Does the Bible teach Sunday?

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME

CONTACT

GOSPEL

COVENANT

FESTIVALS

TESTIMONIES

Q and A

Exposing Lies

 

Does the Bible Teach Sunday?

By Larry R. Lasiter

1995

 IN THE BEGINNING, GOD GAVE MAN THE SABBATH AS A DAY OF REST


HE RESTORED ITS OBSERVANCE
IN THE WILDERNESS OF SINAI


IT WAS RESTORED BEFORE HE GAVE ISRAEL
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.


WHY IS IT THAT MOST OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLD IGNORES THE SABBATH AND OBSERVES SUNDAY AS GOD 'S APPOINTED DAY OF REST?


Almost all of Christianity accepts Sunday as their day of worship. Some believe that Sunday is the "Lord's Day". They believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected on Sunday morning, and thats where they get the term "Lords Day."

Others believe that the Apostle Paul set us an example by observing the first day of the week as holy. And still others believe that it simply does not matter which day is acknowledged because they believe all of God's laws have been replaced by grace.

But there are a few that insist the seventh-day Sabbath is still binding, and failure to keep it holy is to sin. To do it regularly, is to live in a state of sin.

This is a very important subject because the Bibles says that God must be worshiped in truth.(John 4:24)

As Christians, we must from time to time reprove what we have come to believe it true and allow God's Word to correct us when necessary. Notice: 2 Corinthians 13:5 -"Test yourselves to SEE IF YOU ARE IN THE FAITH; EXAMINE YOURSELVES! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you -unless indeed you fail the test?" Its not only the Christian himself that must be examined, but his beliefs and practices as well.

Notice:The Apostle Pauls meeting with the Bereans in Acts 17:11 - "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, EXAMINING THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, TO SEE WHETHER THESE THINGS WERE SO."

The Bereans did not just blindly accept Pauls teachings. No,they put them to the test by examining the scriptures. And Luke, the writer of Acts calls them more noble-minded than their brethren in Thessalonica because of this attitude.

The Bereans wanted truth not error. Do you want truth as the Bereans did? Are you willing to search Gods inspired book, the holy Bible to find it? Before you answer yes I caution you to count the cost. Notice: Luke 14:27-28 -"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and COUNT THE COST, to see if he has enough to complete it?"

It is better to not search for truth unless youre willing to count the cost of finding it. Notice: Hebrews 10:26-27 -"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries."

Judgment is on those who have been enlightened and have received the gift of the holy spirit. As the Apostle Paul says in Hebrews 6:4-6 -for those who fail away from the truth after coming to the knowledge of it, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance. "Repentance" means to "have another mind" - the very mind of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we do not submit to Cods word then we have not repented from following our own logic and will. If we have repented saying -"not my will Father but yours", then we must not fail to follow through with that commitment. We must diligently search the scriptures, seeking Gods will, instruction and yes, correction. The bible does reprove and correct us.(2 Timothy 3:16). So lets look at the common arguments given to vindicate the rejection of the Sabbath and the observance of Sunday.

It is claimed that Jesus Christ was crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday morning. Many claim that this was Cods way of rejecting the Jews and their day of worship and transferring Gods holy day to Sunday.

The first fact that must be established is that the weekly Sabbath is not a JEWISH INSTITUTION. It was made 2,300 years before the birth of Judah, the father of the Jews. The bible never calls it the "Jewish Sabbath", but always "the Sabbath of THE LORD YOUR GOD."

When the Scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign to prove that He was sent from God, -Jesus answered "For just as Jonah was THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of man be THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40)

Jesus said, not only three days but also three nights. That is 72 hours in the heart of the earth.

Why do so many Christians claim that Jesus was killed and buried on Friday? Because Friday was often referred to as the "day of preparation". It was a day that was used to prepare for the holy Sabbath. While in the wilderness of Sinai, the children of Israel were told to gather twice as much Manna on Friday because God would not provide it on the Sabbath. They were to gather enough for both days on Friday, the weekly preparation day.

