The Sabbath day Truth
Where did Sunday keeping come from? - "For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the mysteries on the Sabbath [7th day - Saturday] of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this." (Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, b.5, ch.22, found in Nicene and Post-Nicene fathers)
It is clearly evident from the New Testament itself (Acts 16:13, Matthew 28:1, Luke 23:56), and historical writings like above, that the true believers and followers of Jesus Christ kept the 7th day sabbath as per the 4th commandment. But as we can see above, the professed Christians in Alexandria and Rome did not keep the Biblical sabbath. Instead, they started keeping Sunday in honor of 'some ancient tradition' - Pagan sun worship.
"No evidence has been adduced, that before the enactment of this law [Constantine's Sunday law of AD321], there was sabbatical observance of 'the Lord's day' [Sunday] in any part of Christendom." (Robert Cox, The Literature of the Sabbath Question, 1865, Vol.1 p.257)
When Jerusalem was destroyed, Antioch in Syria became the 'capital' of Christianity. From here, unadulterated Bible truth flowed to the rest of the world. But Satan had set up a counterfeit system in Alexandria and Rome. Alexandria was the place for worldly 'learned men', and was the place where Jews were compromising with pagan philosophy. Rome was the 'world capital' for paganism, and this greatly influenced the church at Rome. Then, an alliance was made between Alexandria and Rome!
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The people of both Alexandria and Rome strove to exalt ancient tradition over Bible truth. Clement, the teacher of Origen, boasted that he would not teach Christianity unless it was mixed with pagan philosophy (Mosheim, Commentaries, cent.2, vol.1, p.341). And Victor I, bishop of Rome, entered into a pact with Clement around 190AD, to help make Sunday the prominent day of worship in the churches. Then as the Roman Church grew into power and dominance and God's true church was driven into the wilderness, Sunday became the prominent day.
Please also see CHURCH 'FATHERS', SUNDAY AND EASTER
The sabbath is a controversial subject in the Christian world today. Mention the seventh day sabbath to the majority of professed Christians and you will probably get a reply saying that you are still "under the old covenant". Sunday keepers believe that the first day was being kept in place of the seventh day by the Apostles after Jesus, and that ALL Christians have kept Sunday since then. But this is not truth. They are merely following Rome's false version of history. B.G.Wilkinson writes, concerning the ancient Celtic Church ... "The unscrupulousness of the victors in destroying or in misrepresenting the records of the past has placed a false face over the true story of the Celtic Church. The gulf between that church and the papacy was great, even as late as 1120AD." (B.G.Wilkinson, Truth Triumphant)
"It seems to have been customary in the Celtic Churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday ... as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week." (Moffat, The Church in Scotland, p.140)
Speaking of the Roman Catholic queen Margaret ..."The queen protested against the prevailing abuse of Sunday desecration. 'Let us', she said, 'venerate the Lord's day, inasmuch as upon it our Saviour rose from the dead: let us do no servile work on that day' ... The Scots in this matter had no doubt kept up the traditional practice of the ancient monastic Church of Ireland, which observed Saturday, rather than Sunday as a day of rest." (Bellesheim, History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, vol.1, p.249-250)
Even the 'old' heathen world recognized the sacredness of the 7th day Sabbath: "Aulus Gellius states that some of the heathen philosophers were accustomed to teach only on the seventh day; Alexander Severus used to frequent the temples on the seventh day; Lucian mentions the seventh day as a holiday. The ancient Arabians observed a Sabbath before the era of Mohammed. The mode of reckoning by 'seven days,' prevailed alike amongst the Indians, the Egyptians, the Celts, the Sclavonians, the Greeks and the Romans. Josephus then makes no groundless statement when he says, 'there is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come!' Theophilus of Antioch states as a palpable fact, that the seventh day was everywhere considered sacred; and Philo (apud Grot. et Gale) declares the seventh day to be a festival, not of this or of that city, but of the universe!" (Thomas M'Clatchie, Notes and Queries on China and Japan (edited by Dennys), vol.4, nos. 7,8, pp.99,100)
Today, Sunday keepers believe the 4th commandment is no longer binding under the new covenant. But what you are about to read is Bible PROOF that the seventh day sabbath IS still binding today.
Ok, there is a lot of Biblical evidence that shows the seventh day sabbath to be an eternal "institution", which we will show below. But first let us confirm a Bible TRUTH concerning the sabbath day in the old and new covenants that CANNOT be refuted.
How was the old covenant ratified (made valid)? If you read Exodus 24:8, you will see that it was through the shed blood of an animal that the old covenant was ratified and sealed.
Same question with regards to the new covenant. How was it ratified? We all know that the new covenant was ratified and sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ, which Hebrews 10:29 confirms. Now take a look at the following verses:
Hebrews 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.'
So what does this Bible verse above tell us? It tells us clearly that a testament (or covenant) could not go into effect while the testator lives. It can only go into effect after the testator dies. It's the same with a will. If a man leaves his estate to someone else in a will. The will is not binding until after that man dies. The same applied with the new covenant. It could not go into effect until Jesus Christ had died and sealed it with His blood. Now take a look at the next Bible verse:
Galatians 3:15 ...'Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.'
Do you see what is being said here? Paul confirms in the above Bible verse that NOTHING can be added or taken away from a covenant once it has been confirmed (ratified). Which means that nothing could be added or taken away from the new covenant that Jesus sealed with His own blood. Again, the example of a man's will explains this too. When a will and testament has been made by someone. Once he has died, nothing can be changed in that will.
Now two important questions for you:
- Did Jesus change or abolish the 7th day Sabbath during His life?
- When was Sunday keeping introduced?
So let's answer these two important questions. Firstly, did Jesus change or abolish the seventh day sabbath during His life and ministry on earth? Well, if we look through the Gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we will clearly see that there is not a single hint at Christ Jesus changing or abolishing the 7th day sabbath of the 4th commandment. And if the sabbath day WAS going to be changed or abolished, then we can be assured that Jesus WOULD HAVE MENTIONED it, as it was one of the ten commandments.
What we can say though is that the New Testament CONFIRMS the sabbath day commandment as still active in Matthew 12:8; Matthew 24:20; Luke 23:56; Acts 16:13.
Now taking the Biblical rule above that NOTHING CAN BE TAKEN AWAY from a covenant, once the testator has died, it means ... The 7th day sabbath is part of the new covenant.
What about Sunday keeping? We all know that this was introduced AFTER the death of Christ Jesus (and NOT by the disciples like so many falsely believe). Therefore it was introduced AFTER the new covenant was sealed by the blood of Christ. And using the Biblical rule above that NOTHING CAN BE ADDED to the covenant or changed in the covenant, once the testator has died and sealed it, it means ... Sunday keeping CANNOT be part of the new covenant. Even if you still strongly believe that the disciples changed the Sabbath day, it still cannot be part of the new covenant, because it was done AFTER the covenant was sealed by the death and blood of Jesus.
"Well, I keep Sunday in honor of the resurrection of Christ. There is nothing wrong with that!" ... I hear someone say. Ok, since when has our faith in Christ been about what WE want to do? Show me just one command from the Bible, where Jesus or anyone else says that we should honor the first day of the week. It isn't there. And yet there IS a command for us to keep the seventh day (our Saturday) as the sabbath. And we have shown above that this STILL REMAINS in the new covenant.
Are we not to obey God rather than man? Are we not to do God's will rather than our own? (Psalm 118:8)
Matthew 5:17-18 ...'Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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.'