The Sabbath - Who is commanded to observe it?

This is the theological position posted on Facebook regarding the Sabbath.

(1) God says the Sabbath is the "sign" of who His people are. (Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20, 1 Peter 2:9-10, 1 Peter 1:15)


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(2) God told His prophets that His set times and seasons (Hebrew, moedim) would be changed, and this did indeed happen. However, the prophets also say He'll be changing them back soon.
(Daniel 7:24-27, Hosea 2:11, Revelation 13, Isaiah 66:19-24)


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(3) God says that learning His Laws on the Sabbath day is His method of church discipleship -- and I know a lot of my believing friends want to GROW. I can say from experience that this type of discipleship is better than any other I've tried.
(Acts 15:21, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 4:9)


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(4) God says He will judge those who don't keep Sabbath.
(Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28, Ezekiel 4, Ezekiel 20, Isaiah 58:13-14)

(5) Because I fear God, and because of #4 above, I love my family and friends, and I want to lovingly warn them. The definition of "love your neighbor as yourself" is to warn others if you see them being disobedient to God, so I would not be truly showing love if I didn't say something.
(Leviticus 19:17-18, Ezekiel 3:16-27)


Sabbath Counter arguement.


Statement 1

Here it says that the Sabbath is a sign of who His people are. The statement should say "who his people "Israel" are."

Look at the following quotes and determine subject, verb, object, and context of these quotes. The conclusion of the writer in the left column goes against the statements of Scripture. For example:

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.

1) The subject of this verse is specifically to an ethnic people who are literal children of Israel, the third patriarch (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob [whose name was later changed to Israel]).

2) The command was given specifically to "the children of Israel." This is obvious by the use of the pronouns - ye, you, and your. There were no other people in the day this was written to whom it could possibly refer.

3) ". . . it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations." Lays a very specific determination that such a sign is not to be broadly interpreted.

Ezekiel 20 - This is a whole chapter, so for realistic purposes, the refutation will require drawing out specific passages and phrases.

Eze 20:1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the LORD, and sat before me.

This verse narrows the context to 'elders of Israel". They are a clear cut, specific people and of the same people as mentioned in Exodus 31:13. There is nothing in this chapter which broadens out the promise or the command to include the gentile in any way.


1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

The context of this passage is set up in 1 Peter 1. It does not in anyway equate Israel and the Church as being the same. This idea is based upon how one enters into the position of bein included in some kind of promise.

This passage does not in any way mention or refer to the sabbath. I do not know why it was used.

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

This verse and context is totally disconnected from any discussion of the Sabbath. It does not mention that the Sabbath is the lead-in to obtaining holiness.


Statement 2

Daniel 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Dan 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Reply: This Quote in Daniel is totally unrelated to things today. It is a quote which speaks of the middle of the tribulation period as is seen in the use of "a time and times and the dividing of time" in verse 25. There is no direct reference to the Sabbath. The author must presume that this is related to verse 25 in regard to " to change times and laws:". But that is a stretch in making proof for a Sabbath discussion. Since this reference is all future, it is unrelated to the direct argument. (It will be noted that the author of this article does not believe in the tribulation as being future and seems to believe the tribulation is either past or currently happening.) Daniel 9:23-27 gives rather direct information about the prophetic time line. Verse 27 give the context reference for Daniel 7:24-27.


Hosea 2:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

Reply: This passage is in direct context of God's judgment of Israel in regard to their idolatry and the coming judgment and 70 year removal from the land. It is irrelevant to the current discussion.

Revelation 13

Reply: Revelation 13 is totally irrelevant to the discussion. The sabbath is not mentioned. The keeping of days is not mentioned. The prophetic context is during the Tribulation (which the author does not recognize as future).

Isaiah 66:19-24

Isa 66:19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
Isa 66:20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
Isa 66:21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.
Isa 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
Isa 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.
Isa 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Reply: This passage is clearly speaking of the time after the Great Tribulation and the second coming of Christ. It appears to speak of the time of the setting up of the Kingdom of Christ which will last for 1000 years. Therefore it is a totally irrelevant passage to the discussion of the use of the Mosaic Sabbath today.

There is a total ignoring of the discussion of Colossians 2:16

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Statement 3

Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
Act 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
Act 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
Act 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Act 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Act 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Act 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
Act 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
Act 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
Act 15:15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
Act 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
Act 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Act 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
Act 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Act 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
Act 15:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
Act 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

Reply: Acts 15:24 includes the keeping of the Sabbath.


Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Reply: There is nothing in the context which includes the keeping of the Law of Moses. In particular, the context of the Sabbath is non existent. Note Hebrews 9:15-24; 10:9-10 This passage says that there is a new testament replacing the old.


Heb 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Reply: The rest spoke of here is not that given by Moses Law. It is that which is given by faith in Jesus Christ. It does not speak of a specific day of the week as is indicated by the term Sabbath. Sabbath is not used specifically in Hebrews. "Rest" does reference and eternal state which is related to belief. In particular this rest references the day of Christ.

Statement 4

Reply: All of these passages reference the people of the nation of Israel by name, Jerusalem, the elders of Israel representing these particular people, and Jacob. It does not reference the heathen.

Statement 5

Lev 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

I do not know why only these two verses were picked. They do not speak of the Sabbath. They are totally unrelated to the discussion even if they are good things to know about. The context is totally to Israel. See vs 1-2

Eze 3:16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
Eze 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Eze 3:19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Eze 3:20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Eze 3:21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
Eze 3:22 And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.
Eze 3:23 Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.
Eze 3:24 Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.
Eze 3:25 But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them:
Eze 3:26 And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.
Eze 3:27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

Reply: This passage is great admonistion to take the message of God to others. But the context of this is specifically to the prophet. It does not reference the Sabbath. This whole publication is full of fuzzy logic. Most of it is unrelated and off subject.