commandeered much of Israel’s position and identity over the centuries anyway, so why not also the Sabbath? Doing so would certainly fit Replacement Theology’s common use of allegorical hermeneutics. If, allegorically speaking, the church is Israel, then it’s not a stretch to say Sunday is the Sabbath.

Christians are not keeping the Sabbath when they worship on Sunday.

Whatever the historical or theological reason for claiming Sunday to be the Sabbath, the claim is false. The Bible clearly states that the Sabbath is not the first day of the week, but rather the seventh (Exodus 20:10–11). Christians, therefore, are not keeping the Sabbath when they worship on Sunday.

Interestingly, most Messianic Jews (believers in Jesus with Jewish backgrounds) in Israel today do not gather to worship on Sunday. Modern Israeli culture makes it impractical. Since Israel’s population is predominantly Jewish, most everything shuts down throughout the country from Friday night to Saturday night. Additionally, since Sunday is considered the first day of the work week and many Israeli believers have to go to work on that day, it is expedient for believing congregations to meet on Saturday.

What do you mean by “keep” the Sabbath? If you’re meaning to keep or practice the Sabbath as in biblical times, here’s how seriously God took the subject: “You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people” (Exodus 31:14). Is this how Christians should practice the Sabbath today? If so, how many people would have to die because of working on the weekend?

On the other hand, if you’re meaning to practice the Sabbath as the ancient rabbis did with their 39 extra categories of work, along with all of their additional Sabbath laws and traditions, then don’t expect getting much rest. Instead, you’ll be weighed down with a legalistic burden that exhausts people with minutiae and the fear of God’s wrath. Jesus condemned laying such burdens on people’s shoulders (Matthew 23:4). He had the right perspective when He declared, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

But isn’t keeping the Sabbath obligatory? Yes, it was obligatory for the nation of Israel, but not for Christians who live during this present age. In fact, “the Scriptures are silent concerning the observance of the Sabbath during the Church Age. Nine of the Ten Commandments are reiterated in some fashion in the New Testament, but the commandment concerning the Sabbath day is not. The book of Acts records that Paul and his companions were seen on numerous occasions going into the synagogue on the seventh day of the week; however, this was not out of obligation but, rather, out of practicality. Paul was seeking opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those to whom the messianic promises had been made.”1 

But can I keep the Sabbath if I want to? Yes, you can. God gives us that freedom in Christ. But it all depends on your motivation and what you hope to achieve by doing it. 

Israeli believers will often keep the Sabbath primarily as a cultural observance. They invite friends and family over for a sumptuous meal on Friday evening which is followed by a time of warm discussion and fellowship. It’s a beautiful and inspirational occasion.

There have also been many studies proving the physical, mental, and emotional value of setting aside at least one day a week to stop your normal work routine and spend some time refreshing yourself. Even Jesus had His disciples do that on at least one occasion (Mark 6:31).

If your motivation for keeping the Sabbath is to somehow earn God’s favor or smile, then you have fallen from the principle of living by God’s grace.

But if your motivation for keeping the Sabbath is to somehow earn God’s favor or smile, then you have fallen from the principle of living by God’s grace (Galatians 5:4). You are in effect canceling out what He did in procuring your salvation in Christ. But the apostle Paul would not allow himself to do that. He wrote, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly” (2:21, NASB20).

Also, if by keeping the Sabbath you hope to derive some sort of benefit that will increase or enhance your spiritual growth, the opposite is actually true. Keeping the Sabbath or the rituals surrounding it may give you a warm feeling inside (the flesh always delights in thinking it is capable of pleasing God), but it doesn’t add anything to the progressive work of God in transforming you into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). To think it does can actually stunt a Christian in a state of immaturity and weak faith (14:1, 5), a state that misunderstands God’s method of justification and sanctification. But God’s method has always been the same—“the just shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11), “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), because “without faith it is impossible to please Him [God]” (Hebrews 11:6). 

The apostle Paul writes, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me but I will not be brought under the power of any. All things are lawful for me, but not all things edify” (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23). This is good counsel for a Christian who’s weighing the decision to regularly keep the Sabbath or not.

In short, can Christians keep the Sabbath? Yes, but let’s understand what that actually means. Jesus claimed to be the very source of rest (Matthew 11:28–30). That’s why the Sabbath is “a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16–17). In other words, we shouldn’t get so enamored with the shadow, the Sabbath day, as much as with the substance behind it all. It’s because of the Messiah and what He did through His substitutionary death and His life-imparting resurrection that “there remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). That rest is not a day or a thing, but a Person. And His name is Jesus.

