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SEVEN REASONS WHY CHRISTIANS OUGHT TO GO TO CHURCH ON THE SABBATH DAY
This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font and a Hebrew Unicode font and is printable.
- Reasons for Keeping the Sabbath Index
- #1. In order to follow the example of God, who himself instituted the Sabbath at creation
- #2. In order to honor the words of God, who instituted the Ten Commandments
- #3. In order to follow the example of Jesus, who himself kept the Sabbath day
- #4. In order to honor the words of Jesus, who taught people to keep the Ten Commandments
- #5. Because they know that the apostles did not change the day
- #6. In order to express their love for God and Jesus
- #7. Because the workers of lawlessness will be lost
It is amazing that so many Christians observe Sunday as a day of gathering together for bible study and worship instead of the Sabbath day. One main reason may be that they have never been taught about it, and they have never considered why some Christians go to church on the Sabbath day. Therefore, to address this issue, this bible study gives seven good reasons why some Christians do go to church on the Sabbath day.
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.
Note: When Jesus was teaching people about divorce, he pointed them back to the beginning of creation in order to explain how things should be (Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:6), and when Paul would not permit a woman (or wife) to teach, he pointed them back to the beginning of creation in order to show them why (1 Timothy 2:11-14). Here, as regards the seventh day, we can also look back to the time of creation to see how it was in the beginning. After his work of creation, when God rested on the seventh day, "God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it:" (Genesis 2:3). When God spoke about this event as he gave the ten commandments, he said, "Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:11). The verb translated "sanctified" (Genesis 2:3) (Hb. קָדַשׁ , Htr. qādash) is the same verb translated "hallowed" (Exodus 20:11), but notice that in God's spoken version, he says that he blessed "the Sabbath day". So the Sabbath must have existed since the creation, and this is why the seventh day is called, "the Sabbath of Yahweh your God:" (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14). God even refers to the Sabbath day as, "my holy day;" (Isaiah 58:13), and "the holy Sabbath to Yahweh:" (Exodus 16:23). Has anything changed concerning this? No, because God has said the he will not alter what he has said (Psalm 89:34), so the Sabbath must still be his holy day. No again, because "whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it:" (Ecclesiastes 3:14). God doesn't change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), so as far as he is concerned, the seventh day is still blessed and sanctified by him. If our heart is filled with love, which fulfils the law (See #1.25), then it would be full of God, because, "God is love." (1 John 4:8; 4:16), and we would keep the seventh day holy, just as he did. He gave us an example right back there at the beginning. Jesus told us to be like God when he said, "You be therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48), and showed us the principle that people do the deeds of their father:
(John 8:39) "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham."
(John 8:44) "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do."
(John 9:4) "I must work the works of him who sent me,"
(John 10:37) "If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me."
So if we are to follow God's example, while we are working in the world, then we ought to rest on the seventh day as God did. God sanctified the seventh day (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:11), and he told us how to do it also:
(Exodus 20:8) "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
(Exodus 35:2) "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of rest to Yahweh:"
(Leviticus 23:3) "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work in it: it is the Sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings."
(Deuteronomy 5:12) "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it."
15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand: the tablets were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
16 And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets.
DEUTERONOMY 5:22 (Moses)
22 And these words the Lord spoke to all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone, and delivered them to me.
DEUTERONOMY 9:10 (Moses)
10 And the Lord delivered unto me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which Yahweh spoke with you out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
(1) God wrote them himself
Nowhere else in the whole bible is it recorded that God wrote commandments with his own finger, as he did here (Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10). The fact that God wrote them himself insured his total authority behind them, no mistakes were made when they were written, and they were engraved in stone for permanence. Notice that, "the tablets were the work of God," (Exodus 32:16), and as "his work is perfect:" (Deuteronomy 32:4), every commandment, including the Sabbath commandment, must be perfect, as it is written, "The law of Yahweh is perfect," (Psalm 19:7). This can be confirmed by the fact that the ten commandments, which were written on stone, were also called "the testimony" (Exodus 25:16; 30:6; 40:20), and "tablets of testimony" (Exodus 31:18; 32:15; 34:29). They were placed in the ark, which was called "the ark of the testimony" (Exodus 25:22; 31:7; 40:3; Joshua 4:16), which was kept in a tent called "the tabernacle of testimony" (Exodus 38:21; Numbers 1:50; 1:53). Thus the word "testimony" in the Old Testament often refers to the ten commandments, and when we read:
(Isaiah 8:20) "To the law and to the testimony: if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
we can know that there is no light in those who do not speak according to the ten commandments.
