The 7th-Day Sabbath Marked Off in Time at Creation

by | Posted May 29th at 5:52am

The following is taken from a theological study I concluded in 2013 primarily using scripture but never published. After reading it over with deep conviction, I decided to edit and present it here in Grace Proclaimed. God led my wife to my old articles as she cleaned our office cabinets and plopped them on my desk for perusal.

While contemplating Genesis 1, we encounter references to God’s method of marking time in the context of the sixth literal day of the creation period and the literal 7th-day Sabbath rest.

The first chapter of Genesis immediately engages our minds to perceive that the prophet Moses was given the account of creation: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and “the Spirit of God was hovering over” the process of this Creation. (see Genesis 1:1-2 NIV)

Please note that the same Spirit who informed Moses achieved the Creation “In the Beginning” and reported that process to be recorded prophetically for the human race. The same Spirit who informed Moses of Creation, peripheral and after the time when God, who referred to Himself as “I am” and further “Yahweh,” called him to deliver His Israelite people from Egyptian slavery (when Moses was attracted to the burning bush), also presented during the span of his prophetic writings, both the record of the 7th-day Sabbath being blessed at Creation and command to remember the same 7th-day Sabbath as a holy and blessed day of worship when the Decalogue was later presented at Sinai. It is noteworthy that Moses presented the same Sabbath in the time-context of his major prophetic writings from when he lived with his father-in-law Jethro, on or before age 80, to his death at age 120.

It is also essential to understand that salvation for the entire world—not just the Jews—was also established at Creation, which Jesus makes very clear: Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. (Matthew 25:34 NIV)

Jesus Christ’s Sovereignty Over Creating the Sabbath

Jesus Christ, as our Creator, also established the 7th-day Sabbath at Creation. He said: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27 ESV) Since Jesus instituted the potentiation of redemption at Creation for all mankind, it is only logical to take the same view about His instituting the 7th-day Sabbath for all mankind even though Moses was only speaking in the wilderness of Sinai to the Israelites when he said: Yahweh has given you the Sabbath. (Exodus 16:29 ESV/Hebrew re Yahweh)

The Sabbath was instituted at creation time, much like marriage. It was written in the commandments as a forever reminder of creation and furthermore was reinforced by Jesus as a day for healing and doing good deeds. I think the 7th-day Sabbath is a vital part of salvation and that’s why Satan fights so hard to get Christian’s not to keep it properly.

The 7th-day Sabbath was instituted at creation time, much like marriage. It was written in the commandments as a forever reminder of creation and furthermore was reinforced by Jesus. I think the sabbath is a vital part of salvation and that’s why Satan fights so hard to get Christian’s not to keep it property.

Jesus Christ, as Creator, uniquely instituted and governs the method of marking time. The Sovereign Authority of Jesus Christ is noted in Colossians 1. We are told that our Lord Jesus created the world with the Father as the primary architect of His Creation. He who the Apostle Paul notes, as currently “head of the body, the church” (verse 18), in the beginning of time’s continuum with mankind, is depicted by the Spirit through the prophet Moses, as our Creator, later articulated by Paul: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together… and he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:15-18 NIV)

In Colossians, the Apostle Paul taught that the inexorable authority of Jesus Christ is notably manifest in Genesis as the One spoken of as the Creator: “in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Hence the first marking off of time in the Creation week was allocated by Jesus Christ as Creator; and as His Sovereignty continues, in His headship of the church in verse 18: he is the head of the body, the church.

The Deity of Christ at His first advent is confirmed by the Apostle John who declared His authority as Creator, which goes back to the Creation week: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. (John 1:1-4 NASV)

Jesus Christ, our Creator, through His Spirit, revealed via Moses, denoted His literal marking of time as follows: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day”. (Genesis 1:1-5 NIV in context)

The first thing achieved during Creation was to create the “Day” marked off by “Time”. By so doing, the rest of the Creation week is mathematically separated, marked, and divided into six distinct units for our understanding. The first day-unit of the Creation week had two sectors—which God made very clear as he informed us: “there was evening and there was morning, one day” of which: “God called the light day, and the darkness He called night”. (Genesis 1:5 NASV)

Using the light of day, and the darkness of night, God separated components of time into 24 hour days (current time as expressed in hours) on the very “first day”. This division of time was also designed to mark off all time, using both the light of the sun (and the moon) as the measure of an increment of time: And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. (Genesis 1: 14-16 NIV)

