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Why

Keep Sunday?

 

Observing Sunday is nowhere commanded in scripture.

Why do so many Christians keep it?

Do you? Do you realise this observance does not

fulfil the fourth commandment?

This is the biggest heresy ever to be

gullibly swallowed by a naive Church!

By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries

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If you are a Christian, the chances are that the day of the week on which you go to church is Sunday. Why? Why do you rest from your usual activities on Sunday?

"Well, isn't that obvious?" you might reply. That's when our church gets together, so naturally I meet with them for worship. The Bible says we should do so in Hebrews 10:25."

 

Yes, I know that. But why do you meet on Sunday? What biblical authority do you have for your custom?

 

Have you ever stopped to think about this tradition? Why do the majority of Christian churches meet for worship on Sunday? Why does western 'Christian' society set apart this day of the week for rest – even if not totally, certainly partially? Have you ever investigated this matter to find out the truth, or have you simply gone along with tradition like the majority?

 

Jesus did not rest on Sunday. He rested on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. He kept His Father's Commandments (Jn 15:10). He also taught in the synagogues on the Sabbath day (Luke 4:16). It was His custom to do so. Why is it not our custom today to keep the seventh day holy?

 

Are we right in keeping the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath? Is that what Jesus wants? One of the Commandments explicitly states to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. It states that the seventh day is the Sabbath, not the first day of the week (Ex 20:8-11). So then, why are we keeping a day which Jesus neither kept Himself, nor commanded us to keep?

 

These are important questions which require accurate and honest answers. If you do not know the answers, read on and find out the truth.

 

Consider Carefully

 

Jesus will judge us for what we do and for how we uphold His Word. He will hold you highly accountable if you are responsible for teaching others the Word of God. If you teach heresy either deliberately or through careless negligence, consider Jesus' words of warning.

 

But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come (Matt 18:6,7).

 

If you, as a servant of God, as a disciple of Jesus, teach contrary to the Word of God – if you teach heresy – that is a serious offence. If you teach it unwittingly, God forgives, but even ignorance should not detract from the seriousness of the crime.

 

Jesus said:

 

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments [the Ten Commandments of the Law] and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practises and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:18,19).

 

Let us have the utmost respect and reverence for the Word of God. Let us be sure we are correctly expounding the scriptures!

 

John warned about tampering with the pure words of scripture:

 

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book (Rev 22:18,19).

 

Any part of the holy scriptures are just as sacred as the words of Revelation. Let us be careful to be wise stewards of the words of life and do our utmost to correctly handle the word of Truth (II Tim 2:15).

 

For every word we shall be held accountable (Matt 12:36,37). Our words reflect what is in our heart, whether obedience or disobedience.

 

A Myth!

 

Paul charged Timothy:

 

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (II Tim 4:1-4).

 

Do you realise that by observing Sunday, the Christian community is observing a myth?

 

That may sound rather strong language for you if you belong to a church which meets regularly each week on that day. But consider:

 

1. You will not find one scripture in the entire Bible which dispenses with the Sabbath as it was instituted in the Old Testament. Oh, there are those who claim biblical support for the first day of the week superseding the Sabbath day which Jesus kept, but their arguments are flawed. Their theses are riddled with error. They are cunningly devised fables (II Pet 1:16).

 

2. The fourth commandment which established the seventh day as the Sabbath has never been abolished. Jesus said quite plainly:

 

Do not suppose that I have come to set aside the law or the prophets [the Old Testament]. I have not come to set them aside, but to fill them up to the brim. For I solemnly say to you, heaven and earth would sooner pass away that the dotting of an 'i' or the crossing of a 't' from the law, until it all becomes in force (Matt 5:17,18, Williams).

 

The fourth commandment is as binding today as the command not to commit adultery, not to steal, or not to murder. The Commandments were engraved in stone by the finger of God, symbolising their God-given permanence. They are never to be erased as long as heaven and earth exists.

 

3. The Sabbath has been dubbed 'Jewish', but it was made at Creation, thousands of years before ever a Jew existed. Notice the inspired words of Genesis:

 

By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done (Gen 2:2,3).

