This tract is being written because we as Christians are living in a very peculiar time. In these last days prior to the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, there is such confusion among so many well meaning and Christian-minded people, and one great point of confusion and contention is regarding the Sabbath.
I have personally been confronted by people who condemned me and my ministry because I did not keep the Sabbath the way they were trying to keep it. There is extremism in any belief system, and that extremism occurs when proponents of a belief system do not accept the whole council of God. In this tract, we will look at the whole council of God on the subject of the Sabbath, which will bring forth a clear understanding of what it is and how it must be kept.
We will now go back to the origin of the Sabbath at the time of the creation as told at the beginning of the book of Genesis. In Genesis 2:1-3 we read, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."
One thing that should be immediately noticed is that all of the preceding six days end with the following words, "And the evening and the morning were the (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th) day." We do not find these words of finality or summation ending the seventh day, because in a perfect world, everyday thereafter would be a condition of Sabbath or rest and repose. That day was open-ended! Only sin could take away that condition of Sabbath or rest that was meant for everyday, and sadly, that is exactly what happened. Later, we will see how our Lord Jesus restored the perpetual and continual Sabbath to our souls.
The first time we see the word "Sabbath" is in the book of Exodus, and in Exodus 20:8-11, we find that it is given as one of the Ten Commandments as follows: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."
One primary point that must be noted regarding the Sabbath commandment is that it has nothing to do with going to church! It has only to do with the cessation from work. Nothing more and nothing less. Sinful man was ordered to do nothing on the seventh day. Thus, one day each week he would not be out there committing sin after sin after sin. It was a "do nothing" day, established as such until the Savior would come to give us victory over sin every day of the week and establish rest for our souls by his spirit dwelling within. This could be made possible only through a New Covenant established by the blood of the Lamb of God!
The Old Testament is replete with examples of Sabbath commandments, but in every example, it is under the Old Covenant of a single day of rest, which by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has given way to a Sabbath, where every day is one where we cease from our old works. The Old Covenant, according to Hebrews 8:13, is no more! It reads as follows: "In that he saith, a New Covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
In Galatians 3:24-25, we are exhorted "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are NO LONGER UNDER THE SCHOOLMASTER." Thus, the law could lead us to Christ but no further! Those who think that they are keeping the Sabbath as a day must remember that James 2:10 says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." The only one who has ever kept the Sabbath perfectly is Jesus Christ. Man cannot do what He did in keeping the law. The Lord Jesus took the law to Calvary as well as the sin of the world. It was there that the law and all transgressions met, and He bore the sin of many. See Isaiah 53.
Is there a Sabbath after Calvary? Yes! Hebrews 4:9-10 says, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." There are two words not found in those verses, "Sabbath" and "day." It is because our rest is no longer a calendar day each week, but every day, which includes the seventh, and thus we keep the Sabbath by living a godly and blood-washed life every day. For we have ceased from our old works. Some people who haven't come to an understanding of what covenant they are under will point out that Paul often went into the synagogues on the Sabbath. If we look at those incidents, however, we see that it was to bring those who hear out of the synagogue and that system of death. Here is what Paul the Apostle said about the seventh day as found in Romans 14:5-6: "One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord, and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it."
We know that the Sabbath law is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and He abides within us. The seventh day Sabbath was not eliminated but fulfilled, and our Savior added six more days to that rest and gave us the timelessness of eternal life. Thus, the seventh day is kept holy with all the other days. We can worship our Lord any day and every day. We know that Sunday is not the Sabbath but rather one of seven days, any of which can be used for worship. Acts 20:7 says, "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight."
It is my humble prayer that all who read this will realize the joy of keeping all seven days of the week holy and thus fulfill the sacred commandment; for it is not our works but the finished work of Christ that has established the eternal timeless Sabbath of the New Covenant by the power of His blood.
Pastor David J. Meyer
Last Trumpet Ministries International
PO Box 806
Beaver Dam, WI 53916