Moses instituted the Sabbath when he told the Jews in Exodus 16:23 KJV, “And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” The day of rest the Lord gave to Moses was and is the seventh day, which as the calendar makes crystal clear, is Saturday. Being that is fact, how did Sunday become the Sabbath? Early Christianity and Roman Empire historical records provide that answer. Christianity began in the first century after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, and it was influenced by Judaism through both the teachings of the Messiah, and the Hebrew Laws of the Old Testament. It was also influenced by a Persian religion that had become the unofficial cult of the Roman army, which was open only to men. This cult celebrated December 25th as being Jesus’ birthday, and it deemed Sunday to be the Sabbath.
Before continuing, I want to bring to your attention an interesting parallel: the Persian religion I mentioned above, would accept only male members; the Catholic religion allows only men to be priests; could that parallel be a coincidence?
Regarding the Sabbath, Exodus 20:9-10 provides specific instructions: 1st it states one can work six days, but must rest on the seventh; then it tells the reader cattle, and strangers who were within the gates of Jerusalem, were included in the law. And then, Exodus 31:14-15 and 35:2 state the penalty a violator of the Sabbath Law, must suffer if they choose to work on that day: the penalty was death.
Jesus upheld the Sabbath, which is made clear in Lection 46, Verse 20, when He told His Apostles, “Ye shall purify yourselves daily and rest the Seventh Day from labor, keeping holy the Sabbaths and the Festival of your God,” and in Lection 26, Verse 9, He stated to His followers during His Sermon on the Mount, “And I say unto you, Except ye fast from the world and its evil ways, ye shall in no wise find the Kingdom; AND EXCEPT YE KEEP THE SABBATH AND CEASE YOUR HASTE TO GATHER RICHES, ye shall not see the Father-Mother in heaven. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, and the Holy One who seeth in secret will approve thee openly.”
Verse 9 contains very important lessons, the first being when Jesus said, “And I say unto you, Except ye fast from the world and its evil ways, ye shall in no wise find the Kingdom.” As a standalone statement, one could interpret it to mean people need to attend church and receive absolution to separate themselves from the world and its evil ways. However, when one couples the first statement He made in Verse 9, with this further statement, “But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, and the Holy One who seeth in secret will approve thee openly,” it becomes clear that Jesus meant one should be in Communion with God.
However, it’s important to make special note of this statement Jesus made, “that thou appear not unto men to fast, and the Holy One who seeth in secret will approve thee openly;” that statement ties directly with this statement He made to His disciples in Lection 19:1, “When thou pray enter into thy secret chamber, and when thou hast closed the door, pray to Abba Amma Who is above and within thee, and thy Father-Mother Who seest all that is secret shall answer thee openly.” Jesus did not tell them to go to a worship service at the Synagogue; He told them to pray behind a closed door in a private chamber. The important lesson taught in Lection 26:9 and 19:1, is the fact that one needs to be in Communion with God, for God is within them.
There is one remaining, but VERY important section of Lection 26, Verse 9, that we must address, and that is when Jesus stated, “AND EXCEPT YE KEEP THE SABBATH AND CEASE YOUR HASTE TO GATHER RICHES.” The key words in that statement are, “CEASE YOUR HASTE TO GATHER RICHES.” There are Verses I’ll share with you that are within Lections throughout the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, which crystallize its meaning, and makes it clear the Sabbath Law did not exclude ALL work. The fact that Jesus did not exclude ALL work on the Sabbath means men, to suit the needs and traditions of men, inserted that part into the Sabbath Law given by Moses.
In Lection 33, Verses 13 and 14, Jesus told a man who wanted to be healed, to take up his bed and carry it to the healing waters. It was the Sabbath, and the Jews said it was not lawful to carry the bed on the Sabbath, yet Jesus had told the man to do it. The message Jesus conveyed in these Verses is the fact that the man, even though deemed to be working by the Jews, was not, for he was not working to “gather riches.”
And in Lection 48, Verses 5 through 9, Jesus again made it clear certain work was acceptable on the Sabbath. Jesus and His disciples, because they were hungry went into a cornfield to pick corn to eat. When Pharisees saw what they were doing they accused them of breaking the Sabbath, but Jesus gave them an example of how, when David was hungry, went into the House of God and ate showbread, which had been given as an offering to God. He told the Pharisees, while they deemed it to be unlawful for David and those with him to eat the showbread, it was OK for the Pharisees to do so. And He went on to tell them that is was lawful for priests to do work in the Temple on the Sabbath, intimating that if they could work on the Sabbath, then so could He and His disciples gather food to eat on the Sabbath.
That statement Jesus made, directly contradicted Exodus 16:23, “bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” That section of Verse 23 told the Jews, whatever they were going to eat on the Sabbath, must have been prepared the day before.
And in Lection 48, Verses 10 through 12, Jesus again made it clear by His example that it was OK to do certain work on the Sabbath, for in these Verses, during the Sabbath, He went into a Synagogue and healed a man’s withered hand; the key lesson in these Verses is the fact He did it to help a person in need, and not to gain wealth.
And Jesus taught by example once again in Lection 54, Verses 1 through 3, when He gave sight to a blind man on the Sabbath. All of these preceding Verses I have brought to your attention, crystallize the fact that certain work is OK to do on the Sabbath, with the important factor being, as long as it is not done in an attempt to increase one’s wealth.
The Sabbath rules are important and should not be ignored; however, in this day and age a plethora of establishments are open for business 7 days a week. That fact demands that many people must work on both Saturday and Sunday, and their day or days off are during the week, which makes it impossible for them to keep the traditional Sabbath. What is such a person to do?
Again, Jesus gave us an example to follow in Lection 43, Verses 10 through 14:
10. AND there came unto him certain of the Scribes and Pharisees who had seen one of his disciples eat with unwashed hands.
11. And they found fault, for the Jews eat not except they have first washen their hands and many other things observe they, in the washing of Cups and of vessels and of tables.
12. And they said, Why, walk not all thy disciples after the tradition of the elders, for we saw one who did eat with unwashed hands?
13. And Jesus said, Well hath Moses commanded you to be clean, and to keep your bodies clean, and your vessels clean, but ye have added things which ofttimes cannot be observed by every one at all times and in all places.
14. Hearken unto me therefore, not only unclean things entering into the body of man defile the man, but much more do evil thoughts and unclean, which pour from the heart of man, defile the inner man and defile others also. Therefore take heed to your thoughts and cleanse your hearts and let your food be pure.
The orange sections of Verses 13 and 14 set precedence for people whom, due to circumstances beyond their personal control, can’t keep the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday. If a person’s work demands they work on those days, they still can observe the Sabbath, but on another day; the important factor is that they do observe the Sabbath. Jesus’ teachings in Lection 26, Verse 9, “But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, and the Holy One who seeth in secret will approve thee openly,” makes clear Christians do not have to attend a church worship service to be in Communion with God.
In summary, Jesus stated in Lection 75:13, “Keep ye the commandments. Love thy God with all thy heart, and love thy neighbor as thyself. On these hang all the law and the prophets. And the sum of the law is this—Do not ye unto others as ye would not that others should do unto you. Do ye unto others, as ye would that others should do unto you,” and in Lection 75, Verse 5, Jesus said to His Apostles, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another and all the creatures of God. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Love is of God, and God is love. Whoso loveth not, knoweth not God.”
If one cannot keep the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, due to circumstances beyond their control, but instead, religiously keep the Sabbath on a day of the week when their work schedule allows them to do so, and they faithfully obey the Commandments Jesus gave in the Verses above, I feel deep within my heart, and with firm conviction, they will be in Communion with God.