The Sabbath

Note: This topic, “The Sabbath”, is also presented in a “Bible Study” format. You can access it in the “Categories” column under the title, “Sabbath Bible Study”.

Is it possible that more than 90% of Christians are transgressing God’s law on a weekly basis? And, is it also possible that a massive and intentional coverup of biblical truth, and dispensing of misinformation is being conducted by the majority of pastors and theologians to excuse this transgression of God’s law? As always, I ask you to read this article in its entirety before making your decision, as to whether I’m right or wrong, because I will be presenting several dozen scriptures that you need to consider.  And, we are talking about an important issue here; one of the Ten Commandments.

The fourth commandment in 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 told 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?

Following are the eighteen most common arguments or reasons given for disregarding the seventh-day Sabbath and replacing it with Sunday.  Once again, I ask you to consider all eighteen reasons and the scriptures supporting and opposing them, before casting your verdict.

1. “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 days…It 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)

In addition to all of the evidence that has already been presented refuting this first argument, another interesting point needs to be made. One of the most common reasons used by the vast majority of Sunday advocates for honoring Sunday instead of the seventh day, Saturday, is that they keep Sunday in order to honor Jesus’ resurrection, which the Bible clearly states to have occurred on the first day of the week. Therefore, the vast majority of “Sunday keepers” obviously must feel certain that Sunday was the first day of the week in the days of Jesus, and that Sunday is still the first day of the week now in the 21st century, because they honor it as the day of Jesus’ resurrection. So, if they are certain that Sunday is the first day of the week, how can they suggest that Saturday may not be the seventh day of the week? After all, if Sunday is the first day, and Saturday is the day that precedes Sunday in the seven-day weekly cycle, then Saturday has to be the seventh day of the week. (Note: The resurrection argument used to justify Sunday observance, which I have referred to in this paragraph, is presented and answered in reason/argument number eleven in this article.)

2. “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 theseventh day”. 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. And, even if you truly think that God allows you to pick a day yourself on which to honor Him, why wouldn’t you still choose to honor the same day that He chose, blessed and sanctified, out of love and respect for Him? Why would you insist on picking a different day than the one He chose for you?

The overwhelming majority of people consider it important to remember and honor certain “special days” relating to their “human relationships”. If they are married, out of love and respect for their spouse, they keep and honor the same anniversary day each year. They don’t tell their husband or wife that they have arbitrarily decided to change their anniversary day to a different date, which would be more convenient for them. Likewise, out of love and respect for their children, they don’t tell their son or daughter that they have decided to celebrate their child’s birthday a couple of months later from now on, because the later date will work better for them. The vast majority of people would never even consider doing such a thing to one of their family members, or even to a good friend. Why? It is because they know that such behavior would be selfish and disrespectful to their loved one. They know that this is their loved one’s “special day”. Yet millions of Christians have been told by their pastors that they can change, disregard and disobey God’s holy, seventh-day Sabbath, which He has blessed and sanctified as a memorial of His creation of mankind and of this world. In so doing, they are demonstrating selfish and disrespectful behavior toward our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus, which they would never consider practicing with any of their important human relationships. If it is important to remember, keep and honor the “special days” of mere human beings, of how much greater importance is it for us to honor the special, seventh-day Sabbath that God has hallowed and chosen for us?

The significance and importance of the seventh-day Sabbath is clearly demonstrated in the manna “Sabbath miracle” recorded in Exodus 16:14-31. God performed a “threefold” miracle regarding the manna to show how important honoring the seventh-day Sabbath is to Him. The manna was literally “bread from heaven” that God miraculously supplied each morning to feed His people during their years of wandering in the wilderness. What was the threefold “Sabbath miracle” regarding the manna? On each of the first six days of the week, Sunday through Friday, manna was found covering the ground each morning. However, on the seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday, no manna was supplied by God; this was one part of the miracle. A second part of the miracle happened on the day before the Sabbath, the sixth day, when God supplied twice as much manna as normal, so that the people could gather a “double portion” on the sixth day, Friday, of which they could keep half of that double portion as food to eat on the seventh-day Sabbath when no manna was provided by God. The third part of the miracle was how God miraculously preserved the extra manna that was carried over from the sixth day to the seventh day. On any other day of the week, if people tried to keep some of the manna overnight, it became rotten, filled with worms and stank by the following morning (Exodus 16:20). However, on the seventh-day Sabbath, the extra manna kept over from the double portion received on the sixth day did not stink or have any worms in it (Exodus 16:24). This threefold, manna “Sabbath miracle” clearly portrays the importance of the seventh-day Sabbath in God’s eyes.

This incident with the manna also reveals that the seventh-day Sabbath was already a “law” and “commandment” of God before the Ten Commandments were given on Mount Sinai in Exodus chapter 20. We’re told in Exodus 16:26-30 that, after some of the people went out looking to see if they could find any manna on the seventh day, the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” In this passage, God clearly refers to the seventh-day Sabbath as being one of His “commandments” and “laws”, although the Ten Commandments had not yet been given on Mount Sinai.

3. “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).

4. “The strict regulations and punishments related to the Sabbath commandment obviously disqualify it as a New Testament requirement.”

Opponents of seventh-day Sabbath observance point out that people were required to strictly adhere to the Sabbath or they would be put to death during the Old Testament era. They assert that because we would not consider applying such a drastic punishment in the New Testament era, the Sabbath commandment itself does not apply in the New Testament era. However, to be consistent, those who use this reasoning must also eliminate at least four more of the Ten Commandments, which also had extremely strict regulations and called for the death penalty. The commandments which forbid adultery, idolatry, blaspheming or using the Lord’s name in vain, and the commandment commanding us to honor our parents; all required offenders to be put to death as well (Exodus 21:15-17; Leviticus 20:9-10; Leviticus 24:16; Deuteronomy 13:6-10; Deuteronomy 17:2-5). The commandment not to murder, of course, also called for the death penalty, although many would claim that the death penalty is justifiable in the case of murder. However, if you use this argument to eliminate the Sabbath commandment, you must also at least eliminate the commandments concerning adultery, idolatry, honoring your parents, and blaspheming or using the Lord’s name in vain as well, because the death penalty would certainly seem to be just as extreme for these offences as it is for the Sabbath commandment. Therefore, proponents of this argument are not only contradicting the overwhelming weight of biblical evidence, but also would end up with only “five commandments” in their New Testament. This is obviously another faulty argument that must be rejected.

