The History of the Lord’s Day
History of the Sabbath
Jesus Christ our Lord claims ownership of the Lord’s Day (Matthew 12:8), Saturday, as opposed to the papal day from sun-worship (Sun-day) falsely called the Lord’s day.
This is a brief summation from historical sources of many groups who have kept the seventh-day Sabbath down through history.
Before the Jews kept the Sabbath, it was known in Babylon: “The Sabbath rest was a Babylonian, as well as a Hebrew, institution. Its origin went back to pre-Semitic days. . .In the cuneiform tablets the Sabbatu is described as ‘a day of rest for the soul,’ . . .it was derived by the Assyrian scribes from two Sumerian, or pre-Semitic words, sa and bat, which meant respectively ‘heart’ and ‘ceasing’. . .The rest enjoined on the Sabbath was thus as complete as it was among the Jews.” Higher Criticism and the Monuments, p. 74-75.
“According to the Assyrian-Babylonian conception, the particular stress lay necessarily upon the number seven. . . .The whole week pointed prominently toward the seventh day, the feast day, the rest day, in this day it collected, in this it also consummated. ‘Sabbath’ is derived from both ‘rest’ and ‘seven.’ With the Egyptians, it was the reverse. . . .For them, on the contrary, the sun god was the beginning and origin of all things. The day of the sun, Sunday, therefore, became necessarily for them the feast day. . . .The holiday was transferred from the last to the first day of the week.” Truels Lund, Daglige Liv I Norden, V. 13, pp. 54-55.
That the seven-day week, and the seventh-day Sabbath were prehistoric in origin is shown by the fact that they are known in many different cultures around the world. Most cultures have always observed the seven-day week. And though most of them no longer rest on the seventh day, yet in a great many of the world’s languages, the name of the seventh day is still “Sabbath” or “rest day.”
Although there is no Biblical command to keep Sunday in the New Testament, yet the custom of celebrating the resurrection of Christ on that day came into the church quite early.
It probably was influenced by the fact that Sunday was the weekly celebration of the sun god, Mithra, whose worship was very popular in the Roman Empire at that time. So, all around the Christians, the Sunday was a holiday. And it seemed reasonable to them to make it a day of celebration of the resurrection.
But for many years nearly all Christians also kept the seventh-day Sabbath, according to the commandment
This is shown by a statement of the church historian, Socrates, written about 400 A.D.:
“For although almost all the churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.” Ecclesiastical History, book 5, chapter 22. Found in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.
Also about 400 A.D. Sozomen, another church historian, wrote:
“The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria.” Sozomen, Ecclesiatical History, book 7, chapter 19. Ibid.
There were several reasons the church at Rome stopped keeping the Sabbath. For one thing, the Jews were being persecuted, and they didn’t want to be identified with them.
Emperor Constantine decided that he wished to unite all his empire under one religion. He chose Christianity, but, to make the move more acceptable to his pagan subjects, he encouraged the blending of the religion of Christ, and the religion of Mithra. He made the first Sunday law, and the keeping of Sabbath was discouraged. This came at the same time as many other changes came into the church from paganism, including images in the churches, etc..
At the Synod of Laodicea (365 A.D.) the council passed a decree: “Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day.” Council of Laodicea, Canon 29, found in Scribner’s Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, vol. 14, p. 148.
The Church at Rome took several steps to persuade or force Christians to stop resting on the Sabbath. They labeled it “Judaizing,” and commanded that the Sabbath be a fast day, while the Sunday was to be a festival.
Persecution was launched again and again against those who did not yield in this and other things, to the dictation of the Roman Church. Many fled.
Still, even the popes found it hard to stamp this practice out of the area they ruled, and impossible in those churches beyond their reach.
In 602, Pope Gregory issued a bull in which he branded those Christians who believed in keeping the seventh day as “Judaizers” and “antichrist.” See Epistles of Gregory I, collection 13, ep 1, found in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, second series, vol. 13.
Many churches beyond the reach of Rome continued to rest and worship on the seventh day. Here is a record of some of them.
Many Christians fled to the Alps. They were called, among other things, the Waldenses, or people of the valleys.
“Now this district, on the eastern side of the Cottian Alps, is the precise country of the Vallenses (Waldenses). Hither their ancestors retired, during the persecutions of the second and third and fourth centuries here providentially secluded from the world, they retained the precise doctrines and practices of the primitive church, endeared to them by suffering and exile while the wealthy inhabitants of cities and fertile plains, corrupted by a now opulent and gorgeous and powerful clergy, were daily sinking deeper and deeper into that apostasy which has been so graphically foretold by the great apostle.”Faber, The Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses, pp. 293-4.
“The Walsenses took the Bible as their only rule of faith, abhorred the idolatry of the papal church, and rejected their traditions, holidays, and even Sunday, but kept the seventh day Sabbath, and used the apostolic mode of baptism.” Facts of Faith, p. 121, by Christian Edwardson.
For centuries evangelical bodies, especially the Waldenses, were called “Insabbati,” or “Ensavates,” or “Insabbatati,” because they kept the Sabbath. See Ussher, Gravissimae Quaestionis de Christianarum Ecclesiarum Successione, chapter 8, par. 4.
In the 1200’s a Waldensian prisoner testified before the Inquisition as follows: “Barbara von Thies testified… that on the last Saint Michael’s day concerning confession as it is administered by the priests she has nothing to do with it. As to that which has to do with the Virgin Mary, on that she has nothing to answer. Concerning Sunday and the feast days she says, ‘The Lord God commanded us to rest on the seventh day and with that I let it be, with God’s help and His grace, we all would stand by and die in the faith, for it is the right faith and the right way to Christ.’ ” Der Blutige Schau-Plats, Oder Martyrer Spiegel der Taufs Gesinnien, book 2, pp. 30-31.
When the reformers and the Waldenses met, there were a few who were still keeping the Sabbath.
For more than 1700 years the Christian Churches of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) continued to keep the seventh day.
In A.D. 1534 the Abyssinian Ambassador appealed to Portugal for protection from the Mohammedans. When asked why they kept the seventh day, he answered:
“On the Sabbath day, because God, after He had finished the creation of the world, rested thereon which day, as God would have it called the Holy of Holies, so the not celebrating thereof with great honor and devotion seems to be plainly contrary to God’s will and precept, Who will suffer heaven and earth to pass away sooner than His Word and that especially since Christ came not to dissolve the law, but to fulfil it. It is not therefore in imitation of the Jews, but in obedience to Christ and His holy Apostles that we observe that day. . . We do observe the Lord’s day after the manner of all other Christians, in memory of Christ’s resurrection.” Geddis, The Church History of Ethiopia. pp. 87, 88.
Ambrose, the celebrated bishop of Milan said that when he was in Milan, he observed Saturday, but when in Rome, he fasted on Saturday and observed Sunday. This gave rise to the proverb, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” See Heylyn, The History of the Sabbath, 1612, p. 416.
“As to the charge that certain churches were Judaizing, the minutes of the synod at Liftinne (the modern Estinnes), Belgium, 743 A.D., give more particular information. Dr. Karl Jo von Hefele writes, ‘The third allocation of this council warns against the observance of the Sabbath, referring to the decree of the Council of Laodicea.’ (Hefele, Concilliengeschichte, Vol. 3, p. 512.) B.G. Wilkinson, Truth Triumphant, p. 196.
The Celts in Britain:
“The Celts used a Latin Bible unlike the Vulgate, and kept Saturday as a day of rest, with special religious services on Sunday.” A.C. Flick (historian), The Rise of the Medieval Church, p. 237.
“It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday the Jewish sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week.” Andrew Lang, A History of Scotland, Vol. 1, p. 96.
It is recorded of (Saint) Columba, an Irishman, born in 521 A.D., who was a great missionary and religious leader of Scotland–when he lay dying: “Having continued his labors in Scotland thirty four years, he clearly and openly foretold his death, and on Saturday, the ninth of June, said to his disciple Diermit: ‘This day is called the Sabbath, that is, the day of rest, and such it will truly be to me for it will put an end to my labors.’ ” Butler, Lives of the Saints, Vol. 6, p.139.
King Malcolm III of Scotland, about the year 1058 A.D., married an English princess named Margaret. As queen, she brought the Roman Church to Scotland. She brought about a Sunday law.
“The queen further protested against the prevailing abuse of Sunday desecration. ‘Let us,’ she said, ‘venerate the Lord’s day, inasmuch as upon it our Saviour rose from the dead. Let us do no servile work on that day.’ . . . The Scots, in this matter, had no doubt kept up the traditional practice of the ancient manastic Church of Ireland (Patrick’s church), which observed Saturday rather than Sunday as a day of rest.” Bellesheim, History of the Catholic Church of Scotland. Vol. I, pp. 249, 250.
“There is much evidence that the Sabbath prevailed in Wales universally until A.D. 1115, when the first Roman bishop was seated at St. David’s. The old Welsh Sabbath-keeping churches did not even then altogether bow the knee to Rome, but fled to their hiding places where the ordinances of the gospel to this day have been administered in their primitive mode without being adulterated by the corrupt Church of Rome.” Lewis, Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, Vol. I, p. 29.
Early Greek Orthodox
“The observance of Saturday is, as everyone knows, the subject of a bitter dispute between the Greeks and Latins (Rome).” John Mason Neale, A History of the Holy Eastern Church, General Introduction, Vol. I, p. 731.
In A.D. 1054 the pope sent three legates to Constantinople. Among others, the following charge was made: “Because you observe the Sabbath with the Jews and the Lord’s Day with us, you seem to imitate with such observances the sect of Nazarenes who in this manner accept Christianity in order that they be not obliged to leave Judaism.” Migne, Patrologia Latina, Vol. 145, p. 506.
Eastern churches–the Orient
Speaking of the Nestorians in Kurdistan: “The Nestorian fasts are very numerous, meat being forbidden on 152 days. They eat no pork, and keep both the Sabbath and Sunday. They believe in neither auricular confession nor purgatory, and permit their priests to marry.” Schaff-Herzog, The New Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article “Nestorians.”
