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Sabbath Or Sunday?

By Henry Bechthold

The Sabbath is declared to be the seventh day of the week in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:8-11 states: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

This commandment clearly states that God has blessed and hallowed the seventh day of the week, Saturday, as the Sabbath of the Lord our God. We are commanded to remember the seventh day and to keep it holy, and to refrain from our normal labor on that day, just as God rested on the seventh day after completing creation. Why, then, are the majority of Christian churches honoring Sunday, the first day of the week, instead of the seventh day, Saturday?

Some say: “What difference does it make which day you honor, as long as you remember to honor “a” day each week?”

The Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20:8-11, does not say to remember “a” day. The commandment says to remember “the” seventh day (Saturday). God chose the day He wanted. He did not ask man to choose his own day. Also, we’re told in Genesis 2:3 and in Exodus 20:11, that God blessed, sanctified and hallowed the seventh day. In other words, He made it holy! Only God can make a day holy. Man may try to honor God on a different day, but he will never be able to make it holy.

Some say: “Who knows if Saturday is really the seventh day after the passing of centuries of time?”

This reason is only used by people with a limited knowledge of science, history and chronology. Most knowledgeable people in these areas agree that the current seven-day weekly cycle has been maintained back through Bible times. Even most theologians who keep Sunday, admit that Saturday is the seventh day. Also, the Jewish people have kept track of the correct Sabbath day down through the centuries, and they still honor Saturday as the seventh day. And, to eliminate any lingering doubt, read the following quotes from several authoritative sources in the fields of science, chronology and history, which verify the continuity of the current seven-day weekly cycle.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the League of Nations had considered altering the Gregorian calendar. Various ideas were considered and debated. In the League’s official “Report on the Reform of the Calendar,” published at Geneva, August 17, 1926, we find the following statements by respected astronomers:

“The week has been followed for thousands of years and therefore has been hallowed by immemorial use” (Anders Donner, “The Report,” p. 51 (Donner served as a professor of Astronomy at the University of Helsingfors).

“I have always hesitated to suggest breaking the continuity of the week, which without a doubt, is the most ancient scientific institution bequeathed to us by antiquity” (Edouard Baillaud, “The Report,” p. 52. (Baillaud served as director of the Pris Obervatory).

“As far as I know, in the various changes of the Calendar there has been no change in the seven day rota of the week, which has come down from very early times”. (F.W. Dyson, personal letter, dated March 4, 1932. (Dr. Dyson served as astronomer royal, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London).

“The week of seven days has been in use ever since the days of the Mosaic dispensation, and we have no reason for supposing that any irregularities have existed in the succession of weeks and their days from that time to the present.” (Said Dr. W.W. Campbell); (Dr. Campbell served as the director of Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, California)

“There has been no change in our calendar in past centuries that has affected in any way the cycle of the week” (James Robertson, personal letter, dated March 12, 1932. (Dr. Robertson served as director of the American Ephemeris, Navy Dept., U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.)

“The week is a period of seven daysIt has been employed from time immemorial in almost all Eastern countries” (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, Vol. 4, p. 988, article, “Calendar”)

“The continuity of the week has crossed the centuries and all known calendars, still intact,” (Said Professor D. Eginitis); (Dr. Eginitis served as director of the Observatory of Athens, Greece)

Some say: “The seventh-day Sabbath is for the Jewish people only, and is not meant for Christians.”

It is important to note that the Sabbath was instituted at the end of creation week according to Genesis 2:1-3. That means that the Sabbath was in existence for many centuries before Abraham and the Jewish people existed.

Another important point is that, even after the Jewish people existed, the seventh-day Sabbath was still meant for the “foreigners” or “gentiles” too (Isaiah 56:1,2,6,7). In fact, even in the New Testament, when the gentiles asked Paul to preach to them also, the Bible states that they asked him to do it on the next “Sabbath” (Acts 13:42-44)! If the Sabbath had truly been changed to Sunday, why didn’t Paul tell these gentiles that he would preach to them on the first day of the week, rather than on the next Sabbath? Obviously, no such change in the Sabbath had taken place. And, also obviously, the Sabbath was meant for the gentiles as well as the Jews.

