Arguements against Sabbath

(Note: All the verses given below are from New World Translation unless otherwise stated)

Sabbath questions
No Sabbath keeping in Genesis. Abraham kept the Sabbath in Genesis

1 Chronicles 16:15-17 Remember his covenant, the word that he commanded. Which covenant he concluded with Abraham, Isaac and even to Jacob, as an indefinitely lasting covenant even to Israel.

Covenant God made with Abraham was not circumcision. Circumcision was the “sign” of that covenant:

Genesis 17:7-11 And I will carry out my covenant between me and you and you must get circumcised and it must serve as a sign of the covenant between me and you.
What was the covenant he made with Israel?

Deuteronomy 4:13 And he proceeded to state to you his covenant, the Ten Words after which he wrote them upon two tablets of stone.
Covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the Ten Commandments, which included the Sabbath, this means they were all Sabbath keepers.

But Deut. 5:3 It was not with our forefathers that Jehovah concluded this covenant but with us, those of us here alive here today.

"Our fathers" is not speaking about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If so, it will contradict 1 Chronicles 16:15-17. Moses was talking about the fathers of those Israelites that were slaves in Egypt! Remember, they were in Egyptian bondage for 400 years (Genesis 15:13). That means that if a bible generation in those days was 100 years long, that's at least four generations of "fathers" that did not experience this covenant!

In Exodus 16, Jehovah tested them in relationship to keeping the seventh day Sabbath.
In Exodus 16:4 Jehovah said, “I may put them to the test as to whether they will walk in my law.
Genesis 26:5 “Due to the fact that Abraham listened to my voice and continued to keep his obligations to me, and my laws (includes Sabbath).’“
Adam & Eve were Sabbath keepers

James said break one = break all (James 2:10). Paul answer’s knowledge of sin only by “the law.” There must have been a law in place when Adam and Eve sinned, for they clearly acknowledged their sin (Genesis 3:2, 3, 7).

What law was this?

Genesis 3:6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was something to be longed for to the eyes, the tree was desirable to look upon.

Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet.

She violated the 10th commandment, because she "lusted" after that which God forbade. She elevated “self” over God himself, breaking the 1st commandment. Anything that is first in our lives besides God is our god, especially “self.”
Cain and Abel kept the Sabbath

Genesis 4:1-8 But if you do not turn to doing good, there is sin crouching at the entrance. Cain proceeded to assault Abel his brother and kill him.
When Cain killed Abel, he broke the entire law according to James, including the Sabbath law, for where there is no law, there is no transgression.
Sabbath keeping not restated in New Testament. No Sabbath keeping in Heb 4:4-11 ?
Heb 4:11 There remains a Sabbath resting for the people of God. For the man that has entered into God’s rest, has himself rested from his own works just as God did from his own
1) Note in verse 10 we read, “as God did from his.”
2) The verse plainly says we are to enter into a rest, the rest of Sabbath-Keeping according to the previous verse.

Is it the rest found in Jesus?

a) In Jesus, we find rest from Sin, and from guilt of Sin, because he cleanses us “of all unrighteousness” – 1 John 1:9. If this rest being spoken of here is the rest from Sin found in Jesus, does God also rest from Sin and Guilt of Sin? NO

b) The second rest we find in Heb 3& 4 is the rest we will one day in the future experience, the Rest of Heaven/new Earth.

Is this the rest Paul now speaking of in verse 10? Remember, it specifically says, “as God did from his.” Therefore, whatever rest this is, is the rest God experienced as well. Does God need to be given the rest of Heaven as we do? No, for he already abides in heaven!

