*Introduction: The Biblical Sabbath, God’s seventh day established for our benefit
This book on the biblical Sabbath day is a direct companion to a related one I wrote on fasting. It is titled, All Fasting Principles: Biblical Purpose, Prayer, Power, Price, Precautions, etc.
The fasting book covers on major fasting principles while this one focuses on matters on the major purpose of the biblical Sabbath day in our Christian lives. Just as fasting is a spiritual mystery, the biblical Sabbath is not any less. Just as the mystery of fasting has many benefits God put in it, the biblical Sabbath has many benefits that are not worth ignoring.
Biblical fasting is personal abstinence from food (completely or partially) for spiritual reasons. A biblical Sabbath day is personal abstinence from secular work for spiritual reasons on a seventh day of a biblical calendar. Fasting and Sabbaths have similarities of being forms of abstinence from secular human needs.
No matter how pure our human needs of whether food or secular work God wants us to occasionally abstain from them. There are so many advantages he put to benefit us when we obey to apply occasional abstinence from them. The wisdom of God is way beyond our limited minds. It takes spiritual discernment to see the true value in these disciplines. Otherwise the natural mind looks at them like a punishment, than as spiritual laws intended for our benefit.
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned,” 1 Corinthians 2:14
Biblical fasting can be done at any point in time that a Christian is able to and as often as preferring to. Biblical Sabbaths don’t give us this freedom that fasting has. They can only be done as prescribed by God for them to qualify as Sabbaths. They have to fit with his calendar, not man’s calendar. We can’t just pick any seventh day, nor can we just accept a seventh day on a calendar that is different from God’s calendar. This is the part that has been neglected for most of church history after God’s calendar was replaced by a very different man-made calendar system which we use today.
Thankfully the bible has plenty of information for us to easily restore God’s calendar and be able to observe Sabbaths in alignment with his prescribed schedules. In these end times God is restoring his prescribed schedules for observing the Sabbath. This book will show why observing the Sabbath in its true biblical context is important for the times we live in.
This seventh day rest law is part of the Ten Commandments. Our Lord Jesus, his disciples, the apostles and all early church Christians observed the Sabbath day. They observed it in its rightful context than in the legalistic way it had turned into during their time. This will be covered in detail in chapters ahead.
What this book is mainly about and what it is not about
Here are summarized areas, then an elaboration follows for each area:
† 1) Sabbaths are for our benefit in this life, not for heaven entry.
† 2) Biblical Sabbaths can be observed by anyone from any church.
† 3) Biblical Sabbaths synchronize with God’s lunar calendar ONLY.
† 4) Learning God’s calendar to observe biblical Sabbaths is very easy.
† 5) Humility, a key for avoiding a Sabbath judgmental mentality.
† 6) The biblical Sabbath was not abolished and its benefits make it worth applying, particularly in these extraordinary times we’re in.
† 7) Let’s join and unite in enlarging the reformation movement of restoring the biblical Sabbath for the sake of the end-time body of Christ.
1) Sabbaths are for our benefit in this life, not for heaven entry
This book is firstly about the Sabbath day being a commandment God gave us to apply for our benefit. Its principles are still for our application as Christians today. His Sabbath principles are not as a ticket to heaven but for the purposes God established it to work for us in our present lives.
What God removed from the Sabbath day commandment was its condemnation against us if we fail to obey it. However its purpose, its power, and its relevance for our present lives still remains. Observing the Sabbath day is similar to fulfilling other disciplines that empower us to live overcoming Christian lives. These include occasional fasting and living generous lifestyles. None of these disciplines are tickets to heaven. However they immensely benefit our present lives when we apply them appropriately. So does observing the biblical seventh day, the biblical Sabbath day.
Thus the book is not about making claims that observing the Sabbath day secures our entry into heaven. The contextual relevance of the Sabbath to us Christians concerns matters for this life. Wise is he/she who after learning the Sabbath’s importance then proceeds to apply God’s instructions for fulfilling it. Observing the biblical Sabbath day can make a huge difference on matters in one’s present day life: spiritually, materially, socially, physiologically, and so on. All these areas will be covered ahead.
As for salvation that’s another realm of God’s provision that we ought not to claim as being based on observing the Sabbath. Salvation is by God’s grace and our acceptance of the salvation gift by striving to live worthy lives in God’s eyes. God will judge our lives on Judgment Day according to the measure of grace given to each of us and how we applied ourselves with that measure of grace. It won’t be based on how many Sabbath days we adequately observed.