Josephus Abudacnus, in the 1700’s, in his history of the Jacobites, writes, “Our author states that the Jacobites assembled on the Sabbath day, before the Dommical day (Sunday), in the temple, and kept that day, as also the Abyssinians as we have seen from the confession of their faith by the Ethiopian king Claudius. . . From this it appears that the Jacobites have kept the Sabbath as well as the Dommical day, and still continue to keep it.” Historia Jacobitarum, p. 118-119.
Thomas Yeates, who traveled largely in the Orient, writing of many Christians in the East, said that Saturday “amongst them is a festival day agreeable to the ancient practice of the church.” Yeates, East India Church History.” p. 72.
In the time of the reformation
“All the counsellors and great lords of the court, who were already fallen in with the doctrines of Wittenburg, of Ausburg, Geneva, and Zurich, as petrowitz, Jasper Cornis, Christopher Famigali, John Gerendi, head of the Sabbatarians, a people who did not keep Sunday, but Saturday, and whose disciples took the names of Genoldists. All these, and others, declared for the opinions of Blandrat.” Lamy, The History of Socinianism, p. 60.
Erasmus testifies that even as late as about 1500 many Bohemians not only kept the seventh day scrupulously, but also were called Sabbatarians. See Cox, The Literature of the Sabbath Question, Vol. II, pp. 201-202.
After the time of the reformation, the Seventh Day Baptists formed their denomination, which is still in existence. The first record I have found of Sabbath-keeping in America was when Stephan Mumford from London, a Seventh Day Baptist, settled in Rhode Island in 1664.
Samuel Ward, also a Seventh Day Baptist, was governor of Rhode Island in 1765. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774, and, had he not died, would probably have been a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
It was from the Seventh Day Baptists that some Adventists learned of the seventh-day Sabbath, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church was organized in 1863.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is now a world-wide Church, and the keeping of the seventh day has gone everywhere with them.
Doubtful Authorities for Sunday-keepers
Now here is a strange thing. Sunday supporters, with a show of great triumph, quote Ignatius, Barnabas, Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian,
Augustine, and others to prove that first-day observance started early, because the writings of these men speak favorably of the observance of the first day of the week.
Little do they realize that the Roman Catholics go to these same writings to prove doctrines which no other church in the world practices or believes today except the Roman Catholic Church. So instead of actually proving the first day is the day to keep, they are proving that the prophecy of Daniel 7:25 and the prophecy of Paul that the falling away would develop more rapidly immediately following his departure actually took place. The point is this: The testimony of these early fathers, instead of proving the first day is the day to keep, actually proves that it is not; it points out that Sunday-keeping was adopted from the heathen sun
worshipers and is a counterfeit of the true Sabbath -and these counterfeit witnesses to the truth of Paul’s prediction about the falling away.
We notice that all defenders of first-day observance quote Ignatius (AD 101) as favoring the first day instead of the seventh. We have before us Cardinal Gibbons’ Faith of Our Fathers. We
open the book to the chapter in which he is trying to prove that the priest turns the bread into God, and that this bread should be bowed to and worshiped as God. To prove this idolatry should be practiced, he quotes Ignatius condemning people of his day “because they confess
not that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ.” -page 297.
There is no dogma that the Roman Catholic Church holds today more strongly than that the wafer over which the priest pronounces some Latin words is the actual Son of God. Such a gross error leads me to conclude that the writings of Ignatius witness to the early “falling away” rather than to the fact that the first day is the day to be kept. The fact that he endorsed first-day observance is against it rather than for it-unless we are going to be Roman Catholics.
(Those who quote these early Fathers neglect to inform their hearers
that scholars have grave reason to doubt the authorship of these
writings, especially those credited to Ignatius and Barnabas.)
Where are these writings of the early Fathers to be found? We have before us quite a large volume called The Lost Books of the Bible. The preface says these writings were “not included in the authorized New Testament.” On page 172 of this book (which is filled with all sorts
of follies and fables) I find “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians,” and it is in this “epistle” that there is a statement favoring first-day keeping. How few there are who when this statement is quoted in books and pamphlets written in opposition to the Sabbath
know that it comes from The Lost Books of the Bible! Preachers will read from this book of fables with the same show of reverence and respect as though it were the Word of God. Another early writer often quoted in favor of first-day observance is Barnabas. We find his writing on page 153 of Lost Books of the Bible. We are ashamed to quote the things contained in these pages; we shall merely refer the reader to them, but at the same time I would be far more ashamed lo read from such a source to prove first-day sacredness! Those ministers who quote
from these sources know there is not one in a thousand who knows anything about the “epistle of Barnabas,” and they can take advantageof this ignorance to prove something which they cannot prove by theBible!
Justin Martyr is another “authority” that is greatly relied upon to prove first-day sacredness. On page 297 of Faith of our Fathers Cardinal Gibbons quotes Martyr to prove that the bread is Jesus Christ: “The Eucharist is both the flesh and blood of the same incarnate Jesus.” Nobody believes that today except the Roman Catholics. All these “authorities” prove what Paul meant when he said that after his “departure,” men would arise “speaking perverse things,” and the fact that these writings (supposed to have been done by these men) are claimed to have been written right after the death of the apostles shows what Paul meant when he said, “The mystery of iniquity does already work.” Clement of Alexandria is another one of the early Fathers. We find that he is another one whose writings go to make up The Lost Books of the Bible. He is supposed to have written his epistles one hundred years after the death of the last apostle. He
says that by that time the seventh day had “become nothing more than a working day.” Thus do we see that the church to which he belonged was gradually ceasing to observe the seventh day and leaning more and more toward the day of the sun. Just how reliable his writings are may be
gathered from the following, which I dare to quote from him:
“There is a certain bird called Phoenix; of this there is never but one at a time; and that lives 500 years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near, that it must die, it makes itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices into which when its time is
fulfilled it enters and dies. But its flesh putrefying, breeds a certain worm, which being nourished with the juice of the dead bird brings forth feathers; and when it is grown to a perfect state, it takes up the nest in which the bones of its parents lie, and carries
it from Arabia into Egypt. And flying in open day in the sight of all men, lays it upon the altar of the sun, and so returns from whence it came.” Think about being compelled to read from such a source to prove Sunday had become the Sabbath! Note how he mentions the altar of the
sun, from which comes sun-day and the observance of the first day of the week. No wonder he had come to recognize the seventh day as no more than a working day. How natural it was that as he turned from the true Sabbath, he leaned more and more to Sunday! At the risk of wearying the reader with further quotations from such writers as we are examining, I have two more to quote from. I quote from them because they are read from with confidence in an effort to prove
Sunday sacredness. One of these is Tertullian, and the other is Eusebius. Tertullian is supposed to have lived shortly after the death of the apostles. Cardinal Gibbons relies to the utmost on Tertullian to prove some of the absurd Roman Catholic doctrines.
On page 3 of Faith of Our Fathers, Gibbons says:
“It is also a very ancient and pious practice for the faithful to make
on their person, the sign of the cross saying at the same time: ‘In
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’
Tertullian, who lived in the second century of the Christian era,
says: ‘In all our actions, when we come in or go out, when we dress
and when we wash, at our meals, before retiring to sleep, we form on
our foreheads the form of the cross. These practices are not commanded
by a formal law of Scripture; but tradition teaches them, custom
confirms them, faith observes them.’ ” Roman Catholics practice these
things today. Gibbons quotes Tertullian again: ” ‘The faithful wife
will pray for the soul of her deceased husband, particularly on the
anniversary day of his falling asleep. And if she fail to do so, she
has repudiated her husband as far as it lies in her.’ ” You see,
Gibbons was trying to prove prayers for the dead. There is nothing in
the Bible about this, so he goes to Tertullian. This is the same thing
that is done in trying to prove first-day keeping. If this man wrote
what is attributed to him, he was certainly one of the builders of the
Roman Catholic Church.
Eusebius, in AD 324, wrote, “We have transferred the duties of the
Sabbath to Sunday.” Who are the “we”? Certainly not the apostles. They
could not do so after the testament was ratified by the death of the
Testator on the cross. When Eusebius says, “We have transferred the
duties of the Sabbath to Sunday,” it reminds us again of what Paul
foretold about those who, after his death, would speak “perverse
things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30.) This last
quotation from these early Fathers is dated AD 324. Just three years
before, in 321, Constantine, half Christian and half pagan, made the
first law to keep the “Venerable day of the sun.” Translated from the
Latin, it reads: “Let all the judges and townspeople and the
occupations of all trades rest upon the venerable day of the sun. But
let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty
attend to the business of agriculture. Because it often happens that
no other day is so fit for the sowing of corn or the planting of
vines, lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the
commodities of heaven. Given this 7th day of March, Crispus and
Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time.”
Note the following quotations from the Vatican II Council: “As St. Irenaeus says, she being obedient, BECAME THE CAUSE OF SALVATION for herself and for the whole human race. Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert with him in their preaching … ‘death through Eve, LIFE THROUGH MARY.’ This UNION OF THE MOTHER WITH THE SON IN THE WORK OF SALVATION is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, II, 56, pp. 380-381).
Isn’t this preposterous? Isn’t this blasphemous?
It will be noted that at that time working on Sunday was the general
rule. It will be noticed that the day was not known by any sacred
Christian title. It was called the venerable day of the sun. Thus do
we see that little by little the true Sabbath was being discarded and
Sunday was coming into recognition.
THE LAW AND THE SABBATH By Allen Walker
Ignatius was a rather eccentric bishop of Antioch [NT Christians did not have bishops and Cardinals] around A.D. 110. Condemned to die for his faith, he was shipped to Rome to be eaten by animals. On the way he wrote seven letters that have become famous. In his letter to the Magnesians he spoke, according to a typical translator of “living……for the Lord’s day.” The translator assumed that Ignatius wanted Christians to focus their life-style on Christ’s joyous resurrection.
