Which day is actually the Sabbath -- Saturday or Sunday? -- the 7th day of the week or the 1st? -- Does it really matter? Is one "Christian" and the other "Jewish"? Again, does it really matter? The answer is a most decidedly "YES"!!! Please read on!
The question as to WHICH day is actually the "Sabbath" has much more to do with "OBEDIENCE" and "LOYALTY" and "TRUTH" and our "LOVE FOR GOD" (Christ said: "if you LOVE ME You WILL Keep My Commandments": "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word": "He who does not love Me does NOT keep My words" Jn. 14:15; 14:23; 14:24; etc.) than it has to do with TRADITION or POPULARITY!! The "SABBATH", in fact, is probably the MOST defining doctine in the whole of Scriptures. IT is the ONE doctrine that sets apart those who will follow the WHOLE LAW (the 10 Commandments) and those who will only follow NINE (9)!! It is also the only commandment that truly DEFINES our relationship with God (not only in terms of Who we will be faithful to but also in terms of Who, and "WHEN", we will spend time with Him -- according to HIS timetable!). So let's look at the "Sabbath Commandment" honestly and straightforwardly.
The Fourth Commandment is very straightforward in what it states: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." (Ex. 20:8-11; 31:15; Duet. 5:12,15; Neh. 13:22; Jer. 17:22,24,27; etc.). Frankly, it could NOT be stated any clearer that that. But just so we are CLEAR on things here, let's note a few things about this passage. First, it should be noted that the commandment states that we (and the Jews at that time) should "REMEMBER the Sabbath Day. One cannot "REMEMBER" something that is not already in effect can you? Also, you will notice that the entire commandment is tied directly to the Lord's Creation -- that is, that it is a Memorial of this event (and one simply cannot "CHANGE" a memorial to another day!). Third, God (Christ - see Jn. 1:1-4; Col. 1:14-17; and Heb. 1:1,2) Himself RESTED on the Seventh-Day (thus leaving us an example of what WE should do). Finally, the commandment is clear that THIS is the day (the "Seventh day") that the LORD HIMSELF BLESSED and SANCTIFIED and MADE HOLY! This is NOT something that You or I did (nor could do)-- nor is it something that the Apostles did -- nor is it something that the "Church" had the right to do ------ this is something that the LORD did!!! HE is the One who "Blessed and Sanctified" this particular day!!! That is straight "BIBLE people -- and any arguments mitigating against any of these facts is flat out mitigating with GOD! But just to be "fair" -- let's look at ALL of the Bible evidence concerning the Sabbath.
Has the Sabbath been "CHANGED" to the First Day of the Week?
There are only EIGHT texts in the NEW TESTAMENT which make any reference to the "FIRST" day of the week (SUNDAY) and absolutely NONE OF THEM direct us to Keep this Day Holy or indicate any "CHANGE" in the original Sabbath!! Here are the references: (Mat. 28:1; Mar.16:1-3; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1,2; Jn.20:19; 1 Cor. 16:1,2; Acts 20-1-13; Mark 16:9; Luke 23:52-54): and here they are quoted:
Mat 28:1 "Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave."
Please Notice that there is NOTHING here suggesting that we should keep the "First" day of the week as "HOLY" or as the new "SABBATH". The ONLY thing mentioned here is that it was the "First Day of the Week" (Sunday) when Mary and Mary came "to look at the grave". One can hardly use this text as any kind of directive to keep the "First" day of the week "Holy"! In fact, the text SPECIFICALLY notes that this event occured AFTER THE SABBATH -- and there is NO MENTION of keeping the "First Day of the Week" (SUNDAY) Holy! Obviously, these women had "KEPT" the SABBATH (Saturday) Holy (according to the Commandment) BEFORE coming to the grave on Sunday (the First day of the Week). Indeed, there is absolutely NO REASON for this verse to "read" the way it does IF the "Sabbath" had been "CHANGED" or if it were NO LONGER to be KEPT! This verse certainly offers NO EVIDENCE of any "CHANGE" in the Sabbath from the "Seventh-day" to the "First-day"!Mar 16:1,2 "When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen."
Again, please notice that there is NOTHING here about keeping the "First" day of the Week (Sunday) "Holy" and, indeed states that the "sabbath" was kept by these women!! It also suggests that they were simply coming to "Finish" embolming Christ (which is why they "brought spices" with them so that they could "anoint Him". There is NO CHANGE indicated here in the day that we (or they) were to "WORSHIP" or "KEEP HOLY" and this text most certainly does NOT indicate a CHANGE in the SABBATH (the Sabbath was "OVER" when they came to the tomb!).
Luk 24:1,2 "But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb" -- Here again we see NOTHING regarding a "CHANGE" in the day of worship! Again, we only find them coming to the tomb to continue embolming Christ. NO CHANGE in the Sanctity of the day (from the Sabbath to the "First Day" of the week) is indicated here and NOTHING is indicated that suggests that the "First Day of the Week" is to be Kept HOLY (instead of the SABBATH)! Indeed, the fact that they would NOT embolm Christ "on the Sabbath" and that they "KEPT" the Sabbath prior to resuming their "work" shows that that SABBATH was the day that they "Kept Holy" and would not defile. These people also had NO KNOWLEDGE that Christ had actually been RESURECTED yet -- so they could NOT possibly be doing anything on this day in honor or this!
Joh 20:19 "So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you."" Obviously, there is no "CHANGE" in the "SABBATH" indicated in this verse. The Disciples were gathered (behind closed doors) because they were in "fear of the jews" -- NOT because they were keeping Sunday (the first day of the week) Holy! There is absolutely NOTHING in this verse that suggests that the Disciples were keeping Sunday Holy OR that WE should! Please notice also that JESUS said NOTHING here about their keeping another day (other than the Sabbath) Holy here. NOTHING in this verse could possibly be construed as a directive (or evidence) that we should keep any other day than the SABBATH Holy!
1 Cor. 16:1,2 "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come." Please note that these "Offerings" were NOT the same as what we might give today! They were NOT necessarily offerings of CASH (and in fact were probably NOT cash) but were often offerings of "HARVEST" and were therefore offerings of LABOR. They were offerings of Grain and Fruit -- all of which would require "LABOR" in order to harvest and collect and all of which would have been "AGAINST THE COMMANDMENT" (especially as these Jewish converts would have understood it) and would therefore been very much against the Commandment. The fact is that Paul was instructing these "CHRISTIANS" to set aside (according to their blessings) a "TITHE" or an "OFFERING" to their Christian Brothers in Jerusulem. NOTHING here suggests that the "FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK" (Sunday) was to be considered as "HOLY" (offering or no offering) -- and in fact, it suggests that the First day of the week was to be considered and kept as any other "WORKING" day of the week!!