“We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad,” 2 Corinthians 5:10.
2) Biblical Sabbaths can be observed by anyone from any church
Secondly, this book is not about changing churches in order to observe the Sabbath day. There can be many valid reasons for deciding to change churches and this is not one of them.
For example, a valid reason could be seeking a church that passionately strives for a closer walk with God and one that challenges members to play their part in their lives. Thus in such a context a Christian is appropriately looking for green pastures.
There are some dependency churches where the pastor is like the big daddy who members run to for prayers and attention for even minor matters. A dependency church is like a Sunday school (a school for children). Then there are some empowerment churches where the pastor is like the big leader who teaches and inspires members to passionately strive to play their part for birthing God’s promises upon their lives.
The empowerment church is certainly better than the dependency church. An empowerment church is like a seminary or bible university. At the empowerment church you learn God’s principles for overcoming battles in this life. You are also challenged to do your own personal study from relevant books, sermons, articles, websites, and so on. At the dependency church it is the church that takes center stage for spiritual growth and identity. Loyalty and obedience to the church’s programs and activities is more important than cultivating a personal walk with God. And so on.
Scenarios like the one above have valid reasons for changing churches. There are no valid reasons when doing it because of seeking to observe biblical Sabbath days. The commandment on observing the Sabbath day has nothing to do with going to church on a particular day. This is good news particularly for us in these extraordinary times. Otherwise we would have very few chances of observing the Sabbath on its true biblical calendar. Most of us would not be able to make it to church because the biblical Sabbath day happens to fall on a working day on our secular calendar. Most biblical Sabbaths fall on days we do not ordinarily congregate based on our secular calendars.
Thus it’s good news that the Sabbath day commandment does not say “thou shalt assemble together on the Sabbath in order to fulfill the Sabbath instructions.” A Christian can fulfill God’s instructions on observing the Sabbath without going for church assembly on the biblical Sabbath day itself. Instructions on observing the Sabbath evolve around two requirements: 1) complete rest, and 2) making the day holy. If this sounds confusing to you it’ll become crystal clear after reading this book.
3) Biblical Sabbaths synchronize with God’s lunar calendar ONLY
The third point about this book is connected to the matter shared above. It’s that the biblical Sabbath day was established to work only on God’s calendar. It is a lunar calendar, based on phases of the moon in each month. Throughout the bible we see no change to this calendar. The dates and moon alignments are all matching whenever the Sabbath’s timing is covered. God’s calendar is a holy calendar who’s value is primarily connected to observing the Sabbath.
The calendar we now use, almost worldwide, is a man-made calendar. It is a solar calendar, based on the sun. The months are arbitrary, with no regard to moon phases. The Sabbath day cannot work on this calendar because its months do not match with moon phases that the biblical calendar provides. A defined seventh day on the man-made calendar often turns out not to be a seventh day on God’s calendar.
Thus even if the man-made calendar has seven days each week it does not mean it’s applicable when observing the Sabbath in it’s biblical context. For those that justify that this man-made calendar is applicable to observing the Sabbath then there’s no calendar restriction we can align with the Sabbath. Anyone can set up his own schedule of working six days then resting on the seventh. It can be on whatever that seventh day turns it out to occur on his calendar schedule. Freedom of choice on calendar setting.
Those that deny the central importance of the biblical calendar are basically saying there is no fixed seventh day to observe it. The man-made calendar we have today does not have any scriptural authority to replace the biblical calendar for the Sabbath day. Even if some saintly Christians gave it a blessing their opinion is not binding upon every Christian. Actually from what we know in history is that this secular calendar had the blessings of unsaintly Christians, if at all they were Christians. The top leadership of the Catholic Church made many compromises and polluted Christianity with many pagan beliefs, including adopting a calendar that is not compatible with our biblical calendar.
It is worth using our biblical calendar when observing the Sabbath day. Says Michael Rood: “Has the western Gentile Christian world forsaken God’s calendar? We are living in the Creator’s universe. The world in which we live is synchronized to His calendar and His time clock. Whether we recognize it or not makes no difference. The Almighty does not spin the world around what we do or do not understand.
