Fourth Commandment - Remember to Keep Sabbath Holy

The Fourth commandment is to remember to keep the sabbath day holy. It is one of the ten commandments of God. Do we keep it holy? Do we let others rest on this day as God commanded?

Gen 2:2 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.

For the premise of the sabbath day, we are referred to Genesis 2:3 where God rested after six days labor in creating heaven and earth.

After working 6 days, and resting the seventh, God made the seventh day holy. The day has always been holy since. There is no instance in the Bible that God ever made the seventh day unholy.

Another Reference to Sabbath

After 400 and some odd years in Egypt, God heard the cry of the Hebrews under their taskmasters. They were in the house of bondage, in the land of Egypt. God saw their labor and bondage. Exodus 2:23 says their lives were made bitter with hard bondage in mortar and brick. God ("Eloheem" in Hebrew) commanded them to slay a lamb on the 14th day of the first month of the year. Then he slew all the Egyptians firstborn, who didn't have the blood of the lamb on their lintel/ door frame of their house. The Egyptians mourned the death of their firstborn and desired their slaves (the Hebrews/children of Jacob) to leave, which they did. This is the celebration of passover and unleavened bread as the Hebrews left in haste and didn't have time to let their dough rise.

John the Baptist refers to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus Christ is our redeemer and Saviour from our bondage and slavery to sin.

After the miraculous delivery of the Hebrews, God brought them through the Red Sea (type of baptism) and fed them with manna.

God reminded the Hebrews who he had delivered and redeemed from the bondage of Egypt, to work 6 days in gathering and cooking the manna, but to rest on the 7th day. Exodus 15 gives the details. They received instructions on the 15th day of the second month, just one moon/month after they left Egypt. God told them to gather the manna 6 days (16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21) and to rest the seventh day (this would be the 22nd day of the month). Yes, they were to rest. What a rest! Can you imagine after all those years in bondage with harsh taskmasters gathering straw and clay to make brick?...Now to have the seventh day to rest? Certainly God was not a hard taskmaster like the Egyptians. They had rest.

The Giving of the Commandment to Remember

In Exodus 20, the commandment was issued from God himself, written with his own finger onto stone! Reminding everyone to remember to keep the sabbath holy. The commandment wasn't just about physically resting on the sabbath, but keeping the day holy. This commandment is the longest and most detailed of all the commandments.

Joh 8:34  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

We can celebrate our deliverance from bondage, the rest we have in Christ, each sabbath as we worship Jesus Christ our Saviour who redeemed us from bondage and sin. This holy day is a day to celebrate our deliverance from sin, and the Lamb of God who freed us from bondage.

Exodus 20:8

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, 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.

Rest for Everyone - A Holy Day

Here God instructs us not to do work - we rest instead. And also rest for our sons, daughters, man servants or maid servants. The strangers are to rest. Everyone is to rest. On the same day. It's rest for everyone. A great rest because of a great deliverance from sin because of our powerful Almighty God who redeemed us from bondage.

Some people claim you can rest any day you choose. But if you reject God's day of rest and choose your own, then people are going to be working on the six work days while you rest. And then you will be working on the day that they rest. What fellowship is there in that? Also, if you claim Wednesday as your day of rest, or the 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th of the month, then do they think that everyone is living in sin by not keeping your sabbath day? And who can make a day they choose holy? It is God that makes holy, God that justifies or condemns. It is the LORD's day.

Which Day is the Sabbath?

No mention in the Bible is ever made as to the days of the week. For example, you will not find references to Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Have you noticed that it doesn't give a day of the week in the commandment? From what I read in the Bible, the sabbaths are by the days of the month.

Some people say sabbath is Saturday. Some say Sunday. But Bible doesn't give a day of the week, because there is no evidence that sabbath is by day of week, but by day of the month instead. All the feasts with holy days are also by month and day of the month.

Months start with the new moon. Not the conjunction (moon blacked out), but the new moon, when you see the first sliver at night before the moon crosses over the horizon and follows the sun.

The new moon was a day of worship. After new moon worship day, then you worked. You didn't work on new moon or sabbaths. Sabbaths were evidently after 6 days of work. You worshiped on new moon days and , sabbaths and holy feast days (days of no servile work). For details and scripture regarding days of the week, see Gods Calendar.

Psalms 81:3  Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

The sabbath is the day God chose to rest. The sabbath is the day after his 6 days labor. The days of worshiping the LORD include new moon, sabbaths and feast days.

Scriptures referring to new moon and sabbaths and feast days include:

2 Kings 4:23  And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.
Isaiah 66:23  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
Ezekiel 46:1  Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
Amos 8:5  Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

Some people wanted the new moon day to be gone so they could resume swindling people. God doesn't indicate that we can worship him on new moon and sabbaths and use deceit on other days of the month.

Whose Day is the 7th Day?