Acts 20:7,8 "On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together." Many have used this verse to refer to the taking of the "LORD's SUPPER" -- but NOTHING in this verse suggests that this is the case. Indeed, the early Christians often met together and "Broke Bread" (that is, ate a meal) together (See Acts 2:46!). The fact of the matter is that this was a Saturday Night Meeting (Sunday having begun at Sunset - (see the Creation account in Genesis 1 -- "Evening and Morning" was the first day, "Evening and Morning was the Second day, etc. -- While WE, today, may consider the days as "Beginning" at Midnight -- there was NO WAY for people living thousands of years ago to tell when "Midnight" actually was and they, for THOUSANDS OF YEARS, kept the days from "Evening to Evening" -- as is shown in Lev. 23:32 "from evening until evening you shall keep your Sabbath." (obviously, if the SABBATH was kept from "Evening until Evening" all the other days of the week would have to be kept similarly). If we want to use this verse to "prove" that Paul and the Early Christians kept Sunday Holy then we probably ought to insist on Saturday Evening meetings instead of Sunday morning meetings and we would have to insist that this was a COMMON PRACTICE within the early church -- for which there is NO EVIDENCE! This was simply a meeting at which Paul spoke (and "waxed eloquent") and in which he was giving instructions to the church PRIOR to his leaving "the next day" (I will have a LOT more to say about "Paul's" keeping of the Sabbath later on)! There is absolutely nothing in this verse that even suggests a "Change" in the Sabbath or suggests that we should be keeping another day in its place.
Mar 16:9,10 "Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping." Do you see anything here that suggests that we should keep the "First day of the week" as HOLY??? The fact is that it is not here and trying to MAKE it say something here that it does NOT is simply dishonest!
Mar 16:9 "Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons." This is so closely related to the verse above that no comment should need to be made -- Clearly there is nothing here, in this final reference to the "First Day of the Week" to suggest that we should in any way "KEEP IT HOLY"!!
We have now examined ALL of the references included in the BIBLE regarding the "FIRST" day of the Week (today's Sunday) and we have NO EVIDENCE that this day should be kept "HOLY" or that the original "SABBATH" was changed to Sunday! And as we look more deeply at the original Sabbath we will find that it not only has NOT been "Changed" but that it is still binding and is the day that we should keep.
Additionally, there is only ONE TEXT in the entire Bible which refers to the "LORD's DAY" (which most "Sunday" Keeping Churches claim is "SUNDAY"). But there is absolutely NOTHING within this text itself which IDENTIFIES the "Lord's Day" as any other day than the SABBATH (the Seventh-day)! Here is the text:
Rev. 1:10 "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet". Notice that there is NOTHING within this verse which specifically identifies "WHAT" Day John is talking about. Nothing is said that would lead us to conclude that any "CHANGE" had taken place or that this was NOT the SABBATH DAY. Indeed, as we look at the Biblical evidence, we find no reason to conclude that this was anything But the Seventh-day SABBATH! ALL of the following texts CLEARLY state that it is the "SEVENTH-DAY" that is the day God "Blessed and Sanctified and Made Holy" and that THIS is the ONLY day which is stated to be the " the Sabbath of the LORD thy God" (see Gen. 2:2,3; Ex. 20:10; Duet. 5:14,15). In (Mat. 12:8; Mar. 2:27,28; Lk. 6:5) JESUS CHRIST Himself claimed that: "the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath" (that is, that HE is the Lord of the SABBATH -- meaning that this is HIS DAY -- not Sunday). So, when John says that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day he MUST have been speaking of the SABBATH and NOT the First-day of the Week (Sunday) for the SABBATH is the ONLY DAY ever spoken of as belonging SPECIFICALLY TO the LORD. At the very least, there is absolutely NOTHING in this verse that suggests that any "CHANGE" had been made to the SABBATH DAY or that we should be "Keeping" any other day than it Holy!
These are the ONLY VERSES in the entire Bible that specifically relate to the "FIRST-DAY of the WEEK" or the "LORD's DAY" -- and NONE of them indicate any "CHANGE" in the SABBATH DAY or that any other day (besides the Seventh-day Sabbath) should now be kept Holy! That is the BIBLICAL EVIDENCE! We will examine MORE REASONS why the Sabbath could NOT have been changed later, but for now let's turn our attention to what the Churches have to say about any "Change" in the Sabbath.
What the Churches say about the "Change in the Sabbath" and these texts:
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will NOT find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify" (Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of Our Fathers, p. 111, 112 -- emphasis mine).
"Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday .... Now the Church ... instituted, by God's authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday." (Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About (1927), p. 136.).
"For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible." (Catholic Virginian Oct. 3, 1947, p. 9, art. "To Tell You the Truth").
""Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day -Saturday - for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes. Did Christ change the day'? I answer no!" (James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921)).
""Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days." (John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies (1936), vol. 1, P. 51).
"Had she not such power (the Catholic Church), she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her - she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority." (Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174).
THE BAPTIST CHURCH
""There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found: Not in the New Testament - absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week." (Dr. E. T. Hiscox, author of the 'Baptist Manual'). ""There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance." - (WILLIAM OWEN CARVER, "The Lord's Day in Our Day," page 49).
""There is nothing in Scripture that requires us to keep Sunday rather than Saturday as a holy day." (Harold Lindsell (editor), Christianity Today, Nov. 5, 1976).
"Of course I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and christened with the name of the sun-god, then adopted and sanctified by the Papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism." (Dr. E. T. Hiscox, report of his sermon at the Baptist Minister's Convention, in 'New York Examiner,' November 16, 1893).
""The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?" - (D.L. MOODY, "Weighed and Wanting," page 47).
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
"The Christian Sabbath (Sunday) is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the the primitive church called the Sabbath." (Dwight's Theology vol. 4, p. 401).
THE LUTHERAN CHURCH
"The observance of the Lord's Day (Sunday) is founded not on any command of God, but on the authority of the Church." (Augsburg Confession of Faith).
""The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance." - (AUGUSTUS NEANDER, "History of the Christian Religion and Church," Vol. 1, page 186).
""But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel .... These churches err in their teaching, for scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect" (John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp.15, 16).
""They [the Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord's day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it appears, neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day. Great, say they, is the power and authority of the church, since it dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments." - (Augsburg Confession of Faith, Art. 28, par. 9).
THE METHODIST CHURCH
"The reason we observe the first day instead of the seventh is based on no positive command. One will search the Scriptures in vain for authority for changing from the seventh day to the first. The early Christians began to worship on the first day of the week because Jesus rose from the dead on that day. By and by, this day of worship was made also a day of rest, a legal holiday. This took place in the year 321. (CLOVIS G. CHAPPELL, "Ten Rules for Living," page 61).
""This 'handwriting of ordinances' our Lord did blot out, take away, and nail to His cross. (Colossians 2: 14.) But the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away.... The moral law stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law. ...Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages." - (JOHN WESLEY, "Sermons on Several Occasions," 2-Vol. Edition, Vol. I, pages 221, 222).
""The Sabbath was made for MAN; not for the Hebrews, but for all men." - (E.O. HAVEN, "Pillars of Truth," page 88).
""Sabbath in the Hebrew language signifies rest, and is the seventh day of the week... and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day." (Charles Buck, A Theological Dictionary, "Sabbath").
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
""But we do not find any direct command from God, or instruction from the risen Christ, or admonition from the early apostles, that the first day is to be substituted for the seventh day Sabbath." "Let us be clear on this point. Though to the Christian 'that day, the first day of the week' is the most memorable of all days ... there is no command or warrant in the New Testament for observing it as a holy day." "The Roman Church selected the first day of the week in honour of the resurrection of Christ. ..." (Bible Standard, May, 1916, Auckland, New Zealand).
""... If the fourth command is binding upon us Gentiles by all means keep it. But let those who demand a strict observance of the Sabbath remember that the seventh day is the ONLY sabbath day commanded, and God never repealed that command. If you would keep the Sabbath, keep it; but Sunday is not the Sabbath. The argument of the 'Seventh-day Adventists' is on one point unassailable. It is the Seventh day not the first day that the command refers to." (G. Alridge, Editor, The Bible Standard, April, 1916).