“The Creator’s reckoning of time is clearly detailed in the first scroll of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament). Yet, the western Gentile Christian world has forsaken God’s calendar. Instead, it has adopted a pagan reckoning of time in which every day of the week and month of the year is named after a pagan god or fallen angel. Days, weeks, months, and years all begin at completely fictitious points in time. Those raised within the western paradigm have no idea what time (day) it is… Heaven is restoring that which was lost. We no longer need to be ignorant of His times and seasons,” Michael Rood, ‘Biblical Hebrew Calendar.’ Rood makes a good point here, though I dot not concur with some of his ministry’s Jewish rooted teachings.
The chapters ahead cover in detail on God’s calendar system. God’s calendar was made for observing the Sabbath day based on his clock of his creation. He chose the moon which has a month’s full cycle of its phases. The Sabbath day is not based on man’s opinion in changing of times and calendar system.
Thus the biblical Sabbath day is determined by God’s biblical calendar (Jewish or Hebrew calendar). It is not on a Saturday or on a Sunday of a man-made calendar. We are free to have church assembly on any day whether Saturday, Sunday, or any day. When it comes to observing the Sabbath we are not free to pick any day of any calendar and make it a Sabbath just because that calendar says it’s a seventh day. God’s biblical Sabbath day has to correspond with his calendar schedule.
4) Learning God’s calendar to observe biblical Sabbaths is very easy
The fourth purpose of this book is showing what God’s lunar calendar is in a clear way. Learning God’s lunar calendar to observe Biblical Sabbaths is very easy. This calendar maybe referred to by various interchangeable names: Hebrew calendar, Jewish calendar, biblical calendar, God’s calendar and God’s lunar calendar.
If any reader ends up to still find learning the biblical calendar difficult please feel free to email me. I’ll use your input to update the book so that I make it as clear as possible to any reader. You can email me at through the contact page at JesusWork.com or to my personal email which is shared at the end of this introduction.
Please share in detail how and why it’s still difficult to understand it. To just write “I don’t understand,” won’t help me to work on areas that you find difficult to understand. Please allow your helpful feedback to be a one-way communication since due to floods of emails it’s beyond the time I can afford to respond to all emails. Thanks in advance.
I’ve taken the extra time to try to make learning the biblical calendar as easy as possible because most books I’ve read leave this homework to the reader. These books are anointed and have highly researched content by the authors. It’s only that they do not elaborate the biblical calendar in a clear way for every reader. By the time an average reader finishes such books he/she understands the central role of the biblical calendar for observing the Sabbath. However the reader is unable to understand what this biblical calendar really is.
Many books explain it in a way that only those who’re already familiar with the lunar calendar can understand it. The rest who have no clue on what a lunar calendar is end up being stuck with information they can’t put into practice. So I hope this book fills that information gap – the missing link that can help everyone to understand and apply God’s calendar for observing the biblical Sabbath day.
5) Humility, a key for avoiding a Sabbath judgmental mentality
The fifth objective of this book is to help avoiding a Sabbath judgmental mentality. A Sabbath judgmental Christian is the one who uses the Sabbath to measure the spiritual worth of others. Christians who don’t observe it or have nor regard for it are automatically downgraded as either inferior Christians or completely lost and condemned by God.
As you can see a Christian with such an elitist mentality in regard to observing the Sabbath is an empty shell. He has nothing inside him in terms of character and walking in humility. The judgmental mentality creates a false sense of assurance that a person is more esteemed by God just by observing the Sabbath day. A false sense of assurance plus a false sense of superiority (spiritual elitism) against those who do not observe it.
Such a Christian is more deceived than he was before he started observing the Sabbath. He is also less humble, and with a wrong heart towards fellow Christians in the body of Christ. What a waste of observing the Sabbath this is.
May this never happen to anyone reading this book. I’ve shared these matters right at the beginning of this book to avoid any chance of misleading anyone from making any wrong perceptions. I’ll be repeating some of these points just to remove any loopholes of ambiguity. Observing the Sabbath is a much needed command for us to obey. It’s loaded with God’s benefits for our lives. However its value is when it’s done in its scriptural context and with a lot of humility.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Philippians 2:3 (NIV).
“This is the one I esteem (approve of or value highly): he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word,” Isaiah 66:2 (God speaking).
6) The biblical Sabbath was not abolished and its benefits make it worth applying, particularly in these extraordinary times we’re in
The sixth purpose of this book is to help my once fellow Sabbath deniers. I’ve been a Sabbath day denier all my Christian life. This only changed in 2014 as I turn 40 in this year. It’s like my 40 year wilderness ended. Ok I’m just joking on this wilderness part. God has blessed my Christian journey in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Adding the biblical Sabbath principles will be like icing on a cake. The big cake is his salvation gift that no works can buy.