It is the LORD's day. The sabbath was not created with the ten commandments. The fourth commandment was a reminder. The sabbath was started (as referred to in the fourth commandment) on the 7th day of creation, "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day"

Who was the Sabbath Made for? Who was to Keep It?

The sabbath was after six days of work in described in Genesis 1-2.

Abraham was not born yet at this time. Abraham was born about 1950 years after creation. Nor was Isaac his son born, nor Jacob... nor Moses who we don't read about until the last chapters of Genesis.

The fourth commandment, the reminder, wasn't given until 2670 days after creation. This reminds me of a husband-wife joke: "Honey, you don't have to remind me more than every 6 months to fix the faucet." The reminder to keep the sabbath holy was 2670 years after God made the day holy as recorded in Gen 2:3

Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Jesus Christ told us that the sabbath was made for man.

Bible Names For the Sabbath

  • Ex 20:10 the sabbath of the LORD thy God
  • Ex 31:15 the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD
  • Ex 35:2 an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD
  • Lev 23:3 the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation
  • Lev 23:3 the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings
  • Rev 1:10 The Lord's day

Did People Keep the Sabbath before the Ten Commandments were given?

Yes. It was given on the 7th day of creation. There were plenty of sabbaths over hundreds of years that occurred before the children of Israel left Egypt.

The Bible says about Abraham:

Genesis 26:5  Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

It wasn't until Exodus 20 that the ten commandments from God were written in stone by the finger of God and then given to Moses. The following verses are in Exodus 16 (before the ten commandments) and they were keeping the sabbath then like God instituted in Genesis 2.

Exodus 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
Exodus 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
Exodus 16:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Exodus 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, 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.

Does God care if we keep the sabbath?

It was a commandment. The Jesus Christ said:

Joh_8:34  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Are we a servant of sin? What is sin? The John tells us in his first general letter to the church:

1 John 3:4  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The Perpetual Covenant

Exo 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my 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 sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God

The sabbath is a perpetual covenant. What does perpetual mean? Exo 31:17 is clear that perpetual means "for ever".

Deu 5:12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, 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, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

How Long were God's People to Remember the Sabbath?

Exo 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
Lev 24:8 Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.

What is it called when you keep the sabbath day?

When you keep remember to keep the sabbath day holy, it is called observing, sanctifying or hallowing the sabbath .

Jer 17:22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

Because Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, Do We Need to Keep It?

God is the God of love. Does this mean we should love each other? The seventh day is God's day. Should we keep God's day holy? or should we defile, profane and pollute his sabbath?

Did Jesus' Disciples keep the Sabbath?

Luk 23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

Yes, the disciples observed the sabbath as God gave it to mankind in Genesis 2 on the seventh day of creation.

Why were the disciples assembled on Sunday in Jerusalem during Pentecost instead of the Sabbath?

Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem.

Luk 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Pentecost was the firstfruit offering (Jesus was first fruit of resurrection)

Lev 23:9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

The disciples observed seven sabbaths as the Bible commands in order to observe Pentecost, one of our Lord's feasts.

You can read the blessing after the disciples kept God's commandments, observed the sabbaths of our Lord and were present at Pentecost in Jerusalem:

Pentecost and the Comforter was fulfillment of John's prophesy

Joh 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
Luk 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

Our heavenly father said to us through his son (Jesus spoke what the father commanded him):

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

References to Future Sabbaths

Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

It is clear to see from this prophecy of Jesus Christ that mankind was to keep on observing and remembering the sabbath day as is shown here in Math 24 as quoted above and Matthew 13 below.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be...

Was the Sabbath Day Ever Done Away With?

There are no scriptures saying that the Sabbath day was made unholy or done away with. If so, the Bible would conflict, because the sabbath is a perpetual (never ending) covenant.

Many people claiming to be followers of God have said that people don't need to observe the sabbath day.

Some say they can choose which day the sabbath is. Some preachers claim sabbath is Sunday and want their members to observe Sunday as sabbath. Some preachers say sabbath is the 7th day of the week (not the 7th day, but the 7th day of the week), on Saturday. But what does the Bible say? Who are we following? A preacher and his ideas? Or God and his commandments?

What does God say? If a person could choose whichever day they wanted for sabbath, do they think they can change God? Do we tell God what to do?

Matthew 15:9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

These non-Biblical ideas (no sabbath, or choose your sabbath day) have complications: If Frank chose Monday for sabbath, then wouldn't Suzy be in sin (transgression of law) for not keeping Monday holy? What if Jerry who chose Saturday as his holy day? Whose sabbath is it anyway? Is it the Lord's day or ours? Who made the day Holy? I know that I cannot make a day holy. It would be presumptuous, proud, arrogant of me to choose a day that is not God's day and then claim everyone else is living in sin because they didn't observe the day that I chose.

The Reward of Keeping the Sabbath Holy

Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Today I am thinking of all the blessings that God has given to me, the bondage of sin that he has delivered me from. The sabbath is a great time to think of how much God loves us and has done for us. It's a time to sing praise to his name and celebrate in honor of him.

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