The Seventh Day Sabbath Truth
Some Christians keep Saturday as a day of Sabbath rest and worship while others keep Sunday. In both groups are many sincere Christians, but there are many who have never stopped to consider why they keep a certain day. It is really a custom handed down by a power that believe they have the right to change God's law, but in most cases, no personal examination has been made to discover the reason why or what the real Sabbath truth is. So before continuing, it would be highly beneficial to first read the mark from the beast and history of Sunday worship for very enlightening information on how Sunday worship actually began 2000 years before Christ and was Satan worship.
Christians that keep the Sabbath say it is a blessing and their favourite day of the week. The Sabbath is quality time with family and relaxing and fellowshipping with God and other Christians. God says we are to find this day a delight and a blessing.
Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and CALL THE SABBATH A DELIGHT, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shall honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shall you delight thyself in the LORD...”
Some say the Sabbath to Sunday change was in honour of the resurrection and others say it was nailed to the cross. Others will tell you any day can be kept as the Sabbath day as long as you keep one. And still others will say as long as you do everything to the glory of God you don’t have to keep God’s true Sabbath day. And yet still others will say it is legalism. Is this really what the Bible says? God's Word is the Christian's authority, so here we will find the answer to the question, “Which day should Christians keep as the Sabbath?”
Revelation 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on THE LORD’S DAY, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet.”
One thing is certain, Christ has a special day in the New Testament era, and here it is referred to as the “Lord’s Day”. But which day is the Lord’s Day? This text does not say; it simply states that He has a day. The answer becomes clear in other texts of Scripture.
Matthew 12:8 “For the Son of Man is LORD EVEN OF THE SABBATH.”
If Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath as this text clearly states, then the Sabbath is the Lord’s Day. No other day has been set aside for worship other than the Sabbath, which today is commonly called Saturday. In Isaiah 58:13, the Sabbath is called “MY HOLY DAY” and a day we should call a delight.
Exodus 20:8-11 “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.”
There are many who say all is well providing we worship one day in seven, but God is specific. He says, “Remember the SABBATH day”, not any other day. He further states, “The SEVENTH DAY is the Sabbath”. A Look at most calendars shows Saturday to be the seventh day. Some modern calendars have made a change in the order of the days of the week, but this is a very recent change.
John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD. He was in the beginning with God. ALL THINGS WERE MADE THROUGH HIM, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
The “Word” in this chapter is Christ (see verse 14). Here we see that nothing was made without Christ. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all co-operated in the creation of this world. If Christ therefore is responsible for the existence of all things, then He also made the seventh day Sabbath.
Colossians 2:16 is one of the most misunderstood passages in the entire New Testament. Verse 14 says, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us ... nailing it to his cross.” The law that was “blotted out” and nailed to the cross was not the Ten Commandments or the Sabbath. Luke 16:17-18; Romans 7:7, 12; James 2:10-12. It was the “handwriting” of the “law” of sacrifices written by “Moses” in “a book” which was a continual witness “against” Israel. Deuteronomy 31:24-26. This law of sacrifices was “against them” because its very existence was a witness that they had broken the Ten Commandments God wrote in stone. That's why they needed to offer lambs.
“Therefore,” wrote Paul in Colossians 2:16. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come.” Verses 16-17. Paul here refers to the Jewish “feasts ... meat offerings ... drink offerings” AND YEARLY “SABBATHS” OF THE CEREMONIAL LAW. Leviticus 23:37, 24, 32, 38. These yearly sabbaths, like the Passover and the Day of Atonement, were “shadows” pointing forward to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:1 also affirms that it was the ceremonial law with its yearly sabbaths and “sacrifices” that was a “shadow.” You may also read was the Sabbath abolished for more detail.
The Ten Commandments and the Creation Sabbath are NOT A SHADOW pointing forward to Jesus. The Sabbath POINTS BACK to the creation of the world and remains in the New Testament. Exodus 20:11; Matthew 24:20; Luke 23:56; Hebrews 4:9. Paul continued to keep this Sabbath truth. Acts 16:13.
We find an excellent example of the meaning of Colossians 2:16 in Ezekiel 45:17 and that these feasts were part of the ceremonial law which was carried out as a result of sin.
Ezekiel 45:17 “And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.”
Many say the Sabbath is a Jewish Sabbath, but in fact, the Sabbath came into being at least 2,500 years before the Jewish race was born. Because Christ made the Sabbath, it would be more correct to say that the Sabbath is a Christian Sabbath, not a Jewish Sabbath. (See also Ephesians 3:9).
Luke 4:16 “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as HIS CUSTOM was, He went into the synagogue on the SABBATH DAY, and stood up to read.”