Also, it should be noted that there is only one recorded instance regarding one single individual in the entire Old Testament when the death penalty was exercised regarding the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36), and, this was shortly after delivering the rebellious Israelites from Egypt, when God had to repeatedly deal with them strictly and forcefully because of their constant complaining, murmurings, backslidings and spoken desires to return to Egypt. However, the Bible records that thousands were put to death for committing idolatry by worshipping the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-8 and 15-28), and also that 24,000 were put to death for committing idolatry and harlotry or sexual immorality (adultery/fornication) with Moabite women (Numbers 25:1-9). Yet, although the Old Testament records that many thousands received the death penalty for idolatry and sexual immorality (adultery/fornication), modern Sunday-keeping theologians and pastors do not attempt to eliminate the commandments regarding idolatry and adultery because of this death penalty reason. Then, why do they try to use the death penalty reason to eliminate the Sabbath commandment, where only one person was biblically recorded as having been put to death for violating the Sabbath. The double standard, blatant disingenuousness and biblical dishonesty of those who attempt to use this reason to eliminate God’s seventh-day Sabbath should be readily apparent to all. If they insist on continuing to use this reason to eliminate the Sabbath, consistency and integrity also requires them to use it to eliminate all other commandments that employed the death penalty. Therefore, “honest” Sunday-keeping proponents of this argument should frankly admit that they only continue to endorse, at most, 5 of God’s Ten Commandments.

5. “There are historical records of groups of Christians keeping Sunday instead of Saturday, as early as the late first century.”

So what? Does it matter when the error started? If an error starts sooner, does that make it less wrong? There are records of disobedience throughout the Bible. The Bible records that Abraham lied, Noah got drunk, and David committed adultery and murder. Does that mean it’s all right for Christians to lie, murder, get drunk and commit adultery? Of course not!

Also, it doesn’t matter what any other historical books or famous theologians say. For a Christian, it only matters what God says in the Bible. And, God says we are to remember and keep the seventh-day Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11). There are many other books and teachers who contradict the Bible today. Therefore, we would be wise to remember what Jesus’ disciples said to the false religious leaders of their day. Acts 5:29 quotes them as saying: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” We are warned in Isaiah 8:20, that if people do not speak in accordance with the law and testimony of God, that there is no light in them. In other words, those who contradict the Bible are in darkness.

6. “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.

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

It is noteworthy 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.

It is also significant that, according to the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the Creator of the world, which we read about in the creation account given in the book of Genesis (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-18). Therefore, it was Jesus Himself who established, blessed and sanctified the seventh-day Sabbath after completing creation (Genesis 2:1-3). As you will see, the seventh-day Sabbath has numerous connections to Jesus Christ.

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.

Finally, 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.

8. “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.

9. “The Ten Commandment law was nailed to the cross and is no longer binding. Therefore, the seventh-day Sabbath is also no longer binding”.

I completely refute the argument that the Ten Commandments were “nailed to the cross” in my article titled, “The Ten Commandments”, on this website. However, where does this idea come from, concerning the Sabbath not being binding? It is primarily from four texts. The first is Romans 14:4-6. 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.

The second text is Ephesians 2:11-16. As stated in my “Ten Commandments” article, the issue or context here is eliminating the separation between Jew and gentile, and making them one. Paul says that Christ abolished the “law of commandments contained in ordinances”, so that Jew and gentile could be one.

Is Paul talking about the Ten Commandments? That is highly unlikely. Even the famous Protestant reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Wesley, agreed that this passage is not talking about the Ten Commandments. There were numerous civil, ceremonial and health statutes, ordinances and laws that distinguished Jew from gentile. All of these extra requirements that separated Jew from gentile ended at the cross. God still required adherence to the Ten Commandments, as is conclusively proven in my article titled, “The Ten Commandments”.

The third text used to try to eliminate God’s Sabbath commandment is in Acts chapter fifteen. 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.

The fourth text often used to try to eliminate God’s Sabbath commandment is Colossians 2:13-17. It has already been conclusively established in my “Ten Commandments” article that this text is not referring to the Ten Commandments. 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.

However, even if one insists that the seventh-day Sabbath commandment is being referred to, in defiance of the overwhelming biblical evidence I’ve presented, several significant points can still be made which prove that the Sabbath has not been changed or eliminated. In this passage, Paul simply says not to judge concerning these sabbaths he refers to, and he states that they’re a “shadow” or “symbol” of things to come. This text does not say that the Sabbath has been changed from Saturday to Sunday, but only that we should not judge others regarding these sabbaths. And, not judging others is not just limited to the Sabbath, but the Bible tells us not to judge others, period (Matthew 7:1-2; Romans 2:1-2; James 4:12).

Also, even if the Bible is telling us not to judge concerning the Sabbath, does that mean that it’s ok to disobey God and break His Sabbath commandment? In Romans 2:1-2, Paul says we are not to judge the sinners listed in Romans 1:22-31. This list includes idolaters, murderers, liars, adulterers and haters of God. Therefore, if not judging concerning the Sabbath means that it’s alright to break it, then, to be consistent, when we’re told not to judge all these other sins in Romans chapter one, it would also mean that it’s alright to do all of those things. Obviously that is not the case.

Another significant point can be made from the position of common sense, sound judgment and logic. Is it reasonable to disregard multitudes of Sabbath texts throughout scripture because of one somewhat “challenging text” in Colossians? What if we did that with the multitudes of verses that tell us to love one another, in the Bible? Should we disregard all of these “love texts” because of one “challenging text” in Luke 14:26, where Jesus tells us that we must “hate” our parents, children, spouses and siblings if we want to be His disciples? Would it be reasonable to disregard all of the love passages, because of this one “challenging text” in Luke 14:26? Of course not! Instead, we find a reasonable answer to the one challenging text.

A similar application of this principle would also be the doctrine of justification by faith. We know that numerous scriptures tell us that we are justified by faith, and not by works. However, in James 2:21-25, we’re told that Abraham and Rahab were justified by their works. Do we disregard all of the “justification by faith” texts because of this one challenging text in James, which refers to being justified by works? Absolutely not! Instead we once again find a reasonable explanation for the one challenging text, rather than ignoring the numerous passages endorsing justification by faith. The same principle applies to the Sabbath. We also do not disregard all of the Sabbath passages, but rather find a reasonable explanation for the one allegedly challenging text in Colossians.  And, I have already given that reasonable explanation. In fact, it is more than just a reasonable explanation; it is the only possible explanation for any honest Bible student who considers the biblical context of these verses, the other biblical passages that refer to the Ten Commandment Sabbath throughout the Bible, and the original Greek words used by Paul in this Colossians text.

