LUTHER AGAINST THE SABBATARIANS
Against the Sabbatarians: Letter to a Good Friend
By Martin Luther 1538
Moses' mention of the seventh day, and of how God created the world in six days, which is why they are to do no work—**all this is a temporal adaptation with which Moses suits this commandment to his people, **especially at that time. We find nothing written about this previously, either by Abraham or at the time of the old fathers.
This is a temporary addendum and adaptation intended solely for this people which was brought out of Egypt. Nor was it to endure forever, any more than was the whole law of Moses. But the sanctifying—that is, the teaching and preaching of God's word, which is the true, genuine, and sole meaning of this commandment—has been from the beginning and pertains to all the world forever.
**Therefore the seventh day does not concern us Gentiles,** nor did it concern the Jews beyond the advent of the Messiah, although by the very nature of things one must, as already said, rest, celebrate, and keep the Sabbath on whatever day or at whatever hour God's word is preached. For God's word cannot be heard or taught when one is preoccupied with something else or when one is not quiet.
Therefore Isaiah, too, declares in chapter 66 [:23] that the seventh day, or, as I call it, Moses' adaptation of it, **will cease at the time of the Messiah **when true sanctification and the word of God will appear richly.
He says that there will be one Sabbath after another and one new moon after another, that is, that all will be sheer Sabbath,** and there will no longer be any particular seventh day with six days in between. **For the sanctifying or the word of God will enjoy full scope daily and abundantly, **and every day will be a Sabbath...**