The seventh-day Sabbath instituted at creation
Sabbath observance and sanctity was instituted at the very beginning of time at creation. “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, 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).
Is the seventh-day Sabbath a Jewish institution?
The weekly seventh-day Sabbath has frequently been considered a Jewish institution but the Bible declares that it was instituted more than two thousand years before any Jew was born. Let’s review the following points:
- Adam and Eve were not Jewish and they were the only ones in the Garden of Eden when “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it” (Genesis 2:3) before sin entered.
- “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27) in the Garden of Eden before it was “written” down on Mount Sinai.
- The other nine commandments are not “just for Jews.” God wrote the “Ten Commandments” on stone, not just nine (Deuteronomy 4:12, 13; Exodus 20).
- “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God” (Exodus 20:10). God calls the Sabbath, “my holy day” (Isaiah 58:13).
- The Sabbath commandment is for the “stranger” too. “Strangers” are non-Jews or Gentiles (Isaiah 56:6). The fourth commandment itself says the “stranger” is to rest on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10).
- Isaiah said Gentiles should keep the Sabbath (Isaiah 56:6, 7).
- “All” mankind will keep the Sabbath in the New Earth (Isaiah 66:22, 23).
- Gentiles kept the Sabbath in the Book of Acts (Acts 13:42-44 also Acts 16:13).
- “The law” [of Ten Commandments] is for “all the world,” not just for Jews (Romans 2:17-23; 3:19, 23).
- Jesus said, “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” (Matthew 12:8). Therefore, the Sabbath is for all that worship the Lord (Jews and Gentiles).
Should Christians today keep the seventh-day Sabbath?
God doesn’t change from generation to generation (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; Numbers 23:19). For the law is a reflection of God’s own character and will (1 John 4:8; 5:3). Jesus affirmed, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17, 18). By fulfilling the law, the Son of God “filled” it “full” of meaning—by offering people an example of full obedience to God’s law, in order that the same law “might be fulfilled in us” (Romans 8:3, 4).
And Isaiah 66:22-23 says, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.”
The Bible declares that Sabbath observance will never end. It started at creation and will continue throughout eternity for it is a memorial of God’s creative acts. “hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God” (Ezekiel 20:20).
The prophecies of Revelation 12–14 make it clear that the Sabbath will be the point controverted in the days prior to the coming of Christ. God’s children will be identified by their observance of the commandments of God (Revelation 12:17; 14:12), including the Sabbath command. Believers will be called upon to choose between the Sabbath of the Lord and the substitute sabbath, or first day of the week. The keeping of the Sabbath will thus again become a test and constitute a sign (or a seal, Revelation 7) of true worshipers.
In His service,