There are three rests, therefore, mentioned in all of Hebrews 3 and 4:-

1: A rest found in Jesus Christ, that we receive when we invite him “Today” to enter into our hearts.
2: A Rest we long to enter into one day when the Lord Jesus comes to take us home, the heavens above, the New Jerusalem (John 14:2-3, Rev. 21:10).
3: The rest of the Seventh day Sabbath, upon which every week we are reminded again of the fact that, if we continue “daily” in him, we will enter into the true Canaan; Heaven itself.
Since Hebrews 4:9-10 is speaking of a rest, the above are the only three possible rests he could be speaking about. It must be the rest of the Seventh day Sabbath since it specifically says we are to rest, “as God did”.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that many of the Israelites did not reach Canaan because of their lack of faith and disobedience. Similarly, there is danger for Christians, that they will not finally be saved in the kingdom of God because of their lack of faith manifested by disobedience.
Isn’t it rather curious that Hebrews specially links this up with the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath, the one all Christendom, including the Witnesses, trample on?
No Sabbath mentioned in Genesis 2:2-3
Exodus 20:11 For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and proceeded to rest on the seventh day: that is why Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and proceeded to make it sacred.
Gen 2:3 And God proceeded to bless the seventh day, and make it sacred: because on it he has been resting from all his work.
Hebrews 4:4, 9,10 For in one place he has said of the seventh day as follows: “And God rested on the seventh day". There remains a sabbath resting for the people of God. For the man that has entered into God’s rest, has also himself rested from his own works, just as God did from his own..
a) What is the seventh day? Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah your God. Hebrews connects 7th day with Sabbath day!!!
b) A connection between Hebrews wordsThe word “rest” in Genesis 2:2 is the translation of the Hebrew word “shabath” and is often used in the Old Testament within the context of “ceasing” or “resting.” When God “rested” on the seventh day, he “ceased” from all his labor which he had performed in the previous six days.
Note the two definitions given for this Hebrew word by Brown Driver Briggs:
1) to cease, desist, rest
2) (Qal) to keep or observe the SabbathFirst and foremost, it means to “cease, desist, rest,” but then we find it can also mean to “keep or observe the Sabbath,” because to keep the Sabbath means to cease from your own labor and rest upon the seventh day.
The Hebrew word translated “sabbath” in the fourth commandment is “shabbath” and is, says Strong’s Hebrew/Greek concordance, “intensive of ‘shabath.’ Already we find a connection between Hebrew words. Now that we have learned how closely related Genesis 2:1-3 is to Exodus 20:8-11, when we read in Genesis that God “rested on the seventh day” he was in essence “keeping the Sabbath day.” So while the Hebrew word “shabbath” is not found in Genesis, the Hebrew word “shabath” is, and its close connection and nearly same meaning is but more proof that a “sabbath day” rest is what is intended in Genesis 2:1-3.
Seventh day in Gen 2:2 is not 24 hours
a) When Yom accompanied by a definite number – literal always (NO EXCEPTIONS!!!).

B) (Gen 7:11 Ex 16:1; 20:8-11) – 4th command would be meaningless were each day stretched into eons.

C) Heb 4:4 – God is not still resting – rested on the 7th day.

D) Heb 4:10 man that has entered into [God’s] rest has also himself rested from his own works, just as God did from his own.’ Here is the past tense again: ‘God did.’
Sabbath was just a sign between Israel and God, not applicable to his church?

Hebrew 8:8 The new covenant is made with the house of Israel and so is the Sabbath. If you are a Christian, you are Abraham’s seed.
Shadowy Sabbaths are nailed to the cross according to Heb 10:1Col 2:16,17 Col 2:16, 17 specifically states “Let no one judge you regarding Sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come”.
a) One principle of bible interpretation is that you do not allow what may be somewhat unclear, to keep you from doing what you understand. The bible is plain on Sabbath. It was given at creation (Gen 2:1-3). Jesus observed it (Luke 4:16). Paul observed it (Acts 13:42-44) and it will be observed in heaven (Isa. 66:22,23).
b) The bible mentions two kinds of Sabbaths. The seventh day Sabbath and the yearly Sabbaths. The seventh day Sabbath instituted at creation and part of the Ten Commandments is a weekly reminder of the loving all powerful creator. The yearly Sabbaths relates specifically to the history of Israel.
c) Col 2:16, 17 specifically states “Let no one judge you regarding Sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come”.
d) The seventh day Sabbath is a memorial of creation not a shadow of things to come but a shadow of things “past.”
e) Heb 10:1 connects the law of shadows with animal sacrifices. Ezek 45:17 uses the exact same expression and connects it all with the ceremonial systems of feasts and sacrifices (meat offerings, drink offerings, feasts, new moons and Sabbaths to make reconciliation for the house of Israel). Lev 23:37 uses the language of Col 2:16, 17 to describe these ceremonial Sabbaths.
f) Lev 23:38 distinguishes the ceremonial Sabbaths from the seventh day Sabbaths by using the expression “Beside the Sabbath of the Lord”.
g) The word “beside” is from the Hebrew word “bad” which means “separation.” God therefore sets a separation between his feasts/sabbath feasts and the seventh day Sabbath of the 10 Commandments mentioned in verse 3.
Sabbath was only a memorial of the Exodus.
Deuteronomy 5:14, 15 And you must remember that you became a slave in the land of Egypt and Jehovah your God proceeded to bring you out from there. That is why Jehovah commanded you to carry on the Sabbath day.
a) The key to understanding these two verses rests in the word "slave." God said, " you must remember that you became a slave the land of Egypt." And in the sentence before this one He reminds them "that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou."