Please note that our Lord’s Spirit taught us in the first chapter of Genesis a very important time-marking principle that He repeated 6 times over during creation:

“God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (verse 5)

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day”. (verse 8)

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day”. (verse 13)

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day”. (verse 19)

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day”. (verse 23)

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day”. (verse 31)

This same time division applied to the 7th-day Sabbath at Creation

Using the same division of time—the daylight of the sun (and the moon) as day markers—we see the seventh day come into perspective as God’s Spirit revealed this to the prophet Moses, in the context of having just completed the six literal-day summary of Creation: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens”. (Genesis 2:1-4 NIV)

We note clearly that the account is reckoned as completed in the counted off, six literal days using the day marker of the sun (and moon): “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:1-2 NASV)

The Sabbath is also reckoned by the Spirit as one day after and conclusive to these marked-off six literal days: “By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:2 NASV)

The Sacred Peculiarity of the 7th-Day Sabbath

It is noted that God “rested” or ceased His creative activity, regarding His Magna Opus—His work of creating the entire panorama of the heavens and earth and all the species, including man: “…and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:2-3 NASV)

The principal teaching of the Spirit regarding the Sabbath is not that God stopped creating. We are told in Colossians that one of the glorious features of Christ’s supremacy over all Creation is that He also sustains His own Creation, which means He continues to create and maintain life on earth, through seeds creating their own kind as plants flourish; and the multiplication of the human species through regeneration: “all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17 NASV)

Though He ceased creating the plethora of creation, His omnipotent powers and omniscient mind continue to oversee and sustain all things established by Him.

Having noted the cessation from the primary magnificence of creation, we are told by the Spirit that, it was only then—in the context of coming after six literal days of creating, that: “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it” (Genesis 2:3 NASV)

In the New Testament Jesus pointed out two things: 1) that the Sabbath was made and presented for man, and 2) that Jesus, as Creator, is Lord of the 7th-day Sabbath: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2: 27-28 NIV)

Thus, we see that the 7th literal day, marked off by the sun (and the moon) via evening and morning, was created by the eternal Spirit of Jesus Christ for man. It was not created particularly for His own use, to rest retrospectively pleased (as a lawyer contemplates winning a case) after His Creation works, as others erroneously teach.

I want to point out that all mankind, from the beginning of Adam and unto his progeny, had the Sabbath marked off. The unbiblical idea is that the all-knowing, omnipotent God needed to rest alone during the first 7th-day Sabbath to contemplate Creation’s achievement privately. That argument used to discount God’s specific method of denoting time disagrees with scripture. Jesus told us it was created and marked off for man, not for God’s private rest.

And for man, it is also noted by the Spirit as a period assigned with two things: 1) a blessing and 2) setting a period of time apart as sacred: “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it” (Genesis 2:3 NASV)

Sacred time is marked off as a blessed period of a 7th-day week-day, not alone for God to review His achievements: “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.” (Genesis 2:14-15 NIV) 

The Continuum of Time-Marking is given to Israel

The 7th-day Sabbath was marked off after man was formed on the sixth day before the fall of man: “the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 NIV)

Man’s body and mind are created as the temple of the Spirit which is taught in the New Testament: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (I Corinthians 6:19 NIV) Man’s entire body and mind from Creation is designed as the temple of the Holy Spirit. On the 7th-day Sabbath — insofar as it was allocated as blessed and marked off as a literal day-unit of time in Creation week — man is designed, enabled and responsibly capable as a created being (man was given the powers of dominion over all Creation), to engage in a sacred sanctification of time in which He can glorify His Creator, in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God in mind and body. Here is where time was given to mankind to worship their Creator.

Further, the 7th-day time, marked off as a literal sacred day of holiness, with man at Creation, unified with the Spirit, is marked off again, much later, to the Israelites after Moses brought them out of Egypt: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:11 NASV) Moses linked the law of God given to Israel right back to the time-marked period of Creation week (co-created by Christ within the Trinity): “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.”

