Remember the Sabbath Day

I. The term “Sabbath” is frequently used in Scripture.

A. The Hebrew word, SHABBAT is found 108 times in the Old Testament.

1. The basic meaning is “intermission” or “break.”

2. The word is often used with SHABBATHOWN as in “Sabbath of Rest” (the basic meaning is “observance” – as in “observe the break”)

a. That phrase is used 6 times in the Old Testament.
b. Exodus 31:5; 35:2; Leviticus 16:31; 23:3, 32; 25:4.

3. The word is used 76 as singular, and 32 as plural.

B. The Greek word, SABBATHON, is used 68 times in the New Testament.

1. The basic meaning is a “rest” period.

2. The most frequent application is the misuse of the Sabbath day.

II. The meaning of the Fourth Commandment has been confused.

A. The key words are more revealing.

1. "Remember" (Hebrew, ZAKAR) would better be translated as "mark" or "identify."

3. "Holy" (Hebrew, QADASH) would better be translated as "prepare" or "dedicate."

4. "Labor" (Hebrew, ABAD) and "work" (Hebrew, MELAKAH) would better be translated "serve" and "employment," respectively.

B. The best translation would be:

1. Identify the intermission day as dedicated. Six days you shall serve and accomplish all employment, but the seventh day is the intermission which belongs to Yahweh your god.

III. The reasons for this commandment are significant.

A. The basic reason is because God established the pattern at Creation.

1. God "made" (performed activity) for six days (Exodus 20:11; Genesis 2:1-3).

2.  God “rested" and "ended" on the seventh day.

a. Exodus 20:11 uses NUWACH which describes the action "to settle down, to be quiet."
b. Genesis 2:3 uses SHABATH, the root word for SHABBATH, which means "to cease activity.

3. God, therefore, "blessed" (to kneel in adoration) and "hallowed" (made holy, dedicated) The Intermission Day.

B. The general reason was to give rest.

1. This was established before Mt. Sinai (Exodus 16:23; Genesis 2:3).

2. This is identified as a continual principle (Exodus 34:21; Leviticus 23:3).

3. This is verified by the Lord Jesus (Mark 2:27).

IV. The Old Testament Sabbath observance had several important purposes.

A. The Sabbath is to observe the fact that God himself rested on the seventh day after six days of work.

1. Everything God made he called good.

2. He only sanctified (set apart-dedicated) the Sabbath.

3. The Sabbath is the Day to rejoice in God’s creation, and recognize God’s sovereignty.

B. The Sabbath, according to Deuteronomy 5:15, connects the Sabbath with deliverance from Egypt described in Exodus.

1. Israel is to remember that God is an emancipator, a liberator.

2. Deuteronomy views the people of the Covenant; Exodus places the emphasis on the God of the covenant.

C. The Sabbath is also social or humanitarian ordinance providing dependent laborers a day of rest.

1. The commandment makes all men equal before God.

2. The commandment includes rest for all working animals as well.

V. The Old Testament identifies many Intermission Days.

A. The special feast celebrations contained Intermission Days on different days of the week.

1. The Passover week had two "Sabbaths" in it; the first day and the seventh day (Leviticus. 23:5-8; Exodus 12:15-16; Num 28:25; 1 Corinthians 5:7).

2. The Pentecost day was on the 50th day after Passover (Leviticus 23:15-21; Acts 2:1).

3. The Blowing of Trumpets was on the first day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:24-25).

4. The Day of Atonement was on the tenth day of the seventh month (Leviticus 16:29-34; 23:27-32; Hebrews 9:23-10:14).

5. The Feast of Tabernacles had two "Sabbaths," on the first and eighth days, and was celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:34-36).

