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On the Sabbath, Jesus and His disciples were at the grain field and His disciples were found to be picking grain. Upon seeing this, the Pharisees criticised Jesus and questioned Him, asking why His disciples were working on the Sabbath.

Matthew 12:1-2  At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

In the Old Testament times, the Israelites were not allowed to work on the Sabbath day because it was a regulation of the old covenant (Exodus 20:8-11). Because of this, many Christians claim that we no longer need to keep the Sabbath day since Jesus’ disciples broke the regulations of the Sabbath.

However, is their insistence valid?

In the Bible, there are two laws. There exists the law of the old covenant which was established in the Old Testament times and the law of the new covenant which was established in the New Testament times. When Jesus came 2,000 years ago, He changed the law of the old covenant into the law of the new covenant, in accordance with the Bible’s prophecies.

The apostles explained this further in detail.

Hebrews 8:7-10  For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

The first covenant refers to the old covenant.

Hebrews 8:13  By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Hebrews 7:11-12  If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.

There exists a changed law, which is the new covenant.

In the New Testament times, Jesus set an example for us by keeping the Sabbath of the new covenant.

Luke 4:16  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.

Following the example of Jesus, the Early Church kept the Sabbath of the new covenant, in the New Testament times.

Acts 17:2-3  As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.

Even after Jesus’ crucifixion and ascension, Apostle Paul followed the example of Jesus and kept the Sabbath day as was his custom. This is to set an example for us that the Sabbath of the new covenant has to be kept in this age too.

According to the teachings of Jesus, the Sabbath must be kept until the end of the age.

Matthew 24:20-21  Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

Why do you think Jesus said to pray that our flight will not take place on the Sabbath and distinguished it from other days? This was because the Sabbath has to be kept until the end of the age.

Then why did Jesus allow his disciples to do physical work on the Sabbath? Let’s read on further!

Matthew 12:5  Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?

Why did Jesus bring up the point of the priests working on the Sabbath day in his defence? During the Old Testament time, ordinary people were not allowed to work on the Sabbath. However, there were a special group of people who had to work on the Sabbath; they were the priests who offered holy sacrifices to God on the Sabbath day.

In the New Testament time, God’s people are referred to as the royal priesthood.

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

As members of the royal priesthood, the saints of God offer sacrifices to God on days of worship. In the Old Testament times, priests offer animal sacrifices to God on the Sabbath day (Numbers 28:9-10). In the New Testament times however, God’s people no longer offer animal sacrifices to God. Instead, Jesus taught us to worship God in Spirit and in truth.

John 4:23  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Following the footsteps of Jesus, let us keep the Sabbath day holy and receive abundant blessings from God!

在安息日,耶稣与他的门徒经过一片田地时,门徒们採了麦穗来吃。看到这一幕的法利赛人批评了耶稣,并质疑耶稣为什么让他的门徒在安息日工作。

马太福音 12:1-2  那时,耶稣在安息日从麦地经过。他的门徒饿了,就掐起麦穗来吃。法利赛人看见,就对耶稣说:“看哪,你的门徒做安息日不可做的事了。”

根据旧约时代的规定,以色列人不能在安息日工作(出埃及记20:8-11)。因此,许多基督徒声称自从耶稣的门徒打破安息日的规定开始,我们就不再需要遵守安息日了。

但是,他们的主张正确吗?

圣经中有两种律法,即旧约时期建立的旧约律法和新约时期建立的新约律法。两千年前的耶稣来临时,按照圣经的预言将旧约的律法改为新约的律法。

使徒们进一步解释了这一点:

希伯来书 8:7-9  那前约若没有瑕疵,就无处寻求后约了。所以主指责他的百姓说:“日子将到,我要与以色列家和犹大家另立新约,不像我拉着他们祖宗的手,领他们出埃及的时候,与他们所立的约。因为他们不恒心守我的约,我也不理他们。这是主说的。”

这其中,前约是指旧约:

希伯来书 8:13  既说新约,就以前约为旧了;但那渐旧渐衰的,就必快归无有了。

希伯来书 7:11-12  从前百姓在利未人祭司职任以下受律法,倘若借这职任能得完全,又何用另外兴起一位祭司,照麦基洗德的等次,不照亚伦的等次呢?祭司的职任既已更改,律法也必须更改。

被耶稣更改后的律法就成了新约。在新约时代,耶稣为我们树立了榜样,遵守了安息日:

路加福音 4:16   耶稣来到拿撒勒,就是他长大的地方,在安息日,照他平常的规矩进了会堂,站起来要念圣经。

与此同时,初代教会也在新约时代跟从耶稣,坚守着新约的安息日:

使徒行传 17:2-3  保罗照他素常的规矩进去,一连三个安息日,本着圣经与他们辩论,讲解陈明基督必须受害,从死里复活,又说:“我所传于你们的这位耶稣,就是基督。”

即使在耶稣被钉十字架并升天之后,使徒保罗也遵循耶稣的脚步,一如既往地遵守了安息日。这是为了给我们一个榜样,就算在这个时代,安息日的律法也同样有效。根据耶稣的教训,我们必须遵守安息日直到世界的末了。

马太福音 24:20-21  你们应当祈求,叫你们逃走的时候,不遇见冬天或是安息日。因为那时必有大灾难,从世界的起头直到如今没有这样的灾难,后来也必没有。

为什么耶稣说我们应当祈求逃走之日不是安息日,区分出安息日与其他日子呢?这也是为了说明安息日的重要性。

那么,为什么耶稣允许他的门徒在安息日工作呢?让我们进一步阅读!

马太福音 12:5  再者,律法上所记的,当安息日祭司在殿里犯了安息日还是没有罪,你们没有念过吗?

为什么耶稣提出祭司在安息日工作的论点呢?在旧约时代,普通百姓不得在安息日工作。然而,有一群特殊的人必须在安息日工作,那就是在安息日向上帝献上圣祭的祭司。而在新约时代,上帝的子民被视为属灵的祭司。

彼得前书 2:9  唯有你们是被拣选的族类,是有君尊的祭司,是圣洁的国度,是属神的子民,要叫你们宣扬那召你们出黑暗、入奇妙光明者的美德。

作为属灵的祭司,圣徒在敬拜的日子里献祭给上帝。在旧约时代,祭司们在安息日以动物作为祭物(民数记28:9-10)献祭。在新约时代,上帝的子民不再献上牲畜。相反,耶稣教导我们用心灵和诚实来敬拜上帝。

约翰福音 4:23  时候将到,如今就是了,那真正拜父的,要用心灵和诚实拜他,因为父要这样的人拜他。

让我们一起跟随基督耶稣的步伐,遵守神圣的安息日,领受上帝赐予的无尽的祝福吧!

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In adherence to the Post-Circuit Breaker Phase One measures, the World Mission Society Church of God Education Centre will remain closed.

All education will continue to be conducted online.

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