 

God did not need to rest. He does not get tired (Is 40:28) or spiritually depleted (Ps 119:142). He did not rest for His own benefit, but as an example for us of what we should do. The Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27). It was not merely made for the Jew.

 

4. The true Lord's Day is not Sunday, but the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). The Lord who kept it when He was a human being is the same Lord who made it in Old Testament times. He made everything (Col 1:16; Jn 1:1-3,14). He does not change (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8); He has not changed His Sabbath for man. It is His Sabbath. He called it that. The Sabbath day is not called the 'Jewish Sabbath'. It is God's Sabbath (Ex 31:13). That is why it is holy; it belongs to Him but it has been given to mankind for his spiritual benefit. It is the same today as it was 2,500 years ago when Israel was reminded of it at Sinai.

 

5. The early New Testament Church observed the Sabbath. The roots of the Church are in Hebrew culture of which the Sabbath was an inseparable part  (Acts 13:14,15,44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4,11; Rom 2:13,21,22; 7:7-12,22; James 2:8-12). Gentiles who were called to salvation were grafted into the same olive tree and so also kept the same customs as Israel (Rom 11:17-24). It was no different in physical Israel:

 

The same law applies to the native-born and the alien living among you (Ex 12:49).

 

A Challenge

 

This information may be revolutionary to many who read this. It is shocking, I know. It was equally revolutionary and shocking when God first revealed it to my mind 28 years ago. But truth is truth, and I could not deny what my eyes plainly saw in God's Word. So, I abandoned all my worldly pursuits on that day of each week, to keep the day which God commands to be kept holy. And I have been greatly blessed for doing so ever since!

 

The truth of God is so simple in principle. It is man who has complicated it for the sake of expedience.

 

When I first discovered that the first day of the week, Sunday, was not the day on which Christ expects us to gather for worship, I ceased worshipping in the church in which I was brought up.

 

I do not condemn any for keeping Sunday. I realize that most do so out of ignorance. There are many devout and wonderful Christians who have no knowledge of the fact that they are enacting an error. God accepts them in His grace purely because He has deliberately allowed them to be blinded.

 

However, that does not excuse us when God chooses to reveal to us the real truth in His Word. Now is the time of enlightenment. God is making more of His Truth widely available, and we must come out of error into Truth (Rev 18:4; Jn 10:9), out of darkness into Light, allowing ourselves to be led by the Spirit of Truth (Jn 16:13).

 

If you want to be led into the fulness of His Truth, you can do so. Indeed, you should do so, for He will not accept those who step back (Heb 10:38). Jesus will only accept those who live by every word of God they know (Matt 4:4), who are totally committed to Him, and who really hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt 5:6).

 

If you disagree with any of the claims I have made, I challenge you to try to disprove them by the pure Word of God (not man's interpretation of it). I challenge you to present one valid scripture (not taken out of context) to show that:

  • The Ten Commandments are abolished.

  • The fourth Commandment is done away.

  • The Sabbath was changed from the 7th day to the first day of the week.

  • Jesus or the apostles kept the first day of the week as the Sabbath.

  • Jesus or the apostles taught new believers to keep the first day of the week as the Sabbath.

  • It was early Church custom to keep the first day of the week instead of the traditional Sabbath.

  • We are to keep Sunday in honour of the resurrection of our Saviour.

  • The first day of the week was sanctified or hallowed as a day of rest in place of the Sabbath.

  • The first day of the week is called a holy day or given any sacred title.

Further, can you find any scripture:

  • That says the seventh day is not now God's Sabbath day for man?

  • Where we are instructed to rest on the first day of the week?

  • That says the Father and Son rested on the first day of the week as an example for man?

  • That calls the seventh day the 'Jewish Sabbath', or which labels the first day of the week the 'Christian Sabbath'?

  • That gives divine authority to God's Sabbath being set aside in favour of Sunday or any other day?

Origin of Sunday

 

Historically, the first century New Testament Church continued to observe the Sabbath. Sunday worship did not become accepted into Christianity until much later – after the death of the original apostles. Through deception, it steadily gained acceptance in the second century AD as the prophesied falling away took place (II Thes 2:3,4).