Moses (a prophet of God) viewed the Israelites as one of the races of mankind in a continuum from the Creation of man, which he outlined in Genesis. Moreover, he viewed the Israelites as a race fathered by Abraham, selected by God to bear His name. The Israelites were also set apart as holy (Jesus, as the “I am,” spoke to Moses from the burning bush in Sinai, commanding him to lead His [Israelite] children out of Egyptian slavery). Set in the Decalogue, the Sabbath is seen as a determining feature of time-marking when Moses gave the Decalogue, which stated: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days, you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy”. (Exodus 20:8-11 NASV)

Bear in mind that the Israelites were in Egypt for 400 years and had become slaves to the Egyptians. They would have lost sight of the Sabbath due to cultural differences or being tyrannically engaged in forced labour.  They were a people who were to have the Spirit of God present among them in His Mosaic Temple — as Israel began their Exodus in Sinai, out of Egypt — which temple was established through Moses, then only symbolic of the temple of the Spirit-led minds of men and women dedicated to Christ, which is now the true temple of the kingdom of God’s people – the church.

Even before the giving of the Decalogue—10 Commandment Law, when Moses was teaching how to gather the manna: “He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” (Exodus 16:23 NIV)

Though we will not develop this line of reasoning here, it is noteworthy for Bible students to understand that God commanded Moses to re-institute not only the 7th-day Sabbath — but also circumcision and the sacrificial services. Of these laws, only the 7th-day Sabbath was given at Creation.

The Sabbath was inset among the eternal moral laws of God, which are supported by love to God first and love to mankind second.

The 7th-day Sabbath was not just for Israel.

The followers of Christ are depicted as spiritual Israelites. In the New Testament, Jesus depicts the Christian as a spiritual extension or anti-typical version of an Israelite in relation to a spiritual new Jerusalem, the place of His church’s temple: “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name”. (Revelation 3:12 NIV)

The Apostle Paul similarly notes the Christian as a spiritual Israelite by connecting him to Abraham: “Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:7 NIV)

The bottom line is that only those filled with the Holy Spirit are enabled, whether at creation in Adam; or when Christ walked upon the earth and taught Nicodemus that His Spirit must abide in him in order to enter heaven; or at the time of the Apostles, when the Spirit abiding in Paul, clarified and forged the Gospel message; or at the Exodus when the Spirit prophesied via Moses; or prior to the last day, when the Spirit now abides in men and women in union with Christ — only these people are true sons of God: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”. (Romans 8:14 NASV)

Paul makes it clear that it is only on our basis of faith in Christ, whether Israelite (referenced by the cultivated olive tree) or non-Israelite, that we are included in His salvation: “And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?” (Romans 11:22-24 NASV)

The covenants between God and the first Jews (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s progeny); and today’s Christians are similar as regards the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by faith. They are dissimilar by virtue of Christ’s expansion of the Gospel outside of the Israelite race who rejected Him and the prophetic directives of the Holy Spirit concerning the Messiah, even though the sacrificial typology of the slaying of the Lamb of God once bound them. Scripture makes it clear that the sacrificial types of Christ have become defunct in the anti-typical fulfillment of His final atonement on the Cross.

The Apostle Paul acknowledges circumcision to mean purification from sin: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him, you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ…through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead”. (Colossians 2:9-12 NIV)

There has been no disjoining of the Spirit-led creation of the time-marked literal 7th-day Sabbath from the spiritual Israelites by direct command of the Lord in scripture regarding a specific day made to be a holy time of worship.

The literal Sabbath is used as an analogy for being born of the Spirit.

We must carefully note that in Hebrews chapter 4, we can see that the spiritual rest of abiding in Christ is symbolized by remaining in the sacredness of the Spirit abiding within us, as a symbol of the blessed time of ongoing redemption: “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9 NASV)

The development of the passage in Hebrews 4 makes it clear that the Sabbath is an analogy of entering this time, when historically the Hebrews were being called by their Messiah and His Apostles to enter into faith in Christ: “Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest” (Hebrews 4: 1-3 NASV)

It is an oversimplification to place the Sabbath as only a symbol of Christ’s rest of faith. Instead, the Sabbath was used as an analogy in a positive sense of entering a blessed rest and abiding in the Spirit as commanded by God. The Sabbath analogy of a rest commanded by God was perfectly suited to teach the Hebrews the importance of entering into the relationship of rest in the Messiah’s kingdom. Consider that if the writer to the Hebrews was teaching them to replace their Sabbath period of worshipping God, prior to even entering a relationship with Christ, it would have been entirely rejected, because the institution of the 7th-day Sabbath was universal among Jews as a loving family time that the godly among them cherished. A rejection of the 7th-day Sabbath would not be a friendly way to woo the Hebrew mind to accept Christ by faith.

