The 4th Commandment
- Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy -
For those who seek to obey all of YAHveh’s (the LORD’s) righteous decrees, it might well be noted that the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8), was never meant to be tampered with by man. Many throughout history have tried to abolish the Sabbath, or at best, to superimpose it on another day. The Jews suffered great judgments from the hand of YAHveh for desecrating or neglecting the holy Sabbath. The Old Testament is filled with the accounts of these awesome judgments. The Almighty Creator and Giver of the Commandments will never recognize any other Sabbath than the one sovereignly ordained at Mount Sinai.[i] When Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, YAHveh did not introduce the Sabbath as a new institution, but reminded them of what He had previously ordained at creation (Genesis 2:2-3). Like YAHveh’s holy name, the Sabbath was to be remembered and observed as a memorial of the Creator’s work and rest. No other day of the week can ever be the Sabbath. It is called in Scripture “a Sabbath of YAHveh your God” (Exodus 20:10) and not “the Jewish Sabbath,” although many Jews have kept it through the ages because it is holy to YAHveh.
According to the Almighty’s timepiece, the days of the week begin at sundown and end at sundown the next day (Genesis 1:5). Therefore, the biblical Sabbath (the seventh day) begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. All seven days of the week should be filled with reverent worship and the praises of His people. This, however, does not nullify YAHveh’s (the LORD’s) fourth commandment. Nor does the Scripture about the Sabbath rest replace the biblical Sabbath day. “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9-10). We are to cease from striving and enter into that rest moment by moment by living obedient reverent lives.
The highly respected and renown D. L. Moody stated: The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This Fourth Commandment begins with the word “remember,” showing that the Sabbath had already existed when God wrote the law on the tablets of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they admit that the other nine are still binding?[ii]
YAHveh (the LORD) was very explicit about the need for wholehearted obedience to His Ten Commandments. He said, “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of YAHveh your God which I command you’” (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:6). Our Heavenly Father further emphasized the Sabbath commandment by saying: “… ‘You shall surely observe My Sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am YAHveh who sanctifies you. ‘Therefore you are to observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you.’” (Exodus 31:13-14)
During Constantine’s reign, anti-Judaism began to permeate the church. This caused a growing repugnance to the biblical Sabbath. “The Romans misrepresented the Sabbath and the Sabbath year as caused by laziness.”[iii] In 321 Constantine made Sunday a public holiday and put into effect what might be called the world’s first “blue laws.” The edict proclaimed, “All judges, city people, and craftsmen shall rest on the venerable day of the Sun. Despite the edict, many Christians continued the long-standing practice of observing the ... Sabbath (Saturday) as well, until the mid-360’s when the church forbade it.[iv]
The emperor Constantine had been an avid sun-worshiper before he made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. With a half-hearted reverence for the Holy Scriptures, he fused the day of the worship of the sun deity of the Romans with the Sabbath of the original believers and changed the day that was to be observed. Many Christian anti biblical doctrines evolved from this unholy fusion. The official transition from observance of the Sabbath to Sunday as the day of rest occurred at the Council of Laodicea (363-364). The edicts from this council forbade Christians to observe the biblical Sabbath. This practice was identified as “Judaizing” and was deemed totally unacceptable to the Christian religion. Christians were required to work on that day in order to prove their irreverence toward YAHveh’s ordained Sabbath.
Following the Council of Laodicea, the seventh day of the week—the true Sabbath—lost its biblical name. This holy day was now being called by its pagan name, “SATUR-day.” The state religion of Rome transferred the biblical day of rest from the seventh day (the Sabbath) to “SUN-day.” Instead of the seventh day being dedicated to YAHveh (the LORD), its name was replaced with “SATUR-day,” honoring the pagan deity Saturn. Thus YAHveh’s Sabbath was nullified and perverted through a religious system rooted in paganism and ancient sun worship. The ancient Serpent, Satan had once again cunningly hidden the holy Hebrew root under that which is rooted in profane paganism. The prophet Jeremiah foresaw a day when the Gentiles would recognize that they had inherited lies. “O YAHveh... to Thee the nations (Gentiles) will come From the ends of the earth and say, ‘Our fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood...’ (Jeremiah16:19).