"The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath. There never was any change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change." - ("First-Day Observance," pages 17, 19).
""There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day the Lord's day." - (DR. D. H. LUCAS, Christian Oracle, Jan. 23, 1890).
THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
""It is quite clear that, however rigidly or devoutly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath ... The Sabbath was founded on a specific divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday ... There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday." (Dr. Dale, The Ten Commandments, pp. 106, 107).
""It must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day." (Buck's Theological Dictionary page 403).
""There is no command in the Bible requiring us to observe the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath." - (ORIN FOWLER, A.M., "Mode and Subjects of Baptism).
""The current notion that Christ and His apostles authoritatively substituted the first day for the seventh, is absolutely without any authority in the New Testament." - (DR. LYMAN ABBOTT, Christian Union, Jan. 18, 1882.
THE ANGLICAN/EPISCOPAL CHURCH
""And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day .... The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it." (Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, vol. 1, pp.334, 336).
""There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday .... into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters.... The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday." (Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments, pp. 52, 63, 65).
"We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church." (Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday).
THE CONGREGATIONALIST CHURCH
"" . . . it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath - . . 'The Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday .... There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday." (Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton and Mains), p. 127-129).
"" . . . the Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath." (Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p. 258).
THE DECIPLES OF CHRIST
""'But,' say some, 'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where? when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives' fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio - I think his name is Doctor Antichrist." (Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164).
""The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change." (First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19).
Obviously ALL these Christian Church Scholars took a bold stand in AFFIRMING the Biblical injunction to Keep the "SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH" Holy and in denying the claims that the FIRST-DAY of the Week has been affirmed as the NEW SABBATH (or the Sabbath of the CHRISTIAN). I applaud these scholars in their honesty and forthrightness. And ALL of these quotes affirm what we have said earlier concerning the Seventh-day Sabbath and its binding nature upon ALL CHRISTIANS TODAY! I truly appreciate the fact that all of these leading Theologians have admitted that there is absolutely NO BIBLICAL BASIS for keeping SUNDAY as the SABBATH and that the BIBLE does NOT support their keeping of the same -- however, no matter how "Nobel" their reasons may be -- If we are to follow the BIBLE and the BIBLE ONLY as our rule of faith then I must conclude that we must NOT follow the "Traditions of Men" but that we must follow what the LORD Himself has required of us!! WHY didn't these "SCHOLARS" ACT on their Beliefs and "KEEP" the true (Biblical) Sabbath. It seems very Hypocritical to me to say "Yes, this is the True Sabbath" but then to go on keeping a false sabbath!
But, in case I haven't made my point absolutely clear here yet -- let's examine more of the BIBLICAL EVIDENCE on this subject.
Who's SABBATH is it Anyway?
One of the most astonishing things that I have run into (whether by friends or FAMILY) is the argument that the Saturday Sabbath is "YOUR SABBATH -- And that the "SUNDAY" Sabbath is THEIRS!!! Where in the world (or in the WORD of GOD) does ANYONE find that the SABBATH is "THEIRS to do with what they want?! The SABBATH is NOT yours or mine!!! Read the commandment carefully --- in it you will find that it is "The Sabbath OF THE LORD THY GOD (see Ex. 20:12). This is NOT a matter that is up to you or me! It is NOT something that is Your's or Mine to claim!! GOD Himself set this day apart AND commanded that we "keep" it. It is NOT a matter that is up to "US" to decide or to Change. If this is the "SABBATH OF THE LORD THY GOD" then who are we, who claim to be His followers, to Change His Commandment into that which is more pleasing to our liking (regarless of how "Noble" the reasons)?
If the SABBATH is actually the LORD's and NOT "OURS" than wouldn't it be prudent for us to conform to HIS standards and not ours?
Jewish or Christian?
One of the most confounding questions and objections that I have run into is whether or not the SABBATH is Jewish or Christian. I have run into this argument from both family and friends (and "Christians" of all persuasions). The argument seems to be whether or not the LAW (the 10 commandments -- and especially the FOURTH COMMANDMENT - since no-one seems to want to argue the validity of the other nine) was given only to the "Jews" or whether it was intended to be kept by ALL MEN (Christian or Jew). To this objection I must answer -- and the answer must be YES -- it is to be kept by ALL MEN (regardless of any "Inconveinience" it may cause us)!!
If you TRULY believe that the Sabbath Commandment ONLY refers to the Jew -- then I must take you back to the CREATION of this World. In the Creation story given in Genesis 1 and 2 we find that the LORD created all things in six literal days. We also find that on the SEVENTH DAY God "RESTED" from all His works and that HE "RESTED" upon the SEVENTH DAY and that HE "made it HOLY" -- that HE set it aside, "SANCTIFYING IT", and setting it aside for Holy use. There is nothing in the Creation account that indicates that this day was set aside for any SPECIFIC group -- but that it was, indeed, set aside for MANKIND as a "WHOLE" (at creation the Sabbath was ESTABLISHED more than 2300 years BEFORE "Moses" or the Jewish Nation). There were NO JEWS, NO CHRISTIANS, NO GENTILES, NO ANYONE except MANKIND (Adam and Eve) when this day was "set apart" and it is, therefore, binding upon ALL MEN (and not any "sect" of men) for all eternity (see Isa.66:23 where we will observe the "Sabath" in Heaven). In fact, the SABBATH was "Created" BEFORE sin entered and could not possibly be intended for any ONE GROUP for it was created for "Man" (All Mankind -- Mark 2:27) and NOT for Jew or Gentile.
According to Genesis 1 -- "God Created the heavens and the Earth" (Gen. 1:1). But WHO was it that actually created everything in the beginning? According to the following verses it was CHRIST!:
John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."
Col. 1:15-17 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
Heb. 1:1-2 "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world."
I don't know how it can be any clearer that CHRIST was the ONE who Created ALL THINGS and that HE was the ONE responsible for all of Creation! If you doubt that, than I guess all that I can say is that you doubt the Scriptures! This is what the SCRIPTURES say! So, if CHRIST was the ONE who created all things, then I must also conclude that HE was the ONE who "RESTED" on the "SEVENTH-DAY" and that HE was the ONE who made it "HOLY". And this puts a definite crimp in the argrument that the "SABBATH" was a "JEWISH" (or intended ONLY for the Jew) commandment or festival. If CHRIST was the One who Rested upon that first "Seventh-day" and if it was CHRIST who "BLESSED and SANCTIFIED" that day (when there was only Adam and Eve there to celebrate it) then one can only conclude that the "SABBATH" was made for "MANKIND and NOT for the Jewish people alone! Indeed, if CHRIST was the One who established. set aside, and Blessed the SABBATH; then I would have to conclude that the SABBATH is not a "Jewish" day but a CHRISTIAN day (that is, those who claim to follow Christ)!