It is also very interesting 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.

It is probably even reasonable to assume that those who use this argument don’t really mean it. Ask them if it’s alright with God if we lie, steal, murder, commit adultery, worship idols, etc.? They will maintain that we still should refrain from these practices which, of course, accords with God’s Ten Commandments. Their desire is to eliminate one commandment, but not all ten.

Finally, this argument directly contradicts the overwhelming weight of biblical evidence, which conclusively supports the perpetuity of God’s law, as was clearly established in my article titled, “The Ten Commandments”.

10. “Saturday might be the Sabbath, but Sunday is the Lord’s Day in the New Testament.”

This is an easy argument to answer. Where does it say that Sunday is the Lord’s Day in the Bible? Absolutely nowhere! There is not one single verse in the entire Bible that says that the first day of the week (Sunday) is 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 (Mark 2:28). And, it makes sense that the Sabbath would be the real Lord’s Day. After all, Jesus was the Creator who established, blessed and sanctified the Sabbath in Genesis 2:1-3. Also, we’re told that Jesus kept the Sabbath Himself as His custom in Luke 4:16. Finally, Jesus even kept the Sabbath in His death, but that is answered in the next argument, which follows.

11. “Sunday is kept instead of Saturday, to honor Jesus’ resurrection.”

This argument might sound good on the surface, but unfortunately, it lacks any biblical authority whatsoever. God chose the day He wanted, and He blessed, sanctified and hallowed the seventh day of the week as a perpetual memorial of His completed creation.

There is not one single verse in the entire Bible that ever removes God’s blessing from the seventh day. There is not one text in all of Scripture that says that the Sabbath has been changed from Saturday to Sunday. And, there is not a single passage in the entire Bible that says to honor Sunday because of the resurrection. In other words, this argument is completely unbiblical.

The truth is, that Jesus honored the Sabbath, even in His death. The Bible says that the Lord does not change (Malachi 3:6). It also says that Jesus Christ is always the same (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, it is probable that the reason Jesus arose on Sunday, was because He was honoring the Sabbath that He Himself had established, by resting in the tomb on the seventh day after completing redemption, just as He had rested on the seventh day after completing creation.

We also see, in Mark 7:6-13, what Jesus thinks of men ignoring one of God’s commandments, in order to establish or honor a tradition of men. When the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were ignoring God’s commandment to honor their parents, in order to practice a man-made tradition, He accused them of vain worship, of teaching commandments of men, of rejecting God’s commandment in order to keep their own tradition, and of making the word of God of no effect.

If Jesus felt that way about ignoring one of God’s Ten Commandments back then, wouldn’t He feel the same way today? Remember, according to the Bible, He does not change (Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6). If it was “vain” or “worthless” worship to replace one of God’s Ten Commandments with an unauthorized tradition back then, wouldn’t it also be “vain” or “worthless” worship to replace God’s Sabbath commandment with the unauthorized tradition of keeping Sunday today?

The answer is obvious. Today’s religious leaders who advocate disregarding the Sabbath, are just as guilty as the religious leaders who disregarded the commandment to “honor your parents” in Jesus’ day.

12. “The Sabbath commandment is different from the other nine, because it is not really a moral issue. Therefore it is not actually a moral law, and accordingly is not truly a part of God’s moral law.”

This argument actually places man in judgment of God’s wisdom. God knew what He was doing when He chose to include the Sabbath commandment within His Ten Commandment moral law. After all, who determines what morality is, man or God? Who establishes what a moral law is, man or God? If God has included the Sabbath as part of His moral law, we can be sure that it belongs there. Why shouldn’t God consider it to be a moral responsibility for mankind to obey His Sabbath command and to honor the day that He has instituted, blessed, sanctified and hallowed? What gives mortal man the right to sit in judgment of God, by deciding which of God’s commands are important and moral, and which are not? It would be much better to obey God, rather than question His judgment.

Furthermore, as with reason/excuse number four, I once again need to point out the inconsistency, disingenuousness and biblical dishonesty employed by Sunday-keeping proponents who use this argument. The implication of this argument is that the Sabbath differs from other commandments which have so-called “obvious” moral ramifications, such as the commandments forbidding murder, adultery, dishonesty, stealing and dishonoring your parents. However, there are other commandments within God’s Ten Commandments that do not have anymore “obvious so-called moral ramifications” than does the Sabbath commandment. What about the commandment stating not to make graven images of things in heaven or on earth? Is that a commandment with moral ramifications in the same respect as the commands mentioned above regarding murder, adultery, stealing etc? Many churches and ministries have images of angels, the cross, the Ten Commandments and of Jesus Himself, so they obviously do not consider these things to have such moral ramifications, anymore than does the Sabbath commandment. And, what about the commandment stating that we are not to take the Lord’s name in vain? If Sunday-keeping proponents maintain that it is a moral requirement for people to honor the Lord’s name, then why wouldn’t it also be a moral requirement for us to also honor the Lord’s day, the Sabbath, which He blessed, hallowed, sanctified and commanded us to keep? Once again, the inconsistency and blatant double standard, used by proponents of this reason for attempting to eliminate God’s Sabbath commandment, should be readily apparent to all. As previously mentioned, if God has included the Sabbath as part of His Ten Commandments moral law, we can be sure that it belongs there. And, as also previously stated, we would be wise to obey God, rather than question His judgment regarding which commandments He chose to include within the moral law of His Ten Commandments.

13. “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 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 from Jesus, there still also remains a “sabbatismos” or “Sabbath rest” for God’s people (Hebrews 4:9). In other words, the observance of a Sabbath rest continues.

14. “In the New Testament era there are only two commandments, to love God and to love your neighbor.”

This “two commandment” reason comes from Matthew 22:35-40 when a lawyer tested Jesus with the question of which is the “great” commandment in the law. It is significant that he did not ask which is the only commandment, but rather the great commandment. In other words, he was asking which of God’s commandments was the “most important”. Jesus then answers him by telling him that the great, or most important, commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul and mind; moreover, Jesus adds that the second great, or most important, commandment is to love our neighbor as our self. Jesus does not say that these are the only commandments, but that they are the greatest or most important. In fact, in verse forty Jesus adds that “on these two commandments hangs all the law“. In other words, the entire law falls within these two categories, love to God and love to our neighbor. And, upon close examination of the Ten Commandments, it becomes obvious that this is indeed the case. The first four commands of worshipping our Creator God alone, not making or bowing to idols, not using God’s name in vain, and remembering and honoring His Sabbath that He has blessed and sanctified, all are expressions of our supreme love for God. And, the last six commands of honoring our parents and not murdering, stealing, committing adultery, bearing false witness or coveting, all are expressions of love for our “fellow man” or neighbor. Jesus was not eliminating any or all of the Ten Commandments, but simply summed them up within the two categories of “love to God” and love to our neighbor. After all, it was Jesus Himself who said, in Matthew 5:18, that heaven and earth will pass away before even “one jot” or “one tittle” shall pass from the law. And, Jesus does not lie or contradict Himself. Therefore, the Ten Commandment law, which includes the Sabbath, is and will continue to be in force until the final culmination of earth’s history when heaven and earth do pass away, as per Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5:18.

