The Sabbath

Here is another topic which is going to make your eyebrow rise.  Ignore for a moment what you've been taught, and think about the
following.  Why do we worship on Sunday?  Is it Biblical, or merely traditional?  Should we ignore the fourth commandment requiring
us to set aside the seventh day?  Is the sabbath only for the Jews, or is it significant for Christians as well?  Is it stated anywhere in
the Bible that worship, rest, or commemoration should be changed from Saturday to Sunday?

Sunday, as the name implies, was a pagan day, sacred to the sun god and derived from the Mithraic religion. It had been observed by
the Greeks, Romans, and others who were converted to Christianity and who had not been accustomed to observance of the Mosaic
Sabbath. That the resurrection may have occurred on Sunday, and that the non-Jews had previously regarded it as a sacred day,
doubtlessly seemed sufficient reasons for transferring the Sabbath to Sunday, which has since been almost universally observed.

The seventh day is very significant for Christians.  The problem is that most Christians aren't interested in prophesy or history, so
most have no idea how significant it is.  Therefore, they have no problem changing Christ's third day to the fourth day, and the
Father's seventh day to the first day.  The fourth and first days are not significant in escatology.  But the third and seventh days are
essential.

There is no Biblical petition telling Christians to keep Sunday set aside for anything.  This is a purely unbiblical tradition.  We can
make up our own warm fuzzies about Sunday, but they are not Biblical.  The only significant event that took place on Sunday
regarding the resurrection was that the tomb of Christ was discovered to be empty early that day.  However, it had not been visited
the previous day, so the women had no idea when the body was removed.

The best reference to Jesus actually being raised on Sunday, not Saturday, is Mark 16:9.  But this text was not written by Mark!  It
was added later!

To determine whether Christ's resurrection actually occurred on the seventh day or the first day, we must get our hints from other
areas of the Bible.  But even if the resurrection was on a Sunday, there still is no Biblical hint or suggestion for believers to observe
the Lord's fourth day (the first day of the week) for any reason whatsoever.

Jesus died on the preparation day of passover week, not the day of preparation for the Sabbath (John 19:14).  This was a Thursday,
not a Friday.  Most evidences show that the prophetic puzzle gives the Saturday resurrection the highest probability.  The third day
and the seventh day are the same day in prophesy.  This day represents the millennial kingdom, when Christ will rule and the Father
will rest.  Many Christians ignore these facts while foolishly attempting to solve the 1,000 piece puzzle with only 10 pieces and their
traditions, even though the remaining 990 pieces are lying in front of them.  "The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:28)

Most proponents of a shift from Saturday to Sunday worship assume the Sabbath is an original outdated Jewish law.  However, the
Sabbath was instituted well before the law.  God rested on the seventh day of creation.  In Genesis 2 there were yet no Jews or even
an Israel.

Remembering the Sabbath is a commandment.  The ten commandments are universal; completely separate of the rest of Jewish
law.  If we decide to ignore one of the commandments, we may also ignore any of the others.  Go ahead and kill your neighbor, if it
makes you feel good.  Since you are not under Jewish law, try shoplifting.  Christ said, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear
than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the law."  We know that the ten commandments will be in place at least until we
receive the new heaven and earth after the Millennium.

In Acts 20:7, the apostles ate a meal on Sunday.  This was not communion.  "Broke bread" means "had a meal".  The passover was
never held on a specific day of the week.  Even if they did have communion on Sunday, it does not change the resurrection.  They
may also commemorate the last supper on any day they wish.  But the Sabbath is to be kept set aside until He returns.

Jesus kept the Sabbath (Luke 4:16, 31).  And so did the Apostles (Acts 13:14-26,42,44; 17:2,3; 18:4,11)

Christians continued to observe the Sabbath until about the third century, when the Greeks and Romans decided to change the day
of worship to distance themselves from the Jews.  They absolutely HATED the Jews.  By the fourth century, Sunday observance was
required by Church law, and the Emperor Constantine confirmed it by law of the state.  On March 7th, 321 A.D., while still a sun-
worshiper, Constantine declared that Sunday was to be a day of rest: "On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people
residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully
continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for gain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting
the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost."  The new Catholic Church loved this separation, and by
now they had a new Vulgate reflecting their wishes.  Today there are additional excuses.  For an example of a modern Roman
Catholic writing on reasons to keep Sunday instead of Saturday, see:
http://www.presentationministries.com/brochures/KeepLordDay.asp
Notice the total lack of Biblical references.

The Church Council of Laodicea, ca. 364 A.D., ordered that religious observances were to be conducted on Sunday, not Saturday.
Sunday became the new Sabbath. They ruled: "Christians shall no longer Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that
day." There are many indicators in the historical record that some Christians ignored the Church's ruling. Sabbath observance was
noted in Wales in 1115 A.D. Francis Xavier was concerned about Sabbath worship in Goa, India in 1560 A.D.; he called for the
Inquisition to set up an office there to stamp out what he called "Jewish wickedness". A Catholic Provincial Council suppressed the
practice in Norway in 1435 A.D.

In the New Testament Sunday is never called "day of the resurrection" but consistently "first day of the week."  It is not until the fourth
century that the designation of Sunday as "day of the resurrection" first occurs in Christian literature.  The absence of such a
designation indicates that during the first three centuries Sunday was not seen as the weekly memorial celebration of Christ's
resurrection.

The earliest explicit references to the Christian observance of Sunday, which are found in the writings of Barnabas (about 135 A.D.)
and Justin Martyr (about 150 A.D.), mention the resurrection but only as the second of two reasons for Sunday-keeping: important but
certainly not predominant. The first theological reason given by Barnabas for Sunday observance is the eschatological significance of
the "eighth day" which, he claims, represents "the beginning of another world." Justin's first reason [in the Apology = "Defence"] is
the commemoration of the inauguration of creation: "because it is the first day on which God, transforming the darkness and prime
matter, created the world." These testimonies indicate the sheer ignorance of understanding the scripture, and certainly that Christ's
resurrection was not seen initially as the predominant justification for Sunday observance.

There is nothing Biblical about establishing a first-day Sabbath, nor is there anything Biblical about doing away with the seventh-day
Sabbath.  The Sabbath was a creation ordinance, celebrating God’s rest on the 7th day.  This rest day points to the thousand-year
rest day which will begin after this current grace age.  In fact, the millennium is the Sabbath, the Lord's day, the kingdom, and the day
of the Lord.  These are all to be remembered on the seventh day of the week, which is Saturday.




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