The Sabbath (Part 3 of 3) – Saturday Sabbath in the New Testament

You learned in “The Sabbath – What is it?” this day is Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.  It has been this way since creation and no one, except man-made laws and tradition, changed it to Sunday.  Not Jesus.  Not Paul.

Jesus Kept the Saturday Sabbath

Psalms 119:89  …Forever, O Jehovah, Your Word is settled in the heavens. 

These are other passages from Scripture that make it clear we are not to add to, remove, or redefine Scripture. His Word is forever. 

1 Peter 1:25  but the Word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the Word preached as gospel to you. 

Matthew 5:17-19  Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.  Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. 

Deuteronomy 6:6-7  And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart.  And you shall carefully teach them to your sons…

Now, let’s clarify something else before continuing.

Many have reinterpreted His Sabbath as Sunday, the Lord’s Day.  This term (the Lord’s Day) is located once in Scripture in Revelation 1:10.  The correct translation should read: “Day of YHVH”, which is a common reference in the prophecies to God’s end-time judgment.  YHVH represents His Hebrew name (Yehovah) which most translations replace with “The Lord”.  The books of the prophets are located in the Tanakh, incorrectly called the Old Testament.  There is nothing old about it.  So we see “Day of YHVH” become “Day of The Lord”, which in turn became “the Lord’s Day”.  The Christian Church then began to use this term as a reference to Sunday.  They likewise claim Jesus arose on Sunday giving more emphasis to Sunday, as The Lord’s Day.  The problem is, He did not.  He arose at or near the end of the Sabbath, Saturday night, and was discovered Sunday morning by Mary to have already arisen.  

Let us now examine the Saturday Sabbath from Jesus’ point of view of what He did.

According to Luke 4:16, Jesus did what?

Luke 4:16  And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And, as His custom was, He went in to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. 

Does this sound like he rebuked the Saturday Sabbath or did he continue to do as was His custom?  Nowhere in all of Scripture does Jesus teach anything but the same Sabbath since creation to all people, Jew and Gentile. This passage shows Jesus not only attended Synagogue, but it was His custom. 

Do the women, who had followed after Jesus, continue to keep the Sabbath after His Death? 

Luke 23:56  And they returned and they prepared spices and ointment. And they rested on the sabbath day according to the commandment.

Yes they do.  In fact, the above occurs subsequent to His death.

We have a different example in this passage.  Please read Mark 2:23-28. 

Mark 2:23-28  And it happened that He went through the grain fields on the sabbath day. And as they walked His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 

And the Pharisees said to Him, Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the sabbath day? 

And He said to them, Have you never read what David did, when he had need and was hungry, he, and those with him? 

How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest and ate the showbread, which it is not lawful to eat, except for the priests, and also gave to those with him? 

And He said to them, The sabbath came into being for man’s sake, and not man for the sabbath’s sake. 

Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the sabbath. 

Jesus and his disciples were accused by Jewish authorities of doing something unlawful on the Sabbath.  Jesus explained it was a need to allow His disciples to eat of the grain just as David had a need to eat the forbidden shewbread during the time he and his men were fleeing from Saul’s army.  It was not possible for them to prepare their food on the 6th day. This does not give us license to make excuses about being too busy to prepare. We do not see Jesus himself eating the grain, but he gave approval to his hungry disciples who were away from home and still a journey ahead of them. He still honored the Sabbath, but also showed compassion. 

What is more important in this passage, is the absence of accusations concerning a different Sabbath.  The Jewish authorities and Jesus do not debate this day being the Sabbath. 

Let’s look at these next verses.  What title do we see assigned to Jesus?  Would He be “Lord” (which means “Master”), of a day appointed by man?  Which day did He bless and sanctify?

Matthew 12:8  For the Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath.

Mark 2:28  Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the sabbath.

Luke 6:5  And He said to them, The Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Saturday, the 7th day, is the day He rested and sanctified.  He does not change and His Word stands forever.

Exodus 20:11  For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it.

Psalms 33:11  The counsel of Jehovah stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations.

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever.

In the next verse, we see this:

Luke 13:15  And the Lord answered him and said, Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the sabbath loosen his ox or ass from the stall and lead it away, to give it drink?

Now, this verse should remind you of the 4th Commandment regarding the Sabbath.

Exodus 20:8-10  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work.  But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Jehovah your God. You shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger within your gates. (This is the 4th of the Ten Commandments)

So we see here Jesus Himself speaking of the Sabbath command spoken at Mt. Sinai to allow your animals to rest on the Sabbath just as you are to do.   

In this final example, we see Jesus healed on the Sabbath. He does not want people or animals to suffer any day. If someone is in need this day, we are to help them

John 7:23  If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath day so that the Law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry at Me because I have made a man entirely sound on the sabbath day? 

John 9:14  And it was a sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 

Matthew 12:11-12  And He said to them, What man among you will be, who will have one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the sabbaths, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out?  How much better is a man then than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days

Paul Kept the Saturday Sabbath

Forty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul was still preaching weekly on the Sabbath day. Does this sound like Jesus or Paul changed the Sabbath to Sunday?

