Did the early Christians keep the sabbath from sundown on Friday to sunrise on Saturday? Should we?
I understand Exodus is clear about keeping the 7th day holy – a day of rest – but if we are in the New Covenant, must we keep it to the letter? Does our salvation depend on this? I know the 10 Commandments are still binding but are we bound by legalism?
The 7 day cycle with the last day being a day of rest has a history of over 6,000 years. Check out Genesis chapter 1. The Israelites (who didn’t come along until over 2,000 years later) were told to rest physically on the 7th day and death was the punishment for those disregarding this command set in stone. They weren’t even to light a fire that day – so, no cooking! They could only walk a short distance. They could tend to their animals, however. The regulations were considerable but the overall effect was to rest the entire nation – man and beast alike, plus foreigners – and to turn the whole nation’s attention on the Lord their God. The physical, in other words, was left alone whilst the spiritual was developed. Even the land enjoyed a sabbath-rest, especially on Jubilee (50th year) sabbaths when the land would lie fallow for an entire year.
Christians entered into an even more spiritual ‘rest’ with the new covenant. Jesus took the principles of the Law covenant to a higher dimension. You know how the Ten Commandments say not to covet your neighbour’s wife? Jesus said that just to look lustfully at a woman made you guilty in God’s eyes, and so on. The Law covenant became a springboard to leap out in faith into the ocean of God’s perfect ways. Christians would enter into God’s rest permanently, through faith in Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. Every day would be a day holy to God with God at the centre. Every Christian would rest from their own works – permanently!
Tragically, huge numbers of people keep going back to the Law, thinking they can do a better job of it than the Israelites did. What vanity! They just become enslaved, yet Christ died to set them free! It is a tragedy. Whereas circumcision was the sign of the Law covenant, some Christians think sabbath-keeping is the Christian sign of the new covenant. It is not. Christians should go far beyond merely keeping one day holy to God! Yes, they benefit physically from one day in seven being a day of physical rest (and woe betide any society that rubbishes that idea! The French tried it after the Revolution, to their cost!) But salvation has absolutely nothing to do with trying to keep one day special. The Bible itself tells us, ":Let no man judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival, or a new moon, or a sabbath, for these things are a shadow of the things to come. But the reality belongs to Christ.": (Col 2:16-17). Salvation depends on keeping faith with Christ and not trusting in anything we can do to save ourselves.
It is conjectured that the seven day week as we know it was developed by the Babylonians over 3000 years ago. Historians believe that the Babylonians were avid astronomers. They based many of their mathematical systems (including their calculations of time) on the movement of the heavenly bodies. The first convenient division of time to be devised (after the day) was the month because it could be tracked by observing the cycles of the moon. It was at some point deemed convenient by Babylonian scholars to find a division of time greater than the day and shorter than the month. The big problem was that a cycle of the moon lasted about 29 and a half days. No round number of days divides evenly into 29 and a half – 4 was the best division they could find. So they went with the seven day week and worried about the loose change of extra days later.
Throughout the world various systems for the week had developed. The most popular competition for the seven day week was the 10 day week. Yet the ten day week proved to be too . Besides, adoption of the seven day week by the Hebrews would ensure its longevity over other forms: during the early Christian Era it grew in popularity with the populace of both Judaism and Christianity. The Christians converted the Romans and the Romans forcibly converted the remainder of the civilized world. In this way the creation story, where God creates the universe in six days and then rests on the seventh, became a model for the activities of all mankind.
So the days of the week are Pagan in origin, thus the Sabbath is just another man made tradition and there is no such legal binding
The ten commandments are NOT still binding. The ten commandments are the core of the old covenant between God and Israel. Christians are not a party to that covenant, and that covenant ended.
The new covenant is about a law of faith: the spirit of the law sans the letter (Rom 7:6: II Cor 3). A Christian ":fulfills": the law through faith and love as contrasted to the Israelites who, at best, could only ":keep": the law in the letter, despite their stoney heart.
Salvation is dependent upon faith in Christ alone, and not faith in Christ and anything else, such as keeping the ten commandments. This creates a false gospel, where the law ends up being a co-saviour. The law can save no one.
The Jewish Christians in the first century continued keeping the law. The Gentile converts to Christianity were not required to keep any of the law. It was stated there in Acts 15 that they were saved by faith. To teach them the law, such as the sabbath commandment, was seen as a subversion of their souls.
