Who Kept The Sabbath?

(The follwing article is adapted from the site Adventist Defense League with the permission of the author Edwin M. Cotto. You can click here to see the original article. All verses quoted below are from the New World Translation)

-An outline of Sabbath keepers from Genesis to Revelation

The following list shows that the Sabbath has been kept and observed as a sanctified day from the very beginning of time, and will continue this will throughout eternity:
- God Himself kept the Sabbath day:

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their army came to their completion. 2 And by the seventh day God came to the completion of his work that he had made, and he proceeded to rest on the seventh day from all his work that he had made. 3 And God proceeded to bless the seventh day and make it sacred, because on it he has been resting from all his work that God has created for the purpose of making.

Heb 4:9-10 So there remains a sabbath resting for the people of God. 10 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.

Note: it says God rested and not still resting.

- Adam and Eve kept the Sabbath:

Mark 2:27 So he went on to say to them: “The sabbath came into existence for the sake of man, and not man for the sake of the Sabbath

Note: The Sabbath came into existence “for man” and when the Sabbath first came into the picture (Genesis 2:1-3) the only man alive then was Adam and his wife Eve. Therefore, the Sabbath was made for them, and for their offspring.

- Cain and Abel kept the Sabbath:

Genesis 4:6-8 At this Jehovah said to Cain: “Why are you hot with anger and why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you turn to doing good, will there not be an exaltation? But if you do not turn to doing good, there is sin crouching at the entrance, and for you is its craving; and will you, for your part, get the mastery over it?” 8 After that Cain said to Abel his brother: [“Let us go over into the field.”] So it came about that while they were in the field Cain proceeded to assault Abel his brother and kill him.

Note: Cain “killed” his brother Abel, therefore committing a sin, and God told him in verse 7 that “sin crouching at the entrance.” Now the definition of sin “is lawlessness.” – 1 John 3:4. And every law, the 4th, the 5th, the 10, the 6th, and the rest of the 10 Commandments, are all equal and are to be treated the same, according to James 2:10-11.
In Romans 4:15, we also read that, “where there is no law, neither is there any transgression.” Therefore, if all the laws must be together, and one can't be violated without violating the other, when Cain killed Abel, he broke the entire law, including the Sabbath law, for where there is no law, there is no transgression. Since sin existed in the time of Cain and Abel, the entire law was also existence in their time, for one law can not exist without the other.

- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob kept the Sabbath:

See: Sabbath keeping in Genesis

- Joseph kept the Sabbath:

Genesis 39:7-9 Now after these things it came about that the wife of his master began to raise her eyes toward Joseph and say: “Lie down with me.” 8 But he would refuse and would say to his master’s wife: “Here my master does not know what is with me in the house, and everything he has he has given into my hand. 9 There is no one greater in this house than I am, and he has not withheld from me anything at all except you, because you are his wife. So how could I commit this great badness and actually sin against God?”

Note: Joseph understood that committing adultery was against the commandments of God. Since all the law is connected (James 2:10-11) and he did not want to violate the 7th commandment, it follows that he would not have wanted to also violate the 4th commandment, the Sabbath, since they are all part of that same covenant God made with Abraham.

- King David observed the Sabbath:

Psalm 92:1-3 A melody, a song, for the sabbath day. It is good to give thanks to Jehovah And to make melody to your name, O Most High; 2 To tell in the morning about your loving-kindness
And about your faithfulness during the nights, 3 Upon a ten-stringed instrument and upon the lute, By resounding music on the harp.

Note: King David, although a sinner, was such a faithful Sabbath keeper that he even dedicated one of his Psalms for the Sabbath.

- Jesus Christ kept the Sabbath:

Luke 4:16 And he came to Naz´a•reth, where he had been reared; and, according to his custom on the sabbath day, he entered into the synagogue, and he stood up to read.

Note: There are three recorded instances where we read that Jesus observed the Sabbath. First, as creator of this world (John 1:3), Jesus observed it in the beginning (Genesis 2:1-3). He observed it during his lifetime (Luke 4:16), and he also observed it while in the grave (Luke 23:53-56, 24:1-3). Through this he showed that from the beginning of time until the day following his death no change has taken place in the Sabbath. It was neither changed, nor abolished. Jesus was a Sabbath keeper both before any ceremonial law ever existed and after the ceremonial law has been done away with. True followers of Christ are to " go on walking just as" He walked - 1 John 2:6.

- Joseph of Arimathea kept the Sabbath:

Luke 23:50-56 And, look! a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man— 51 this [man] had not voted in support of their design and action—he was from Ar•i•ma•the´a, a city of the Ju•de´ans, and was waiting for the kingdom of God; Now it was the day of Preparation, and the evening light of the sabbath was approaching. 55 But the women, who had come with him out of Gal´i•lee, followed along and took a look at the memorial tomb and how his body was laid; 56 and they went back to prepare spices and perfumed oils. But, of course, they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses kept the Sabbath:

Mark 15:47 But Mary Mag´da•lene and Mary the mother of Jo´ses continued looking at where he had been laid.

Note: According to the context of Mark 15:40-47, these women were with Joseph of Arimathea when he “rested the sabbath day.” Compare with Luke 23:50-56.

Paul and Barnabas kept the Sabbath:

Act 13:14 They, however, went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pi•sid´i•a and, going into the synagogue on the sabbath day, they took a seat.

Acts 17:2 So according to Paul’s custom he went inside to them, and for three sabbaths he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,

Note: They did not only go to the church simply to witness to the Jews. This was Paul’s “custom” – Acts 17:2.

- Luke the Physician kept the Sabbath:

Act 16:13 And on the sabbath day we went forth outside the gate beside a river, where we were thinking there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women that had assembled

Note: Luke, the author of Acts, used the word “we” to indicate that he was also among those who kept the Sabbath by the river side.

- John the apostle kept Sabbath:

Reve 1:10 By inspiration I came to be in the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a strong voice like that of a trumpet,

Isaiah 58:13 “If in view of the sabbath you will turn back your foot as regards doing your own delights on my holy day, and will actually call the sabbath an exquisite delight, a holy [day] of Jehovah

The only day God has ever claimed as His is the Sabbath. (EX 20:8-11; Isa 58:13).

- Christians in the Dark Ages kept the Sabbath:

Matthew 24:20 Keep praying that YOUR flight may not occur in wintertime, nor on the sabbath day;

Note: Jesus prophesied that those fleeing from the great tribulation would be faithful Sabbath keepers.

- The Sabbath is kept today:

By church such as the Seventh Day Adventists, Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh Day Pentecostals, Church of God Seventh Day, and more.

- Finally, the Sabbath will be kept in the New Heavens and the New Earth:

Isaiah 66:22-23 For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making are standing before me,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “so the offspring of YOU people and the name of YOU people will keep standing.” 23 “And it will certainly occur that from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath all flesh will come in to bow down before me,” Jehovah has said.