Furthermore, the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). If the Sabbath commandment is only for Jews, to be consistent, the other nine commandments would also be only for Jews. Using this logic, God would only be requiring the Jews not to lie, steal, murder, commit adultery, etc. All non-Jews would be exempt from these commandments, and could lie, steal and murder all they want! Of course this is ridiculous, as is the argument that the Sabbath is only for the Jews.

Some say: “Keeping the Sabbath is legalism.”

Once again, to be consistent, if obeying the Sabbath commandment is legalism, then obeying the other nine commandments would also be legalism. Is it legalism not to murder? Is it legalism not to commit adultery? Is it legalism not to lie or steal? Is it legalism not to worship idols? Is it legalism to honor your parents? This argument is obviously a poor one. Does God call obedience “legalism”? Quite to the contrary, according to the Bible, our obedience is a proof that we “know God” and love Him (John 14:15; 1st John 2:3; 1st John 5:3). Therefore, obeying God’s Sabbath commandment is not legalism, but rather is a proper “love response” to God.

Some say: “The Sabbath was just a sign or symbol of our rest in Jesus, and now that Jesus has come and fulfilled that rest for us, we do not need to keep the symbol.”

Unfortunately for proponents of this argument, there is no specific Bible text that actually states that the Sabbath was only a symbol of our rest in Jesus. In fact, the Sabbath commandment does not point forward to some future rest, but rather points us backward to remember and honor God as Creator. That’s what the Bible says! Also, it is significant that in Hebrews chapter four, where adherents to this argument try to establish their case, there is actually an interesting “twist” in the Greek language, which suggests the perpetuity of the Sabbath. After repeated references to the “katapausis” rest (spiritual rest) that we receive in Jesus, it almost seems as if God is trying to make sure that we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, by reminding us that even after receiving that “katapausis” rest (spiritual rest) from Jesus, there still also remains a “sabbatismos” rest, literal “Sabbath rest” or “keeping of a Sabbath”, for God’s people (Hebrews 4:9). In other words, the observance of a Sabbath rest continues.

Some say: “The Sabbath command is not specifically repeated in the New Testament, and therefore is not binding.”

To begin with, this argument would eliminate over half of the Bible! The Old Testament is three times longer than the New Testament. You would have to eliminate at least two-thirds of the Old Testament to make it mathematically possible to repeat all of it in the New Testament. In fact, according to this argument, you could completely eliminate the Old Testament, because it would only be “in force” if it’s repeated in the New Testament. And, using this argument would eliminate many beautiful Bible verses and promises in the Psalms and other Old Testament books, because they are not specifically repeated in the New Testament. After all, you must be consistent in applying this line of reasoning. I think most people would rather reject this faulty argument, rather than eliminate over half of the Bible.

We must also remember what the New Testament says about the Old Testament. In 2nd Timothy 3:16-17, we’re told that all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for instruction, correction, reproof and “doctrine”. When Paul wrote this, the only Scripture they had was the Old Testament! And, we know that Paul meant the Old Testament because he specifically refers to the Scriptures Timothy had as a child in 2nd Timothy 3:15, which would have been many years before most of the New Testament had been written. So, the Old Testament Scriptures are still to be used for church doctrine in New Testament times according to the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy.

Moreover, this argument is not even accurate. There are dozens of references to preaching, teaching and worship services on the Sabbath in the New Testament, but not one, single, specific reference to Sunday worship services. Also, in Luke 4:16, we’re told that it was Jesus’ custom to keep the Sabbath. And, in Mark 2:28, Jesus declares Himself as Lord of the Sabbath. Additionally, in the book of Acts there are several references to the Apostle Paul keeping the Sabbath (Acts 13:42-44; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:1-4). In fact, in the Acts 13 reference, Paul invites “Gentiles” to meet with him on the Sabbath!