(2) God spoke them to the whole congregation
God did occasionally speak to individuals on a lengthy basis (Job 38-41), but a discourse such as this, full of commandments, and spoken to so many people (Deuteronomy 5:22; 9:10), is totally unique. Approximately six hundred thousand men left Egypt (Exodus 12:37), plus women, plus children, plus others, so "all your assembly" (Deuteronomy 5:22) may have numbered around two million people. The fact that God chose to speak these commandments audibly himself, and not leave it to others to speak only, shows how much importance he placed on them, and emphasizes their permanence:
(Psalm 89:34) "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips."
So we can be sure that God is not Going to alter the ten commandments. These commandments, which were the basis of the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 4:13), were
called "the tablets of the covenant." (Deuteronomy 9:9; 9:11; 9:15), and were placed in the ark called "the ark of the covenant" (Numbers 10:33;
14:44; Deuteronomy 10:8; 31:9). These are the same commandments and laws that are to be written on our heart when we become a partaker of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:10;
10:16), and which will be fulfilled by love.
So whose words are we honoring when we keep Sunday as a day of rest and worship? Not God's, because God commanded to keep the Sabbath:
(Exodus 20:8) "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
(Exodus 35:2) "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of rest to Yahweh:"
(Deuteronomy 5:12) "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it."
2 And when the Sabbath day came, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From where does this man have these things? and what wisdom is this which is given to him, that even such mighty works are done by his hands?
LUKE 4:16 (About Jesus)
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.
6 And it came to pass on another Sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
JOHN 15:10 (Jesus)
10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Note: During his lifetime on earth Jesus kept the Sabbath day perfectly. He regularly taught in the synagogues on the Sabbath day (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; Mark 6:2; Luke 4:31; 6:6; 13:10), and habitually went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day to read the law (Luke 4:16). He said, "I have kept my Father's commandments," (John 10:15), and these commandments included the Sabbath day:
(Exodus 20:8) "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy."
(Exodus 31:13-14) "Surely my Sabbaths you shall keep: ... You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you:"
(Exodus 31:16) "the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant."
(Deuteronomy 5:12) "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it."
Did Jesus ever break the Sabbath commandment? No, because he himself said, "I have kept my Father's commandments," (John 15:10), and God himself
referred to the Sabbath as one of "my commandments" (Exodus 16:28). Also, "sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4 KJV) [look at the
context, it is referring to the ten commandments], and Jesus never sinned (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22 and 1 John 3:5). As Jesus was
"made under the law" (Galatians 4:4), he must have kept the Sabbath commandment perfectly, otherwise he would have been a sinner.
Every Christian has been called to follow Jesus (Matthew 8:22; 10:38; 19:21; Mark 8:34; 10:21; Luke 9:23; 9:59; 18:22), to be as he was (Matthew 10:25), to be conformed to his image (Romans 8:29), to walk as he walked (1 John 2:6), to follow his steps (1 Peter 2:21), and to be as he is in this world (1 John 4:17). They cannot do this without keeping the Sabbath day, because he kept it, and he is "the same yesterday, and today, and for the age." (Hebrews 13:8).
Jesus is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18), which is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 1:24), and it should be in complete subjection to him in all things (Ephesians 1:22), but it will never be so without keeping the Sabbath day because he taught us to keep it, both by word (Matthew 5:17-19; 19:17-19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20), and by example (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; Luke 4:16; John 16:10). When Jesus was alive on the earth, his physical body was in complete subjection to his spirit, and he habitually went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. If his physical body now, which is the church (Colossians 1:18; 1:24), was in complete subjection to his spirit, then it would also habitually keep the Sabbath day as Jesus did. As he has not changed (Hebrews 13:8), the church ought to be keeping the Sabbath day now, and will never be perfected until it does.