We would do well to keep, to preserve, to honor that “Sabbath.”

1 Bruce Scott, The Feasts of Israel: Seasons of the Messiah (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1997), 32.

About the Author
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Bruce Scott

Bruce Scott is the director of Program Ministries at The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry and is the author of The Feasts of Israel: Seasons of the Messiah.

Comments 68

  1. The Sabbath was part of the Mosaic covenant and given exclusively to Israel as stated in Scripture, Exodus 19:3, 6, Psalm 147:19, 20 and Ezekiel 20:12. But even Israel is no longer under worship on the Sabbath. Except for Messianic Jews, worship by Jews is in vain for as Yeshua said in John 4:24, ” God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Also in John 14:6 we have these words o His, ” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” But from the Hebrew Scriptures, we see that God had said He would suspend Israel’s holy feasts and days because they had become meaningless and through their actions had profaned His name, Isaiah 1:12-16, Jeremiah 16:9, Hosea 2:11, Amos 5:21-24. With the close of the dispensation of the law, the Mosaic covenant, Levitical priesthood and animal sacrificed for sin was voided along with His suspension of the feasts. The church age, which is an element of the dispensation of grace, isn’t about the law, but of the law of love and of grace. It’s not about what we do or don’t do, but about what Messiah has done. We are in Christ and will remain in Christ, not based on our works but by the power of His blood.

    1. Read Zech. 14:16-19. At least the Feast of Tabernacles will be mandatory for ALL. I am leading a Passover Seder at my Baptist church Friday evening. As a believer in Yeshua I want to remember His final propitiatory sacrifice. I am a dumb goyim, not a Jew, but I want to remember this, not neccessarily that I have to. He rose on the Feast of First fruits, not the pagan origin Eostre’. As to SUNday day of rest, Rome began the edict and the Catholic church jumped in. Read a history of Constantine, how he treated his own family and his allegiance to the Sun god Apollo, who is featured on Constantine’s own coin minted 330 CE (I have 3 of these coins), 5 years after the council of Nicea which essentially outlawed the keeping of Passover and all the other feasts. I am not a Judaizer, but would rather follow the holidays that Yehovah established than the ones man made. As mentioned briefly in the article, Yehovah rested on the 7th day, thousands of years before the Law. Should we do likewise?

      1. Yes, dear Rick, we should. I agree totally to your arguments, because they are biblical. My wife and I keep Shabbat, not because we want „to earn“ something for doing that, but because GOD, the creator himself established it long before the 10 commandments in Genesis, so it is for all mankind, not only for Jews, to worship HIM as the creator of all things.

        1. I agree, Ewald. Often, I keep a form of Sabbath wherein I rest from certain activities, especially commercial ones. I do this not for extra points from God but as a way to remember how much God provides for me and how I do not need to strive as the world does. I add a special time in prayer and bible study, too. I felt the article was kind of a put-down on Christians who may offer a type of Sabbath to the Lord as worship or thanksgiving.

      2. Zech. 14:16-19. refers to the time after the Church rapture. After the rapture, God will change a little bit the situation. Did you ever ask yourself why there should be a 3rd Temple? Will God accept animal sacrifices for sin?
        Deuteronomy 5
        12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
        13 Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
        14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
        15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
        The Sabbath was instituted by God to remind the Israelites that they were slaves and had no rest day during 400 years of slavery. This is why nobody (Adam, Seth, Job, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) before the Egyptian slavery was not commended to keep the Sabbath. They were not slaves.

        We were not slaves forced to work 7 days a week but we were all slaves of sins. Who freed us from the sin of slavery? Jesus. When did we know that His sacrifice was accepted? On the resurrection day which is Sunday. Therefore we keep Sunday as the true resting day.
        Jesus kept the Sabbath because His resurrection didn’t occur at the time. Once He resurrected, no member of the Church needs to keep the Sabbath because we entered into the “true” rest.
        Hebrew 4 is crystal clear. I am quoting v8 where God spoke about Another day. The word another is the Greek allos means other but different, a different day.
        8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on

