…continued from Part 1
DID JESUS AND THE APOSTLES OBSERVE SABBATHS?
Jesus was raised by Torah observant parents. He kept the Lord’s feasts, ordinances and all His laws perfectly, including Sabbaths. He was without spot in all of the requirements of the laws. For the Sabbath…
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?... And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days (Luke 4:16-22,31 (KJV)
And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus (Luke 6:3-11 (KJV)
Jesus had controversies with the Scribes, the Pharisees and some other schools of thoughts. These various schools of thoughts have different opinions of the laws of God. Most of them made traditions out of God’s laws so that their very traditions contradict God’s laws. Jesus said to them that by their traditions, they made void the word of God.
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition (Mark 7:6-9 (KJV).
Paul also warned about those vain philosophies and traditions of men, rather than what they learnt about Christ: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8 (KJV)
So, those schools of thoughts such as Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes always accused Jesus of violating the law (which were the ones they made from God’s laws). They wanted to accuse Jesus of healing on Sabbath, and Jesus asked them if it was good to do good on the Sabbath or not. If any of their sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, they would go after it. The need of man is bigger than Sabbath because the love of God is bigger than legalities of law. If a life is at stake, and you must buy medications on the Sabbath to save that life then you save the life first before the law. If you run out of gas on the highway on Sabbath after worship (you suppose to fill your tank, anyway or preserve some in your booth) but in case that happens, then you can buy and fill your tank. In one of the confrontations He had from these sects, He reminded them that He is the Lord of the Sabbath, and gave them instances of the importance of mercy above the laws of God:
At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day (Matthew 12:1-8 (KJV).
Ordinarily speaking, King David would not have eaten that bread with the men with him for the bread were meant only for the High Priest and his family. He was however, running from King Saul, and needed something to eat to sustain him and the men with him. The High Priest thus, advised David to be sure the men with him did not touch their wives for the past few days. They were legally clean to eat it, but ordinarily they were not qualified in any way to touch such breads. So, the disciples of Jesus were plucking and eating corn on the Sabbath. Jesus reminded His accusers that He is the Lord of Sabbaths. God cares about our needs above His laws when we are faced with such choice of life and death, for the law is made for man, and not man for the law. The law is for our good, not to destroy us. That’s why Jesus did good, healing the sick on the Sabbath, and even asked one of the impotent men He healed to carry his bed and go home. The Pharisees never understood why He healed on the Sabbath (which was not against the laws of God), and why the person He healed should carry his bed on the sabbath day. The laws of God are righteous, and good and we make it a delight, not a burden. Keeping the Lord’s day, holy is reverencing Him. He sanctified that day, and made it holy. It is His day of rest and we are to honor Him and that day as His day. This brings us into His divine order and circle of blessings.
APOSTLE PAUL AND SABBATHS
Apostle Paul, like other Apostles who followed the Lord Jesus for three years, was a Torah observant follower of Christ. Though once a Pharisee that persecuted the Church, but as a Messianic Jew, He observed the laws of God. Like Jesus as I pointed out, his controversy was on the traditions that keep them from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the traditions and vain philosophies of men. He observed the Sabbaths and the Lord’s feasts. And, because he was a Rabbi, just as Jesus and john the Baptist were all Jewish Rabbis, he could teach in the Synagogues. So, he observed the Sabbath wherever he went, with the people, and taught in their Synagogues on Sabbaths.
And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither (Acts 16:13).
But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it (Acts 13:14-17 (KJV)
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, (Acts 17:2). And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks (Acts 18:4)
In this way, all the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ observed the Sabbaths and all the Lord’s ordinances and feasts. As the Lord God pointed out in the Law of Moses, these feasts and ordinances are for all generations (Lev. 23:41; Exodus 12:14,24; Ezekiel 46:14). They shall be celebrated in the Millennium Kingdom.
In conclusion, I will like to share with us some testimonies from the people who received this warning directly from the Lord. The first time I read about this warning was from the Testimony of Reverend Park, Yong Gyu: HEAVEN AND HELL, 1000 to 1.