In other words, their experience in Egypt as slaves would remind them to deal justly with their servants by giving them Sabbath rest. In similar vein God had commanded, "And if a stranger sojourns with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him ... for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." Leviticus 19:33, 34.
b) It was not unusual for God to hark back to the Egyptian deliverance as an incentive to obey other commandments. In Deuteronomy 24:17, 18, God said, "Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge. ... Thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing."
c) In Leviticus 11:45, "For I am Jehovah who is leading you up out of the land of Egypt to prove myself God to you, and ye shall therefore be holy). Surely, no one would insist that holiness did not exist before the Exodus.
Sabbath was given only for Jews
a) Isaiah 56:6, 7 And the foreigners that have joined themselves to Jehovah, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, all those keeping the Sabbath in order not to profane it and hold of my covenant: I will also bring them to my holy mountain and make them rejoice inside my hiouse of prayer.
b) It is called "the sabbath of the Lord," but never "the sabbath of the Jews." Luke He spoke of the "nation of the Jews," "the people of the Jews," "the land of the Jews," and the "synagogue of the Jews." Acts 10:22; 12:11; 10:39; 14:1. But please note that Luke never referred to the "sabbath of the Jews," although he mentioned the Sabbath repeatedly.
Romans 10:4 Paul tells us that Christ is the end of law.

a) ‘End’ (telos) as used in this text means ‘goal’ or ‘objective.’ "End" in this verse means purpose or object, as it does in James 5:11 (KJV).

Keeping any law will never make you righteous. Law shows sin. We go for Christ for cleansing. Stone the Sabbatarians for breaking Sabbath (Ex 31:14) 1) Keep in mind that by this time Israel had just finished experiencing the Exodus from Egypt, and it had just begun the process of learning how to become a "nation." Like every nation, civil laws are introduced in order to maintain a civil society. Most of these civil laws were divinely given by God... and that was because the nation was at first a theocracy, a nation with God as their king. Its no wonder then that they were introduced into God's law.

