Notes on the Sabbath

Dec 26, 2018

Notes on the Sabbath

Comment from H. P. Blavatsky

That the word “Sabbath” had a mystic significance is shown in the contempt shown by Jesus for the Sabbath day, and by what is said in Luke xviii. 12. Sabbath is there taken for the whole week. (See Greek text where the week is called Sabbath. “I fast twice in the Sabbath.”) Paul, an Initiate, knew it well when referring to the eternal rest and felicity in heaven, as Sabbath; “and their happiness will be eternal, for they will ever be (one) with the Lord and will enjoy an eternal Sabbath.” (Hebrew iv. 2.) Secret Doctrine Vol 1 Pg 240

It is interesting that the Greek word from when the English translation comes did not always refer to a certain day. Take note of these scriptures where the Greek SABBATON is used which is the same translated as Sabbath throughout the New Testament.

Luke 18:12: I fast twice in the week (SABBATON), I give tithes of all that I possess. 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week (SABBATON), when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Now upon the first day of the week, (SABBATON), very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. Luke 24:1

Upon the first day of the week (SABBATON), let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. I Cor 16:2

Here it sounds like Paul is referring to three consecutive days as three Sabbaths.

Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

Maybe the variety of uses of the word is the reason Paul told us to not judge people on how they interpret their Sabbath days:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days. Col 2:16

Some think the early Mormons recognized Saturday as the Sabbath, but the record reveals otherwise:

We found a number in the neighborhood still believing, and now anxious to be baptized. We appointed a meeting for the Sabbath, and on the afternoon of Saturday we erected a dam across a stream of water, which was convenient, for the purpose of there attending to the ordinance of baptism; but during the night a mob collected and tore down our dam, which hindered us from attending to the baptism on the Sabbath. We afterward found out that this mob had been instigated to this act of molestation by certain sectarian priests of the neighborhood, who began to consider their craft in danger, and took this plan to stop the progress of the truth; and the sequel will show how determinedly they prosecuted their opposition, as well as to how little purpose in the end. The Sabbath arrived, and we held our meeting. DHC 1:86

There are many references in Joseph’s recorded history in his own words referring to Sunday as the Sabbath. Here are three of many I could present if necessary.

October 5.–I started on a journey to the east, and to Canada, in company with Elders Rigdon and Freeman Nickerson, and arrived the same day at Lamb’s tavern, in Ashtabula; and the day following, the Sabbath, (Sunday, Oct 6) we arrived in Springfield DHC 1:416

On the 2nd, (Sunday, March 2, 1834) which was the Sabbath, Brother Parley P. Pratt preached, and I spoke in the evening; we had a good meeting. DHC 2:41

August 2nd, (1835) being the Sabbath, I preached a part of the day. (Aug 2, 1835 was on a Sunday) DHC 2:239

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Principle 95 – The Sabbath

This entry is part 92 of 98 in the series Principles

Principle 95

10

The Sabbath

Few consider that the Sabbath is a principle. Instead, many merely see it as a strict commandment from God. It is pretty simple. God rested from his work on the seventh, or Sabbath day and we should follow his example and do likewise.

This commandment was taken so seriously in ancient times by the Jews that a person was put to death if found working on the seventh day.

After Christ the Christian church changed the day of rest from the seventh day to Sunday, the first day of the week. The Jews and some Christian rejected this. The Seventh Day Adventists and a number of other sects believe it to be an item of extreme importance that we rest and worship on Saturday. We just have to get the day right or God will be angry at us.

So the question is this: Is the Sabbath just a letter-of-the-law, black and white thing, or is there some type of principle involved?

It is interesting that key scriptures revolving around the Sabbath suggest that it is not to be taken so literally as some assume. After God had worked for six days of creation it is written:

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Genesis 2:2

Here we see that God did two things on the seventh or Sabbath day. He ended his work and then he rested. And what was the ending of his work? Just a few verses later we learn that he created man as well as the Garden of Eden. So it appears that God continued working on into the seventh day and when finally finished He finally rested.

Even Jesus acknowledged that God worked on the Sabbath:

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things (healings) on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:16-18

Jesus here acknowledged that he was working on the Sabbath and was just following the example set by God who also works on that day.

Paul also had problems with people being too literal and judgmental about the Sabbath:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Col 2:16-17

So Paul had a problem with his people judging whether or not a person was righteous by how exacting they followed the Sabbath. Interestingly, he said the holy days were merely a “shadow” of things to come.

What was it a shadow of? A clue is given in the fact that Sabbath and rest are virtually identical and interchangeable in the Hebrew.

And what is the promise given to the righteous? They are promised that they will enter into the “rest” of God. The promise of rest and heaven are very similar in the scriptures.

After a period of intense labor here on the earth we will enter into a Sabbath or rest in one of the “mansions” of the spiritual worlds. Similarly, keeping the true spirit of the Sabbath while here on the earth is taking a rest and enjoying the fruit of our labors.

Is there anything more heavenly or enjoyable than finishing a difficult, but useful work and then just kicking back and savoring a time of rest and reflection?

When we do this we catch a glimpse of heaven on earth.

The principle of the Sabbath is this.

We labor for six cycles and rest and reflect on the seventh. If the work needs a little fine tuning we can finish our work and fine tune it during a part of the seventh.

Is a Sabbath suppose to occupy just one seventh of our time?

Not necessarily, if we correspond it to Genesis. Notice that the six days of labor had a set beginning and an end. Each one had a morning and evening attached to it. Not so on the Sabbath. No morning and evening were mentioned which is to say that there is no specific beginning and end as there is to work. When entering into the true Sabbath the seeker takes whatever time he needs to rejuvenate, rest and prepare for the next cycle of endeavor.

Each of us knows internally when a time of rest is needed and sometimes, as they say, a change is a rest. If we tune into the rest that we need and take it when possible we will all live healthier and happier lives as well as living the true spirit of the Sabbath.

Copyright 2016 by J J Dewey

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