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This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font and is printable.

Greek Word Study on 4521 σάββατον sabbaton Sabbath.
Hebrew Word Study on 7676 שַׁבָּת shabbat Sabbath.
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Introduction 1.8

This section arises because there are so many Christians today who break the Sabbath commandment and think that there are no consequences. However, all sin has consequences and breaking the Sabbath commandment is no exception. Some even accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath commandment, which he did not do. Jesus did give others permission to break the letter of the law, like the man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:8), and defended his disciples who also did (Matthew 12:2). He had the authority to do this because he was Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). However, he himself never did break it, but in these cases he operated in the hierarchy of the law whenever there was a human need. This was how a spiritual man should operate; not the letter, but the Spirit. This bible study explains from scripture the penalty for breaking the Sabbath commandment.


EXODUS 31:15
15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to Yahweh: whoever does any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

NUMBERS 15:32-36
32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day.
33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation.
34 And they put him under guard because it was not declared what should be done with him.
35 And Yahweh said to Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.
36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as Yahweh commanded Moses.

Note 1: Here we can see that the penalty for breaking the Sabbath commandment in the time of Moses was physical death, but what about today? The scripture declares.

(Ezekiel 18:4) "the soul that sins, it shall die."
(Romans 6:23) "For the wages of sin is death."
(Romans 8:13) "For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die."

The penalty is still the same, but not through the judgment of a civil court. Unless Jesus returns first, we will all die physically one day because of our sin, which may include breaking the Sabbath commandment, but we may also die now spiritually to some degree.
Other penalties are listed in God's word:
God promised to pour his fury out on those who polluted his Sabbaths (Ezekiel 20:21).
God promised that he would scatter his people who did not keep his commandments, including the Sabbath day (Ezekiel 20:23-24), and give them bad statutes and judgments which would not give them life (Ezekiel 20:24-25). The denominational system that we see today is equivalent to being scattered and wandering in a spiritual wilderness. This has happened because people went away from God's commandments, including keeping the Sabbath day. Many are now believing, and keeping doctrines which are false, such as Sunday worship, which cannot give them life.

Note 2: Because "sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4 KJV), then any consequence of sin is possible for breaking the Sabbath commandment. Here are some of them:

(1) Defeat by our enemies (Joshua 7:11-12; Judges 3:7-8; 6:1; 13:1).
(2) Others suffering because of us (Deuteronomy 28:15-18; 28:58-59;  2 Samuel 12:13-19; Hosea 9:16-17).
(3) Our soul will be "spoiled" of plundered (Proverbs 8:36; 22:22-23).
(4) Physical or spiritual blindness (Job 11:20; Isaiah 44:17-18; Lamentations 5:16-17; Zephaniah1:17).
(5) Our heart may be hardened (Hebrews 3:13).
(6) More deception (Jeremiah 5:25-27; Obadiah 1:3; Romans 7:11; Hebrews 3:13).
(7) Lack of understanding (Isaiah 44:17-18; Daniel 9:13; Romans 3:9-11).
(8) Confusion (Daniel 9:7-8).
(9) A lack of blessings (2 Chronicles 7:13-14; Jeremiah 5:25).
(10) Prayers not answered (Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 59:2).
(11) Sickness (Leviticus 26:21; Deuteronomy 28:15-22, 58-61; Psalm 25:18; 31:10; 38:3-5; 39:11; 89:30-33; 107:10-11, 107:17; Proverbs 11:17; Jeremiah 30:14-15; Daniel 9:11; Micah 6:12-13; Matthew 9:5)
(12) A stumbling-block before us (Ezekiel 3:20; 14:3-4).
(13) Chastisement (Leviticus 26:27-28; Psalm 107:17; Jeremiah 30:14).
(14) Our name blotted out of God's book of life (Exodus 32:33), which will cause us to be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10; 20:15; 21:8).
(15) Separation from God (Joshua 7:11-12; Isaiah 59:2).

The list is not exhaustive, but there are some good reasons here not to break the Sabbath commandment.


MATTHEW 7:21-23 (Jesus)
21 Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I confess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you who work lawlessness1.

MATTHEW 13:40-42 (Jesus)
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this age.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and those who do lawlessness1;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

TITUS 2:13-14
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all lawlessness1, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

8 But to the Son he says, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness, and hated lawlessness1; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

1 JOHN 3:4 (RPT)
4 Every man who commits sin, also commits lawlessness1, and sin is lawlessness1.

Note: The word translated lawlessness1 (Matthew 7:23; 13:41; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 1:9;  1 John 3:4) (Gr. ἀνομία, Gtr. anomia) is made up from two parts, "" which is a negative, and νόμος (Gtr. nomos) which means "law". It literally means "not law", "no law", or "lawlessness", and refers to things done which are contrary to the law of God. The King James Version of the bible translates every one of these places as "iniquity" except "transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4 KJV). Why did Jesus refuse entrance to the kingdom of God to these people who prophesied, cast out demons, and did many wonderful works in his name (Matthew 7:22-23)? - because they broke God's law. Why will the angels cast people into a furnace of fire at the end of the age (Matthew 13:41-42)? - because they broke God's law. Jesus died to redeem us from "all lawlessness" (Titus 2:14), because he hates lawlessness (Hebrews 1:9). Isn't this a good reason to keep the Sabbath day? The apostle James said, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10). So where does that leave those who do not keep the Sabbath day? They are guilty of breaking every one of the ten commandments, including idolatry, adultery, and murder. Idolaters and adulterers cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21). No murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15). The fate of lawless people will be to be cast into "a furnace of fire" (Matthew 10:42; Revelation 21:8). Also we have seen that the penalty for sin is death, and the lake of fire (Gehenna) is called the second death (Revelation 20:14), so why risk getting cast in there? Man is not the judge of who goes into the lake of fire and who doesn't, but these are good scriptural reasons to avoid breaking the Sabbath commandment.


MATTHEW 15:7-9 (Jesus)
7 You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

MARK 7:6-9 (Jesus)
6 He answered and said to them, Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 However in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do.
9 And he said to them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.

MARK 7:13 (Jesus)
13 Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things you do.

Note: When people lay aside the Sabbath day, and keep Sunday instead, they do exactly what Jesus said.

(Mark 7:8) "laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men."
(Mark 7:9) "you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition."

This is evil, because it makes the word of God of no effect when we substitute man's tradition for God's word (Mark 7:13). Those who observe Sunday, and do not keep the Sabbath day, teach others by their example.
Jesus' words are still applicable to us today:

(Matthew 24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(Matthew 19:17) "if you will enter into life, keep the commandments."
(Luke 6:46) "And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
(Matthew 19:17) "keep the commandments."
(John 14:15-24) "If you love me, keep my commandments. ... He who has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves me: ... If a man loves me, he will keep my words: ... He who does not love me does not keep my sayings."
(Matthew 19:17) "keep the commandments."
(John 12:48) "He who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one who judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

The apostle Paul also confirmed the importance of Jesus' words.

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man teaches otherwise, and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing."

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