Sabbath: Saturday or Sunday?
I mentioned earlier, most Christians do not even keep all 10 Commandments. The one I am thinking of is, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy…” God never changed Sabbath to Sunday. Christianity did, and there are documented confessions of them knowingly doing so, “Sabbath to Sunday Who Changed It? Roman Catholic and Protestant Confessions about Sunday,” put out by the Congregation House of Abraham, in Fredericktown Ohio. I will quote a confession from a few denominations:
Roman Catholic: “But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p.174.
“Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
“Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
“Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
“Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About (1927), pg. 136.
Anglican/Episcopal: “We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the Catholic Church.” Bishop Seymore, Why We Keep Sunday.
Baptist: “There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath Day, but that Sabbath Day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week… Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.
“To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during the three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question… never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was initiated.
“Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history… But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!” Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a
conference, New York Nov. 13, 1893,
reported in New York Examiner, Nov.
Free Will Baptist (the denomination I was raised and educated in): “The Sabbath. This is one day in seven, which, from the creation of the world, God has set apart for scared rest and holy service. Under the former dispensation, the seventh day of the week, as commemorative of the work of creation, was set apart as the Sabbath. Under the gospel, the first day of the week, in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, and by authority of the apostles, is observed as the Christian Sabbath. On this day all men are required to refrain from secular labor, and devote themselves to the worship and service of God.” – Article xiv (1834/1868)
This statement of faith and practice is predicated on the false notion that Biblically the first day of the week is 12am Sunday as reckoned by a western Gregorian secular reckoning of time when Scripturally and Hebraically the first day of the week is Saturday sundown, the traditional time Jews for centuries celebrated the conclusion of the sabbath and what was meant by Scripture when it speaks of Believers meeting on the first day of the week.
Secondly, nowhere in Scripture does the Messiah tell His followers to observe Sunday as the Sabbath to commemorate His resurrection. Sunday Sabbath is fully and man-made religious invention and institution regardless of the well intendedness of it.
Southern Baptist: The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercise of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the Christian conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” – Articles of Faith
The misconception here is in the phrase, “the Lord’s Day.” In context the “Lord’s Day” is a well-known Hebraic euphemism for the Saturday Sabbath, in which the Lord rested from all His labor in creation, as well as Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement).
Congregationalist: “…The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath.” Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, pg. 258.
Lutheran: “The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of Sabbath to Sunday.” Dr. Augustus Neander, “The History of the Christian Religion and Church” Henry John Rose, tr. (1843), pg. 186.
“… churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect.” John Theodore Muller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp. 15, 16.
Methodist: “… there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day (Sunday), or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day (Sunday).” Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate,
2, 1942, p. 26
Presbyterian: “The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue – the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution… Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand… The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.” T.C. Blake, DD., Theology Condensed, pp. 474, 475.
GOD gave names to all the days of the week in Genesis 1-2. They are day 1, 2, 3,4,5,6 and Shabbat. A day was from sundown to sundown (Gen. 1:5, Lev. 23:32) However, you may be thinking, “Well Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday, that’s why we go to church on Sunday and keep Sunday instead of Saturday, to commemorate the resurrection.” I do not know who made that up, but Yeshua rose on Saturday, the true Sabbath. John 20:1 says that Mary Magdalene came to the tomb “early, when it was still dark” when the “first of the week cometh” that would be Saturday night sundown. Remember we Jews reckon a day as from sunset to sunset. Therefore, this would mean Yeshua rose sometime on Saturday. Nowhere in the Renewed Covenant did Elohim (God) or Messiah say to change Sabbath to Sunday. You may be wondering, “Well doesn’t it say in Acts 20:7 that they met on the first day of the week? Well, of course it does. We Jews end the Sabbath and usher in a new week by holding a service called the Havdalah service on Saturday night right before sunset. This has been our way for thousands of years. In Acts 20 Paul participated in the Saturday evening Havdallah service and preached so long that a man named Eutychus fell asleep stilling on the edge of an open third story window and fell out and died. Paul went and raised him up from the dead and he continued speaking into early Sunday morning. It should also be noted that after the death of Yeshua his disciples kept this Havdallah tradition of meaning on Saturday night (John 20:19). Also, this Havdalah service was a perfect opportunity for Gentiles to fellowship with Jewish Believers because, if these Gentiles were slaves or otherwise employed in the Gentile world, they likely would not be able to have Sabbath day itself off seeing as the Roman world observed Sunday as their day of rest and thus these Gentile believers would have to work on Saturday, the Biblical and Jewish Sabbath.
Sabbath precedes Sinai and the Giving of the Torah (Gen.2, Exd. 16, 31:14, Mark 2:27), it’s a matter of the Created order that governs mankind and not just Jews and Israel. Yeshua never broke the Sabbath, only the manmade impediments regarding Sabbath. Yeshua’s custom was to be in synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16) and in Matthew 24:20, the last days warning implies His followers should still keep the Saturday Sabbath and in Matthew 5:17-20 clearly says that no part of the Torah been abolished.
If Sabbath has been done away with then why is it brought back in the millennium (Isa. 56:3, 58:13)? Bottom line, it wasn’t, Exd. 31:13 declares that the Sabbath is an Eternal sign of the Covenant between God and His People.
Besides Sunday worship has its roots in paganism, the worship of the sun god. Ezekiel 8:16-18, actually deals with the ancient “Easter (Ishtar)” sunrise service, and sun worship. A pagan act in ADOANI’s Temple of all places! What blasphemy! Now is it wrong to worship The LORD on Sunday? No, we can and should worship Him every day of the week. Just do not go worshiping God on Sunday and call it, or pass it off as the Sabbath.
