Pt 1  |  Pt 2  |  Pt 3

(Matt 12:2 [KJV])
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

This is one of the most misunderstood topics in the Christian faith – The Sabbath Day.

Before we start this study, we encourage you to read what day is the sabbath and how it was changed – Read Pt 1

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To understand the law of the sabbath we must first establish some basic facts:

First we must establish that Yeshua (Jesus) never sinned. In other words Yeshua never broke or transgressed a single commandment, in Him is no sin.
(1John 3:5 [KJV])
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

Secondly, you should know that aside from the Torah, the Jews (Pharisees) had other laws that they followed (not included in the Torah); also known as oral tradition (Talmud). – Read some history  about the Talmud

Our Lord called these teachings the traditions/commandments of men. It is written.
(Mark 7:7 [KJV])
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

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Now let us look at the Torah to see what it teaches us about how to keep sabbath (Not the Talmud).

Israel was commanded to not go out (stay home and not go out looking for the bread that was given).
(Exod 16:29 [KJV])
See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

We are commanded not to work. We are also commanded, none should work including our cattle.
(Exod 20:8 – 11 [KJV])
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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: 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.

We are commanded that if we do work on the sabbath day we will be put to death.
(Exod 31:15 [KJV])
Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

We are commanded not to kindle any fire on the sabbath day.
(Exod 35:3 [KJV])
Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

We are to have gathering (convocation).
(Lev 23:3 [KJV])
Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

We are not to gather sticks on the sabbath day. This man that gathered sticks lost his life as a result of breaking the command.
(Num 15:32 [KJV])
And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

We are commanded not to bare a burden on the sabbath day.
(Jer 17:22 [KJV])
Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

In summary on the sabbath day we are to do no work, we are to rest, we are to gather together, not to kindle a fire, not to bare a burden and we should let our cattle rest.

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Now let us look to see what Yeshua did on the sabbath day in relation to what the Pharisee said (He broke the law).
(Matt 12:1-2 [KJV])
At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

Question: Does the law of the Torah prohibit the plucking of corn if you are hungry?

Answer: Comes later

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(Matt 12:10 [KJV])
And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

Question: Does the law of the Torah prohibit healing on the Sabbath?

Answer: Comes later

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(John 5:10 – 11 [KJV])
The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

Question: Does the law of the Torah prohibit the lifting of a bed (burden)?

Answer: Comes later

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Now lets us read what Yeshua said in relation to being challenged on keeping the sabbath day.
(Matt 12:8 [KJV])
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

(Matt 12:12 [KJV])
How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.

(Mark 3:4 [KJV])
And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

(Col 2:16 [KJV])
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

In essence the written word is saying that if there is something important required for someone (eg: healing) or should there be a life of an animal/person in jeopardy then it is lawful to act and do what is well on the sabbath day (Matt 12:12… “Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days”). In short if you have an important priority that takes place on the sabbath day, you can attend to it.

If you still don’t get it yet, here is a real life example. The law states that the speed limit is 60 mph. However, while on the road you spot a car coming at you and it is off side and to avoid a collision you have to accelerate to 80 mph, what do you do? Well I would accelerate above the speed limit so that it will be well for the both of us (avoiding a collision). Like driving, there is an exception to keeping the Sabbath.. Showing love where it matters (the law to do well supersedes the required law). 

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What were the Pharisees seeing when they said that Yeshua and His disciples were not being lawful on the Sabbath.

The Oral Torah (Talmud)
The Pharisees used the “oral Torah” to determine what was lawful. So when Yeshua or His disciples did something on the sabbath that was not in agreement with the “oral Torah” it was said to be unlawful. Their judgment was based on man’s commandments and not God’s written Torah.

Watch this presentation that explains how the Talmud came about and how it was used in the time of Yeshua – HERE (and more)

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The commandments and the Torah | Deception in the church
Why would iniquity keep you out of Heaven? | Are you in God’s will?
Do you have the heart of an adulterer? | Are you thinking marriage?
What is true marriage? | Is polygamy sin in the eyes of God?
The right and wrong way to become one flesh and much more.

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