Tradition above Scripture
During the dark centuries of the Middle Ages, ordinary people had no access to the Scriptures. When the Bible became available through the printing press during the Reformation, (1517-1648) the infallible authority of the Word was contested by the religious leaders of that day. These leaders blatantly declared that tradition stood above Scripture and insisted that the authority of the church was not bound to the authority of the Holy Scriptures. Thus the failure to observe YAHveh’s Sabbath as He had commanded was openly stated to have been by the church’s own authority and not by the command of our Almighty God and His Son our Savior. "How can you say, 'We are wise, And the law of YAHveh (the LORD) is with us'? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie” (Jeremiah 8:8).
YAHveh (the LORD) had warned His people through the prophet Ezekiel: “Her priests [religious leaders] have done violence to My law;… and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths …” (Ezekiel 22:26). For such transgressions of YAHveh’s commandments, Israel was mightily judged. Nehemiah rebuked YAHveh’s people with these words: “What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers do the same so that our God brought on us, and on this city, all this trouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:17-18).
YAHshua the Messiah spoke vehemently to the hypocritically religious about their man-made traditions. “… you invalidated the word of YAHveh for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (Matthew 15:6-9). According to YAHveh’s fourth commandment, we are to remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. The Sabbath is blessed in the Creator’s sight and carries a special blessing for all who reverence it as holy to YAHveh. Those who seek more of His glorious presence will truly find Him to be the “Lord and Master of the Sabbath” (see Mark 2:27-28).
YAHshua (Jesus) said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Consequently, the Son of Man is Lord [Master] even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28). It was made to keep us rested. YAHveh’s Commandments are for our benefit and for His glory. Every day should be a day of worship of the Almighty; however the true issue is that the day which YAHveh calls “holy” must not be tainted through man’s irreverent distortions and misinterpretations. Listen again to what YAHveh says concerning His eternal Sabbath: “For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me,” declares YAHveh (the LORD) … it shall be from new moon to new moon And from Sabbath to Sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says YAHveh. (Isaiah 66:22-23)
Long ago, the prophet Isaiah recorded YAHveh’s unchanging words of promise to redeemed Jews and Gentiles who would be joined through the blood of YAHshua (Jesus): “Thus says YAHveh … “do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come And my righteousness to be revealed. How blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it; Who keeps from profaning the Sabbath … Also the foreigners [Gentiles] who join themselves to YAHveh, To minister to Him, and to love the name of YAHveh, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. …” (Isaiah 56:1-2, 6-7)
“If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of YAHveh honorable … I will make you ride on the heights of the earth… For the mouth of YAHveh has spoken.” (Isaiah 58:13-14) We read in Daniel that the anti-Messiah is going to change the days and the seasons. The observance of the Sabbath is the one commandment that gives an outward sign that we, as children of the Mighty One, have become separate from the world system. It is a visible indication that we have chosen to obey YAHveh (the LORD) rather than man. Listen to the words of Charles Spurgeon, Christianity’s “Prince of Preachers,” who always used the Law of YAHveh to bring true conviction. “All the Ten Commandments, like ten great cannons, are pointed at thee today,… Soul! Thou wilt find it a hard thing to go to war with the Law. … What will ye do when the Law comes in terror,… when the great book shall be opened, and all your sin and shame shall be punished?”[v]
Let us pray
Dear Heavenly Father: We ask You to lead us on the path of righteousness for Your name’s sake. We beseech You to have mercy on us, for we have walked in the dim light of the only truth available. Forgive us for our transgressions and teach us to walk in all Your ways. Please give us wisdom and clarity regarding all that You require in the commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Thank You that You are the rewarder of those who diligently seek You. Your perfect will is the desire of our hearts. May we be righteous instruments through which Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. In the name of YAHveh the Father, YAHshua the Son, and the Spirit of Truth, Amen.[vi]
[i] Note for Nehemiah 9:14: “holy Sabbath. According to the rabbis, ‘the Sabbath outweighs all the commandments of the Torah.’ See 10:31-33; 13:15-22.” The NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, 1985), p. 707.