Conversely, in the same context and in a negative sense, a reverse analogy is used since Joshua’s entrance into Canaan can be depicted as not achieving true spiritual rest: “For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.” (Hebrews 4:8 NASV) In the same analogous context, the Sabbath presents the positive symbol of sanctified rest in Christ by faith. The Sabbath is used not to denounce the time-marked day of the Sabbath when all Jews worshiped (as did Jesus). Rather, it is used to present the importance of similarly entering the relationship to Christ by faith as a command of God. There are no allusions to cancelling the 7th day as the Sabbath, as it is a period set aside as holy in Creation and re-established by Moses during the Exodus.

Yet we must confirm that Jesus Christ made it clear that spiritual rest must first be acknowledged as a gift that only He can provide for the soul, which is to be enjoyed daily: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:20 NIV) and: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

Weak arguments used to discount the 7th-Day Sabbath

The Sabbath was only for the Jews’ argument. Some go so far as to conclude that Christ is our Sabbath based on Hebrews 4. They concomitantly tweak an analysis of Exodus 20 to ratify this view, seeking to hold that the Sabbath was only for the Israelites, being inset in a legal covenantal agreement while coming out of Egypt. That is dangerous semantic juggling, designed to discount the well-marked Creation Sabbath instituted by Jesus Christ as Creator with Yahweh and who Himself confirmed His Lordship over that day: “So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:28 NIV)

The Resurrection was on the 1st day of the week argument. Scriptures also do not support a transference theology that the Sabbath of Creation was transferred to the 1st day of the week, based on the day of the occurrence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ or that a meeting was recorded on the 1st day of the week to see Paul off on his journey.

The Roman Catholic Church changed the day to Sunday argument. Neither does scripture support Constantine’s political shifting of the 7th-day Sabbath, who historically selected Sunday as the day of worship for the newly forming Roman Catholic Church. From this day forward, an analysis of the Christian creeds has been skewed by both transference theology and such political influence on theology. Yet here in the Westminster Larger catechism we read a mention of the 7th-day Sabbath section 7.130:

Question 20. What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?

Answer. The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth; putting the creatures under his dominion, and ordaining marriage for his help; affording him communion with himself; instituting the Sabbath; entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience, of which the tree of life was a pledge; and forbidding to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.

“Any day is okay” for Sabbath worship argument. Nor does the following argument of Paul, designed to stop the legalistic Jew from pushing Christians back into the old ways of keeping all the old feast days, such as the annual Passover, which was kept historically as part of the Mosaic sacrificial calendar as a day typifying the final slaying of the Lamb of God (as John the Baptist referred to Him). Conclusively, Jesus Christ fulfilled this shadow/symbol of slaying animals in the Jewish system when He was crucified on the Cross (as He died as our substitutionary ransom for the penalty reckoned for sin).

Paul taught not to judge anyone weak in the Christian faith despite these differences of opinion in the early church, which were bound to emerge: “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions…One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord” (Romans 14: 1, 5-6 NASV) The word “alike” is in italics in the NASV because it is not there. It reads “another esteems every day” (New Greek English Interlinear New Testament). Thus some regarded “every day” including the Jewish feast days, as do the Messianic Jews today.

Paul did not mean that every day “alike” is relevant for worship, such as Monday or Tuesday or Sunday, etc. He was teaching maximal forbearance toward one another’s beliefs at a critical time in history when God fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies pointing to the Jewish Messiah.

Jesus taught that all these old prophecies spoke of his sacrifice of Atonement for his beloved who would accept God’s method of redemption—prophecies such as: “He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all”. (Isaiah 52:3-6 NLT) 

The Repetitious Erroneous Logic of the Un-Reformed Creeds of Christendom

Before and after the Reformation, a study of the significant Creeds of Christendom has repeatedly missed or side-stepped the truth of the 7th-day Sabbath while transcribing the same erroneous weak argumentation to the degree it sounds identically stated. Among reformers, from Luther on down the line, there never was a proper Sabbath reformation outlined in the major Creeds such as the Westminster Confession of Faith. The primary unbiblical argument used among the older Creeds is: “The Resurrection was on the 1st day of the week argument,” which can be traced back to the early Roman Catholic Church.

The 7th-day Sabbath was never re-articulated Biblically during the great Reformation of the Christian church. However, it has been upheld by many over the years, such as the Messianic Jews, Anabaptists, 7th-day Adventists, and 7th-day Baptists, to name a few.

