Genesis 2:1-3: Seventh Day is Special

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A Study on Genesis 2:1-3

Let’s open our Bibles to the second chapter of Genesis. Let me read the opening three verses, Genesis 2.

Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed and all their hosts; and by the seventh day, God completed His work which He had done and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it (why? So that people can follow his example? No the reason is) because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

The creation account thus closes with those words, a reference to the seventh day.

The seventh day is mentioned three times in those verses I just read to you. It is mentioned because it is important. It is mentioned three times because it is important. The seventh day is unique. It has incomparable significance, indicated also by the fact that this is the first time the word “holy” is used in Scripture. The Hebrew word qedesh translated “sanctified,” in verse 3, is the word holy. The root meaning of qedesh, holy, in the form of qadash, the root, is thought to mean “to be cut off, or to separate.” And holiness, qodesha is elevation, or exaltation, above the usual level.

So that seventh day is a special day. It is a day set apart. It is a day cut off from the other days and elevated. It is a day lifted up. It is a day exalted. It is then a very, very unique day. None of the other six days is so identified and set apart as holy or sanctified, as exalted and lifted up above the others. Hebrews 4 will later explain a greater significance of this day for people of God. This is a unique day.

Now there are three reasons why it is unique and those three reasons are indicated by three verbs in this passage…

  • the verb “completed,” you see it there in verse 1
  • you see it again in verse 2, the verb “rested,”
  • you see that in verse 2 and again in verse 3; and the verb “blessed.” 

It became a sanctified day, it became a holy day, it became an exalted day, it became an elevated day for the three reasons, that which signified that God completed, God rested and God blessed. Each of those three verbs, by the way, is associated with the seventh day explicitly”

  • Verse 2: “The seventh day God completed.”
  • Verse 2 again: “He rested on the seventh day.”
  • Verse 3, “He blessed the seventh day.”

So in each case the verb is tied explicitly to that seventh day which is mentioned three times.

Also, each of those three verbs is associated with the work of God.

  • In verse 2, “God completed His work which He had done.”
  • Verse 2 again, “He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”
  • Verse 3, “God blessed the seventh day and because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

So the pattern and the structure here is very simple. This is a sanctified day. This is a holy day. This is a set-apart day. This is a unique day. For the reasons that it marks out God had completed His work, rested from His work and blessed this unique day.

Now let’s just take those three for a moment and look at them. The first one is “completed.”

Verses 1 and 2 indicate the uniqueness of this day is connected to the fact that God completed creation. Verse 1, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed and all their hosts, by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done.

It is clear by the language here that the entire work of creation was completed, that’s what the Hebrew term means. The entire work of God was completed so that on the seventh day it had been already completed and God rested. That is again to reiterate that creation was finished at the end of day six, finished in six 24-hour days. Since that time, there has been no other creation. No creation after that, it was completed. The heavens were completed, the earth was completed and “all their hosts” simply means everything in the heavens and everything in the earth.

How the universe came into existence is clearly told to us in Genesis chapter 1 and 2. There is nothing in any part of the Scripture to indicate that any evolutionary process existed. God created everything as it is now and He did it in six 24-hour days. This is what the Bible says and the Bible is the Word of God, inspired and inerrant. It is unmistakable.

So when you come to day seven in that original creation account, all creation has ceased. If you believe in evolution, even theistic evolution, you have to believe that things are still evolving and that is in direct contradiction to the clear statement that the heavens and the earth were completed and all their occupants, all their hosts.

Now we remember on day one God created light; in day two He created water and the firmament. On day three He created the dry land; on day four the sun and the moon and the stars; on day five, the fish and the birds; day six, the land animals and man. He did it in each case in a 24-hour day as indicated by the phrase, “There was morning and there was evening,”. For example for all six days, God ends like this:

  • Gen 1:8, “God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day..
  • there was evening and there was morning, a second day…
  • there was evening and there was morning, a third day…
  • there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day…
  • there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day….
  • there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day….

And at the end of the six days the heaven and the earth were completed. Back in verse 31 of chapter 1, “God saw all that He had made. Behold, it was very good.” That is God’s final stamp of approval on His completed creation at the end of day six. It was finished, it was complete, it was very good which was to say it lacked nothing.

Now that takes us to the second verb here, rested.