Finally, Jesus even said in Matthew 24:20-21 that the Sabbath would still be important during the “great tribulation” before He returns at the end of the world! I know that most Sunday-keeping Bible teachers will tell you that the “great tribulation” referred to by Jesus in this passage, is the tribulation surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, which they say would then only apply to Jews. However, a close study of the context of Matthew 24:15-30 reveals that the “great tribulation” mentioned here by Jesus unquestionably is primarily referring to the time period just before His return at the end of the world. To begin with, most theologians agree that the prophecies in Matthew 24 can refer to either the destruction of Jerusalem or the “last days” before Christ’s return; moreover, that in some cases they have dual applications. In fact, in Matthew 24:1-3, Jesus Himself states that the signs that He is about to give apply to both events; the destruction of Jerusalem and His return at the end of the world. However, the reference to people’s “flight” during the great tribulation, and praying that it won’t happen on the Sabbath in Matthew 24:20-21, certainly finds its primary fulfillment during the “last days” before Christ’s return because of all of the following indisputable biblical and historical reasons.

During this time period, when followers of Jesus will be fleeing for their lives, Matthew 24:15 states that an “abomination of desolation” will be standing in the holy place in Jerusalem. It’s both interesting and significant that, just before Jesus returns, 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-9 says that the “son of perdition” (antichrist) will be sitting as God in the temple of God. That is certainly a striking and specific fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy of an abomination sitting in the holy place in Matthew 24:15.

It is also significant that Jesus referred to this great tribulation following the abomination sitting in the holy place, as being a tribulation “such as has not been”, nor ever will be, in Matthew 24:21-22; furthermore, He stated that unless the days of this tribulation were shortened, no flesh would be saved. This can’t be referring to the tribulation the Jews suffered from Rome in 70 AD, because they had suffered similar tribulation before when Babylon burned Jerusalem to the ground and murdered and enslaved their people. And, they certainly suffered at least as great of tribulation in the future when six-million Jews were slaughtered by Hitler. Also, the Jews’ specific tribulation and suffering in 70 AD would not have caused “no flesh” to be saved, but only Jews who were living in Jerusalem. Christ’s disciples throughout the rest of the world were not threatened by the Romans’ destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. However, the great tribulation at the end of the world caused by the antichrist will indeed surpass all previous tribulations because it is worldwide with an internationally enforced “mark of the beast” and worldwide death decree for all who don’t worship the beast, according to Revelation 13. Moreover, there obviously will be no tribulations coming in the future to compare with the one caused by antichrist because it occurs at the end of the world. And, the tribulation brought by antichrist also fulfills Christ’s statement that no flesh would be saved from destruction if God did not shorten the days, because it is a “worldwide” death decree. To any previously unbrainwashed and unbiased reader it is obvious that the antichrist’s tribulation in the “last days” is the fulfillment of Jesus’ “great tribulation” prophecy in Matthew 24:21-22, and not the tribulation surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD.

Furthermore, Matthew 24:23-24 speaks of false Christs and false prophets doing great signs and wonders during the time of the tribulation period mentioned by Jesus, but there are no early historical or church records of such dramatic and supernatural phenomenon happening around 70 AD. However, regarding the great tribulation caused by the antichrist in the last days, 2nd Thessalonians 2:8-9 and Revelation 13:13-14 speak of signs, miracles and great and lying wonders being done, including fire falling from heaven. Once again, Jesus’ words find their fulfillment during the tribulation of the last days, not in the Jews’ tribulation in 70 AD.

Then, in Matthew 24:29, Jesus said that the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken immediately after the tribulation which He had mentioned in Matthew 24:20-21. Does secular or church history record any such cataclysmic phenomenon having occurred around 70 AD? No! So, once again, this has to be referring to the great tribulation caused by antichrist in the last days just before the return of Jesus. And, in fact, that is exactly what it says in Matthew 24:30; the Son of Man appears in the heavens right after these cataclysmic heavenly signs. It also states that all the tribes of the earth shall see Jesus and mourn at His appearance at this time. Did Jesus appear in the heavens with all of the world seeing Him in 70 AD? No! But, we know that this will happen at the end of the world.

