The day of rest, everlasting sign of blessing between God and his children
As far as we know, nobody will be saved by works, but by God’s grace, because salvation is an undeserved gift from our Loving and Merciful God, who wants our repentance and the acceptance of the Lord’s sacrifice only, for our sins may be forgiven; this way we fulfill perfectly the law before God (Galatians 3). The question that we may ask then is: Does it make any sense to keep the commandments in the New Covenant? Or is it an imposition from Pharisees and legalistic people?
First thing we should know is that “rest” is the translation from the Hebrew term shabbat (“cease”, “rest”) Thus the seventh day was called Shabbat (the holy day of rest), which by the influence of Septuagint was known as Saturday.
Questions that must be answered:
- Is there a day of rest commanded by the Creator to hallow?
Let’s read Genesis 2.2-3 “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.” With these verses we realize that this rest is a time set apart by the Creator since the beginning, for our blessing, so we may conclude that the seventh day, Shabbat or Holy Day of Rest, does exist and it’s former to the law.
- Is the day of rest current in the New Covenant?
Old Covenant: Deuteronomy 4.13 “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments (The Law); and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.”
New Covenant: Jeremiah 31.33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds (The ten commandments), and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
The New Covenant requires men with a clean heart, which is obtained only by accepting the precious blood of our Holy Lord Jesus of Nazareth; in this circumstance alone, the Lord’s law will pass from the cold stone to our minds and to each new truly born again son’s heart. As a new creature, he will understand and enjoy doing God’s will.
The fourth commandment says: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day (Saturday). Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11)
Thus says the Lord: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Mathew 5:17-18) If you are on the same planet as us, and under the same heaven, this is an unequivocal sign that the earth and the heaven haven’t passed away, so: nor one jot, nor one tittle from the law has passed, and this means that the Ten Commandments are totally valid.
- Was the seventh day changed for other day of rest?
We haven’t found biblical evidence that supports a change in the day of rest: not to Sunday, nor to any other day. Sunday (the day of the “sun”) being God’s resting day in the New Covenant has no biblical foundation, but there is a scripture that may be misunderstood, and it’s 1 Corinthians 16:2 “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” But here the apostle Paul just requests that the first day of the week, which is Sunday, may collections be made. Paul never kept Sunday as the day of rest. Pagans of that time worshipped the sun and celestial bodies –among others–. Paul did not teach anything that was against scripture or against what Jesus taught. We need to understand that pagan’s (polytheist) more important god is the sun, therefore is likely that Paul, being Jew -and without receive any instruction from the Lord concerning changing the Holy day of rest (Sabbath)- allocated this pagan day for activities different from worshipping God.
The apostle Paul ratifies Sabbath’s validity in Hebrews 4:9 “There remains therefore a sabbatical rest for the people of God.” (Interlinear, Greek-Spanish of Francisco Lacueva), and in Hebrews 4:10-11 says: “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
- Is there any purpose in our relationship with God to keep the days of rest?
Ezekiel 20.12: “Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.”
Ezekiel 20.20: “hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.”
Exodus 31.12-17: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. […]16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.17It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”
- The Saturday Sabbath, a PERPETUAL PACT, is an EVERLASTING SIGN between God and Israel’s children. Has this any relation with the Christians, or is it just for the Israeli people? And if this is just for them, what happens with an Israeli that accepts Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior?
As God’s Word can’t be broken (John 10.35), then a Christian Israeli is compelled to keep Saturday as the day of rest established by the Creator from the beginning.
Now, can someone who is not an Israeli establish a different day from Saturday as a Day of Rest? No way! Because:
a) The Seventh Day or Sabbath is a day of rest commanded by the Creator to hallow. Saturday is former to the law.
b) As heaven and earth haven’t pass away, nor one jot, nor one tittle from the law have passed, therefore: Saturday is the current sign between the Almighty and his people.
c) The Lord never commanded to change the day of rest, because Jesus of Nazareth is the Lord of the Day of Rest (Mathew 12.8)
d) The seventh day is an everlasting sign between God and his children, so they may know Him. We, the Gentiles, were bastards, but we have been adopted and now we are legitimate sons of the God Almighty: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1.3-5)
e) As sons, we have access to the truth, to the bread of life, and we can be nourished of the sap that feeds God’s children: “And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree” (Romans 11.17) If we have the authentic spiritual food, why would we mix it or change it for a contaminated food, without suffering the consequences?
God is love: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Thus says the Lord “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (1 John 4.8 / 1 John 5.2 / John 14.21)
We should not be rebels to the Divine Commandment; we don’t have the authority to change the seventh day for another. Saturday is an everlasting sign between The Almighty and His people, and God’s sons are obedient to the Lord’s Word. If you rebel against God and His Word, the Father’s love is not in you. Your poor understanding won’t let you distinguish a truth from a lie.