Genesis 2:2 “By the seventh day God completed His work” literally could be translated, “And since by the seventh day God had completed His work which He had done, He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”

Repeatedly, I told you, three times it tells us that His work was done, His work was done, His work was done.

Now the verb “rested” is very interesting, shabath in the Hebrew (it is not the Hebrew word for Sabbath). Rested is not to imply any kind of weariness. It is not that God was worn out after a tough work week. Isaiah 40:28, you ought to remember this verse, Isaiah 40:28 says, “He faints not, neither is weary.” There is when God works whether He’s working in creation or whether He’s upholding the creation by the Word of His power as we saw in Hebrews 1, or whether He’s accomplishing any particular task, there is no dissipation of energy, there is no law of entropy, there is no breaking down of matter, there is no disintegration in the absolute, ineffable, pure, holy power of God. That’s why Psalm 121:4 says He doesn’t slumber and He doesn’t sleep. He needs no replenishing. He needs no refreshing because He never gets weary, He never gets tired.

What does the Hebrew verb mean? Rested is a word that we could misunderstand, that’s why I’m taking a minute or two to explain it. The Hebrew word simply means “not to do work.” It is a negative connotation, primarily, not to do work. And what it is saying is since He had completed the creation, there was nothing for Him to do with regard to the creation. He ceased to work. He ceased to do the work of creation. That’s what it means. And the word is used in those negative ways even the Mosaic Sabbath Law texts (Exodus 20), giving us the idea that the indication, first of all, here is that God was done with His work and so He didn’t do any further work. 

But there’s something more than that. I don’t want to just leave it at that. There is also a positive effect in that word. It can be used in a positive way and I want to draw that from Exodus 31:17. It says, “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased and was refreshed.” He stopped. He stopped creating. He stopped making. “And was refreshed,” now that’s an addition. That’s the positive side of it.

Now you say, “What does it mean He was refreshed? That sounds again like He needed to sort of regain His dissipated energy. Not at all. The idea of that Hebrew word “refreshed” is the idea of satisfaction or delight. It is not to say that the result of God not working was some necessary replenishing of lost energy or strength, not some level of rehabilitation, but the idea of being refreshed or to find delight because of satisfaction. It’s really the response of God to what is stated in verse 31 that He saw everything He made, it was very good and as a result of that, He was satisfied. He found joy. He found delight. He found a certain fulfillment, satisfaction of accomplishment. Not unlike a master painter when he finishes his masterpiece and steps back to delight in what he has accomplished, not unlike a sculptor who molds the perfect image of a man and steps back having concluded his work to enjoy the finished product.

It’s noteworthy, I think, and you need to follow along with this thought, it’s noteworthy that there’s no mention of the word Sabbath here, it doesn’t occur in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, the creation account. No mention of Sabbath…that word is not here. And furthermore, I want you to file this, there is nothing said about man resting here or ceasing from work. This is God’s rest, not man’s. It is not appropriate to inaugurate or imply here in Genesis some rest for man, that is to miss the point here. In fact, man isn’t even mentioned here in connection with this seventh day rest, only God is mentioned. No rest for man is inaugurated here. No Sabbath for man is inaugurated here. That doesn’t come until the Mosaic Law in Exodus 16. Marriage law was commanded in Genesis. Not to eat from tree was commanded. However, no Sabbath law is given to man. That is significant.

And I want to take you further into understanding this. If you were to read through the six days and read day seven, what component of the first six days that was there in every single day is not in this discussion of day seven? The little phrase that says…what? “There was morning and there was evening,” it’s not there…it’s not there.

It was in first six days…verse 5, verse 8, verse 13, verse 19, verse 23, verse 31. But when you look at the seventh day, you find no such formula and we might expect that “On the seventh day was evening and morning,” but it isn’t there. And, you know, in any kind of examination of the creation account, you can go into the minutest detail and you find careful, careful accuracy, great care taken by the Spirit of God in inspiring Moses to write down this description, this historic description of creation. It is a very, very careful account, carefully constructed. And when you see something there all the time and is all of a sudden omitted, there must be a reason, there must be a design, this can’t be accidental because everything in this account is so well thought out and well planned. What was God endeavoring to say by not saying that? Well I think it should be obvious but let me help you with it a little bit.

