On-Line Bible Lessons

Deuteronomy - Chapter 5, Lesson 3

Pastor Ovid Need

NOTE: The lessons are old, and I would love to go back and add to them, but that would require hundreds of hours.Time also correcting minor errors, e.g., abbreviations in text, wrong abbreviations, mixed tenses in a sentence (though I have tried to catch all of them), caps, etc. There are also some comments at the end of this chapter.

Place your answer in the space provided. Put ANS before each answer. Capitalize, ANS:


Last time we looked at some of the OT principles involved in the Sabbath. In this lesson we would like to call attention to the NT principles, as well as look at the change in the day on which the Sabbath is observed.

It is significant that there is no evidence of the continuation of the Sabbath penalties after the resurrection, but because the Apostles, people and pastors who made up the first century church were Israelites, they did for some time continue to observe the OT day of the Sabbath, Acts 13:14-26, etc. This continued probably until Israel's war with Rome.

We should also keep in mind that the early message of Christ went first to the Israelite community. The ones who were interested in serving God and knowing His word, would meet on the Hebrew Sabbath in the synagogues, Acts 15:21; both Israelites and Gentile, Acts 18:4. This is obviously what the Ethiopian eunuch had been doing when Philip was sent to him, Acts 8:26-40 (although he had gone to the temple at Jerusalem). Evidently in Acts 16:13 there was no synagogue to meet in so the ones who wanted to seek God met by the river, on the Sabbath.

It would only make common sense that if the Apostles wanted to reach these Israelites and Gentiles who had this desire to seek after God and His word, the Apostles would go to the places where they met, the synagogues, on the Sabbath. They would then expound on the OT scriptures as Christ did and preach Christ to those who were assembled. Compare Lk. 4:16-21 with Acts 17:2.

In doing this, they were not putting their stamp of approval on retaining the Hebrew Sabbath any more than a booth at the state fair to preach the Gospel would put a stamp of approval on the state fair. Paul went to Mars' hill to preach Christ. This was not his approval of Mars' hill, Acts 17:22. To make such a claim is to wrest the Scriptures from their context.

1. On what day did the new Church meet, 1 Cor. 16:1, 2? _______________________

a. In this particular case, what were they commanded to do on this day?

2. On what day did the resurrection take place, Matt. 28:1; Mk. 16:9?

3. What did away with the death penalty against the violation of the Sabbath, Col. 2:14-17? ___________________________________________________________________

This brings us to a key difference between the OT Sabbath and the Christian Sabbath. We mentioned this in the last lesson, but we need to again for comparison.

4. What did the OT Sabbath commemorate, Deut. 5:15?

5. What does the NT Sabbath commemorate, Rom. 6; Eph. 1:20; 2:5; (1 Cor. 15:20)? _____________________________________________________________________

a. How was this deliverance from the law of sin and death (from the damnation of sin) accomplished, Rom. 6:1-11; Gal. 2:19, 20? ________________________________

b. Therefore, what day of the week is this celebrated on? ____________________

The OT Sabbath not only spoke of deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, it also spoke of rest. This principle of rest was such an extremely important point that the Lord placed the death penalty upon its violation.

6. What is the true rest of which the OT day of rest (the Sabbath) spoke, Heb. 4:10? ______________________________________________________

7. This not only speaks of 'salvation rest' through the finished work of Christ, but what else, Gal. 2:20? ____________________________________________________

Therefore, to attempt to go back to the OT Sabbath is to reject what Christ did and to seek redemption from an unauthorized source.

8. The OT emphasis was on rest. By the time of Christ, there had been many customs added to the Mosaic Sabbath. What was one of these customs, Lk. 6:6; Acts 17:2; 18:4? ____________________________________________________________________________

a. What was Christ's custom while He was among mankind, Lk. 4:16?

9. The work of Christ freed the covenant-people from the 'bondage' of the OT law in this area, but not the principle which was established. What is commanded to the covenant-people under Christ concerning the Christian Sabbath, Heb. 10:25?

a. What is the purpose of this assembly? ________________________________

b. To fail to follow this command is called what, v.26? (Certainly, the context identifies more than just this one thing.) _______________________________

c. What is the promised result of failure to observe this, vs. 27-31?

10. On what day was the new church commanded to lay aside the Lord's portion of their finances, 1 Cor. 16:2? __________________________________________________

11. What is the day of the week called, Rev. 1:10?

a. What did the Lord Jesus Christ say He, the Son of man, was, Lk. 6:5?

12. What is shown when a nation follows the principle of rest on this day, Ps. 33:12? ___________________________________________________________

13. Rest only follows what, 1 Thes. 4:11; 2 Thes. 3:10? _____________________

a. If we have done this in accord with 1 Cor. 10:31, what can we rest assured of, 1 Cor. 15:58? ___________________________________________________________________

There are some conclusions which we can reach at this point.

First, death was the sure result of failure to follow the OT commands concerning the Sabbath rest. Though many of the outward forms of the OT Sabbath have been changed, death will still result from the failure to follow the principles given for the Sabbath. When people dismiss the command of Heb. 10: 25 as an unimportant command of our Lord, we can fully expect a deadening to set in. We have seen more death from ignoring this command than we care to think about.

Second, the custom of studying the law of God which developed in the OT Hebrew culture carried over into the new Church, only with much more force. Paul now commands it. The new emphasis is on the study, development and application of the law-word of God. Under the OT, the study on the seventh day emphasized the coming Messiah. Under the NT, the study is on the first day and emphasizes the Messiah who came and His influence in society. The seventh day looked ahead to His coming, whereas the first day looks back on His coming. The dividing line was early on the morning of the first day of the week.

Third, the Sabbath, both Old Testament and New, is one of the most obvious signs to the world of the faithfulness of the covenant-people to the God of the Covenant and their trust in His providential care as they serve Him. It is a reflection of their confidence in the providence of their God to supply their every need as they are faithful to His every word. Deut. 12:18 tells us that we are to control the future in terms of the law of God, buy hearing and applying its instruction. The rest we enjoy on the Christian Sabbath says that we have done our best the past week (1 Cor. 10:31), and are now resting in the Lord to bless that work according to His promise. Therefore, the willful violation of this part of His word is an open denial before all of the world of our need for Him and His blessing.

This is one of the more 'national' of the commandments. When society in general denies the Sabbath, it is almost impossible for the individual to follow it. This denial is a denial of the Lord of the Sabbath by a nation, but, keep in mind, the national level only reflects the individual level. The denial of God as God by a nation is the natural result of this denial by the people, Rom. 1:21.

Fourth, the Christian Sabbath clearly speaks of both the present and future rest that is in Christ and His redemptive work, Hebrews chapter 4 and 6. Thus the emphases on the study of His word and its application to life and society.

Therefore, to reduce the Sabbath to anything less, such as observing a set of rules and regulations, is a direct attack upon the Christian Sabbath. Also, any attempt to go back to the OT day of the Sabbath not only is impossible, but it is the denial of the importance of the resurrection of Christ.

We will tie the loose ends up in the next lesson.