Although it is already apparent that this anti-Sabbath reason is not in accordance with Scripture, I must also point out the glaring inconsistency in the attempt to use this reason to eliminate God’s Sabbath commandment. Why is this reason only used to discard one of the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath? Why are we never told that we don’t have to worry about bowing to idols or using the Lord’s name in vain, because we are only under the New Testament commandments to love? Why are we never told that we don’t have to worry about coveting, stealing or bearing false witness, because we are only under the New Testament commandments to love? Why are we only given this reason when it comes to God’s Sabbath commandment? Isn’t the answer obvious? Is it not because the Sabbath command is the only one of the ten being totally disregarded and disobeyed, and they’re grasping for any reason they can come up with to justify their disobedience?

15. “The New Testament books of Romans and Galatians make it clear that we are not justified by the law, and that we are not “under the law”, so keeping the Sabbath is not necessary.”

As with the previous “reason/excuse”, we once again must ask why this “Romans and Galatians” reason is only used to discard one of the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath?  What about the other nine commandments?  If not being “under the law” allows us to ignore and violate the law, then keeping the other nine commandments is also not necessary.  After all, Romans and Galatians do not say that we are not “under the Sabbath”, but rather that we are not “under the law”, which includes all ten commandments, not just one.  Once again, this obvious and blatant inconsistency reveals the motivation of those who attempt to selectively apply this reason to the one commandment that they are disobeying.

Also, notice what the Apostle Paul says regarding this issue in Romans 6:15.  He says, “shall we sin because we’re not under the law?”  And, he answers his own question by saying, “God forbid” or “certainly not”.  Keep in mind that the biblical definition for sin is “transgression of the law”, “violation of the law”, “breaking of the law” or “lawlessness” (1st John 3:4).  Therefore, when Paul asks “shall we sin, because we’re not under the law”, he is asking “shall we violate or break God’s law, because we’re not under the law?”  And, his resounding answer is, “God forbid” or “certainly not”!  Just because we are not under the law as a means of salvation, does not give us license to freely violate it.  Paul makes this clear in this passage and elsewhere.  For example, in Romans 3:31, after having proven that we are justified by faith, and not by the law, Paul asks if we can therefore “void” or “nullify” the law.  And, his response is again, “God forbid” or “certainly not”!

Furthermore, in 1st Corinthians 7:19, Paul states that keeping the commandments of God, is what “matters”, “counts” or “is important”.  This is the same Paul who wrote Romans and Galatians, and he is not a hypocrite.  He does not contradict himself.  He obviously never intended for people to come along later and try to use his writings to get rid of any of God’s commandments, simply because they did not want to obey them.  That’s why he has already stated a couple of times in advance, “God forbid” or “certainly not”, to this suggestion.

16. “When telling the rich young ruler to keep certain commandments in order to enter into life, Jesus did not include the Sabbath commandment, so keeping the Sabbath must not be necessary.

Actually, Jesus only mentioned five of the Ten Commandments to the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:18-19).  Therefore, to be consistent and honest, if you use this reason, you also must eliminate four other commandments.  So, advocates of this reason have the “Five Commandments”, instead of the “Ten Commandments”.  And, they are not only free to ignore the Sabbath, but they can also worship other gods, make graven images and bow to them, use the Lord’s name in vain, and covet to their hearts content. Of course, this is ridiculous, as is using this reason to avoid obedience to God’s Sabbath.

I think that most Christians would agree that Jesus never intended to eliminate five of the Ten Commandments when he spoke to the rich young ruler.  After all, Jesus was the one who stated that heaven and earth will pass away before any part of God’s law does (Matthew 5:17-18).  As a Jew, the rich young ruler was probably already meticulously keeping the first four commandments that deal with man’s relationship with God, so Jesus focused His attention on the area where the ruler was deficient. That area was how the rich young man had failed in his relations with his fellow man, by not sharing his wealth with those in need; therefore, Jesus appropriately zoomed in on the commandments that deal with man’s relationship to his fellow man.  Those who use this reason to excuse their own disobedience, are trying to make Jesus contradict His own previous statements regarding the law.  If I were them, I would cease and desist from such a practice, because one day soon they will stand before Jesus Christ, the Judge.  And, He has a perfect memory regarding what He said about His divine law; that it will outlast heaven and earth.

17. “The New Testament book of Hebrews states that the “Old Covenant” has been eliminated and has been replaced with a “New Covenant”. The Sabbath was part of the Old Covenant, and, therefore, was also eliminated.”

There are about a dozen verses that use the word covenant in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 8:6; 8:7; 8:8; 8:9; 8:10; 8:13; 9:1; 9:4; 10:16; 10:29; 12:24; 13:20). I encourage you to read all twelve of them. Do any of them state that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day, Saturday, to the first day, Sunday, in the New Covenant? No! Do any of them state that obedience is not important in the New Covenant? No! Do any of them state that any or all of the Ten Commandments have been abolished in the New Covenant? No!

I always find it interesting and revealing that people who manufacture these “reasons” for not needing to keep God’s fourth commandment regarding the Sabbath, never apply their reasons to any of the other nine commandments. They always want to apply their reasons to only one of the Ten Commandments; “coincidentally”, the one that they are disobeying, that is, the Sabbath commandment.

It is obvious, as you read through the book of Hebrews, that what is being eliminated in the Old Covenant, and being replaced in the New Covenant, is the ceremonial and tabernacle/sanctuary services with their priestly ministry and offering of animal sacrifices. These have been fulfilled and replaced with the offering of the infinitely better sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, and with the infinitely better priesthood of our divine High Priest, also being Jesus Christ.

