06 18th, 2019

The Lord’s Day??

Many Christians are under the mistaken belief that the fourth commandment has been changed. They believe the weekly seventh day Sabbath has been changed to Sunday, the first day of the week. They call it the “Christian Sabbath” or the “Lord’s Day”. Before we review some of the scriptures used to support such a view, let’s see the example New Testament scriptures set for us.

It was Yeshua’s custom to read and worship in the synagogue on Sabbath (Lu.4:16). If he hadn’t, he would have sinned against Yahweh by breaking the fourth commandment. Throughout our Savior’s ministry he continually upheld the seventh day Sabbath without ever suggesting or hinting that the observance would be changed to Sunday or done away with altogether. He even taught us it is lawful to heal and do good deeds on the Sabbath (Mt.12:10-12).

The Scriptures also say that it was Paul’s manner to attend synagogue services on Sabbath (Acts 17:2). Many Christians assume that he did this to witness rather than to worship. They also use the same assumption to say that the only reason Paul attended the Feasts in Jerusalem was to witness. Acts 20:16 says, “For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.” Without deeper study, one can assume he went to witness. However, Acts 24:11,12 refers to that very trip. It says, “Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship . And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:”

Peter went to Jerusalem to worship on the annual sabbath called the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost as well. He and about 119 other brethren were also worshiping Yahweh on this same day (Pentecost) in Acts 2:1. Had they not been obedient to Yahweh’s command to have a holy convocation on that day (Lev.23:15,16,21 – a statute forever), they would not have received the Holy Spirit.

Please take note of the following verses:

In Acts 13:14 Paul and his company sat down in the synagogue on Sabbath. After the service, the Gentiles wanted Paul to preach to them the next Sabbath (vs.42)! Why did they wait an entire week if Paul was going to preach again the next day, Sunday? Verse 44 tells us the whole city came to hear Paul the next Sabbath day.

When Paul and company arrived in the next city, Iconium, again they went into the synagogue on Sabbath. Both Jews and Greeks were there to hear the word. If the disciples were worshiping on Sunday as well, surely the Greeks would have rather attended that service. But we find no mention of Sunday.

Acts 18:1-4 is very interesting. Paul moved in with a Jewish couple in Corinth. Verse 4 says, “he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath , and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks .” He did this for “a year and six months, teaching the word of Yahweh among them.” That is about 78 Sabbath days in a row. Again, no mention of Sunday. Again, teaching both Jews and Gentiles.

After spending some time in Ephesus, again attending synagogue services (Acts 18:19,20), he had to leave because he “must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem” (vs.21). This most likely referred to the Feast of Tabernacles, the first day of which was another annual sabbath.

We also see Paul fasting with his shipmates in Acts 27:9. The margin of the KJV says, “The fast was on the tenth day of the seventh month, [Le.23:27].” Again, another annual sabbath, the Day of Atonement. Verses 33 & 34 confirm the fact that they were fasting.

Throughout the Book of Acts, which comprises about 32 years of “church” history, we see only weekly and annual Sabbath observance. Absolutely nothing on Sunday, the first day of the week, except Acts 20:7.

We can also see Yeshua’s followers continuing to observe the weekly Sabbath in Lk.23:56 after Yeshua’s death and burial. And we have Yeshua’s own admonition to his disciples of the continued existence of the Sabbath. In Mt 24, the Messiah is prophesying of end-time events. In verse 20 he says to his disciples , “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day .

With all these witnesses to the weekly and annual Sabbaths, how can Christian preachers teach that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath? It is a common teaching that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday in honor of the Savior’s resurrection on that day. Since there is no command in the Bible, from either the Father, Son, Apostles, or disciples, to authorize such a change, their only proof lies in the “first day of the week” verses, of which there are only eight. So let’s look at them.

Mt.28:1 – The only thing we can learn by this verse is that the first day of the week is not the Sabbath. Why doesn’t this verse say, “In the end of the seventh day, as it began to dawn toward the Christian Sabbath . . .?”

Mk.16:2 – Same event. Nothing about a new day of worship.

Mk.16:9 – Vss. 11-14 tell us the disciples believed not” that Yeshua resurrected. This proves that none of the verses that refer to the resurrection day are proofs that Sunday day was honored as the new Christian Sabbath.

Lk.24:1 – Same as Mt.28:1 & Mk.16:2. Nothing about a new day of worship.

Jn.20:1 – Same as Mt.28:1; Mk.16:2; Lk.24:1.