History teach us that in 325 AD, the Roman emperor Constantine, no long after Christianity was recognized, ordered the justice courts to force the city inhabitants and craftsmen to rest “in the venerable day of the sun” (American Encyclopedia, edition 1969, vol. XXVI article “Sunday”, page 32). In the Council of Laodicea, in 364 AD, the following edict was decreed: “Christians should not Judaize or being idle on Saturday, but must work that day; but the day of the Lord (that’s how they referred to Sunday) should be specially honored and, as Christians, they must abstain from work as possible on that day. If they are found Judaize in spite of all, they will be expelled from Christ.” (Rev. Charles Hefele, History of the Councils of the Church, Vol. II, page 316) Read: The beast and the great apostasy http://comunidaddelabiblia.org/estudios-y-preguntas-frecuentes/la-bestia-y-la-gran-apostasia/
A man’s commandment to keep Sunday as “The day of the Lord” was assimilated and maintained for the vast majority of churches born from the Catholic Church.
After the French Revolution, ten-day weeks were imposed without success. The URSS tried to introduce five-day weeks, six-day weeks after that, and the printing of calendars with seven day weeks came to be forbidden.
In Isaiah 56.6-7 we find: “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” If we look closely, those who accepted to join themselves to the Lord had to keep the Holy Day of Rest, so their sacrifices may be accepted and they may obtain the blessings that God has reserved for those who obey Him.
We reiterate that these words came from the Lord’s mouth: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” 19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
Let’s look again the case of an Israeli by birth that accepts the Lord. Do you think that he or she should keep Sunday as the day of rest? It’s ridiculous! Don’t you think? But it’s worse: it’s diabolical! And it was prophesied in Daniel 7:25 that the fourth beast (The Roman Empire) shall intend to change times and law. This is impossible, because God sanctified the day of Rest before giving the law to Moses. It is a Holy Time set apart by God for those who love the Lord in spirit and truth. Let’s remember that we, gentiles, by the acceptance of the Lord’s sacrifice, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in God’s olive tree, and became a partaker of the root and fatness of the authentic olive tree”; it’s illogical to pretend that the wild branch should feed the root; more like the branch should be fed from the original root. If we have truly received the Holy Spirit, He will instruct us clearly what day is the day of the Lord, sanctified and set apart to Him, a day of bless, of happiness and joy.
Let’s read Leviticus 23:
The Feast of the Lord, trials or rests in honor to God
- SATURDAY (Leviticus 23.1-4)
It commemorates creation.
“And the Lord (YHWH) spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts: 3 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath (Saturday) of the Lord in all your dwellings. 4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.” (Leviticus 23:1-4)
- THE PASSOVER AND THE UNLEAVENED BREADS (Leviticus 23.5-14)
It commemorates the Lord’s sacrifice and the release of sin.
- PENTECOST (Leviticus 23.15-22)
It represents the Holy Spirit dwelling inside the children of the Almighty. After the acceptance of the Messiah’s sacrifice, the New Covenant is implemented.
- TRUMPETS (Leviticus 23.23-25)
It represents the beginning of the last week of Daniel’s prophecy, the last seven years of the mankind’s history as we know it before our Messiah’s return.
- EXPIATION (Leviticus 23.26-32)
This is a day of affliction and represents the great tribulation, the last three and a half years before our King of kings and Lord of lords’ arrival: Jesus of Nazareth (Yashua)
- TABERNACLES (Leviticus 23.33-44)
It represents the millennium here on earth under our Lord’s command.
- THE LAST GREAT DAY (Leviticus 23.36 / 39, the eighth day)
It represents the New Jerusalem, with the glory of God, dwelling with mankind.
Jesus’ family, Jesus and the apostles celebrated the seventh day (Sabbath or Shabbat), and the holy convocations or annual holy days, in their season, from year to year, as the following verses demonstrate:
- Acts 13.44: “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God”.
- Acts 17.2: “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures”.
- Luke 2.41-42: “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.”
- 1 Corinthians 5.7-8: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
- Acts 20.6: “But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.” / (another reference 1 Corinthians 11.17-34)
- 1 Corinthians 16.8: “But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost”
- Acts 2.1: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place”.
- Acts 18.21: “but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus”.
- Acts 27.9: “Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast (Expiation) was already over, Paul advised them,”
- John 7.2: “Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.[…] 10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He (Jesus) also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.”
- John 7.37-39: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
The feats of the Lord will be celebrated in the Millennium
Luke 22.15-18: “Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
Zechariah 14.16-19: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”
We sincerely hope that this study may have been a blessing for you and your loved ones. We recommend you scrutinize the scriptures to prove these things, and if you prove it right, we encourage you to leave the confusion, the religious Babel that the enemy has scattered all over the globe.
Read: Holy feasts
Lastly, we ask you to trust in the Lord and to remember these words: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12.32)
Note: Bible references were taken from New King James Version, except for specific advice.