Among the list of the things that sent the people he saw in Hell was spending money on Sundays. I almost doubted it but his testimony of near death experience, in visiting Heaven and Hell, and what he said that he saw, was very authentic. Many believers are not aware that violating the Sabbath laws would mean Hell. If we however, want to discredit it, it would also mean discrediting the rest of the Ten Commandments, God’s moral laws which are never abolished.
The ten commandments of God are real. The Lord Jesus says that whosoever breaks one, has broken all. What this means is that, even though we live by grace, we cannot take advantage of the grace of God and continue to live contrary to His laws which He already wrote within our hearts. Paul therefore asked in Romans 3:31:
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
His answer is: God forbid. God shall even judge the Gentiles who did not know about the laws of God. He will judge them through their conscience for their conscience tells them what is right and wrong. So, they will perish without the law.
For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (Romans 2:12-14).
So, we have no excuse to break God’s law even in ignorance for the words are written both in letters, and in our hearts, so that through the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can always walk in truth. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God, for He is a consuming fire.
I read another Testimony from Pastor Kim Doo, the author of Baptized by Blazing Fire:
…Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."(Matthew 12:12)
The Lord had commanded us to keep Sundays Holy in every way. He rebuked watching television, dining out with family, and other secular activities. Furthermore, the Lord did not permit Christians to run any business of any kind for profit on Sundays. He also did not allow Saints to do any shopping on Sundays.
There are many saints who think that spending money on Sundays is justified, IF it is for the sake of the gospel. Jesus clarified the church’s deception, “People obfuscate, misuse, and abuse the commandment of Sunday, 'for the sake of the gospel'. They do it consistently. Do not spend money on Sundays!Once men have decided to do what is in their hearts, they present their reasons or justifications to break the commandment at any cost.” The Lord looked very serious. His majesty was overflowing. Any kind of events held in the house of God, must be free of charge. Many churches sell meal tickets, since they have numerous attendants. Purchasing meal tickets is not keeping Sundays Holy. The Lord meticulously showed me how many Korean Churches are not approved by God because they do not keep Sundays Holy.Jesus made it very clear, by stating that He forbids us to spend money on Sundays.
Jesus said, "I will not rapture those who buy, sell and play games on My holy day of worship. Sunday or Saturday, whichever day your leaders have set for you to worship Me, should be for Me alone, I AM your Lord. This day must be sanctified to Me alone (Prophecy by Bro. Augusto Maquengo).
Just as robbing God (not paying tithes) send people to Hell, doing business or buying and selling on Sunday, or the supposed Sabbath day of the Lord also is a violation of the Lord’s command, as I wrote in details above. So, just as people go to Hell for murder, lying which is breaking God’s command, people also miss Heaven for spending money in buying and selling on Sundays. As I pointed earlier, if you are faced with a death and life situation; God will not judge you for taking care of such needs as I mentioned above, just as He would not have judged the Levite and the Priest who were not supposed to come near a dead body for that would make them ceremonially unclean for a time, but however, they saw a needy and dying man and turned the other side. The need of man is above the law. That’s why the Lord Jesus said that Sabbath is for man, not man for Sabbath. That is why He asked if any of them would leave his sheep which fell into a pit on the Sabbath day, and would not bring it out. You are not breaking God’s law if attending to life and death situation would mean breaking the law of the Sabbath. But next time, you prepare yourself not to run into such emergencies again in order not to break the law of God concerning Sabbath. I have been personally warned me on that.
Jesus is our rest, our Sabbath and He is altogether lovely! As we rest on Sabbaths, and rest our heads on His chest, worship and meditate on Him; He will abundantly refresh and bless us for the week. He will renew all things, our strength, our glory in Him and make our week fruitful and a blessing, amen!
His Priestly Bride
Archbishop Gloria Grace.
For more information on Keeping Divine Appointments, you can get this book from Amazon:
Divine Appointments: Feasts, Fasts, and God’s ordinance of worship (Entering the LORD’S circle of blessings).