Keeping the Sabbath (we call it by it's Hebrew word "Shabbat") is one of the Ten Commandments. I think that's all that needs to be said. Shouldn't that be enough? Unfortunately, it's not enough for most people in the Church today. That's a shame, really. This is yet another case of Christians who are getting confused because of our paganized Christian theology.
We're told to keep the Ten Commandments, but then we hear we don’t have to keep one of them. We hear that Paul loved the Law but that we're not supposed to follow it... (oh yeah, except for The Ten Commandments, oh I mean The Nine Commandments!) They tell us to celebrate Christmas and to hunt for Easter eggs, but there are no such things in the Bible. (Perhaps they’re in one of the “Lost Books?”). Mainline Christianity tells us a lot of such garbage. Then, we wonder why people drop out of the Church altogether. Some of us have the gall to blame the poor soul who quit because he claimed it all to be nonsense. Sure, such people are responsible for their own souls. However, many other souls are going to go down with them - those souls who made him/her stumble because of the false doctrine they taught. Pastor, have you told someone that they don't have to keep the Sabbath? Better try to find their phone number and give them a call so you can make it right. Shabbat is not a Jew/Gentile thing. G-d rested on the seventh day of Creation, and there wasn't any such thing as a Jew or Gentile back then.
Don't try to give me the Scripture that says that Jesus is now our Sabbath rest. He is also my peace, but that doesn't mean I can go slap someone upside the head (though I know a few theologians I wouldn’t mind taking a crack at it with! LOL). Nowhere does Scripture say that we can abolish the Shabbat. If you were to tell one of the Disciples that they no longer had to keep the Shabbat, they'd call you a heretic.
Here we have the Ten Commandments:
1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 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:
11 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.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour's.
Verses 8 all the way through to 11 are solely about keeping Shabbat. How do we miss this? It's right below taking His Name in vain!
Here are some more verses:
"The LORD hath given you the Sabbath. ... Abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day."
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
"Six days my work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."
"Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest."
"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death."
"Ye shall ... keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God."
"Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD."
"And they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day .... And all the congregation brought him without the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.
"Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee."
"Blessed is the man ... that keepeth the Sabbath."
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Look at Num.15:32, 36 again - NOT keeping the Shabbat is punishable by DEATH! G-d takes it very seriously! He wouldn't command that they be killed unless it was a horrible crime. Telling people to not keep Shabbat is a terrible thing to do. You're cursing them by doing so. Is 56:2 confirms this. It says that the man who keeps it is blessed. That means if you don't keep it, you aren't blessed. It does you no good keeping the other 9 commandments if you're not keeping the Shabbat. The same goes for not keeping one of the other nine. Let's say that I'm keeping 9 commandments. I'm keeping Shabbat, but I'm not keeping the "Thou shalt not commit adultery" one. I'm telling you: "Hey, settle down, I'm keeping the other nine! What's the big deal?" It's no different if you're not keeping Shabbat.
Ok, does this mean that since you've been a good Christian all your life, but you haven't been keeping Shabbat, that it was all a waste? No, you are judged on what you know - just like for any sin (and yes, remember that not keeping Shabbat is a sin - it's one of the Ten Commandments!). We have many Church leaders telling their flocks that it’s ok to not keep Shabbat, and their flocks - for the most part - believe this. But now you know, so go and sin no more.
The Shabbat is not just a day of rest; it's a Holy Day unto G-d. Some try to quote the Scripture Is.1:13: "The new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity." This is not Isaiah trying to say that Isaiah was against keeping the Shabbat. That's insane and those trying to purport that don't know Scripture. If you go ahead in the very same book we see what? “Blessed is the man that keepeth the Shabbat.” (Isa 56:2) These people must think Isaiah is schizophrenic. How can he say that its iniquity and then turn right around saying it's a blessing? Again we have the confusion of paganized Christianity. It's a blessing, it's a curse, it's a blessing, it's a curse. What a bunch of nonsense!
Here's another Scripture they try to put past us: "One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." (Rom 14:5) They try to say: “See, the Sabbath isn't important. It's just like any other day!" Here's my rebuttal: Where do you see the word Sabbath in that verse? Nowhere! Matter of fact, let's look at the whole passage:
“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (Rom 14:1-6)
I don't see the word "Sabbath" in there anywhere! All this is saying is that we can keep any day we like holy unto G-d. I keep them ALL Holy unto G-d. But this doesn’t mean I'm supposed to break G-d's command of keeping the seventh day. We're not just talking about keeping it holy; we're also not supposed to do any WORK on the seventh day. I keep Sunday as a Holy day unto G-d. I usually preach at Gentile churches, but I work on Sundays whenever I want. I don’t work during The Shabbat. (By the way, Shabbat is Friday night at sundown till Saturday night at sundown). So, if you want to keep Tuesdays and Thursdays Holy unto G-d, great! But you still have to keep the Sabbath.