However, the Greek word for “day” does not occur in what appears to be the earliest Greek text for this passage. The Greek adjective for “Lord’s” is present, implying a noun which it modifies. But there is no noun. At some unknown time prior to the eleventh century, a Greek editor supplied a noun, but the noun he chose was not the word for “day”; rather it was the word for “life”. Thus this unknown Greek editor made the passage read “living…for the Lord’s life,” meaning perhaps, that a Christian’s life-style should harmonize with Christ’s life-style which differs with what most modern churches teach today.—source: Ignatius, To the Magnesians,9;Loeb Classical library, Apostolic Fathers, 1:205, Compare the trans. in AFN 1:62, observing that the right hand column represents a spurious interpolated edition which originated more then 200 years after Ignatius’s death. 2.] Fritz Guy, “The Lord’s Day in Magnesians, Andrews edu, 1964;1-17 and Richard B. Lewis, Ignatius and the Lord’s Day, 1968 Seminar studies,6 1968, 46-59.
Be Ready to Give an Answerï¿¿
Carol Humphreys, Th.D.
This is not about what a church teaches, or about indoctrination. This is about what the BIBLE says. I care that a church teaches the Bible, but this has nothing at all to do with my church, only Biblical and historical truth.
I have been met with a tremendous amount of statements from people over the years claiming that the 7th day Sabbath is not any longer a day that needs to be kept. Sometimes their statements nearly stumped me and I had to do some research before I had the answer. I felt that offering a compilation of all these statements with accurate Biblical and historical responses would be handy for people to reference, which is why I have taken the time to write it. I hope it will be helpful for you!
Statements and Responses
Regarding the 7th Day Sabbath
Statement = S Response = R,
S = The Sabbath was done away.
R = Nowhere does the Bible state that the Sabbath was done away with. This would have been made crystal clear if a Commandment was done away with, but there is not one text that states anything like that. We are even told in Isaiah 66:21-23 that in heaven and in the new earth we will worship God on the Sabbath. Why would He make a day holy, command that it be a part of what designates sin, do away with it (with no clear text at all), only to reinstate its importance in Heaven and on the new earth? That doesnï¿¿t make any sense at all, especially with a God who doesnï¿¿t change. People made the change, but nowhere does God condone that change.
S = It doesnï¿¿t matter what day you keep, as long as you keep one in seven.
R = If God had not specified a day, then Iï¿¿d say that is correct.
However, He was very specific ï¿¿ He said it is the 7th day and He also blessed and hallowed it at the end of Creation so we would remember Who our Creator is! The 7th day is the only day in the Bible that was blessed and hallowed. With God being specific, we cannot say this isnï¿¿t important to Him.
We also have many texts that tell us that the Ten Commandments are important to God! 1 John 2:3-4 tells us: ï¿¿And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.ï¿¿ 1 John 3:4 says: ï¿¿Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.ï¿¿ 1 John 5:2 says: ï¿¿By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.ï¿¿ Revelation 14:12 tells us: ï¿¿Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.ï¿¿
S = The Sabbath was changed because Jesus rose on Sunday.
R = It is true that Jesus was resurrected sometime between sundown Sabbath and before dawn Sunday. (When the women went to the sepulcher at or before dawn, He was already gone. – Sunrise services are from paganism). Jesus asked us to remember His death and resurrection by taking communion and by baptism. Had He wished for anything else, He would have asked for it before He died. This excuse came about when the people questioned the leaders of the early Roman Church (early 300ï¿¿s A.D.) when they were shocked that this church was bringing in Sunday services along with the Sabbath services to make things easier for the heather to be converted.
Another point is that although Jesus rose early on the day we call Sunday, Paul had ample opportunities when speaking about the resurrection ï¿¿ even in 1 Cor 15:4 says that Jesus was raised ï¿¿on the third dayï¿¿. At no time does Paul make an issue of it being the first day of the week. Had Paul wished to convey any importance of Sunday as being holy due to the resurrection, it seems he would have made it clear here.
S = Galatians 3:25 tells us that since faith has come, weï¿¿re no longer under the supervision of the law.
R = Notice that this verse says ï¿¿supervisionï¿¿ (KJV says ï¿¿schoolmasterï¿¿). Jesus clearly told us that He was putting His laws into our hearts ï¿¿ we no longer have priests and others watching us to see if we sin. Itï¿¿s between us and our High Priest, Jesus, who is in heaven. This does not mean a change in the Sabbath or any other of the Ten Commandments.
S = 1 Corinthians 16:2 clearly tells us that the Sabbath was changed. It says: ï¿¿Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.ï¿¿ The people were instructed here to attend church on the first day, not the 7th!
R = This text has nothing at all to do with a change in the Sabbath. First of all, God has told us He does not change! Ps 89:34 says: ï¿¿My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.ï¿¿ Malachi 3:6 says: ï¿¿For I am the Lord, I change notï¿¿ï¿¿ and Hebrews 13:8 tells us that ï¿¿Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.ï¿¿ God tells us in so many places that the Sabbath is very important ï¿¿ if the God whom the Bible tells us does not change or alter what He says ï¿¿ was going to change a Commandment, it would have been very, VERY clear in the Bible, not a vague text.
Regarding this particular text, the Greek actually makes it clear that Paul wanted people to put aside money at home simply so that they wouldnï¿¿t have to scramble to gather things when Paul came. History tells us the people in Jerusalem were having a rough time, besides the fact that Paul could not carry a lot to barter with. This has nothing at all to do with any meeting, any religious service, any change in a Commandment of God. Again, God would not use a vague text if He had wished to make a change in something as important as the Commandments!
Another consideration of this is that Paul uses the Greek “kata mian sabbatou.” This means “every first of the Sabbath/week.” The word sabbatou for “week,” is derived from “Sabbath.” Since this was not the normal way to express the first day of the week, it would require that Sabbath would have to be known to the people in order to understand this. So, any new Christians were being instructed about the 7th day Sabbath, not any indication of anything resembling sacredness of Sunday.
S = Ephesians 2:14-16 tells us that Jesus broke the partition between us so that He did away with the law of commandments.
R = Breaking the partition was meaning that we can go directly to Jesus for forgiveness and our prayers; we donï¿¿t need a priest. When Jesus died, the curtain (partition) between the Holy and Most Holy Place in the temple tore in two. This was done supernaturally since this curtain was made in such a way as to have been impossible to rent from top to bottom by itself or during an earthquake, etc. No one thinks that breaking the partition makes it possible to break any other Commandment ï¿¿ Jesus died because of sin not to make it possible for us TO sin!
S = Thereï¿¿s no way to know which day really is the 7th.
R = Not true! There are many ways to know that the 7th day we have on our calendars each week is the same as it always has been. First of all, the Jews have kept good records back almost to the time of Moses. Secondly, numerous languages and dialects have some form of the word Sabbath in their 7th day of the week. There have been times when the calendar has changed so that we could make up for the fact that the year is not exactly 365 days. (It is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 47.8 seconds ï¿¿ we have leap year now to make up for that). However, even when the calendar was changed, the day we know of as Friday the 15th was preceded that year by Thursday the 4th.
S = Keeping the Sabbath is legalistic.
R = Is refraining from stealing legalistic? If we keep from murder, taking Godï¿¿s name in vain, adultery, etc., is that legalistic? Why only the 4th Commandment? It is mainly because people do not want to change what they are used to. There is nothing at all legalistic about doing what God wants us to do. It is only when we think that BY doing these things we have heaven assured. Some people believe legalism is any ï¿¿donï¿¿tsï¿¿ but again, this seems to mainly apply to Sabbath.
S = The Ten Commandments were given to the Nation of Israel only. (Deuteronomy 5:1-3). The Sabbath was never given as a law before Sinai, so it had to be just for those people.
R = The Sabbath began as a day blessed and sanctified by God at the end of creation. He could have made a six day week, but He chose to make a seventh day, and He chose to bless it prior to sin entering the world and around 2000 years prior to there being a ï¿¿Nation of Israelï¿¿. To have no law prior to Sinai or a different law prior to Sinai would not only argue with other texts about what happened before Exodus, but also mean that would have been a change in a changeless God. Are we to believe that God would bless a day, and then have it unknown to man for about 2000 years, then known, then changed, etc.? Why?
During the captivity in Egypt, the Children of Israel had lost a lot of what had been passed down. Before this, things were passed down carefully by word-of-mouth, and the life spans were quite long. But, when Egypt took them into captivity, they were given so much work and told what to do, so of course it was more difficult to keep track of what God wanted for them. So after the Exodus, it was important that people had things not only clarified, but put into writing so there would be no question. That does not mean they didnï¿¿t know these things at all, however.
The Sabbath is the only ritual observance put into the Ten Commandments, but that does not mean it was not known or kept beforehand. In fact, in Exodus 16:28, before the Ten Commandments were given at Sinai, and regarding the Sabbath, God said: ï¿¿ï¿¿How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?ï¿¿ Why would He have said that if THIS law was unknown prior to Sinai?
In the New Testament, Jesus said that the ï¿¿Sabbath was made for manï¿¿ ï¿¿ not Jew, but man. Jesus also shared in Matthew 24 that He wanted people to pray ï¿¿that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.ï¿¿ This was regarding both at the destruction of Jerusalem as well as the end of time. Some claim that it was just regarding the destruction of Jerusalem. Even then, if the Sabbath was to be no more after Jesusï¿¿ death, He would not have made that statement. He was saying that for all people who cared about what is important to God.
S = In regard to the question of when the Sabbath was put into effect, it is noteworthy that the word ï¿¿Sabbathï¿¿ is not mentioned by name in the book of Genesis. In spite of this, Sabbatarians seem to find it in every chapter of the book.