 

The fact that there was no dispute amongst the earliest Christians about the correctness of observing the Sabbath under the New Covenant is obvious from the New Testament writings. Paul, who made little allusion to this issue in his letters, has been grossly misrepresented by deceived 'scholars'. Had the Sabbath been superseded by Sunday, there would have been obvious reference to it in the New Testament. Had it been a legitimate point of contention, there would have been deliberate comprehensive discussion of the matter in the writings of one of the apostles. There is none.

 

The fact is, there was no dispute amongst the first Christians about whether the Sabbath should be kept. They knew it was the acceptable day of worship. There was no question about it.

 

Sunday worship was not soon introduced after Jesus' resurrection. For decades, the Church continued to observe the Sabbath and traditional Feast days which God had given Israel. Salvation was a promise given through Israel (Jn 4:22), so it was natural and right that the Church should continue these God-ordained biblical traditions.

 

There was no hint of the first day of the week (a pagan institution) being kept in honour of Jesus' resurrection, supposedly on the first day of the week – that is, not until many decades after Jesus' ascension. There are several references in the book of Acts to the fact that the early Christians – both Gentile and Jewish – were still keeping the Sabbath long after Jesus had been resurrected.

 

"There is no evidence that in the earliest years of Christianity there was any formal observance of Sunday as a day of rest or any general cessation of work" (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 13, p 94, c 1928).

 

It was only much later, through widespread misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Paul's letters, that Sunday crept into Christian tradition. Satan planned this cunning deception and steadily undermined the truth, systematically and surreptitiously eroding confidence in the Sabbath. He perpetuated it by a vicious campaign of anti-semitism and persecution..

 

It started by casting doubt on the 'Jewish' customs. After all, the Jews had killed Christ, so anything 'Jewish' immediately represented opposition to Christians! These subtly wrong and prejudicial seeds were sown in the minds of Satan's children wherever he could find fertile ground. It was not long before false Christians began to assimilate such prejudices against truth. Gradually, the infection spread until pagan customs began to supplant the true biblical traditions intended for the Church – spiritual Israel (Gal 6:16).

 

"The first writer who mentions the name of Sunday as applicable to the Lord's Day is Justin Martyr; this designation of the first day of the week, which is of heathen origin, had come into general use in the Roman world shortly before Justin wrote" (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 13, c 1928, p 94).

 

"The Christian Church took over many pagan ideas and images. From sun worship, for example, came the celebration of Christ's birth on the twenty-fifth of December, the birthday of the sun" (From The History of Christianity, Lion Publishing, Oxford).

 

God was not pleased with these changes. He did not sanction them. They were satanic introductions designed to cause deception and division within the established Church.

 

Sunday Gradually Gained Acceptance

 

Although Sunday was initially a day for the veneration of the pagan sun-god, it gradually became accepted in Christian circles through deceit and disguise. By about AD 200 many weaker Christians had adopted the first day of the week to avoid persecution and lead a more tranquil life-style in a pagan society where Sunday was already a widespread heathen observance.

 

In the second century, some false teachers claimed that the first day of the week should now be observed since Jesus' resurrection, in honour of Him. Orthodox Christians would not accept this new teaching. It was heretical. Mayhem soon surrounded this matter. Some Christians, genuinely confused about what to do, kept both Sabbath and Sunday.

 

"As long as the Jewish Christian element continued to have any influence in the Church, a tendency to observe Sabbath as well as Sunday naturally persisted. Eusebius (H. E. iii 27) mentions that the Ebionites continued to keep both days, and there is abundant evidence from Tertullian onwards that so far as public worship... [is] concerned the practice was widely spread among the Gentile churches" (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 13, p 94).

 

However, the introduction of Sunday to replace the Sabbath in the minds of the majority of believers took time. It was a gradual process which steadily occurred over at least two centuries.

 

"No evidence for the equating of Sabbath and Sunday is found before the end of the third century..." (From The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, editor J D Douglas, article Sunday).

 

In the fourth century AD, it was not long before the Sunday issue became a potent political weapon in the hands of the Roman emperor who saw in it a means of controlling the masses and the many Christians in his empire. Through Sunday enforcement, he could control the divisions that Christianity seemed to have caused within the Roman empire.