As many of you have heard me say before, people who don’t want to keep the Law or keep the Shabbat practice what I call "Lazy Christianity.” They twist Scripture so that it conforms to their lifestyle. What they NEED to do is twist their lives to conform to Scripture!
A couple of other things concerning Romans 14: some people will try to use this passage to look down at Messianics. Behind our backs, they tell each other: “Well, they are the weaker brother and sister so we don't tell them they don't have to keep the Sabbath. We also let them keep kosher - to keep the peace. This is hypocritical. If we were really the weaker brother or sister, then you would have to do what the rest of that passage says: “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” I don't see any of these lazy Christians stopping their pork habits or observing Sabbath!!! Yeah, they throw that little bit of Scripture right out the window. Why? Because they are interpreting Scripture in such a way that it means they don't have to do anything. Here’s their perfect life: no works (that means no good deeds, "don't have to help the poor, although I may do it when I want to... someday... down the road, you know"), no law ("I can do what I want when I want... I'm saved by grace") and everyone else who doesn’t like it can take a hike ("cause everyone else is the weaker brother and I don't have to worry about them"). This kind of theology they follow sounds like something a teenager would like. No rules, no obligations, no responsibilities. Man, that's the "me generation" to a tee isn't it!?!
Let me show you a couple of other Scriptures they try to use in order to back up their heresy. This is a doozy LOL "Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day." (Mat 12:2) "Ah Ha!!! See, Jesus broke the Sabbath... ye haw I'm freeeeee.” Sorry, not so fast there lazy Christian. This is another place where it helps to know Jewish Law and the culture of Yeshua’s time.
First of all, there's something called the Mishna. It was the Law of Yeshua's time. In the Mishna it says that you can pick grain on the Sabbath if you are in hunger. It also says you can help your livestock on the Sabbath, if they are in need. In other words, "The Lord then answered him, and said, [Thou] hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or [his] ass from the stall, and lead [him] away to watering?" (Luke 13:15) Why did He call them hypocrites? Because they knew there are certain things you can do on the Sabbath; it was in their very own Law! Jesus healed the sick on the Sabbath day. That's how He could say in Matthew 12:12 (NIV) "it is lawful to do well [good] on the Sabbath days."
Feeding your self is one of those things. Saving another person's life also falls into that category. It is well known in Jewish law that there are laws that supercede other laws. This is basic knowledge and common sense! If it's the Sabbath, and you and your family have no food... go get some food, idiot! LOL. Jesus NEVER broke the Law. If He had broken one law, he'd be of no use on the cross; I might as well have died for you. He had to be blameless. He had to be without spot or wrinkle, a perfect lamb. Otherwise he'd just be a criminal.
That's why it's so important to understand the Law. Don't try to wipe the Law away and say: “That was the Law of Moses.” It wasn’t the Law of Moses, my friend. It was the Law of G-d! Moses simply delivered it. It was G-d's finger that wrote, "Keep the Sabbath,” not Moses' finger.
Here's a sideline concerning Romans 14. It doesn’t say we can eat pig here. Otherwise, it would say in chapter 14:2, "one eats something profane and another doesn’t.” It doesn't say “pig” or “something unclean” - it says that one is eating herbs! This is the difference in what they are talking about here. If they'd said that one could eat pig, they'd have killed them on the spot!
Let me be clear, if you are telling people that it’s ok to break the Sabbath, you need to repent, and repent right away. To repent means not only do you need to ask G-d to forgive you, but that you must go to those who you have misinformed and tell them you were wrong. This is not just a "theology thing," this is sin! It was not done away with upon the coming of Yeshua. He said Himself: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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."” (Mat 5:17-18) All things are not fulfilled. Many prophecies are yet to come and so the Law (including the Sabbath) is to be obeyed.
This is not a Jewish thing but a creation ordinance. Again, profaning the Sabbath was punishable by death and to profane the Sabbath was to consider it as any other day.
Here's another verse that lazy Christians love to spout off: "Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath". How do they get this wrong? Of course the Sabbath was made for us! ALL the laws were made for us, right? Of course they were. Good grief, where in that do you get that we don't have to follow the Sabbath anymore? According to that insane idea, we don't have to follow any of the other Ten Commandments either; they were ALL made for us right? Give me a break!
I'm telling you, sometimes looking at how stupid we are gets disparaging. I'm including myself, because I'm sure in my own theology there's something I haven't studied (the stuff on this site I have studied thoroughly, so no, it's not included) and it's something I've always believed or not believed. It's been there in front of my face before and I just didn't see it but it's so obvious. All I can do is pray that G-d will reveal it to me in His time, and then afterwards I'll just say, "duh!" LOL
Go with G-d.
Rabbi Stanley Chester
Here's some links that I thought were pretty good if you'd like to read some more on the Sabbath