      3. Some great points were made in your comment, and I share some of those in my Christian walk. By the way I do have a Jewish traditional background before I came to Christ, but my family background was essentially secular Jews. The interesting thing is I’m now worshiping in a non-denominational church that keeps the Sabbath and every other Commandments Christ has given to his disciples. You should live out your convictions in faith. When Jesus told the Pharisees that He is the Lord of the Sabbath, it indicates unless you are born again in Christ keeping the sabbath is only a tradition, for salvation is in no other than Yeshuah Jesus Christ the messiah. The Etymology and lexicon derivation of the name of Jesus Yeshuah means in the Lord there is salvation or Jesus saves. Christian come together to honor the Sabbath by worshiping God in Christ. We should be careful not to judge other Christians, and do not have the conviction as they should not as well. But nothing should be done out of fear only thru faith for that which is not done in faith is sin. The other thing is all Christian should realize that we are in Christ to rest from the work to the law as our salvation. Only Christ saves us thru grace in faith. Once we find this commandments delightful, we are created to do good works. Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus Christ unto , which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. World thinks that there are subjective good works will say though and do the religious and Torah observing Jews think keeping traditions and the law saves them under another dispensation. Theological philosophy constitutes the form of legalism. Christians to faith and grace.

    2. My understanding of Christians and the keeping of the sabbath is that the Lord commands us to observe a day of rest. What particular day that is may vary with each congregation, and in fact with each individual Christian. Many pastors, who work their tails off ministering to the rest of us on Saturdays and Sundays, will designate a weekday as their own personal day of rest. That is still observing the sabbath, isn’t it?

      1. Respectfully, the commandment and at the time of creation Scripture states that God set the Sabbath (7th day) aside and “hallowed” it. Man cannot make a day holy, only God can. I go to church on Sunday and don’t believe, since Jesus, we must keep the Sabbath as a means of legalism. Truthfully, I attended a Sabbath keeping church for many years and I can’t tell you, as a weekly gathering, the beauty in it. Being with my fellow Christians most of the day for a church service, eating potluck weekly then being out in nature (in Hawaii) together in an unrushed manner was truly special, sacred even. If we could find a Sabbath church without the added legalism we would do it again without hesitation.

    3. “The Sabbath was part of the Mosaic covenant and given exclusively to Israel as stated in Scripture”
      OK, So where was Israel in Genesis 2? What about Manna BEFORE Mount Sinai? What about the Sabbath during the one thousand year Reign of Yeshua? Genesis 2:2, Exodus 16:20, The 10 Commandment were given at Mount Sinai, Isaiah 66:23

      1. I do keep the Seventh-Day Sabbath because it is one of the commandments. I don’t understand how we can pick and choose what commandments to keep. We either observe them all or not at all. I believe the commandments were put in place for a reason. I believe we are to keep all 10 of the commandments not just nine of them.

    4. I don’t keep the Sabbath to be saved, I keep it because I am saved in obedience to God and JESUS said If you love Me keep my Commandments. Question, if Jesus is God in flesh and He is the Word made flesh, then the Commandments are from everlasting. And if JESUS is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then the Commandments are forever. Don’t you think? And what about Isaiah 66:23, when God gave Isaiah a view of the new Heaven and Earth?

      1. We are keeping the Lord’s commandments when we have His Holy Spirit dwelling in us, as He is our God, and while He does not do away with the law, He supercedes it. Sabbath keeping is a type and shadow of the permanent rest we have in Christ.

        1. In the time of Jesus, when he was on earth when came as our savior to die for fallen humanity and when he our nature he gave us an example how we should keep the Sabbath day so that we don’t profane it and violate it. Mark 2:26-27 the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath wherefore the son of man is the LORD of the Sabbath. Here Jesus is using the Hebrew word LORD from which we get the name of God YWHAH. The pharisees of Jesus day had made the Sabbath day become a burden rather than a blessing and a delight. Doing charity works of mercy of reliving the sick is not breaking the Sabbath day. In the old testament in Exodus chapter31verse14 God specifically outlines the things that constitute breaking the Sabbath day. He tells the children Israel on the preparation day which we now call before the Sabbath begins at sunset they were to bake the manna everything before the Sabbath day begins at sunset. On the preparation day which we call Friday. And then on the Seventh day Sabbath which we now call today as Saturday they were not allowed because it is a holy convection to the LORD. In the same verse God instructed the children of Israel to get double portion of Manna on the preparation day. But on the Seventh day there was no manna which God rained down from heaven for the children of Israel.
          In the time when Israel was in bondage in Egypt for 40yrs they had forgotten about the LORD their God because they had become accustomed to idolatry in Egypt thus at mount Sinai when God introduces himself to them he reminds them of who He is. And when he finally gives them the ten commandments they fully understood. But this doesn’t mean that the law of God didn’t exist before Sinai it existed before Sinai the first human beings God created at the beginning of the world it’s ADAM and EVE they had the knowledge of God as the first human beings who came forth from the hands of the creator God who formed them from the dust of the earth and breathed into their nostrils and they became living beings. In the cool of the day God would come and commune with them and give them instructions. Thus the law of God was engraved in their minds.
          In the time of Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah and many more to mention. God punished Israel for disobedience and they went into captivity in Babylon for seventy years. After the seventy years ended they returned to Jerusalem at the Time of the reign of the last king of Judah Whose name is Zadekiah. Israel was composed of twelve tribes the ten tribes in the north is what we call Israel these were alienated by the Assyrian during the reign of king Jehoshaphat and they were scattered and some got mixed-up due to intermarriage with heathens this is what gave birth to the Samaritan whom the Jews of Jesus day hated most.

