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The Lord's Day - The Only Christian Sabbath


 

 

"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day...." Revelation 1:10
So wrote the servant of the Lord, John the Apostle. Many assume that this had to be Sunday because many of God's people are convinced that Sunday is the Lord's Day.

This line of reasoning brings up several questions.
#1. Is Sunday the Lord's Day?
#2. Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath?
#3. Is Saturday the Jewish Sabbath?

The answer to these three questions demand answers from no other source than God Himself, as He has given us no room for doubt from His Word. It is fact that Jesus kept the 7th day Sabbath, which is Saturday, called by many today as the Jewish Sabbath. We know that the Sabbath began at sundown on Friday and continued for 24 hours to the next sundown on Saturday. So the 1st day of the week would actually begin at sundown on Saturday. The 6th day, the day before the Sabbath, was called the Preparation Day, since all work, preparation of meals, housework and all secular activities were to be completed before Sabbath began.

There is no dispute that Saturday is the Biblical Sabbath that the Jews honor as the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments. Most Christians today keep Sunday as the Lord's Day, the primary reason being that Jesus rose on Sunday. In fact we find these three days we have just here mentioned in Luke 23:50-24:1

50. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: 51. (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. 52. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. 55. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.
1. 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.

Joseph of Arimathaea begged Pilate to release the body of Jesus that they may bury Him before sundown. We call that day today Good Friday. Verse 54 called it the preparation day, as the Sabbath was about to begin. Verses 55 and 56 tell us the women prepared spices and ointments to anoint Jesus body, with the plan to do the anointing on the first day Sunday. However they rested on Sabbath, Saturday, according to the commandment. Ex.20:8-11

8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 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: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.


Of course we know that when they reached the tomb, Jesus had risen. It was Sunday and He had risen. This Sunday is commonly called Easter Sunday by most Christians
Now let's look closely at Question #1

Is Sunday the Lord's Day? The answer to this question would be a resounding YES so long as God has so stated in His word. This is a call no man can make, but God alone. Of course it would not be in the Old Testament but surely we will find our proof texts in the New Testament. Jesus Himself would had to have given this new instruction since He was the testator of the New Testament. And His instruction would had to have been given before His death, because a valid last will and testament must be made prior to the death of the testator.

The word Sunday is not mentioned in the New Testament but we do find 8 references to the first day of the week. Let's examine all 8.

#1. Matthew 28:1 1 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre...

#2. Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun..

#3. Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils..

#4. Luke 24:1 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..

#5. John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

There we have 5 of the 8 texts of the New Testament making reference to the first day of the week Sunday. Nothing mentioned about a new Christian Sabbath. Let's examine the other 3.

#6 Acts 20:7, 8
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

What this verse is describing is a meeting on what we today call Saturday night. In Bible times days begin at sundown. They had a full day on the Sabbath and the sun had set and the first day of the week began. But this first day meeting was occurring on the dark part of the day which precedes the light part. It was Saturday night and it continued till midnight. Paul had to catch a ship when it was daylight, Sunday morning. He wanted to spend as much time as possible with these people before leaving on his journey. They were not having a communion service, they were having a fellowship dinner. Breaking bread was often the term used for having a meal.

See Acts 2:46

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Paul had dinner and preached a sermon until daylight.

Acts 20:11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

There is no indication that this was anything other than a Sabbath meeting that continued past sundown and continued until daybreak on Sunday morning. No evidence of a communion service but more important, no scriptural evidence of any change by God of the Sabbath.
Let's examine the 7th New Testament reference of the first day of the week.

#7. 1 Cor. 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Was this a Sunday service? Some say yes and it is the part of the morning service where they collected offerings. To really understand the dynamics let's read a little more of the context.

1 Cor. 16:1-3

1. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 3. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

The facts are this was a letter written to the believers in Corinth. The church in Jerusalem was in desperate need and Paul was arranging for a collection of funds to help those brethren. Since work is concluded on the preparation day Friday, and believers rested on the seventh day Sabbath, businesses and farmers did their bookkeeping and settled their accounts early on the first work day of the week, Sunday. Paul wrote them to set aside funds as God blessed them, (lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.), and that way he would not have to have a special collection when he arrived. The funds would be ready to be picked up.
No evidence of God changing His commandment here. Let's examine the final text #8.

#8. John 20:19

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Some will say, aha, there it is, a Sunday service. But look closely. Was this a Sunday worship service? It says the same day. What day? It was late afternoon on the day Jesus rose from the dead. The disciples were not worshiping. The Bible states they feared for their safety. (assembled for fear of the Jews). They had not seen Jesus but afraid for their lives, Jesus than appeared to them. He spoke to them there. He spoke to them for 40 more days. But no recording of any change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.
There you have it. ALL the New Testament references to Sunday. Where was the change by God. The Bible is silent. But wasn't John in the Spirit on the Lord's Day? "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day...." Revelation 1:10
Yes he was. So, what then is the Lord's Day? God has answered that question with scripture.

Mark 2:27,28 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Jesus Himself states that He is Lord of the Sabbath day. He said the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Man has never been given the option to make a sabbath day of his own choosing. He did not say the Sabbath was made for the Jew. He said the Sabbath was made for man. In fact, He made the Sabbath on the seventh day of creation, before sin entered the world and over 2,000 years before the first Jew. Now let's examine God's 4th commandment again.