Now let's be Honest here: If CHRIST "Rested" on that first Sabbath (the SEVENTH-DAY of the CREATION Week) isn't it really quite inconceivable that He would not have "Rested" and "Spent the day" with Adam and Eve -- AND that He would have made them AWARE of the fact that He had "Blessed and Sanctified" this day???!!! And if He had done that (which He most assuredly must have done) then Adam and Eve and later, their Children, would certainly have "Kept" this Day! In fact, it is the One Day that the LORD especially "Set Aside" to spend with them in a special way (to "BLESS" and "SANCTIFY" MEANS to "SET ASIDE for HOLY USE"). The Other days of the week (while He WOULD apparently come and "Walk" with them in the "Cool of the day" [Gen. 3:8]) He seems to have left them on their own (The LORD was certainly NOT beside EVE when she talked with the Serpent -- else she surely would NOT have done such a thing -- and when she approached ADAM with the Fruit, the LORD was NOT THERE for they were not "afraid" until they heard Him Walking in the Garden!). So the Sabbath seems to have been ESTABLISHED (at the Creation) in order to spend "SPECIAL TIME" with Mankind in a very Personal Way! It was a "Date" between CHRIST and Man and was intended to be Repeated and Kept each Week -- On the SABBATH! Denying this completely does Away with any SIGNIFICANCE in the LORD'S statement that He had "Blessed and Sanctified" the Seventh-Day for all Mankind! Indeed, in Mark 2:27 JESUS Himself said that "THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN" (Mankind) -- (He could have easily said it was made for the "JEWS" and clarified the issue if it needed to be clarified but He didn't -- instead, He clarified that the SABBATH was made for MANKIND and He went on to clarify that "MAN" was Not made for the SABBATH [the Jews at the time of Christ had "ADDED" SO MUCH to the Sabbath Commandment that it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to "KEEP" it without Breaking it! And THIS is what Jesus was saying to them. Instead of it being a "JOY" it was a "BURDEN" and Christ NEVER INTENDED it to be burdensome!]). So the Sabbath MUST have been "Kept" for many many years PRIOR to its being "Codified" in the "LAW" on Mount Sinai (indeed, it must have been "Kept" from the CREATION of the Earth). One more point should be made here -- and that is that the SABBATH was INSTITUTED BEFORE "SIN" entered in and that it, therefore, could NOT be a "TYPICAL" Sabbath in any way because it could NOT possibly only "POINT FORWARD" to the Cross or any other part of the "PLAN OF SALVATION". It was Created for MANKIND Before Sin entered in and was therefore BINDING upon ALL MANKIND. In other words, it COULD NOT HAVE BEEN a "Ceremonial" Sabbath!. Any suggestion that the Lord Blessed and Sanctified the Seventh-Day at Creation ONLY so that it would be "Kept" thousands of years later by the JEWS Only is rediculous and defies all reason. It is like our suggesting that Man did not know that "KILLING" was wrong until the Law was given (or that the prohibition against Murder was intended "Only for the Jews"). It is proposterous! The "SABBATH" was Established at the Creation AS A MEMORIAL TO THE CREATION (and to the CREATOR -- one can hardly believe in and keep the Sabbath and believe in EVOLUTION for the two are mutually exclusive. I believe that this is one of the Purposes of the SABBATH -- it keeps us honoring the God of Creation and NOT the theories of Man -- see Ex. 20:11; Rev. 4:11; Isa. 45:18; etc.). DID YOU KNOW that in over 140 Languages around the Earth the word for the Seventh-day (which we call Saturday) is "SABBATH! How in the world could that be the case if the "SABBATH" were simply a reference to some "arbitrary" keeping of ANY day WE might choose? It simply could NOT be! Indeed, it is just one of the MANY facts that PROVE that the Seventh-day Sabbath was recognized "World-Wide" LONG before it was "Codified" within the "LAW" given at Sinai. It also shows that the "SABBATH" was NOT simply a "JEWISH" tradition or commandment -- that is, that it was a "UNIVERSAL" Law established at Creation that is BINDING upon ALL MEN regardless of NATIONALITY or HERITAGE. But, since so many people put such an emphasis on the Giving of the Law to the Jews -- let's move on to the Giving of the Law.
The BIBLICAL evidence is that CHRIST was the "LAW GIVER" (see Isa. 33:22 and James 4:12). This means that it was CHRIST who was on the mountain with Moses when He gave the "LAW" and that HE was the One who gave it to Moses. It also explains WHY the fourth commandment says "REMEMBER" the Seventh-day and keep it Holy. One simply CANNOT "Remember" something that was not already in force! If it were a NEW commandment then one would hardly command one to "REMEMBER" it. Which brings us to the REAL REASON that Christ said "Remember". One must remember that the Jews had been in CAPTIVITY for 400 years prior to their deliverance from Egypt. During this time they WERE NOT FREE to practice their Beliefs openly and they most assuredly were NOT allowed to "Keep the Sabbath" (they were worked as slaves seven days a week). By the time they were "Delivered" from their Captivity they most likely had NO IDEA WHICH DAY was the SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH and they needed to be "REMINDED" to Keep the Sabbath AND shown exactly WHICH DAY was the SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH. In other words; they had to have the SABBATH shown to them and to have its importance RE-EMPHASIZED. Within THIS Commandment He seems to be emphasising to the Jewish Nation (a PEOPLE "Set Apart" in order to give the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the World) and to us (today) to "REMEMBER" this day! And He went beyond simply "SAYING" (or COMMANDING) that it be Kept -- He RE-EMPHASIZED exactly WHICH DAY was to be "KEPT" more than 2080 times (the "Manna" fell in a DOUBLE PORTION on FRIDAY and did NOT FALL on the SABBATH and this was repeated for the entire 40 year wandering in the wilderness [see Ex. 16:22-29; Josh. 5:12!!]) -- Believe me, the Jewish People have NEVER forgotten EXACTLY WHICH DAY is the SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH ever since -- and neither should we! Now, if the LORD HIMSELF felt that it was IMPORTANT enough to show exactly Which Day was the SABBATH that was to be "Kept" 2080 times, then it certainly seems to me that WE ought to consider this IMPORTANT also!! Don't You? It is also important to note that the LORD used the "SABBATH" as a "TEST" of Obedience here (again see Ex. 16:28! -- PLEASE NOTE also that this "TEST" and the "CONDEMNATION" for their Not "Keeping His Commandments" came BEFORE the "Official GIVING" of the Law at Mount Sinai. In Other words, they not only knew about, but were EXPECTED to Keep the "SABBATH" [that was ESTABLISHED at the Creation] even Before it was "Written in Stone" at the Mount!) and that He does so again in Revelation 14: 6-12! At any rate, the LORD HIMSELF seemed to feel that the "SABBATH" that HE "Blessed and Sanctified" back at the end of the Creation Week was IMPORTANT ENOUGH to emphasize "over and over" again (2080 times!) in order to ESTABLISH IT firmly in the minds of His Followers. How ANYONE can state that it is NOT "Important" to us today WHICH DAY WE KEEP is beyond me. But, just in case you fall into this group, let's take a look at how CHRIST not only "Kept" the SABBATH but how He EXPECTED it to CONTINUE to be "KEPT" long after His Death. We will also look at how the Apostles viewed and Kept the Sabbath LONG AFTER the Resurection.
