Sunday is the Christian Sabbath
This article will debate the claim that the Saturday Sabbath is the Christian Sabbath.
The Genesis Sabbath
Most supporters of Saturday as the day of worship, argue that nowhere in the bible is it mentioned that Sunday should be the day of worship, and that there is no reference that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day to the first day.
Thus to start this article I will focus on the first Sabbath, the Genesis Sabbath.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2: 3-4 KJV).
The book of Genesis shows the origin of the Sabbath day - namely Saturday. The Genesis creation story mentions that God completed his creations in six days, and that He rested on the seventh day.
He did not give the seventh day to Adam and Eve as a day of rest. He merely told them not to eat of a certain tree while He (God) rested.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in there is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the Lord Blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11).
Remember the Fourth Commandment
In Exodus, when the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God sent twice as much on Friday for Friday and Saturday.
And it came to pass that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. (Exodus 17:22).
And Moses said,
Eat that today for today is a Sabbath unto the Lord, today ye shall not find it in the field, Six days ye shall gather it but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath in there shall be none" Exodus 17: 24 - 25 KJV).
Thus, returning to the fourth commandment, God told them to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. He used the word remember to remind them that on Saturday, He would be resting, and that they were not to go back to the practices of Egypt. He had just taken them out of bondage in Egypt, and the children of Israel religious beliefs at the time were based on religious practices of the Egyptians, which were contrary to God's way of doing things. They did not know Him, nor did they have any knowledge of the Genesis creation.
God had just taken them out of bondage, killed the first born, parted the Red Sea and provided food for them to eat in the desert. This should convince them not go back to the practices of Egypt.
Most supporters of the Sabbath today, tend to think it is a day to dress in your Sunday best and go to church on a Saturday. They completely ignore the fact that servants and animals, are to keep this day as a day of rest also. Advocates of the fourth commandment, completely ignore the first commandment which states:
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before. (Exodus 20:2 KJV).
And Simon Peter answered and said, "thou art the Christ the Son of the living God". (St. Matthew 6:16 KJV).
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Barjona for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (St. Matthew 16:17 -19 KJV).
Church built on Simon Barjona
Jesus told Peter that He would build His church upon this rock. Christians today are aware of this fact, yet how many Christian churches today are built upon Peter?
When Jesus asked his disciples, who do men say that I am, the disciples replied, some say thou art John the Baptist, some Elias and others Jeremias or one of the prophets. He asked him, but who do you say that I am.
Also in the book of Revelation:
And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb as if had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Revelation 5:6 KJV).
And they sung a new song saying, Thou are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nations. (Revelation5:9 KJV).
Here in Revelation we see that they sing a new song to the lamb.
Before Jesus came, the churches were not singing songs to Jesus. Therefore, after his death, resurrection and the kingdom coming with power, we now sing to Jesus, and not God (the Father) as the ancient Israelites did. Thus the day was also changed from Saturday to Sunday. Remember, in the commandment, God did not tell the Israelites to worship on a Saturday, He commanded them to keep it holy.
I went to an agricultural fair in Florida. I went to see a "pig show" at this event. At first it appeared to me it as just a bunch of people and pigs in a staged area. Curiosity got the better of me, and I asked the person beside me to explain what was going on. She told me that each owner and pig had a tag, and continued to point out what each letter and number on the tag represented. She then showed me a sign above the judge's station signaling which owner and pig were being judged. She next told me that after showing the pig to the judge, the owner had to guide the pig along a marked course within a certain time. If the participant completed the course within the allotted time, he/she and pig were placed to wait in a safe area for the second round. In the second round they were judged individually, and whoever finished the course in the fastest time was declared the winner.
And he said unto them, "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." (St. Mark 2: 27-28 KJV).
The Sabbath was not made for man
This seventh day was not created for man, and I will explain why. In Mark 2:27 states
God did not tell Adam and Eve to rest on the seventh day. He God rested on the seventh day and sanctified it, thus the Sabbath was made for God. The notion that God does not need to rest, does not eliminate the fact that God rested on the seventh, nor does it justify that man does not need a day of rest. The question is whether man's rest day is on a Saturday.
God (the creator) rested on Saturday. He sanctified it, and made His day of rest forever. To God this pattern is now routine. He wakes on a Saturday morning knowing He has nothing to do but rest. This cannot be disputed. He tells man Saturday is my rest day, do not disturb, I will not be working, and I suggest man take it as a day of rest also.