Most of the Christian world today claims that Jesus was killed on Friday because scripture reveals He was buried on the day of preparation. Notice: Luke 23:50-56 -"And behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man, a man from Arlmathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. And it was the PREPARATION DAY, and the SABBATH WAS ABOUT TO BEGIN. Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed after, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. AND ON THE SABBATH THEY RESTED ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT."

We can read the same account in the other gospels as well, so it is very clear that ~Jesus was killed and buried on the day of preparation. But how can we get THREE DAYS AND THPEE NIGHTS from near sundown Friday to Sunday morning? Friday night would be one night, Saturday would be one day. Saturday night would be two nights and Sunday morning would not even count as a day. That would be ONE DAY and TWO NIGHTS, not the THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS Jesus gave as a sign

Jesus is no liar, so what could possibly be the answer to this problem? The answer can only be found when we understand which Sabbath is being prepared for observance. Thats right, there are more Sabbaths than just the WEEKLY one. They are called ANNUAL SABBATHS or HIGH DAYS. These are a part of the annual festivals commanded by God in Leviticus23. And as they are appointed times on Gods calendar and they may fall on any day of the week in any given year. All of them, except the feast of Pentecost, which always falls on a Sunday. God commanded the Israelites to count 50 days after the weekly Sabbath to find Pentecost, which is always a Sunday.

The ANNUAL SABBATHS are (l).First Day of the feast of Unleavened Bread. (2).Seventh Day of the feast of Unleavened Bread. (3).Feast of Pentecost. (4).Feast of Trumpets. (5).Day of Atonement. (6).First I)ay of the feast of Tabernacles. (7).Last Creat Day.

Now with this understanding Notice: Leviticus 23:5-7"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at TWILIGHT is the Lords Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the FIRST DAY you shall have a HOLY CONVOCATION; you SHALL NOT DO ANY LABORIOUS WORK."

Did you notice that this ANNUAL SABBATH followed the Lords PASSOVER? Now Notice Luke 22:15 -Jesus said to His disciples -"I have earnestly desired to eat this PASSOVER with you BEFORE I SUFFER." So they were partaking of the PASSOVER which is the 14th day of the 1st month.

After this they departed to the Mount of Oiives.(Luke 22:39). In verse 47 we find Jesus betrayed by Judas, and in verse 54 arrested. All of this happening on the PASSOVER, the 14th of Nissan.

The following morning,(still the Passover), -Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion. We find in Matthew 27:50 -that Jesus cried out with a loud voice and died. Verse 46 tells us it was at the ninth hour of the day, which is 3 in the afternoon. All of this, from the eating of the Passover to His death and burial took place on the 14th of Nissan, the Passover.

Joseph, who asked Pilate for His body, had until sundown to prepare the body with spices and place Him in His tomb. Days began and ended at sundown, so at sundown would begin the Sabbath. Not a WEEKLY Sabbath, but an ANNUAL Sabbath, the 15th of Nissan, the first day of Unleavened Bread.(Leviticus 23:6).

This day of preparation mentioned in Luke 23:54 was not to prepare for the WEEKLY Sabbath but the FIRST DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD which is a ANNUAL Sabbath.

It is believed by most all scholars that Jesus was killed in 30AD or 31AD. Passover fell on Wednesday in both of these years. The truth is, Jesus was crucified on Wednesday and was buried at the end of the Passover just before sundown which would begin the next day,- Thursday.

Thursday was the 15th of Nissan, and an Annual Sabbath. THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS later near the end of the WEEKLY SABBATH,- Saturday, He arose from the dead. Notice: Luke 24:1-3 -"But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus."

It was early Sunday morning and ~Jesus was already gone. He was not resurrected on Sunday morning, the tomb was already empty.

He was in the grave Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night and Saturday until near sundown. That is THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS.

If He arose on Sunday morning that would be another night, and thus would be THREE DAYS and FOUR NIGHTS. But Jesus plainly said that He would be in the grave "THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS", and this was the only sign He would give that He was the Messiah.

Sunday is not the LORDS DAY as many claim. In Mark 2:28 -Jesus said that He was the Lord of the Sabbath day and we find in John Chapter 1 that this same Jesus existed as the "WORD" in the beginning. John reveals that the WORD was with GOD and WAS GOD and that all things came into existence THROUGH HIM.