As stated within the answer for reason number 13 in this article, the “sabbatismos”, Sabbath rest, remains for God’s people. In fact, the scripture that states that this is the case, is found in the book of Hebrews, the New Covenant book (Hebrews 4:9). In other words, proponents for this “new covenant reason” are actually contradicting the same book that they are trying to use to excuse their disobedience. Furthermore, that same book of Hebrews also states that Jesus Christ is the Author of Salvation to all who “obey” Him (Hebrews 5:9). Once again, proponents for this reason are contradicting the very book that they are using, Hebrews, by trying to justify “disobedience” to one of Jesus’ commandments, while using a Bible book that tells us we need to “obey” Jesus if we expect to receive His gracious gift of salvation.

We have already biblically proven that the Sabbath is still in force by citing numerous scriptures throughout this article. In fact, as stated within the answer for reason number 3 in the list of 18 reasons, according to Jesus Himself, the Sabbath will still be pertinent during the great tribulation at the end of this world. Thus, another unbiblical reason is refuted.

18. “Even if the seventh day is the Sabbath, and is the day to rest on according to the Bible, the first day, Sunday, is the day we are to worship together on.”

As with all of the other arguments, this one also is completely unbiblical, and, in fact, directly contradicts Scripture. There is not one single verse in the entire New Testament that says to worship on the first day of the week. There is not one single text in the entire Bible that suggests that the seventh-day Sabbath is not a time to worship together on; implying it is only a time for rest. In fact, the Bible calls the Sabbath a time of holy convocation, which means a time of sacred or religious assembly (Leviticus 23:3). Scripture also states that God’s people in the “New Earth” will come to worship before God from one Sabbath to another (Isaiah 66:23). There are no such references to worship regarding the first day of the week, Sunday. Also, seventh-day Sabbath corporate worship is endorsed throughout the Bible by example. There are dozens of references to worship services on the seventh day, whereas there are no such references regarding the first day of the week. Additionally, the Bible states that both Jesus and the apostle Paul made it their custom to worship on the seventh-day Sabbath (Luke 4:16; Acts 17:1-2). The biblical evidence overwhelmingly supports seventh-day worship, rather than first-day worship. Once again, this argument is nothing more than an excuse to ignore God’s seventh-day Sabbath commandment. And, it is fair to say, that most people who worship on Sunday, are not also honoring the seventh day as a blessed and holy day of rest to God. In most cases, the seventh day, Saturday, is used as a time to do yard work, clean the house, buy groceries, go golfing, patronize shopping malls or attend sporting events. The Sabbath is not being honored, and proponents of this argument know this.

There you have it. These are the eighteen most common arguments used for honoring Sunday instead of the seventh-day Sabbath. As you can see, all of them are faulty and unbiblical. And, as you can also see, there is obvious confusion among those who advocate the observance of the first day, Sunday. What confusion? Even those who defend Sunday and reject the seventh-day Sabbath can’t agree as to why they do so. Some say that it’s because the Ten Commandments were abolished. Others say that this is not the reason, but rather that it’s because the Sabbath was transferred from Saturday to Sunday to honor the resurrection. However, others say that this is not the reason either, but rather that each person is allowed to choose their own day each week on which to remember and honor God. Then there are still others who say that this is not the reason either, but who claim that keeping the Sabbath is not required at all, because it was only a symbol of our rest in Jesus, and has been fulfilled. First-day advocates cannot seem to agree among themselves as to why they ignore the seventh day, and replace it with the first day. Why? It is probably because there is no clear scriptural authority for their position. They cannot go to any specific Bible verses to authorize and defend their stance. They have no clear “thus saith the Lord”. All they have is human opinions, which often vary from one person to the next.

There is no biblical mandate for Sunday keeping. There is no Bible text authorizing a change in the Sabbath. There is no scripture removing God’s blessing from the seventh day. There is no passage stating that God ever blessed, sanctified and hallowed the first day. There is no Bible verse declaring Sunday to be the Lord’s Day. There is no reference in Scripture authorizing the keeping of the first day of the week in order to honor the resurrection. There is no Bible text calling obedience and Sabbath-keeping legalism. In fact, the Bible states that obedience is proof that we love Jesus! And, the Bible even states that keeping the Sabbath is a “sign” between the Lord and us, that He is our God, and that He sanctifies us (Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:12; Ezekiel 20:20).

The truth of the matter, 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 John1:1-3; 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 was discussed under reason number eleven. 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 all of God’s commandments are faithful, true and righteous (Psalm 119:86; Psalm119:151; Psalm 119:172). Therefore, the seventh-day Sabbath commandment is also being declared to be faithful, true and righteous. Why would God change or eliminate a faithful, true and righteous commandment?

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 “TenCommandments”. 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. At this point, it is probably fair to say that we have reached the point of overkill regarding the biblical evidence for honoring the seventh-day Sabbath, and for rejecting the Church’s practice of exalting the first day, Sunday.

After documenting such an overwhelming amount of scriptural evidence, it is appropriate to quote the Prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 8:20 we’re told that: “To the law and to the testimony; if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Once again, as with the previous scripture in Psalm 119:44, the Hebrew word used for “law” in this Isaiah passage is torah, which, as previously stated, “Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance” states especially refers to the Decalogue, the “Ten Commandments”. Of course, that would again include the seventh-day Sabbath commandment. Therefore, this text in Isaiah is saying that those who do not speak in accordance or agreement with God’s Sabbath commandment have no light in them, when it comes to this subject.

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.

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”. Based solely upon the Bible, there is only one day of the week that God commands us to honor and keep, the seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday.

Now that we know that all of the contemporary reasons given for disregarding God’s Sabbath commandment are both unbiblical and disingenuous, it raises the question as to when and by whom the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday. And, the answer is found by combining both secular and Church historical records of governmental and ecclesiastical decrees or edicts, because it was a two-step process. The first official change was from an edict of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 321 AD, which was followed by a Church ecclesiastical decree sixteen years later. A portion of Constantine’s edict that endorsed the exaltation of Sunday instead of the seventh day, Saturday, follows:

“On the Venerable Day of the Sun ["venerabili die Solis"--the sacred day of the Sun] let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed…..–Given the 7th day of March, [A.D. 321], Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time.” The First Sunday Law of Constantine 1, in “Codex Justinianus,” lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Phillip Schaff “History of the Christian Church,” Vol. 3, p. 380.

It is important to remember that numerous historical records reveal that the Romans associated each day of the week with one of their Roman gods or goddesses, which also corresponded to specific astrological planets or heavenly bodies. Monday was the day for Luna/Moon. Tuesday was the day for Mars/Mars. Wednesday was the day for Mercurius/Mercury. Thursday was the day for Jupiter/Jupiter. Friday was the day for Venus/Venus. Saturday was the day for Saturnus/Saturn. And, Sunday was the day for Sol/Sun.

