'WE'RE JEWS, SABBATH IS DAY OF WORSHIP'
There controversy over keeping the Sabbath in Christendom is still raging. While a large population of Christians believe that the seventh day, which God commanded fell on Sunday, some others uphold Saturday as the real Sabbath day. They insist Sunday marks the beginning of the week.
Apostle Gideon Sabbath Igwe, General Overseer, New Covenant Sabbath Church, Abuja, told Daily Sun: 'Sabbath is coming back in full fledge to fight back those who profane it.' He said there was no compromise or going back in fighting for the consecration of Saturday to the worship of God (Yahweh) as known in Hebrew, the original language of the Bible.
Taking his defense from Genesis Chapter two, he said: 'Sabbath is all about rest. After God created everything on the sixth day; on the seventh day, He rested and said that mankind should also rest on the seventh day and worship Him.' 'Many people believe that Sabbath is an Old Testament law. That the coming of Christ abolished it and then renewed Sunday worship whereas in Matthew 5 :17, Jesus Christ said He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.'
He said the nation was suffering afflictions because it had continued to profane Sabbath by recognising and instituting Sunday as its national worship: 'If you worship on Sabbath day, then God of Sabbath will restore the peace.' Recently, National President, Jewish Youths Association of Nigeria (JYAN), Okotie John Festus, mobilised young persons at the Elohim Sabbath Church in Abuja, sensitising them to key into the vision to restore sanctity to Sabbath day:
'Jewish Youths Association is all about Sabbath. In Nigeria, people hardly recognise what Sabbath is all about. We decided to come up with the programme to create enough awareness for people to come to the knowledge of how Sabbath must be kept as commanded by God in Genesis two from verse two, Exodus 20 from verse eight. It is one of the commandments of the Almighty that Sabbath must be kept as a day of worship to Yahweh.'
As practised in Israel where Saturday is set aside as national worship day with all the gates closed to transactions and official activities, Festus said this was how it should be in Nigeria and in deed, elsewhere in the world. To aid their quest to restore Sabbath, he said they had established contacts with the Jewish community both in Israel and those that are in Nigeria:
'We believe that we are the Jews in the Diaspora, having picked their tradition and custom as Sabbath keepers. You see, God, who is called Yahweh, revealed Himself first to the people of Israel. In Deuteronomy Chapter Four from verse 19, He said that He revealed His precepts and ordinances to Jacob. That He had never done this to any other nation, which shows that He revealed Himself to the Jews.
'We are only trying to bring people, especially the government to know fully about keeping the Sabbath. In the land of Israel where Sabbath started, they do not do anything like elections on Saturdays. They do not do anything as the president is swore-in the first batch of his ministers on Saturday. We are just trying to tell government and other people that this Sabbath day, it is not myself and my EXCO that started it, rather it is a command from God. Sabbath is kept on Saturday and this day ought to be kept holy nationally. I believe that this can work.
'In Genesis one, God said you should remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. If you go to the dictionary, Saturday is the last day of the week, even the calendars. Sabbath day comes up on Saturday.