What are we talking about when we talk about God’s rest? That He was tired mentally, tired physically? No. Simply that He ceased, He ceased creating and then was, as it were, sitting back and just being satisfied with what He had created.

He was enjoying it. He was delighting in it. I mean, it was the delight of God to see the work of His hands that had never existed before this time. How refreshing it must have been, how delightful, how well pleased God must have been when He saw the created universe free from sin, free from decay, free from the curse, no death, no decay. When He saw pristine blue skies sparkling with diamond stars and birds and fish, animals cavorting all over His created earth without fear. And how much God must have delighted when He walked through the Garden and fellowship with man, with Adam and the wife He made for him, named Eve. What a delight it must have been.

And God must have delighted in the fact that everything that man needed had been provided for him. Everything necessary was there for the happiness of Adam and Eve, this was the seventh day. But the reason it doesn’t say evening and morning is because that rest didn’t end in 24 hours, did it? It didn’t end. The 24 hour seventh day ended, but not that rest. In fact, God’s delight wouldn’t end until when? Sin came. That one day, that seventh day inaugurated some period of time in which God delighted in a world that sparkled with pure life and a world which enjoyed the presence of God and a man and his wife in open fellowship with their creator ever day. Sin and its resulting curse still unknown. There was no more creation work to do and there was no work of preserving all of this because it wasn’t prone to decay. And so we could say that on day seven God entered into a permanent state of rest, at least permanent until sin. See: God’s rest is not same as the Jewish weekly Sabbath

The conditions and characteristics then of that seventh day were designed by God to continue and they would have continued had it not been for the sin of Adam and Eve. It was not God’s design that they would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and bring a curse. It wasn’t God who prompted them to do that and destroy their paradise. The entrance of sin devastated Eden’s perfection. As the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 59:2, “Your sins, your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God.”

The seventh day, listen, was a 24 hour day because the cycle of days began in creation, but the seventh day rest and its perfection conditions were to remain after God having created in which He delighted. We don’t know how long that was because we don’t know how long it was until man sinned.

Summarizing God’s rest then. It was an ongoing rest. He was delighting in the satisfaction of the goodness of what He had made in all of its pristine perfection. It was characterized by His delight and His satisfaction. He enjoyed perfect fellowship with Adam and Eve daily (not one day in seven). And I remind you again, the seventh day of rest in Genesis had nothing to do with man. God didn’t say to Adam and Even…Now you folks, every time a seventh day rolls around, you do this. There’s no command for man to rest on the seventh day. There’s no command for Adam to do that after the Fall. God doesn’t say, “Okay, now that you’re fallen you can only work six days and take one off,” that is not in Genesis. There is no Sabbath rule given here. There is no Sabbath rule given in the Abrahamic Covenant. You come in to chapter Genesis 12 and the following chapters and you have the rehearsal of the Abrahamic Covenant, and there is no discussion of any Sabbath, there’s no discussion of any single day. There is no condemnation for not observing a day. And that, by the way, was a covenant of promise, a covenant of blessing.

God explicitly commands certain things in Genesis and God explicitly condemns disobedience like in the case of Cain’s offerings even without a direct command. However, neither is there a command to observe a day (weekly, monthly, yearly) in Genesis nor a condemnation for not observing a day.

So when you look at the seventh day here, what you’re seeing is a day related to God. He ceased from His work and He delighted in what He had made.

The 7th day of Creation lasted only 24 hours, but the memory of it will last forever. The day a person graduates from college is a very blessed day, and the day for the graduation ceremony is set aside by college leadership. A college graduate will always remember that day without the need for any weekly, monthly, or annual rituals.

Now is it wrong to be reminded ourselves daily that we can enter God’s rest and that He created us? That’s exactly what Hebrews 4 says that His rest still stands for anyone to enter daily if we believe what God says about our salvation through Christ. By the way Hebrew 4 also shows that Jews did not enter God’s rest even though they had a weekly Sabbath. How about if we decided to remember this seventh day, every seventh day, every Saturday as a memorial of creation? Yes, we are free to remember that God is creator not just every single day, but every seventh day. We are not commanded to do so, but it is a good way to remember God’s seventh day.   