R = We need to look at the Commandment ï¿¿ was the day commanded by God to be holy or the word Sabbath? Exodus 20:10 tells us that ï¿¿ï¿¿the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy Godï¿¿ï¿¿ the day is what God is telling us to keep, not the word Sabbath. That is what the day is called, which means ï¿¿ceaseï¿¿, ï¿¿endï¿¿, or ï¿¿to restï¿¿. The Commandment tells us it is blessed and hallowed. Genesis 2:3 tells us God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. Obviously this is speaking about the same thing.
S = Jesus may have blessed the 7th day at the end of Creation, but there is nothing in these verses in Genesis regarding ANY responsibility of mankind in connection with God blessing this day. Sabbatarians should be careful not to read into these passages something that is not there at all!
R = Are we to believe that God blessed and sanctified this day for Himself? Are we to believe that He didnï¿¿t want anyone to know He did that? I think the question is who is reading something OUT of these Scriptures.
Again, before the Commandments were put on the tablets of stone, God asked the question of how long they would refuse to keep His laws in connection with the Sabbath. Would He have done that for people who had no idea what the ï¿¿lawï¿¿ was? Would He make something holy and not expect that His creations pay attention to that?
S = It is total assumption and presumption to say that those living in the period between creation and the writings of Moses 2500 years later knew of the creation facts revealed through Moses.
R = Why would the people for 2500 years not know about the facts of Creation? Was it a secret? Was it something God didnï¿¿t want people until the time of Moses to know and understand? As said prior, people before the Exodus mostly passed things down by word-of-mouth; father to son, etc. This worked partly because the life spans were so long. We know of no books or other written records being taken onto the ark, but that doesnï¿¿t mean that the antediluvians [people who lived prior to the flood] had no knowledge of Creation.
From creation to the flood was approximately 1656 years. Adam lived 930 years, and Methuselah lived 969 years. That is the entire time between creation and the ark with 243 years where both of these men were living and may well have known each other. Adam knew about Creation ï¿¿ he was there! Are we to suspect that he was told by God to keep that quiet? It makes more sense that it is assumption and presumption to say that those living between creation and the writings of Moses did NOT know the facts of creation.
S = Romans 10:4 tells us that ï¿¿Christ is the end of the lawï¿¿.
R = People who share this text arenï¿¿t taking a number of things into consideration. The first is that the rest of the text says ï¿¿for righteousnessï¿¿. Secondly, the Bible is very clear from Genesis to Revelation that the law of the Ten Commandments is very important. The laws that looked forward to the cross were things like sacrificesï¿¿ all blood sacrifices looked toward the cross. Jesus died because of sin, not to free us TO sin. Do we think God would mind if we took His name in vain? Did that end? Do we think God says itï¿¿s no problem to commit adultery, murder or steal? The only time this text is used is in relationship to the Sabbath. Jesus WAS the end of the laws that looked toward His victory on the cross ï¿¿ things like sacrifice laws, Passover (since He was our Passover Lamb), etc. However, He stated Himself that He did not come to do away with any of the Ten Commandments. (Matthew 5:17-19) People latch onto the text in Romans to try to do away with the Sabbath, even though there are many texts in the New Testament that show us that the law of the Ten Commandments is not done away with.
S = Jesus gave us a new law in Matthew 22:37-40. We only have to love.
R = The last part of those texts states: ï¿¿ï¿¿ on these hang all the law and the prophets.ï¿¿ The first four Commandments are our duty to God, and the last six are our duty to man. We need the more specific laws that are spelled out in the Ten Commandments to tell us HOW to love, and more importantly how God expects us to show Him and others love.
S = It is a fallacy to believe that Paul made any distinction between laws.
R = There are some very huge distinctions between laws. There are several types of laws ï¿¿ There were the ceremonial laws relating specifically to the worship of the Israelites. There was a civil law ï¿¿ some of which applies today and some that was specifically for their time and people. The moral law ï¿¿ such as the Ten Commandments reveals the nature of God and it is applicable today. These were so important to God that He wrote them with His finger on tablets of stone and are the only laws He spoke with His own voice to the people; the other laws Moses wrote down in a book. The Ten Commandments were put in the ark, the book in the side of the ark. (Deuteronomy 32:26). There were cherubim standing over the ark, and only the High Priest could go into where the ark was. Iï¿¿d say these are some very important distinctions.
Now, when Jesus died, all the laws of sacrifices, which looked forward to His being the Sacrifice, ended ï¿¿ this was the way it was planned, not a ï¿¿changeï¿¿. The need for the priesthood was over since Jesus became our High Priest. However, Hebrews 7:12 tells us ï¿¿For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.ï¿¿ Now, this text could have been translated just a bit clearer, because the two words here for change are different words. The word changed is ï¿¿metatithemi which means ï¿¿transportï¿¿ and the second change is metathesis which means ï¿¿transferal to heavenï¿¿. Basically this text should say that the Priesthood being transferred or conveyed [to Jesus] there became a necessity of transferal to heaven of the law.ï¿¿ Therefore, He is in charge of the law, which is only right ï¿¿ He is our High Priest. Sin is the transgression of the law. That is stated in 1 John 3:4 ï¿¿ New Testament, New Covenant.
S = Colossians 2:16-17 show us that the Sabbath looked forward to the cross and was done away with ï¿¿ we have been set free from this by Christ.
R = There were many celebration days that were called Sabbaths. There was even a Sabbath of years for the land to rest. The Sabbaths that are mentioned in these texts are such Sabbaths as the Passover, etc. Nothing about the weekly Sabbath was a shadow of Christ. It was set down before sin even entered the world. All the things that were shadows of Jesus were sacrificial laws and ceremonies along with the priesthood. We see in verse 14 that it says: ï¿¿Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.ï¿¿ Were Godï¿¿s laws against us? Deut 10:12-13 and Ps. 197:7 tells us that they were for our good.
We also see down in Colossians 2:21-22 that what perished were sacrificial ordinances, as well as stating ï¿¿after the commandments and doctrines of menï¿¿. Godï¿¿s Ten Commandments were certainly not of men. Besides this, Paul does not use the term nomos [Greek ï¿¿ law] here at all. So, actually, it would be more reasonable to believe that Paul wasnï¿¿t even talking about the ceremonial laws in part of this chapter, but rather instructing the Christians not to allow the others to tell them how to worship or live.
S = Hosea 2:11 shows us a prophecy that God would end the need for the Sabbath.
R = Hosea 2 is a prophecy about Israel turning to other gods. God was not going to be happy or accept people worshipping certain ways that had nothing at all to do with Him. It speaks of the relationship of God and Israel as a marriage. If I do things for my husband but go out and cheat on him, even the things that normally would be pleasing to him are going to be hurtful and disgusting. Hosea has nothing at all with doing away with the 7th day Sabbath.
S = If we obey God, it is out of love, not necessity. After Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, we no longer are under the law, therefore, do not have to do any of it.
R = Yes, we should obey God out of love, but that does not mean it is not necessary! Salvation was a plan set down before the world was created on the contingency of sin. Therefore, there is nothing we can do one way or the other to influence the decision for Jesus to come and die for us. That does NOT mean that obedience is optional. Revelation tells us that if we ï¿¿overcomeï¿¿ we shall not be hurt of the second death. If there is no necessity of obedience, what do we need to overcome? Since Genesis to Revelation tells us that the Ten Commandments are very important to God, as well as the standard by which we are judged, Iï¿¿d say they are important!
S = We are under grace, not under a covenant of works.
R = In the O.T., we find that while showing Adam and Eve the consequences of sin, God also shared that he would provide a Savior (Gen 3:15). Adam and Eve could not save themselves, so God, by grace, provided the escape. We see this again in the tabernacle services. The key element of them is that God forgave (an act of grace) anyone who confessed that he/she had sinned and asked forgiveness (Lev 16:16-31). These sins were brought by the priest to God and forgiven. This priestly function is now performed by True High Priest – Jesus (1 Tim 2:5, Heb 4:14-16; 7:25). The Old Covenant was just as much a covenant of grace as the New. The difference is that the New Covenant has God’s law written on our hearts (Jer 31:31-33/Romans 2:15/Hebrews 8:10), and Jesus is over us directly.
S = The Feast of Pentecost took place on the morrow after the seventh Sabbath, showing that the Holy Spirit meant for people to worship on the first day of the week.
R = There was no indication or even implication that the day of the week that Pentecost fell on was special at all. Again, if the God who does not change or alter what goes out of His mouth was going to change a Commandment, He would have made if extremely clear in the Bible. He did not put it in the ordinances, or in the book of laws of Moses, but in the Ten Commandments He wrote with His own finger. It is the longest of the Commandments; the one that tells us the 7th day is Godï¿¿s ï¿¿ which is a memorial to Creation and the Creator and this day is ï¿¿hallowedï¿¿. It would take more than a fact that people simply met on the first day to mean a change, no matter how special the ï¿¿eventï¿¿.
S = Acts 20:7 shows us clearly that the disciples met to break bread and hear the preaching of the Word on the 1st day of the week.
R = No matter how we reckon time, Bible time – Godï¿¿s time, goes from sundown to sundown. Therefore, midnight of the first day of the week was Saturday night. (It is translated as such in some versions). Breaking bread could have been a communion ï¿¿ or it could have been simply a meal. However, even if these things were not in question, there is no indication here that the Sabbath was changed at all, just because some people were meeting and Paul was preaching. It makes sense that Paul preached every opportunity he had ï¿¿ but again, this night was Saturday night. Actually, the word ï¿¿dayï¿¿ is italicized showing that it was added by the translators. M.R. Vincent notes in Word Studies in the New Testament, “The noun Sabbath is often used after numerals in the signification of a week” (Acts 20:7 note). The Greek text therefore, literally reads “And upon the first of the Sabbaths.”
S = We see the Sabbath was commemorative of rest of Creation, while the ï¿¿Lordï¿¿s Dayï¿¿ is the rest of redemption. Matt. 28:1-6
R = Where is that in the Bible? Revelation 1:10 where it says: ï¿¿I was in the spirit on the Lordï¿¿s Dayï¿¿? The only ï¿¿Lordï¿¿s Dayï¿¿ from Genesis to Revelation is the 7th. Believing that it is Sunday is simply due to tradition that came from many years ago. In fact, this term applying to Sunday was actually set down around 60 years before Christ.
