Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology

There Remains Therefore a Sabbath Rest for the People of God

by Arrie

Hebrews 4:9


What is the Sabbath?

Six days for our labor and recreation, one day to rest in the Lord's provision.

Ex. 20:9-11, Deut. 5:12-15.

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Isaiah 58:13 "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, 14Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Hebrews 4:9 There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.10 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.

Interesting to know that the law was given to the Isrealites on a Sunday, according to the Jewish calendar and tradition.(Ex. 19:1)

When did the Sabbath cycle begin?

Genesis 2:1-3

Who is "Lord of the Sabbath day"?

The Sabbath of the Lord thy God,(Exodus 20:10)

The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath day(Matt. 12:8)

Who was the Sabbath for, was it Isrealites or a requirement for all persons for all time?

Gen 2:3, Ex. 20:8-11 & 31:16-17, Lev 16:30-31, Lev. 19:1-3 & 30, Lev. 24:8, Isa. 56:6-7, Matt. 12:8,

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.

Aren't we supposed to live every day as if it is a Sabbath?

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

2 Thessalonians 3:6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you;8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you,9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

What are the markers of a Sabbath from the OT are-no work for daily provision, a holy convocation(sacred assembly Lev. 23:36), or meeting in family groups, to worship, to offer sacrifices and/or feast, and to read from the law of God.(Deut. 31:10-13.)

Before the Ressurection of Christ, the people of God looked forward with anticipation to the Sabbath rest all week. Now our week begins with the Sabbath rest, because of our Dear Lord who conquered death and hell and arose to proclaim our redemption, has become our assurance of eternal rest. And we spend the week in thankfulness looking back on what Christ has accomplished on our behalf.

This is what sets Sunday apart for New Testament believers, only works of necessity and doing good for others(Matt. 12:1-12), church assembly(ekklesia) to worship in prayer and song, to celebrate the New Covenant in Christ's sacrificial blood by the communion table, the wedding feast of the Lamb(1 Cor. 11:20-34), and to hear and learn from the Word of God(Acts 20:7).

What does the New Testament say about rest?

Hebrews 4:9 There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.10 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.

The word translated simply rest in Hebrews 3-4 merely means to cease or rest, up until verse 9 where the word is sabbatismos, or Sabbitism- the practice of Sabbath keeping. Then again the word in verse 10 goes back to the former term.

How can you be in "disobedience" if the exhortation to enter that rest "diligently" is not referring to a divine command?

Are the ten commandments for Chrstians of the New Covenant?

Jealous God: Hebrews 10:30 & 12:1-29,

Idolatry: Acts 19:26, 1 Cor 10:14, Gal 4:8-9 & 5:20, Col 3:5, 1 John 5:21, Col 2:18(worship of angels)

Serve God alone: Matt 4:10 & 6:24, Rom 1:9, 1 Cor 8:5-6, 1 Thess 1:9, 2 Tim 1:3, Heb 9:14 & 12:28

Against Blasphemy (taking the name of God in vain): Matt. 12:31, Rom 2:24, Col 3:8, 1 Tim 1:20 & 6:1, James 2:7, 1 Peter 4:14,

Sabbath rest, church assembly: Matt 12:1-12 & 18:17-20, (Lev. 10:8-11, Deut 4:10, 1 Cor. 12, Rom 1:9-16 & 16:25-27), Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5, John 20:19& 26, Acts 2:47 & 20:7, Hebrews 3:11-4:11 & 10:15-29, 12:22-26. Do not forsake the assembly! Heb. 10:19-26 house of God? 1 Tim 3:15, Hebr. 10:21-25, 1 Peter 2:4-6, 4:16-17.

Letters written to church(ekklesia) assemblies(sunogogue) (Romans 1:6& 16:1-16, 1 Cor. 1:2, 2 Cor 1:1, Galatians 1:2, Eph. 1:1, Phil. 1:1, Col. 1:2, 1 Thess. 1:1 & 5:27, 2 Thess. 1:2, Hebrews 3:1, James 1:1-2, 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2 Peter 1:1, 1 John 1:7, Jude 1:1, Revelation 1:4. The rest of the epistles were written to instruct the leaders or elders of the church, or to specific believers such as 2 John and Philemon.


The first four are the summation of the ways we may show the world that we love God with all of our heart, mind and strength, the forsaking of them is summed up as idolotry.

The second six are the ways we may show the world that God's love extends through us to enable us to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Romans 13:8-10) The forsaking of them is summed up in lawlessness (1 John 3:4-24).