6. The Seventh Year was to be a ''Sabbath'' for the Lord (Leviticus 25:2-7).

7. The fiftieth year was to be a ''Sabbath'' for everything (Leviticus 28:8-17).

B. The weekly Intermission Day had special requirements.

1. There was to be no business activity (Exodus 20:9-10; 34:21).

2. There was to be no buying or selling (Nehemiah 10:31; 13:15-22; Amos 8:4-10).

3. There was to be no bearing of burdens (Jeremiah 15:21).

4. There must be positive worship (Psalm 92).

VI. The New Testament verifies the Intermission Day principle.

A. The Lord Jesus explained the teaching.

1. He is Lord of the ''Sabbath.''

a. Eating is not forbidden (Matthew 12:1-8).
b. Man needs the rest (Mark 2:27).

2. He explained the kind of "work" that is permissible   

a. Goodness or healing work (Matthew 12:12; Mark 3:3-5; Luke 6:6-11).
b. Necessary or rescue work (Luke 13:10-16; 14:5; John 5:11).
c. Religious work (John 7:22-23).
d. Morticians and traveling duties (Numbers 9:6-13).

3. He explained that Salvation is the "Sabbath" of the Christian (Hebrews 4:1-9).

B. The Apostles distinguished between seventh and first days.

1. They taught to the Jews on the Sabbath (Acts 13:14; 15:21; 17:2).

2. They met with a prayer group (Acts 16:13).

3. They held services and communion on the first day for the Christians (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2).

C. The points that justify a transfer to the first day of the week are clear.

1. The use of two different words in Mark 16 is significant.

a. Mary came to the tomb on the “first (Greek: MIAS, “one”) day of the week (Mark 16:2)
b. Jesus rose on the "first" (Greek: PROTE, "most important") day of the week (Mark 16:9).

2. The use of an unusual word in Rev 1:10 is significant.

a. John receives his vision from Christ on the "Lord's Day" (Greek, TE KURIAKE HEMERA: literal translation: "The day which belongs to the Lord)."
b. Paul is the only other Bible writer to use the word (1 Corinthians 11:20, the "Lord's table").

3. The Passover "Sabbath" of the first day and the resurrection on the ''Passover'' (1 Corinthians 5:7) on the first day.

4. The Pentecost ''Sabbath'' on the first day and the Pentecost empowering of the Church on the first day (Acts 2:9).

5. The Trumpets, the Feast of Tabernacles, were all an emphasis on the first day, and have some basis for type of the New Testament.

VII. The New Testament Christian retains obligations toward the Sabbath.

A. We are to observe one day in six as a rest day.

1. This was established by God at Creation (Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:11).

a. There is no other basis for this pattern.
b. There is no relationship for the seven‑day week in any astronomical clock reference; Solar, Stellar or Lunar.

2. This was made for humanity (Mark 2:27).

B. We are to acknowledge that the Sabbath was dedicated by God at Creation to be a day of "sanctification."

1. We follow the pattern set by God (Genesis 2:1-3).

2. We give recognition to the Creation (Exodus 20:11).

3. We cease our own profitable employment (Exodus 20:9-10).

4. We concentrate on the worship of God (Psalm 92).

C. We are to acknowledge the Ten Commandments as timeless law.

1. They are called the "words" of God (Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 4:13; 10:4).

2. They are called the "fiery royal law" (Deuteronomy 33:24; James 2:8-12).

3. They are summarized by Christ as the Two Great Commandments (Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:28-33; Luke 10:25-28).

4. They are called the "law." (Romans 2:18-24; Matthew 22:36-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14).

D. We do not come under the requirements that were specifically for national Israel.

1. We do not share in the same covenant with national Israel (Romans 11:20-28).

a. The New Testament church is NOT Israel.
b. The New Covenant does away with the “Old” (Hebrews 9:15).
c. The nation of Israel will even get a “new” covenant (Hebrews 8:8).

2. We do not bear the same responsibility for the extended ordinances and sacrifice as did national Israel (Colossians 2:13-17).

E         We are to understand that “salvation” is the fulfillment of the “Sabbath” of God’s promise.

1. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9).

2. The word for “rest” is the Greek, SABBATISMOS.

3. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.  (Hebrews 4:10-11)

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