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Bible Q

Will the Sabbath be kept in the kingdom of God?

There are a few prophetic Bible passages that indicate Sabbaths and Feasts could be kept in the kingdom of God (Isaiah 66:23, Ezekiel 44:24, Zechariah 14:16). One purpose of a Sabbath is to provide rest from physical work. It may continue to perform this function; as work is done in the Kingdom age (Isaiah 65:21-23).

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27)

Jesus directs us to the fact that the Sabbath was created for the benefit of humanity (see also Exodus 16:29).  Apart from an opportunity to enjoy rest from work, why else should a Sabbath be observed now or in the future?

The Sabbath is first mentioned in the book of Exodus. God provided bread from heaven for the nation of Israel as they travelled through the wilderness. There was no food for them to collect on the Sabbath, so double was collected the day before (Exodus 16:22, 26). Their day of rest is described as a “Sabbath to the LORD” (Exodus 16:23, 25), this indicates that their physical rest was to be coupled with spiritual purpose.

Along with the nine other commandments recorded in Exodus 20, the observance of a Sabbath is still a good idea today. In fact, out of the Ten Commandments the one regarding the Sabbath has the most detail*.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God…For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)

So the Sabbath is a blessing, a special day to think about God; the Creator. By following his pattern of work and rest we associate ourselves with God. The Sabbath also provides an opportunity to reflect on the wonderful work God has done and continues to do (See Deuteronomy 5:15 and Psalm 92:1-5; entitled ‘A Song for the Sabbath’). As well as the past and present, the Sabbath points forward to the future time of refreshing and rest.

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest… (Hebrews 4:9-11)

A Sabbath provides us with a rest. It is intended to be a peaceful day to contemplate God in relation to the past, present and future. It could provide this for the mortal population during Christ’s reign.

Paul in his letter to the Colossians was aware that the question of keeping the Sabbath or not may be a contentious issue:

Therefore let no one pass judgement on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)

Any Sabbath is pointless if it doesn’t direct us to think about Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath and the Rest that God has in store for his people.

* Note: For further reading on the Sabbath, please see Exodus 31:12-18.

6 Replies to “Will the Sabbath be kept in the kingdom of God?”

  1. Your article would lead one to understand that yes the Sabbath does exist after the death and reserection of Christ.

    Jesus did mention the Sabbath would be observed after his death and reserection in Math 24:20. The 4th commandment is mentioned in the New Test.

    • Jesus certainly did mention that Sabbath will be still observed after His death and resurrection but who do you think are these observers of Sabbath referred to in Matthew 24:20? Since this was primarily Jesus’ prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, he had his fellow Jews in mind when he was speaking these words, not his future followers.
      And by the way, it say nothing about the observance of Sabbath. The reason why Jesus was worried, was a Jewish custom of closing the doors of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day established under Nehemiah 13:19, so that they could not go in and out and do any work. And you can imagine how disastrous effects this would have if Romans came to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, locked up in their own city, unable to escape.
      Of course that you may keep the Sabbath if you wish, but then read also what James says in his epistle, James 2:10 or Paul in Galatians 3:10. The whole letter to Galatians is worth reading to gain an insight on this subject.

  2. I hate to be so blunt but I must say this information you posted on the sabbath is some of the most inaccurate I have yet seen. You really should study that out some more. The Romans 14:5-6, has been used completely out of context as many other verses I see here, in which the wording has been altered to twist it to your interpretation. I have noticed when it comes to this passage, I have never found anyone who reads the second part, you know the part that says “another esteemeth every day alike”. Everyone seems to notice the “One man esteemeth one day above another” part, the “one day” being Sabbath and the “another” being Sunday. You can reverse them if you like they still come to the same conclusion, only two days involved. But the second half of that same scripture goes on to say “every day”. So how is it that people come to Sunday being okay and any other day being changed not okay?
    The fact of the matter is that Paul here was writing about Jewish holy days or feast days like;
    1. The First Day of Unleavened Bread which falls on 15th day of Abib, the first month in the sacred calendar.
    2. The Last Day of Unleavened Bread which falls on 21st day of Abib.
    3. The Feast of First Fruits (Pentecost) which occurs 50 days after the Passover Sabbath.
    4. The Feast of Trumpets which falls on the 1st Ethanim (the 7th month)
    5. The Fast of Atonement which falls on the 10th Ethanim.
    6. The Feast of Tabernacles which falls on the 15th Ethanim.
    7. The Last Great Day which falls on the 22nd Ethanim.
    There were some that viewed some of these days as being more important than others. Paul was simply saying don’t worry about it, don’t get caught up in it and lose sight of the real mark. All of these days involved eating that’s why they’re called feast days and that’s why Paul mentions “eating” and “giving God thanks”.

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t see anything in the context that would suggest that these days talk about Jewish festivals. Would you like to elaborate?

      I think the eating and abstaining are in fact referring back to Paul’s earlier argument about whether vegetables are eaten in verses 1 – 3, and have nothing to do with the days spoken about apart from the fact that both were issues which could cause unhelpful debate.

      As for the particular day vs. every day, I would take that to mean that some people wish to observe a particular day as special to God, while others view all days as given by God as an opportunity to serve.

  3. I can’t say honestly, but I can say that access to God will be anytime.
    Jesus told the pharisees who were kind of hung up on the sabbath concerning when a good deed could be done or when according to the pharisees, a good deed couldn’t be done.
    He said that God did not create man for the sabbath, but rather God created sabbath for man.
    I don’t think that is an answer, but the point is God knew we needed rest if we worked the rest of the week.
    Jesus did speak against creating dogma out of the commandments God gave the Israelites in Moses’s day.
    One thing he said, don’t say repetitious prayer like the heathens do.
    Another, he said when you fasting, don’t cover yourself with ash and wear sackcloth making a spectacle of yourself for man when fasting for religious reasons.
    He aslo said, give with one hand and don’t let the other hand know what that hand is doing, instead of giving to satisfy our egos or for tax breaks or whatever.
    Jesus also told the pharisees, yes, you know the scripture, but as you sit in your high seats, you will never lift even a small finger to help one of the least in your fold. You therefore know the Law but what you have excluded is the very heart of the Bible, mercy.
    Many jews were not going to eat anyhting unclean, Paul and Peter were at odds about this until Peter, a born Jew had a vision and that was Jesus offering him all manner of unclean foods and telling him to eat. Finally, Peter realized his mistake and the dogma that he followed was just that, dogma.
    He remembered, I am sure what Jesus said when he said, It is not what goes in your mouth that curses you, but rather all manner of foul things that come out of your mouth.

  4. matt12:8 For the son of man is lord of the sabbath. Resting in the Lord is a “spiritual” sabbath where we do no “work” on our own. Christ does it all for us. He did not come to abolish the law, but fulfill it. He has fulfilled it.if we die to ourselves and allow him to live threw us he will do all the work for us! That is why it is a wonderful, peaceful rest! Thank you Jesus!