 

Although reputed to be a celebration of the day of Christ's resurrection, which in fact is another heresy – see our article Jesus' Resurrection Was Not On Sunday! – the observance of Sunday by the Christian community had more to do with force than with choice.

 

It was the Council of Laodicea circa AD 363 or 365 which forbade Christians, under penalty of death, from keeping the Sabbath.

 

"...the council of Laodicea which forbids Christians from Judaizing and resting on the Sabbath day, and actually enjoins them to work on that day, preferring the Lord's day..." (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 13, p 95).

 

Earlier, in AD 321 the Roman emperor Constantine had declared "that all courts of justice, inhabitants of towns, and workshops were to be at rest on Sunday (venerabili die solis)" (Ibid.).

 

Do you see how God's fourth commandment was 'annulled' by men? The observance of Sunday, to replace the day God instituted, has no divine mandate. It is a heretical custom that has been subtly introduced into the Church by satanic elements.

 

Evidence From Acts

 

It is not difficult for a truly open-minded observer to see from the book of Acts that the early Church did not keep Sunday. It held to the traditional biblical 'Hebrew' festivals.

 

Acts was written at least thirty years after Jesus' death and resurrection, probably about AD 65 or 66. The writer, Luke, was most likely a Gentile, converted at Antioch through the preaching of Paul and Barnabas. He makes several references to the Sabbath days which God gave Israel. If the Sabbath and holy days with which the Jews were familiar had been abolished in favour of other days (or no days), why would a Gentile Church historian concern himself with them?

 

Consider the following evidence from Acts of the Church's familiarity with, and acceptance of, such biblical observances:

 

1. The Church was all gathered together on the first Pentecost of the New Testament era (Acts 2:1). They were obeying Jesus' command (1:4). He expected them to be keeping Pentecost, as well as the other festivals given in the Old Testament. Had the Church not been keeping Pentecost, there would have been no outpouring of the Spirit at that time. God deliberately sent power at that time to highlight the symbolism of that festival.

 

2. In Acts 6:5-7, the faith is clearly identified as closely associated with Judaism. At that time, because the same days were observed, Christianity was simply regarded as an offshoot of Judaism.

 

3. The Ethiopian eunuch went to Jerusalem to worship (8:27). Salvation was available through the Jews (Jn 4:22). Gentiles rightly complied with God's customs preserved by the Jewish people.

 

4. Christian activity still frequently centred around the synagogues. People congregated there on the Sabbath to worship and be taught. If the early Church's behaviour had been any different, Saul would not have requested letters of authority from the High Priest to all Damascus synagogues so that he could arrest any Christians (9:1-2).

 

5. When Saul (later, Paul) was converted, he began to preach about Christ in the synagogues (9:20). If the Christian faith had been so radically different from Judaism (as some claim it is today), Saul would have made a point of preaching on a different day other than when Jews were meeting in the synagogues. Paul was such a radical that he would have made an issue out of the Sabbath if it was an issue! It wasn't. The Church – both Jew and Gentile – was keeping it without questioning

 

6. Cornelius, the devout Gentile, was a good man whose conduct was such that he was well respected by all the Jewish people (10:22). It is obvious Cornelius was keeping the same days the Jews were. He certainly would not have commanded their respect if he were not! The weekly and annual Sabbaths were so much a part of Judaism, that had he not been keeping them, this would not have been recorded about him!

 

7. Moreover, in Acts 10:34 it states "God does not discriminate between people, but that in every nation the man who reverences Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him" (Phillips). There is not one standard for Jew and another for Gentile. That is a recipe for confusion. If there were two different standards, what would happen when a Gentile Christian is married to a Jewish Christian? The notion that the Gentiles were exempt from keeping the days which the Jews observed is preposterous. Such a concept would be a charter for division, not direction.

 

8. Peter, when he received the vision of the sheet full of unclean animals, adamantly refused to eat any of them. The laws pertaining to clean and unclean meats were obviously still very much obligatory. Peter did not consider those Old Testament principles to have changed one iota after Jesus' resurrection (Acts 10:14; 11:8). God was not changing the laws concerning clean meats, but showing Peter by analogy that the Gentiles were being called into the Church (11:18). The food laws were concomitant with those of the Sabbaths.