Jn.20:19 – This would be equivalent to our Sunday night or the second day of the week to the disciples. Notice they were “assembled for fear of the Jews,” not to worship & fellowship. They were hiding. According to Mk.16:11-14, they didn’t believe Yeshua had resurrected so they certainly could not honor that day as the new Sabbath at that point in time.

Jn.20:26 – This does not refer to Sunday. Eight days after a Sunday night is a Monday night or the start of the third day of the week for the disciples.

Acts 20:7 – What does it mean to “break bread”? Does it mean to take “the Lord’s supper” on Sunday? According to Acts 2:42-46, “breaking bread” was done daily. It simply means to have a meal. In Acts 20:7, the disciples finished Sabbath services on Saturday. After the sun set ending Sabbath and beginning the first day of the week, they had a meal together followed by Paul’s preaching until midnight Sunday (our Saturday night). The disciples held this special gathering because their beloved Paul was to leave the next morning (vs. 7). In the morning, he had planned to walk approx. 10 miles to Assos. Notice he would not take this strenuous, tiring trip on Sabbath, but waited instead until Sunday, another work day.

1 Cor.16:2 – Does this refer to collecting offerings during a Sunday service? No. If you check Acts 11:27-30 & Rom.15:25-28 you will see that there was a great famine that especially caused hardship for the brethren in Judea and Jerusalem. Paul requested offerings from the Galatian, Corinthian, Macedonian, and Achaian brethren. He told them to gather the goods (food, clothing, etc.) prior to his arrival. He did not want to have to wait for the offerings to be gathered when he came. He then took all the relief items to Jerusalem to disperse to the needy saints. There is nothing in these verses to indicate a typical Sunday collection. It was a one time special collection because of the famine. And it was done on Sunday because of the tremendous amount of work involved in loading all the goods, something they would never have done on Sabbath.

Rev.1:10 – Is the “Lord’s day” a new name for Sunday, a reference to the weekly Sabbath, or a reference to “The Day of the LORD,” “The Day of Yahweh”? The latter could be true since John was transported in the spirit to the prophetic time known as “The Day of Yahweh.” It seems more likely, however, that John was referring to the weekly Sabbath. Yeshua, in referring to himself, said, “…the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Mk.2:28). In other words, since Yeshua is the Lord or Master of that day, then the weekly Saturday Sabbath is the Lord’s day or Yeshua’s day. To say that it means Sunday is pure assumption without fact or Scripture to back it up.

So what can we conclude?

In review;

1) Yeshua kept the Sabbath on Saturday and we are to follow the example he set for us, especially since he is the Master of that day and not Sunday.

2) The Jews, Gentiles, and disciples continually gathered in the synagogue on the Sabbath day to read, worship, teach, preach, and reason together.

3) Not one of the 8 references to the first day of the week support a Sunday worship service.

4) The fourth commandment, written on tables of stone as a sign of its immutability (unchangeable nature), declares the seventh day as the day of rest, not the first day.

Add to that the fact that;

1) Only the seventh day was blessed and sanctified (Ge.2:1-3), not Sunday.

2) We follow the Creator’s example of resting as He did.

3) We memorialize Yahweh’s great creation by resting as He did.

4) We acknowledge the only sign ever given to Yahweh’s people that informs us of who it is that sanctifies us (Ex.31:13).

5) The Sabbath is a “perpetual (everlasting) covenant” that is separate and distinct from the old covenant (Ex.31:16; 24:8).

6) There are great blessings in store for those who keep the Sabbath holy (Is.58:13,14).

7) The redeemed will worship Yahweh on the Sabbath days and New Moon days during the millennium (Is.66:22,23).

One more point before I close. I call your attention to Heb.9:16-17, “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” A will or testament can be altered only as long as the one making the will is alive. In addition, it can only be altered by that same person. Once the testator dies, the will cannot be changed. Once Yeshua died, no changes could be made to his will or testament. Therefore, the Sabbath could only be changed to Sunday by Yeshua prior to his death. Any changes made by anyone except Yeshua are unauthorized changes. Since there is no such authorization in the Bible, the seventh day Sabbath remains a holy day of rest for Yahweh’s obedient children.

There are many more facts too numerous to mention, all of which establish beyond a shadow of a doubt the truth that the seventh day of the week is the true Sabbath. To exalt Sunday over the commanded seventh day Sabbath is to exalt tradition over the commandment of Almighty Yahweh. Yeshua the Messiah rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for doing that in Mt.15:1-9. In that case, the fifth commandment was being transgressed. He even went so far as to say that the scribes and Pharisees were worshiping in vain because of their exaltation of tradition over the commandments of Yahweh (vs.9).

My prayer is that you will be among the faithful who keep the commandments of Almighty Yahweh, for that is the fruit of true holiness.