Sabbath day deniers are right on one part and wrong on another part. They are right that the Sabbath day is not our ticket to heaven. A Christian is not doomed to go to hell just because he denies the Sabbath day has any value for Christians.
In addition, a Christian’s walk with God cannot be measured based on whether or not a believer observes the Sabbath day. There are many factors that determine one’s walk with God. One small factor alone cannot be the sole determinant. This is easy to understand for Sabbath deniers than it is for those who’ve been taught in Sabbath keeping denominations.
This is because most Sabbath keeping denominations make this commandment so eternally severe that those who deny its worth are spiritual law breakers worthy of going to hell. As important as the Sabbath is for our lives in this present lifetime it is not important enough to determine our entry into heaven. This point is repeated quite often to make it crystal clear.
Where Sabbath deniers are wrong is that the Sabbath has no value to us in this lifetime. Secondly they are wrong that the biblical Sabbath was abolished by Jesus. Thirdly they are wrong that somehow the New Testament forbids the Sabbath commandment from being observed. More will be covered on these false scriptural claims in chapters ahead.
In passages where the Sabbath day is being addressed in its negative areas by Jesus or by the apostles was to seek to change these areas, than to cancel the Sabbath. These negative areas of observing it were legalistic, prideful, for showoff, and for being judgmental on others. We have some elements of this even in our times among some Christians who observe it. Surely God does not want to be worshipped in this way.
The apostles were quick to address the negative areas that can potentially arise from observing it. They also were quick to be clear on were we stand as Christians. Our salvation does not come from observing the Sabbath or any outward works. Yet it doesn’t mean these works are useless for us just because we have been graciously saved by receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We still have to spiritually fight battles in this life. God gave us principles or spiritual laws for fighting these battles. Occasional fasting is one of them, observing the biblical Sabbath is one of them, charitable living is one of them, and so on.
We’re free to ignore any of these works and we could still make it to heaven if we lived in ways that are worthy enough in God’s eyes. However ignoring any of these spiritual disciplines has consequences in this present lifetime in one way or another: spiritually, materially, socially, physiologically, and so on. The state of the church today is largely because we’ve made it easy for living compromised lives and ignoring God’s principles. We avoid showing that there are consequences for lukewarm living.
God’s requirement to obey his spiritual principles has not changed. His grace is available to help us obey them and to receive the rewards of walking in obedience:
“I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply… I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live,” Deuteronomy 30:15-19 (NKJV).
Says Stephen R. Covey: “While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions,” Stephen Covey (1932 -2012, professor and author). There are many who’ll arrive in heaven wounded and beaten by Satan’s schemes. Instead of having a record of victorious living it’s one of defeats all because they ignored applying principles God gave us to overcome battles in this life.
May God’s grace abound upon each of us to enable us to strive to walk the narrow path. The narrow path of obeying to apply his spiritual principles (spiritual laws) ends up equipping us to live victorious Christian lives. The narrow road is an impossible road to walk through with our own strength, yet is 100% possible through God’s grace. “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work,” 2 Corinthians 9:8.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing,” John 15:5.
7) Let’s join and unite in enlarging the reformation movement of restoring the biblical Sabbath for the sake of the end-time body of Christ
The seventh purpose for this book is to add to the growing reformation movement of restoring the biblical Sabbath. There is no better time than during our times that this spiritual discipline is worthwhile than during these extraordinary times we live in. The end-time body of Christ will need as much spiritual weapons as possible to prevail in more challenging times. Observing the Sabbath in its biblical makeup is one of these spiritual weapons.
More and more Christians are getting to understand the true biblical purpose and value of obeying this fourth commandment. Churches where the understanding occurs at the pastoral leadership level will be seeing entire churches reform. They’ll be able to teach their members about the biblical Sabbath day and how to observe it.
Please join in this growing reformation movement of restoring the biblical Sabbath observance. We don’t all have to write books or preach but each of us can play a positive role in one way or another. For example you can be sharing the website where this book and matters on the biblical Sabbath are extensively shared. The website is simply BiblicalSabbath.com.
From biblical Sabbath book titled: Biblical Sabbath Day Truths, Benefits & its Calendar: It’s not Saturday or Sunday, ©2014, 20192019 Eric Gondwe
(This site (BiblicalSabbath.com), launched on March 24, 2014, is still under construction. More extensive content to be added soon. Please bear with us).
Christian Deliverance Book 1: