“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day Yahweh had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. Then Yahweh blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.” Genesis 2:1-3
There is no denying that here Yahweh was setting aside the Sabbath as a holy day, for rest and worship. Is it logical to believe that Yahweh created man, and then failed to mention to him that the seventh day was to be kept holy? Yahweh must have immediately explained to Adam and Eve all about His sacred seventh day, and Adam and his offspring must have obeyed this law; especially since all of mankind will be judged according to the same rules, and the keeping of the Sabbath is the Seal of Yahweh, while observance of Sunday as the Sabbath — sun worship — is the Mark of the Beast (see The Great Deception).
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to Yahweh your Father. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days Yahweh your Father made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, Yahweh your Father blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11
Yahweh, ‘Who does not change like shifting shadows.’ (James 1:17). The Israelites received two laws from Moses — the Law of Moses, that of ordinances and ceremonies; and the Law of Yahweh, embodied in the Ten Commandments, which is an expression of Yahweh’s character. If Yahweh does not change, neither will His Law: ‘I will not violate My covenant or alter what My Lips have uttered.’ (Psalm 89:34). ‘I know that everything Yahweh does will endure for ever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. Yahweh does it so that people will fear Him.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:14). ‘The works of His Hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy. They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.’ (Psalm 111:7- 8).
Yahweh gave His Law to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. Amid thunder and lightning, a thick cloud covered the mountain, and a trumpet blasted. Smoke billowed up as from a furnace and the whole mountain shook as the trumpet grew louder and louder. Moses led the Israelites out of their camp to meet with Yahweh, and every one of them trembled. Then Yahweh spoke (Exodus 19:16-19; 20:1). If this Law were to be changed, it would be reasonable to expect Yahweh Himself to announce it, and give reasons for its alteration, amid the same amount of ceremony. Yet there is no indication in Scripture of such an announcement.
In the New Testament, the seventh day of the week is called the Sabbath; it is mentioned fifty-eight times. The first day of the week is mentioned eight times. It is simply called the first day of the week, and it is always differentiated from the Sabbath. This in itself is evidence for the continued validity of the seventh-day Sabbath.
Keeping the Sabbath holy comes with many blessings, and perhaps you are wondering how to observe this very important commandment in our modern world. As Believers (for that is what we are), we should strive to adhere to this law, no matter what is happening around us, without fear of judgement or going along with the majority.
Sabbath begins at midnight on Friday and ends at midnight on Saturday.
As it is written, not only are we to rest, but those who work for us are to rest also.
If we own a business, it is not acceptable to have all the employees working while we enjoy a restful Sabbath. This commandment also includes anyone who we temporarily hire to work for us.
For instance, when we go to restaurants we are hiring the cook and the waiter and the person who rings up the cash register to work for us. Also, whenever we purchase anything on the Sabbath, such as groceries and other merchandise, we are hiring others to stock the shelves, clean up and serve us. Nehemiah rebukes buying and selling quite sharply in the Scriptures:
“In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore, I warned them against selling food on that day. People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, ‘What is this wicked thing you are doing — desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that Yahweh our Father brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.’” Nehemiah 13:15-18
So buying and selling is clearly forbidden on the Sabbath. Going to restaurants and shopping malls, supermarkets, the gym, sports clubs, etc, is no way to keep the Sabbath holy. The Sabbath is a day of rest and prayer and worship. Not a day for doing our own pleasures:
“Blessed is the one who does this; the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.'” Isaiah 56:2
“‘If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on My holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and Yahweh your Father’s holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in Yahweh your Father, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.’ For the Mouth of Yahweh has spoken.” Isaiah 58:13-14
So keeping the Sabbath day holy not only means that we aren’t to buy or sell, but also means that we are to refrain from our own pleasures and events such as sporting events, television, movies, parties, weddings, funerals, etc. Also we are not even to speak our own words! Even our speech should be about Yahweh and His Word.
I assure you, if we keep the Sabbath day in this manner it will be much easier keeping Yahweh’s commandments, because we have one day each week to refresh ourselves spiritually. It is a day that we can look forward to during the week that we can fully refresh ourselves both physically and spiritually. Yahweh never made our bodies to withstand constant labour day after day. It is no wonder that so many people we meet are so tired all of the time.