For us, for those of us who believe in the one true and living God, we believe in creation and no day or week goes by without a memorial, without a witness, without a testimony that we are God’s creation. But something special happened in the new covenant, Christ rose from dead on the first day (we’ll talk about the precedence for the first day later).

I think that’s what’s on the heart of God as He blesses that seventh day. And I think we need to leave it at that. He did not start working on the following week, and bless the following seventh day. He just blessed that first seventh day (which doesn’t mean he blessed every seventh day ever since) because he considered that the creation of the previous six days was complete and very good.

Genesis 1:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it (why? So that people can follow his example? No the reason is) because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

Now all of that opens up the subsequent teaching on the Sabbath law on the Mosaic economy. How is that connected to this? We just leave Genesis where it is and next time let’s go through the Sabbath law of the Mosaic economy and show you if and how that connects and if at all it establishes any precedent for what we do now on the first day, the Lord’s resurrection day. That’s going to be a fascinating study.

Father, it’s…it’s such a joy to just see the Word of God come to life. We bless You, we honor…we thank You for…for doing it in a week. Every day we glorify You as our creator. We adore You as our Redeemer. We realize, God, that it is beyond our comprehension that You could create in six days. Your power and Your wisdom is way beyond us. It is equally beyond our understanding that You would redeem us. But, Lord, You filled us with such richness for we know You and we love You and thus we can remember You as the creator every single day, every week, every month, every year. May we never forget, never forget. And may we glorify You for all that You’ve done. By virtue of the work of Jesus Christ we offer You our prayers and our lives in Christ’s name. Amen.

 

Follow up questions

Doesn’t Exodus 20:11 teach us that, “God rested at creation because He instituted the Sabbath back then.”

No, that’s not what Ex. 20:11 says. God instituted the Sabbath at Sinai because he had rested back then at Creation. Read Genesis. There is no command for Adam and Eve to take a day off or rest every seventh day in Genesis. Neither is there an example for anyone in Genesis.

The reason why God commanded Israel to observe the Sabbath is given in Deut. 5:15:

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).

 

Can time or days be sanctified and blessed without requiring a rest?

As the Jubilee Sabbath year shows (Lev. 25:8-12), time can be holy without requiring a rest.

“And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year. For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you ( Lev 25:10 ,12).

God made the Jubilee Sabbath year hallowed, sanctified and holy for Israel, but there is no record that Israelies rested or ceased from work during that sanctified year. Similarly, Adam was not commanded to rest in Genesis, nor are Christians asked to rest on the seventh, but the Israelites were commanded to do so after deliverance from Egypt. Sabbath was part of the “tablets of the covenant” (Deut. 9:9), and that covenant is now obsolete (Hebrews 8:13;9:1). Jesus did not command anyone to observe Sabbath, neither did the apostles under the new covenant. However no one should hold anyone on to a Sabbath or judge anyone for observing or not observing it (Col. 2:16,17).

 

Does Genesis say that man is required to set aside a day of rest or worship?

No. Before humans sinned, they lived in a blessed and holy time, in which they were in a state of peace with God, trustful and obedient DAILY. They did not need to labor for six days and cease on the seventh day. How can Adam observe a Sabbath on their second day? Sabbath command given to Israel after Exodus had two parts: work for six days, rest on the seventh day (Ex. 16;Ex 20). Adam did not work for six days, only God did. God ceased because He was finished with His creative work. Man continued to experience this rest of God since the seventh day as Hebrews 4 shows.

Adam and Eve did not need to set aside a day for communion with God, for they had it continually, everyday. The first humans did not need to rest on the second day of his life. Sabbatarians assume a rest was made for man in Genesis, but Genesis doesn’t teach that.  Man was not made for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27), instead it was given as man’s servant (Ex. 16, 20). God wan’t us to have fellowship with Him daily. Just like there was no requirement to rest every seventh day in Genesis, another prophecy indicates that the day-night cycle will cease in the new heaven (Revelation 21:25), showing that there will be no Sabbaths.

 

Should we assume that God expects us to observe the seventh day?

He set apart the Seventh day from the first six days, but God did not command anyone to observe that day in Genesis or Remember that day. He “created” fish on the fifth day. He did not command anyone to make fish on the fifth day or follow His pattern of the six days or seventh day. We can’t assume that Adam and Eve was told to keep every seventh day when there is no command. If God wanted man to rest on a day, He would have commanded them, just like He commanded them marriage, and He commanded Abraham circumcision, altars and many other things. He did not command a Sabbath in Genesis 2, and there is a reason for it. See: Hebrews 4.