Jesus was the LORD mentioned in the Old Testament scriptures, and the very Being that created Adam and Eve. It was Him as God the Son, who gave them the Sabbath day as a holy day of rest and worship in the very beginning. He is the creator of the Sabbath; and it was, and is today, the LORDS DAY. However, in Scripture the term "Lord's Day" is the same as the "Day of the Lord" referring to the time of Christ's return in Glory to judge the world.

There are many who hold the belief that the Apostle Paul authorized the observance of Sunday instead of the Sabbath.

But when we examine Gods Word, we find that the first day of the week is mentioned only eight times in the entire New Testament. (Matthew 28:1) (Mark 16:2) (Luke 24:1) (John 20:1,19) (Acts 20:7) (1 Corinthians 16:2). SIX of these are parallel accounts of finding the empty tomb in the gospels. ONE is where Paul directed the members of the Church at Corinth to set aside food collections for the poor in Jerusalem who were suffering from famine. THIS WAS WORK and not to be done on the Sabbath. (1 Corinthians 16:2)

Notice: Acts 11:28-29 -"Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea."

So the members set aside portions of what they gathered on the first day of the week for the needy brethren in Jerusalem. This indicates that they were working on this day.

And finally the eighth and final place Sunday is mentioned in in Acts 20. Lets take a close look.

Paul stayed in Philippi to observe the days of Unleavened Bread. Then sailed from Philippi to Troas meeting his disciples who had gone ahead. And they stayed at Troas seven days. He was intending to depart on MONDAY MORNING which would be the end of seven days. So near the END of the FIRST DAY they gathered together to break bread.(eat dinner).

Notice: Acts 20:7 -"And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together TO BREAK BREAD (not for worship services), Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day (Monday), and he prolonged his message until midnight."

Verse 8 says there were MANY LAMPS in the upper room where they were. This suggests that the reason Paul could CONTINUE HIS FAREWELL MESSAGE, was that there were enough lamps to last all night at their disposal. And also suggests that the meal started BEFORE lamps were necessary, being still light. Otherwise, there is no reason to mention lamps in context with Pauls extended message.

In verse 9 a young man fell off the window sill and died. In verse 10 Paul went downstairs and restored his life. Then in verse 11 we find Paul sitting at table with the brethren eating and talking until dawn. This could hardly be considered a church service. It was simply a farewell meeting with a group of elders.

Some may claim that the mentioning of the lamps is purely incidental, and that they were meeting just AFTER sundown as the first day BEGAN. If this is so, then the following morning was Sunday morning. Now if Sunday is the LORDS DAY and HOLY, then Paul would surely rest on it.

Notice: Verse 13 -"But we (disciples), going ahead to the ship, SET SAIL for ASSOS, intending from there to take Paul on board; for thus he had arranged it, INTENDING HIMSELF TO GO BY LAND."

The King James translation says he traveled by foot. So Paul had to walk from TROAS to ASSOS to meet the disciples and board the ship. THIS IS A DISTANCE OF OVER 19 MILES! The Apostle Paul had kept the Sabbath since his childhood and walked a SABBATH DAYS ,JOURNEY many times. This was a distance of just over 1/2 of a mile. If Sunday was now a holy day he would not have walked almost 20 MILES across treacherous terrain.

Also, the book of Acts records Brethren breaking bread together on the "FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK". This was years after Christ's resurrection, so why didn't they refer to it as "THE LORDS DAY?" Why didn't the text read "They came together to break bread on the THE LORDS DAY?"

Although we find the first day of the week mentioned only eight times in the New Testament, we find the book of Acts alone gives record of the Apostle Paul holding EIGHTY-FOUR meetings on the Sabbath! (Acts 13:14,44) (Acts 16:13)

(Acts 17:2) (Acts 18:4,11). WHAT A STRIKING CONTRAST!

Although the Apostle Paul was accused by the Jews, of teaching the Gentile converts against the law. He was never accused of teaching against the observance of the Sabbath.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 -"DO NOT THINK that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH PASS AWAY, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Do you want to be called LEAST in the kingdom?

