People of The Living God

Hebrews 11

 

Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size

       



IS THE SABBATH PERPETUAL?

Harry R. Miller

          To question the perpetuity of the seventh day Sabbath in the face of the staggering amount of evidence that has established it for six thousand years, borders on the absurd. Every God-fearing person should find it very difficult to question the faithfulness of the Almighty in not preserving the identity of a day that He has immortalized. However, it is possible to question anything and everything. And since questions are often used to blind the eyes of those weak in the faith, we present the following evidence in behalf of truth.

          Our foremost reason for believing that our heavenly Father has perpetuated the Sabbath memorial is that HIS HONOR IS INVOLVED.  Bear in mind that God Himself has gone on record to the effect that He fashioned the Sabbath day in a different manner than He did the other days of the week:  “The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Ex. 20:11); this was not done at Sinai, but on the day of CREATION! Now, a hallowed thing demands the respect of all creatures in heaven and earth. The very fact that it is hallowed testifies that it has certain degrees of the nature of God. Only the mundane and openly defiant would carelessly disregard that which is holy.

          God’s work with HIS HALLOWED DAY (“My holy day” Isa. 58:13; “The Lord’s day” Rev. 1:10) did not end with this act of making it holy; He also SANCTIFIED IT: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it” (Gen. 2:3). Sanctification is both an “act” and a “condition”. A person, or a thing, is first set aside from common or worldly use: if such a person or thing is acceptable to God, He then imparts to it the divine nature which sanctifies it.

          In order to impress His creatures with the heavenly nature of His chosen day, God BLESSED it. When He blesses a thing, or a person, He bestows virtue that makes His blessing effective. It is evident that God endowed this particular day of the week with productive powers that would impart specific virtuous benefit to those who would avail themselves of its benefits.

          The Creator’s work in regard to the creation of the Sabbath day did not end with its hallowing, sanctifying and blessing. After applying all these Master touches, He then GAVE IT TO THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE: “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). Two thousand years before there was a Jew, men observed the Sabbath. Many people have thought that the observance of seventh day as the Sabbath began with the law on Sinai, but months before the commandments were given the Israelites observed the Sabbath: “The people rested on the seventh day” (Ex. 16:30); this was the one day of the week that the manna did not fall. This was the one day of the week that their daily supply of manna would not breed worms if kept overnight.

          We now present Bible evidence that the Lord DID PERPETUATE THE SABBATH AND ITS RECORD: Jesus warned His disciples to pray that their flight from Jerusalem (which occurred in A.D. 70) would not be on the Sabbath day: “Pray that your flight be not ... on the Sabbath day” (Matt. 24:20.). Apparently He had no question In His mind con-cerning the exact day, and He further knew that they were aware of the correct day.

          Many Christians were saved from death because of this warning given by the Master. They had been told to pray that this would not happen in the winter (Matt. 24:20) for at that time traveling would be difficult, and the peril of capture and death almost certain. They were also told to pray that this flight would not have to be made on the Sabbath day: for had
it occurred on this day, they would not have carried any needed supplies with them, and would have suffered terrible privation in the mountains. Neither would they have traveled over “a Sabbath day’s journey” (Acts 1:12), which would not have been sufficient to carry them out of the range of danger.

          Now if the commandment concerning the observance of the Sabbath had been abolished, and the first day of the week was “The Lord’s Day”, then WHY DID JESUS TELL HIS DISCIPLES TO PRAY ABOUT A CERTAIN DAY 40 YEARS LATER???

          If there were no other proofs for the observance of the seventh day Sabbath, this should be enough to convince any disciple of Christ that he should respect this day. “There remaineth therefore a keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God” (Heb. 4:9) (“Rest” according to the margin and other versions is -- Sabbath).

          Bearing in mind that Jesus wanted the disciples to respect the Sabbath for at least 40 years after His ascension, and that the writer of the book of Hebrews said, “There remaineth a keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God,” we go on piling up evidence.

          From A.D. 70 we now pass down through the centuries of time to the very end of the world when God shall judge men for these sins: "They have transgressed the laws, CHANGED THE ORDINANCE, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isa. 24:5). It is because of these three sins that the earth is finally destroyed. There is only one ORDINANCE in the decalogue: THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT -- “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” But let us move on further in the point of time and go on over into eternity where we can view conditions in the new heavens and the new earth: “And it shall come to pass ... from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord” (Isa. 66:23). Think of it -- THE SABBATH shall be observed in eternity! It certainly appears to be perpetual!