Honor parents and authorities: Matt 15:4-6, Mark 7:10,Luke 2:51, John 5:23, Romans 1:30 & 13:1-7, Eph 6:2,Col 3:20, 1 Tim 5, 2 Tim 3:2, 1 Peter 2:13-17

Adultery: Mark 10:11-12 & 19, 1 Cor 6:9, Gal. 5:19,Heb 13:4, 2 Peter 2:14, James 2:4 (speaking to the church)

Steal: John 10:10 & 12:6, Eph 4:28, 1 Pet 4:15

Murder: James 2:6-13 & 4:1(speaking to the church), Matt 5:21-22 & 19:18, Rom 1:29 & 13:9

Lie and bear false witness: Matt 15:19, Mark 10:19 (even defraud is included by Jesus Leviticus 19:13) Luke 18:20, John 8:44, Acts 5:3, Rom 1:25, Col 3:9, James 3:14, 1 John 1:6 & 2:21

Covet and envy: Luke 12:51, Rom 7:7 & Eph 5:3, Col. 3:5, Hebrews 13:5, James 4:2, Rom 1:29 & 13:13, 1 Cor 3:3 & 13:4, 1 Tim 6:4, Gal 5:21, James 3:14-16, 1 Peter 2:1, 2 Peter 2:3

Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Mat 7:23, 13:41, Rom 6:19, 2 Cor 4:16, Heb 1:9, =lawlessness.

Doesn't the New Testament say that we are no longer "under the law" and repeal the Sabbath?

There are three uses of the law in scripture.

1) The use of the law as a righteous standard that places all humanity under condemnation. No person is able to keep even a part of it and so it guilty of all of it, We are not bound by the ceremonial law, the laws of worship and clean and unclean given to the set the Jews apart from the nations around. Rom 14:17, 1 Cor 8:8, Col 2:16-23, 1 Tim 1:4-5, Heb 9:9-15 & 13:8-10.

These ordinances are not abolished, Christ did "not come to abolish the law", they are instead made New. Those ordinances were in place until the time of reformation(Hebrews 9:10) Now they are not done away with but are changed to honor Christ, made new.

We still need a blood sacrifice to be acceptable to God. That blood sacrifice is accomplished once for all time by Christ, we must have faith in Christ to please God. (Hebr. 9:11-15 & 10:9-14)

We still have a sign and seal that displays God's name over us as His people, His children, His friends. Instead of the bloody rite of circumcision it is the circumcision of the heart symbolized by the water of Baptism. (Col. 2:11-12)

We do not celebrate the feasts in Jewish tradition, instead we celebrate the Lord's Table with wine as the New Covenant symbolizing His blood, and bread as the body of Christ the Lamb of God.( Luke 22:19-20, 1 Cor 11:17-34)

We still must come before God in prayers of thanksgiving, supplication and repentance daily and as His body corporately to examine ourselves or we will be unclean and unable to recieve His blessing, instead recieving chastisement and judgment(Matt. 5:21-24 & 6:14-15, John 13:8-10, 1 Cor 11:27-32, 1 Peter 3:7)

We no longer synogogue on the seventh day to celebrate God's creation rest and the redemption of Jews from slavery in Egypt, but now epi-sunogogue to celebrate Christ our God who is light in the darkness of the world(John 1:1-14 & 1 John 1:1-4), who rested on the first day from His work of redemption.

All men are judged when they break the moral law unbelievers suffering the full consequences Galatians 5:19-21, and Christians chastized Hebrews 12-13.

2) The use of the law to bring us to Christ, a tutor to display our need for Christ's righteousness.

3) The use of the law to guide us in our liberty to obey Christ, to do good works, because faith without works is dead.

The Pharisees mistakenly observed the law to obtain justification, to be made righteous and acceptable before God. That has always been improper. Love and mercy have always been the fulfillment of the law(Micah 6:8) and faith in the promises of God is the key to being justified by Christ's righteous fulfillment of the law. We do not observe the law so that God will love us, we fulfill the law because we believe in Christ's work is efficacious, therefore we love Him and long to live a life that honors Him.

It is amazing to me that evangelicals are so quick to criticize our government for removing the ten commands from their standards, yet Christians are just as quick to set them aside as somehow blotted out by grace. The Sabbath was given to all of humanity in Genesis 2:1-3. It is not just a sign it is truly resting in the accomplishments of God on our behalf. The requirements of the sabbath law were not just resting one day in seven, it required laboring 6 days. It provided 6 days for mankind to accomplish his work and recreation bringing "good" from what is "formless and void". It provided one day to worship together and come apart as a testimony to the world around, and to set the whole day aside to meditate upon God, to hear and speak His words, to do works of mercy and hallow the name of God.