 

What was the understanding of the mainstream Jews and some of the early Christians about a Sabbath in Genesis?

The understanding of the mainstream Jews is that no one observed a sabbath day in Genesis; it was only commanded for Israel. The Jewish Talmud says, “The children of Noah…were given seven Laws only, the observance of the Sabbath not being among them” (Midrash Deuteronomy Rabbah 1:21 (Soncino edition, p. 23).

Early Christian fathers some of whom learned from the mouth of the apostles clearly saw what God’s Word said about a Sabbath day in Genesis.
Justin Martyr, who wrote only 44 years after the death of St. John, and who was well acquainted with the doctrine of the apostles, denied that the Sabbath originated at creation. Thus after name Adam, Abel, Enoch, Lot and Melchizedek, he says: “Moreover, all those righteous men already mentioned, though they kept no Sabbaths, were pleasing to God.”Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 19.
Irenaeus (AD.130) says: “Abraham believed God without circumcision and the Sabbath.” Adv. Hoeres, lib 4, c. 30.
Tertullian, A.D. 200, said: “Let them show me that Adam Sabbatized, or that Abel in presenting his holy offering to God pleased him by Sabbath observance, or that Enoch who was translated was an observer of the Sabbath.” Against the Jews, section 4.
Eusebius, A.D. 324, the father of church history, says: “They (the patriarchs) did not, therefore, regard circumcision, nor observe the Sabbath, nor do we.” Eccl. Hist., book 1, chapter 4.

Later Christians came to the same conclusion:
John Bunyan says: “Now as to the imposing of the seventh day Sabbath upon men from Adam to Moses, of that we find nothing in holy writ, either from precept or example.” Complete Works, page 892.

Is the Sabbath day in the Ten Commandments a ceremonial law?
Yes, it is a ceremonial law. God categorized it as a feast day.

Lev 23:1-3 The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.” “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord…..”

The above statement is at the beginning of Leviticus 23 and it is a broad heading or introductory statement for the list that follows. The Bible lists the following headings, the FEASTS OF THE LORD as follows:

  • The Sabbath (v. 3)
  • The Passover and Unleavened Bread (vs. 4-8)
  • Firstfruits (vs. 9-14)
  • Feast of Weeks (vs. 15-22)
  • Feast of Trumpets (vs. 23-25)
  • Day of Atonement (vs. 26-32)
  • Feast of Tabernacles (vs. 33-43)
  • The Sabbath Year and Year of Jubilee (ch. 25)

All the Jewish holy days were a combined package that stand or fall together – including the weekly Sabbath. After summarizing all of them side by side, the text says:

Lev 23:44 So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of the LORD.

It is claimed by Seventh-Day Adventists that the Lord here separates out the Sabbath from all other holy days, showing that it is of a different nature, in these words, verses 37, 38: “These are the feasts of the Lord: beside the Sabbaths of the Lord.” Yes, but read the whole verse, “beside the Sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your free-will offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.”

Not only the Sabbath, but gifts, vows and offerings are also excepted with the Sabbath in the same verse. The idea is this: the Sabbath ritual, the gifts, vows and offerings are of regular weekly or daily occurrence, whereas the other holy days and special offerings were to come only once a year at stated seasons. When these yearly offerings and holy days came at the same time of the regular daily or weekly service they were not to take the place of the regular daily and weekly services, but must be observed besides all these. Any one can see that this is the simple meaning of the words “beside the Sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts,” etc. The idea is not to distinguish the Sabbath above the other feasts, but to say that these must be kept in addition to the regular service of the Sabbath and the daily offerings. Sabbath ritual was a Sign of the covenant with Israel, just like Circumcision, and Passover were Signs, all of which were ceremonial laws, that Christ fulfilled, and no longer a requirement in the New Covenant.

