Was the Sabbath given as a sign for the Jews, or should it be observed today, as a day of worship by Christians?
Michael Pearl: Alright, I am Mike Pearl. No concertina music today. We are here to answer your Bible questions, and I have not seen any of these questions beforehand. It’s just because if I did, I’d spend a lot of time preparing for it and I don’t have that much time. I have got a bunch of grandkids out there that demand my time. So, I just walk in here cold turkey. He hits me with your questions, and I try to come up with an answer. So, Jared, what’s the first question?
Jared: Was the Sabbath given as a signs for Jews or should it observed today as a day of worship by Christians?
Michael: Alright, there are clearly several times in the Old Testament... Let me see, I think I made some notes in the back of my Bible one time on that issue. If I can locate them… Yes, here they are. Alright, Exodus 31:12, and let me read that to you. Exodus — my old Bible is falling apart, and I have to hold on to it — 31:12. My fingers are too dry. That’s what happens when you get old, everything starts drying up. Here it is, beginning in verse 12.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths,” not just one Sabbath, but multiple Sabbaths, “ye shall keep for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbaths” — plural — “therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death.” He goes on and talks about what they shouldn’t do on a Sabbath.
You see, they had a Sabbath of days, they had Sabbath of months, they had Sabbath of years. Then there are other Sabbaths during the course of the year like the feast days, seven days of feasting, and then they had Sabbaths of Sabbaths, like every 49 years. And then there were Sabbaths of Sabbaths of Sabbaths, that was four 70‑year periods which came out to 490, and Israel’s history can be divided in to four periods of 490 years. You see that in Larkin’s Dispensational Truth.
So, the other day someone said to me, “Are you a Sabbath keeper or Sunday keeper?” I said, “I am a Monday keeper and a Tuesday keeper, and a Wednesday keeper, and a Thursday keeper, and a Friday and a Saturday, and a Sunday keeper. I observe the Lord Jesus Christ every day and worship Him without pause throughout the whole week. All days are holy unto me.”
They said, “But do you set aside the Sabbath as unique, as special?” Jesus is my Sabbath. He is the Lord of the Sabbath. And so, no, I don’t hold Saturday or Sunday as a day above any other day of the week. All days are equal.
Now even though I was born with Jewish blood, I am now in Christ, and being in Christ, I am no longer under the bondage of that Mosaic Law. If I were, and I said to this person, “Do you keep Sabbath?” “Yes.” I said then, “I thought you went to church on the Sabbath.” He said, “Well, we do.” I said, “Well, don’t you get in to your car and travel four or five miles?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Well, according to the Bible if you keep Sabbath, you are not to go out of your place.” I said, “Don’t you guys get together and have dinner and play ball, and games on stuff, on Sunday afternoon?” He said, “Yeah, we get all the kids together.” I said, “Well, the Bible says you are only to think holy thoughts. You are not to think your own thoughts. You are not even to speak your own words.” You can’t talk about work, you can’t talk about politics, you can’t about playing ball, you can’t talk about family matters; all you can do is read the Word of God, pray and meditate.
The Jews determined you couldn’t travel any more than about a half mile. And so, if the synagogue was further than half mile away, it was not legal to walk to it. They are not allowed to build a fire on the Sabbath. You can’t light your stove. You can’t carry a pot and a pan. You can’t cook your meals. You cook them the day before.
See, I don’t know of anybody on the face of the earth, except a few orthodox Jews in Israel, that actually keep a biblical Sabbath. Just to set aside one day so you will be unique among Christians and then brag about your allegiance to the Sabbath and then totally ignore what God says you are supposed to do to keep it is a bit silly.
So, if you want to keep Sabbath, do it God’s way. But then if you do, you are falling from grace, because you are coming back under the Law of Moses, you are coming back under that which the Bible said, brought death. The letter of the law killeth, the spirit giveth life.
So, no, I am not a Sabbath keeper, and never have been, and never will be.
Now, let’s see some more of those verses of Scripture. Hebrews 3:18 is interesting in this regard.
So, let me say it the way I like to say things. If you are a Sabbath keeper, you are sinning. It is a sin to keep the Sabbath. It is a sin because you are falling from grace. You are ignoring the provision of God in Christ.
Let me see if I can find Hebrews. I can’t talk and quote my books of the Bible at the same time. Okay, Hebrews 3:18, beginning in verse 18. “And to whom swear he that they should not enter into His rest but to them that believe not. For we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” So the Sabbath that he promised them was the Sabbath of Christ, a rest in Christ, which they couldn’t enter into because of unbelief.
Now, in Romans 14:15, it’s interesting... Let me turn to that. Romans 14, verse 15. He said, “But my brethren be grieved with thy meat” — that doesn’t make sense. Let me check my verse again. Romans 14:5, okay. Here it is. He says, “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. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; but he that eateth not, eateth not to the Lord, and giveth God thanks. None of us lives to himself, no man dies unto himself.”
He said, “Know ye not, we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We’ll receive the things done in the body,” and so forth. The whole context of this is that some people are weak in the faith. He said, verse one, “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye. One man believeth he may eat all things, another believeth he may eat herbs, one man holds one day above another,” and so forth.
So, he says there are some people who are weak, weak in faith. And because of that, they feel like they can’t eat meat or they feel like they should keep a Sabbath day and they’re not at liberty to love the Lord equally on all days. And so, he said, let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He said, don’t judge another man in regard to that, don’t come down on his case because it’s to the Lord he does it. If he’s making a mistake in that regard, if he has a weak conscience, let him be, because he’s going to stand in the judgment seat of Christ and receive the things done in his body.
So, if there were such a thing as Sabbath keeping, this would have been a good place to say it, in discussion of holding one day above another. In other words, if it were mandatory upon Christians or expected of them to observe one day above another, Paul would have clearly said so. But what he did, he left it open, and said, “Whatever your view is, is okay.” But just know that sometimes views come out of weak consciences. In other words, a failure to clearly understand all that God says.
Then in Colossians 2:16 is another verse that we might turn to. He says, “Let no man...principalities and powers...” — let me get the context here. Okay. “Let no man judge you therefore in meat, or drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of a new moon, or Sabbath days which are shadows” — all these holy days, new moons, etc. — “are shadows of things which are to come; but the body of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in voluntary humility,” and so forth. “...and not holding the head....wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the root, while living in the world are you subject to ordinances like touch not, taste not, food, diet which things are to perish with the using.” So he indicates that being in Christ we’re no longer under the touch not, taste not, handle not ordinances.
Then Galatians 4:10. This is a good one. He says, “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” Now that’s the church in Galatia. So they observed the days, the holy days, they observed the months, and they observed the times and the years. Times were Jewish 360-day periods of time.
“I am afraid of you,” he says, “lest I bestowed upon you labor in vain.” It troubled Paul that the church in Galatia was observing holy days, Jewish holy days. He said it’s an indication that maybe he failed in communicating the grace of God to them. Paul felt like if they truly understood the grace of God, they wouldn’t be embroiled in this Jewish legalism.
He said, “Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are...” and so forth, and he goes on in there. He begs them to be like he is in regard to the observance of these days.
Alright, let’s see what else we got here. Well, I think we’ve gone far enough for our time’s sake. But you can look in Genesis 2:1, 3; Exodus 20:11, 31:17; Hebrews 4:3‑10; Romans 1:8; Mark 1:5; Ephesians 6:21; Matthew 13:32; John 15:15… it looks like that’s what it is… and John 16:12, are some of the verses I’ve got listed on that subject.
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