Welcome To ThinkNot, Matthew 5:17.
The following is a letter we received from a person wanting to set us straight about the Sabbath and convince us that it was changed to Sunday. Their statements are in italics.

The main problem with Sabbath keepers is that they are a religion of works and grace, but you can’t have it both ways.

Really? I think James disagrees:

James 2:17-18 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians is very hard to understand if not taken in context. The context is this: There were those who were teaching that you must be circumcised to be “saved”. We are not “justified” by the law, just as Galatians states, but the law still stands today and we will have to give an account for our actions or inactions.


Matthew 5:17-19 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. 18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. 19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not …

But let’s not stop there…. If you go on you will see this:

2 Corinthians 5:10-11 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.

Does that sound like works are important? Sure does to me. Who is blinded here? People who live according to God’s commandments or those who ignore them?

The doctrine of Sabbath keeping began in the early 1800s with William Miller, a former Baptist. Seventh-Day Adventist organized in 1863 and has grown into the largest of those Sabbath Keepers. Their main “converts” usually come from people that are in cold dead churches that have not been taught any of the main doctrines in the bible.

I am unsure of the history surrounding the establishment of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. However I will say that the above statement is incorrect. The doctrine of Sabbath Keeping began with the creation of the universe and was written down and given to the first church at Mt. Sinai.

There is no command in the covenant of Christ (New Testament) for any man to keep the Sabbath. The only day given special recognition in the new covenant is the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, referred to in the scriptures as the Lord’s Day. This day is not the Christians’ Sabbath, as some assert. The Sabbath, whenever mentioned in the scriptures, always without exception, designates the seventh day of the week. Nowhere in the Bible is it affirmed that the first day of the week is given in place of the Sabbath. It is part of the new covenant and with a new significance, the day which our blessed Lord was raised from death according to Mark 16: 9.

John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Enough Said

I. What is the meaning of the Sabbath?

Genesis 2:3 – And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

God ceased from His work. It does not mean that God was tired and therefore rested as we do.

Amen and Amen

Sabbath means rest or cessation from activity, but was not observed as a day of worship. Sabbath is the Hebrew word, the name of the seventh day that later was given to Israel as a time of cessation from normal activities.

Exodus 31:16 'So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.'

Leviticus 23:3 'For six days work may be done; but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings.

A “convocation” is an assembly…. Why would you assemble to just to rest?

Here’s where I part with Sabbath-keepers.

· They talk about keeping commandments and point back to the old creation. It’s all about works.

· I believe in grace and the new creation. It’s all about Jesus.

The truth is that Adam never kept the Sabbath, nor did Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph or anyone while in Egyptian bondage.

Is that the truth? NO!

Genesis 6:8-9 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

To be righteous and blameless you probably are keeping Sabbath. Especially if you are walking with God!

Genesis 26:5 5 because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws."

Exodus 16:23 - This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord:

· This is the first occurrence of the word Sabbath. The seventh day was here set aside as a holy day to the Lord.

“Holy Sabbath”

The reason given for keeping the Sabbath is stated in Deuteronomy 5:15, which was the deliverance from Egyptian bondage.

Deuteronomy 5: 12-15 - Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: 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, nor thy manservant, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou was a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.

This meant that nothing at all should be done on the Sabbath.

The reason is given in the first part of the verse: TO SANCTIFY IT. The deliverance from Egyptian Bondage is not the reason. That is the reason for keeping THE PASSOVER. (Boy are you confused!) In the instruction here we see that god commands us to allow our servants to keep Sabbath and remember that when we were servants he delivered us. So we should do the same to our servants and do not work them on Sabbath.

If Jesus is our example, what did he do on Sabbath?:

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

Luke 6:6 6 And it came about on another Sabbath, that He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.

So Jesus taught on the Sabbath and healed on the Sabbath.

Exodus 35: 1-3 - And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the Lord hath commanded, that ye should do them. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.

Notice how strict was God’s will carried out in Numbers chapter 15.

Yes, that's bad. Good thing we got Jesus as our atonement for sins!

Numbers 15:32-36 - And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him inward, because it was declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.

· If we are to keep the Sabbath, who has the right, and where does it happen, to put men to death for kindling a fire on the Saturdays of our time?

Jesus answers your question. In the account of the woman caught in adultery we see:

John 8:7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

· The penalty then was death for building a fire on the Sabbath. I wonder when the penalty ceased, for without a penalty, there is no value to the law.

No value to the Law? Try telling your creator that.

John 8:10-11 10 And straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" 11 And she said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more."

Did Jesus say that the law concerning adultery had no value? No. he said go and sin no more.

Is Sabbath keeping a matter of keeping the law?