 Adapted from https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-221/the-rest-of-creation 
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14 thoughts on “Genesis 2:1-3: Seventh Day is Special

    • This is a miscontrued doctrine. How on earth could people allow themselves to be blinded by Satan? Pls kindly re-read Exo. 20:8-11. May the Lord open your eyes to see the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear friend, Where is the command for man to observe a day in Genesis? Ex 20:8-11 says God instituted the Sabbath at Sinai because he had rested back then at Creation. He did not institute one at Genesis. If He did, He would have told us like He told about many other things. This is what the Scripture teaches unless one wants to assume things and proof text. This was the understanding of mainstream Jews and early Christians. Hebrews 4 show that we enter God’s rest daily, not weekly. Weekly Sabbath, a feast day (Lev. 23), and Sign of the first covenant is no longer a requirement in the life of a christian (Col. 2:16,17; Heb 8:9:9:1-4), but one is free to observe.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Please help me with these verses. Gen. 4:3-4 (YLT), “3 And it cometh to pass at the end of days that Cain bringeth from the fruit of the ground a present to Jehovah; 4 and Abel, he hath brought, he also, from the female firstlings of his flock, even from their fat ones; and Jehovah looketh unto Abel and unto his present,…”

    Two questions, what does “And it cometh to pass at the end of days”… mean? Some say that this made reference to a Sabbath offering, by “end of days” meaning the first six days of the week. The second question, Cain and Abel brought an offering to the Lord which Scripture had not commands recorded – and yet, they were they same types of offerings that were acceptable as written by Moses; so the premise is that there were commands given that weren’t specifically recorded but were there and supported by later written scripture.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

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    • Thank you for your question. Q1) Gen 4:3-4 reference. Some say it may be a reference to Sabbath, however, the Genesis verses do not say that. I would not speculate on it. If you want to speculate, possibilities are endless Q2) God explicitly commands certain things in Genesis and God explicitly condemns disobedience like in the case of Cain’s offerings. However, neither is there a command to observe a day (weekly, monthly, yearly) in Genesis nor a condemnation for not observing a day. So, no one should insist anyone to observe a sabbath or condemn anyone for observing a day. The command and condemnation with regard to a Sabbath was given to the Jews alone (Ex 16, 20, Lev. 23 etc.), however that command or condemnation over a Sabbath do not exist for Christians either (Heb 9, Col. 2:16) but folks are free to have their convictions on sacred days. Hebrews 4 shows God’s rest on that seventh day still remains and we can enter it today through belief in Jesus. Jews did not enter God’s rest of that seventh day eventhough they had the weekly Sabbath rest! The rest offered by that first seventh day is much bigger than ceasing for 24 hours which none of the sabbatarians don’t do properly as per Sabbath laws or Genesis account.

      Again, Let’s say we must follow God’s example in Genesis. What should we do and not do? Should we only rest on the seventh day because God did it? Then, shouldn’t we also follow the pattern of the first six days? Should we be fisherman on the 5th day because of what God did on that day?

      God stopped creating on the seventh day. He ceased completely. He did nothing because He was finished with His work. Do Sabbatarians follow that exact example? How come travelling, cooking, bathing, visiting church and other activities etc qualify to be following God example of completely ceasing on the seventh day?

      Who defines what is allowable and not allowable on the seventh day based on Genesis? Am I allowed only to go to church on the seventh day? Am I allowed to worship Him only that day? Am I to remember the Creator only on that day?

      People are free to sabbath (rest). People need physical rest. Sabbath was made to serve man. Sabbath is man’s servant. Continue reading. Jesus also said that man is not a servant to Sabbath. (Mark 2:27) We are not obligated to observe it, but we can benefit from rest. Jesus was not commanding a universal obligation for man but showed that Sabbath is a time-based ritual law that is below man unlike moral laws which are timeless principles above man. Priests broke the Sabbath and were yet innocent (Matt 12:5). No one can break moral principles written or unwritten and be innocent. In the new covenant, we are royal priesthood dedicated to spread the gospel and our life is one of activity seven days. But we will cease when we have to. No one can command or condemn Christians for not observing a day or days, because neither Genesis nor the New Testament requires it.

      Also simply because a law was there in Genesis doesn’t mean it will be in new heaven and earth or applicable under the new covenant. No do not eat from the tree. No sacrifice your son. Jesus was not married and the apostles taught that it is ok not to marry!

      Blessings!