Therefore, from all of the evidence, signs and context presented by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-30, it is indisputable that the great tribulation mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:21, is during the reign of antichrist at the end of the world. Therefore, Jesus’ statement to His followers in Matthew 24:20, to pray that their flight will not have to be on the Sabbath during this tribulation, obviously indicates that the Sabbath commandment is still relevant and important, even in the last days of earth’s history immediately before the return of Jesus.

As you can see, those who claim that the Sabbath is not mentioned in the New Testament are either dishonest or biblically ignorant of all of these scriptures. By the way, it’s also interesting that the Bible says that the seventh-day Sabbath will even be kept in the “New Earth” which God provides for His people at the end of this current sinful world (Isaiah 66:22-23).

Some say: “There are references to gatherings of Christians on Sunday in the Bible.”

There are only eight references to the first day of the week in the entire New Testament. Five of these references have nothing whatsoever to do with a meeting or gathering of Christians. They simply state that some women were going to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body for proper burial on the first day, or that Jesus appeared to someone on the first day (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1).

The other three “first-day” references are as follows: In John 20:19 we find the disciples gathered together on the evening of that same first day of the week. Why were they gathered there? Was it for a worship service? No! They were gathered together behind closed doors for fear of the Jews (John 20:19)! They were afraid that they also might be arrested and crucified as Jesus was. In fact, a few verses later, in John 20:26, we’re told that they gathered together again eight days later. That would have been on a Monday. Does that mean the Sabbath was changed to Monday? Of course not!

Christians gather together on various days of the week for different reasons that have nothing to do with the Sabbath. For example: Tuesday night Bible studies, Wednesday night praise and worship services, Thursday night communion services, Friday night church socials etc. Does that mean that the Sabbath has been changed to Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, simply because a group of Christians have gathered together on that day? Absolutely not! Most Christians would agree that such a suggestion would be ridiculous.

However, that same absurd reasoning is used for the previous “first-day” text (John 20:19), and for the following “first-day” text in Acts 20:7-11. Here we find Christians gathered together to share a meal with Paul on the first day of the week. It says that they had come together to “break bread”. Sunday proponents insist that breaking bread indicates that they were celebrating the Lord’s Supper (communion), and, they then insist, that celebrating communion indicates that they were holding a worship service and celebrating the Sabbath on the first day of the week. If there ever was an example of “reading into” a text and stretching a biblical inch into a biblical mile, this is it. The word “worship” is not even mentioned in this passage. The word “Sabbath” is not even mentioned in this passage. And yet, Sunday proponents are trying to use this text to eliminate one of God’s Ten Commandments and nearly 200 pro-seventh-day Sabbath scriptures with this passage in Acts that does not even mention the words “Sabbath” or “worship”. This shows how scripturally desperate Sunday advocates are to try to justify their Sunday doctrine. They don’t have one, single, solid, pro-Sunday verse in the entire Bible, so they have to try to manufacture verses, such as this one in Acts. If the “breaking of bread” indicates the celebration of communion, as suggested by Sunday proponents, then the disciples were celebrating communion every day of the week, because Acts 2:46 states that they were in the temple and breaking bread from house to house daily. Therefore, using the logic employed by Sunday advocates, the Sabbath must have been changing from one day to the next as the disciples broke bread each day, which Sunday adherents insist means celebrating communion. Of course, they never refer to the “breaking of bread” passage in Acts 2:46 when they promote their phony “breaking of bread” argument in Acts 20:7, because it would contradict their position. The truth of the matter is that the “breaking of bread” refers primarily to sharing a meal together, not to celebrating communion. In fact, in the Acts 2:46 passage, after referring to the disciples “breaking bread” together, it states that they ate their food with gladness. In other words, breaking bread was sharing a meal, not celebrating communion. For the common people in that culture, a meal often consisted of bread. That’s why, when responding to Satan’s temptation in the wilderness, Jesus said that man shall not live by “bread alone”; bread being considered as a primary food staple. Also, when Jesus agreed to stay with the two disciples on their way to Emmaus in Luke 24:28-31, He “broke bread” for their meal together; bread being a primary food staple once again. Jesus also referred to Himself as the “Bread of Life” in John 6:35, because bread was considered to be the major food staple sustaining life. As you can see, the primary meaning of “breaking bread” in that culture and in Scripture was sharing a meal and eating food together, not celebrating communion. Therefore, it is virtually certain that the disciples were simply sharing a meal together in Acts 20:7-11 as well. And, considering the context of this passage, the probable reason for the disciples gathering to share this meal together was because, as this text states, Paul was going to depart the next day. In other words, it probably was a “farewell dinner”. Churches frequently have farewell parties for important members and pastors. It is also interesting to note that this was almost certainly a night meeting, not a Sunday morning worship service, for Paul speaks until midnight. The bottom line, however, is that there is no mention of any kind of change in the Sabbath day in this text. And, Sunday proponents’ desperate manipulation of this passage is both unbiblical and unjust.