Although Constantine had supposedly converted to Christianity, it is obvious from his edict that his conversion was nominal at best, because his edict, which exalted Sunday as a day of rest, blatantly declared that its purpose was to “venerate” the day of the Sun, Sunday.  Then, sixteen years after Constantine’s edict of 321 AD, the Roman Catholic Church made it official Church doctrine by issuing the following Church decree in 337 AD:

Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday [in the original: "sabbato" shall not be idle on the Sabbath], but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out ["anathema,"--excommunicated] from Christ.” Council of Laodicea, c. A.D. 337, Canon 29, quoted in C.J. Hefele, “A History of the Councils of the Church,” Vol. 2, p. 316.

Notice that the Catholic Church’s decree called it “Judaizing” to keep the seventh-day Sabbath, and threatened to excommunicate people who kept the Sabbath. In effect, official Church policy was to attempt to force people to disobey God’s Sabbath commandment. The Catholic Church issued a similar statement at the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD. These fourth-century edicts combined to officially replace Sabbath keeping with Sunday observance within the Church, as also noted in the following reference:

“Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the sabbatical observance of Sunday is known to have been ordained is the sabbatical edict of Constantine, A.D. 32I.” -Chambers” Encyclopedia, Article “Sunday.” As stated by this source, Constantine’s edict was the first to replace seventh-day Sabbath observance with Sunday keeping, and the Roman Catholic Church quickly followed with its own decrees 16 and 43 years later, as previously cited. And, Catholic authorities and publications freely admit and even boast of having authorized and ordained the official change from Saturday/Sabbath keeping to observance of Sunday, as noted in all of the following references:

”I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says, No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church.” Priest Thomas Enright, C.S.S.R., February 18, 1884, Printed in the American Sentinel, a New York Roman Catholic journal in June 1893, p. 173.

“The Sabbath was Saturday, not Sunday. The Church altered the observance of the Sabbath to the observance of Sunday. Protestants must be rather puzzled by the keeping of Sunday when God distinctly said, ‘Keep holy the Sabbath Day.’ The word Sunday does not come anywhere in the Bible, so, without knowing it they are obeying the authority of the Catholic Church.” Canon Cafferata, The Catechism Explained, p. 89.

“My brethren, look about the various wrangling sects and denominations. Show me one that claims or possesses the power to make laws binding on the conscience. There is but one on the face of the earth—the Catholic Church—that has the power to make laws binding upon the conscience, binding before God, binding upon the pain of hellfire.  Take for instance, the day we celebrate—Sunday. What right have the Protestant churches to observe that day? None whatsoever. You say it is to obey the commandment, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ But Sunday is not the Sabbath according to the Bible and the record of time.  Everyone knows that Sunday is the first day of the week, while Saturday is the seventh, and the Sabbath, the day consecrated as a day of rest.  It is so recognized in all civilized nations.  It was the Holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, the first day of the week.  And has not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the council of Laodicea, A.D. 364, anathemized those who kept the Sabbath and urged all persons to labor on the seventh day under penalty of anathema.  Which church does the whole civilized world obey?  Protestants call us every horrible name they can think of—anti-christ, the scarlet-colored beast, Babylon, etc., and at the same time profess great reverence for the Bible, and yet by their solemn act of keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the power of the Catholic Church.” (Industrial American, Harlan Iowa; a published lecture by T. Enright, December 19, 1889)

“But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn’t it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible and not the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, of course, it is inconsistent; but this change was made about fifteen centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They have continued the custom, even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text in the Bible. That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away – like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his “mother” or a lock of her hair.” Faith of Millions, pp. 400 and 401, by the Reverend John A. O’Brien, PH.D., Copyright 1938, published by Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington Indiana.  (Emphasis supplied)

“They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason. …The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the Divine law of Sabbath observance. .The author of the Sunday Law…is the Catholic Church.” (Walter Drum, Catholic priest, Ecclesiastical Review, February, 1914)

”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 the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.” John Cardinal Gibbons, The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.

‘Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third—Protestant Fourth—Commandment of God… The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record, September 1, 1923

“The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, ‘Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today’, p. 213.

The above forthright and honest quotes by Catholic authorities and publications speak for themselves. As already documented, following Constantine’s edict, the Catholic Church issued their own ecclesiastical decrees instituting the change from Saturday to Sunday. Constantine said that he did it to honor the venerable day of the sun, and the Catholic Church said that she did it because she believes that she has the right to change God’s laws whenever she decides to do so, as stated in the quotes below.

“The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine law”. The pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts a vicegerent of God upon earth” Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, art. Papa, II, Vol. VI, p. 29.

Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) wrote: “We may according to the fullness of our power, dispose of the law and dispense above the law. Those whom the Pope of Rome doth separate, it is not a man that separates them but God. For the Pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man but of the true God.” (1 Book of Gregory 9 Decret. c.3)

Pope Nicholas said of himself: “I am in all and above all, so that God Himself and I, the vicar of God, hath both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do…wherefore, if those things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God, what do you make of me but God? Again, if prelates of the Church be called of Constantine for gods, I then being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be above all gods. Wherefore, no marvel, if it be in my power to dispense with all things, yea with the precepts of Christ.” (Decret. par. Distinct 96 ch. 7 edit. Lugo 1661)

I find it amusing that contemporary Protestant and Evangelical preachers, who came along more than a thousand years after the Sabbath change was made, are now offering up their eighteen unbiblical excuses for violating God’s Sabbath commandment, and are trying to tell us what was happening in the early centuries when the unbiblical change was made from seventh-day Sabbath observance to first-day Sunday keeping. Protestants and Evangelicals were not there when the change was made from the seventh day, Saturday, to the first day, Sunday. However, the Catholic Church was there, because it was the only Church in existence back then; moreover, the
Catholic Church was the one who made the official change. And, Catholic authorities have told us exactly what happened. As you have seen in the previous quotes from Catholic sources, they freely admit that they were the ones who issued the decree and made the official change from Saturday to Sunday, because they feel that they have the right and power to change God’s laws. Furthermore, they openly acknowledge that their change to Sunday is not authorized by the Bible, and they candidly concede that the only day endorsed in the Scriptures is the seventh day, Saturday. And, as revealed in these historical statements by Catholic authorities, they even taunt Protestants for continuing to observe Sunday; they declare that Protestants, who honor Sunday instead of the Bible Sabbath, are actually paying homage to the Catholic Church.