    5. You left out the Sabbath was instituted in GENESIS, way before Israel even existed. It was ordained by God for mankind to keep – even early Christians kept the Sabbath. It was CHANGED by Constantine in early 320’s AD for whatever reason he gave. So WE have a MAN telling us to do something different than what GOD ordered to occur!

      1. Amen. And what I feel deep in my heart is the fact that our loving Father in heaven kept working after He rested on His Sabbath which He sanctified, made holy and wrote it on stone so as to have no one change what He has written. Does this mean God went back on His own written Law? Absolutely not! God expressed this with another command “ Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Deut 4:2 and then again in Rev 22:18-19 gives us details on what happens to any who would do such a thing. Our LORD is unmovable, even Jesus made sure we understood the Fathers will for us. Jesus said “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matt 5:17 and many many miss the next verse.. in Matt 18, “.. until heaven & earth pass away” no one changes the Royal Law. Nothing. Why? Bc one day after Jesus comes back & defeats the spiritual powers, authorities & principalities, He will turn over the Kingdom to God the Father” 1 Cor 15:24. We’re no longer slaves to the law but as Gentiles we have been adopted into Gods’ family. Today Jews & Gentiles both have our hearts circumcised with the Law & have been freed from sin through the blood of Christ but the law stays so the Temple we carry in us where the Holy Spirit dwells can convict of sin & therefore transform us, perfect us into the image of His son, our Lord and brother Jesus Christ. Because above all, God is looking for children like His own son that did the will of His Father. Why aren’t we today becoming more like Jesus and less like man?

        1. Because men are weak and I always tell everyone it clearly states keep the Sabbath day holy which is the seventh day of the week (Saturday) also I say Jesus said quote ( I did not come here to change my Father’s law) unquote. If you read the Word of our God it is all certified.

      2. Amen! Keep the Sabbath day holy, the 4th commandment, everyone who believes in God will say that we have and need to keep the ten commandments so it’s nonsense to say we don’t have to keep the sabbath day no more, Jesus himself kept the sabbath, his disciples kept the sabbath, Jesus said to follow his example, the apostles said to follow their example as they follow Jesus example so that too kept the sabbath, and the apostles also said that if we follow other gospel different than the gospel of Christ will be following a different gospel which is no gospel at all! So please let’s not follow the customs of the nations but the teachings of God.

    6. What is “Israel” or properly transliterated “Yshar’Al” – To Do Yah’s Straightness, not thinking of oneself as “Israel” means you don’t consider yourself His “Son” or child.

      One Law for all… but deniers simply miss “Jesus” point that he called us to “go and sin no more” (lawlessness) and to be “Perfect as our Father” in heaven is perfect.

      Why it says our prayers are a blaspheme to Yah if we dont do His Will and Keep His Word, its like a child dishonoring their parent, we can honor a parent out of fear, respect, love or all of the above depending on our heart and if His Word is in it.


    7. Jesus says- I am the Lord of the Sabbath. John 1:1-4 says Jesus is our Creator. The Bible says God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Jesus says in Matthew 24:20 KJV
      [20] But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

      Jesus explaining the trials in the last day- also tells His children- they will be keeping the Sabbath (s-ABBA-th) – for anyone who speaks falsehoods for comfort, they will be left with neither.
      Isaiah 58:13-14 KJV
      [13] If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: [14] Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord ; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

      Christ is returning, this is why I am a Seventh Day Adventist. Anyone claiming To follow Jesus Christ- will soon be given a choice- 1-Gods Sabbath, or the false. Revelation 18:4- Come out of her my people.