According to the BIBLE (the SCRIPTURES) JESUS was "Accustomed" to Keeping the Sabbath (which makes sense considering that HE established it!) -- Luke 4:16 "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read." Now some argue here that Jesus was a JEW -- but that argument is extremely REDICULOUS considering the fact that JESUS was the LEADER of the Jewish Nation and that HE was the "ONE" to whom all of the Old Testament Prophesies pointed (see Exo 13:21 "And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night" and 1Cor 10:4 "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." More evidence of this fact is given in other studies on this site and may be accessed by clicking Click Here! (please ignore any "Ellen White Statements" if you have a problem with her and focus on the BIBLICAL EVIDENCE that is presented here!). The POINT that I am making here is that the argument that JESUS was a "JEW" and therefore conformed to all of their "Customs" is an irroneous argument because JESUS was the ONE to whom ALL of the Jewish Ceremonies Pointed -- HE WAS THE MESSIAH to whom all of these things pointed! The Fact that the Jewish Nation did NOT recognize Him as such does NOT in any way make it untrue. And the argument that CHRIST was somehow BEHOLDING to -- or in SUBJECTION to "JEWISH" Tradition and Custom becomes a "Mute" argument. JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH to whom ALL the prophecies pointed and He was NOT in any way "Beholding" to the "CUSTOMS" of ANY RELIGION simply for the point of "CUSTOM"! If He "KEPT" anything at all out of "CUSTOM" it was because HE HAD ESTABLISHED IT AS A CUSTOM IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! So when we read that Christ kept the "SABBATH" ("as His Custom Was") we can be sure that He was doing so because HE had established that "custom" in the first place AND because He was attempting to SET AN EXAMPLE for His Followers to do the Same!!! And if He was setting an EXAMPLE for US -- then WE ought to be doing the Same! But let's continue.
The FACT of the Matter is that Jesus Christ "KEPT" the Seventh-day Sabbath throughout ALL of His Life here on Earth as a Man. He was sometimes "accused" of "Breaking the Sabbath" (see Lk. 6:1; 13:14; etc.) but He ALWAYS clarified that it was "LAWFUL to do GOOD on the Sabbath" (see Mk. 3:4 & Lk. 6:9). If the Sabbath were NO LONGER to be "KEPT" or if it were NO LONGER in effect -- then Christ could have simply said so -- but He didn't! In FACT, Christ clearly stated that it was "LAWFUL" to do good on the Sabbath (meaning that "doing Good" on the Sabbath Day was ACCORDING TO THE LAW and to the ORIGINAL INTENT of that Law! -- in fact, the word "LAWFUL" is a "Judicial" term and can ONLY refer the "LEGALITY" of doing something "ACCORDING TO A LAW THAT IS STILL 'IN FORCE' and Judicially VALID!). To accuse Christ of "Breaking" the Sabbath is the same as accusing Him of violating HIS OWN LAW! Such a proposition is ludicrous! It defies ALL REASON. And it is most certainly NOT according to Scripture. CHRIST "Kept" the Sabbath during His life here on earth as a man in the SAME WAY that He kept the Sabbath "in the Beginning" (at the Creation) and He was NEVER in violation of it -- NOR did He ever violate it or set it aside in His teachings. Indeed, HE STATED that: "...verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Mat 5:18). So ANY argument that Christ "DID AWAY WITH THE LAW (or ANY Part of it)" is without foundation and Cannot be considered seriously. Christ KEPT the Seventh-day Sabbath while He was here on earth -- AND -- He EXPECTED that it would be kept LONG AFTER His Death! -- In Fact, Christ "KEPT the Sabbath even in His DEATH! He died on FRIDAY, RESTEDin the Grave on the SABBATH, and Rose on SUNDAY! So Christ's LAST act (in His Death) was to KEEP THE SABBATH. That, in and of itself, ought to tell us something about HOW IMPORTANT this day is to our LORD! And He not only Kept the Sabbath in His Death -- He also EXPECTED that it would be kept LONG AFTER His Death.
That Christ INTENDED the "Sabbath" to be in "EFFECT" LONG AFTER HIS DEATH is shown clearly in Mat 24:20 "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day". Given the "CONTEXT" of Mat.24 Christ was most assuredly referring to the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (AND even much later - to the Very END of Time, a time just Before His Second Coming!) -- and He was CLEARLY stating that the "SABBATH DAY" would still be in effect, valid, and still binding or else He would have made no mention of "Praying that their flight NOT be on the SABBATH DAY"! Apparently, Christ believed that the "SABBATH DAY" should STILL be being KEPT almost 40 YEARS AFTER His Death! And if that is the case -- then I can see NO ARGUMENT that anyone could have "CHANGED" that expectation (or LAW) AFTER Christ's Death. And THIS is all supported by the Bible. In Heb. 9:16,17 Paul states that: "For where a testament is (Covenant or "Will"), there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament (Covenant or "Will") is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." In other words; Paul is using the analogy of a human "Will" here to state that the "COVENANT" between God and Man could NOT be CHANGED After Christ Died! Since we have NO BIBLICAL EVIDENCE that Christ EVER "CHANGED His LAW PRIOR to His DEATH then we have NO EVIDENCE that He EVER intended that the 4th Commandment (the SABBATH) was EVER CHANGED by Christ! This will be supported shortly when we examine the Apostle's "Keeping" of the Sabbath -- but it should suffice for now that we have established that CHRIST Never CHANGED the day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday (see the Different "Church" quotes above). In fact, the "NEW COVENANT (which many use as an excuse for NOT keeping the "Law" of God) actually CONFIRMS that this "LAW" is STILL IN EFFECT and that the "New Covenant" is actually BASED upon it! The "New Covenant" clearly states that: "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jer. 31:31-33) AND: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people" (Heb. 8:8-10). It seems clear to Me, from the preceeding verses, that the "NEW COVENANT did NOT involve a "Negating" of the "LAW of God but that it involved His IMPLANTING IT WITHIN OUR HEARTS AND MIND! Under the "Old Covenant" the PEOPLE had said: "And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD." (Ex. 19:8). The "NEW COVENANT" was a "better Covenant" built upon "better Promises". (Heb. 8:6). In other words, it (the "New Covenant") was built upon the promises of the LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF in which HE would LIVE IN US and ENABLE US to live according to His LAW! (see Gal. 2:20; Jn. 14:16-21; etc.). The POINT is, however, that Christ NEVER negated the SABBATH and He most certainly EXPECTED it to be KEPT (as a part of His LAW) Long after His Death. Had He intended to "CHANGE" His Law in ANY WAY -- He would have had to do so BEFORE HE DIED -- and this He simply DID NOT DO! Therefore, ALL of His "Law" of 10 Commandments are still binding, including the 4th commandment requiring the observance of the Seventh-Day SABBATH.
Did the Apostles Keep the Sabbath?
Certainly we would expect the Apostles to keep the Lord's Commandments to them! We would most assuredly expect that "If" the Lord had "CHANGED" anything regarding His Law or His SABBATH that they would make the Change and that they would Keep the Law and the Sabbath as Christ had directed them (and would TEACH other's to do so) -- wouldn't we? So what is the BIBLICAL evidence regarding these things? Did the Apostles keep the "Seventh-day Sabbath" or did they keep SUNDAY (the First day of the week) Holy? What sayeth the Scriptures?
If there were ever an "Apostle" who would "Set the Record Straight" regarding a "CHANGE" in the Sabbath -- I believe that it would be PAUL (I mean, let's face it, Paul was Not afraid to stand up to Peter and set him straight when he had done wrong [see Gal. 2:11] -- if Paul was not afraid to confront Peter when he was wrong, don't you believe that Paul would have set the record straight for the rest of us if we were wrong concerning the Sabbath? After all, Paul was the "apostle to the gentiles" [Rom. 11:13] and he most certainly would have set "Them" straight -- but he did not do that, as we will see later). About 2/3 of the New Testament was written by Him and it is HIS record that we have (to the largest degree) regarding Christian Standards and Rules of Conduct. So it seems natural to me that we would turn to HIS RECORD to see if any "CHANGE" has been made in Christ's Law (please remember that CHRIST HIMSELF would have had to make any "CHANGE" in His Law in order for it to be binding upon us -- but let's look at the record of Paul anyway). Did PAUL Keep the Sabbath? Do we see any Change in Paul's behavior regarding the 4th commandment and "How" it should be kept? Did Paul, in ANY WAY, direct us to keep "another day" Holy? What exactly is the record in this regard? The FACT of the matter is that, according to the BIBLICAL RECORD, Paul not only did not teach a "different" Sabbath but that he KEPT the Seventh-Day Sabbath for many years (most likely all of his life) after the Lord's Death on the Cross!
