Greetings once again my friends!
There is a whole new generation/era today —and this one is to be the last in this age (Stretching forward for possibly another 15 years or until the coming of Christ) — and these new people may see things quit differently, making different choices than the previous era, especially for those in the COG. This commentary is dealing with the Sabbath, as the title shows. What is “The Sabbath” and what should it be in your mind? (I will answer that in a moment from Scripture) What does the average person think of when asked; “are you keeping the Sabbath day on a weekly basis”? Most devoted professing Christian people will promptly say; “well, yes we do—we go to church every Sunday in honor of Christ and what He has done for us”! However, think about that for just a moment; God says to keep the Sabbath Holy, not just “a” Sabbath of our choice! Christ obeyed this command as it was given in the OT. (Luke 4:16) The vast majority of “Christians” who think they are honoring Christ by keeping what they think is the “lord’s” day—Sunday—are actually dishonoring Him instead, in willful disobedience! But that is not all there is to think about. How does this relate to those God has called or is calling today?
As you read the NT Scriptures, you will immediately notice that Christ kept the Sabbath—not Sunday—on a weekly basis. (Luke 6:6) The Jews of Christ’s day, who thought they were keeping the Sabbath, and strict about it; however having their own do’s & don’ts—traditions—that sometimes conflicted with Christ and the true keeping of the Sabbath. Christ was actually accused of breaking the Sabbath by them on several occasions—which was false. He taught His disciples to keep the Sabbath as well and the true COG still keeps the Sabbath on a weekly basis today. Which day does Scripture say is the Sabbath and why is that important? Isn’t just any day as good, as long as we worship God & Christ? Christ tells us we must worship in spirit and the truth, (John 4:22-24) which includes obedience of worshipping on the Sabbath. If you simply believe God, trust God and the Bible, honor God & Christ and strive to live by every word of God, as Christ said (Matt.4:4 & Luke 4:4, quoted from Deut.8:3) then you will keep the Sabbath as well. So let us understand how the Bible presents this as the Sabbath and as Holy time, to determine if we are really keeping it or simply doing our own pleasures. (Isa.58:13, NKJV throughout unless otherwise noted)
So first off, which day of the week is God & Christ’s Sabbath and what is it in your mind? Sunday my friends, is not the Sabbath or the lords day, and if you have really studied the Bible, you already know that. It is the same one it has always been from creation until now—the seven day—last day of every week. Gen 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. (The first six days of creation, starting with Sunday, as we know it—which is the first day-Gen.1:5) (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, (Set it apart) because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
Incidentally, this God is the same one that latter became Jesus Christ. (See John1:1-3, & v.14—see “God of the Old Testament” for more) That is why Christ said He was Lord also of the Sabbath to the Jews (Mark 2:27-28) because as God, He created it! So Sunday is not the Sabbath but the seven day—Saturday is and always has been! (See “Sanctified Time” Bible study for more) This was reiterated for the nation of Israel. (Exo.16:23) To reject the commands of God, made by the one who became Christ, and to settle instead for the traditions and doctrines of men is to dishonor Christ and therefore God also.
Now there are a lot of people that know when the Sabbath is, but do not really keep it as such. (Years ago, I worked on a job with some individuals (seven day Adventists) that would work on the Sabbath when told to. I was told specifically by one of them that they knew Saturday was the Sabbath and that I was right in not working that day—but they did anyway.) Likewise, the Jews, as was said earlier, have their own idea of how to keep it and were very strict; but adding their own regulations as to how to keep it. Christ told them in Mark 7:9 -- "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” (Here they were being reprimanded for a different matter of breaking the Commandments but sometimes this is the case with the Fourth Commandment according to the Bible as well, and it is not only the Jews that violate it, as we will see many who have associated with the COG do as well.)
Keeping it Holy is to come together to congregate; be taught from the Bible and to fellowship with people of like mind; learn from God and converse with each other in a peaceful setting! We are called to come out of the world and separate ourselves from them! (2Cor.6:17) the Sabbath does that for us every week. When the command was given, Israel was told to have a Holy Convocation on the Sabbath, which is done every week. “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 of the LORD in all your dwellings.” So here again we see it is the Lord’s Sabbath and not mans, but what does it mean to have a “Holy convocation”? Convocation (paraphrasing the definition) is the same as a “calling into a public meeting” by definition and to be Holy is one such “meeting” set aside only by God! (God is the only one being Holy and can make anything Holy. (Lev.11:45-last part) We find this same thing mentioned a couple of times in the NT and the book of Hebrews, instructions for the COG today. Heb.10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” We also find this in Heb.4:9, the ASV translation: “There remaineth therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” ASV (V.10 reflect back to the creation of the Sabbath.)
So how important is this? It is a life or death situation! We see from this verse (Heb.10:25) it is “the manner of some” that do not assemble together on a regular basis even in the COG, both then and even now. There can be a number of reasons for this failure to assemble to happen, such as illness or other things beyond our control. However, one of those reasons should not be because we work, which is 99% not beyond our control, or having other things more important or just to set at home and not put in any effort to assemble on the Sabbath. In today’s society and this era of Laodicea in the COG, some have grown up knowing about the Sabbath but do not assemble together weekly, this simply being their choice. Some let months go by and have even worked on the Sabbath in certain circumstances, knowing the commandment that tells them they should not be doing so. What is your excuse and what are you choosing to take away your opportunity to keep the Sabbath Holy? Is it important in God’s eyes why you are not keeping the Sabbath? Are you concerned about getting this right in God’s eyes?
(I have witnessed this neglect time and time again, ever since being in the COG (Baptized over 43 years) that there are some who just do not put any effort into being assembled together on the Sabbath every week, but will find a way to go to the feast of Tabernacles when that comes around.) There are all kinds of reason not to go to weekly Sabbath services, if one really does not want to go. God will not force anyone to keep the Sabbath but it is a weekly test for willing obedience and to separate ourselves from the world. However, for those who do practice this and are zealous in trying, whatever their circumstance; wanting to be taught by God and have that Godly fellowship with others when it is available, God will normally make a way for you to attend Sabbath services and have a “Holy convocation”. Think about that when every Saturday/Sabbath rolls around and you are off to do your own thing! To fail to obey God on His Sabbath is to choose not to be a part of His plan and to go the way of the world. Ps 1:6 says “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish” and then in 2 Tim 2:19 it says; “Howbeit the firm foundation of God standeth, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his: and, Let everyone that nameth the name of the Lord (claims to be a Christian) depart from unrighteousness.” ASV
This commentary is just a reminder and does not cover everything about how to keep the Sabbath. Many do not realize this choice of neglect may be to reject what God & Christ have planned to offer us now, which can lead us to eternal life in the first resurrection! We must keep the Sabbath in our minds but also having the actions of living it and doing it every day of every week, if there is any way possible to do so! It is a command to "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Ex 20:8)