 

9. Gentiles were being readily absorbed into a largely Jewish Church (Acts 11:19-26). This was about AD 42. Here at Antioch, they were first called Christians. If true Christians were meant to observe different days and customs from those of the Jews, God would have called them out of a Jewish environment. He would have made sure that the first place they were identified as Christians would have not had a predominantly Jewish element.

 

10. In chapter 13, Paul and Barnabas still continued to frequent and preach in the Jewish synagogues (v 5). This was now about AD 45 or 46.

 

They went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and took their seats. After the reading of the Law and the Prophets... (vs 14,15).

 

Little had changed since the time of Jesus. The Old Testament scriptures are still being read, the Sabbath is still being observed by both Jew and Gentile who seeks God. Even the Gentiles knew what Paul was saying was true: that God was the God of Israel (v 17), so the customs God had given Israel were also given to the Church, spiritual Israel. The Sabbath given to Israel was still the recognized day upon which worshippers gathered to hear the Word of God:

 

...the people kept on asking them to say all this again on the following Sabbath (v 42, Phillips).

 

11. In AD 50, at the council at Jerusalem, although Gentiles had been accepted into the Church for some 10 years by this time, God made no distinction between Jew or Gentile (Acts 15:9). God does not have two standards for His people; one for Jews and another for Gentiles. All hearts are purified by faith (v 9). But Paul emphasised to the Romans that this faith does not nullify the Law of which the Sabbath command is an inseparable part; rather it upholds it (Rom 3:31). The Jerusalem council decreed that Gentile Christians should be encouraged to observe parts of the Law about which they were unfamiliar or which they thought were unnecessary (Acts 15:19-21). No direct mention is made of the Gentile Christians observing the Sabbath, but it is obvious to any objective reader that they must have been keeping it:

 

For after all, for many generations now Moses has had his preachers in every city and has been read aloud in every synagogue every Sabbath day (v 21, Phillips).

 

If the Gentiles had not been observing the Sabbath, it is most unlikely that they would have been in a Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath, and the Sabbath would have been detailed in the same list of requirements which stipulated that they should not eat blood (Lev 17:14) or the meat of strangled animals.

 

12. The influence of Judaism upon the Gentile Christians was so strong that the Gentiles were obliged to comply with God-ordained Jewish custom. Timothy was even compelled by opinion to be circumcised (Acts 16:3). It is inconceivable that in such a moral climate the Sabbath would not have been observed by Gentile Christians.

 

13. In Philippi, a predominantly Gentile Church area, the disciples met on the Sabbath day, but this time outside the city by a river (Acts 16:13). Gentiles, if they had had an alternative day of worship (which they didn't), were not forced by social custom to do this. They were not obligated to worship in a synagogue. The obligation upon them was not social, but moral. They knew the keeping of the Sabbath festivals were commands of God, contained in His Word. The Old Testament was still God's Word and its Sabbaths still the statutory days of rest and worship.

 

14. In Thessalonica, Paul reasoned in the synagogues three Sabbaths in succession (Acts 17:1-3). Many of the converts were Greeks (v 4). He explained why Jesus had to die to pay the penalty for sin (v 3). Sin is the breaking of the law of God (I Jn 3:4). One of those laws is to keep the Sabbath holy (Ex 20:8). It is inconsistent to reason that Jesus died to pay the price of sin, and yet ignore what sin is according to God's Word. It is as much a sin to violate the Sabbath as it is to commit adultery, murder, or idolatry.

 

15. In Philippi in AD 52, the Church was still observing the festival of Unleavened Bread given to Israel in the Old Testament (Lev 23:4-8; Acts 20:6). It was in AD 55 that Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they should keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, not with sin in their hearts, but truly with the 'unleavened bread' of sincerity and truth (I Cor 5:8). Jesus, in instituting the New Covenant symbols of unleavened bread and wine for the New Testament Passover had not detracted at all from its observance. He had added to it. This is fully in keeping with what He intimated in Matthew 5:17-20.

 

16. Likewise, Pentecost was still a milestone in the Church at this later time (Acts 20:16). The festivals God gave Israel were still being observed by the Church – God's New Covenant Israel.