MATTHEW 5:17-19 (Jesus)
17 Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
18 For amen I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, until all is fulfilled.
19 Whoever 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 whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
16 And, behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said to him, Why do you call me good? there is no one good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He says to him, Which? Jesus said, You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,
19 Honor your father and your mother: and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
3 All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not do after their works: for they say, and do not do.
Note: Jesus could not break any of the ten commandments, because if he did he would be a sinner: "for sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4 KJV). Nor could he teach men to break any of them, or he himself would be least in the kingdom of heaven according to his own words:
(Matthew 5:19) "Whoever 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 whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Who, of all men who ever lived, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? It is Jesus! According to his own words then, he must have kept and taught men to keep
every "one of these least commandments." In fact Jesus kept all of the commandments, including observing the Sabbath day (See #3), and here
we can see he taught others to do it also (Matthew 19:17-19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20). He even told people to obey the Scribes and the Pharisees (Matthew 23:2-3), and
they would certainly have told people to keep the Sabbath day! Does the fact that these scriptures do not specifically mention the first four commandments, mean that
we should not keep them? No, because keeping these is an expression of our love for God (John 14:21-24; 1 John 5:2-3; 2 John 6), and loving God is the first and
great commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).
Jesus' words are still applicable to us today:
(Matthew 24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(Matthew 19:17) "if you will enter into life, keep the commandments."
(Luke 6:46) "And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say?"
(John 14:15) "If you love me, keep my commandments."
(John 12:48) "He who rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same will judge him in the last day."
The apostle Paul also confirmed the importance of Jesus' words:
(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man teaches otherwise, and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing."
JOHN 20:19 (KJV)
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week1, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and says to them, Peace be to you.
JOHN 20:19 (RPT)
19 Then it being evening on that day, one day after the Sabbath1, and the doors being shut where the disciples had assembled themselves together because of the fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and says to them, Peace to you.
Note 1: This scripture has been used by some to prove that after the death of Jesus, the apostles, who were the New Testament church, began to gather together on a Sunday, "the first day of the week" (John 20:19), but why would they do that?
Did they get it out of their bible? No, their bible was our Old Testament, and everywhere that commanded the Sabbath day to be observed. There was no command there to change to Sunday.
Did Jesus tell them to do it? No, Jesus told them to "keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17), referring to the ten commandments, and also told them to teach others not to break them (Matthew 5:19). He never commanded to change to Sunday.
Were they then inspired by the Holy Spirit as some people believe? No, because it would mean that the Holy Spirit inspired them to do things totally contrary
to scripture, and their scripture, our Old Testament, told them to keep the Sabbath day.
It would also mean that the Holy Spirit told them to do something contrary to the instructions of Jesus, and Jesus said, "he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you." (John 16:14). He also said that the Holy Spirit would, "bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you." (John 14:26), and Jesus told them, "keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17).
Jesus also said, "when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:" (John 16:13), which meant that he would guide them to the ten commandments, as it is written, "all your commandments are truth." (Psalm 119:151).
Also at that time they had not received the Holy Spirit, they were not filled with the Spirit until the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4), so the idea that the Holy Spirit inspired them to change the day is not scriptural.