The Reformers Restating the Roman Catholic View

Comparing Luther’s Small Catechism reveals his view: “Q51. Which day is the day of rest among Christians? A51. Sunday, the first day of the week, on which Christ arose from the dead”.

Further in the Westminster Small Catechism influencing the English-speaking world, we see Luther echoed in his Small Catechism: “Q59: “Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath? A59: From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath”.

The Reformed Churches look to the Canons of Dort which state: “The worship of God in Christ’s church happens on the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week”.

Where do these views originate? From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read: “By a tradition handed down from the Apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ’s Resurrection, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord’s Day or Sunday.”

Viewpoints written by Sunday-keepers acknowledge the 7th-day Sabbath. 1

Many respected preachers, theologians, reformers, and expositors of scripture have noted the validity of the 7th-day Sabbath.

John Wesley On the perpetuity of the Sabbath command, Wesley declared, “’Six days shalt thou do all manner of work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.’ It is not thine, but God’s day.  He claims it for his own.  He always did claim it for his own, even from the beginning of the world.  ‘In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and rested the seventh day.  Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it.’ He hallowed it; that is, he made it holy; he reserved it for his own service.  He appointed that as long as the sun or the moon, the heavens and the earth, should endure, the children of men should spend this day in the worship of him who ‘gave them life and breath and all things.’ “—John Wesley, “A word to a Sabbath-Breaker,” in Works, Vol. 11 (1830 ed.), pp.-166.

J. Taylor Before the giving of the law from Sinai, the obligation of the Sabbath was understood.”—J.J. Taylor, (Baptist), The Sabbatic Question (Revell, 1914 ed.), pp, 20-24.

Dwight L. Moody [Regarding the perpetuity of the 7th-day Sabbath Commandment] I honestly believe that this commandment is just as binding to-day as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it.  When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place.  ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’  It is just as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was—in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age. The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember’, showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote this law on the tables of stone at Sinai.  How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?”—D. L. Moody, Weighted and Wanting (1898 ed.), pp. 46, 47.

John Peter Lange If we had no other passage than this of Genesis 2:3, there would be no difficulty in deducing from it a precept for the universal observance of a Sabbath, or seventh day, to be devoted to God as holy time, by all of that race for whom the earth and its nature were specially prepared. The first men must have known it.  The words ‘He hallowed it’ can have no meaning otherwise…unless in reference to some who were required to keep it holy.”—John Peter Lange, A commentary on the Holy Scripture, on Genesis 2:3, Vol 1 p. 197.

Martin Luther says, on Exodus 16:4 22-30: “Hence you can see that the Sabbath was before the law of Moses came, and has existed from the beginning of the world. Especially have the devout, who have preserved the true faith, met together and called upon God on this day.”—Translated from Auslegung des Alten Testaments (Commentary on the Old Testament), in Summtliche Schriften (Collected Writings), edited by J. G. Walch, Vol. 3 col. 950.

Amos Binney and Daniel Steele The Sabbath is indispensable to man, being promotive of his highest good, physically, intellectually, socially, spiritually, and eternally. Hence, its observance is connected with the best of promises and its violation with the severest penalties.  Xxiii, 12; xxi, 12-18; Neh xii, 15-22; Isa. Ivi, 2-7; lvii, 13-14; Jer xvii, 21-27; Ezek. Xx, 12, 13; xxii, 26-31.  Its sanctity was very distinctly marked in the gathering of the manna.  Exod. Xvi, 22-30.The original law of the Sabbath was renewed and made a prominent part of the moral law, or ten commandments, given through Moses at Sinai, Exod. Xx, 8-11.”—Amos Binney and Daniel Steele, Binney’s Theological Compendia Improved (1902ed), p. 170.

O. Carver As presented to us in the scripture the Sabbath was not the invention of any religious founder. It was not at first part of any system of religion, but an entirely independent institution.  Very definitely it is presented in Genesis as the very first institution, inaugurated by the Creator himself.  It was purely religious, wholly moral, wholly spiritual.  It had no prescribed ceremonies, no sacramentarian significance.  It required no priest, no liturgy.  It was for man as God’s creature, steward and friend.”—W. O. Carver, Sabbath Observance, p 41, Copyright, 1940, by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  (Used by permission)

1 Material excerpted from: Bible Readings for the Home


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