      Give your life in obedience to Jesus and watch. My people know my voice- all will soon choose light, or comfort. We cannot have both. Preparation is key- a Heart work, total surrender to God, obedience by faith- walk in the light.

      God bless

    8. The holy feast days are not the 7 day Sabbath. If there had been no Jews at all there would have been a creation and the 7th day would have still been sanctified by God, Jesus also said not one jot or tittle will be removed. He didn’t say well maybe 1, he said not one jot or tittle. It also says if you teach others not to keep the Commandments that you will be called least in the kingdom of God. He also said in the New Testament if you love me you will keep my commandments.

    9. Thank you for explaining this. When you said this “ It’s not about what we do or don’t do, but about what Messiah has done. We are in Christ and will remain in Christ, not based on our works but by the power of His blood,” it made clear to me my question of keeping the sabbath. I actually always thought Sunday was the Sabbath. Then found out it’s actually Saturday. I had a lot of confusion.

    10. No, God says the Sabbath was given to man.
      “27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” Mark 2

      “16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

      17 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.” EX 31

      “17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root[b] of the olive tree,” Rom 11

      We are Israel. We are nourished from the stock of the tree grown from the seed of Christ.

      “28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

      29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2

      “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5

      We are grafted into God’s people. As such we are Israel, spiritually. We are beneficiaries of the blessings of God. And make no mistake. There is a promise God has given to those who obey Him and keep His Sabbath. Isaiah 58:13-14

    11. No, it was fully given as the 10 Commandments that are the same Commandments we adhere to today. The 10 Commandments were His laws, not Moses, that were written by God until the Caholics decided they were the Moses of modern times and rearranged the 10 Commandments. When Jesus came to fulfill the laws of Moses was not an attempt to rearrange the laws of God given to Moses. Tell me one other Commandment of the 10 we do not adhere to today?

    12. No where does it say they meet on Sunday as many for worship in scripture states they met the first day of the week in fear of the Jews, there’s even those through the Protestant reformation articles and letters of not one single evidence to disregard the sabbath but to keep it holy as God stated since the beginning. Many people do things to supposedly gain favor in the eyes of God and don’t actually follow any commandments that Jesus himself even told us to keep his commandments and to walk in faith is to walk in His faith for he was a Jew who followed his fathers commandments. I don’t understand why some feel that all other 9 commandments we should follow but the IV to keep it out. It was changed by man not by God not by our savior, it was changed to win over the people to benefit those in power just as it is today consumerism. Take a look when all this lawlessness takes place and over consumption of drugs and alcohol party goers is on Saturday again not keeping it holy but keeping holy a day man sanctified as it is stated in the council of Nicaea when Constantine made that law. I don’t understand why it isn’t that obvious but many are just enticed to their own desires and not of Gods that the seek conformity for their own sake not God’s will.

    1. “13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

      14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 58

      “And He said, “Draw not nigh hither. Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Ex. 3

      Let’s ask the question. “What does it take for God to make something holy?” When God fills us with the Holy Spirit, He makes us Holy.
      God’s presence in the burning bush, made it holy.
      When God created the Sabbath, and made it holy, God placed His prescence into that block of time. And He called it His.
      God also tells us we will be keeping His Sabbath in the Earth made new.
      Isaiah 66:22=23

  2. Interesting. How does Matt 5:17-19 fit in? Yeshua is clearly upholding Torah until heaven and earth pass away. The Gentiles in the first two centuries turned away from what the saints first delivered to them. Pesach became ishtar, Sabbath (Yom Shabbat, Sabbado) became the first weekday etc.. If, as you stated, we can decide what HIS commandments mean, are we now as the Pharisees? Messiah taught against this!

    1. Amen, you got it. The deniers skim over the master’s teaching. He said the “overcomer” would be saved. He also said he did not come for the Righteous but the lost of Yshar’Al.


  3. We celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah who died on the cross and whose sinless blood was shed to pay the sin debt no man could ever repay.

    1. Christ clearly states he did not come to change his Father’s laws, which are the 10 commandments. So please clarify to me why Man would change GOD’S day. When Christ himself did not.