The final “first-day” reference is found in 1st Corinthians 16:1-2. Paul is trying to put together a large donation for the poor Christians in Judea. He has asked all the churches that he has been associated with to participate in this offering. So, he reminds the Corinthians to “lay something aside” for this special offering, “first thing” at the beginning of the week. The word “day” is not even in the original Greek manuscripts. It simply says the “first of the week”. English translators have simply supplied the word “day”, probably because of their own preconceived ideas concerning first-day worship, and because there are several instances where other New Testament writers seem to intend to indicate the usage of the word day, although they don’t specifically use the Greek word for day.

However, the Apostle Paul’s letters are consistent as to how he uses the words day and first. In each and every case when Paul wants to say the word “day” as referring to a specific day, he always uses the Greek word “hemera”. He never omits the word as he does here. If Paul has chosen not to use the word for day, because he obviously does not intend to convey that meaning, why do English translators insist on inserting it anyway?

Also, in all other cases when Paul uses the word “first” immediately preceding the noun that it describes, or to denote importance, order, place or time, as it would here if the insertion of the word day by modern translators is correct; Paul always uses the Greek word “proton” or “protos” for our English word “first”. He never uses the Greek word “mia” for those types of usages, as he does here in 1st Corinthians 16:2. This is another strong indication that Paul does not intend to say the word “day”, and that is why he did not do so. Paul simply told the Corinthians to lay something aside at the “first of”, or in other words, at the beginning of the week. He does not designate a specific day.

Paul even gives his reason for “laying aside” their offering on the “first of the week”. He says so that there will be no collections when he comes. In other words, do it now so it will be ready when I get there. Paul does not mention anything about a church service on Sunday, or about a change in the Sabbath.

To attempt to use any of these previous eight “first day” verses to authorize changing the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday is obviously incorrect and unbiblical! There are close to two hundred Sabbath references in the Bible. Many of them are stated as a specific commandment from God to honor, keep, obey or rest on His seventh-day Sabbath. And, dozens of these references to Sabbath observance or worship are in the New Testament. There is no comparison between the voluminous biblical authority for the seventh-day Sabbath, and the few unrelated “first-day” texts in the Bible.

Some say: “Sunday is the “Lord’s Day”, and we keep it to honor Jesus’ resurrection.”

There is not one single scripture in the entire Bible that says we are to keep or observe Sunday instead of the seventh-day Sabbath in order to honor Jesus’ resurrection. Likewise, there is not one single verse in all of Scripture that calls the first day of the week (Sunday) the “Lord’s Day”. In fact, the only day of the week that Jesus ever declared Himself to be Lord of, in the Bible, is the seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday (Mark 2:28).

Some say: “The Apostle Paul said, in Romans 14:4-6, that some people “esteem” certain days and others do not, and he said that each person needs to be persuaded in their own mind. Therefore, the Sabbath is a personal choice for each person.”

