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Honouring The Sabbath

By Dr. Henderson Ward

The record shows that every country in the world has acknowledged the necessity for a Sabbath, whatever name they may give to it, to enable a cessation of routine activities and allow recuperation. People of faith regard the Sabbath not just as a day of rest, but also of worship; for so it was designed by Almighty God. But people, being perverse and wayward, has ever sought, and indeed have succeeded, in violating the principle of the Sabbath.

Employers used to work their labourers from daylight until sunset in ancient times, and allow no breaks except when dark set in; and then labourers could recuperate until the next day. To ensure that labourers worked all hours possible, employers plunged the world into ugly times; the world experiencing slavery, colonialism, serfdom, debt bondage, forced marriages, child soldiers and similar abuses; all with the objective of merciless human exploitation.

Even in earliest Biblical times this exploitation was rampant; a little by Israel, but fully so by her neighbours. God was displeased with the prevailing mistreatment, and accordingly he gave Israel very clear directions about the Sabbath.

God told Israel, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) This was not just a Jewish thing, confined to Jesw, it was to be so for strangers in Israel as well: “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” (Exodus 20:10)

Today it can safely be said that no country in the world respects the Sabbath; as God intended it should. The command was to keep it Holy, but today, whatever day is your Sabbath, we can be sure it is being violated in one way or another.

Some people claim that Sunday is not a Holy day because it was named after a false God. This is usually thrown in the face of Sunday worshippers as if to say “Are you going to abandon a day that God gave to worship on in preference for a day that is dedicated to a false god?”

In reality all the days of the week were named after false gods. Saturday is named after the ancient Roman god of agriculture, Saturn, but that does not disqualify it, or lessen its importance, as the 7th day of the week and the Jewish Sabbath.

When God created the world He did not give names to the days, He gave each day a number. The world was created in 6 days and God rested on the 7th day (Genesis 1:31-2:2). This seven-day period is called a week which means simply a space of seven days. No one has ever been able to establish if what we call the first day is actually what God called the first day.

There is probably a big difference between what is accepted, and what is real, for a number of reasons:

1. No one has been able to trace the days back to the beginning of creation

2. During the dispensations of innocence and human government Sabbaths were not observed, and no documentary evidence exist that they were even known.

3. Some old civilizations worked to an 8-day week

4. There have been numerous changes in the week cycles, and days have been added, and subtracted, to calendars over time

5. Many countries in the world accept Monday as the 1st day of the week and reflect that on their calendars; whilst others accept Sunday.

It cannot be known, with certainty, that the day on which you worship, whatever you choose to call it, corresponds to the day you think it is as originally numbered by God. That is why Paul left us in no doubt where Christians should stand on the issue, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special does so to the Lord”. (Romans 14:5-6).

Christians accept that God created the world in 6 days, although some believe that the days were not literal 24-hour days, but merely represented periods of unspecified time. It is accepted that people of goodwill can differ on this point, but consistent hermeneutics will indicate that when the Bible says that the evening and the morning was a day, then it was so, even as it is to this very day.

The heathen, the pagan, the unenlightened, the uncivilized, call them what you may, did not take their cue from God, but rather from their own understanding based on observations and interpretations of astronomy.

The ancient Greeks, Sumerians, Chinese, Egyptians and Babylonians (it is still debatable who was first), came up with a system of naming days based on the 7 heavenly bodies, which could be observed from earth moving around relative to the fixed stars. They claimed that each heavenly body dominated one hour of the day and each heavenly body had a god that ruled over it.

They called the heavenly body by the god that ruled over it, and in chronological order, and beginning with the most distant heavenly body, they named them as follows; according to the Ptolemaic system: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon.

They claimed that the day had 24 hours, starting in the evening at 6pm, and lasting until the following evening until 6pm, (this agrees with the Genesis account Genesis 1:5), and whichever heavenly body/god ruled on the first hour of each day. dominated the day. and so the day was named after that god.

If you care to do a chart, you will see that if you start with Saturn ruling the first hour on day one, (and you go repeatedly through the sequence Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon), then the first hour of day 2 will be ruled by the Sun, the first hour of day 3 will be ruled by the Moon, the first hour of day 4 will be ruled by the Mars, the first hour of day 5 will be ruled by Mercury, the first hour of day 6 will be ruled by Jupiter, and the first hour of day 7 will be ruled by Venus.

Accordingly the sequence of days, as per this system, is the day of Saturn, the day of the Sun, the day of the Moon, the day of Mars, the day of Mercury, the day of Jupiter and the day of Venus. As mentioned before each of these heavenly bodies, which we now call planets, was supposed to be governed by a god and the days were named after the god as follows (using the English names for these gods):

Sunday (Old English2 sunnandæg Sunne’s day), Monday (Old English m?nandæg), Tuesday (Old English tiwesdæg Tiw’s day), Wednesday (Old English wodnesdæg Woden’s day), Thursday (Old English þunresdæg Thunor’s day), Friday (Old English frigesdæg Frige’s day), Saturday (Old English sæternesdæg).

The essential point here is that, yes, Sunday was named after a false god, but so too were all the other days as well, including Saturday. It makes absolutely no difference what name you call a day. Jesus Christ, as only He can, have a way of beautifying and transforming pagan and derogatory symbols, and force the world to see them differently. The Cross, Holy Communion, Christmas, Baptism; to name a few, all has pagan and/or derogatory associations, but when touched or commissioned by Jesus they are changed forever.

When you honour the Sabbath, you honour the God of the Sabbath; Almighty God. It is easy to forget that the Sabbath belongs to God; and is made for the benefit of us all.

Believers have no right to violate the Sabbath; even if the world has an attitude of indifference towards it.

1. Believers should not do routine work, or do unnecessary things, on the Sabbath.

2. Believers should buy groceries, fill gas tanks, etc, on days other than the Sabbath.

3. Believers should avoid worldly events and festivals of a non-spiritual nature.

4. Believers should make the Sabbath a spiritual day; to the honour and glory of God.

We are no longer under the dispensation of Law, but under the dispensation of Grace. The Law of Moses, or the Old Testament Law, does not apply to Christians; and is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who gave us two new laws for the Church Age, namely, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Nevertheless the requirement to keep the Sabbath holy remains.

Believers should not let the prevailing mores blind them to this fundamental requirement of God; to keep the Sabbath holy.

By keeping the Sabbath Holy, we are honouring God.

We honour and bless God by making his Sabbath a day of worship, rest, and carrying out of essential work only. All else besides should be confined to the other six days that God has graciously given to us to do our business. God reminds us, “…for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Samuel 2:30)

Enough said.

Books by this author (non-fiction except indicated otherwise)

E-books Published by Amazon.com

If you do not have a Kindle then when you access the site, click on How Buying Works and you will see the FREE apps for Computer, Cell phone, etc Then click as appropriate.

(Please click on the appropriate book link or cut and paste in your URL)

BASTARD: A STORY OF REDEMPTION(e-book fiction)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006OF3SD6

ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT ON GOD’S CLOCK (Hard copy)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002X78D16

THINGS EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD KNOW (e-book)

Volume 1 Five tough facts to be faced

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004YX5NSI

ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT ON GOD’S CLOCK (e-book)

http://tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-60799-630-9

STAND UP TO THE DEVIL (e-book)

Volume 1 You must first identify him

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005BQVLSS

Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward’s career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013

email drhendersonward@yahoo.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

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