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      • Thank you for your kind responses. I will certainly search out what you have shared. I recently left the SDA church, mostly over Ellen White and the doctrine on the IJ.

        Since I have studied my way out regarding these two issues, I am studying all the other doctrines as well and the Sabbath is the doctrine at hand. God bless.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. John, you have an interesting viewpoint, although I’m not sure to where it is leading. I do however disagree with your speculation that the Sabbath in the beginning of Creation was not given for man to rest. As you pointed out there is nothing new under the sun. And that God himself said all was completed.

    We do know that God had revealed His commandments to Adam and Eve and they to their children, because of what God had told Cain before he murdered his brother. (Genesis 4:7)

    And it is unthinkable that God would not have told them not to worship other gods. And the commandments of God are forever. Psalm 119:160.

    I’m afraid that you are making the same mistake, as those who believe that God’s fourth commandment is the only one not needed for us to keep, because, (they think), it is the only one that God did not mention in the New Testament Now, I said that I was not sure where your article was leading. And that is because I’m not sure if you are advocating that God’s Sabbath is for all time or whether it was for only ” God’s people of the New Testament.

    I think that since Paul wrote that “one is not a Jew who is one outwardly”, (Romans 8:28), and that the Sabbath was mentioned in the New Testament, only some just refuse to accept that it was mentioned as the Sabbath that God gave in the Old Testament, which is clearly spoken in Hebrews 4:9-11. Clear that it is not just talking about the rest from sin, that man does need, but God did not need rest from sin. It does mention the work of creating as what God rested from. And it says that those who would enter into His rest, must cease from their labors, just as God did.

    As I said, I’m not sure as to where your point of view is directed. So please let me know.

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    • Dear Friend,

      You assume God has revealed His commandments to Adam and those commandments are and must be the Ten Commandments, therefore the weekly Sabbath too.

      For two decades as an SDA I did the same but I can no longer! God revealed 613 commandments to the Jews, and Sabbath was one of them. Even Monthly Sabbaths and yearly Sabbaths are His commandments. Was Adam also commanded to observe monthly and yearly Sabbath? After all these all Gods commandments as well! But you only assume only the Ten must have been revealed! I disagree. Ten is not a comprehensive list of moral duties for man but a sample of laws from 613 laws in Torah! More on this later.

      There is no indication that man observed a sabbath or was commanded or condemned for not observing a weekly sabbath or yearly Sabbath in Genesis. If you want, you are free to assume that Adam observed both.

      Yes, Hebrew says we are to enter God’s rest as He did, but it’s not on the seventh day, but Today. It’s a daily rest we enter. There is no command in Hebrews or by Jesus or the apostles to observe a Sabbath day. You have to assume that a command exists! If you are an SDA, you will have to admit EGW was wrong when she states:

      “The New Testament does not re-enact the law of the tithe, as it does not that of the Sabbath; for the validity of both is assumed” —(Ellen White: The Faith I Live By, page 244).

      Jewish weekly Sabbath was to be observed evening to evening, but the first seventh day is not demarcated by a morning and evening unlike the first six days, because as Hebrews 4 shows, the rest of that 24 hour seventh day was to remain and it ‘remains for the people of God to enter’ Today! Besides Jews did not enter God’s rest even though they had the weekly Sabbath. Hence, God’s first seventh day rest is not the weekly shadowy Sabbath rest, and that’s why the word Sabbath nor an indication is given of man ceasing on a day in Genesis.

      Now let’s say God ceased on the seventh day and we must too. How should we observe this day? Have fellowship with Him like Adam did? Yes, we have fellowship with Him every day including the seventh day! What else? Should I go to church only on that day? If I don’t go, is it sin? Can I cook on the seventh day? Can I travel? Should I stay in my dwelling on the Seventh? Can I buy? What are the do’s and restrictions on the Seventh day? How did Adam observe the seventh day? Should we do exactly as he did?

      Are all restrictions given to the Jews in how to observe the Jewish sabbath holy applicable to us? Sabbath command required rest not worship or congregational gatherings or synagogue attendance! Should we follow the commandment or traditions of man? Jews worshipped on new moons and had holy convocations on other days not only the seventh day! Jews added synagogue attendance not based on a command but after Babylonian captivity when a place of teaching was necessary!

      So do you properly observe the sabbath as per the sabbath laws?