However, today it has become a day to worship God. Later God sends a promised Messiah. When Jesus got baptized, the spirit descended in the form of a dove and a voice from heaven saying
And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (St. Matther 4:3 KJV)
This indicates a transfer of power from the Father to the Son.
Christianity is an off-shoot of the religion of Judaism. It is often commented by Sabbath keepers that most Sunday worshipers merely accept their church's teaching, and do not prove the origin of things. When Peter, Paul and the apostles preached, the gospel of Jesus Christ was not popular as it is today. Most converts at the time, were confused as to what to believe and practice.
In Romans14:5 Paul writes:
One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike, Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (Romans 14:5)
Does this mean that Christ changed the Sabbath rest? No, because God still rests on the seventh day. The Sabbath can still be observed as a day of rest and worship, and Sunday observed as a day of worship. The weekend today consists of two days Saturday and Sunday, a day of rest and a day of worship. Let us forget about the Sabbath for a brief period, and focus on who God gave the Sabbath rest. This in itself could cause another debate.
Hebrews 4 speaks of a Sabbath rest.
Seeing then it remaineth that some are to enter into it, and they, to whom it was first preached, did not enter because of unbelief: Again he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time, as it is above said: Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, he would never have afterwards spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a day of rest for the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, the same also hath rested from his works, as God did from his." ( Hebrews 4:6-9 KJV)
Note: The book of Hebrews was written to the Hebrews and not to the Gentiles like the books of Paul.
Abraham and Circumcision
Circumcision of the foreskin was a covenant made with God, Abraham and his descendants.,
"This is My covenant which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after you: Every man child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he who is born in the house or bought with thy money must needs be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child who flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant. (Genesis 17: 10-14 KJV).
The command to keep the Sabbath day holy was not given as a covenant to Abraham, even though the Sabbath already existed.
In the book of Galatians the Galatians were told that circumcision was necessary for salvation. Paul refers to Abraham and seed, not seeds, meaning one which is Jesus Christ.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises mad. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16 KJV)
The covenant was between Abraham and his seed, which is Christ. Some of the Jews at the time did not accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus the scripture in Hebrews 4 is referring to the Jews and not the Gentiles. Paul tells the Gentiles in Galatians that:
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anythin, nor uncircumcision but a new creature (Galatians, 6:15 KJV)
Paul writes to the converts in the letter to the Colossians.
Let no man, therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: (Colossians 2:16 KJV)
One of Christ's main mission was to redeem man from the curse of law. Jesus Christ called Paul to preach to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were not under the law, therefore they were not necessarily under Peter either.
In the book of Galatians 17, Paul says that after his conversion, he did not associate with the disciples but went to Arabia, however in the book of Acts, it speaks of him preaching in the Damascus and meeting with the disciples after he got back his sight. If the Galatians version of the story was false, the Galatians would not have accepted his message.
In Acts 28;17 it states:
And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together; and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people of customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem in the hands of the Romans. (Acts 28: 17 KJV)
Here Paul is saying that he had not broken the customs of the Jews. Paul was circumcised and he kept the Sabbath, because he was a Jew. These customs were not relevant to the Gentiles. The weekend today consists of two days - Saturday a day of rest, and Sunday a day or worship.
In Colossians Paul is telling the new converts not to let anybody judge them in meat or drink or in respect of an holy day or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days. Paul uses the word therefore, which means that Paul had given the converts some rules to live by, or some explanation before he made the statement.
Paul writes to the Galatian converts that the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ that we might be justified by faith, but after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ that we might be justified by faith, But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster, For ye are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3: 24-26 KJV)
In this letter Paul is explaining, that when the children of Israel were taken out Egypt, God was forced to give them certain commands in order to bring them back to Him. The law was the schoolmaster, but now that Christ is come, we do not need the laws because all has been fulfilled.
Jesus Christ's death and resurrection was not merely to die and rise from the dead, but also to defeat death and hell. This is the reason He says in revelation that He has the key to death and hell.
I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:18 KJV)
In conclusion, I put forward this question; if God called Moses today to take the Jews out of bondage, what would the fourth commandment be? Could the Jews lead an organized Godly life among the Sunday worshiping Gentiles with this commandment?