[ii] D. L. Moody, Weighted and Wanting, p. 47.
[iii] Footnote for Ne 10:31. The NIV Study Bible, op. cit., p. 710.
[iv] Gayla Visalli, ed., After Jesus—The Triumph of Christianity (Pleasantville, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 1992), p. 239.
[v] Ray Comfort, Hell’s Best Kept Secret (Springdale, PA: Whitaker House. (1989), pp. 23-24
[vi] Terrye Goldblum Seedman, Holy to Yahveh, p. 130-135.
Next Up: The 5th Commandment
The fifth Commandment is very important because if you cannot honor your father and mother you cannot honor YAHveh. This is the first Commandment with a promise that you will have a long life and all will go well with you (see Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:2). Indeed, honoring your mother and father will also teach you to love YAHveh with all your heart and soul.
Want to Learn More?
- Redefining the Feasts of Israel Through the Ten Commandments -
Want to learn even more about Yahveh's holy Ten Commandment? Check out Terrye G. Seedman's book "Redefining the Feasts of Israel Through the Ten Commandments." The Holy Days pivot around the Ten Commandments, these were appointed times to meet with Him that would help them to walk by His spirit’s leading in these Commandments. Indeed, there would be no feasts if it was not for the Ten Commandments and the penalty of sin for not upholding them and there would be no need of Messiah. The Ten Commandments point us to Him and YAHshua the schoolmaster points us to the truth so we can walk in a way worthy of everything that He has taught us to be. “Not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6) This book unlocks truths from Yahveh's divine Ten Commandments to redefine the true meaning and fulfillment of the holy Feasts of Israel. Simply, the divinely appointed times, the feast days, pivot around the blood on the altar of sacrifice—on the mercy seat, for the forgiveness of sin and sin points us back to the Commandments. Therefore every feast is exalting the Commandments of YAHveh, exalting our Lamb who came and died because we can’t uphold the Commandments without His help. They are inextricably linked. You can’t separate the feasts from the Commandments and you cannot separate the Lamb of God who is the ultimate fulfillment of the holy temple, priesthood, and the sacrificial system’s substitutionary sacrifice for our sin nature. Learn all of this and more in this powerful book about Yahveh's divine commandments and holy feasts.
The Ten Commandments
the Ten Commandments
- Overview -
Until the Commandments were given there was no knowledge of YAHveh’s holy rules or plumb line of righteousness.
the Ten Commandments
- Why are They Important -
We must be holy as He is holy yet without the Ten Commandments there would be no distinction between sin and holiness.
The 1st Commandment
- Have No Other Gods -
YAHveh says that He alone is to be our exceedingly great reward and that we must not love or put anything before Him.
The 2nd Commandment
- Have No Idols -
The Bible says no idolatrous person will enter heaven. Anything that takes priority over our Creator and Savior is an idol.
The 3rd Commandment
- Honor Yahveh's Name -
The Creator has an incomparable, sacred name that is to be honored. Indeed, the holy name of YAHveh is a fortified tower.
The 4th Commandment
- Honor the Sabbath -
Like YAHveh’s holy name, the Sabbath is to be remembered and observed as a memorial of the Creator’s work and rest.
The 5th Commandment
- Honor Your Parents -
If you cannot honor your parents you cannot honor YAHveh. This is the first Commandment with a promise.
The 6th Commandment
- Do Not Murder -
Yahshua said that anyone who holds hate in his heart or harbors anger is a murderer and has no eternal life abiding in him.
The 7th Commandment
- Do Not Commit Adultery -
Adultery is more than a physical sin - it is forsaking YAHshua by lusting for this world because He alone is not enough.
The 8th Commandment
- Do Not Steal -
We are to be humble, giving YAHveh all the praise, honor, and glory - otherwise we steal the glory that belongs to Him.
The 9th Commandment
- Do Not Bear False Witness -
Our Savior said if you do not speak truth, which is the only language of YAHveh, you are speaking Satan’s native dialect.
The 10th Commandment
- Do Not Covet -
Yahveh says no covetous person has an inheritance in His kingdom. If you covet worldly pleasures you are His enemy.