2) Those who excuse themselves of keeping the Sabbath because of this civil law will find it difficult to deal with the 5th commandment... for it to was given a civil law:
Exodus 21:17(17) “And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.”
We would all agree that this aspect of the law is done away with in Christ, because he paid the death penalty for us on that cross. He took upon himself that “curse” of the law, which is death. But, does Christ’s doing away with the death penalty eliminate our obligation to “honor your father and your mother?” Of course not. It is the same therefore with the 4th commandment, for according to James, all the commandments are equal, and not one is not to be treated differently from the other. What about Rom 14:5? “One man esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Really what difference does a day make? 1) Some times it’s helpful to carefully notice what a bible text does not say as well as what it does say. Verses 5 and 6 say nothing about either worship or the Sabbath. They simply talk about regarding a day. To say this particular day is the Sabbath is an unwarranted assumption.
2) Rom 14:1 sets the tone for the entire passage indicating that the discussion focuses on “doubtful disputations” or disputes on doubtful matters. 3) Is the seventh day Sabbath set apart by God at creation (Gen 1:3) & placed within the heart of the moral law (Ex 20:8-11) a doubtful matter? Certainly not! 4) The key to our passage is found in verse 6 which states, “He that regards the day regards it unto the Lord, and he that regardeth not the day regards it not to the Lord. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord for He gives God thanks, and he that eateth not to the Lord, he eateth not for he gives God thanks.” The issue revolves around fast days not Sabbath days. 5) Some Jewish Christians believed there was particular merit in fasting on certain days. They judged others by their own standards. The Pharisees fasted at least twice a week and boasted about it (Lk 18:12). In Rom 14, Paul is pointing out that to fast or not to fast on a certain day is a matter of individual conscience not a matter of Gods command. Does Acts 20:7 prove that Christians gathered for a church service to take the communion?
This is but one of eight passages which mention the first day of the week in the New Testament, and is one of those passages used by certain groups and individuals to teach that the early church began the custom of gathering together on the first day of the week while forsaking the gathering of the seventh day Sabbath.
Act 20:7-9 (7) And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.(8) And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.(9) And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.Why do you think Eutychus fell asleep? Was it because Paul’s preaching was to boring? No friends, it’s because it was late in the evening, Saturday night! Notice that verse 8 says that there were “many lights” where they were gathered together, and that Paul preached unto them “until midnight.” This fact shows that they never really gathered upon what we today call Sunday. Since it was late, and we read he was getting ready to depart “on the marrow” it becomes obvious to any bible student that this meeting took place after sunset, Saturday night, which is when the first day of the week really begins.When God instituted the days of the week, he named each day by their proper number after the speaking the phrase, “and it was evening and it was morning…” -Genesis 1. In other words, the days begin at evening, which is at sun set (Mark 1:32), and end in the morning hours. The Jewish nation was instructed by God to observe their sabbaths feast days, along with God’s seventh day Sabbath, from “evening to evening.” –Leviticus 23:32. So when the people gathered together upon the first day of the week in Acts 20:7, this was actually after sun set on Saturday evening, namely, Saturday night. When we consider what this word means, we learn that the reason for gathering with the disciples on that first day was because he was “ready to depart on the marrow.” For this “reason” or “intent” or “purpose” did they gather… not to have a worship service as our critics suggest, but to hear Paul’s farewell speech and to give their goodbyes as he was leaving soon after. Because they decided to have a meal while he spoke does not give anyone a reason to assume this was a worship service or a communion service, because the disciples broke bread on a daily basis, from “house to house.” –Acts 2:46.Paul went to the synagogues on the Sabbath just because he was after the Jews!Acts 13:14 and Act 16:12-14Here is the passage with some surrounding context:Act 13:14-16(14) But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.(15) 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.(16) Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.Now it is claimed that Paul’s attending of this Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath day was not him keeping the Sabbath, but rather 100% evangelism towards the Jews. We partially agree with this one, Paul was always ready, willing and desiring to preach to both Jews and Gentiles at any time and any where. We also agree that it is possible that Paul attended the synagogues on the Sabbath days also (not only) to reach out to the Jews. Notice that Paul came into the synagogue, “sat down” and spoke not until the reader said, “Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.” We realize that Paul wouldn’t of burst in there and began yelling and preaching without proper manners, yet we find it interesting that Paul did not speak until he was asked to speak. This passage certainly does not prove that Paul kept the Sabbath, but it neither proves he did not keep the Sabbath. With this in mind, we now guild our readers to one passage which proves he did keep it:Act 16:12-14(12) And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.