The main pagan religion of the Romans was changed around then to Mithraism. Mithra, the sun god, was addressed as ï¿¿Dominusï¿¿ which means ï¿¿lordï¿¿. They called Sunday the ï¿¿Lordï¿¿s Dayï¿¿ because that day was for worship of the sun in honor of Mithra.
Around 300 A.D. forward, various compromises were brought into the Roman church, starting under the leadership of the Emperor Constantine. That church first kept both Sabbath and Sunday, but when people who would not compromise left or were kicked out, the keeping of Sabbath died out in their church. After all, those who kept to the Bible and the Bible only left and the pagan converts had been used to Sunday worship for the pagan sun god, so they were satisfied.
This church, the Roman Church had the Emperor as the head of the church, so they became the strongest church, of course. The pagans already had the term ï¿¿The Lordï¿¿s Dayï¿¿ for Mithra, and when it was changed to apply to Jesus, it became custom to do so. This church ruled for over 1200 years, so of course it became ï¿¿normalï¿¿ to think of this as applying to Sunday. However, it is not Biblical.
Besides this, many Bible scholars believe John was in vision seeing the time when Jesus would be returning ï¿¿ the day of the Lord, not Sabbath anyway.
S = Different seals for different covenants. The Sabbath was the sign and seal of the Old Covenant. What sign was given for Christians? The Law? Consult the Apostle Paul.
R = I have consulted Paul and found no place where he differs on that regarding the Ten Commandments. In fact, he said such things as: ï¿¿Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.ï¿¿ Romans 3:31 He also said: ï¿¿ï¿¿where no law is, there is no transgression.ï¿¿ Romans 4:15 And, ï¿¿Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.ï¿¿ Romans 7:12 There are more, but Paul was not talking about those laws that looked forward to Jesus, obviously ï¿¿ but in connection with sin, the only law that defines it is the Ten Commandments.
S = The Sabbath of the OT was obligatory upon pain of death, required to keep or perish. In the New Covenant, there is not one required day by Commandment, nor any special day. Keeping the ï¿¿Lordï¿¿s Dayï¿¿ was and is voluntary, a day of spontaneous worship and service for the Lord. This is kept out of love, not law. When did Jesus or any apostle command Gentile believers to keep the Sabbath?
R = More importantly, since God does not change, where is there mention that it was no longer commanded?! Jesus did state in Matthew 24:20 ï¿¿But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.ï¿¿ Again, why would Jesus care about the Sabbath if it werenï¿¿t important after His death and resurrection? Also again, the God who does not change would have been very, very clear if this was to be changed. And, just out of point of reference, why would God want people to stop keeping the day He set down as a memorial to Creation and the Creator in exchange for the day pagans worshipped the sun?
There was no reason to change the Sabbath at all. So, why do people keep Sunday? Where is the explicit change, desire, mention of this in the Bible? There isnï¿¿t any! It is tradition that came down through time ï¿¿ only. If weï¿¿re going to err on the side of caution, Iï¿¿d think weï¿¿d at least keep what is clearly set down in the Bible as Godï¿¿s day ï¿¿ the 7th.
S = All the moral commandments of the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) were repeated in the NT, but the one obligatory command was not. That was not an error of omission, but of design. Not once was the 4th Commandment commanded in the NT.
Really? Then why did Jesus say to pray that our flight would not be on the Sabbath? What the NT clearly does NOT say is that a Command of God was changed! The Sabbath is mentioned many times in the NT such as in Acts 13 where it tells us that ï¿¿ï¿¿the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. (42) ï¿¿And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.ï¿¿ This would have been the perfect time to say that the day was changed ï¿¿ the Gentiles after all were there to hear the word! There was no mention of a change for the Gentiles or the Christians who had been Jews. We also have Hebrews 4:9-11 that speaks of there remaining a rest ï¿¿as God did from Hisï¿¿.
S = No one is wise to disparage the moral Commandments of the Law, but those do not include the 4th Commandment.
R = Where is that stated? Again, the God who does not alter what He says and does not change would have said something like: ï¿¿Now, the Sabbath of the Lord is from henceforth changed in honor of the resurrection, and the 4th Commandment now applies to that day.ï¿¿ Where is that change? Where is that crystal clear text? There isnï¿¿t any.
And, why did God include the 4th Commandment in the moral laws? Did He make a mistake? He could have easily put it anywhere else if He didnï¿¿t want it included.
S = We are told in the NT that the law ministers death, not life.
R = The law ministers death because it is what tells us what sin is. To sin is to die ï¿¿ but Jesus came and died in our place since we DO sin. That does not mean we can simply continue to sin without any consequences. No one uses this or most of the other reasons here to do away with the laws against murder, stealing, etc. Most use these just for the 7th day Sabbath.
S = According to writings of early Church Fathers, Christians who continued meeting in synagogues were driven out with persecution. It wasnï¿¿t seemly to have Moses on one hand and Christ on the other. Acts 8:3-4 God purposed this separation between Synagogue and Church, yet Christians of Jewish foundation continued to keep both the Sabbath and the Lordï¿¿s Day. That didnï¿¿t grow in popularity at all. The Sabbath was never forced upon Gentile believers in those days, except underhandedly by Judaisers. There were early believers who as Judaisers kept the Sabbath, mixing law and grace. Those were regularly cut off from the mainstream of the Christian Church and were totally despised by the Jews. They were very much in the minority and failed to show the growth that the mainstream Christianity enjoyed.
R = Actually, the early church kept the Sabbath. The ï¿¿Churchï¿¿ spoken of here is the one mentioned previously ï¿¿ the Roman Church where it is stated clearly in Catholic books kept both days. It didnï¿¿t grow in popularity in THAT church because most of the converts who made up the majority of the church were USED to worshipping on Sunday.
Justin Martyr tried to make a change to separate Christians from Jews, but Justin was a prime example of someone who got a little knowledge and thought he knew it all. He spent 3 days on the beach with an elderly Christian and then went and started his own school of Christianity, even writing apologies [statements of defense] to the Emperor. He said things such as believing that there was much for Christians to welcome in ï¿¿other-worldly Platonic metaphysicsï¿¿. He also said that Jesus curing the lame and such was no different than what the pagans said of their ï¿¿god of medicineï¿¿ Ǽsculapius. Obviously, while Justin was devoted ï¿¿ you donï¿¿t die for something you donï¿¿t believe in ï¿¿ he didnï¿¿t have all the knowledge he needed.
Many of the writers called ï¿¿Early Church Fathersï¿¿ (Origin, Barnabas, Ignatius of Antioch, Tertullian, etc.) were ï¿¿graduatesï¿¿ of Justinï¿¿s or similar schools of Christianity. Therefore, they were already compromised in their beliefs. So, when Constantine, in the early 4th Century A.D. stopped the torturing and killing of Christians and became a ï¿¿Christianï¿¿, many of the people in that church were already willing to do some compromising. (I put quotes around Christian since Constantine was clearly joining the Christian Church as a political move. We know this for several reasons, not the least of which is after his supposed conversion, he killed his first son, his second wife, his brother-in-law, and a nephew).
The Jews were being obnoxious and making the Romans angry with them, so the peaceful Christians did try to distance themselves from the Jews during the second century. But there were Sabbath-keepers from the time of the Apostles forward. In fact, the quote ï¿¿When in Rome, do as the Romans doï¿¿ was actually taken from the fact that most of the other Christian Churches kept the Sabbath. However, in Rome, they did not. Just because that church became a powerful entity with the Emperor at its head, does not mean that all Christian churches did as Rome desired. There are numerous documents that show that outside Rome and Alexandria, Sunday-keeping was not custom until the Roman Church became very powerful.
The ultimate authority, however, is the Word of God. Nowhere in that is any hint that Sunday keeping was to replace the Sabbath. Nowhere is there a clear statement that any Commandment of God was to be done away with. And, weï¿¿ve already gone over the fact that Sabbath is NOT ï¿¿Judaisingï¿¿!
S = It is a fallacy that Sunday worship arose under Pope Constantine, who made the ï¿¿Sunday Lawï¿¿ observance obligatory like the Sabbath was obligatory for Jews. He was only involved in changing that day from voluntary to mandatory. From then on a few Judaising Christians kept the Sabbath Day and the greater Christian Church kept the ï¿¿Lordï¿¿s Dayï¿¿. Nobody has made the Sabbath to be Sunday, nor the Sunday to become the Sabbath. Many early Church Fathers kept Sunday as the Lordï¿¿s Day and many communities worshipped regularly from the time of the Apostles on until the 7th day was simply where it should be ï¿¿ for the Jews.
R = See the previous Statement/Response for information regarding several areas of this. The Roman Church we know of as Catholic became so powerful that many other churches went along with it. And as their laws and tradition came out with Sunday as being more well-known, still, many people kept the 7th day Sabbath. There are numerous historical evidences of this. It is also a fact that many Christians, due to this tradition, believed that by keeping Sunday they were keeping the Sabbath. Many still do.
S = The Savior came to fulfill the law; therefore it was done away with at the cross.
R = The text in question here is Matthew 5:17 that says: ï¿¿Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.ï¿¿ With the way this statement means fulfill, it would be to ï¿¿finishï¿¿ or ï¿¿completeï¿¿ or even ï¿¿endï¿¿. That would make this text say that Jesus came not to destroy but to end it ï¿¿ any of these words are opposite of ï¿¿not destroyingï¿¿. Fulfill here means to carry out, perform, etc. We must again consider that Jesus died because of sin, not to free us to sin. Romans 5:15 tells us that ï¿¿ï¿¿where no law is, there is no transgression.ï¿¿ We are told in many places after Jesus was resurrected that the law is good, holy, etc. If it were not, why would He have had to die? He is our glorious and holy High Priest and Judge ï¿¿ if there is no law, Judge of what? We are sinners ï¿¿ yet we would not be if there was no law by which sin is determined. The fact that there is sin ï¿¿ and sinners is proof that this text does not mean the law was done away with.