Now that you know the indisputable biblical truth concerning the Sabbath, what should you do? According to the Bible, you should obey it. The Bible states that we are held accountable for what we know. Acts 17:30 states that our times of ignorance God overlooked, but now, once we’re no longer ignorant, He commands us to “repent”, which means to turn away from our “sin”. As James 4:17 declares, “to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin“. And, as Jesus stated in John 15:22, if He had not spoken the truth unto them, they would not have had any sin, but after they had heard the truth, they had no “cloak” or excuse for their sin. It is significant that the Bible defines sin as being “transgression of the law” in 1st John 3:4. Therefore, applying the biblical definition for sin, when Jesus states that, “once He reveals the truth to us, we have no excuse for sinning”; then, according to the Bible’s definition of sin, Jesus is saying that we have no excuse for “transgressing the law”. And, the Sabbath commandment is one of God’s Ten Commandment laws. Therefore, once we know the biblical truth about the Sabbath Command, we have no excuse for transgressing God’s Sabbath law. We either choose to obey it or to transgress it. And, if we choose to transgress it, we are committing sin according to 1st John 3:4.

You may think that I’m sounding too blunt. You may want to remind me that we are “under grace” in the New Testament. Also, you may want to remind me that the Apostle Paul states that “love is the fulfillment of the law”, in Romans 13:10. Does true love for God cause us to transgress God’s commandments? In John 14:15, Jesus said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments”, not transgress them. Likewise, in 1st John 5:3, the Bible states: “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments”, not break them. And, concerning us being “under grace” in the New Testament, in Romans 6:1, the Apostle Paul asks the question: “Shall we continue in sin (which is transgressing the law, according to 1st John 3:4) that grace may abound?” He then emphatically answers this question by saying: “Certainly not” or “GodForbid” (Romans 6:2).

Regarding the line of thought mentioned in the preceding paragraph, I would like to ask you a couple of questions. Would it be alright for you to commit adultery, dishonesty, murder or theft on a weekly basis, because you are “under grace” and because love is the fulfillment of the law? Would it be alright for you to bow down to idols and to use the Lord’s name in vain on a weekly basis, because you are “under grace” and because love is the fulfillment of the law? You know that your answer to these questions would be a resounding and emphatic NO! You would not think that it is ok to regularly break any of the other Ten Commandments for either of these reasons. Then, why should you think that it’s alright for you to disobey and dishonor God’s Sabbath commandment on a weekly basis for the same reasons; that you are “under grace” and because love is the fulfillment of the law?  To do so would be an obvious and blatant double standard. After all, God Himself chose, blessed, hallowed and sanctified the seventh day, and He has commanded you to remember it and to keep it holy. We must remember that James 2:10-12 teaches that, if we break one of God’s Ten Commandments, we are guilty of breaking all of them. Why? Because it is God’s law, not ours; He chose the laws that He wanted, and we do not have the prerogative to pick and choose which ones are important, because we are not God. He is! Our responsibility is to obey, not to question God’s judgment regarding His choice of commandments. It is also noteworthy that this passage in James tells us that we will be “judged” by God’s Ten Commandment law. God obviously takes His laws and commandments seriously, and it would be a good idea for us to do so as well.

In fact, God takes obedience and His commandments so seriously that He has made some very blunt statements regarding them, which it would be well for us to remember. For example: In 1st John 2:4, the Bible states that a person who says that he knows God, but does not keep His commandments, is a “liar”. Also, consider what Jesus said in Luke 6:46. He asks why people even bother to call Him “Lord”, if they don’t do the things that He says. In other words, according to Jesus, if we’re not willing to obey the things that He says in His word, the Bible, we cannot truly call Him our Lord. These are not my statements; they’re God’s statements in His Holy Scriptures. As you can see, God’s statements are spoken far more bluntly than mine. And, the Bible sums up this whole subject of obedience and God’s commandments in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. This passage states that we need to: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, for God will bring every deed into judgment”.

It is up to each individual Christian to decide if they will be as faithful and obedient as the disciples were when they confronted the wayward religious leaders of their day, by boldly telling them that they were going to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). The evidence concerning the Sabbath issue is overwhelming. It is clear that the Church’s Sunday doctrine is being taught in blatant disregard of the indisputable biblical evidence. What will you do? Whom will you obey; God and His Holy Scriptures, or mere men and their human traditions? “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

How should you “keep” the Sabbath?

A good place to start, regarding proper Sabbath observance, is determining the biblically correct “time span” of the Sabbath. We know that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, Saturday, but when does the Sabbath “officially” begin and end each week? Is it at midnight?

The Bible does not reckon “daily time” from midnight to midnight, but rather from “evening to evening” or “sunset to sunset”. We see this biblical system of “time reckoning” at the time of creation in Genesis chapter one. Each of the creation days begin with the “evening” or sunset. This biblical “time format” also applies to the Sabbath. Leviticus 23:32 states that the Sabbath is celebrated or kept from “evening to evening”. Moreover, this “evening to evening” time reckoning was still employed in the New Testament, according to Mark 1:21-34. This text says that Jesus entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and, after leaving the synagogue, He went to the house of Simon/Peter and Andrew. This passage then states that at “evening”, when the “sun had set”, the people from the city brought their sick to Jesus to be healed (Mark 1:32-34). This text is significant for two reasons, regarding this subject. First, it tells us that “evening” equates to when the “sun had set” (sundown or sunset). Second, it tells us that they were still keeping the Sabbath from “evening to evening” or “sunset to sunset” in the New Testament, because the people did not bring their sick to be healed until the “sun had set” on that Sabbath day. The reason they had to wait until “sunset” was because the priests and Pharisees considered healing to be “work”, which is not allowed on the Sabbath.

Having established the correct biblical “time span” for the Sabbath, how should you “keep” the Sabbath? What should you do, and what should you not do on the Sabbath?

A good place to begin, regarding this question, is with the Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20:8-11. This commandment basically states that the seventh-day Sabbath has been established as a “memorial” of God’s/Jesus’ creation, and it commands us to refrain from labor on the Sabbath. Therefore, proper Sabbath observance certainly includes remembering and focusing on God/Jesus as being our Creator, and on His glorious creation. And, proper Sabbath keeping also requires us to refrain from work on the seventh day; we should not go to our normal jobs on the Sabbath, and we should not engage in other forms of work, such as yard work, housework etc.