According to Acts 13:14 Paul arived at Antioch and "ON THE SABBATH DAY they went into the synagogue and sat down" -- "And the Next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of God" -- apparently to hear PAUL speak (Paul must have been a pretty good speaker, regardless of his claims in 2 Cor. 10:10!). Now this occasion occured 14 YEARS AFTER the CROSS!! Apparently, Paul was STILL keeping the SABBATH Long after Christ had Died and long after he had been "CALLED" by Christ to be His Apostle! But let's move on! In Acts 16:12,13 we find that: "on the SABBATH DAY we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled." Again we find PAUL speaking to a group of people who had assembled on the SABBATH DAY and this even happened 22 YEARS after the Cross! Paul apparently made a frequent habit out of "assembling" on the SABBATH DAY -- LONG after our Lord had died on the Cross (so much for Christ having "nailed" the Law to the Cross!). But let's move on! In Acts 17:2,3 we find Paul, once again, reasoning with the people from the Scritures: " And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ." Now it seems to me that if Paul was really preaching "CHRIST" and His Resurection -- and if He was explaining Christ's Teachings to these people that Paul would have made mention of the fact that the "SABBATH" had been moved to another day -- if, indeed, that had Actually been the Fact. But we do NOT see Paul doing this. Indeed, all we see is that Paul was CONTINUING TO KEEP THE SABBATH (as he always had and as Christ always had) and that He was preaching CHRIST all the while! Don't you think that if some kind of change had been made in the Sabbath that Paul would have let them know this? Let's turn to Acts 18:1-4. "After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers. And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks." Now Paul stayed here for 1 1/2 years --- which would have meant that he would have "reasoned" with this people (Jews AND Greeks) 78 times!! With the previous times (Acts 13:14,43,44; 16:13; 17:2) this would make a total of 84 SABBATHS that Paul "Kept" years after the cross!!! So how can anyone argue that the Apostles did not keep the Sabbath LONG after the Cross? Now I have heard it argued that Paul (and the rest of the Apostles) only "Kept" the Sabbath in order to reach their JEWISH brothers and sisters (who would have been "keeping" the Sabbath as a tradition and not as a "New Testament" requirement). But is this really true? The FACT of the matter is that it could NOT possibly be "True" (as will be shown in the next paragraph).
In Act 13:42 we find a very revealing statement: "And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath." It seems fairly OBVIOUS to me that these "GENTILES" UNDERSTOOD that the "SABBATH" was the SABBATH and that some "OTHER DAY" would simply NOT DO. Now, if Paul were really the "apostle to the gentiles" as he claimed to be in Rom. 11:13; then "WHY" wouldn't he have taken this oportunity to explain to the "GENTILES" that they no longer had to keep that Old "JEWISH SABBATH" and that they should keep Sunday (the "First-day of the Week") instead? But we do NOT find Paul doing this!! Why is that? If the Old Jewish "Seventh-day Sabbath" had actually been replaced by the First day of the week -- then why do we not find Paul saying "hey, you GENTILES, you do NOT need to keep that Old "JEWISH SABBATH DAY" (he might even have added that we are now under the "New Covenant" as those who argue this today do!) -- you should really be keeping the First Day of the week." However, we NEVER see Paul (or ANY of the other disciples) doing this! Instead, we see Paul and the other disciples KEEPING THE SABBATH just as their LORD did! And we see NO CHANGE indicated by either CHRIST OR His Disciples that would indicate that we should "Keep" any day other than the Seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday). If You can find such a change indicated in the Scriptures than you will be the FIRST one to do it -- and people have been TRYING to do it for centuries!!! It has been tried over and over again and NO-ONE has ever found such a change. Which is probably why the many church denominations listed above state that: "we do not find any direct command from God, or instruction from the risen Christ, or admonition from the early apostles, that the first day is to be substituted for the seventh day Sabbath." "Let us be clear on this point. Though to the Christian 'that day, the first day of the week' is the most memorable of all days ... there is no command or warrant in the New Testament for observing it as a holy day." "The Roman Church selected the first day of the week in honour of the resurrection of Christ. ..." (Bible Standard, May, 1916, Auckland, New Zealand). OR that " "There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance." - (WILLIAM OWEN CARVER, "The Lord's Day in Our Day," page 49). The simple Truth is that you (or I) will NEVER find any BIBLICAL EVIDENCE transfering the Sanctity of the "SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH" to the First day of the week (or any other day for that matter). It simply doesn't exist! So we might as well stop "Fighting" over this and ACCEPT the fact that the Sabbath of the Bible is STILL BINDING upon all of us -- just as the other NINE commandments are! I mean really, has anyone ever heard of the "NINE COMMANDMENTS? Why would ANYONE think that only NINE of the Ten Commandments are binding upon us while we leave out the one (the Fourth)? It simply makes NO SENSE and is certainly NOT according to the Bible!
Let's face it, the ONLY reason we hate the fourth Commandment is because it "causes us problems" -- problems with FAMILY, FRIENDS, and WORK. If these problems were removed, we would probably readily accept the "Sabbath" -- but because it cuts into our Friday evening, our kids extracuricular activities (Football, Basketball, Volleyball, etc.) AND because it would keep us from cutting our Lawns, Hauling Trash, or watching the Football game on TV -- we would simply rather not "OBSERVE IT". What would our Family think? What would our SPOUSE think? How would we explain this to our BOSS? None of these reasons are sufficient! CHRIST said: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (Mat. 10 37). No-ONE argues the validy of the other NINE "Commandments" -- Why then is it they we argue the validity of the "Fourth"? Aren't ALL taught in the "New Testament" (or are only 9 taught there) -- let's have a look"
Since Nobody REALLY disputes that the other NINE Commandments are re-iterated in the New Testament (Christ does so in many places) -- Let's focus on the Fourth Commandment (the SABBATH) and see if it is re-iterated here. The FACT of the matter is that it IS but that one must "Look" for it if one is going to see it at all.
We have ALREADY seen and examined SOME of these NEW TESTAMENT arguments (but let's review):
CHRIST Himself "Kept" the Sabbath.
CHRIST EXPECTED that the SABBATH would be "Kept" Long after His Death ( Mat 24:20).
CHRIST said that HE was the "LORD of the SABBATH" (see Mat. 12:8; Mar. 2:28; Lk. 6:5). This certainly indicates that HE did not consider the "SABBATH" to be a strictly "Jewish" Holy Day and that CHRIST HIMSELF not only claimed to be the "LORD" of the SABBATH but that HE intended it to be kept by ALL who would "Claim" to be His Followers.
Christ's APOSTLES "KEPT" the SABBATH Long after His death and they NEVER instructed anyone to do otherwise (see above -- particularly the custom of Paul in Acts).