Those who break Gods Commandments and teach others to will be.

Jesus Himself, said heaven and earth would pass away before even the smallest letter of the Law. Heaven and earth has not passed away, and neither has the Law of God.

Still there are those that insist that the only thing that really matters in a Christians life is love, not what day he observes.

This may sound pleasing to the ear, but didn't we just read where the Lord Jesus Christ said that "WHOEVER ANNULS ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE COMMANDMENTS, AND SO TEACHES OTHERS, SHALL BE CALLED LEAST IN THE KINGDOM"?

All of Gods commandments are based on LOVE. Jesus summed them up as LOVE TOWARD GOD, AND LOVE TOWARD FELLOW-MAN.(Matthew 22:36-40) But Jesus was not referring to those two commandments of love only - Notice verse 21 of Matthew 5, Jesus mentions the command to NOT COMMIT MURDER. And in verse 27, He mentions the commandment against COMMITTING ADULTERY. Clearly, Jesus was speaking of the TEN COMMANDMENTS in verse 18.

Which one of these commandments do you think is LEAST? Is it the Sabbath? If so, and you ignore Gods instruction and break this commandment, and teach others to do so as well, "YOU WILL BE CALLED LEAST IN THE KINGDOM." And Jesus didnt say these would even be in the kingdom, but called least by those who are. Certainly if they refused to repent after coming to the knowledge of this truth, then they would nc)t be accounted worthy to enter into the kingdom.

REPENTANCE must come BEFORE GRACE AND SALVATION. Jesus said "REPENT (turn around, or change), for the kingdom of heaven is near." Grace and salvation are for those who are convicted of their past evil deeds; convicted enough to REPENT (l live by the Law according to THE WAY Paul referred to in Acts 24:14, and Jesus instructed in Matthew Chapters 5,6,& 7.

Notice John 14:6 -"I am THE WAY, and THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE."

Jesus Christ is our LORD, He is our WAY. And He set us an example while on earth that we might follow. What example did He set for us concerning the observance of the Sabbath?

Luke 4:16 "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and AS WAS HIS CUSTOM, HE ENTERED THE SYNAGOGUE ON THE SABBATH, and stood up to read."

John 15:10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I HAVE KEPT MY FATHERS COMMANDMENTS, and abide in His love." Jesus kept the commandments, and He kept the SABBATH.

Mark 3:4 "And Jesus said to them, 'Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill?" Jesus here explains that it is not breaking the Sabbath to do good, or to save a life on this day. lie had told them in Matthew 23:23 that they had neglected the WEIGHTIER MATTERS OF THE LAW, JUDGMENT, MERCY AND FAITH. He had told them that if it was permissible to pull ones animal out of a ditch on the Sabbath, then to heal a man on the Sabbath was not breaking the commandment. (Matthew 12:10-12).

Jesus disciples asked in Matthew 24:3 -"Tell us, WHEN WILL THESE THINGS BE (time of the end), and what will be the SIGN OF YOUR COMING, and the END OF THE AGE?"

In a parallel account in Luke 21:36 -Christians are instructed to pray that they would be accounted WORTHY to ESCAPE THE TRIBULATION and be protected.

Back in Matthew 24, notice verse 15 -"Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, STANDING IN THE HOLY PLACE, then let those (Christians) who are in Judea FLEE TO THE MOUNTAINS." This will be the BEAST POWER RULER and the great FALSE PROPHET standing in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, most probably. Jesus says to His followers in Judea to escape to the mountains to a place where they would be safe.

By now youre probably wondering what this END-TIME SCENE has to do with the observance of the Sabbath.

Notice verse 20 -"PRAY THAT YOUR FLIGHT may not be in winter, OR ON A SABBATH." So we find that the Sabbath would still be important to Jesus and His followers even at the time of the end.

Jesus was not resurrected on Sunday, but at the end of the weekly Sabbath.

The first day of the week is never called the LORDS DAY, hut Jesus is called the LORD OF THE SABBATH.