This is the problem with our view of the commands of God. We see them as cut and dried condemnation of one thing, instead of a gracious rule for pleasing God. Thou shalt have no other God's before me, is not selfishness on God's part, it is for our good that we place God first in everything, because then the blessings of God can be manifest in everything in our lives. The second command does not mean we cannot love a statue as a beautiful display of creativity and glorify God for the gift of artisans talent. It does not mean that if you treasure any part of creation that you are an idolator. I am not an idolator because my husband is the greatest person God ever created, I glorify God for giving him to me and creating him to be the perfect half of the whole that we are together. I am not an idolator because I treasure the written word of God above any other writing and credit to it's value my salvation, God gave it that I might be saved. Etc. Etc. The failure of the antinomian understanding of scripture is that in some way the commandments are a heavy burden that Christ bore away. His yoke is easy His burden is light. Each and every command is created for our good and to make us happy in life as we walk in His paths.

Romans 6:18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

What about Romans 14:5-6?

Paul has just reaffirmed the moral law and it's summation in Romans 13:8-10. Does this verse tell us not to celebrate the Sabbath? No. It says to celebrate any holy day as unto the Lord, what kind of holy day is he referring to? A day where meat is eaten, this points to the sabbath feasts of the Old Testament. It was not wrong to celebrate those Jewish holy days. It was only wrong to celebrate them apart from Christ who had fulfilled their purpose. So, for instance, it is not wrong to celebrate Passover, unless you do not celebrate Christ the Passover Lamb.

What about Col. 2:16?

Clearly this is a matter of festivals with sabbath days as well. Take a look at Isa. 1:11-14 "your feasts", "your new moons" and "the sabbaths" are clearly those of OT Isreal and are associated with the bloody sacrificial system. Whereas, in the same book "My Sabbath" is referred to twice in the midst of prophecying about the NT church practice, Isa. 56:1-7 & 58:13-14 and even in the New Heavens and New Earth beyond the judgment day in Isa. 66:22-24. Notice in Colossians 2 verse 21- "do not handle, do not taste, do not touch" those ordinances were to set Israel apart as a nation but clearly do not stop the indulgence of the flesh.

In verse 19 the body of Christ, the church, or literally "called out assembly", is our place. We are to be the body with Christ as Head, which Ephesians 5 and 1 Cor. 12 clearly mark the body of Christ as the gathering of the church. Within the context this is a call not to be judged by the

What about Galatians 4:9-10?

This, again, condemns the Galatians who would listen to the Judaizers and think that once you have become a Christian you must become an Isrealite by observing their religious calendar. Not one of these verses says that the weekly Sabbath is no longer a part of the moral law, or a part of our obedience to Christ-the Lord of the Sabbath day.

Shouldn't we have direct words from Christ or an apostle on the change of the weekly Sabbath day?

Yes, we do have Christ giving a great deal of instruction of the proper fulfillment of the Sabbath day-Matt. 12:1-12, Mark 2:23-3:5, and Luke 13:10-17 & 14:1-6, John 5:9-16, 7:21-23. He clearly declared Himself Lord of the Sabbath. He did not teach that the weekly Sabbath would end. Isaiah 66:22-24 clearly give us the Sabbath worship continuing even after the judgment in the New Heavens and New Earth. Isaiah 56:3-5 is quite strange considering Lev. 21:17-24 & Deut. 23:1-8, it must refer to a New Sabbath when there are new ordinances that include all nations(Is. 56:7 & 8) and does not exclude people with diseases and who would have been outcasts from the worship of God and fellowship with His people.

What good is it to be Lord of the Sabbath if it is going to be gone in a short time? We clearly have the writer of Hebrews condemning those who continued to practice the 7th day Sabbath rest. Hebrews 4:3-6. He again fixes a certain day, "Today,"..."another day" in verse 8. Clearly the text is speaking not only of the eternal rest that the disobedient Isrealites would not enter. It is speaking of a different day to celebrate the Sabbath. If you take a look at the greek it is not just Sabbaton it is a Sabbatismos(sabbath keeping) that remains for the people of God, and if we do not diligently enter it we are disobedient and will not enter God's eternal rest, just as the disobedient Isrealites(Hebrews 3).

Where is this new day foreshadowed for the Isrealite believers?