· One sin, small or great, makes a man a sinner and brings him under condemnation.

James 2:10 - For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Paul shows the Christians in Galatians chapter 3 that the law brings a curse.

Galatians 3:10 - For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Galatians 3:13 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree “

Redemption is payment or to pay off. Christ paid for our transgression of the law. Christ took our penalty when we should have died. We should not think that when we continue in sin this will make him happy.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

· Man cannot possibly keep all the laws, hence is in bondage.

I want to be bond servant; in Revelation we see who is in the millennial kingdom.

Revelation 22:3-4 And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; 4 and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

· Sabbath keepers believe that one must keep the Sabbath holy in order to go to heaven. Only commandment keepers go to heaven. This means if we do not keep the Sabbath we cannot go to heaven.

This statement is just silly. Jesus became our penalty for sin so that his servants can go to heaven even when they fall short. We are not justified or saved by keeping commandments.

Romans 3:21-24 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

Did God instruct New Testament Christians to observe the Sabbath?

· The Sabbath served as a holy day and day of rest for both man and animals, commemorating God’s rest after the work of creation.

· The Sabbath was made a sign of God’s unique relationship with Israel as His own people.

Ezekiel 20:12 – Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, … Who? Israel

Exodus 31:16-17a - Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual (enduring) covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel.

· The Sabbath filled its mission like the Jewish Passover (Col. 2:17), because it was given to Israel to be observed as above stated, “throughout their generations.”

YES! And I believe that we are Israel!!!

See the study “Who is Israel”

The Sabbath “mission” is not over. We can see that it will endure to the end:

Isaiah 66:22-24 "For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me," declares the LORD, "So your offspring and your name will endure. 23 "And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from Sabbath to Sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me," says the LORD. 24 "Then they shall go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, And their fire shall not be quenched; And they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind."

You may also note here that we will be WORSHIPING on SABBATH. Yep, get used to it!

I Corinthians 1:22 - For the Jews require a sign …..

· Christians are not looking for a sign, we’re to live by faith.

Lets continue on so we don’t take the verse out of context.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.


James 2:26 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Hosea 2:11 - I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

Here God is foretelling the future punishment of people for sun god worship. Notice the wording here. "HER Sabbaths", "HER feasts", and "HER new moons".

When God speaks about the real Sabbath, he says "MY Sabbath" and "MY Feasts". They are not MAN's, they are God's.!

Anyone reading the whole chapter of Hosea 2 will understand that it is talking about the backslidden nation of Israel that has been scattered among the nations. They have substituted Sunday and called it a Sabbath, thus the reference to God: "HER Sabbaths".

This is all related to Baal worship.

Gal. 4:10-11 - Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. …..

· For the first 2000 years, no mention is made of the Sabbath at all. Nor did any of the New Testament writers ever say it should be kept in order to get to heaven.

Refer back to the Millennial Kingdom: Isaiah 66:22-24

This is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated after the day of Pentecost. The Church made Sunday her day of worship (Acts 20:7), commemorating the resurrection of Christ.

This is correct “THE CHURCH” made SUNDAY their day of worship. Where is the COMMANDMENT to do so? There is not one.

GOD nor JESUS did NOT. Neither did Jesus’ followers for that matter.

Heb. 4:9 - There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

· This verse is saying that the believer may enter into God’s rest through faith. Rest in the Christian life comes through complete reliance on God’s promises and full surrender to His will (2 Cor. 5:7 ; Col. 2:6). So believers may cease from working for their salvation and self-reliance in sanctification.

From the Greek of Heb 4:9:
sabbatismo,j (sabbatismos) Meaning: a Sabbath rest Origin: from a der. of 4521 Usage: Sabbath rest(1).
Looks like Sabbath to me!

In the next verse it tells us what keeps us from entering this rest. DISOBEDIENCE!

Hebrews 4:10-11 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.

Why keep the first day of the week and not the last?

Lev. 23:11 - And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

· The Feast of the Firstfruits involved presenting to the Lord a sheaf (about two quarts) of the barley harvest on the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Firstfruits symbolized the consecration of the entire harvest to God and were an earnest, or pledge, of the full harvest yet to be gathered. It was a day of worship on the first day.

The Feast of Firstfruits has always been the day after the Sabbath! Notice the scripture uses the Sabbath as the point of measurement and not the first day. The first day is a new beginning. The first day is symbolic of new beginnings.

Please note that some yearly Holy Days (High Sabbaths) fall on different days each year. We would not justify a keeping of Thursday each week based on one High Sabbath falling on it.

Col. 2:16-17 – Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ.

· False teachers were insisting on abstinence from certain foods and observance of certain days. Paul says, these are shadows that have been dispersed by the coming of Christ. The command to observe the Sabbath is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated after Pentecost.

