These and similar questions are being asked today by believers all over the globe and the answers to them fall into three distinct categories.
In your own interests, therefore, we will advise you to carefully study this page and be ready to answer this critical question: Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath?
Before we present our answer it is obvious that we should first settle the issue of whether or not a Sabbath day exists. In other words, does the Almighty still want mankind to observe a Sabbath day - or are all the days of the week alike?
The answer to that question is: Yahweh's Sabbath still exists and He most certainly wants people to observe it. The following verses will prove that the Sabbath commandment was not done away with at the cross, but is still on the statute books of heaven.
The First Proof Text is:
|Matthew 24:||20: But pray that your flight be not in the winter, |
neither on the Sabbath day.
The answer is perfectly obvious: The Sabbath commandment was not scheduled for cancellation at the cross; it was to continue. The Saviour knew this, and that is why He advised his followers, who were mostly Israelites at that time, to pray to God to arrange a weekday flight from Jerusalem. They would not then be exposed to the temptation of breaking the Sabbath commandment in their haste to get away from the besieged city.
The presence of this text is irrefutable evidence that the Saviour had
absolutely no intention of doing away with the Sabbath commandment at
Calvary; a fact which he had previously pointed out in the Sermon on the
Mount when he said:
|Matthew 5:||17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. |
18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
The Second Proof Text is:
|Hebrews 4:||9: There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10: For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own work as God did from his.
11: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
|Genesis 2:||1: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of
2: And on the seventh day God ended his work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
3: And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.
The Third Proof Text is:
|Isaiah 66:||22: For as the new heaven and the new earth, which I shall make, shall
remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name
23: And it shall come to pass, that from one moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
The argument that the weekly Sabbath was done away with at Calvary is, therefore, groundless and too feeble to consider any further. The question remaining to be answered, however, is:
Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath, and did it replace the seventh day of the week as the rest day of the Almighty God?
To answer this question we will do two things:
In the Scriptures the days of the week are not named, but numbered from one to seven. The only exception is the seventh day of the week which is called the Sabbath. Consequently, the day we all know as Sunday is referred to in the Bible as the "first day of the week." And so in our search to answer the question about Sunday being the Christian Sabbath, we will need to examine every Bible verse in which the "first day of the week" is mentioned.
To our knowledge there are only nine such texts, one in the Old Testament and eight in the New. We will quote them in turn.
The following five verses concern the Sunday after Christ’s crucifixion. We will list and comment on them as a group, because they are separate accounts of the same event.
What do the Gospel writers tell us? They tell us this: that when the first day of the week began, the Sabbath had ended - the Sabbath was past. In other words, the Sabbath day according to the Gospel writers, who were writing some 30 and more years after the resurrection, was still the seventh day of the week - the day that went before Sunday the first day of the week.
Surely these Gospel writers, who were mostly Jews, would have mentioned a change of the Sabbath day had it occurred? But there is no mention of a change; not a text, nor a word, not even a hint or suggestion.
Because there had been no change. The Sabbath day, as far as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were concerned, was still the seventh day of the week, the day that preceded the first day.
Let us now move on to the next text.
Some, in a frantic bid to find Scriptural support for Sunday observance, use this text as though it proved that the Master sanctified Sunday by visiting the disciples on it, and that this meeting was called to celebrate the resurrection.
This, however, was not the case. The disciples met, we are plainly told "for fear of the Jews." In fact, some of them didn't even believe the Master had risen. (Mark 16:11-14, Luke 24:36-38) We would be deluding ourselves if we tried to classify this meeting as the inauguration of a new Sabbath day. The Sabbath is not even mentioned in this verse.
Let us examine this claim.
It is essential to read the chapter through to get a complete picture of the events. On doing this the following points will emerge.
If this was a Saturday night meeting, then a 18 mile walk on the following day (Sunday), after staying up most of the night, was hardly the way for a converted Pharisee like Paul to keep the new Sabbath. Eighteen miles on foot, over rough country roads, is no way to keep a Sabbath you may be sure; and it is quite unthinkable that Paul, a life-long Sabbath keeper, would have done this.
If on the other hand, this was a Sunday night meeting, then the "breaking of the bread" took place in the early hours of Monday morning: which, once again, is no way to celebrate a Sunday Sabbath day.
Besides, to "break bread" does not necessarily mean that a communion service was held. The Master "broke bread" on several occasions and fed thousands of people. (Matthew 14 and John 6) The early Christians also "broke bread daily from house to house." (Acts 2:46) It would be forcing the issue to suggest that at all these occasions communion services were held. The term "breaking bread" was a common expression in those days for having a meal, and that is what is meant in Acts 20. After the farewell, late night meeting, Paul and his host had a meal together and then Paul and his companions set off on foot to Assos. Most certainly this text does not prove Sunday sacredness.
