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Heb 4:1-11   What are the 4 “rests” referred to in these verses?  See Heb 4:1,6,4,9.  What rest is the author concerned that his readers will come short of, and how are the other 3 rests he mentions related to it?  See Rom 15:4.  What does it mean to “rest”?  Note: in Hebrew, the verb “to rest” (shabat) used in Gen 2:2-3 that the author quotes in Heb 4:4 is the verbal form of “Sabbath” that means not primarily to rest but to cease or desist, as it is most frequently translated in the rest of the Bible (see for example Gen 8:22, Ex 12:15 (note here that “remove leaven” is literally to “cause leaven to cease”; see NASB text note); only 7 of the 67 times it is used does the NASB translate it as “rest”, and then only in reference to the Sabbath).  Think: does God grow weary that He needs to rest?  Cf. Is 40:28.

Thus a “Sabbath” is a ceasing from work, and “to sabbath” or “to keep sabbath” is to cease from work; the result of ceasing from physical work is physical rest, and the result of ceasing from spiritual work is spiritual rest.  On what day did the Lord command Israel to keep sabbath from their physical labors, and why?  See Ex 20:8-11.  Did the Lord bless the Sabbath day and make it holy to the Jews because it was on the seventh day, or was the seventh day holy because it was a sabbath?  Cf. Gen 2:2-3.

Note: Every covenant is marked by a sign as an abiding reminder of the covenant; as the wedding ring is the sign of the modern marriage covenant, so was the seventh day Sabbath the sign of the Mosaic covenant: Exo 31:12-17, Eze 20:10-12, 18-20[1]; what does this teach us about the central importance of the Sabbath to the Jews, as well as the importance of the “Sabbath rest” it typifies for us as Christians?

For what reason does Deut 5:15 say that God commanded the Jews to observe the Sabbath?  Of what was the Jew’s bondage in Egypt a type?  See Rom 7:14.  Wherein is found the bondage of sin?  See Rom 4:15, 5:13, 7:7-9, 1 Cor 15:56, Gal 4:1-5, 8-11, 5:1, Acts 15:10.

Consider a faithful Jew with a sincere faith and a pure heart and a good conscience who toiled throughout the week, week after week, under the yoke of the law as the manifold complexities of life repeatedly chafed his sinful nature; what was the physical rest that resulted from ceasing from his physical labors on the Sabbath day meant to teach him as he recalled on that day how the Lord had delivered him “by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm” from his slavery in the land of Egypt?  See Lev 26:13, Mat 11:28-30, Luk 11:46.  For what was the Sabbath day of physical rest to prepare him?  See Heb 4:9, Gal 3:22-25.  From what “works” (Heb 4:10) must one cease to enter into the Sabbath rest that remains for the people of God (Heb 4:9)?  See Rom 3:28, Eph 2:8-9, 2 Tim 1:9, Tit 3:5.

Note: Only when we cease and desist from trying to earn our salvation through the works of our hands can we enter into the Sabbath rest of the Lord; what is necessary for one to lay down the works of his hands in order to do so?  See Gal 2:20, Rev 14:13, and consider on what day the Lord was crucified and then “rested” in the grave.  By what means only is our old man of sin “crucified with Christ, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Rom 6:6)?  See Heb 4:3.

Many Christians (based on Roman Catholic doctrine) believe that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath; what’s wrong with this understanding?  Read Isa 58:13-14; is the sabbath rest that we as Christians are to enter into by being united with Christ in His death, and honor by desisting from our own ways, seeking our own pleasure, and speaking our own word just one day a week, or is it the 24/7 Today of our salvation the author refers to in Hebrews 3 and 4?  Did Christians in the early church gather for worship on the first day of the week because the Roman Catholic Church declared Sunday to be the Christian Sabbath and a holy day of obligation?  Note: Christians all over the Roman Empire were gathering for worship on Sunday hundreds of years before the church in Rome had any influence or power over other Christians in the Empire.

Why did Christians come to honor the first day of the week as “the Lord’s day” (Rev 1:10) and gather for fellowship and to worship God on that day?  See Lk 24:1-2[2].  Did Paul consider it wrong to gather for fellowship, teaching and worship on the first day of the week?  See Acts 20:6-7[3].  Would he have supposed that because he met with other Christians on that day to celebrate Christ’s resurrection he was observing the Jewish Sabbath?  Is the day of the week that one meets with other believers what determines if one has kept sabbath?  I.e., if one meets for prayer with other believers on Wednesday has he kept sabbath by doing so?  Has one necessarily kept sabbath just because he attends church or synagogue on Saturday morning instead of Sunday morning?  If during the week one is unable to meet with other believers has he thereby failed to keep sabbath?  Would gathering together on the first day of the week to break bread and worship God have negated or in any way taken the place of the seventh day sabbath requirement in the Law of Moses?  Since Sunday is clearly not the seventh day Sabbath aren’t Christians who do not observe that day just as guilty of violating the Ten Commandments as if they had murdered someone?  See James 2:10.

Click Here For the Continuation of This Study: What about the seventh day Sabbath?  If Christians believe it is still right to have no other gods before the Lord, to make no idols, to not take the name of the Lord in vain, to honor one’s  father and our mother, to not murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, or covet, how can they dismiss the 4th commandment to honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy?  Is the seventh day Sabbath still binding today?

Note: See Part 2 of this study here.

1. See Gen 9:12-13 for the sign of God’s covenant with Noah, 17:11 for the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham, 31:44-48, 51-52 for the sign of the covenant between Jacob and Laban, and Col 2:11-12 for the sign of the new covenant.

2. Cf. chapter 9 of Ignatius of Antioch’s Epistle to the Magnesians, c. 101 a.d., “After the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days of the week.” (Ignatius lived c. 37-111 a.d. and was Bishop of Antioch from 68 a.d. until he was arrested, taken to Rome, and martyred.)

3. Note: Some have argued that to worship on Sunday is “the mark of the beast”.  But Paul worshiped on Sunday as Acts 20:6-7 indicate.  Consider also that if it was not the practice of the early church at that time (c. 56 a.d.) to gather together on the first day of the week, why would Paul have waited until the day before he was to depart to break bread and offer a prolonged message that lasted until daylight (see Acts 20:11) when he had already been in Troas for almost a week and it would have been so much more convenient to do so the day before, which was the Sabbath?

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. samuel

    Dear Friends,

    Greetings in Jesus name. We are happy to know you and the work you are doing. We request you to partner with us here in Kenya so that we may become your ministry branch. We are caring for the Orphans whom also need your love and compassion, Our young ministry started 2013 and we have 5 working congregations and other small sturdy groups.

    We pray God to open every door for you as you extend your work here in Kenya and we believe with you more will be done in reaching souls to Christ. May His will be done for you to join hands with us and work together in building these great Kingdom before probation closes.

    Our prayers for you and wait to hearing from you. Will you be able to send us Christian Materials plus Bibles?

    With Christian Love.

    Sis Dama [Kenya Mission/Orphans]
    CODE: 40204

    1. clabro

      Dear Brother Sis,

      Thank you for the kind words. We are a small ministry with no resources for international outreach other than this internet ministry. The only resources we are able to provide are in electronic format. Feel free to use these resources in any way that will further the kingdom of God in your sphere of the world. God bless you!

      Clark Brown

      1. Philip Owade

        Your teachings are rich and allow me on this net to be proposing subjects or topics for short study

    2. Julius Saitoti

      Amen And may God be with you all

    3. Japheth mutuku

      Amen. May God bless you.

    4. dickson mutai

      I am Dockson Mutai. Let me say thank you for the good work you are doing. Be blessed!

  2. Robert Kofie

    You are helping us through these messages God richly bless you



  4. Collins

    Happy sabbath
    Keep on educating us …
    I know the truth gonna set us free…

  5. Moses Angasa

    hi this is the end time can you pray for me and send me some materials which can encourage me to grow in christ

  6. violet

    May the Lord bless everyone.

  7. kipkorir

    God bless you, pray for other saints

  8. Pratik Das

    Praise God!!! Hello my name is Pratik Das from India, Kolkata.My email-daspratik16@Gmail.com.I have children and and Adult ministry but I don’t have any resources to run these ministry!!! Please pray for me so that God may provide whatever is needed for his kingdom!!! Thank you!!!

    1. clabro

      Hi Pratik, and thank you for visiting this site. You are free to use any of the resources on this site, and translate them into your native language. If you are able to minister in English, you can download and print the entire Basics of Biblical Christianity Bible study in a nicely formatted pdf file. I can also provide nicely formatted pdf files for all of the other studies as well upon request. God bless you!

  9. Macharia James Mwangi

    I am James and I am 5 month old in this new faith. Thanks to this site for it has contributed a lot in my spiritual growth. May almighty God bless you as continue spreading the gospel worldwide.

  10. Timothy y

    The Lord God Almighty never changes forever and the same Saturday he blessed in Gen 2:2-3 and commanded in Exodus 20:8 still stands. Paul in Acts 20:6-7 did not mean worship and what do Christ’s and the Beast’s people have in common? I bro Timothy have chosen to obey what the whole bible is full of and I choose to obey God rather than the Catholic Pope or the 24 elders, or not the hearers of the law and commandments will be saved but the doers even them that keeps the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ will be saved. AMEN

    1. clabro

      If your conviction is to keep the Sabbath of the Jews to God’s glory, by all means do so. “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord… The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” (Rom 14:5-6a,22.) May God bless you to walk in truth as you understand it, and may He lead you in the truth that sets men free (Joh 8:32)


    Dear Saints of the Most High God,
    Special Christian greetings to you in the Name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ who is soon to come. Continue being faithful to Him who called you and sent you for many be called but very few are chosen who are blessed like you. Continue the tremendous work you are doing by spreading proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel in these last days of the Earth’s history and very soon you will be rewarded. Please I need more information from you soon. Iam an Independent and Self-Supporting person. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    God bless you all and your beloved families. I am living in Zambia-Luapula Province.
    With lots of Christian love.
    ZEPHANIAH 3:13
    ISAIAH 58:1-2
    JOSHUA 24:15
    REV 14-REV 18

  12. Constance

    Shabbat Shalom, I have read Deuteronomy 5:15 and no where does it say G-d spoke to the jews, however I read from 5:1 and it say that Moses called all Israel…..my point is, the law was given to Isreal and Israel consist of 12 tribes and the jews are just one of the 12.
    Isreal is scattered all over the globe, you , me all could be part of Isreal…….
    G-d will gather us from the ends of the earth.
    Please do not add to Torah or take away from it…..

    1. clabro

      Rom 2:28-29 He is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.
      Rom 9:6 They are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.
      Phi 3:2-3 Beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.

  13. Leonard Charles kishiwa

    Amen, this is a holy day created by Jesus special for us.

  14. Musonda Grace

    Thank you for your teachings we are much beneficiaries. W also offer free literature (e.g. Bibles) in our local language and Spirit of prophecy books for free distribution to unsaved souls.

    1. clabro

      Praise God! May God richly bless your ministry!

  15. Masereka Robert

    May GOD bless you abundantly.

  16. BRA VO

    Glory be to GOD ALMIGHTY.

  17. mambwe obed

    Thank you for your website and we are much beneficiaries of your teachings. Therefore,we are in need of free literature eg BiBLES in our local languages and BiBLES in English for free distribution to unsaved souls. Ezekiel 33 -6-9; Amos 8:11. Thank you and it’s more encouraging to hear from you soon.

    1. clabro

      Christian greetings! Please visit https://www.persecution.com/. At the bottom of the page they have a contact form. Let them know you are in need of Bibles. They have a large ministry providing Bibles all over the world and may be able to provide Bibles for you or put you in contact with someone who can. God bless you!

  18. Fredrick

    Sabbath shall remain forever even in heaven…GOD bless everyone for the message.

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