Is the Sabbath perpetual, a requirement for the Church?
Words like “perpetual” and “everlasting” are often used to prove a keeper of the Law’s position. But they neglect that it is to be qualified by the phrase “throughout your generations,” a reference to the generations of the Jewish people and their covenant of Moses (which ended at the cross). There are also differences in words meaning in Hebrew and Greek that need to be distinguished.
This all made clear when one takes all the Scriptures and reads them in their context.
What does the word “perpetual” mean? Exod.31:13, the covenant's duration is given as being “throughout your generations.” This phrase is used to denote the generations of the Jews as God's chosen people. The term “perpetual” is defined and limited by that phrase, which is very easy to prove. Many aspects of the Mosaic covenant are said to be “perpetual.” To mention a few, the Aaronic priesthood was according to a perpetual statute (Exodus 29:9); “ for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations ” (Exod. 40:15). “and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood” (Num. 25:13)
We all know that this priesthood ended because of the new covenant, as Heb. 7:12 “ For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.”
Also the Passover You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance (Exod. 12:14).
Incense burning was perpetual (Exodus 30:8); the washing of feet and hands by the priests was a perpetual statute (Exodus 30:21), as was the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:41); Exod. 12:17 'So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, …Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance .”
Lev 3:17 'This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall eat neither fat nor blood.'"
Do law keepers obey this. Do they drained their juicy steak or hamburger of blood?
The word everlasting Olam, has the meaning of a vanishing point, unlike the Greek meaning of
Everlasting: eternal Gr. aionios; perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well): 1) without beginning and end, what has always been and always will be 2) without beginning 3) without end, never to cease, everlasting
This is one reason why God was described as from everlasting TO everlasting in the Old Testament.
Do any of the law keepers the feast days? Lev.23:31 tells us it is a statute forever. The blowing of trumpets by the priests (Numbers 10:8). Lev 16:33-34 and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. "This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel , for all their sins, once a year." Exod. 29:42 “This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD,” (but there is no tabernacle today). “This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel , for all their sins, once a year.” And he did as the LORD commanded Moses” (Lev. 16:34).
Notice whom God is giving this too, the children of Israel. Not the Gentiles, not the Church. They were the ones who were in covenant with God at this time.
Do modern Sabbatarians keep the Levitical priesthood and sacrifice? NO. Why not? Why are they ignoring the other commands and focus on the Sabbath like the Pharisees did?
For the believer saved by grace who understands the new covenant we do not observe the Sabbath as a law (Rom. 14:5; Gala. 4:9-11; Colo. 2:14-17). The Law keeper will ALWAYS use the Old Testament as proof for continuation combing it with portions of Jesus’ words. Ignoring the Jews were under the law before the atonement for sin by his crucifixion. The references, then, to keeping the Law “forever” must be taken to mean “for a long time” instead of eternity if one keeps the words and meaning in its context.
But they also neglect the most important part, the recipients who were Israel only, not the Gentiles. Exod. 31:16 'Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.”
Nowhere does the Bible say that Paul or ANY Christian kept the Sabbath according to a commandment after the resurrection . It was not an obligation. Acts 17:2-5 “ Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures .” He had this custom kept because he was a Jew who was wanting to reach other Jews and did not want to offend them by his freedom in Christ.
The Sabbath is mentioned only 8 times in the book of Acts and once in one
The one other place the Sabbath is mentioned is instruction to the church which actually teaches the opposite of what law keepers tell their people to observe.
Col. 2:16-17 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. ”
The Sabbath was a shadow, the light that cast the shadow came, Jesus, who gave the new covenant –Himself, the gospel. Shadows pass as it says in Heb.8:8, 13;12:24). The most important words God gave man are not the 10 commandments but THE GOSPEL. Only the new covenant is eternal and gives man eternal life with God. The commandments cannot redeem man but only show how far he is from obeying God. Once it is understood about sin he can go to the solution to resolve it; called the gospel, the new covenant that is about Jesus and His work.
If one is to keep the Sabbath day as law then they are also be under the obligation to also observe the Sabbath year (Lev.25:17). The land is to be tilled for six years and the seventh year is the Sabbath year. And there are many other laws that pertain to Sabbath keeping that they do not keep. For example they are to work 6 days not 5. Work is incorporated in the Sabbath
“ Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death .” (Ex 31:15)
Paul states on being in the New Covenant in Rom. 6:14 “ For you are not under law, but under grace.” That is all we need to understand, it is that simple. (Those who are not in Christ ARE under the law because its purpose is to bring one to Christ (Gal.3; Heb.8:7-8, 13). Grace is how we operate in the new covenant, law is how Israel operated in the old covenant. You can’t have your feet walk in both covenants, some of this and some of that (Rom.6:14-15).
I Jn. 5:11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son”
So if one insists they are under the law, then you must keep all the law, not just the Sabbath. What they are saying is ‘I have not come to embrace the new covenant’ which operates by grace and they need to have the gospel explained to them to adhere to it.