Were they then supposedly beginning to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus when they first did it? This cannot be right, because the women believers went
to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus early on that day, expecting him still to be dead (Matthew 28:1-6; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:1). If they had believed he had
risen they would not have done that. When they discovered that he had risen, they went to tell the disciples, who did not believe them, (Mark 16:8; Luke
24:9-11; John 20:2), because they did not know the scripture that he would rise from the dead (John 20:9). Some of them went to the tomb to check (Luke
24:12; John 20:3-10), after which Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:14-18), and other women (Matthew 28:9-10). Even when the women reported
that they had seen Jesus, the disciples still did not believe them (Mark 16:11; John 20:18). Jesus then appeared to two disciples on the Emmaus road
(Luke 24:13-31), who though at first did not believe, after they understood, they went back to report to the apostles (Luke 24:33), but the apostles did
not believe them either (Mark 16:12-13). At this point Jesus appeared to them (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23), and rebuked them for not believing those who
had seen him (Mark 16:14), but even then they thought they were seeing a spirit (Luke 24:37). Even after this, because he was not there at that time,
Thomas still did not believe (John 20:24-25) until he saw Jesus for himself (John 20:28). So we can dispense with any idea that they had begun to gather
together on the first day of the week to commemorate Jesus' resurrection; not one of them believed in his resurrection at that time.
What was the spiritual state of the Apostles at that time? Peter had denied Jesus three times (Mark 14:66-72), saw him suffer and die, and did not even have the opportunity to say sorry. The others (except John) deserted him in his hour of need (Mark 14:50), also saw him die, and they had no opportunity to apologize either. They must have been very sad, and as far as they were concerned their ministry had ended, and they had no idea what to do. They were full of fear, hiding away "for fear of the Jews" (John 20:19), and were even terrified when Jesus appeared to them (Luke 24:37). Look at the covenant that they had with God:
(Exodus 31:16-17) "Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout
their generations, for a perpetual covenant .
It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever:"
(Exodus 34:28) "And he wrote upon the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
(Deuteronomy 4:12-13) "And Yahweh spoke to you out of the midst of the fire: you heard the voice of the words, but you saw no similitude; only you heard a voice.
And he declared to you his covenant , which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tablets of stone."
How then can anyone believe that these men were so spiritually confident at that time, that they could change one of the Ten Commandments, totally contrary to what God spoke audibly himself (Exodus 20:1; 20:8; 31:13-14; 31:16; Deuteronomy 5:12; 5:22), and wrote himself (Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10), contrary to a "perpetual covenant" that he made with them "for ever", the penalty for breaking which was death (Exodus 31:14-15), and contrary to the words of Jesus (Matthew 19:17)? The idea is absurd. Make no mistake, the apostles were not gathering together here to establish a new day of worship instead of the Sabbath, they were gathered together "for fear of the Jews" (John 20:19).
Note 2: There was no change made from the Sabbath to Sunday in the time of the apostles. However, after the death of the apostles, Sunday was substituted for the Sabbath day through the commandment of men, but not by any commandment of God. It is possible that the transfer may have taken place gradually after the death of the apostles, but concerning secular or church legislation history records the following:
"Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the sabbatical observance of Sunday is known to have been ordained is the sabbatical
edict of Constantine, A.D. 32I."
Chambers' Encyclopedia, Article "Sunday."
Here is the first Sunday Law in history, a legal enactment by Constantine 1 (reigned 306-331):
"On the Venerable Day of the Sun ["venerabili die Solis" --the sacred day of the Sun] let the magistrates and people residing in cities
rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often
happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven
should be lost--Given the 7th day of March, [A.D. 321], Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time."
The First Sunday Law of Constantine 1, in "Codex Justinianus," lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Phillip Schaff "History of the Christian Church," Vol. 3, p. 380.
What did Constantine's law require?
"Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades rest on the venerable day of the sun; but let those who are situated in the
country, freely and at full liberty attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines;
lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by Heaven."
Translated from the original edict in Latin, now in Harvard College, U.S.A.
Constantine's empire was predominantly for Sun worship, so this was not a law to favour Christianity, but rather the "venerable day of the sun",
which was the day of the dominating sun worship religion of that time.
The Church of that day, then followed suit, and legislated on Sunday worship at the Council of Laodicea.
"The Council of Laodicea ... forbids Christians from judaizing and resting on the Sabbath day, preferring the Lord's day, and so far as possible resting as Christians."
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1899 Edition, Vol. XXIII, page 654.
Here is the first Sunday Law decree of a Christian council. It was given some years after Constantine's first Sunday Law of A.D. 321:
"Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday [in the original: "sabbato" shall not be idle on the Sabbath], but shall work on
that day; but the Lord's day they shall especially honor, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found
Judaizing, they shall be shut out [anathema,"--excommunicated] from Christ."