It should be quickly noted here that the word “Easter” in Acts 12:4 in the King James Version was incorrectly translated the Greek for Passover as pagan holiday Easter. The New King James Corrects this error.
“It is all too common to take a rather sloppy attitude about matters of faith and observance. It is often said, “It doesn’t matter which day we keep the Sabbath, as long as we keep ‘a Sabbath.’” Or someone might say, “Our seder isn’t on the seder night, but at least we are doing a seder.” This kind of loose and casual attitude toward God’s commandments is sometimes misconstrued as being more ‘spiritual’ in that it is more concerned with the intent of the law then with the actual details. But this is arrogance in the extreme. Who are we to determine the intent of God’s laws? Who are we to disregard the specific details of His commandments on the basis that we deem them irrelevant? Should we expect Him to bend His schedule to meet ours? If we can make the appointment whenever it is convenient for us, then it is really not God’s appointed time.” – First Fruits of Zion
One Sunday I was out at the mall and to a local eating establishment with my family. I saw so many well-dressed people with either gold crosses hanging from their necks, some women with khaki or denim skirts with their hair penned up (most likely Pentecostal), and many Christians out and about eating, shopping, etc.
Now they consider Sunday as their Sabbath. They use the same “Old Testament” Scriptures that we Jews do, so they supposedly have the same laws for Sabbath as we Jews do.
Deuteronomy 5 (King James Version)
12Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.
13Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:
14But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.
15And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore, the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath Day.
These Christians profane their own Sabbath! If they go out to eat and shop on Sunday afternoon they are making a “Manservant and or a Maidservant, and a Stranger” work for them! They exchange money, which is also a prohibition on the Sabbath!
Moreover, according to the “New Testament” they are supposed to provoke us Jews to jealousy (Rom. 11:11)! Well, as a Jew, what I saw that day sure did not make me want to be a Christian! A Religion that profanes their own holy day!?
Sad to say, but at times I have more honor and respect for a flat out pagan than I do for “in name only” Christians. Pagans are true to who they are and what they believe. Many in Christianity have many double standards and hypocrisy in carrying out their faith.
I have never got a sufficient answer backed by Scriptures to justify their actions.
Either they try to “spiritualize” the literal commandment of resting and letting others rest on the Sabbath, by saying, “Oh, I keep Sabbath in my heart,” or “Jesus is my Sabbath rest, so I can do what ever on the Sabbath.” I have even heard, “We are not under the law anymore, but grace.” Okay, so why bother observing Sabbath at all!? I have even had the reaction of a deer caught in the headlights staring with a face that screamed remorseful conviction in the mode of silence.
Modern day Christians can call and observe whatever day they want as the Sabbath, but whatever day they choose to universally observe, do what the Bible says concerning that day and do not be a hypocrite.
Leviticus chapter 23 gives us a rundown of the Feast of the LORD. Notice I didn’t say “Jewish” Holidays. Because they are not Jewish Holidays but as the Scripture explicitly states, they are the LORD’s Feast days, meaning anyone who worships the God of Israel can observe these Holy Days. Now the whole topic and a detailed expose’ of these Biblical Feasts are for another book altogether but allow me to briefly show how these feast were still kept by the Apostles even after Yeshua left this earth.
If the Torah has been done away with at the advent of Messiah Yeshua then we would expect that His apostles would have abandoned such obsolete observances. But we already see that they kept the true Saturday Sabbath, which is the first Holy Day on the Leviticus 23 list.
It should go without saying that it was obvious they kept Passover because this is when Yeshua died on the cross. We read they kept the Passover Seder (dinner) and this is what has become known as in Christianity as the Lord’s Supper or Communion (Matt. 26).
Acts 20:6 alludes to the Apostles still recognizing and keeping Passover.
In Matthew 17 we read an often misunderstood declaration by Peter:
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. – Matt. 17:4 KJV
This occurred at what is called the Mount of Transfiguration when Yeshua’s appearance changed form and Moses and Elijah appeared with him in the sight of Peter, James and John. This took place at the Feast of Tabernacles and Jewish tradition was that every of age male must have a Tabernacle, a flimsy outdoor shelter in which to celebrate the Feast. Peter, out of his bewilderment and zeal wanted to erect three tabernacles and celebrate the Feast with Yeshua, Moses and Elijah.
John 7 speaks of Yeshua celebrating and participating in the Feast of Tabernacles.
Acts chapter 2 we well know is Pentecost, again a Feast of the LORD found in Leviticus 23 and we see that even after Yeshua’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension that His followers continued to celebrate the Feast commanded in the Torah and a great thing happened! The Holy Spirit showed up in a very powerful way! Acts 20:16, and I Cor. 16:8 we see Paul still observing this Feast.
Acts 27:9 speaks of the “Fast” referring to the observance of the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement was also called by Jews as, “The Day” and is sited in Hebrews 10:25 and not to forsake to keep and observe it.
Paul told the Colossians not to allow anyone to put them down because they still kept the Feasts of the Lord and other Torah observances and practices.
Therefore, do not let anyone pass judgment on you in matters of food or drink, or in respect to a festival or new moon or Shabbat. These are a foreshadowing of things to come, but the reality is Messiah. – Col. 2:16-17 TLV
This passages has obviously been taken grossly out of context and Christianity says this means the Feasts no longer matter, but Paul is actually saying that we should keep Sabbath and the Feasts and the New Moon celebration because they are prophetic shadows of future events.