And that, surprisingly enough, completes our survey of the texts in the Bible which mention the first day of the week. The reader will have noticed that in not a single instance has a change of the Sabbath day been mentioned or even hinted at. On the contrary the Gospel writers - though they were writing decades after the resurrection - still referred to the seventh day of the week as THE SABBATH.
And why not?
The seventh day of the week had been the Sabbath since the creation of
the world. It was the day JEHOVAH (Yahweh) the Almighty God of Israel blessed and sanctified
(set apart for sacred use) at Eden.
|Genesis 2:||2: And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made: and
He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.|
3: And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it He rested from all His work which God created and made.
|Exodus 16:||25: And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.|
26: Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27: And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28: And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
|Luke 4:||16: And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.|
|Acts 17:||2: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.|
And then there is that staggering prophecy in Isaiah 66:23 which tells of the Sabbath being observed by ALL MANKIND THROUGHOUT ETERNITY.
That, briefly, is the Scriptural position concerning the first and the seventh days of the week. The reader will have noticed that in not a single instance in the first day (Sunday) called the Sabbath. In Holy writ that sacred title belongs to the seventh day of the week and the spiritual realities it foreshadows.
"How then," you may well ask, "did Sunday observance begin? And why are millions of believers still endeavoring to keep it? If Sunday is not the Sabbath of the Almighty God, then how did the colossal error creep into the church?"
The answer may well astonish you, but here it is.
Sunday observance is a product of paganism. If found its way into the Christian church many years after the original Apostles died. At that time, Sunday was the rest day of the pagan Roman Empire in which the popular religion was Mithraism, a form of sun-worship. In the course of time, (during the second, third and fourth centuries) multitudes of sun-worshippers joined the church. And when the Emperor Constantine ruled (AD 306-337) it became quite fashionable to follow his example and become a Christian. Sad to say, however, most of the multitude who joined the church weren't truly converted. They had little or no love for the truth as taught in the Bible, and they naturally didn't want to give up their pagan ways - and days - for anything which was at variance with their cherished heathen traditions. Besides, these unconverted members in the church had soon outnumbered the faithful. This gave them the power to implement their wishes and so the popular traditions of paganism were brought into the church and the truths of the Most High were slowly pushed aside. The church leaders - many of whom were themselves devoid of the Spirit of God - reasoned, that in order to appease and keep their congregations, the traditions of heathenism should be "christianised," given sacred titles and accepted into Christian worship. Thus it was that Sunday - the venerable day of the Sun God - along with a host of other pagan practices, too numerous to deal with in this article, was adopted by the fallen church and hailed as the New Christian Sabbath - the LORD'S DAY!.
Sunday observance, inshort is an "heirloom from heathenism," a pagan tradition which unlawfully entered the Christian Church centuries after the early Apostles died. It has absolutely no Scriptural authority whatsoever!
The following quotations are given to show how true this verdict is.
Now that you know the truth about Sunday observance and can see it has no Scriptural authority at all, we will urge you to take stock of your position and consider your future course of action.
What are you going to do about Sunday - which is an ordinary work-day posing as the Sabbath of the Almighty? And, more importantly, what are you now going to do about the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath of the Almighty God? Bear in mind that the seventh day of the week was, is and ever will be the True Sabbath Day. Those who ignore this fact are guilty of breaking one of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:8-11) And that is sin: for sin is the transgression of the Almighty's Law. (1 John 3:4)
In view of that awesome fact, we will advise you to carefully consider the message of this tract and to act upon it; for to continue in sin is a dangerous thing. Very soon this matter about the True Sabbath Day is going to engage the minds of every soul on earth. It is going to be the main issue in the "coming spiritual election" in which all mankind will declare their spiritual preference either for the Traditions of Men, or for the Commandments of God.
To help you further understand the significance of this vitally important message, Stewarton Bible School (a non-denominational Christian group) offers another paper entitled The Mark of the Beast. It explains the Bible prophecy where that "end-time spiritual election" is detailed. Also available is an online booklet entitled Understand the Revelation. If you really want to know about coming world events, then this is a booklet you must read or request by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org for a free copy! Please give your full postal address (including country!) when doing so.
Meanwhile we will prayerfully commit you to the Almighty, trusting that
He will grant you the wisdom, the courage and the power to recognise and
obey His will; for as His Son has so correctly said in Matthew 19:17
The fourth commandment is as follows:
|Exodus 20:||8: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.|
9: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.