Council of Laodicea, Canon 29, quoted in C.J. Hefele, "A History of the Councils of the Church," Vol. 2, p. 316.
By the term "Judaize" they mean keeping the Sabbath day. By the term "the Lord's day" they mean Sunday, which seems to have become term for that day, although there is no scriptural basis for calling it so.
(Acts 20:29-30) "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
(1 Timothy 4:1) "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons;"
(2 Peter 2:1-2) "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."
Doctrines of Devils and False teachers: They teach that Jesus rose on Sunday, and that Sunday is the day of worship and rest.
Privately shall bring in damnable heresies: In the privacy of the council of Laodicea, they substituted Sunday for the Sabbath.
Denying the Lord: It was Jesus who said, "keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17), "but in works they deny him," (Titus 1:16), by not keeping them.
Many shall follow their pernicious ways: Almost all of Christianity keeps Sunday as a day of worship, instead of the Sabbath.
The way of truth shall be evil spoken of: Almost all of Christianity speaks against keeping the Sabbath commandment, which is the truth (Psalm 119:151).
The scripture has this to say on the matter:
(Romans 6:16) "Do you not know, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey;"
So who are we obeying when we keep Sunday as a day of worship instead of Saturday?
(1) We are obeying men, because men changed the Sabbath commandment for Sunday, and we are told not to do this:
(Acts 5:29) "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
(1 Corinthians 7:23) "You are bought with a price; do not be the servants of men."
God commanded the Sabbath, and men commanded Sunday.
(2) We are obeying the spirit of Antichrist, because it is the Antichrist, who will "think to change times and laws:" (Daniel 7:25). This spirit was already in the world in the time of the apostles, for John wrote, "this is that spirit of antichrist, of which you have heard that it should come; and even now it is already in the world." (1 John 4:3). The spirit of antichrist is really the spirit of the Devil, because he is the one who gives the antichrist his authority:
(Revelation 13:2) "the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."
Therefore, when we obey the commandments of men (keeping Sunday), which is inspired by the spirit of antichrist, we are really bowing to Satan, because we keep his law instead of God's.
(Matthew 15:1-9) "Then scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus, who were of Jerusalem, saying,
2 Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.
3 But he answered and said to them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He who curses father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But you say, Whoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatever you might be profited by me;
6 And does not honor his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have you made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.
7 You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Jesus severely rebuked the Pharisees, and called them hypocrites (v7), for pretending to love God, while at the same time breaking one of the Ten Commandments by their tradition. Where does this leave you dear reader? Do you say that you love God, while at the same time break the Sabbath commandment? Are you honoring the tradition of men (keeping Sunday), or honoring the commandment of God (keeping the Sabbath)?
Note 5: The words translated the first day of the week1 (KJV) and one day
after the Sabbath1 (RPT) (John 20:19) are the Greek words τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων (Gtr.tē mia tōn
sabbatōn). This is the same Greek phrase which John also used earlier when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb (John 20:1), and is translated "the first day
of the week" in almost every bible. [For a thorough analysis of the meaning of this expression See RP 451.] This is the day that he appeared to his disciples,
but not the day of his resurrection. This was his first appearance to his disciples together, and took place after he appeared to the two disciples on the Emmaus road,
so probably at the very end of the Sunday afternoon, just before 6 p.m.
We can show plainly from scripture that Jesus could not have risen on Sunday morning. Let us suppose that he rose sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. on Sunday, and then ask the question, "On what day did he die?" If we say Thursday, then as he died about 3 p.m. in the afternoon (Matthew 27:45-50; Luke 23:44-46), he was probably buried after 5 p.m. on that day. Therefore we can reason as follows. He was buried for at least 72 hours (Matthew 12:40; Mark 8:31), which would bring us to at least 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, so he could not have died on Thursday and raised on Sunday morning. If we say then that he died on Wednesday, we can reason like this. Thursday was the first day, Friday was the second day, and Saturday was the third day, and many scriptures show that he rose on the third day (Matthew 16:21; 20:17-19; Mark 9:30-31; 10:34; Luke 9:22; 18:33; 24:7; 24:46; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:4). Therefore he could not have died on Wednesday and rose again on Sunday morning. The timing is wrong; he had to rise late afternoon for all the scriptures to fit. To say that Jesus rose on Sunday morning is always contradicting the words of Jesus.