Are you saying that keepings God’s commandments is a false teaching? I hope not.

Christ is the Word of God.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Bodies cast shadows, not the other way around. If Christ’s body casts a shadow that is Sabbath, Holy Days, and meats shouldn’t we follow his example?

God’s word does not start at Pentecost recorded in Acts. It begins in Genesis and goes to Maps.

Acts 20:7 – And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

· The apostles met on the first day of the week to take the supper. This became the regular day of worship for Christians in remembrance of Christ’s resurrection on Sunday. The meeting was held Sunday night because many had to work during the daytime.

Nowhere here does it mention anything about remembrance of Christ’s resurrection. In fact Christ says to remember his death not is resurrection.

It was common for Jews to have a meal at the end of the Sabbath. This is called Havdalah. Havdalah is a Jewish religious ceremony that marks the symbolic end of Shabbat and holidays, and ushers in the new week.

According to the Biblical reckoning of time, Sunday begins at sunset on Saturday night.

I Cor. 16:2 – Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

· We are taught to worship with offerings on the first day of the week.

We are taught to GATHER on the first day so that there will be no WORK done on the Sabbath when Paul comes to MINISTER. WORSHIP is not found in 1 Cor 16:2

Mat. 28:9 – And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

· The disciples worshipped Jesus on the first day of the week.

Mark 16:9 - Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

· The greatest event in history happened on the first day of the week - the Resurrection.

What was the attitude of Jesus toward the Sabbath?

· He never commanded any to keep it. He met with the disciples on the first day of the week.

Really? My Bible reads differently:

Mark 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

Mark 3:2-3 And they were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, in order that they might accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man with the withered hand, "Rise and come forward!"

Mark 6:2 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?

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

Luke 4:31-32 And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.

Luke 6:5 And He was saying to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

John 20:19 - Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Mark 2:23 - And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the Sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. Mark 2:27 - 28 - And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.

· He justified the plucking of corn on the Sabbath.

“Please be aware that these were not fields of corn as found in America, but fields of grain, such as wheat. Corn is product of the New World and was not known in bible lands at that time.”

Jesus was without sin. He did not break the Sabbath commandments as stated in the Bible. (He did violate the MAN MADE laws on how to keep Sabbath)

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

John 5:10 – The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

· Jesus healed an impotent man on the Sabbath, and told him to carry his bed.

“Carrying furniture on the Sabbath was a kind of work that, according to the Rabbis, was prohibited on the Sabbath.”

The “bed” if looked up in the original language was pallet or camp bed not “furniture”. Pallet is “krabatos”, bed is “kline”.

We also do not get our instructions from Rabbis. This is what Jesus was taking issues with: The commandments and doctrines of MEN.

Galations 5:2-5 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised (Law), Christ (Grace) shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

We are not justified through keeping commandments; we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ. However, faith without works is DEAD, so your works should be evidence that you do have TRUE FAITH.

Those that teach Sabbath-keeping make it a test of reaching heaven - the law route. Those that teach Sabbath-keeping instead of the Lord’s Day must:

· Substitute law for grace

· Substitute Moses for Christ

· Substitute works for faith

· Substitute the old creation for the new creation

Sabbath stands for man under law, it condemns man, but the Lord’s day stands for man delivered from the law by grace.

What day is the “Lords Day”?

Isaiah 58:13 13 "If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure, And speaking your own word,

Mark 2:27-28 And He was saying to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 "Consequently, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

Matthew 12:8-9 8 "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 9 And departing from there, He went into their synagogue.

Romans 6:14 - For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

· God finished the old creation and rested, which meant He had satisfaction in all that He had created. Gen. 2:2

· God redeemed Israel from bondage and then demanded perfect rest of them, which means they were to do nothing at all on that day. Ex. 16:23

Jesus redeems us from sin and we have perfect rest, trusting Him.

Matthew 11:28 - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest.

Do you really believe that all the works, observance of festivals, abstaining of meats, and etc. required in Leviticus is to be adhered to by the Church for salvation?

No, not for salvation! It is a gift!

Lev.20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be put to death:

Paul said “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” (Galatians 4:11)

Because the law is a unit, obedience to it cannot be selective (Galatians 3:10; James 2:10).

We can clearly see in this discussion the doctrines that have infiltrated our churches. As prophesied in Isaiah, God will have the final say on the Sabbath!

But don’t take our word for it, read it for yourself.

Isaiah 66:22-24 22 "For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me," declares the LORD, "So your offspring and your name will endure. 23 "And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from sabbath to sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me," says the LORD. 24 "Then they shall go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, And their fire shall not be quenched; And they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind."
Updated January - 2018