 

17. Even then, there were untrue stories circulating about Paul that he did not uphold the laws of the Old Testament (Acts 21:20-25). Such an accusation was totally false, for there were many thousands of Jews who had become believers and "every one of these is a staunch upholder of the Law" (v 20, Phillips). Paul did observe the Law (v 24) and instructed others, including Gentiles (v 25), to do so too.

 

18. In Acts 27:9, there is a reference to the Fast or the Day of Atonement (Lev 23:26-32). These festivals – which were annual Sabbaths of rest – had not been abolished, even in the autumn of AD 60.

 

19. In his final address to the Jews in Rome, Paul states unequivocally that he has:

 

...done nothing against our people or the customs of our forefathers (Acts 28:17).

 

No wonder the early Church was regarded as a sect of Judaism (v 22). To the uninitiated, it seemed little different from the Jews' religion.

 

All the incidental evidence God has preserved for us through the record of the book of Acts paints a picture of a Church retaining its Hebrew roots, while preaching Christ to the world.

 

The Sabbath and the annual festivals God gave to Israel have never been abrogated. They are just as applicable to the Christian Church today as they were when they were first given to God's people in the Old Testament.

 

New Testament Authority For The

Weekly Day of Rest

 

Nowhere in the New Testament is there any command by Jesus to abolish the fourth commandment and institute a replacement. This is such an important issue that if God had desired to change the day of rest and worship, He would have made it amply plain that He had done so.

 

The Law of God embodied in the ten commandments is immutable. Heaven and earth would pass away first before the slightest part of the Law of God (Matt 5:17-19). Those were not Matthew's words; they were those of Jesus.

 

Jesus did not sanction the introduction of Sunday to replace the Sabbath. The Old Testament Sabbath has not been abolished. It is still the same day of rest for New Testament Christians. God does not change such basics (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8).

 

Although the church came to believe, a few hundred years later, that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, even if that were true (which it is not), that does not give any person licence to establish Sunday as a day of rest. No man has authority to alter the Law of God. Sunday worship, which has been humanly instituted, reputedly in honour of the day of Jesus' resurrection, is nothing more than a hollow sham. God made the Sabbath holy in the beginning (Genesis 2:3), and He commands His people to keep it holy (Ex 20:8). Sunday was never made holy. So it cannot be kept holy. You can only keep something holy which God has already made holy! God is holy, not man (Ps 99:3,5,9). Only God has the authority to make anything holy, and God has made the Sabbath holy by setting it apart for our physical rest and spiritual refreshing.

 

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His (Heb 4:9,10).

 

This has a two-fold meaning. There is still a Sabbath rest for us in the physical realm. But there also remains a future rest for us in the spiritual Kingdom of God, when we shall cease from all our human struggles and difficulties.

 

This chapter of Hebrews 4 does not dispense with the physical Sabbath rest, as many Bible 'teachers' propose. Those who say it does, misunderstand the plain words of scripture. The Bible does not contradict itself. Jesus said not one iota of the Law would be abolished until the purpose for this earth is complete. Therefore, for those who have doubts, the writer of Hebrews could not have meant that the rest in Jesus has annulled the Sabbath day's rest, or he would be contradicting the words of the Son of God.

 

Jesus kept all His Father's commandments. Because He did so, He dwelt in His love (John 15:10). We are to follow in exactly the same path as Jesus (I Pet 2:21,22). It is inconsistent to think that the Sabbath is not binding on us today, as it was for Him. If He had not kept the Sabbath holy, He would not have been our perfect sinless sacrifice, capable of delivering us from death. But He did, and He wants us to do so too.

 

There is a great blessing in observing God's holy Sabbath. It is a weekly day of rest, set aside by God so that man can stop from his normal work routine to consider the works of God. That day is made for man's benefit (Mark 2:27). When you honour it for spiritual pursuit there is tremendous value in keeping it. Correct Sabbath observance is a great blessing, given us so we can draw close to our Maker and come to understand Him.

 

Psychologically and spiritually, there is far greater impact and value in observing the time which God made holy from the beginning than in observing Sunday. The Sabbath is a divinely commanded rest. Sunday is not.

 

When we keep the seventh day holy, God grants us an understanding of His plan which cannot be grasped by keeping Sunday. By virtue of the symbolism of the number seven, we are keeping the day God established as holy, for man's perfecting. God wants us to become perfect (Matt 5:48), and God is perfecting us through His Spirit. We are also being reminded of the Creator who made this earth and all life on it in six days and rested on the seventh as an example for humanity (Gen 2:1-3).

 

Furthermore, the Sabbath points forward to the time in the future when Jesus will rule the whole world for a thousand years – the Millennium (Is 11:1-10; Rev 20). It will be a time of rest for this war-torn world, when happiness, joy, peace and prosperity will benefit all who live on earth. This symbolism is not depicted by Sunday

 

Apostasy Was Prophesied

 

The gradual departure from keeping the Sabbath and the drift into Sunday worship was predicted in the New Testament. (It was an underlying theme, couched in prophetic symbolism, in the messages to the churches of Revelation.)

 

Deception was the biggest enemy to the Church. Jesus had warned about it (Matt 24:4,23,24). And Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church:

 

Do not let anybody at all deceive you about this, because that [the second coming of Jesus] cannot take place until the great revolt occurs... (II Thes 2:3 Williams).

 

Charles B Williams points out in his accurate translation of this text, under a footnote about the words "the great revolt", that this is referring to a moral revolt, an apostasy.

 

Morals are decided by God. He alone has that right (Jas 4:12). But God predicted that a man would blaspheme God's holy name by assuming that divine prerogative for himself.

 

...another king will arise... He will speak against the Most High and oppress His saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him [ruled, oppressed and martyred] for a time, and times, and half a time (Dan 7:25).

This first occurred in the early centuries of the Christian era when the Church was beguiled into accepting pagan customs to replace those God had given to Israel and which He intended for the New Testament Church to inherit. No wonder Paul was moved by the Holy Spirit to exhort Christians to:

...keep a tight grip on the teachings you have received from us (II Thes 2:15, Williams).

 

After the apostle John died and Polycarp was martyred, the Church had no human authority to defend it against the invasion of clever heretics.

 

What Constantine and the Roman pontiffs achieved by threat of death is a fore-runner of what will occur again shortly before Jesus' second coming (II Thes 2:4-8). Sunday worship was enforced in the fourth century AD to bring political and social stability to the Roman empire, and to consolidate Constantine's rule. The harlot described in Revelation 17, who rides the end-time 'Roman' political beast will also impose a similar edict, enforcing Sunday as the only legal day of rest and outlawing Sabbath observance and other correct biblical customs (Rev 13:16; compare with Ex 13:9,16).

 

Christians who uphold the true biblical Sabbaths will suffer isolation, ostracism and even death. Many sabbatarians may either have to concede their firmly held beliefs or be martyred (Rev 17:6).

 

Sunday observance will be enforced in the west for the sake of political, social, and economic expediency. But those who, out of wrong motive, adopt this pagan custom will not have the blessing of God. They will have to face their time of judgement when God pours out His plagues upon them (Rev 14:10; Rev 15 and 16).

 

God commands His people who want to be true to Him to come out of such wrong customs (Rev 18:4).

 

Sunday observance is heathen in origin. It has no place in Christianity, and Christ does not want His Church observing it.

This is the truth about the day Christendom has assimilated as its day of rest. Whom will you follow; men or God? 

____________________________

 

 

Further Reading

 

The Controversy Concerning Law and Grace

This book delves at depth into this issue which has fuelled much controversy in the Church. Few Christians even understand what 'the law' is. This publication explains this, and also seemingly ambiguous statements which Paul made in Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians that many misunderstand.

 

Our Sabbath Rest

A comprehensive survey of the fourth commandment. This book is challenging reading for many believers. It exposes myths to do with Sunday observance and provides full biblical exegesis to show the correctness of Sabbath keeping now.

 

The Festivals of God

Most Christians are ignorant about this subject. Colossians 2:16 mentions the new moon celebrations the early Church was observing. Do you know what they were? This booklet explains about new moons and God's festivals for the Church.

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