  4. How can you say “the Scriptures are silent concerning the observance of the Sabbath during the Church Age”? Have you not read Romans 14:5 (which, by the way, shows that “keeping the Sabbath” is not a matter of just choosing whatever day you want), Galatians 4:10, Colossians 2:16? Wouldn’t “keeping the Sabbath” be covered by the Apostolic Council’s decision in Acts 15? Even Martin Luther understood and says in his Large Catechism – that the Sabbath was a part of the covenant God made with Israel and as such is not binding on the Christian (yet because of the pull of tradition he still found a way of making some observance of “Sabbath” binding on the believer. We are freed from religious regulations by the Gospel. Why should we speak as though we are still bound by them? As Romans 14 goes on to say in verses 6-13, celebrate your freedom in Christ and decide for yourself how you will deal with the Sabbath. If I were a Jewish Christian, I would observe the Sabbath (Biblically, not necessarily as tradition dealt with it) and humbly give thanks that as a Jew I am entrusted with the “very words of God (Romans 3:1-2). As a Gentile, I do not keep the Sabbath (except as a day to gather for worship, since my culture allows it) and humbly rejoice that, though an ‘alien’ God still invited me to become a part of the Body of Christ. Praise God for His covenant with the Jews, and may the day soon come when He fulfills the promises made under that covenant.

    1. You say that you are a Gentile, so true by your first birth. But if you are born again, you could not be a Gentile any more. God’s Word says that we who read Ephesians 2, because of the blood of Jesus we become Jews by grace of God in the blood of Jesus. Question, what is the New Covenant? The first covenant was made with Israel, so was the second. Jer. 31,33. We are made Jews because of Jesus taking away the sins of the world. Covenant means agreement between two parties. Jesus said the New Covenant He will put His laws in our mind and heart. What laws? Read Romans 11 carefully. Last, what did Jesus die for? The commandments cannot save you. But, it tells us when we sin, I do not know sin but by the Law. So if you love JESUS for giving His life for us, then would not this love motivate you to obey what HE says?

      1. We are not free to decide to make holy a day God did not make holy. God’s Sabbath was made for man. Mark 2:27

        “28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

        29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2

        “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5

    2. Amen sister. God the Father in Christ Jesus loved us to be set free from every bondage so we can worship God in spirit freely with all our hearts, mind, strength by loving Him.

  5. Bruce, I found your statements regarding Christians observing the Sabbath to be interesting. First you presented a question, “Isn’t keeping the Sabbath obligatory? You said Yes, it was obligatory for the nation of Israel but not for Christians who live during this present age.” I think all true Christians, Jews and Gentiles, should observe the Sabbath– rest on the sabbath day (one day per week). You mention “Paul and his companions were seen going into the synagogue on the seventh day. However, not out of obligation, but out of practicality.” How do you know Paul went just to share the gospel and NOT to worship? You stated, “Christians calling Sunday the Sabbath could have arisen out of a further effort to supersede or replace Israel as the chosen nation.” With this statement, I wondered if you are a little paranoid or “defensive”? I believe the MAIN reason the early church started worshiping on Sunday was, as you mentioned, it was the day Jesus was resurrected. And what a victorious day it was! Do you believe it is a sin that most Gentile Christians, like myself worship God, in a corporate sense, on Sundays? You said, “Christians are not keeping the Sabbath when they worship on Sundays.” That may be a technically correct statement, but it is highly legalistic. Do you think God agrees with your statement? Since we are now in New Testament times, I somehow doubt God agrees wholeheartedly with your statement. I think the key is to rest one day per week. After all, as you stated, Shabbat comes from a Hebrew root word meaning to “cease,” or “rest.” Therefore, I think God wants us to rest one day per week. And we should OBEY God. Finally, you stated, “In fact, the Scrip;tures are silent concerning the observance of the Sabbath during the church age. Nine of the Ten Commandments are reiterated in some fashion in the New Testament, but the commandment concerning the Sabbath day is not.” I have also heard John MacArthur make this statement. But it is NOT biblically correct. God gave the Jews, and us Gentiles the Ten Commandments as a “package.” To say that one of them is not currently in effect is unorthodox biblically. Jesus Himself informed all who would listen: “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath (Matt 12:8). In Mark 2:27, we read , “Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” So, here in the New Testament time, we have our Lord instructing us regarding His view of the Sabbath. As Jesus has told us, the Sabbath was made for man — and man really needs that day of rest each week. Oh, how most of us U.S. Christians need to do better in observing the Sabbath! Blessings to you.