The issue and context in Romans chapter 14, most would agree, is not judging others and not putting a stumbling block in front of them. It is significant that the word “Sabbath” is not even mentioned in this text. It seems quite unreasonable to try to eliminate God’s Sabbath commandment by using a text that does not even mention the Sabbath.

This verse speaks of special days, which are “esteemed” by some, but not by others. Anyone with a knowledge of the Old Testament knows that the Jews had many esteemed days associated with various feasts/festivals, new moons, jubilees, etc. The Christian Church at Rome was composed of both Jews and gentiles (Romans 2:17; Romans 11:13). Therefore, the Jewish Christians would still probably esteem some of these other “special days”, whereas the gentile Christians would not. So, Paul counsels them not to judge each other, but rather to allow each person to decide for himself if he wanted to esteem certain other special days. This text does not even mention the Ten Commandments or the Sabbath specifically. Furthermore, it certainly is true that regarding each and every truth in the Bible, each person needs to be “persuaded” in their own mind. And, how are sincere Christians persuaded when it comes to whether or not things are true? They are persuaded by what the Bible clearly teaches and commands, which, when it comes to the Sabbath, is that the seventh day (Saturday) is the Sabbath and has been blessed and sanctified by God; moreover, that we are commanded to “keep it holy”.

Some say: “The Sabbath commandment was not specifically mentioned as being a requirement for the gentiles in Acts chapter fifteen, and we are gentiles, so the Sabbath commandment is not for us.”

In Acts 15:28-29 the Jerusalem council writes to gentiles that they are only required to abstain from foods offered to idols, from fornication, from things strangled and from blood. Because their letter to the gentile believers doesn’t specifically state that they must keep the Sabbath, it is suggested by Sunday advocates that the Sabbath must have been abolished. However, this letter does not state that the gentiles needed to keep any of the other Ten Commandments either. It does not tell them not to lie, steal, murder, covet, commit adultery, worship idols or use the Lord’s name in vain etc. Therefore, to be consistent, Sunday proponents who use this argument to eliminate the Sabbath commandment, must also be asserting that the other commandments had been abolished for the gentiles as well, due to the fact that they were not specifically mentioned either. If this is true, you have the ridiculous assumption that gentiles were required not to commit fornication, eat foods offered to idols, eat blood or things strangled; nevertheless, that it was ok for gentiles to worship idols, blaspheme the Lord’s name, murder, steal, lie, commit adultery, etc.! Of course, this is absurd. It is obvious that the apostles in Jerusalem were assuming that the Ten Commandments “moral law” was already required, and that they were only asking for compliance with these four extra requirements in addition to the “moral law”. I don’t think anyone actually seriously believes that the apostles considered it to be more important for the gentiles not to eat improperly prepared meat, than for them not to murder, lie, steal and worship idols. The moral law, which includes the Sabbath commandment, was obviously assumed to be automatically still in force.

Some say: The Apostle Paul indicates that the Sabbath commandment was “nailed to the cross” in Colossians 2:13-17.”

This passage establishes right up front, in verse fourteen, that it was ordinances, requirements, a code or a note (depending on your translation), that was nailed to the cross, not God’s Ten Commandment law. The Greek word Paul used is “dogma”, and it is never translated as law, laws, commandment or commandments in the entire New Testament, “not even once”! Also, this word, and its Old Testament equivalent word, is never used to refer to God’s Ten Commandment Sabbath in the entire Bible, “not one single time”!

In view of these biblical facts, it is virtually certain that the reference to “sabbaths”, in verse sixteen, is not referring to the fourth commandment concerning the seventh-day Sabbath. Serious Bible students know that there were other types of sabbaths mentioned in the Scriptures related to various other Jewish feasts and other requirements, as part of the Jewish ceremonies. Certain days involved with the Feast of Tabernacles, the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, were also referred to as “types of sabbaths”, as well as “special sabbaths” for the land (Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 23:24-32; Leviticus 24:39; Leviticus 25:2-6). It is a virtual certainty that these “ceremonial sabbaths” are what Colossians is referring to, especially due to the related references to festivals/feasts, food, drink and new moons. These four related references are from the ceremonial laws, and not from the Ten Commandment moral law. Not one of the Ten Commandments deals with festivals/feasts, food, drink or new moons. Therefore we know for sure that four out of the five items mentioned in Colossians 2:16-17, as being shadows or symbols of things to come, which reach their substance and fulfillment in Christ, are strictly ceremonial law items, and have no connection to the Ten Commandments. Considering this context, isn’t it obvious that the fifth item (the sabbaths), also being referred to as a symbol or shadow in Colossians, would surely be a reference to the special ceremonial law sabbaths previously mentioned, rather than the moral law Sabbath contained in the Ten Commandments?