However, we do not want to go to extremes, as the priests and Pharisees did in Jesus’ day. They added literally hundreds of their own manmade rules and traditions over and above what God’s Sabbath commandment required. As previously mentioned, they even forbid healing or ministering to the sick on the Sabbath. In today’s setting, Pharisees would require all of the doctors and nurses to refrain from ministering to the sick in the hospitals on the Sabbath, thus allowing the critically ill to suffer and die. They made the Sabbath into a “grievous burden” with a list of hundreds of “dos” and “don’ts”. God intended the Sabbath to be a blessing for mankind, not a burden. Jesus stated that the Sabbath was “made for man”, not “man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). In other words, God did not create the Sabbath first, with a thousand different rules, and then create man for the purpose of meticulously keeping all of those rules. Rather, God created man first, and then created the Sabbath to be a blessed time of communion and fellowship between God and man. And, Jesus clearly stated that it is “lawful” to do “good” on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:11-12). It is not a violation of the Sabbath to help someone in need on the seventh day.

The Bible also clearly reveals that the Sabbath is a time to gather for “corporate worship/church”. Leviticus 23:3 states that the Sabbath is a time for “holy convocation” or “sacred assembly”. And, God “links” the keeping of His Sabbaths with “reverencing His sanctuary” (Leviticus 19:30; Leviticus 26:2). Furthermore, both Jesus and the Apostle Paul kept the Sabbath by attending synagogue/church as their “custom” (Luke 4:16; Acts 17:1-3).

Psalm chapter 92 is titled, “A Song for the Sabbath Day”. And, this Psalm emphasizes praise and thanksgiving to God for His loving-kindness and faithfulness. So, the Sabbath is also obviously a special time for praising God and giving Him thanks, which would relate to it being a time for corporate worship in church, as discussed in the previous paragraph. Our Sabbath church services should reflect this attitude of praise and thanksgiving, as well as the reverence mentioned in Leviticus.

Of course, as with every other day of the week, the Sabbath is a great time to study your Bible and pray. Moreover, it is an excellent day for having a group Bible study and group prayer.

Isaiah 58:13-14 states that we are to “take our foot off the Sabbath”, and refrain from doing “our pleasure” on God’s holy day. And, this passage says that, if we do, we will delight ourselves in the Lord, and He will cause us to “ride on the high hills” of the earth. Wow! What a promise has been given to those who honor God through honoring His Sabbath, by refraining from “their pleasures” on His “holy day”.

What does it mean to refrain from “our pleasures” on the Sabbath? I’ll use myself as an example. I am a sports fan. I enjoy watching professional sporting events. We have four major professional sports teams in the “Twin Cities”. Some of them have games on the Sabbath. As a sports fan, I could attend a Minnesota Twins game on a Saturday afternoon, but I choose to refrain from that “sports pleasure” on God’s holy Sabbath day. I choose to honor and obey God, rather than indulge myself with my “sports pleasure” on His Sabbath. There are six other days of the week from which I can choose to attend a sporting event. I do not need to “put my foot on God’s Sabbath”, by insisting on indulging in my “sports pleasure” on His holy day. I hope that this personal example will help to clarify the meaning and application of this passage in Isaiah.

So, in summary, proper biblical Sabbath keeping includes a couple of “don’ts”: Don’t work on the Sabbath. And, don’t “put your foot on the Sabbath” by doing your “own pleasures” on God’s holy day.

Proper biblical Sabbath observance also includes a few “dos”: Do go to church and reverence God on the Sabbath. Do have a special time of praise and thanksgiving to God for His loving-kindness and faithfulness. Do have personal or group Bible study and prayer. Do “good deeds” by ministering to others, such as handing out food or clothing to those in need, or visiting the sick. And, do remember and focus on God/Jesus as your Creator and on His glorious creation. The Sabbath is a great time for a “nature walk” or an afternoon picnic out in nature.

This is a brief list of seven “dos and don’ts” that would be a good start for biblical Sabbath keeping. I do not want to create a long list of rules and regulations, because that is what the Jewish priests and Pharisees did, which made the Sabbath become a burden. However, I encourage you to “listen to God’s voice” as He speaks to you in the Bible and prayer. And, if you are firmly convicted that He is adding a couple more “dos and don’ts” to your Sabbath observance, and if it agrees with Scripture, always be obedient to your biblical convictions.

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5 Responses to The Sabbath

  1. Josh Nielsen says:

    Can you please add a section to this about how we are to observe the Sabbath biblically? The observance must have changed somewhat, at least in spirit, from the OT to the NT just as Jesus illustrated for all of the other commandments in the Sermon on the Mount. And Jesus broke the Sabbath for important occasions, because the Sabbath was made for man. And also do you advocate stoning those who break the Sabbath? Or if not which parts are no longer applicable? But that again brings us back to the question of what observing the Sabbath really means. How would we judge it within the Church? What criteria do we have for deciding?

    I know one person who says they observe the sabbath and they do not cook on Saturdays at all, which I really think is taking things to an unnecessary extreme. Not that it’s wrong to do so, but unnecessary, yes I think so. So please be so kind as to add an actual _practical_ conclusion to this article, without which all the points only leave the reader in confusion about what to do. We have not been told what observing the Sabbath means for the new covenant Christian.

  2. hank says:

    Hi Josh,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with you. It is certainly a good idea to do an “add-on” to the article regarding proper Sabbath observance. I am in the middle of several different projects for the next week or two, but I will add a few extra paragraphs to the article concerning your suggestion. Hopefully I’ll have it done within the next couple of weeks. Thanks again for your comment.

    Henry Bechthold

  3. Dear friend,
    I have found the truth since 2007, I am preaching the truth,now I know that Sabbath is the day our Jehovah Has given unto us to worship,I am trying but people from Sunday are fighting against me.But still our God is faithful to me. Please can I and you host an event in Ghana and teach the people the truth.

    God bless you

    God servant

    Pastor Christopher Annan
    Outreach Crusade and World Day of worship-co-coordinator.
    PO.Box126 Aiyinasi-Axim,
    Ghana
    Tell:00233-246-817410

  4. Dennis says:

    Do you have any Bible studies on the topic of the Sabbath?

    I am a student of the Bible and history, and calendar history also.

    SHALOM

    Dennis Sumner, MI

    • hank says:

      Hi Dennis,

      Thank you for your comment. In addition to this Sabbath “article”, I also have posted a Sabbath “Bible Study” on this site. You may feel free to print it and distribute it if you like. I am not concerned about who gets the credit for the biblical research that has been done. We just need to awaken fellow Christian believers about the biblical truth of the seventh day Sabbath, and about the deception being promulgated regarding the keeping of the first day of the week , Sunday.
      Henry Bechthold

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