Ex. 20:8-11 8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 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: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The only commandment of the 10 that starts with the word "Remember." What does remember mean? Don't forget! Don't forget what? Something that already exists. Now look at verse 10. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God.

The seventh DAY is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God. In the 4th commandment itself, God has identified clearly which day is the Lord's Day. It is none other than the seventh day, Saturday.
Back to our original 3 questions:

#1. Is Sunday the Lord's Day? NO!
#2. Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath? NO!
#3. Is Saturday the Jewish Sabbath? NO!

Based on God's word it can be stated emphatically that Sunday is NOT the Lord's Day, that Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath and that there is NOTHING Jewish about the Sabbath day. The Sabbath Day is the Christian Sabbath and it is the Lord's Day and it is Saturday. The 4th commandment points us back to creation, so let's go back to Genesis.
Genesis 2:1-3

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 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. 3 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.



26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

Let US....OUR image....OUR likeness
We have God #1 working with God #2 in creation. And since they are in agreement, they are in perfect unity. They are one in thought and action, however by God's word we read that one took the active part of the creating. To determine who that was let's read John 1:1-3, 14.

1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


It is obvious that the Word was in the beginning, the Word was with God, the Word was God. Verse 14 identifies the Word as Jesus. So Jesus who was with God from the beginning, according to verse 3 was the active part of the Godhead in creation. Other verses proving this are:

Col. 1:13-17

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Hebrews 1:2.

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

1 Cor 8:6

6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Eph. 3:9

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

It was Jesus Christ who made the world and everything in it, and it was Jesus Christ who made the Sabbath. It was Jesus Christ who wrote the ten commandments in stone on Mt. Sinai. It was Jesus Christ who said in Matthew 5:17-19 17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus is stating that He did not come to do away with the 10 commandments, rather He came to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law thereby giving us an example. He said not one dotting of an "i" or crossing of a "t" will pass from the law while earth continues to exist as is. But He pronounces a curse on any one who breaks one commandment and teaches others to break one commandment. They shall be called the least in heaven. In other words they will not be there. They will be lost.

That goes for the 4th commandment as well. Sunday sacredness is not ordained of God. It's roots are in paganism and it's a creation of man. Today it is a pagan tradition, brought into the church in the 4th century and is embraced by most of the Christian world today. Jesus dealt with tradition as vain worship. The Sabbath was not an issue in Christ's time, but the 5thcommandment was. Look at Matthew 15:3-9.

3. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4. For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6. And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

The Pharisees were trying to justify not supporting their parents by diverting the funds to the temple. The important thing is, that to replace a commandment of God with a man made tradition is vain worship. But today the 4th commandment is the issue. Satan who has made it his focal issue, to do away with God's law, has been successful in leading man to throw out God's Sabbath and replace it with a counterfeit.

The seventh day Sabbath, Saturday, is the only Lord's Day, and the only Christian Sabbath. Christ made it at the end of creation week. He rested on it when He finished His work of creation. He rested in the tomb on the Sabbath when He finished His work of redemption. He kept it when He was here. He wrote the 10 commandments and He said in John 14:15,

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And we read in 1 John 5:2, 3

2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

None of the commandments of God are a burden. It is pure joy for the Christian to love God and keep His commandments. And we keep His commandments not to be saved, but because we are saved. The commandments are only a burden to those who reject them.

The Sabbath is mentioned 59 times in the New Testament and always with respect, bearing the title it had in the Old Testament, the Sabbath Day.

Paul kept the Sabbath, and the book of Acts mentions 84 Sabbaths that Paul preached and taught. See Acts 13:14, 44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4,11. There is no record of Sunday worship in the New Testament.

Those who hear the call of God will respond and be anxious to serve Him. The multitudes in the Christian world today are a clear majority. But that does not make willful disobedience right. This may be the first time you have ever confronted the truth about God's Sabbath. You may say, "But what about the great religious leaders who embrace Sunday?"

Read Acts 10:34

34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

It does not matter who we are, or how long we have served the Lord, if we break one of God's commandments and teach men to do so, we are lost.

Mat 5:19

19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven

Mat 15:9

9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

These are the words of Christ Himself. God's remnant people of the last days will be commandment keepers. Rev 12:17; Rev 14:12; Rev 22:14,15

17. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
12. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

1 John 2:3,4

3. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
4. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Rev 21:27

27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Any one who makes a lie is lost, and that includes false doctrine. To know the truth of God's seventh day Sabbath, and then to reject it, is to reject God's grace and therefore salvation. We are saved from sin and not in sin. God can not excuse wilful disobedience.

The same 7th day Sabbath from creation, will be kept throughout eternity. See Isaiah 65:22,23

22. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

God's people today are to keep the seventh day Sabbath. See Hebrews 4:4,8-11

4. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
8. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

God's truth hurts. But obedience is the cure. Hebrews 4:12

12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Prayers of David should be our own. Psalms 40:8; 119:10,11
8. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
10. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Friend, God is not willing that one be lost, but Satan is not willing that you be saved. Who will you choose to serve. The evidence is clear and scriptural.