When Christ was in the flesh, and lived on this earth, how did He regard the Sabbath? This text shows His habit of Sabbath observance and church attendance. He made the Sabbath and He also kept the Sabbath. He is our perfect example. We also find after the cross that Sabbath observance continued as we see by Paul's example. In Acts 13:42-44 there is no conflict between Jews and Gentiles over the day to keep the Sabbath. The Jews of course still continue to keep the Sabbath today. What a perfect opportunity for the Jews to bring a valid accusation against Paul but all allegations against Paul were always false and never involved an accusation against breaking the Sabbath.
Acts 13:42-44 “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”
We also see Paul going into a Jewish synagogue in Thessalonica and “as his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue and on three sabbath days reasoned with them from the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead.” Acts 17:1-3. Paul preached about the resurrection of Jesus. He did it on the Sabbath. He did not mention Sunday. Many “devout Greeks” believed. Verse 4. This was the beginning of the New Testament Sabbath keeping Church of Jesus in Thessalonica. Paul's letters to the Thessalonians were to this church. All practicing Jews still keep the Sabbath today and always have and undoubtedly did then, so there is no mistake as to what day Paul kept the Sabbath on as was “his custom” as this was a Jewish synagogue. As for his custom, Paul was a Jew and a Pharisee since childhood.
Acts 26:5-6 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.”
Hebrew 13:8 “JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME yesterday, today, and FOREVER.”
Man changes his views and ideas, but God is perfect – He never changes. In His sight good is always good and evil is always evil. His principles of righteousness are eternal.
Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and HE RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY from all His work which He had done. Then God BLESSED the seventh day and SANCTIFIED it, because in it He RESTED from all His work which God had created and made.”
Here is this world’s first Sabbath. God set the example by working six days and resting on the seventh. Notice how He blessed this day. To bless means to make happy, but obviously it has a deeper meaning than the mere surface happiness – it involves real satisfaction. Secondly, God sanctified it, or “set it apart” for a holy use. It was a day different from all other days. No matter how sincerely a person may keep another day other than the Sabbath, it does not make it a holy day. Only God can make a day holy. Thirdly, it is a rest day.
Mark 2:27 “And He said to them, THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN, and not man for the Sabbath.”
The Jews had placed many man-made requirements on Sabbath observance, and made it a burden instead of a glorious day. Jesus came to show them how to keep it. He pointed out that the Sabbath was made FOR man. The Sabbath was made to be a blessing to him, not a burden. When Jesus said the Sabbath was made for MAN, He meant for all mankind not just for Jews who thought it was only for them. Jesus here sets the record straight.
How can we locate the seventh day in the Bible?
Mark 15:42; 16:1-2 “Now when evening had come, because it was the PREPARATION DAY, that is, THE DAY BEFORE THE SABBATH. Now WHEN THE SABBATH WAS PAST, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.”
The day before the Sabbath is called the preparation. The day after the Sabbath is called the first day of the week. The Sabbath is the seventh day. Today we call the preparation – Friday, and the first day – Sunday, so Saturday is the Sabbath of the Bible.
Christ on the Cross
Christ in the Tomb
First Day of the Week
Some feel that time has been lost and we cannot be certain. This is a good observation, but let us consider evidence from just five possible areas, as there are many others:
The Jews have always been very strict regarding Sabbath observance and would never change. Today they still observe Saturday. They were wrong in rejecting the true Messiah, but are still right regarding the true Sabbath day of worship. Here is a whole nation, millions of individuals who have been counting off time meticulously week after week, calendar or no calendar, for thousands of years. Could they have lost track of days? That would be impossible. The only way they could have lost a day would have been for the entire nation to have slept over an extra day and for no one ever to tell them about it afterwards.
The calendar underwent a change when transferring from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. Ten days were omitted in the new calendar in October 1582, thus changing the dates from Thursday the 4th to Friday the 15th but note the SEQUENCE OF THE DAYS OF THE WEEK DID NOT CHANGE. The same weekly cycle continued from Sunday through to Saturday and so the Sabbath remains the same.
In over 105 languages the name for the seventh day, or Saturday, is “the Sabbath.” For example, Saturday in Spanish is “Sabado.” In Italy, “Sabbato.” In Russia, “Subbota.” In Poland, “Sobota.” Etc.
Another easy way to confirm the day is to just look up Saturday in any normal dictionary. Here are two. Saturday n. the seventh day of the week; day after Friday; day of worship among Jews and some Christians. Saturday n. the seventh and last day of the week: the Sabbath.
Archaeologists have uncovered many clay tablets, and on some are recorded eclipses. These are Babylonian Tablets, made many years before Christ. Any astronomer will testify to the accurate timing of the movements of heavenly bodies such as the sun, moon and stars. An eclipse can be predicted with split second timing. Examining the Babylonian tablets it can be calculated that we have not lost one thousandth of a second in time, let alone a whole day.