Almost ALL of the Major Denominations confess that there is NO BIBLICAL EVIDENCE for any "CHANGE" in the "SABBATH" and that, according to the Bible, it is STILL BINDING upon ALL CHRISTIANS (regardless of whether they actually DO SO or not).
These arguments, in and of themselves, really OUGHT to be ENOUGH to convince us of the BINDING CLAIMS of the SABBATH (and are certainly MORE WEIGHTY than any of the agruments that will be addressed shortly that are used by "CHRISTIANS" today to EXCUSE their neglect of the 4th Commandment -- the Keeping of the Sabbath). But since there are those who REFUSE to accept all these previous Biblical arguments, let's look at another New Testament Text (and an Old Testament text that PROVES that the Sabbath is still binding). We will also address the "FEW" Problem Texts that are used by many to excuse their DISOBEDIENCE of the Sabbath Commandment.
"So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God." (Heb. 4:9) [NOTE: in the KJV it only says "Rest" but the word in the Greek is "sabbatismós; gen. sabbatismoú, masc. noun from sabbatízo? (n.f.), to keep the Sabbath (Sept.: Exo_16:30; Lev_26:35). A keeping of a Sabbath, a rest as on the Sabbath.]. Now, I will admit that this verse has MORE than One meaning (or "Levels" of meaning) and that it does not just refer to the weekly Sabbath -- but I also believe that it DOES, indeed, refer to the weekly Sabbath for several reasons. First, the "SABBATH" was created as a "MEMORIAL to the CREATION" and secondly as a "MEMORIAL to SALVATION" (see Ex. 20:11 and Ex. 31:13 & Lev. 20:8). Second, the Sabbath was Created Before SIN entered the World and therefore CANNOT be considered a "Ceremonial Sabbath (or a "Type" or anything that pointed "forward" to a conclusion at the Cross [as were the other ceremonial "Sabbaths"]). Third, when we consider the Old Testament Prophecy of Isa 66:23 "And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from Sabbath to Sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me," says the LORD. we see that the "Sabbath" will be "KEPT in Heaven (and in the New Earth). If the "SABBATH" was CREATED at Creation for ALL MANKIND and was intended to be kept Long Before there were any "Jews" -- and if Christ and His Disciples KEPT and expected the Sabbath to be Kept LONG AFTER their passing -- and if it is to be "KEPT" in the Earth-Made-New -- then I can certainly provide NO EXPLAINATION as to WHY it would NOT be expected to be "Kept" TODAY!!! The FACT of the matter is that we have the history and expectation of the SABBATH; Past, Present, and Future; taught in the Bible and ALL of it insists on its binding claims. Indeed, there DOES "remain a Sabbath rest for the people of God"!
LAME REASONS FOR NOT KEEPING THE SABBATH:
I call these "LAME" because they are the WEAKEST of arguments for not keeping the Sabbath Commandment and because they are the most DESPERATE attempts at explaining it away (or for our "Forgetting" it -- by the way, WHY would ANYONE suggest that we should "Forget" what the LORD has said to "REMEMBER"?)! These are the Bible texts that are most often used to explain away our OBLIGATION to KEEP the Sabbath and are used to suggest that we should just FORGET about it. I am almost ashamed to address them here because, if we were standing Face-to-Face with Christ at this moment, I doubt if any of us would try to use these texts to Explain our Disobedience! However, they are floating around and for this study to be complete I must address them. Here they are:
Col. 2:16,17: "Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day -- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." (note that in the KJV it say "Sabbath days" [plural] but you should also note that the word "days" is in italics and added to the text by the scholars and obviously is intended to distinguish between the "Sabbath Days" which were ceremonial and the "Sabbath DAY" which was encoded in the LAW). The argument here is that we should not "judge" anyone as to which day they keep (which "Sabbath" they keep). However, the KEY to understanding the meaning of this verse is found in the words which imediately follow the injunction not to judge anyone concerning the "a Sabbath day" -- which are; that these things are a "MERE SHADDOW of what is to come". The idea that somethings is a "SHADDOW" and that the "Substance belongs to Christ" tells us that Paul is speaking here of the "TYPICAL" Sabbaths (or CEREMONIAL SABBATHS which met their fulfillment at the Cross). There was NOTHING "SHADOWY about the original SABBATH! It could NEVER BE "shadowy" because it was created BEFORE sin ever occurred! It did not point "forward to anything that Christ did in His Sacrifice on the Cross and CANNOT be what is being spoken of here. You will also notice that it says "A Sabbath day" -- NOT "THE Sabbath day". Paul was obviously here refering to the Ceremonial Sabbaths (e.g. Passover [see 1 Cor. 5:7]) -- which would meet their fulfilment at the Cross. If Paul had meant that the weekly Sabbath -- the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment -- surely he would have told the "GENTILE" believers (in Acts 13:42) that it was NOT NECESSARY for them to Keep "THE SABBATH DAY" of the fourth commandment because it was only a "Shaddow". But He did NOT!!! In fact, Paul NEVER told anyone that they should not keep the Sabbath Day of the fourth commandment! In fact, he made the bold claim that Faith does NOT do away with the LAW of Ten Commandments (including the Sabbath Commandment) but that it ESTABLISHES it! (see Rom. 3:31). There is absolutely NOTHING in this verse that can be used to do away with the Sabbath. Period.
Rom 14:5 "One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind." Please note that Rom. 14:1 indicates that this discussion is about "doubtful disputations (KJV) or "for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions" (NASB77). There was NEVER anything "Doubtful" or regarding "PERSONAL OPINIONS" in the 10 Commandmandments! The fact of the matter is that the ISSUE involved in Rom. 14:5 revolved around "Fast" days and NOT SABBATH Days! Some Jewish Christians thought that there was some merit in "KEEPING" ("Fasting" on) certain days and they judged others by this standard. The Pharisees fastest at least twice a week and were very proud about it (see Lk. 18:12). But, as Mark Finnley has pointed out, "In Rom. 14, Paul is pointing out that to fast or not to fast on a certain day is a matter of individual conscience, not a matter of God's command" (emphasis added). The POINT here is that Paul is NOT discussing the SABBATH day at all! Paul is discussing days that certain Christian/Jews were considering "Holy" by virtue of their "Fasting" on these days -- and Paul was simply saying that we should not "Judge" one another on the basis of whether or not we fasted or "Kept" these days. The same can be said today: if your Christian Brother "Fasts" every Monday in order to have a closer relationship with the Lord -- who are you or I to "Judge" him? But the fact of the matter is that Paul is NOT speaking of the SABBATH DAY here and that he is in NO WAY insinuating that you and I are free to keep any day we wish as "Sacred" and that we should not judge anyone who wishes to keep some "Other" day than the "Sabbath" Holy! It is simply NOT here in this text (though many wish it to be!).