I definetly agree with vilaro or the post up above this. You that do not agree that we are still to keep all the commandments of God should visit the web site he posted. Read also as to how we should keep Jesus commandments in John 14-24….Jesus is saying: ":HE WHO DOES NOT LOVE ME DOES NOT KEEP MY WORDS: AND THE WORD THAT YOU HEAR IS NOT MINE BUT THE FATHER’S WHO SENT ME.": Also it has been mentioned in foregoing posts that we do not have to keep the law because that Jesus abolished the law when He died on the cross… The scriptures are very plain about what laws He abolished: it was the ceremonial laws such as observing sacrificial laws and observing feast days and ceremonial Sabbaths. As you can see that the scripture that was quoted about not judging our meat or drink or the keeping of Sabbath days was actually talking about the old ceremonial laws and not the ten commandments at all. As note the word Sabbaths instead of the word Sabbath. If you would like to check out another interesting scripture, John 19-31…. you will discover an amazing scripture that proves that Jesus could not have possible have been resurrected on Sunday because if you read, Matthew 12-40: ":FOR AS JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE GREAT FISH, SO WILL THE SON OF MAN BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH.": If you will compare this with John 19-31 you will see what kind of Sabbaths were abolished at Jesus death….":Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day , that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath ( for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. That Sabbath spoken of here would have to have been on a Thursday and not the weekly Sabbath. so if Jesus was in the heart of the earth Wednesday night making night one and thursday night making night 2 and Friday night making night 3, you have three nights in the heart of the earth… now go back and count Thursday day 1 Friday day 2, Saturday day three … you will see that the scripture has been fulfilled exactly as stated. When the diciples came to the toom eary Sunday morning Jesus was all ready risen thus fulfilling the scripure, as He arose in the end of the Sabbath as it begin to draw on to Sunday.
Well according to Ellen G White we are to keep strictly to the old covenant law and anyone who doesn’t is of the beast.
But the bible says this about that.
Col 2:16 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]:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body [is] of Christ.
As a Christian out Sabbath is on a Sunday in celebration of the Resurrection. Christ made the point in healing on the Sabbath to the disgust of the Rabbis.
It follows that necessary work can and must be done but the problem most of us have is what is necessary and what is not
Paul said that Some Keep a special Day and others count ALL days special, and he gave no rule on this.
Jesus said, pray that your escape from Jerusalem does not have to be on the Sabbath. Very interesting words !
He saved us not by works of righteousness which we had done, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration, and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost,
":If ye love Me, keep My commandments.
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Nobody is saved by what they do, and nobody keeps doing the same if they are saved.
We don’t obey in order to be saved.
We obey because we are saved.
God made the Sabbath for us, to rest. During the law we were to rest on the Sabbath, but now, our rest is in Jesus Christ, he is our sabbath. No we are not bound by legalism, it is by the law that were are unable to keep it. It is by Jesus that we can have rest and he is our only rest.
The early followers of Yahushua our Messiach kept the sabbath. They were not called ":christians": then. They were JEWS who also believed in Messiah! So, they followed their traditional, prescribed times of worship and fellowship.
You can find a lot of information about the early believers and how they honored our Heavenly Father in the ways which HE prescribed for us! YES! I believe that we are meant to follow HIS ways set out for us, and written by HIS own hand! EVERY single one of HIS Holy Days has been corrupted over time by the church! HIS Name has been corrupted by the church!
Here’s a very informative website where you can read more about history, truth and HIS Holy, SET APART Days and in comparison with the current religious holidays.
Yes, there are many who believe that because of our Messiah, we are not longer bound by the old covenant originally give by Yahuah to HIS chosen people. And some believe that celebrating HIS Holy Days might be termed ":legalism":. But, if we’re also practicing religious holidays created by man to appease masses down through the ages, are we also not ":bound": by a law of sorts?
I am learning more and more about this subject and beginning to understand that, for me and my life, I want to live in HONOR to HIM. Learning what HE originally asked of HIS people, in how to serve HIM and give to HIM of their time, I’ve learned that this walk is ":right": for me. I would rather serve HIM on the day which HE set forth, than on a day which was prescribed by men.
Do your own study and seek HIS face. I believe that the ENTIRE bible… OLD as well as NEW testement is meant for us all: every believer! And I want, more than anything, to be living a life that is pleasing to HIM!
Also, read here: http://www.besorah.net/