34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were all gathered together.
35 Then one of them, who was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
ROMANS 13:8-10 (Paul)
8 Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there is any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
10 Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
GALATIANS 5:14 (Paul)
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Note: Does fulfilling of the law mean that we do not have to keep the ten commandments? No, because Jesus said, "all the law" (Matthew 22:40) hangs on the commands to love, which includes all of the ten commandments, not just nine of them. Secondly, we fulfill the law by love (Matthew 22:34-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14), and if we love God with all of our heart and soul, and our neighbor as ourselves, then our love for God is expressed by obedience to his commandments:
(John 14:21-24) "He who has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves me: ... If a man loves me, he will keep my words: ... He who
does not love me does not keep not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me."
(1 John 5:2-3) "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."
(2 John 6) "And this is love, that we walk after his commandments."
This is why Jesus taught us two commandments which enable us to fulfill the law:
(Matthew 22:37) "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."
(Matthew 22:39) "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
We do not keep the Ten Commandments because we are under the Law, or justified by the works of the law, we keep them because we love God, and our love is expressed
by being obedient to him, and by keeping his commandments.
Dear reader, who are you showing love and obedience to if you break the Sabbath commandment, and honor Sunday as a day of worship and rest instead?
MATTHEW 7:21-23 (Jesus)
21 Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I confess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you who work lawlessness1.
MATTHEW 13:40-42 (Jesus)
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this age.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and those who do lawlessness1;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all lawlessness1, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
8 But to the Son he says, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness, and hated lawlessness1; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
1 JOHN 3:4 (RPT)
4 Every man who commits sin, also commits lawlessness1, and sin is lawlessness1.
Note: The word translated lawlessness1 (Matthew 7:23; 13:41; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 1:9; and 1 John 3:4) (Gr. ἀνομία, Gtr. anomia) is made up from two parts, "ἀ" which is a negative, and νόμος (Gtr. nomos) which means "law". It literally means "not law", "no law", or "lawlessness", and refers to things done which are contrary to the law of God, namely, a transgression or breaking of the law. The King James Version of the bible translates every one of these places as "iniquity" except "transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4 KJV). Why did Jesus refuse entrance to the kingdom of God to these people who prophesied, cast out demons, and did many wonderful works in his name (Matthew 7:22-23)? Because they broke God's law. Why will the angels cast people into a furnace of fire at the end of the age (Matthew 13:41-42)? Because they broke God's law. Jesus died to redeem us from "all lawlessness" (Titus 2:14), because he hates it (Hebrews 1:9).Isn't this a good reason to keep the Sabbath day? The apostle James said, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10), so where does that leave those who do not keep the Sabbath day? They are guilty of breaking every one of the ten commandments, including idolatry, adultery, and murder. Idolaters and adulterers cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21). No murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15). The fate of lawless people will be to be cast into "a furnace of fire:" (Matthew 10:42; Revelation 21:8). Also we have seen that the penalty for sin is death, and the lake of fire (Gehenna) is called the second death (Revelation 20:14, so why risk getting cast in there?. These are good reasons to avoid breaking the Sabbath commandment.
There is enough information presented here to show you, that by going to church on Sunday instead of the Sabbath, you are not following the example of God, nor the example of Jesus, nor the example of the apostles. You are not honoring God's word, nor the teaching of Jesus, but rather the commands of men. I urge you, if you are serious about serving God and have the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, then turn from this error and follow the truth. If you would like to see the full study on the Sabbath day so that you can investigate more for yourself, then please See RP 208 The Sin of Forsaking the Sabbath Day and may God bless you in Jesus name.
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