(13) 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.(14) And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.Notice if you will 4 points about these passages:1) This was a meeting of Christians upon the Sabbath day. We say Christians because before this event, in Acts 11:26 the title “Christian” had been the one placed upon all those preaching Jesus Christ as savior. Paul was among those called Christians (see verse 30).2) This Sabbath meeting did not occur in the synagogues as we find elsewhere in the book of Acts. Rather it took place outside “the city by a river side.”Your typical Sabbath day meeting took place here:-A meeting: This is evident by the use of such words as “we went” and “sat down.”-Prayer: The verse says, “where prayer was wont to be meet…”-Preaching: Verse 14 says, “… she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”-Baptism: Verse 15 says, “And when she was baptized, and her household…”3) There is no indication here that Paul was once again “persuading” the Jews or the Greeks. Rather then evangelizing, Paul’s seems to be at this moment the main speaker for the gathering. We have in this passage a meeting on the Sabbath where the intent does not seem to evangelize as in those other Acts passages that mention the Sabbath, but rather to assemble together.4) It’s likely that Luke was also here attending this Sabbath meeting because of some of the words Luke used in describing the event. Verse 13 uses the word “we” two times, verse 16 uses this word once. Verses 15 and 16 uses the word “us” about two times, not including the words “us” in italic.We submit that while it’s true that he was preaching in the synagogues on the Sabbath days to reach out to the Jews, it does not prove that he did “not” keep the Sabbath as well. Sure, Paul can preach wherever he’d like and whenever he’d like, but we find Jesus preaching on the Sabbath days in the synagogues as well:Luke 4:16(16) 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.Will they now say that Jesus’ “preaching” in the synagogues on the Sabbath does not mean that he was actually keeping the Sabbath? Of course, we know Jesus actually kept the Sabbath day holy, but so did Paul the apostle… according to Acts 16:13-15.Other passages proving Christians kept the SabbathSome say none of the passages in Acts "or any other in the New Testament, ever speak of Christians worshipping on the Sabbath day." We will now challange this part of the quote.There are passages in the New Testament which show that the early Christians , besides Paul, did in fact observe the Sabbath day. Note the following passage Mark 16:1(1) And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.We find in this passage that these three women, who were followers of Jesus, observed the Sabbath day first before going to anoint the body of Jesus. If they were not observing the Sabbath, we feel they would have anointed his body right after he was placed in the tomb. Yet, they waited until the Sabbath “was past…” to anoint his body with spices, knowing that there was a risk of the body to begin to stink, since only after a few hours after death the body begins to go through rigormordis. These women were not Jewish by faith, but Christian, since they followed Christ and his teachings. Strong’s G5546 for “Christian” means “follower of Christ.” These women, while being Jewess by birth, were by this time Christians. Luke is more specific with how these followers of Christ regarded the Sabbath:Luke 23:54-56(54) And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.(55) And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.(56) And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.The word “rested” in the greek means to “be still, refrain from labor…” Verse 56 says, “And they returned…” showing how they intentionally left Jesus body to first prepare the spices and then to rest… “the sabbath day according to the commandment.” They found it more important to obey God rather then anointing Jesus lifeless body. This in no way dishonors our Lord, but rather it honors him the more, for God desires obedience of all those who truly love him, and keep... "his commandments” (John 14:15, 1 John 5:2-3). Old covenant is done away. Yes, 2 Corinthians 3:13. What was the old covenant not? 1) Old covenant had poor promises. New covenant better Heb 8:6-13.
a) Any poor promises in the 10? On the contrary, Ephesians 6:1-3 says Honor your parents and the promise is that if we do, it may go well with us.
2) Old covenant was faulty Heb 8:7
a) Any fault in the handwriting? No: Psalms 19:7; Rom 7:12 (Law is holy, righteous and good) Can the law change after Calvary? 1) New covenant did not go into effect till Jesus died and was ratified by his blood.
2) The same way the old did not go into effect Mt Sinai till ratified by blood (Exodus 19).
3) After death - his will or covenant cannot be changed – Gal 3:15 “A validated covenant no one sets aside or attaches additions to it”
4) Jesus did some of the things before he died. E.g.) Lords supper: his blood of the new covenant by commanding a memorial for an event which haven’t happened yet - Matt 26:28.
5) Why did he do it? Introduced before his death for it to be part of the new covenant. After he dies and ratified, one cannot add or change.
6) When did Sunday keeping begin? Definitely not with the apostles!!!!
7) Sunday keeping cannot fall under the new covenant.