This article might be a little difficult for believers of mainstream fundamentalist or evangelical Christian Churches, not to mention those who practice another religious faith or spiritual tradition. As a matter of fact, I doubt the remaining secular humanist, agnostic, rational pragmatist, atheist, free thinker, philosopher, metaphysical or esoteric adept, as well as the average person on the street ill agree that the Sabbath is still sacred to God. I wrote a couple articles about this subject back in 2009, but the more I continue to read the Bible I am increasingly convinced of the certainty of this conviction. However, I want to state for the record that I am not a Seventh day Adventist, Hebraic Christian, Messianic Jew (“Netzarim”), or Christian Sabbatarian; just a believer who has a love for studying the Word of God. So, with that out of the way, let’s begin this fascinating study (again).
Genesis 2: 2-3And 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.
NOTE: God sanctified this special day as a memorial for the work of creation which had now been accomplished, and it had nothing to do with religion or even a racial/ethnic group of people.
Exodus 20: 8-11Remember 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, or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or 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.
NOTE: According to “Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary” 10th. Ed. remember 1: to bring to mind or think of again. This commandment was not to inaugurate something new or unfamiliar, but rather to remind the Israelites to set this day apart by observing it as it was originally intended by God from the beginning.
Leviticus 25: 1-2, 8The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, when you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord.” You shall count seven weeksof years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years.
NOTE: Not only are people required the Sabbath but it applies to the land (agricultural practices) also.
Psalms 92: 1A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day. It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
Ezekiel 22: 8You have despised my holy things and profaned my Sabbaths.
Ezekiel 23: 38Moreover, this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my Sabbaths.
Matthew 12: 5Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless?
NOTE: In “Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary” 10th Ed. profane 1: to treat something sacred with irreverence. In this particular it carries the meaning of treating this “day” as ordinary, without any particular special significance or meaning.
So, what about the “first day of the week”?
Matthew 28: 1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb (Cp. Mark 16: 1-2; Luke 24: 1; John 20: 1).
NOTE: There is nothing mentioned here about this day replacing the Sabbath or as particularly special in and of itself. It just so happens to be the day the Lord Jesus arose from the grave, but this is explained below, in the following:
Matthew 12: 40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mark 8: 31And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and by the chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
John 2: 1Jesus answered and said unto them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Ok, so what about other places in the New Testament mentioning the first day?
Acts 20: 6-7, 11And we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread and came unto them in five days at Troas, where we stayed seven days. 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. When he therefore had come up again, and had broken bread and eaten and talked for a long while, even until break of day, he departed.
Acts 2: 42, 46And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and in prayers. And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
1 Corinthians 11: 18-21For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that those who are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye therefore come together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, every one taketh his own supper ahead of another, and one is hungry and another is drunken.
NOTE: The main purposes of these meetings were more social than religious observance or worship because “breaking bread” had more to do with eating than anything else. Even today, Christians often pray together before partaking of their meals. The Lord’s Supper” or ‘Eucharist’ doubtless started from these common meal gatherings.
1 Corinthians 16: 1-3Now concerning the collection for the saints: As I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do you. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay aside in store as God hath prospered him, so that there need be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomever you shall approve by your letters I will send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
NOTE: This was a special occasion to send relief to the saints in Jerusalem, and this was the day the Apostle Paul chose for that purpose. Again, nothing special about that day, even if the primitive Church decided to worship on that day.
Still not convinced?
Matthew 12: 8bFor the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” (Cp. Mark 2: 28; Luke 6: 5)
NOTE: Jesus as the Son of Man is Lord of, not “over” the Sabbath day. The conjunction “of” gives the meaning as pertaining to deriving its source or origin from.
Hebrews 4: 4, 9-10For He spoke in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” here remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he that has entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
Revelations 1: 8-10aI Am Alpha And Omega, The Beginning And The Ending,” says the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation and in the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet,
NOTE: It is doubtful that the meaning applies to the first day of the week.
CONCLUSION (short):There isn’t anywhere in the entire Bible that the “First day of the week” is given any mention as being sanctified, consecrated, or holy to God. It (Sunday/”Sol” day) has become a day of worship for Christians thanks to the pagan sun worshiping Emperor Constantine. The blessings of observing the Sabbath are included below and I think it not only refers to the Israelites but to anyone who honors this day because it is for all people, and not just a certain Semitic family out of all the nations on earth.
Isaiah 56: 2Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that lays hold on it; that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.
Isaiah 58: 13-14If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Robert Randle776 Commerce St Apt 701Tacoma, WA 98402May 3, 2017[email protected]