Luke 23:54-24:1 “And that day was the PREPARATION, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and RESTED THE SABBATH DAY ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT. Now upon the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”
Once again the Sabbath is located. The book of Luke was written twenty-eight years after the resurrection, but still the record says they “rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment”. If a change was made in the day of worship, here is the ideal place to record it but even with the perfect opportunity Luke tells us of no change in the day.
Leviticus 23:32 “It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, FROM EVENING TO EVENING, YOU SHALL CELEBRATE YOUR SABBATH.”
Even refers to evening or the first part of darkness after the sunsets. God commanded His people to observe the Sabbaths, not from midnight to midnight as we do today, but from sunset to sunset. When the sun sets on Friday evening, Sabbath opens. When the sun sets on Saturday evening the Sabbath closes. (See Nehemiah 13:19 note the word dark).
We often hear, “Well, since we are not under the law but under grace, we do not need to keep the Ten Commandments any longer.” Is this a valid point? The Bible certainly does say that we are not under the law, but does that imply that we are free from the obligation to obey it?
Romans 6:14-15. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”
Paul gives a clear explanation of his statement. After stating that we are not under law but grace, he asks, "What then?" This simply means, “How are we to understand this?” Then notice his answer. He says, “Shall we sin (break the law) because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid.” In the strongest possible language Paul states that being under grace does not give a license to break the law.
Ezekiel 20:12 “Moreover I also gave them My SABBATHS, TO BE A SIGN BETWEEN THEM AND ME, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.”
Exodus 31:15-17 “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, HOLY to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a PERPETUAL COVENANT. 17 It is a SIGN between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”
To keep the true Sabbath is a sign that we belong to the true God of heaven. Sabbath observance indicates to the world that we are giving our allegiance to the Creator. It was true of literal Israel and is true of Spiritual Israel (i.e. those who accept Christ. See Galatians 3:29, Romans 2:28-29 and Hebrews 8:8-10 below) for no change in the day of worship has been recorded. The only difference between the Old and New Covenants is that God's law is now written in our hearts and minds as God found fault with the people under the Old Covenant in that they continued not in the covenant, and as we saw in Exodus 31:16 above, the Sabbath is an ETERNAL Covenant which we also find in Isaiah 66:22-23.
Hebrews 8:8-10 “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the HOUSE of ISRAEL after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”
Galatians 3:29 “And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
Isaiah 66:22-23 “For as the new heavens and the NEW EARTH Which I will make…and it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and FROM ONE SABBATH TO ANOTHER, ALL FLESH SHALL COME TO WORSHIP BEFORE ME,” says the Lord.”
In the new earth, which God has promised to the faithful, the Sabbath day will still be observed. The Sabbath was made before man sinned and the Sabbath was kept by God and sinless man. When man sinned he still kept the Sabbath day. The Israelites kept the Sabbath day, Jesus Christ kept the Sabbath day and so did His followers. There is no record of a change. Then when sin is finished forever, man will still be keeping the Sabbath.
Many people follow the crowd. They keep Sunday as the Sabbath day of worship because most others do. Surely it is better to do what is right. It is better to obey God rather than man. What did Christ want us to do with His holy day? He asks us to remember it. He is the Creator, the Lawgiver and the Redeemer. He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. John 14:15.
A study of history also supports the Bible Sabbath truth presented here. It has been established by several historians and theologians holding PhD’s in their field that Matthew and Luke were written between 60 and 80 AD and there was never a better time for Luke to tell us of a day change but instead he states in Luke 23:56, “...And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Jesus also showed that the Sabbath would still be kept after the cross and speaks of no day change when He is talking to the Apostles about the destruction of the temple in about 70 AD. Jesus says in Matthew 24:20, “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.” World leading historians also confirm this and that the Sabbath was kept by Jews and Gentiles till about 90-120 AD where the persecution of the Jews for Sabbath keeping became so great that many Christians decided to start keeping Sunday using the only reason they could find, which was that it was in honour of the resurrection. They did this to escape severe persecution. History proves the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday not long after it was made law around 321 AD by Constantine after he joined the Catholic Church. As a result it was after 314 AD when Sunday eventually took on the name the Lord’s Day.
Today in these end times, God is calling man back to keep His commandments and acknowledge the Sabbath truth. Is your Sabbath-keeping in harmony with God’s commandments? Isaiah 58:13-14 says God intended the Sabbath to be a blessing and a delight, “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and CALL THE SABBATH A DELIGHT, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shall honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Then shall you DELIGHT thyself in the LORD...” God intended the Sabbath day to be a blessing. The Sabbath is the perfect time for unhurried, thoughtful, heartfelt prayer to our Father in heaven to commune with our Creator, to worship Him, to get to know Him intimately. This is how to keep God's Sabbath holy. The Sabbath is also intended and ideal for quality time with family and friends. When the Sabbath is kept as Jesus demonstrated and not in a legalistic manner as do many Jews, it will bring blessings and happiness both now and forever. Remember the words of our Saviour, "If you love me, keep my commandments".