Greg Laurie's Sabbath Confusion

On Monday Sept 27th, and Tuesday Sept 28th, 2004, Greg Laurie on his "A New Beginning" radio program, discusses the fourth commandment in the program titled "What is Right & Wrong?" - Part 3 (T1090). In the boxes below are some of the points he raises, followed by my comments.

Exodus chapter 20 verse 8, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy." Now this command has produced more confusion and misunderstanding than probably any of the others. Let's find out what this is, and what it is not.

Well, let's see if we can remove the confusion and clarify the matter.

First of all, Sabbath, when God originally gave it, was on Saturday, the last day of the week. The seventh day was set apart as a day of rest because God rested on the seventh day after creation.

Simple enough, the seventh day Saturday Sabbath is a memorial to creation, and reminds us that were were created by God, and as His creation we are responsible to Him. Nothing that happened at the cross changes or abolishes this memorial rest.

It was given, and this is very important, and I want you to mark this well, to the Jewish people.

Jesus says otherwise:

Mark 2:27 And he [Jesus] said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

In other words, the weekly seventh day Sabbath is to be a benefit for all mankind, not just the Jews. This will come to pass as prophesied by Isaiah:

Isa 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
Isa 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

So, the time is coming when all of humanity will observe the Sabbath.

And let me say something that may shock you, but the fact is, Christians really don't have all that much to do with this commandment. Or let me say it another way, this commandment doesn't really have all that much to say in its literal interpretation in the life of the Christian, and let me tell you why. It was part of the old covenant. the same covenant that commanded that an animal was to be sacrificed to atone for the sins of the people. ...

If the fourth commandment is a part of the old covenant, what about the other nine commandments? Are they not a part of the old covenant too? Did the new covenant abolish God's law?

Heb 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 8:7  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Heb 8:9  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

The new covenant does not abolish God's ten commandment law, it writes it in the hearts and minds of God's people.

But here's just a few facts about the fourth commandment:

1.  It is the only commandment that is not repeated in the New Testament. Every other commandment we read about in the ten is repeated in the New Testament. Most are made more stringent, but of all the New Testament lists of sins, breaking the Sabbath is never mentioned again. That's because is was given to the Jews, not the non-Jews.

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Note that the fourth commandment is referred to in these verses in Revelation:

Rev 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Rev 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Rev 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

The fourth commandment is referenced in the book of Revelation in conjunction with commandment keeping:

Rev 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Rev 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

The fourth commandment is also cited in the book of Acts:

Acts 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

The keeping of the 10 commandments of God is mentioned repeatedly in the New Testament, to those under the new covenant, the Christians, who have God's law written in their hearts and minds. See: The Seal of God in the Old and New Covenants.

And I bring this up because there are groups that will tell you if don't worship on Saturday you're not worshipping God properly. Some will even say if you worship on Sunday it's the mark of the beast or the Antichrist. That is absolutely false. ...

Well, you first have to know the identity of the antichrist power the beast (from the sea) of Revelation 13. Greg Laurie does not know or teach just who this is, so how can he know what the mark of the beast is? For that identity see the article The Catholic Origins of Futurism and Preterism which shows it is the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church. Then see The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast for the Catholic Church's mark of authority over the law of God.

Obedience to God was the issue in the garden of Eden, and in the form of the fourth commandment, it will again be the issue before the second coming.

2. Jesus never taught anyone to keep the Sabbath. ...

Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Mat 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

Note that in answer to the question regarding eternal life, Jesus omits those commandments dealing with worship of God. Can we logically conclude that because of its omission the commandment regarding worship of other gods (Exo. 20:3) had been abolished? No, it would be foolish to assume that. Had the commandment against bowing down before idols (Exo. 20:4-5) also been abolished? No. Had the commandment forbidding taking the name of God in vain (Exo. 20:7) been abolished? No. It is absurd to conclude these commandments were abolished by Jesus simply because He did not mention them. How can anyone conclude, then, that the one commandment that calls us to remember the sabbath day to keep it holy is not included when Jesus said, in answer to the question, "if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Surely the fourth commandment was included implicitly as a commandment to be kept. In the book of John, Jesus is quoted as saying:

John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Therefore Jesus did teach the keeping of the seventh day Sabbath when He said "keep the commandments" or "keep my commandments".

3. The Apostles never taught anyone to keep the Sabbath.

Again, from the Apostle John:

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1 John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments  are not grievous.

2 John 1:6  And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

In fact they began meeting on the first day of the week ... because that was the day that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. ...

There is no doubt that the Apostles met on Sunday, but - Did the Apostles Abandon The Sabbath And Keep Sunday Instead To Honor The Resurrection?

Colossians 2:16 says: "Don't let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon or Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; but the reality is found in Christ. ...

The shadow sabbaths were part of the yearly festivals that were prophetic in nature. For example, Passover was prophetic of the crucifixion of Jesus, and had the associated sabbaths of the first and last days of Unleavened Bread. However, the seventh-day Sabbath is a memorial to creation, that will endure and be kept even on the new Earth by all humanity, as pointed out at the beginning of this article. See: The Shadow Sabbaths of Colossians 2:17.

You see, in the old covenant one day was holy to the Lord, in the new covenant every day is holy to the Lord.

There is no Bible verse in the New Testament to support that assertion, so that is why Greg Laurie does not provide one. The Lord, however, commands:

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

So keeping the Sabbath day holy means resting. God does not command us to rest every day, He commands us to work six days, and then rest on the seventh day Sabbath, and that day is Saturday. And the seventh day (Saturday) is distinct in that it is the only day of the week God blessed and sanctified in all of scripture:

Gen 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.


Any confusion about keeping the seventh day Sabbath can be cleared up from the Bible, and the New Testament teaching to keep the commandments of God. Nowhere does the New Testament teach that Sunday is to be observed to honor the resurrection. That is nothing but a Tradition of men.

Greg Laurie's Harvest Online website.
More on the Sabbath.