“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD (Yahuwah) thy Elohim: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Yahuwah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahuwah blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
Exo 20:8-11 KJV (emphasis mine)
The issue of how to honor Yahuwah's Sabbath is a topic of sensitivity among believers. Mainly, because we find it hard to break out of man made traditions, which are habits. This subject I bring to the Church's attention because I feel obligated to teach the issues of Yahuwah's Word that have not been understood, or have just been long neglected. One such issue, is the proper way to honor Yahuwah's Sabbath. In this discussion, we must break through years of man made traditions and teachings that have replaced Yahuwah's commands. We must be committed to do what Yahuwah wants, and not what we have become comfortable with through time.
First of all, Yahuwah's Sabbath is vitally important for all believers. It portrays a picture of coming into right relationship with Yahuwah through Yeshua the Messiah, and entering into Yahuwah's eternal rest. (Heb 4:9-11) It was established when Yahuwah first made the world, and was considered so sacred to Yahuwah, that those who disobeyed His command to keep the Sabbath would be put to death. (Exo 31:14) The Sabbath is not just for the people of Israel, as some people have taught. Reading Exodus 10:20, we find that Yahuwah expected no one to profane the Sabbath. Not a son, nor daughter, servent, work animal, or stranger was to descrate this day of rest. But not only was it to be a day of rest, it was also to be a time of worship and fellowship.
“Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation (miqra); ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD (Yahuwah) in all your dwellings.”
Lev 23:3 KJV (emphasis mine)
The word translated as "convocation" is the Hebrew word “miqra” which means an assembly or rehearsal. So, the Sabbath was a time when the people would assemble. This is seen when we look at Yeshua and Paul in the Scriptures. We see that the Sabbath was the day of worship, and that it was their custom to go to the synagogue.
“He (Yeshua) taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.”
Luke 4:15-16 NIV (emphasis mine)
“As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,”
Acts 17:2 NIV (emphasis mine)
“Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.”
Acts 18:4 NIV (emphasis mine)
(Also See Mark 6:2, Mark 1:21, Luke 6:6, Luke 13:10, Acts 13:13-14, Acts 15:21, Acts 16:13)
From these verses and others, we see that the Sabbath was the day of worship and fellowship. Obviously, we should also keep it as a day of worship. But are we doing that? What day is Yahuwah's Sabbath?
No matter how much we are endeared to Sunday, the fact is that Saturday is the seventh day mentioned in Scripture. This can be proved from the Scriptures, using the account of the Resurrection morning.
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”
Mat 28:1 KJV (emphasis mine)
It is well known among Christians that Yeshua rose from the dead on Sunday. Looking at Mat 28:1 we see this, for it says that it was “the first day of the week,” which is Sunday. But it also says that it was “After the Sabbath”. Yeshua rose on Sunday which was “After the Sabbath.”
“But David, Yeshua changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday!” Did He really? I have not seen anything in the Bible that should make us think this. But let me address some misused and abused verses that many say proves that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day to the first day.
“On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.”
Acts 20:7 NIV (emphasis mine)
Quite frankly, it is silly to say that this verse proves that the Sabbath was changed. Many will point out that the verse says that some believers got together for a meal and fellowship “On the first day of the week” and that this means they changed the Sabbath. Let me give you an illustration to show how silly this idea is. Suppose one day you are looking through my journal, and you discover that on a Wednesday, I and my family met with some believers at a restaurant for a hamburger and fellowship.
1. Does this prove that we always met on Wednesday?
2. Does this prove that we changed our day of worship to Wednesday?
3. Does this prove we changed the Sabbath to Wednesday?
Of course not! All that you know, is that one day we met at a restaurant for a hamburger and fellowship. Likewise, all we know from Acts 20:7 is that Paul was traveling through the area, and because he wanted to leave the next day, they met to “break bread” and to hear him speak. This verse does not prove that they changed the Sabbath.
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"”
John 20:19 NIV (emphasis mine)
Again, what do we know from this verse? We know that the disciples were hiding in a house on the evening of the first day of the week.
1. Does this prove they always hid in a house on Sunday?
2. Does this prove they changed their day of worship to Sunday?
3. Does this prove they changed the Sabbath to Sunday?
Of course not! You can't look at a verse that says that the disciples did something on some day and say that proves that they changed the Sabbath to that day. This is silly!
“Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
1 Cor 16:1-2 NIV (emphasis mine)
What do we know from this verse? We know that every Sunday the believers would set aside money for Yahuwah's people (Israel). You might say, “Why did they do that on Sunday and not Saturday if they worshiped on Saturday?” My guess is because Saturday was the Sabbath! So, after the Sabbath, on the first day of the week they would do “first things first,” and each one would lay aside money for Yahuwah's people, which was considered so important they handled it on the first day of the week. Whatever the reason, this verse does not prove that they changed the Sabbath or their day of worship to Sunday.
Notice also, that all three of these verses do not specifically say that they met together to formally worship on the first day of the week. None of them say that they changed the Sabbath to that day either. These verses just record them doing certain things on that day. Hardly proof of a Sabbath change.
I know that this is difficult for Christians to hear, we are so comfortable with Sunday! For many, it just doesn't feel like they've been to Church unless it is on Sunday. But we must not judge whether something is acceptable or not based upon our comfort zones. There are many things in life that are comfortable to us that are just plain wrong. We must look to the Scriptures to determine what is the proper way to honor Yahuwah's Sabbath, not to our own traditions.
Let me also state that this article is not about becoming a Seventh Day Adventist. I have never read the Seventh Day Adventist beliefs or gone to one of their church services. I actually don't know much about the Seventh Day Adventists other than their view of the Sabbath. What I'm trying to say is that this concept of worshiping on the seventh day is Yahuwah's idea. The Seventh Day Adventists do not have a patent on the Sabbath. They simply believe they should honor Yahuwah's Sabbath by worshiping on the correct day. So please don't think that this article is about denominations. Call yourself whatever you want, but honor Yahuwah's Sabbath.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 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.”
Gen 2:2-3 KJV (emphasis mine)
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD (Yahuwah) thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD (Yahuwah) made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD (Yahuwah) blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
Exo 20:8-11 KJV (emphasis mine)
Yahuwah has blessed the “seventh day” and has made it Holy. He stopped all His work, and rested on the “seventh day”. We are commanded in the Ten Commandments to honor “the seventh day” which is the Sabbath. This concept of worshiping and resting on the seventh day is Yahuwah's idea. Let us honor Yahuwah's day, the seventh day, the Sabbath.
“This is what the LORD (Yahuwah) says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil." Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD (Yahuwah) say, "The LORD (Yahuwah) will surely exclude me from his people." And let not any eunuch complain, "I am only a dry tree." For this is what the LORD (Yahuwah) says: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant-- to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD (Yahuwah) to serve him, to love the name of the LORD (Yahuwah), and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant--these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."
Isa 56:1-7 NIV (emphasis mine)