Acts 13:42-44  And the Jews having gone out of the synagogue, the nations begged that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. … And on the coming sabbath day almost all the city came together to hear the Word of God.

Acts 16:13  And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was usually made. And we sat down and spoke to the women who came together there. 

Acts 15:21  For Moses from ages past has those in every city proclaiming him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. 

Acts 17:2  And according to Paul’s custom, he went in to them and reasoned with them out of the Scriptures on three sabbaths. 

Acts 18:4  And he reasoned in the synagogue on every sabbath, persuading both Jews and Greeks. 

According to the verses above, Paul demonstrates that long after Jesus’ resurrection, he is still honoring the Saturday Sabbath.  There is NO mention of him or anyone attending a Sunday Sabbath gathering.

Never in the Scriptures was Paul accused of teaching against Sabbath observance.  

The Sabbath is mentioned over fifty times in the New Testament alone with no indication of it being any day other than Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.  Never is the first day of the week, Sunday, called the Sabbath.

We see many disputes in the Gospels involving Jesus, Paul, and the disciples concerning various topics.  Yet, we see no mention of an argument concerning when the Sabbath day is.  Nothing is mentioned about arguments between the Gentiles, Pharisees, Jesus, Paul, or the disciples concerning the observance of the Sabbath day. Everyone knew it was Saturday (the 7th day) and not Sunday (the 1st day) or any other day of the week.

There was a dispute concerning the circumcision of  Gentile converts to “The Way”. A general council was held to settle the matter (Acts 15).  There is no mention of a  council to change or settle an issue about changing the Sabbath day.

Paul believed and kept all of The Law (The Torah), which gave us The Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath. 

Romans 7:22  For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man; 

Acts 24:14  But I confess this to you, that after the Way which they call heresy, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things that are written in the Law and in the Prophets. 

Paul says Faith establishes The Law:

Romans 3:31  Do we then make the Law void through faith? Let it not be! But we establish the Law. 

Paul taught The Law (Torah) to Jews and Gentiles:

Acts 28:23  And they having appointed him a day, many came to him in his lodging; to whom he expounded, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading them the things concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses and out of the Prophets, from morning until evening. 

Paul said to imitate him as he imitated Jesus:

1 Corinthians 11:1  Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ. 

The Sabbath Wrongfully Changed

Roman Emperor Constantine, a sun-worshiper of the Roman Empire, professed conversion to Christianity, although his subsequent actions suggest the “conversion” was not genuine.  He had political reasons to blend the teachings of the followers of Jesus with the religion of his empire. There is no mention of Easter in the Scriptures, but we do see Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  We do not see Christmas, but we do see the Day of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles.  Constantine named himself Bishop of the Roman (Catholic) Church and enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in A.D. 321.

Here is a quote of Emperor Constantine changing the Sabbath to Sunday:

“On the venerable day of the sun let the magistrate and people residing in cities rest…”

—Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, vol. III, chap. 75.

Christians were then compelled to stop worshipping/resting on Saturday, and were forced to only rest on the day of the Sun-God. Eusebius in his commentary on Psalms explains what happened

“And all things that were duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s day, as more appropriately belong to it, because it has precedence and is first in rank, and more honorable than the Jewish sabbath.” (Robert Cox, Sabbath Literature (1865) Vol. I at 361.) See also, Robert Cox, Literature of the Sabbath Question (1865) at 363.)

With the false teaching that Jesus arose from the dead on Sunday, they successfully initiated confusion of the Sabbath that has continued to this day. Notice too, they label God’s Sabbath as “the Jewish sabbath”.  This too has continued as false doctrine; calling the holy days of God, applicable to only the Jews.

These leaders of the Christian Church exalted themselves to the place of God and continue to deceive the followers of Jesus, our Messiah (Christ). Daniel speaks of times and laws being changed.

Daniel 7:25  And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and plot to change times and laws. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one-half time.

Was the Sabbath changed from the seventh day of the week to the first?  If God intended for another day to become the Sabbath, He must have removed the blessing from the seventh day and placed it on the day which was to replace it. But when God bestows a blessing, it is forever.

1 Chronicles 17:27 And now let it please You to bless the house of Your servant so that it may be before You forever. For You have blessed, O Jehovah, and it is blessed forever. 

Ezekiel 20:11-12  And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. And also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah who sets them apart. 

Psalms 89:34  I will not break My covenant, nor change the thing that has gone out of My lips. 

This next verse speaks of the future: 

Isaiah 66:23  And it will be, from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, all flesh will come to worship before Me, says Jehovah. 

Do you think this future time will be a man-appointed Sabbath day or the 7th day Sabbath he sanctified at the beginning?  Since He does not change and His Word stands forever you should carefully consider man’s right to change it.  

How do we abide in His love?

John 15:10  If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 

I hope you can see from the vast amount of Scriptural events and spoken words, the Sabbath was Saturday and continues to be Saturday and that man as no authority to change it.

This completes the 3-part series of “The Sabbath”

You can find more SightedMoon.Com teachings, audios, and videos by clicking here.

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