S = Our true Sabbath rest is actually in Christ, not the day. It is one day in which we cease from our own works and rest in His finished work, who offers everlasting rest of the perpetual Covenant of Sabbath rest. Not the DAY, but the PERSON.
R = Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath because He helped to make it sacred. We are told that nothing was created without Him. Therefore, He can share how He wants it kept. However, once again, it needs to be pointed out that God put this in the Ten Commandments, not the ordinances. If it had only been there, Iï¿¿d say there is a point. However, that is not where it was put. God said the day was made holy and was to be kept holy. This statement is another one that has no basis in Scripture. Hebrews 3 & 4 is not saying what this statement is trying to purport. It explains the spiritual meaning of Sabbath. We know the spiritual meaning of communion ï¿¿ does that mean we no longer need to celebrate that either?
S = The Apostle Paul preached Christ to non-Christian Jews in THEIR synagogue on THEIR Sabbath.
R = In Acts 13:42-44, we are told that Paul preached to the Gentiles, not just Jews. It tells us that almost the entire city came to hear the word of God on the Sabbath. Had this been something they wanted to change, surely that was a great time to say so.
S = Romans 14:5 says: ï¿¿One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.ï¿¿ This shows that we can determine which day to keep in the New Covenant.
R = Paul is not speaking about the Sabbath at all but about fasting. This and vegetarianism is being discussed in this chapter. If you read the texts prior to this one and after, you can see that it is not the Sabbath being discussed.
S = The early Christians had to be told to stop trying to press upon the new converts things that had been abrogated. One of these was the Sabbath.
R = Of course, the majority of early Christians had been Jews until the time of the stoning of Stephen when the message went to the Gentiles as well. However, we must look at how much of the Jews daily lives were wrapped up in things that DID end. All of the ceremonial laws of washings, the circumcision, the sacrifices, etc. along with the sacrificial Sabbaths WERE done away with. This was naturally difficult for Jewish-Christians to stop. However, the 7th day Sabbath was not a part of anything that looked forward to the cross, therefore, it was not abrogated [ended].
Also, there was no day as special or guarded as the Sabbath. Therefore, had the Sabbath have ended at the cross, we would have expected the Jewish Christians to make a huge issue of that. Where is this argument? Where do the Christians make issue in Scripture? Itï¿¿s not there. Besides this, again is the fact that Jesus said to pray that the flight would not be on the Sabbath. You donï¿¿t mention something like that if itï¿¿s to end. They also still showed the significance of the Sabbath in how they termed the days, such as ï¿¿first toward Sabbathï¿¿ (again, the Greek makes that clear, but generally translations do not).
S = Hebrews 10:9 tells us that: ï¿¿ï¿¿He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.ï¿¿ This means Christ took away the Ten Commandments that He might bring the law of love to us.
R = This is clearly speaking about the ceremonial laws because it refers to sacrifices and blood offerings. This is speaking about Jesus replacing them, not the law He set in place to show what sin was and again He died because of sin, not to free us TO sin.
S = No Christian Reformer nor any current religions that are Christian keep the seventh day except a few. Doesnï¿¿t that in itself show that Sunday is correct?
R = Before sharing some quotes that show there were and are many who know that the 4th Commandment was and is still in effect, letï¿¿s look at the last question. When each Reformer came to understanding something of the Bible that had been wrong, they had that particular ï¿¿somethingï¿¿ (or light) to bring back. However, they generally had one thing of many that had been changed. They also were followed by people who often relied upon the Reformer to teach them ï¿¿ and stopped learning more when the Reformer died. Martin Luther, for instance, told the people not to call themselves Lutherans and continue growing in knowledge of the Bible. But, they didnï¿¿t do that ï¿¿ neither did many of the groups that came after. Some accepted the light of a previous Reformer, and some did not. That is why we have so many different Christian religions. The 7th day Sabbath was one of the last to be ï¿¿rediscoveredï¿¿ even though there were groups keeping it all along. So, of course, it would be in the minority since many would not accept it.
Here are some quotes that show not only past understanding of the Sabbath, but current:
ï¿¿It was the practice generally of the Easterne churches; and some churches in the west,ï¿¿ For in the Church of Millaine [Milan]; ï¿¿it seems the Saturday was held in a farre esteemeï¿¿Not that the Easterne Churches, or any of the rest which observed that day, were inclined to Iudaisme [Judaism]; but that they came together on the Sabbath day, to worship Iesus [Jesus] Christ the Lord of the Sabbath.ï¿¿ History of the Sabbath [original spelling retained] part 2. par. 5 pp 73, 74 1636 Heylin
ï¿¿The ancient Christians were very careful in the observation of Saturday, or the seventh dayï¿¿ It is plain that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the Sabbath as a festivalï¿¿ Athanasius likewise tells us that they held religious assemblies on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with Judaism, but to worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, Epiphanius says the same.ï¿¿ Antiquities of the Christian Church, vol. II, Book XX, chapter 3, section 1, pg. 66, 1137-8.
ï¿¿There is much evidence that the Sabbath prevailed in Wales universally until AD 1115, when the first Roman bishop was seated at St. Davisï¿¿s. The old Welsh Sabbath-keeping churches did not even then altogether bow the knee to Rome, but fled to their hiding places.ï¿¿ Seventh-day Baptists in Europe and America, Lewis, vol. 1, pg. 29
ï¿¿Erasmus testified that even as late as 1500 the Bohemians not only kept the seventh-day Sabbath scrupulously, but also were called ï¿¿Sabbatariansï¿¿.ï¿¿ Cox, The Literature of the Sabbath Question, vol 12, pg. 201-202.
In China, there is a monument that reads: ï¿¿ta vao shen wan jiï¿¿, which means ï¿¿the great first of the Sabbath day.ï¿¿ The Nestorians, who built this monument had written about them: ï¿¿The Nestorians eat no pork, and keep the seventh-day Sabbath.ï¿¿ The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge
In The Church of Scotland, pg. 140, we are told: ï¿¿It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of the early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week.ï¿¿ Also in Scotland, the missionary Columba established a school in 536 A.D. in which he and ï¿¿his monks followed the Bible as their sole authority and observed the seventh day as the Sabbath.ï¿¿
“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 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 [commanded] it.” Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, Vol. 1, pp 334, 336.
Cardinal Gibbons wrote: ï¿¿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.ï¿¿ Faith of Our Fathers, pg. 111. He also stated in The Catholic Mirror, 12/23/1893: ï¿¿Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: Either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.ï¿¿ This gives rise to the question of how the Pope in the 1990ï¿¿s could write his apostolic letter which sounds like Sunday is the day the Bible and God sanctified. Cardinal Gibbons wrote with full knowledge and approval of the Vatican. The Catholics, in their Catechism stated that they transferred the solemnity of Sabbath to Sunday because Christ rose from the dead on that day.
ï¿¿The division of times into weeks is not only non-natural, but in a sense contra-natural, since the week of seven days is no subdivision of either the naturally measured month or year.ï¿¿ The Presbyterian tract The Christian Sabbath
Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, who wrote The Baptist Manual, said: ï¿¿There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sundayï¿¿ It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the weekï¿¿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 weekï¿¿ 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.ï¿¿
The Moody Bible Institute shares that ï¿¿Sabbath was before Sinaiï¿¿ and they go on to say: “I honestly believe that this commandment [the Sabbath commandment] is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated [abolished], but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place. ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath’ [mark 2:27]. It is just as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was – in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age.
Dwight L. Moody himself had this to say: “The [Seventh-day] Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This Fourth Commandment [Exodus 20:8-11] begins with the word ‘remember,’ showing that the Sabbath had 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 admit that the other nine are still binding? Dwight L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting, 1898, pp.46-47
“We are, therefore, to acknowledge one God, infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, the creator of all things, most wise, most just, most good, most holy. We must love him, fear him, honour him, trust in him, pray to him, give him thanks, praise him, hallow his name, obey his commandments, and set times apart for his service, as we are directed in the third and fourth Commandments, for this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous. I John v. 3. And these things we must do not to any mediators between him and us, but to him alone, that he may give his angels charge over us, who, being our fellow-servants, are pleased with the worship we give to their God. And this is the first and the principal part of religion. This always was, and always will be the religion of God’s people, from the beginning to the end of the world.” Isaac Newton, quoted in Sir David Brewsterï¿¿s Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1885.
ï¿¿The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just proceeding 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 is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.ï¿¿ First-Day Observance, pg. 17, 19
John Wesley said: ï¿¿The moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is the law which can never be broken, which ï¿¿stands fast as the faithful witness in heaven.ï¿¿ The moral law stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual lawï¿¿ Every part of the law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.ï¿¿ Sermons on Several Occasions, ï¿¿On the Sermon on the Mountï¿¿ Discourse 6, pp 75, 76
ï¿¿Although the law given from God by Moses as touching ceremonies and rites, doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.ï¿¿ Constitution of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Articles of Religion, Art. 6, pg. 7.
The Library of Christian Doctrine, pg. 5 says: (Under: ï¿¿Why Donï¿¿t You Keep Holy the Sabbath Dayï¿¿) ï¿¿ ï¿¿You will tell men that Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! But by whom? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, ï¿¿Thou shalt keep holy the seventh dayï¿¿, who shall dare to say, ï¿¿Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead.ï¿¿? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer. You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of the day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the ten commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.ï¿¿ Wow! What a statement!
I hope that this has been educational and will help when people ask you questions about the 7th day Sabbath!
This fully immersing in Christ, as one can see, is more than the little sprinkle with Christianity to be half-hearted and have one foot in the church and one in the world.
Where GOD tells us that friendship with the world is enmity with Him [James 4:4], State-churches that became involved with politics, cannot be doing GOD’S will, but Satan’s instead.