This becomes even more certain in light of these five items, in verse sixteen, being referred to as “shadows” or “symbols” of things to come concerning Christ, because the ceremonial laws did indeed point forward to, and were fulfilled by, Jesus Christ. Most people would agree that these various Jewish ceremonies, feasts and special days related to these events, have all been fulfilled in Jesus Christ and terminated. However, this is not the case with God’s moral law contained in the Ten Commandments. The Sabbath of the Ten Commandments is not a “shadow” or “symbol” pointing forward to something. It is a memorial of God’s completed creation of this world, which points “backward”, not forward.

To try to eliminate the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments using this text in Colossians, you have to intentionally ignore the context of this passage, and purposefully disregard all of the biblical statements concerning the institution of the Sabbath in Genesis, and the inclusion of it in the Ten Commandments; furthermore, as previously mentioned, you have to deliberately ignore the fact that the word Paul uses in verse fourteen, “dogma”, is never translated as “law” or “commandment”, and is never used in connection with the Ten Commandment Sabbath in the entire Bible. In other words, you have to be willing to be 100% biblically and contextually unfaithful.

It is also significant that the author of Colossians is the Apostle Paul. Why? Because, according to the Bible, Paul himself kept the Sabbath (Acts 13:42-44; Acts 17:1-2; Acts 18:4). Was Paul practicing the “do as I say, but not as I do” game? That is very unlikely.

The truth of the matter is that there is not a single verse in the entire Bible that blesses or sanctifies the first day of the week, such as God did with the seventh-day Sabbath; there is not a single text that commands us to keep or honor the first day of the week, such as God also did regarding the seventh day Sabbath; furthermore, there is not a single scripture that states that the Sabbath was ever changed from the seventh day (Saturday) to the first day (Sunday).

The additional truth, regarding the Sabbath, is that it is all about Jesus. It was Jesus Himself who created or instituted the Sabbath at creation because, according to John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; and Hebrews 1:1-3, Jesus Christ was the Creator. Therefore, it was Jesus who instituted, blessed, sanctified and rested on the seventh-day Sabbath, in Genesis 2:1-3, after completing His work of creation in six days. And, it was Jesus who spoke the law on Mt. Sinai and included the Sabbath within His Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:8-11, because this commandment identifies its Author as being the One who created the heaven and the earth, which the New Testament clearly states to have been Jesus, as previously mentioned. And, the author of the book of Psalms also states that the One who “fashioned” or created him, and who established the earth, is the One to whom the law and commandments belong; he said “thy” law and “thy” commandments (Psalm 119:73; Psalm 119:89-92); thus the book of Psalms also identifies the Creator and the Lawgiver to be the same Person, which again would mean Jesus Christ. Additionally, James 4:12, in the NIV, Amplified, New Living Bible and other translations, identifies the “Lawgiver” as also being the “Judge”. And, the New Testament clearly states that the Judge is Jesus Christ (John 5:22; John 5:26-27; Acts 10:36-42; Romans 2:16; 2nd Corinthians 5:10; 2nd Timothy 4:1; 2nd Timothy 4:8); therefore, according to James 4:12, Jesus was and is also the “Lawgiver”. So, it was Jesus creating, blessing, sanctifying and resting on the seventh-day Sabbath at the time of creation in Genesis. It was Jesus including the Sabbath within His Ten Commandments in Exodus, where He also again blessed and hallowed the Sabbath. It was Jesus who kept the Sabbath as His custom in Luke 4:16. It was Jesus who declared Himself to be Lord of the Sabbath in Mark 2:28. And, it was Jesus who rested on the seventh-day Sabbath after completing His work of redemption on Friday, just as He had rested on the seventh-day Sabbath after completing His work of creation on Friday. As the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Scripture clearly reveals that the Sabbath is all about Jesus. We cannot honor Jesus while dishonoring His Sabbath that He instituted, commanded, blessed, sanctified, hallowed, rested on, kept Himself on this earth, and of which He declared Himself to be Lord.