First day Sabbath - Ex. 12 The feast of Tabernacles God tabernacled in flesh, and now we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the veil is rent in two. The feast of tabernacles has both a first and eighth day sabbath rest. There is clear precedent.

Eighth- both the feast of Tabernacles and the feast of Passover. See also Lev. 23 & Deut. 16.

"The Scripture tells us that God appointed the Jewish Sabbath in commemoration of the deliverance of the children of Israel from their task-masters, the Egyptians, and of their rest from their hard bondage and slavery under them; Deu. 5:14, 15, “That thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast 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.” But the day that the children of Israel were delivered from their task-masters and had rest from them, was the day when the children of Israel came up out of the Red Sea. They had no rest from them till then. For though they were before come forth on their journey to go out of the land of Egypt, yet they were pursued by the Egyptians and were exceedingly perplexed and distressed. But on the morning that they came up out of the Red sea, they had complete and final deliverance. Then they had full rest from their taskmasters. Then God said to them, “The Egyptians which ye have seen this day, ye shall see no more for ever;” Exo. 14:13. Then they enjoyed a joyful day of rest, a day of refreshment. Then they sang the song of Moses, and on that day was their Sabbath of rest.

But this coming up of the children of Israel out of the Red sea, was only a type of the resurrection of Christ. That people was the mystical body of Christ, and Moses was a great type of Christ himself. And besides, on that day Christ went before the children of Israel in the pillar of cloud and of fire, as their Savior and Redeemer. On that morning Christ, in this pillar of cloud and fire, rose out of the Red sea, as out of great waters, which was a type of Christ’s rising from a state of death and from that great humiliation which he suffered in death. The resurrection of Christ from the dead, is in Scripture represented by his coming up out of deep waters. So it is in Christ’s resurrection, as represented by Jonah’s coming out of the sea, Mat. 12:40. It is also compared to a deliverance out of deep waters, Psa. 69:1-3, 14, and 15. These things are spoken of Christ, as is evident from this, that many things in this Psalm are in the New Testament expressly applied to Christ. [Compare verse 4 with John 15:25, verse 9 with John 2:17, and verse 2 with Mat. 27:34, 48; Mark 15:23; John 19:29, and verse 2, with Rom. 11:9, 10, and verse 25 with Acts 1:20.] Therefore, as the Jewish Sabbath was appointed on the day on which the pillar of cloud and fire rose out of the Red sea, and on which Moses and the church, the mystical body of Christ, came up out of the same sea, which is a type of the resurrection of Christ — it is a great confirmation that the Christian Sabbath should be kept on the day of the rising of the real body of Christ from the grave, which is the antitype. For surely the Scriptures have taught us that the type should give way to the antitype, and that the shadow should give way to the substance." Johnathon Edwards

Christ arose on Sunday which was also the Feast of the Firstfruits, 1 Cor. 15:20, and then 7 weeks later on Pentacost, the Holy Spirit innagurated the church age, and the authoritative proclamation of the gospel of Christ's salvation. So according to Leviticus 23:15-16, even the Holy Spirit was given as promised by Christ upon the first of the Sabbaths, a Sunday.

Isn't the Sabbath clearly set by God as Saturday the 7th day, why celebrate on Sunday?

The Sabbath was set because of the day which in example God rested from all of his work that he had created and made. The seventh day Sabbath is a shadow, and those that clung to it after Christ arose do not enter into God in Christ's day of rest.(Hebrews 4:4-5) What happened on the first day of the creation week? Light shone out of darkness. Christ the Light of the World has come and conquered the forces of darkness.(John 1:1-14 & 1 John 1:1-4) We celebrate and worship on the day of the Son of Man who arose as light in the darkness, the Lord of the Sabbath day.

"The Sabbath was made for man", according to Christ, we need to rest in God's accomplishments or we will rest in our own. "Man was not made for the Sabbath", in the context of Matt. 12, clearly means that the Sabbath is not an institution that God made and then made man so that the Sabbath would be fulfilled. Any legalistic Sabbath practice that condemns Christ for healing and gathering food to eat on that day is losing sight of the purpose of the Sabbath. It was made to cause men to be refreshed and rest in God, not to keep men from doing everything but breathing.