To replace Baptism, which also commemorates the death, burial and the resurrection, the pagan holiday of ‘Ishtar’ or Eastern was brought in. Good Friday to Easter Sunday with all its easter eggs and bunnies suppose to give more life than Christ. Even though this Easter Sunday was originally only celebrated once a year, they decided to have it every week in place of Christ’s Sabbath [Saturday].
To bring in false worship completely, the Church of Rome removed the second of the Ten Commandments of GOD, which forbids the making and worship of idols and images even under the ground such as hell, limbo and purgatory.
To make up its number again, they divided the last of the Ten Commandments into two and moved all the numbers so the the Sabbath became the third command.
Paul says you observe days, month, and times, and years [Gal.4:10], even though the old testament had a few, observers of times were the enchanters and diviners of paganism [Deut.18:14] of which Easter, Lent and Christmas was a part.
Is JESUS our new Sabbath?
The prince of darkness has transformed himself into an angel of light. He is now helping the children of disobedience to retreat from light into darkness.
Have you heard the latest interpretation on the Sabbath? It is no longer the Seventh day but every day, and it is not even a day anymore but a person, JESUS CHRIST [Hebrews 4 quoted].
GOD says it is the Seventh day [Ex.20:10]. GOD also says, ï¿¿And the the new heaven and the new earth I will make, all flesh shall come to worship before Me from one Sabbath to another Sabbathï¿¿. [Isa.66:22,23].
Now lets use the latest interpretation from the children of disobedience: ï¿¿The new earth and the new heavens that I will make, all flesh shall come to worship before Me from one Christ to another Christ. Doesnï¿¿t that sound ridiculous?
The Baptist David Cloud just wrote a booklet called: ï¿¿The snares of Adventismï¿¿. In it he claims that when GOD made the Sabbath in Eden and sanctified and hallowed it, there is no proof that Adam had to worship GOD on the Sabbath day.
Now lets analyse it. He is inferring that GOD said to Adam, step aside son and get lost for the next 24 hours while I worship Myself. Can you imagine such preposterous claim. It directly contradicts the Bible and JESUS who says, that the Sabbath was made for mankind [Mark 2:27,28] and not for GOD to worship Himself.
Then he quotes ex-Adventist D M Canright who also retreated from light into darkness. Canright wrote while in Adventism, that it was Paul that died. But when he retreated towards Babylon, Canright claimed that in Romans seven, it is the Law that died. [ Romans seven does not say this].
The Baptist Church manual says: “We believe that the Law of GOD is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government.” Art.12.
Now they say the opposite! Why? Firstly, Babylon has fallen, has fallen. Secondly, in order to refute CHRIST’S Sabbath, they have to do away with all the 10 Commandments. GOD says that the carnal mind is enmity with Him over the 10 Commandments [Rom.8:7].
Their main text comes from 2.Cor.3:3 :”Not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart.” This does not do away with GOD’S holy morals, but places them from cold tables of stone into our brand new heart and spirit.
The new covenant/testament consists of GOD cleansing us from sin, which is the violation of that law [1.John 3:4; Romans 7:7], and after cleansing, He Himself writes them into the tables of our fleshly hearts [Hebr. 8:6-13; 10:15-20]. The words of this covenant/testament is always the same [Ex.34:28; Rev.11:18,19].
JESUS died in order that the righteousness of that law might be fulfilled inside us [Rom.3+4]. It was not the law that faded away, but the glory on Moses face. The letter kills [2.Cor.3:6]. Legalism does not get us to heaven, but CHRIST’S righteousness of that law will.
It was the daily killing of the many animal sacrifices that was the administration of death which showed the multitudes of sins.
Fallen Babylon cannot keep holy GOD’S moral law. They are busy helping Satan to war against it [Rev.12:17]. But GOD says that He will have His Commandment keeping people resist the mark of the Beast [Rev.14:12].
Just as the N.T. Sabbath point us to CHRIST, so did the 7 O.T. Sabbath days, in fact they were called such: “the seven festivals of the Messiah”.
I don’t see how anyone can say that God had given no laws to man before Sinai. What they don’t seem to understand is that “sin is the transgression of the law.” (I John 3:4) You CANNOT BREAK A LAW THAT DOES NOT EXIST. And SIN IS BREAKING GOD’S LAW. That is the only definition of sin that we are given!
Did sin exist before Sinai?
Then the law existed before Sinai.
If there was no law against murder, then Cain was not guilty. You cannot break a law that doesn’t exist.
If there was no law against worshipping idols, then the heathen were not guilty. You cannot break a law that doesn’t exist.
If the law was not given to the Gentiles, then the Gentiles have never sinned. You cannot break a law that doesn’t exist.
If the law was all done away with at the cross, then sin no longer exists, and we can do whatever we want. You cannot break a law that doesn’t exist!
Wherever sin is, the law is. Sin is breaking the law.
Now this does not only apply to the ten commandments, but to whatever law God has made.
But that the ten commandments are still in force, all you have to do is go down the list. Is it still sin to have other gods? Is it still wrong to murder? to commit adultery? to steal?
THE ONLY ONE of the ten commandments that Christians want to get rid of is the fourth. Because it goes against their tradition, they don’t want anything to do with the fourth.
But either God knew what He was doing in putting the seventh-day Sabbath right in the middle of laws that would last forever, or He didn’t. Personally, I’ll go with the idea that God knew exactly what He was doing, and put the Sabbath there because it belongs there. He is the same, today, yesterday, and forever.
Jeremiah classified godless families with the heathen: “Pour out Thy fury upon the heathen that know Thee not, and upon the families that call not on Thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.” (10:25)
Many mothers have written to me at one time or another to know what to do to entertain their children on the Sabbath. The boys say, “I do wish ’twas night,” or, “I do hate the Sabbath,” or, “I do wish the Sabbath were over.” It ought to be the happiest day in the week to them, one to be looked forward to with pleasure. In order to this end, many suggestions might be followed. Make family prayers especially attractive by having the children learn some verse or story from the Bible. Give more time to your children than you can give on weekdays, reading to them and perhaps taking them to walk in the afternoon or evening. Show by your conduct that the Sabbath is a delight, and they will soon catch your spirit. Set aside some time for religious instruction, without making this a task. You can make it interesting for the children by telling Bible stories and asking them to guess the names of the characters. Have Sunday games for the younger children. Picture books, puzzle maps of Palestine, and such things can be easily obtained. Sabbath albums and Sabbath clocks are other devices. Set aside attractive books for the Sabbath, not letting the children have these during the week. By doing this, the children can be brought to look forward to the day with eagerness and pleasure.
Apart from public and family observance, the individual ought to devote a portion of the time to his own edification. Prayer, meditation, reading, ought not to be forgotten. Think of men devoting six days a week to their body, which will soon pass away, and begrudging one day to the soul, which will live on and on forever! Is it too much for God to ask for one day to be devoted to the growth and training of the spiritual senses, when the other senses are kept busy the other six days?
If your circumstances permit, engage in some definite Christian work, such as teaching in Sabbath school, or visiting the sick. Do all the good you can. Sin keeps no Sabbath, and no more should good deeds. There is plenty of opportunity in this fallen world to perform works of mercy and religion. Make your Sabbath down here a foretaste of the eternal Sabbath that is in store for believers.
You want power in your Christian life, do you? You want Holy Ghost power? You want the dew of heaven on your brow? You want to see men convicted and converted? I don’t believe we shall ever have genuine conversions until we get straight on this law of God.
Poor confused Mr. Canright!
He informs us that the law was only given to the Jews! [SDA renounced p.320]. But then on p.333 he states that “The essence of the law remains”! Now here is quiet something new. The Jews had only the letter of the law, but we have the essence!
Later, in his book, he claims: “Excepting the Sabbath, the other nine commandments are in the New Testament”.—-p.362
Not a single word about our Lord JESUS CHRIST being the Lord of the Sabbath. Not a word about the Sabbath being the most mentioned commandment in the New Testament.
Mr. Canright answers himself as a Seventh Day Adventist: “Those who hold this theory teach that all the ten commandments were abolished at the cross, and nine of the ten re-inacted at the same instant.
“Of source this must have been done simply to get rid of the Sabbath [of CHRIST], as the law would have been all right, but for that [the Sabbath].
“Or as some claim, the law was abolished at the cross, and re-enacted at Pentecost, which leaves an interregnum of fifty days without any law at all.” “Where no law is, there is no transgression”.—Romans 4:15. All the crimes committed during those fifty days must go unpunished, as there was no law to condemn them!
“The world was in rebellion against the law of the Father sent His Son to reconcile the world to Himself. Says Paul, ‘GOD was in CHRIST, reconciling the world to Himself.—2.Cor.5:19
Men cannot be judged by an abolished law; hence all those before the cross will go free in the judgment, having no law to condemn them. Will GOD judge the millions of Hebrews who lived from Moses to CHRIST by an old dead law which, according to our opponents, was always only a yoke of bondage, grievous to be born? It would be a violation of every principle of law. Thus I read in the decision of the supreme court of Iowa, 1862.—Iowa Reports, Vol.XII,p.311
Note: When they say that they are free from the law, they must mean that they can go on sinning. Under the law means to be under it’s condemnation as a Sinner [Rom.8:1-7]
When violating only one of the 10 Commandments, one is still under the law, and found guilty of CHRIST’S royal law of liberty [James 2:10-12].
A law abiding citizen who is in harmony with the law cannot be condemned by it. What GOD wrote Himself on monumental stone is unchangeable as GOD Himself is the same today, yesterday and forever. Just for one command, trying to do away with CHRIST’S Sabbath, they are so desperately dishonest in doing away with all ten.—rolf vaessen
The National and International Sunday Laws
Are earthly governments allowed by GOD to make religious laws? JESUS made it very clear: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, and unto GOD the things that are GOD’S.”