In closing, I ask you to consider some passages from the Psalms as you ponder this Sabbath issue. The Sabbath is unquestionably one of God’s Ten Commandments; number four to be exact. The Psalms state that “every one” of God’s righteous judgments endures forever, or, as the NIV translation renders this text, that “all” of God’s righteous laws are eternal (Psalm 119:160). If all of God’s laws are eternal, and the seventh-day Sabbath commandment is undeniably one of those laws; then the seventh-day Sabbath is also eternal, and obviously was not changed or eliminated.

Psalm 119:152 states that God’s testimonies were founded “forever”, or, as rendered by the NIV translation, that God established His “statutes” to last forever. Once again, the seventh-day Sabbath is unarguably one of God’s statutes. Therefore, the seventh-day Sabbath was also established to last “forever”! It has not been abolished or changed.

In Psalm 119:111, the Psalmist proclaimed that he had taken God’s “testimonies” as a heritage “forever”. The Hebrew word used for testimonies is “eduwth”. According to “Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance”, this Hebrew word refers to the “Ten Commandments” as being a solemn, divine charge or duty. In other words, Psalm 119:111 is literally stating that the solemn, divine charge of the Ten Commandments is a heritage forever! And, as stated before, the seventh-day Sabbath is undeniably one of the Ten Commandments. Therefore, the seventh-day Sabbath commandment is also a solemn, divine charge and a heritage “forever”.

In Psalm 119:44 the Psalmist declared that he would keep God’s law continually, “forever and ever”. The Hebrew word used for law in this text is “torah”, which according to “Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance”, especially refers to the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. According to this Scripture, the Ten Commandments were to be kept continually, forever and ever. Therefore, the seventh-day Sabbath commandment, which is indisputably one of the Ten Commandments, was also obviously intended to be kept continually, “forever and ever”.

Most “fair-minded” and reasonable people would certainly agree that if a Bible was handed to someone from another culture, who had never heard of either Saturday or Sunday worship; then asked him to read the Bible from the opening book of Genesis through the final book of Revelation, in which he will find close to two hundred references to the seventh-day Sabbath that endorse, command or bless its observance, while not reading one single passage that endorses or commands first-day observance; then asked him which day of the week that he should honor, based upon the Bible alone; that his response would unquestionably be the seventh-day, Saturday! It would be an absolute “no-brainer” for any previously unbiased and “unbrainwashed” reader. When you eliminate the non-inspired input from other books and from finite, fallible human beings, the Sabbath issue becomes “crystal clear”. Scripturally, there is only one day of the week that God commands us to honor and keep, the seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday.

The Sabbath issue, from a biblical standpoint, is an open and shut case. How “open and shut”? Our church ran several ads in the “Minneapolis Star and Tribune” and “Minnesota Christian Chronicle” newspapers, in which we offered $10,000.00 to anyone who could produce just one Bible text that specifically states that the Sabbath has been changed from Saturday to Sunday. No one has ever come forward to collect the money.

To find out how and when the Sabbath was officially changed from Saturday to Sunday, and who was responsible for this change; and to view a complete listing of the 18 most common excuses/reasons used by Sunday proponents for ignoring the Sabbath commandment, and a list of the scriptures which refute these excuses, read my article titled, “The Sabbath”, on my website address listed below.

I am an evangelical, non-denominational, Christian pastor. You can research other interesting and provocative topics at my website: http://godormen.com.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERMAKE A WEBSITE

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