      Weekly Sabbath is a feast day as Leviticus 23 shows. It’s time based ritual law. It was given for the first time as a command in Exodus 16 to the Jews and later codified in the First Covenant that included the books and tablets of the covenant that placed in the ark of the covenant. Hebrews 8 and 9 shows the first covenant is obsolete including the ten.

      Now you also assume there has to be a written law for sin to exist! Gentiles were found guilty without the law. Sin occurs whether there is a written law or not. There is an unchangeable moral law of God that cannot be put into words. That’s why God’s law goes beyond a written code.

      God has an eternal law by which to govern his creatures, both angels and men, long before Sinai. Long before he ‘made’ national laws for Israel. Long before he ‘made’ the ritual sabbath day under the national law. But “the law,” as worded in the decalogue and in “the book of the law,” was not given till Moses, 2,500 years after creation. Hence universal moral obligation did not begin with that law of Sinai nor would it cease if that law was abolished.

      “All unrighteousness is sin.” 1 John 5:17
      . And “sin is the transgression of the law.” Chap. 3:4.This text is used by Sabbatarians to prove that every possible sin is always a violation of the ten commandments.

      Sin is lawlessness, a disregard for some law, but not necessarily always the same law. Thus: “The angels sinned.” 2 Pet. 2:4. But they did not violate the law of Sinai, for it was not given till thousands of years after they fell. And they were not under that law any way.

      Adam “sinned” long before that law was given. So Paul says, Rom. 5:12-14. Cain sinned, Gen. 4:7. The Sodomites were “sinners,” Gen. 13:13, and vexed Lot with their “unlawful deeds,” 2 Pet. 2:8.

      Surely none of these violated “the law,” which was not given till Moses, hundreds of years afterwards. To say that they must have violated the principles of that law is not to the point. When the Jews killed Stephen, Acts 7:59, they violated the principles of the law of Michigan, which forbids murder; but did they violate the “law of Michigan, USA”? No; for it was not given for 1800 years after. And they were not under it any way. So neither the angels, nor Adam, nor the Sodomites could have transgressed the law of Sinai, for it was not yet given.So Abraham kept God’s laws, Gen. 26:5, but surely not “the law which was four hundred and thirty years after,” Gal. 3:17.

      All this clearly shows that God had a higher universal law before the code of Sinai was given.

      In whatever form or manner God chose to communicate his will to men, this would be “his commandments, his statutes, and his laws.” Gen. 26:5. Paul says: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” Heb. 1:1, 2. A disregard for his revealed will would be lawlessness – sin.
      But to claim that God gave Adam, patriarchs his law in the exact form and words of the ten commandments is a proofless assumption, contrary to reason and all the facts in the case.

      Even if Sabbath existed in Genesis, just like circumcision and the commandment to multiply, there is no requirement in the new covenant for Christians to observe a Sabbath neither a condemnation for not observing a day, nor a must marry law nor circumcision. People have freedom to choose on above matters and we are not to judge!

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  3. Thanks for an extensive treatise on this subject! it’s always refreshing to find people that have been set free after being in a false sect, religion, etc (I used to be a catholic, so I know how it feels).
    I want to also recommend Chris White’s teaching: “should christians keep the sabbath?” It’s on youtube; he is a good bible scholar, and that video helped me a lot (with my catholic deprogramming-legalism, etc).

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      • I am not sure as to your stance about the Sabbath. While reading it seems you agree that it is a commandment that God’s church should be enjoying. But there are times as though it is not. So please clarify this for me.

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      • Dear Gerald, where in the paper did you see that there is a commandment in Genesis to rest weekly? Does God command people to set apart every seventh day? Did you see any example in Genesis that God started to rest every seventh day or He asked man to labor and rest? Or He condemned man for not observing the seventh day? Is there also a commandment to observe the first six days in the same way God worked during the six days? Do you know why God elevated the seventh day from the first six days? Have you studied Hebrews 4 verse by verse? What does Hebrews 4 say about God’s seventh day rest? How do we enter that rest? Did the Jews enter that rest despite having the weekly Sabbath day commanded to them in Exodus 16 and thereafter? Here’s something for you to review: https://reachingadventistschristiansandothers.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/gods-rest-is-not-the-jewish-sabbath/

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