The apostle further elaborates on the words of CHRIST when he wrote Romans 13. This passage first refers to the civil government, the higher powers – the powers that be. Next, Paul speaks of rulers, as bearing a sword and attending upon matters of tribute. Then it commands to render tribute to whom tribute is due, and says: “Owe no man anything; but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.” Then he refers to the sixth, seventh, eights, ninth, and tenth commandments, and says: “If there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thyself.”
There are other commandments of this same law to which St. Paul refers. There are four commandments of the first table of the law. Paul knew these very well . Why, then, did he say, “If there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”?–Because he was writing concerning the principles set forth by the Saviour, which relate to our duties to civil government.
The things which pertain to GOD are not to be rendered to civil government. As the ten commandments contain the whole duty to man [Eccl.12:13,14], and as in the numeration here given of the duties that men owe to the powers that be, there is no reference whatever to the first table of the law, it therefore follows that the powers that be, although ordained by GOD, have nothing whatever to do with the relations which men bear towards GOD.
This was part of the defense Professor Alonzo T. Jones, a Seventh-Day Adventist, gave to the 50ties congress of the United States in answer to Senator Blair, in 1888, when he wanted to introduce a bill advancing the Roman Catholic Sunday law first issued by Constantine the great in 321 A.D. The Seventh-Day Baptist by then, had given away the case.
At that time there were 6 Million Protestants and 7 Million 200 thousand Catholics in America.
The Romish Caesar is still with us and wants to enslave the population.
“My Kingdom is not of this world”, said JESUS. Therefore any earthly effort to put GOD into an earthly government, must be Antichrist. It puts man in the place of GOD. Here in Australia a man was taken to court by his neighbor for mowing his lawn on Sunday. The Lawyer advised the man to plead guilty. Yes, I did it, I mowed the lawn on Sunday. The Judge threw out the case, because the law demanded three days in the stocks. Probably because the stocks had gone long ago, yet CHRIST’S holy Sabbath remains on Saturdays!
God blesses His obedient children
Another objection answer to the children of disobedience:
ï¿¿THE SABBATH IN JOHN
Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,
Retired Prof. of Theology and Church History
In Johnï¿¿s Gospel, the relationship between the Sabbath and Christï¿¿s work of salvation is alluded to in two Sabbath miracles: the healing of the paralytic (John 5:1-18) and of the blind man (John 9:1-41). The two episodes are examined together since they are substantially similar. Both healed men had been chronically ill: one an invalid for 38 years (John 5:5) and the other blind from birth (John 9:2). In both instances, Christ told the men to act. To
The Sabbath in Johnï¿¿s Gospel
the paralyzed man He said, ï¿¿Rise, take up your pallet, and walk (John 5:8); to the blind man, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:7). Both of these actions represent breaking rabbinical Sabbath laws, and thus both are used by Pharisees to charge Christ with Sabbath-breaking (John 5 :10, 16; 9:14-16). In both instances, Christ repudiated such a charge by arguing that His works of salvation are not precluded but rather contemplated by the Sabbath commandment (John 5:17; 7:23; 9:4). Christï¿¿s justification is expressed especially through a memorable statement: My Father is working until now and I am working (John 5:17; cf. 9:4).
Negation or Clarification of the Sabbath?
What did Christ mean when He formally defended Himself against the charge of Sabbath-breaking by appealing to the working until now of His Father? Did He use the example of His Father to rescind the obligation of Sabbath keeping both for Himself and for His followers? This is the position defended by Sunday keeping scholars. Or did Christ appeal to the working of the Father on the Sabbath to clarify the true nature and meaning of the day? To put it simply, does Christ’s statement represent a negation or a clarification of the Sabbath law?
In a previous study I showed that the working until now of the Father and of the Son has historically received three basic interpretations:
(1) continuous creation, (2) continuous care, and (3) redemptive activities.ï¿¿The exponents of these three views basically agree in regarding Christï¿¿s pronouncement as an implicit (for some, explicit) annulment of the Sabbath commandment. Does such a conclusion reflect the legitimate meaning of the passage or arbitrary assumptions which have been read into the passage?
To answer this question and to understand the significance of Christï¿¿s saying, we briefly examine the role of the adverb until now heos arti, the meaning of the verb is working ergazetai, and the theological implications of the passage.
The Adverb ï¿¿Until Now.ï¿¿
Traditionally, the adverbial phrase until now has been interpreted as the continuous working of God (whether it be in creation, preservation, or redemption) which allegedly overrides or rescinds the Sabbath law. But the adverb itself (until), especially as used in Greek in its emphatic position before the verb, presupposes not constancy but a culmination. The latter is
The Sabbath in Johnï¿¿s Gospel
brought out by some translators through the use of the emphatic form ï¿¿even until now.3 This adverbial phrase presupposes a beginning (terminus a quo) and an end (terminus ad quem). The former is apparently the initial creation Sabbath (Gen 2:2-3) and the latter the final Sabbath rest envisaged in a similar Sabbath pronouncement in John 9:4: We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes when no one can work. In this statement, the culmination of the divine and human working is explicitly designated as the night. By virtue of the conceptual similarities between John 5:17 and 9:4, it seems legitimate to conclude that the night is the culmination for both texts.
What Jesus is saying, then, is that though God rested on the Sabbath at the completion of creation, because of sin He has been working until now to bring the promised Sabbath rest to fruition. That will be the final and perfect Sabbath of which the initial creation Sabbath was the prototype. A study of the meaning of the divine working clarifies and supports this interpretation.
The Verb ï¿¿Is Working.ï¿¿ The meaning of the verb ï¿¿is workingï¿¿ until now of the Father is clarified by Johnï¿¿s references to the working and works of God which are repeatedly and explicitly identified, not with a continuous divine creation nor with constant maintenance of the universe, but with the saving mission of Christ.
Jesus explicitly states: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent (John 6:29, emphasis supplied). And again, If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father (John 10:37, 38; cf. 4:34; 14:11; 15:24; emphasis supplied).
The redemptive nature of the works of God is evident in the healing of the blind man since the act is explicitly described as the manifestation of ï¿¿the works of Godï¿¿ (John 9:3). This means then that God ended on the Sabbath His works of creation but not His working in general. Because of sin, He has been engaged in the work of redemption until now. To use the words of A. T. Lincoln, one might say, As regards the work of creation
The Sabbath in John’s Gospel
Godï¿¿s rest was final, but as that rest was meant for humanity to enjoy, when it was disturbed by sin, God worked in history to accomplish his original purpose.4
Theological Implications. Christ appeals to the ï¿¿workingï¿¿ of His Father not to nullify but to clarify the function of the Sabbath. To understand Christ’s defense, one must remember that the Sabbath is linked both to creation (Gen 2:2-3; Ex 20:11) and redemption (Deut 5:15). While in Exodus 20:11 the reason given for observing the Sabbath is the completion of Creation in six days, in Deuteronomy 5:15 the reason is deliverance from the Egyptian bondage: Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
While by interrupting all secular activities the Israelite was remembering the Creator-God, by acting mercifully toward fellow-beings he was imitating the Redeemer-God. This was true not only in the life of the people, in general, who on the Sabbath was to be compassionate toward the less fortunate but especially in the service of the priest who could legitimately perform on the Sabbath works forbidden to other Israelites because such works had a redemptive function.
On the basis of this theology of the Sabbath admitted by the Jews, Christ defends the legality of the working that He and His Father perform on the Sabbath. In John, Christ appeals to the example of circumcision to silence the echo of the controversy over the healing of the paralytic (John 7:22-24). The Lord argues that if it is legitimate on the Sabbath for the priests to care for one small part of man’s body (according to rabbinic reckoning, circumcision involved one of man’s 248 members)5 in order to extend to the newborn child the salvation of the covenant,6 there is no reason to be angry with Him for restoring on that day the whole body of man (John 7:23).
For Christ, the Sabbath is the day to work for the redemption of the whole man. This is borne out by the fact that in both healings, Christ looked for the healed men on the same day and , having found them, He ministered to their spiritual need (John 5:14; 9:35-38). Christï’s opponents cannot perceive the redemptive nature of His Sabbath ministry because they judge by appearances (John 7:24). For them, the pallet and the clay are more
The Sabbath in John’s Gospel
important than the social reunion (5:10) and the restoration of sight (John 9:14) which those objects symbolized. It was necessary therefore for Christ to act against prevailing misconceptions in order to restore the Sabbath to its positive function.
In the Sabbath healing of the blind man recorded in John 9, Christ extends to His followers the invitation to become links of the same redemptive chain, saying: We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work (v. 4). The night apparently refers to the conclusion of the history of salvation, a conclusion which we found implied in the adverbial phrase until now. Such a conclusion of divine and human redemptive activity would usher in the final Sabbath of which the creation Sabbath was a prototype.
To bring about that final Sabbath, the Godhead is workingï for our salvation (John 5:17); but we must work to extend it to others (John 9:4). The foregoing considerations indicate that the two Sabbath healings reported by John substantiate the redemptive meaning of the Sabbath we found earlier in Luke and Matthew namely, a time to experience and share the blessings of salvation accomplished by Christ.
1. Willy Rordorf, Sunday: The History of the Day of Rest and Worship in the Earliest Centuries of the Christian Church (Philadelphia, 1968), p. 98.
2. For my analysis of John 5:17, see my article John 5:17: Negation or Clarification of the Sabbath? Andrews University Seminary Studies 19 (Spring 1981), p. 3-19.
3. See, for example, George Allen Turner, Julius R. Mantey, O. Cullman, E. C. Hoskyns, F. Godet on John 5:17.
4. A. T. Lincoln, ï¿¿Sabbath, Rest, and Eschatology in the New Testament,ï¿¿ in From Sabbath to Lordï¿¿s Day, ed. Donald A. Carson (Grand Rapids, 1982), p. 204.
5. Yoma 85b.
6. On the redemptive meaning of circumcision, see Rudolf Meyer, peritemno, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. G. Kittel (Grand Rapids, 1973), vol. 6, pp. 75-76.