What About Keeping the Sabbath?

Some today, such as the Seventh-day Adventists, teach that we should still keep the Sabbath (Saturday) as the special day of worship. They disregard all the evidence from the New Testament that Christians are commanded to worship on the first day of the week.

The Seventh-day Adventists, and others who worship on Saturday, do not understand that the Sabbath was given by God only to the nation of Israel! God never intended for Christians to keep it. The Sabbath was a sign between God and Israel: “And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily ye shall keep my sabbaths: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Jehovah who sanctifieth you.” (Exodus 31:12-13).

The Sabbath was first given to Israel at Mt. Sinai. It was the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). When Israel camped at Mt. Sinai, God began sending manna. He told them to gather twice as much on the sixth day because none would fall on the seventh day. This command was given because He knew He was going to give the Sabbath law (Exodus 16:1-31). Hundreds of years later, Nehemiah clearly pointed out that the Sabbath was made known at Mt. Sinai: “Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, and madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them commandments, and statutes, and a law, by Moses thy servant” (Nehemiah 9:13-14).

Sometimes Seventh-day Adventists argue that God gave the Sabbath law at creation. Genesis 2:3 says: “And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.” There is no question that God rested from creating on the seventh day. Neither is there any doubt that He also sanctified (set apart) the seventh day. The question is: when did God sanctify the seventh day? If He sanctified the seventh day immediately upon completing the creation, we would expect to find His servants observing it. Such cannot be found! Neither Adam, nor Noah, nor Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or any other servant of God is ever found keeping the seventh day until Israel came to Sinai! Remember, the Sabbath was a sign between God and Israel! It was not a sign between God and the Patriarchs! It was not a sign between God and the Gentiles! It was not a sign between God and Christians! The Sabbath was a sign between God and Israel (Exodus 31:13)!

When did God set apart the seventh day? He set it apart at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20:8-11). Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament. When he wrote Genesis many, many years after the creation, he simply explained the reason why God had chosen the seventh day to be the Sabbath. It was because He had rested from His creation on that day!