          The honor of the Almighty was set before the merciless public eye when He unveiled to the human race the sanctity of the day He had blessed and hallowed. From that time to the end, this day became a thing of reverence or a thing of scorn. The Father’s gift to man has been honored by those who love Him, but others have despised His goodness. In the day of judgment, when the secrets of all men’s hearts shall be made manifest, the faithfulness of God shall be made known, and His name shall be vindicated.

          There are four things that bear evidence in this world that God has perpetuated the record of HIS HOLY DAY:

          (1) The Bible, the oldest history on earth, makes no mention of a change of the holy day.

          (2) The Jew, the custodian of the oldest traditions among men. We quote from Rabbi Wise who wrote: “The Jewish Sabbath (We do not agree with him that the Sabbath is Jewish) is, in point of the particular time, a matter of tradition, to which the whole people of Israel from Moses to us testify, without any demonstration to the contrary. There is no century in authentic history not covered by Jewish tradition. Hence one might just as well argue Sunday is not the first day of the week, ... or the Hebrew Bible is not the literature of the ancient Jews, or any other fact or facts as to maintain that the Jews forgot the order of the days, when the Sabbath was so holy to them. Anybody arguing against a fact of perception, or tradition, is false. In this case he who maintains it must prove when and where the Jews forgot the order of the days or the computation of time..

          “The Jews, having no names of days, called them first, second, etc., to the Sabbath. If they had forgotten to count in any one locality where they were dispersed since 800 B.C. some would have done it in any other locality, and a dispute among themselves about the right Sabbath must have occurred. But history chronicles no such dissension. From Ezra to 70 A.D. the body, called first The Great Synagogue and afterward the Sanhedrin, existed in Jerusalem; and then to 300 A.D. at Jamnia, Ushah, or Tiberias. This body announced annually, in regular succession, the calendar to all Jews in the world. Then followed in authority the Babylonian academy, from 200 to 1,000 A.D., again in regular succession. When could they have forgotten the Sabbath? Those persons (those who claim the Sabbath has been lost) maintain an absurdity.”

          (3) The Calendar. Astronomers of all nations have always used the seven day week as their “yardstick” for computing time. A ten day week and an eight day week have been experiments with various monarchs, but these local affairs have never been universally accepted, neither did they change the seven day yard stick of the sages. Though printing is comparatively a modern invention, yet we find that God has so ordered that the SEVENTH DAY be made manifest on our calendars -- it is shown at the END OF THE WEEK where it belongs. The prophet Isaiah expressed it like this: “The way of holiness ... (shall be so plain) ... the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein”(Isa. 35:8). In other words: A nitwit can find the right way and the right DAY, if he so desires.

          (4) The Testimony. The carnal and the impious will not understand this as evidence for they have no knowledge of THE ”TESTIMONY” of the Holy Ghost: “Ye (saints) have an unction  (an anointing) from the Holy One, and ye know all things” (I John 2:20). This is knowledge through the Spirit. It is a gift to those who “abide in the secret place of the Most High.” And again He states: “The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you (Ye need not TAKE ANY MAN’S WORD for evidence): but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie” (I John 2:27). The saint has been given a private teacher, “I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts ... And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest” (Heb. 8:10, 11). To this agree the words of Jesus: “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26).

          Take note that in the above verses of Scripture taken from the book of Hebrews, the Lord has made His laws (commandments) the basis for the “new covenant.” They who “KNOW THE LORD” are commandment keepers, and since the fourth commandment is one of those which are to be kept “till heaven and earth pass” (Matt. 5:18), man is under divine ORDER to observe the Lord’s day: “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me” (John 14:21). “If ye keep My commandments ye shall abide in My love” (John 15:10). “So ordain I in all churches ... the keeping of the commandments of God” (I Cor. 7: 17,19). “The remnant ... which keep the commandments of God” (Rev. 14:12). “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14). “Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (I John 2: 3, 4).

          From the above it is very evident that professing Christians are obligated to keep the commandments, and if they would be given any reason for not obeying any one of “these least commandments” heaven could not hold them responsible. Consider this: “The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead: so that they are without excuse”(Rom. 1:20). If God has so plainly revealed “the invisible things”, how much more has He made plain the day He blessed, hallowed, and sanctified and gave to man.