In the 56th chapter of Isaiah, God pronounces blessings on gentiles (!), and eunuchs, and anyone “who will keep MY Sabbath!” It is therefore important for us to know which day God claims belongs to Him, AND what does it mean to “keep” the Sabbath? This topic is too huge to completely cover in a blog. But we can wrap our minds around a few of the passages that reveal the significance of God’s messages to the world regarding “His” Sabbath Day.
Quoting from the New Living Translation, Isa. 56:1-2: “Be just and fair to all,” says the Lord. “Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you. Blessed are those who are careful to do this. Blessed are those who honor MY Sabbath day of rest by refusing to work. And blessed are those who keep themselves from doing wrong.” The literal translation of the word “blessed” is “happy.” Human beings spend billions of dollars every year in the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, they don’t know what their Creator knows: happiness is doing what God wants us to do. God says “Blessed (happy are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest…” and gives an example of one way we can honor that day – “by refusing to work!” This is not the end of what it means to “keep” the Sabbath. But it is a good beginning! And it is part of “doing what is right and good.” It’s also tied in with the fact that He is “coming soon to rescue” us. Part of preparing for His second coming!
Some people say that the Sabbath is Sunday, “the Lord’s Day.” Just briefly let me define the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day. All 4 of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reveal Jesus as customarily attending “church” to worship and read Scripture to the people on the “seventh day of the week.” He read Scriptures which revealed Himself and made it plain to the people. They were angry that Jesus presented Himself as the Son of God. Jesus spoke to them as their Creator, the Creator of the world and everything in it, including the 7th day which He “hallowed” – He created holy time! He then rested from his work and pronounced it good.
In Mark 2:28 Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the “master even of the Sabbath!” Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus state ownership of any other day of the week. He is the Creator and Owner of the Sabbath – the Giver of every good and perfect gift. He gives us “time,” on the Lord’s Day to know Him better(John 17:3).
Jesus honored the Sabbath as a human being throughout his earthly life, and then he honored it in His death. He was placed in a tomb before the sun went down on the sixth day of the week, and rested on the seventh day of the week just like he had done at creation! He had come to earth to live a perfect life as a human being, so that He could present His blood to cover our sins. He could look back at his consistently devoted work on earth with the confidence that He had provided a way of escape from this sinful world for all who love Him. And honoring the Sabbath was a part of the entire plan.
Before the earth was created (Eph. 1:3-5), God devised an exit strategy from earth in case human beings sinned. Ezekiel 28 describes Lucifer’s beauty as his downfall. He liked the jewels embedded in gold adorning his clothing and his status among the angels, for he had the top position – that of “covering cherub.” “Sin was found” in him and the Son of God Who had created everything that was created (John 1), took the responsibility for saving us.
Lucifer became Satan and he will not give up even when Jesus has taken the righteous to Heaven (Rev. 20). John, the beloved, saw in vision that Satan will try to rally the resurrected wicked into a massive army and they will try to take the New Jerusalem when it descends at the end of the millenium! Unbelievable, isn’t it? Satan’s desire is to erase from our minds the truths provided by God for our salvation. He presents distractions such as entertainment, sports, making money. (See Luke 21:34) Jesus says, “Don’t let Me catch you being lazy, drunk, or overtaken by worldy cares, or being so busy doing good things that you have no TIME to ‘remember’ Me.” Satan will exert every effort to prevent us from seeing any of God’s truths, and especially not the Sabbath truth, because in that holy time, God told us to “Remember the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11).” No family members, servants or cattle were to work on that day. “Remember, … remember … focus your minds on Me on this day,” God is saying. “Remember that I am the One Who brings salvation and I ask you to do only those things that will give you and I an eternity to spend in enjoyment of each other. There is so much I want to share with you about how I felt while I lived as a human being there on earth. My own beloved Father could not assist Me in any way during my death. (Mark 15:34) I was completely separated from Him during those hours. It seemed more than I could bear. (Mark 14:32-37)I even begged to not have to drink that cup! Until I come back to get you, while you are on earth experiencing your human struggles, the Sabbath day will be your opportunity to seek My presence, read My Word, and enjoy nature as I created it. I promise to be close to you if you will cling to Me, My child.” (Heb. 4:14; John 15:5-8)
Sadly some modern versions of the Bible have inserted “Sunday” into texts which speak of the Sabbath, or Lord’s Day. Look at Rev. 1:10. Review above the paragraph regarding Mark 2:27, and look into your heart and ask the question, “How could human beings insert ‘Sunday’ in place of ‘Sabbath,’ or ‘the Lord’s Day’?” I hope that you have been able to discern the importance that GOD placed on HIS Sabbath Day, which Scripture consistently refers to as the seventh day of the week. Heb. 13:8 states that God does not change. Mal 3:6 states the same thing. And His instruction and warning regarding adding to or subtracting from His Word is clear in both the Old and the New Testaments. (See Rev. 22:18,19; Deut. 4:2)
If you would like to pursue this topic, and would like another blog regarding the Sabbath Day in the Bible, please click on “comment” at the bottom of this blog and let me know what you are thinking.
Thank you, my readers, for taking this journey with me, and giving me an opportunity to share my witness, for if I read Rev. 12:11 correctly, it makes me stronger in my daily walk with God.