Mat 7:1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged." This text is Similar to the one discussed above. However, there is NOTHING in this text that suggests that we should simply look-the-other-way concerning the Sabbath (or the Law of God). Jesus NEVER suggested that we should simply ignore or "dismiss" as "all right" ANYTHING that that someone else does! If this were the intent of this statement than we should NEVER condemn a person for murder, or Child Molestation or Rape or any other crime -- we should simply "Accept" it. Do YOU, or anyone you know believe that that is the way the Lord intended it? Are we NOT to "judge" between "Good and Evil"? And HOW do we KNOW what is "Good" and what is "Evil"? Is it not by God's Word?! Now, I am NOT suggesting that everyone who keeps "Sunday" is "GUILTY" of breaking God's Law ("And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" Acts 17:30) -- some people simply do not KNOW the truth and are keeping what they DO KNOW as best they can. However, there are MANY out there which DO KNOW BETTER but who continue to walk contrary to the Lord's commandments and who feel that they are Free to do so. All I can say is that "we will all stand before the judgment seat of God" (Rom. 14:10) and that we must ALL answer for what we have believed and done. There are many of us who will have to stand and explain WHY we have NOT JUDGED between right and wrong -- why we have NOT Believed and Obeyed the Word of God -- Why we have not done what is RIGHT and why we have not encouraged others to do so. That is something that ALL of us face. But to use this text as an "EXCUSE" to disobey the Commandment of the Lord is certainly a SERIOUS MATTER and one that we cannot ignore. If you have read (AND STUDIED) this issue out -- and CONTINUE in your "keeping" of "ANOTHER DAY" then you must answer as to WHY you have continued in defiance of our Lord. Paul said that "FAITH" does NOT do away with the Law but that it ESTABLISHES it (see Rom. 3:31). JESUS said that: "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished." (Mat. 5:18) and He said: "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." (Mat 5:17). Christ also said: ""If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (Jn. 14:15 -- see also Jn. 15:10). The "NEW COVENANT" does NOT do away with the "LAW OF GOD" but writes it in our heart and minds! (see Heb. 8:10). To suggest that we should NOT "JUDGE" between what is right and what is wrong is one of the most grievous crimes we can commit.
But Hasn't the CALENDAR been Changed!?
This is the MOST "LAME" argument I have ever heard concerning why we shouldn't keep the Sabbath. It not only shows a complete "willing" ignorance of the facts but also relies upon the most faulty of evidence. One can check these facts very easily and one must ignore the most compelling of LOGICAL evidence in order to rest their case on this argument!
First, let's consider the "WEEKLY CYCLE". Now there are GOOD (Astronomical) reasons for following the "Daily", "Monthly", and "Yearly" cycles. The Earth rotates at a rate of 24 hrs per day (thus giving us a 24hr day). The Moon rotates around the Earth at approximately 30 days per month (thus giving us the "Month"). And the Earth revolves aroung the Sun at a rate of 365 days per year (thus giving us the "Year"). But there is NOTHING in the Lunar skies (or anywhere else) that gives us a reason for a 7 day Week (except as it is given to us in the book of Genesis where God CREATED the Heavens and the Earth in Six days and Rested upon the Seventh -- thus creating the "WEEK). You can search all you like but you will NEVER find another reason for our WEEKLY Cycle being composed of Seven (7) Days! It has been like this from CREATION, Throughout History, and exists even to this day (the PRESENT). This is, in fact, one of the arguments that even the "Atheists" cannot explain. It is a FACT of life. There are SEVEN DAYS in a week -- always have been and always will be!!! So what about the argument that the "Calandar" has been changed and therefore affected the "Weekly" cyle?
"Pope Gregory XIII did make a calendar change in 1582, but it did not interfere with the weekly cycle. Our present Gregorian calendar was named after him when he made that small change in 1582. What did Pope Gregory do to the calendar Before 1582 the Julian calendar had been in effect, instituted by Julius Caesar about 46 B.C. and named after him. But the Julian calendar had calculated the length of the year as 365 1/4 days, and the year is actually eleven minutes less than 365 1/4 days. Those eleven minutes accumulated, and by 1582 the numbering of the calendar was ten days out of harmony with the solar system. Gregory simply dropped those ten days out of the numbering of the calendar. It was Thursday, October 4, 1582, and the next day, Friday, should have been October 5. But Gregory made it October 15 instead, dropping exactly ten days to bring the calendar back into harmony with the heavenly bodies. Were the days of the week confused No. Friday still followed Thursday, and Saturday still followed Friday. The same seventh day remained, and the weekly cycle was not disturbed in the least. When we keep the seventh day on Saturday, we are observing the same day Jesus kept, and He did it every week according to Luke 4:16." (Quoted from "Why God Said Remember" by Joe crews, 1980).
In 1793 the French "ATTEMPTED" to change the calandar to a 10 day calandar. It was short lived, NEVER accepted widespread acceptance, and was eventually dropped (reverting back to the original 7 day calandar). This "attempt" never had widespread acceptance and Never took hold. The WEEK remained a 7 day week and has remained so ever since. This "attempt" at a "CHANGE" never took hold and NEVER had an effect on the calandar we have today (or in the past).
These are the only two significant calandar "Changes" that have taken place and only the first one was of any significance (there were some other changes regarding the "NAMING" of the Months etc. but NONE of them were of any significance) -- and DID NOT effect in ANY WAY the weekly cycle. Tuesday still followed Monday. Thursday still followed Wednesday. And Saturday (the Sabbath) still followed Friday. You can call up the Geological Society or the Atomic Clock at Boulder Colorado and you will find that the 7 day week has NOT BEEN DISTURBED! As we have seen earlier, God Himself insured which day was the "Sabbath" when He poured out the "Manna" for 40 years -- and this has NEVER been forgotten by the Jews -- Nor should it be "Forgotten" by US! The Sabbath (as it is clearly titled in over 180 languages around the world) is the day we call "SATURDAY" (the 7th day of the Week). Any "Changes" to the calandar have NOT effected the weekly cycle and any arguments suggesting that they have are FALSE and MISLEADING! There has been NO CHANGE in the weekly cycle and the 7th day still is, and always will be, the SABBATH DAY. Try as you may, you cannot change or dispute this fact.
One FINAL argument:
Many have accused ME (and anyone like me who keep the 7th Day Sabbath) of trying to WORK their way into Heaven. What an absolutely absurd argument this is! How can one "WORK" their way into heaven by "RESTING" and "Ceasing from their Labor" on the Sabbath?!! Isn't that about the same as accusing someone of Staying Awake while they are SLEEPING? The idea is ludicrous! A person does not KEEP the Sabbath as a result of trying to "obtain" heaven (although I suppose there are those who do) but a person who TRULY "Keeps" the Sabbath does so at the INVITATION OF THE LORD and considers it a very HOLY Time that is spent with HIM on a weekly basis and regards this as a very SPECIAL TIME in which the LORD HIMSELF has PROMISED to draw Close and Reveal Himself to them in a very special way. It is a time when we CEASE from trying to simply be "good people" and when we TRUST in HIM and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS to cover our shortcomings. Imagine having your husband or wife tell you that they are free to meet you on a particular day but you don't find this conveinient and decide that you will meet them on the next day -- do you think that they will be there waiting for you? Or do you think that they might be just a tad upset with you? Everyone who wants to try to do this with the LORD on some "other" day simply will NOT receive that Blessing! The Lord JESUS CHRIST, Himself, set this day apart and promised to be "in it" in a very special way for all those who would "Obey His Commandments" -- and this is the MOST SPECIAL of days for those who will accept and observe it. It is, in fact, a "DATE" with the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE and it cannot be surpassed by any other gathering. I invite you to try it for yourself! And I Challenge you to REFUTE this COMMANDMENT OF OUR LORD in any way. You have read the evidence. What say you? Can you really deny the fact that the Seventh Day Sabbath is Saturday and NOT Sunday? And if it Really IS Saturday and not Sunday, can you really keep on keeping "Sunday" as a "Holy" day? I hope not -- but the choice is yours. In the END, it is YOU who will have to answer the question -- face to face with our Lord.
God Bless you in your decision
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