  6. in genesis the 2nd chapter verse 2 “by the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so He rested from all His work. and God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it HE rested from all His work of creating that He had done.” with that said, it seems to me that this then is for all—-not just the Jews. for God gives the 10 commandments 100’s of years later.

  7. The Sabbath is the sign of the [marriage] covenant (Ex 31:16-17). When one takes the position that Torah (Gods’ teaching/instruction, precepts/principals, wisdom /doctrine FOR righteous living are no longer for today and only suggestions. One begins on a very slippery slope downhill. It appears no one sees the mixed multitude in Ex 12:33. They were those from the Nations NOT descendants of any of Jacob’s 12 sons. These too placed blood over the doorposts of their homes and were part of “collective” Israel that Moses brought up out of Egypt during the historical Exodus. It was collective Israel which prefigures the “The Commonwealth of Israel” (Eph 2:12) which Rav Shaul is specifically addressing in Eph 2:11-13. Additionally Acts 15:21 clearly indicates the 1st gentile believers went to the Temple in Jerusalem to hear Moses. Those in the Diaspora would have done so in the local Synagogues. Acts 20:7 refers to Motza’ei-Shabbat which in Hebrew means “departure of the Sabbath” and refers to Saturday night. The Greek text here says, “the first day of the sabbaton,” where Greek sabbaton transliterates Hebrew Shabbat and may be translated “Sabbath” or “week,” depending on the context. Since Shabbat itself is only one day, “the first day of the sabbaton ” must be the first day of the week.

    But what was meant by “the first day of the week”? Or, were the believers meeting on Saturday night or on Sunday night? (It is clear from the verse that the meeting was in the evening.) A Saturday night meeting would fit more naturally with Jewish Shabbat observance, wherein the restful spirit of Shabbat is often preserved into Saturday evening, after the official end of Shabbat itself, which occurs after sunset when it gets dark enough to see three stars. It would be natural for Jewish believers who had rested on Shabbat with the rest of the Jewish community to assemble afterwards to celebrate their common faith in Yeshua the Messiah. The Gentile believers who came along later would join in the already established practice, especially since many of them would have been “God-fearers” (10:2) already accustomed to following the lead of the Jews in whose company they had chosen to place themselves. And since by Jewish reckoning days commence after sunset, the sense of the Greek text seems best rendered by “Motza’ei-Shabbat” and not “Sunday.”

    In various places this commentary notes the Christian Church’s tendency to expunge Jewish influences, and I think an instance arises when the present verse is understood to refer to Sunday night. A Sunday night meeting would imply a break of one full day of work between the Jewish Shabbat and the gathering at which Sha’ul spoke. Although Sha’ul cautions Gentiles against being “Judaized” into legalistic observance of the Jewish Sabbath (Col 2:16-17, and possibly Gal 4:8-10), although he asks the believers in Corinth to set aside money for the Jewish poor of Jerusalem also on “the first day of the sabbaton” (1 Сor 16:2), and although John at Rev 1:10 speaks of what most translators render as “the Lord’s day” (properly rendered as “the Day of the Lord”; an end time event, NOT a day of the week), nevertheless the meeting in Ephesus must have been on Saturday night. For in this city, as in other places, Jewish believers constituted the core of the congregation — Sha’ul “took the talmidim with him” from the synagogue (19:8-9), with many Gentiles coming to faith later (19:17, 20). The Jewish believers, as explained, would have been accustomed to prolonging Shabbat, so that they would probably not have minded Sha’ul’s talking till midnight A Saturday night meeting would continue the God-oriented spirit of Shabbat, rather than require the believers to shift their concern from workaday matters, as would be the case on Sunday night.

    The often quoted Heb 4:9 is NOT a day and NOT Shabbat. It’s part of the writer’s larger “commentary aka Midrash” on Psalm 95:6-11

    1. If I understand you correctly you’re saying that it’s okay to hold the Sunday Sabbath instead of the the only Sanctified day that Got All Mighty put in place at the time of creation. If that is how you feel, then let me ask a question. Are you a Sanctified God Fearing person? If so, do you believe that no man can take you out of the hands of GOD? Then understand that no man can change his sanctified Sabbath. And why do people keep referring to the Jewish people concerning the Sanctified Sabbath day? If you take the Jewish people out of the subject altogether, you will find that the Sabbath was a binding Sanctified day made by God Almighty.

