The Gentile Sabbath
How does God regard the Gentiles?
"Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also." Rom. 3:29.
Is God partial to either Jew or Gentile?
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him." Acts 10:34, 35.
What rule must be applied to convict anyone of sin?
"For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Rom. 5:13.
NOTE: Then if Gentiles are convicted of sin, it must be by the law, just the same as the Jews.
For whom is the law made?
"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, ...for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine." 1 Tim. 1:9, 10.
Were the Gentiles addicted to such practices?
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles,... who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Eph. 4:17, 19.
NOTE: Then the law was given for Gentiles as well as for Jews.
Speaking of how God would visit the Gentiles and take out a people for Himself, what did James say was fallen down, and would be built up again?
"And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up." Acts 15, 16.
What was to be the result of building again the tabernacle of David?
"That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things." Acts 15:17.
NOTE: The reader will notice that the specification is the "Gentiles upon whom My name is called," -- that is, those who had joined themselves to the Lord, and were counted among God's Israel. These were keeping all of God's commandments which were delivered from Sinai; then if the Gentiles were to be brought within the plan of salvation, to do those things which were done before the tabernacle of David was fallen, they, too, must have faith in Christ and keep all of God's commandments.
For whom was the Sabbath made?
"The Sabbath was made for man." Mark 2:27.
NOTE: The word "man" is here used in its general sense, meaning, all mankind, -- the Gentile, as well as the Jew.
What particular day did God reserve for the Sabbath, and command man to keep?
"The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Ex. 20:10.
What does the Lord, through Isaiah, pronounce upon those who keep the Sabbath?
"Blessed is the man [any man] that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil." Isa. 56:2.
How does he say the stranger (Gentile) should feel when uniting with his people?
"Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to he Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from His people." Isa. 56:3.
What does He say He will do for the stranger who keeps His Sabbath?
"Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord. to be His servants, everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain. and make them joyful in My house of prayer... The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will gather others to Him, beside those that are gathered unto Him." Isa. 56:6-8.
What two classes did Paul once address at Antioch on the Sabbath?
Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience." Acts 13:16.
NOTE: Compare this with Acts 13:42. It would seem that the Gentiles who feared God were assembled with the Jews, for Sabbath worship.
Under what conditions was the church established in the Gentile city of Philippi?
"And from hence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony; and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither." Acts 16:12, 13. Read also verses 14-40.
At Corinth, what two classes assembled on the Sabbath to listen to the apostle's discourses?
"And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks [Gentiles] ." Acts 18:4.
How long had Moses and the prophets been read in the synagogues? And how extensively were they taught?
"For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Acts 15:21.
NOTE: The fact is, the Sabbath was the only regular time for publicly reading the Scriptures, and if the Gentiles heard of God, and obeyed Him, they must have attended Sabbath worship the same as the Jews. Besides, there was no other instruction from God, for either Jew or Gentile, except that contained in the Scriptures, which have ever taught that the seventh day is the Sabbath.
Of what two classes was the "congregation of Israel" made up?
"And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle." Ex. 12:38.
NOTE: Part of the congregation were Gentiles.
How were these "strangers" regarded?
"One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you." Ex. 12:49.
Who murmured against Moses and Aaron after entering the wilderness?
"And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness." Ex. 16:2.
How did God prove the whole congregation?
"Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you: and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or no." Ex. 16:4.
How did the people stand the test?
"And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?" Ex. 16:27, 28.
How did all "the people" heed this stern rebuke?
"So the people rested on the seventh day." Ex. 16:30.
NOTE: Here were the Egyptians (a mixed multitude) with the Israelites, and all were included among the murmurers. All were proved by God's law of the Sabbath, whether they would keep it or not, and that thirty days, at least, before its formal delivery upon Mt. Sinai. In this case, Israelite and Egyptian (Jew and Gentile) were treated alike, both were obliged to observe the Sabbath.
What instruction did Moses immediately begin giving to the people?
"When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statute of God, and His laws." Ex. 18:16.
NOTE: The Gentiles thus received instruction from the Jews.
When God gave the Sabbath commandment from Sinai, did He mention these Gentiles by name?
"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 man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." Ex. 20:10.
NOTE: Here the stranger (Gentile) was forbidden to do work on the Sabbath just the same as the Israelite. There was no difference.
What prayer did Solomon offer at the dedication of the temple, concerning the privileges and duties of the stranger?
"Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of Thy people Israel, ...when he shall come and pray toward this house, hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for; that all people of the earth may know Thy name, to fear Thee as do Thy people Israel." 1 Kings 8:41-43.
NOTE: If "all people of the earth" were to fear God as the people of Israel did then, they would certainly keep the Sabbath of the commandment, -- the seventh day.
When all the redeemed people of the earth shall come up to worship before God in the new earth, what day will still be recognized by them?
"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." Isa. 66:23.
NOTE: Thus to all eternity will the creative power of Jehovah be commemorated by the redeemed of every tribe and nation of the earth.