It was Jesus CUSTOM to attend services, and stand and read from the scriptures on the Sabbath.

Jesus taught that it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath; meaning, there are things it would not be lawful to do.

Instead of abolishing the Sabbath, Jesus carefully taught how it should be observed,- as a delight rather than a burden.

He instructed His apostles that the Sabbath should he prayfully regarded even in the END-TIME. And told his future followers in the time of the great tribulation to PRAY THAT THEIR FLIGHT NOT BE ON THE SABBATH. Surely we are living in the last days. I know that most of my Christian brothers and sister are not praying this prayer. Are you praying that you may escape the trouble to come? Are you praying that your escape would not fall on a Sabbath as Jesus instructed you to?

The Apostle Paul broke bread on the first day in Acts 20:7 but it was not called the "LORDS DAY." And there is no indication that it was a weekly worship service. They were sitting at table eating and discussing. And there is no mention of singing hymns.

If that evening was Sunday night, then Paul walked over 19 miles Sunday morning (days began at sundown) after staying up all night. Quite a contrast, when you consider Jesus saying to pray that our flight would not fall on the Sabbath. If it was Sunday morning when Paul walked from Troas to Assos, then he had little regard for it being a special day, or holy in any way.

If that evening was the beginning of Monday, then Paul preaching and discussing all night would not have been on Sunday. This Scripture cannot honestly be used to justify a transfer of the observance of Saturday to Sunday.

Another note of interest,- Paul had observed the feast of Unleavened Bread at Philippi just prior to his arrival at Troas. If they were still keeping the Feast, then it stands to reason they were still observing the weekly Sabbaths as well since they are all mentioned together in Leviticus 23 as the "Lord's appointed times."

The book of Acts alone gives record of Paul holding EIGHTY-FOUR MEETINGS on the SABBATH. The entire New Testament mentions the FIRST DAY (Sunday) only EIGHT TIMES, and SIX of those are parallel accounts in the Gospels.

It does matter. Jesus said that ANYONE WHO ANNULS EVEN THE LEAST OF THE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHES others to WILL BE CALLED LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

The observance of Sunday came into "Christianity" through the Catholic church at the council of Laodicea in the 4th century officially. But notice what the Catholic church says about it. "Is not every Christian obliged to sanctify SUNDAY, and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? BUT YOU MAY READ THE BIBLE FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION, AND YOU WILL NOT FIND A SINGLE LINE AUTHORIZING THE SANCTIFICATION OF SUNDAY. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of SATURDAY, a day WE never sanctify."("Faith Of Our Fathers" By Cardinal Gibbon). No, the Catholics never sanctify the Sabbath, but God does. It was this week day alone that He sanctified (set-apart) and made holy. It is the only Commandment which God which begins with- "Remember." How is it that most all of Christianity has failed to Remember this holy day and to "keep it holy?"

Yes, it is clear that the Sabbath is a tradition of God, and the observance of Sunday is a tradition of men.

One can worship God in vain Notice: Mark 7:7-9 "But in VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, teaching as doctrines the PRECEPTS OF MEN, NEGLECTING THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, you hold to the TRADITION OF MEN. You nicely SET ASIDE the commandment of God in order to keep YOUR tradition."

God instructs His people to assemble for a HOLY CONVOCATION on His Sabbaths.(Leviticus 23:2) To come before God as the fellowship of the faithful. Are you coming before God on His commanded day of assembly? If you are healthy and able, that is where God wants you. Notice Hebrews 10:23-25 -"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, NOT FORSAKING OUR OWN ASSEMBLING TOGETHER, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near."

There is no biblical authority for the omission of the Sabbath, or to replace it Sunday. As the Church that instituted its observance, the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, freely admits,- it does not come from the holy Scriptures but from their own TRADITION. And the Catholic Church believes that they have the authority to change Commandments if they so desire.

Does the Bible teach Sunday? Yes, as the first work day of the week and No, as God's appointed day of assembly and worship.

In closing lets remember the words of Joshua. In Joshua 24:14 he says -"Now therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and TRUTH; verse 15 -"As for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD."

 

 

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries