A Study By: Timothy M. Youngblood
Copyright © The Master's Table
Most Christians assume that Sunday is the biblically approved day of worship but is there information in the bible that approved Sunday worship? "Rites and ceremonies, of which neither Paul nor Peter ever heard? Is it possible that Sunday worship crept silently into use, and then claimed the rank of divine institutions?
We have found in our research that over 100 years ago most all Protestant churches were keeping the seventh day Sabbath and wanted to go to Sunday worship but the Roman Catholic Church protested that it was their Church that transferred Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday at the 17th. session of the council of trent, Jan. 18, 1562 and that to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. Over one hundred years ago a Catholic paper called "the Catholic Mirror" ran a series of articles discussing the right of the Protestant churches to worship on Sunday. The articles by the Catholics stressed that unless one was willing to accept the authority of the Catholic Church to designate the day of worship, the Protestant Christian should observe Saturday and not Sunday. They stated in this paper: "If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday." Well the Protestants got their way and made a deal with the Catholic Church and was allowed to keep Sunday as their day of worship. (See paper header and Preface below.)
The main text on the cover of the Catholic Mirror of September 2, 1893 states as noted below.
"THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH"
The pages of this brochure unfold to the reader one of the most glaringly conceivable contradictions existing between the practice and the theory of the Protestant world, and unsusceptible of any rational solution, the theory claiming the Bible alone as teacher, which unequivocally and most positively commands Saturday to be kept 'holy,' whilst their practice proves that they utterly ignore the unequivocal requirements of their teacher, the Bible, and occupying Catholic ground for three centuries and a half, by the abandonment of their theory, they stand before the world today the representatives of a system the most indefensible, self-contradictory, and suicidal that can be imagined.
We feel that we cannot interest our readers more than to produce the 'Appendix' which the International Religious Liberty Association, and ultra-Protestant organization, has added to the reprint of our articles. The perusal of the Appendix will confirm the fact that our argument is unanswerable, and that the only recourse left to the Protestants is either to retire from Catholic territory where they have been squatting for three centuries and a half, and accepting their own teacher, the Bible, in good faith, as so clearly suggested by the writer of 'Appendix,' commence forth-with to keep the Saturday, the day enjoined by the Bible from Genesis to Revelation; or, abandoning the Bible as their sole teacher, cease to be squatters, and a living contradiction of their own principles, and taking out letters of adoption as citizens of the kingdom of Christ on earth — His Church — be no longer victims of self-delusive and necessary self-contradiction.
"The arguments contained in this pamphlet are firmly grounded on the word of God, and having been closely studied with the Bible in hand, leave no escape for the conscientious Protestant except the abandonment of Sunday worship and the return to Saturday, commanded by their teacher, the Bible, or, unwilling to abandon the tradition of the Catholic Church, which enjoins the keeping of Sunday, and which they have accepted in direct opposition to their teacher, the Bible, consistently accept her in all her teachings. Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives; either Protestantism and the keeping of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday. Compromise is impossible."
THE CATHOLIC MIRROR, PUBLISHERS.
What many Protestants don't know:
The very definition of a Protestant is a Christian who is not an adherent of a Catholic, Anglican, or Eastern Church. What many Christians also don't know is that the Catholic Church has a law; Cited in Council of Trent as Proof that "tradition is above scripture" and as a result we find in the Christian religion that most churches hold worship services on the first day of the week called Sunday, however the bible teaches in the Old and New Testament that the seventh day is the day we should worship God. Many ministers that want to keep the first day of the week teach that after Jesus died on the stake it does not matter what day we keep, but do you know for sure that is true, and have you considered why we might need to worship on the correct day? It is important for you to let the Bible teach us what we should believe; after all, it seems that if we are to be called Christian we should follow Jesus who is the Christ. We see in Gen. 2:1-3 that God made the Sabbath at creation and that it is a created day for the purpose of rest and to worship God. Notice the very important point that it was, and is a part of creation.
In Exod 20:8-11 we read "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Notice that God is the one that made the seventh day holy as well as making it a part of His main Ten Commandments. It's grouped in with the other important laws of order, love and kindness, because it's just as important as all the other commandments, and is to be kept forever. I find it interesting that Christians acknowledge the other commands in the Ten Commandments but reject the "first" and "fourth one". The reason they break the fourth commandment is because many Christians have not been taught the truth about the seventh day Sabbath. A very important point is that by worshipping on the seventh day we are worshipping the creator God as that day denotes creation. What's so fantastic is that God created the seventh day as a worship day at creation so we could contact Him, and the fact is if we put aside this day and worship on another day we are in fact worshipping another God.
Have you ever noticed how Satan has named the days of the week in line with pagan gods? Sunday which is the first day of the week being the day of the Sun, and was the very day the pagans such as Constantine the Great worshipped their Sun god. The Catholic Church continued in this pagan practice under a new name. Monday is really Moons day, or the day of the Moon, Tuesday is Tiu's day, or the god of the sky and war. Wednesday is Woden's day, god of the wild hunt, and day of Mercury, and identified with the Scandinavian god Odin. Thursday is Thor's day, the Scandinavian god of thunder or war. Friday is Freya's day, the goddess of love and fertility, or frig day to make love or to fool around. Saturday is Saturn's day, an ancient Roman god of agriculture, and identified with the Greek god Cronus. God did not name the days of the week but numbered them with the exception of the seventh day which He named the Sabbath, but some have even over rode God's will by renaming the Holy Sabbath "Saturn's day" and using the first day of the week which is the day of the Sun as the Sabbath.
Did Jesus change the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first?
Some say Jesus changed the day of worship from the seventh day to the first when He was resurrected on Sunday. The big Question is where in scripture did He say He was changing it, and was Christ even resurrected on Sunday? Was the Sabbath day mentioned in John 19:31 the weekly Sabbath, or an annual Sabbath? Let's read it; "Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (NKJ) Because Christians have not kept the Holy days set up by God during the Old Covenant they have lost the understanding of the meaning of the Holy days and as a result do not understand what was meant by "the Preparation Day" and that Jesus was crucified on the Passover which was also called a high day. The high Sabbath they were referring to in John 19:31 was the first day of unleavened bread, not the weekly Sabbath as many teach today. He died at the ninth hour which was three o'clock, on the Passover, and they had to bury Him before sunset because of the high Sabbath, (The first day of unleavened bread.) followed the Passover. If we understand the annual holy days of the old covenant we can understand these truths.
Let's look at scriptural facts:
Jesus stated that He would be in the grave three days and three nights, but if we use what man teaches and count the time from Friday (Good Friday) at the 9th hour (3 p.m.) to the so called Sunday resurrection to see if we can get 3 days and 3 nights we will see it does not add up. If you want to do a test on this, go ask someone how long Jonah was in the belly of the great fish? (With out mentioning Christ's resurrection.) Then ask them to tell you what completes three days and three nights? If they have not caught on at this point, ask about the scripture where Jesus stated He would be in the grave the same amount of time that Jonah was in the belly of the great fish. Matt. 12:40-41. We must understand that the fact He stated three days and three nights is one of the proofs, or signs of who would be the coming savior. Jesus cannot be your savior if He was not in the grave three days and three nights, and even Jesus Himself stated what was meant by a day and a night. Let's read; Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. John 11:9
To understand more of this truth let's take a look at the account given in John 20:1 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Notice that it was still dark, the sun had not risen. Another account states "Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. Mark 16:2 Notice, when the sun had risen! Either we have a gross contradiction or something needs explaining. The Greek word used here for dawn is "proi" (at dawn; or dusk, daybreak) This shows that it was daybreak (or dusk) not when the sun had risen which would correspond with the other scripture in John 20:1 because it is still dark at dusk or daybreak. Also notice that the stone had already been rolled away denoting that Jesus was not there.
Jesus had already risen by the time Mary had arrived at the tomb before the sun had came up. A very important point is that no scripture states that He was rising when Mary arrived. So why a sunrise Easter service? Obviously He had already risen before Mary Magdalene arrived to anoint Him; so a Sunrise resurrection is not possible. So by the fact we know Jesus was crucified on the day portion of the Passover (14th. of Nisan) at the ninth hour (3:00 P. M. our time today) and the bodies had to be off the stakes and buried before the 1st day of unleavened bread (Which started at sunset.) shows that He had to be in the tomb at sunset.
We know this because He was put in the tomb at sunset on what we know of today as Wednesday evening, so He had to rise around sunset of the Sabbath evening to be in the tomb three days and three nights. Let's look at it this way. Our Wednesday at sunset is night first (Because their days started at sunset.) So what would be known today as Wednesday evening would be Thursday night portion first "NIGHT" and then the day portion of Thursday "DAY" One 24 hour time period then Friday night as the sun set "NIGHT" and the day portion "DAY" the Second 24 hour time period then the Sun set starts the night portion of the Sabbath "NIGHT" then the day portion of the Sabbath "DAY" then the Sun set starting the First day of the week Ending the Third 24 Hour Period. Jesus rose just at sunset on the end of the third 24 hour period of the Sabbath and His tomb was discovered empty before the sunrise part of the first day of the weak as recorded in the scriptures. Some may ask what was Jesus doing during the NIGHT portion of the first day of the week? My answer is you will have to ask Him.
Also remember Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene and stated she could not touch Him because He had not risen to the throne of God to spread His blood on the Holy of Holies? That fact is very important because it was after the first day started that they could touch Jesus as Thomas did and believed which would be in the day portion of the first day of the week. Remember the stone had been removed when Mary Magdalene arrived and the scriptures state that it was still dark. John 20:1
Jesus Christ is our example, and He kept ALL the Commandments, including the seventh day Sabbath and I would like to ask where can we find in scripture Jesus the Christ commanding that we should change the Sabbath seventh day worship to Sunday the first day of the week? As we can see from scriptures after Pentecost the true Church of God kept the Sabbath (the seventh day) holy. Question is, if it was changed by Jesus, then why were the Apostles going against Him after He had ascended back to heaven? See Acts 13:42. and notice the statement "preached to them the next Sabbath." And Acts 13:44; Acts 18:4-5 also reflect the same. Man is the one that changed the worship day from the seventh to the first day, not God! Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor, and sun worshipper changed it. God has not changed what He created so let's read what's recorded on creation week in Gen. 2:2. "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done."
A commanded day of rest:
Let's ask a very important question: Why did God have to rest on the seventh day? Was God exhausted from all the work of creating? Of course not! God can't become exhausted, so what was He doing on the seventh day named the Sabbath? The answer is that He was still creating! Time is constant and enduring forever so He was creating a time of holy worship by putting His own holy presence in the time from sunset to sunset on the seventh day so we can draw His presence out of that time. When God is present then that which is around Him is holy, and God said He would be there for holy worship and fellowship on the seventh day so we can draw from His holiness as we take part in this special service with Him. Just as the ground that Moses stood was holy because God was present, the Sabbath time from sunset to sunset is just as holy, but how can we partake of this holy time if we are a day late?
So from this study so far we find that to understand the Sabbath is to understand that God created something on each of the other six days so what did He create on the seventh? He created time for us to reflect on the wonders of God and to rest in His love for us which we can see from the other six days. He did not do this on Sunday or any other day. Without this day being used to rest and reflect we loose a great resource for our own health and mental well being. I say again, there's only one way to worship the true God and if we are worshipping in any other way than He instructs, we are worshipping another god. If we truly seek to worship God the way He instructs He will open our minds to his many truths allowing us to have a love relationship with Him and come to understand many other great truths, but if we reject such a great tool as the seventh day Sabbath then we lose the relationship and knowledge that comes with it.
Jesus did not change the day we should worship Him but He changed the strictness of the keeping of the law because much strictness was added throught time because of the peoples transgressions, or better put, disobedience. This means that if we break the Sabbath as written in the Old Covenant we are not condemned, nor have we sinned. Some still teach as if not keeping the strictness of the Sabbath is sin to the point of loosing salvation, but brethren, there are many Old Testament scriptures that show what was required concerning the Sabbath under the old covenant. Let's look at Exod. 16:23 which shows that cooking was forbidden on the Sabbath and Exod. 16: 29 show that it was forbidden to travel at all on the Sabbath. Jer. 17:27 states they were not to carry a burden on the Sabbath. Exod 35:3 commands that no one shall kindle a fire on the Sabbath day for any reason, so if your fire went out, to bad. In Exod. 31:14 and Exod. 35:1-3, God stated at that time that if anyone profanes the Sabbath, (which meant what we just listed above) shall surely be put to death! Have you kept this law and put your mate or child to death because they went out to eat, or turned on the stove on the Sabbath? Let's truly give thanks for the grace of God through His Son Jesus our Messiah.
Jesus made a very profound statement concerning the Sabbath laws in Matt. 11 and 12. Remember when Jesus stated He would give rest to those whom labor and are of a heavy burden? Matt. 11: 28. Well Jesus continued His point in Matt. 12 when He was confronted by the Pharisees about picking corn on the Sabbath, He responded by saying, "But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." The point brethren is that salvation does not come from the perfect keeping of the Sabbath the way it was done under the old covenant, but ONLY through Christ! Remember Jesus stated that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, but does this mean we should quit keeping the seventh day Sabbath? No! It means we keep it because we want to rest on the seventh day Sabbath, and because we know that God has placed His presents in that time from sun-set on the sixth day till sun-set on the seventh day. You see, now we are free to worship as children loving their Father.
There is more concerning the Sabbath rest and that we should not be disobedient as some are. Let's look at this recorded in Heb 4:1-11. It states...Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: "So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest," although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"; and again in this place: "They shall not enter My rest." Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience."
Can all these scriptures be any more clear? For those that will still try and refute this I ask...Where are the scriptures that are as clear in changing the seventh day Sabbath to the first day of the week? Why is it that the day was not changed for over 300 years and was done so by Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor, and sun worshipper? "He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
"The Church made a sacred day of Sunday . . . largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun;--for it was a definite Christian policy to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance."--Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity, 1928, p. 145 [Dr. A. E. Weigall (1880-1937) was a high-ranking British Egyptologist in the Egyptian Government].
"Remains of the struggle [between Christianity and Mithraism] are found in two institutions adopted from its rival by Christianity in the fourth century, the two Mithraic sacred days: December 25th, dies natalis solis [birthday of the sun], as the birthday of Jesus,--and Sunday, 'the venerable day of the Sun,' as Constantine called it in his [Sunday law] edict of 321."--Walter Woodburn Hyde, Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, p. 60. [Hyde (1870- ?) was an American ancient history professor and writer].
"Is it not strange that Sunday is almost universally observed when the Sacred Writings do not endorse it? Satan, the great counterfeiter, worked through the 'mystery of iniquity' to introduce a counterfeit Sabbath to take the place of the true Sabbath of God. Sunday stands side by side with Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy (or Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Whitsun day, Corpus Christi, Assumption Day, All Souls' Day, Christmas Day, and a host of other ecclesiastical feast days too numerous to mention. This array of Roman Catholic feasts and fast days are all man made. None of them bears the divine credentials of the Author of the Inspired Word."--M. E. Walsh.
You might want to read our study... Just what about the Sabbath being from sunset to sunset?
If you would like to find more concerning The Catholic Mirror of September 2, 1893 see... http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Christian_Sabbath_(Catholic_Mirror)
Timothy M. Youngblood
The Master's Table