Christ is Lord of the Sabbath day. Matt. 12:12, and Hebrews gives our rest as "another day."(4:8)

We assemble to celebrate God in Christ resting from His work of salvation, the initiation of the New Creation(2 Cor. 5:12), the New Covenant church(ekklesia or assembly Matt. 18:18-20), which He created and made on the first day of the week.(John 20:19)

To me, to go back to the OT Sabbath would be to go back to remembering the deliverance of Isrealites from Egyptian men (Deut. 5:15) and to look back on creation (Ex. 20: 8-11) remembering what was very good become tainted and cursed. It would be to deny the greater work of God, the work of Christ the light that penetrates darkness to intiate the New Creation (2 Cor. 5:17 & Gal. 6:15), it would be to deny the greater redemption from the bondage of satan in sin and death to the glorious liberty of Christ (Romans 8:2 & 7-22), with the hope of eternal rest and resurrection bodies. It would be no different for me than turning from the Lord's table with bread and wine, back to the bloody sacrifices of cattle.

How is the Sabbath day to be kept?

The apostles customarily: Acts 20:7

1) assembled with the church for teaching, as Christ did, (Luke 24:27& 36 & 44-45), on "the first of the Sabbaths"(Matt. 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1 & 19), and in keeping with the Sabbath law and as the feast of Tabernacles and Passover feast forshadowed, seven days later on the eighth day, (John 20:26) the anniversary day of His resurrection,

2) broke bread(communion)(Acts 20:7 the first of the Sabbaths) as Christ did with his disciples (Luke 24:30&41), and collected offerings on the first day of the week(1 Cor. 16:2 the first of the Sabbaths). The implication is clear and has not been broken since the first century by the Christian church.(1 Cor. 11:2 & 2 Thess. 2:15).

Hebrews is nothing less than clear that the weekly church assembly(where all the inspired letters including Hebrews were read, 1 Thess. 5:27) is the replacement of the synagogue(epi-sunogouge 10:25) and the Sabbath(Sabbat-ismos 4:9) celebration. There was no need to tell the church assembled on Sunday that the sabbath rest on "another day" which was not the "seventh day," was the "first day."

It is also interesting that ekklesia is the word used by Christ in Matt. 18:17, the church, which is the exact word translated church throughout the Greek New Testament. And in Hebrew 2:12 ekklesia replaces the assembly of David's brethren in Psalm 22:22. It is also used of the Isrealites wandering in the wilderness led by Christ, the Angel, in Acts 7:38.

What about "The Lord's Day?"

In Revelation 1:10 John refers to "the Lord's day." He does not explain but seems to assume that the 7 churches to which he is writing will understand the phrase. Well there is biblical warrant, and actually it is quite wonderful to consider.

Psalm 118:21-24 I will praise You,
        For You have answered me,
        And have become my salvation.
        The stone which the builders rejected
        Has become the chief cornerstone.
        This was the LORD's doing;
        It is marvelous in our eyes.
        This is the day the LORD has made;
        We will rejoice and be glad in it.

1 Peter 1:3....Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

1 Peter 2:4-10 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,

"The stone which the builders rejected, Has become the chief cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling, And a rock of offense."

They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

From these texts I conclude that Peter is considering Christ as the author of our salvation and the Resurrection as the work of Christ that made us "now the people of God" and "a holy priesthood." The day that the LORD hath made, can only be the day that Christ rested from the work of becoming our salvation, having become the Chief Cornerstone.

It would have been necessary to differentiate Sabbath keeping for the Jews who rejected the Messiah and continued the OT practice, and Sabbath keeping for the Messianic Jews. What better way to distinguish the rest of those who worship the Son of Man who is "Lord of the Sabbath day" in Matt. 12:8, and refer to it simply as "the Lord's day." This is historically supported by the writings of, and about, the early church as well.

Isn't keeping the Sabbath Pharisaical?

It certainly can be. The Pharisees taught how far you could travel (Acts 1:12) etc. many man made traditions were set up to protect people from breaking the Sabbath. When Christ was accused of breaking the Sabbath, He taught the proper meaning of Sabbath rest.(Matt. 9:2-8, 12:1-12; Mark 2:23-3:4, Luke 5:17-26, 6:1-5, 13:14-17, 14:1-6, John 5:9-16, 7:21-23, 9:13-16)

Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!" 3But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7But if you had known what this means, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." 9 Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"--that they might accuse Him. 11Then He said to them, "What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

Even working on the Sabbath, the priests busiest day, is not forbidden. Works of mercy, such as Medical care workers, Fire Department, Police, and Soldiers are needed to work on the Sabbath day. As much as possible we should not forsake the gathering of ourselves to worship God. On Sunday we should be especially careful that our actions, words and thoughts bring glory to God. In the end I think the most wonderful guideline to keeping the Sabbath is:

Isaiah 58:13 "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, 14Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken."

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