Should we cook on the Sabbath?
When Yahweh brought the Hebrews out of Egypt, He re-instituted the Sabbath day (there is no doubt that Noah, a righteous man who ‘walked with Yahweh’ (Genesis 6:9) kept the Sabbath holy and taught his children and their children to do the same). No doubt the Egyptians expected them to work seven days a week. Here is Moses telling the Hebrews what they should do in preparation for the Sabbath:
“He (Moses) said to them, ‘This is what Yahweh your Father commanded: Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahweh your Father. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” Exodus 16:13
On preparation day, we should prepare our food that will be eaten on the Sabbath so that we will not have to cook or prepare it on the Sabbath.
“Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” Exodus 35:3
This obviously refers to a working fire; such as for cooking or that of a blacksmith, if you live in a cold region and you need to light a fire in your house for warmth, that is acceptable.
What is permitted on the Sabbath?
Now there are some things that are permitted to do on the Sabbath. Yahshua healed on the Sabbath, so doctors and nurses can be on call to save lives:
“Some time later, Yahshua went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie — the blind, the lame, the paralysed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Yahshua saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’
‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’
Then Yahshua said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, ‘It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.’ But he replied, ‘The man who made me well said to me: Pick up your mat and walk.’ So they asked him, ‘Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?’
The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Yahshua had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
Later, Yahshua found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’ The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Yahshua who had made him well.
So, because Yahshua was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute Him. In His defense Yahshua said to them, ‘My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too Am working.’ For this reason they tried all the more to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling Yahweh His own Father, making Himself equal with Yahweh.
Yahshua gave them this answer: ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does. Yes, and He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, Who sent Him.” John 5:1-23
“On a Sabbath Yahshua was teaching in one of the temples, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Yahshua saw her, He called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then He put His Hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised Yahweh.
Indignant because Yahshua had healed on the Sabbath, the temple leader said to the people, ‘There are six days
Yahshua answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’
When He said this, all His opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things He was doing.” Luke 13:10-17
Yahweh expects us to keep the Sabbath day holy. However, Yahshua and the disciples did not have time to prepare for the Sabbath because they were doing Yahweh’s work all week. So they picked food and ate it on the Sabbath, this was acceptable FOR THEM.
It is acceptable to do good on the Sabbath and help those in trouble, so if your neighbour’s house is on fire, of course you should help put it out. And, if we have to do a little work on the Sabbath or cause another to do a little work on the Sabbath for Yahweh’s purpose then this is not breaking the Sabbath:
“At that time Yahshua went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, ‘Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.’
He answered, ‘Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the House of Yahweh, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice’, you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Master of the Sabbath.’
Going on from that place, He went into their temple, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Yahshua, they asked Him, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’
He said to them, ‘If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’ Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Yahshua.” Matthew 12:1-13
Of course one could take this to the extreme as well and say that it is impossible for them to refrain from going to work on the Sabbath or they would be fired and then not have any food or be able to pay their bills. This is ridiculous. Yahweh will provide for us. We needn’t be concerned about this if we are keeping His Sabbath.
If there are other situations whereby you wonder if you will be breaking the Sabbath, such as using public transport or using a taxi to visit a sick friend or take yourself or someone else to hospital or to attend worship or fellowship, it is necessary to apply wisdom, but we should try as much as possible not to cause another person to work on the Sabbath.
Also, if it is not absolutely necessary to go anywhere on the Sabbath, and you do not have a place to go and worship or fellowship, stay at home!
“‘Bear in mind that Yahweh has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day He gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.’ So the people rested on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:29-30
Now that we are Believers, should we attend functions of our friends and relatives who are not Believers, such as funerals, weddings, and christenings, which are conducted in church? Or join them in prayer, as they pray to their gods?
“But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to Yahweh; and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the Cup of Yahweh and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of Yahweh’s Table and of the table of demons. Do we provoke Yahweh to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” 1 Corinthians 10:20-22
(see All-Seeing Eye and Shroud of Turin)