  8. “Apostate” Christians don’t keep the Sabbath would be better said. Those who love Him, keep His commands and they are not a burden to us, but a blessing. HalaluYah!

    1. Colossians 2:16,17 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
      Acts 15:28,29 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

      1. In Colossians, Paul was referring to the yearly Sabbaths that was for the Jewish people such as the Passover feast, not the weekly seventh day Sabbath that he Sanctified at the time of creation. As to the second part of your statement, the 7th day Sabbath is not a burden, it is a right given to us as a worship day on his sanctified day to honor God and no man has the right to change the Word of God.

    2. we worship God in Christ Jesus any moment. we are not slave in egypt but formerly we are all slave to sin. that is why we need Jesus to save us from the slavery of sins. thank you God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ from saving us with your precious blood. Revelation 1;5

      1. GOD in Christ Jesus YHWH commandments are not burdensome. read 1 Corinthians chapter 13 about Gods love. what does it means to us all mankind. Worship is every moment of our life to God in Christ Jesus there is no limit in His love command freedom from self sinful nature to go against Gods life in us faithful believers. No man in this earth are faithful enough to God we all violate Gods commands even seven day adventist or church of god they do not follow the whole law. No one else except Christ JESUS ALONE PERFECTLY. HALLELUAH we all fall short of the commands of God in Christ Jesus no matter who even human pastors be honest. seven day adventist, jehovah witnesses, pentecostals , assembly of god , baptist osas, church of god, catholics ,churches of christ, methodist, lutheran, presbitarian, non denominational christians, every one in some degree and some are worse that the other so why. NO ONE COMPLETELY LIVE LIKE CHRIST JESUS so stop ARGUING WHO IS RIGHT, BE HUMBLE UNDER THE GRACE OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS and Let just all worship HIM in His Holy Spirit and His Truth in Love. It is NOT JUST A DAY , SABBATH of ISRAEL, Salvation or deliverance is by Grace by Faith in Christ Jesus if we love Him we believers will not sin before Him, but we do sin in mind thought and words and actions that is why He gave us grace repentance asking always for help to overcome our sin nature in this mortality. this will only stop when we are change completely. we need God in Christ Jesus Holy Spirit filling our mind with His presence in us time to time till Jesus comes to rescue us completely the fullness of the day of redemption. thank you God the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ amen.

  9. Fascinating discussion. The Ten Commandments were made for everyone, not just for the Jews. Read and you will find that no one was to work on the Sabbath, not even animals. Everyone. The Sabbath is not a letter of the law issue, it is a heart issue. It is more than attendance, or keeping for the sake of keeping, it is sanctified BY GOD as a Holy Day, not a human holiday. When we break from work to worship and give attention to our God from our heart, who has given us all things, and His Holy Spirit, especially reverencing God’s sanctuary, we ARE RESTING IN CHRIST. The Day is about God. We NEED the Sabbath. The Day gives us perspective, fulfillment, growth and an opportunity to worship God together for His glory. We suffer as people, as families, as communities and as nations because of our heart failure to to respect the Sabbath by making it something other than holy. God blessings and peace.

  10. It seems that time has lost many things.
    We were one in the beginning, it’s hard for people to understand this, but all is prophesied from God this we know. This thing that mankind has searched for all these years will come to pass in the end. Only then they will know the truth about God, for me I believe all things are from his will and many will be sacrificed for the glory of God. Many would disagree on this, but all life is from God and only he chooses the will for all. Faith is a powerful thing, I’d say the end of the book is very near. Peace be with you all

  11. I don’t get it… always the Sabbath. It’s in the ten commandments. You don’t see people dismissing and excusing the other 9 with so many arguments. Am I alone in feeling convicted in observing this?

    1. This is true what you speak of, but one needs to understand that Gods in control of all things, as humans we debate things this is our nature. One day soon all will be revealed and how glorious it will be praise God, peace be with you

  12. Acts 20:7 is not interpreted correctly. The correct and literal interpretation is actually, “on one of the sabbaths”. Εν δέ τη μια των σαββάτων, συνηγμένων των μαθητων του κλάσαι αρτον.. Furthermore, in the book of Revelation, 14:12 specifically, it shows we are to keep the commandments of God. This is just another example that’s not listed already. By the Grace of God, giving us Yeshua, we can be saved. By Keeping the commandments, to the best of our best abilities, we are sanctified. If we don’t keep them, then we are lukewarm, neither cold or hot, and will be spit out.

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