On the previous page we learned that God made a block of time, the Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, holy at creation. We discovered that God taught Israel to keep the Sabbath for forty years by the miracle of manna. At Mount Sinai, He told them to remember it. He made an awesome display of His power to demonstrate the importance of all His commandments, all ten of which stand or fall together (James 2:10-11). Jesus and the early church, including Gentiles, continued to observe the seventh day as prescribed by the Ten Commandments.
A prominent Catholic theologian asserts that the Bible does not authorize the observance of Sunday. How is it then, that most of Christ's followers observe the first day of the week instead?
In his book, "From Sabbath To Sunday", Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi shows us how the Sabbath was changed and by whom. He describes how some congregations of the early church tried to differentiate themselves from the Jews. Early Christianity was regarded as a sect of Judaism, because the first Christians continued to obey the Sabbath command and observe the festivals commanded in the Old Testament and obeyed the other commandments as well. They wanted to avoid the persecution and punishment the Roman government was inflicting on Jews in the first century.
The observance of the Sabbath was one of the "peculiarities" of the practice of the Jews, and was an observance that was considered slothful by the Romans. A logical way for Christians to differentiate themselve from the Jews and avoid being persecuted with them was to change their day of worship. Dr. Bacchiocchi provides convincing evidence that this is what happened. Some congregations of the early church made this change in the first century. As anti-Jewish sentiment increased throughout the Roman empire in the succeeding centuries, this departure from the Sabbath command by Christians became more common and more firmly entrenched. Observance of Sunday was finally sanctioned formally and institutionalized by the Council of Laodicea in 363 A.D. In fact, the Council of Laodicea prescribed excommunication for any found to be keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day. Canon 29 states,
"Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's day, and if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."
It is evident that even in the fourth century, some continued to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath rather than Sunday. The majority were keeping the first day of the week instead, calling it "The Lord's Day".
God made the seventh day holy. The fourth command tells us we must remember it and keep it holy by resting from our work. Only God can tell us which days He has made holy. Man cannot make a day holy. He cannot keep holy a day that is common. The word, "Holy" means set apart by God for a special purpose. The only day that God has made holy is the Sabbath. We learn this from God's word, the Bible. There is no other source that has the authority to proclaim a day as holy.
There is no command in the Bible authorizing us to observe any day but the seventh. Failure to keep the Sabbath day is a transgression of God's immutable law and is, therefore, a sin. God has not changed the Sabbath day and He expects us to observe the fourth commandment as carefully as "Thou shall not kill" or "Thou shall not commit adultery". If you are not observing God's Holy Day as prescribed by the fourth commandment, you should re-evaluate your code of conduct. Shouldn't you be following the example of Jesus Christ, the apostles, their gentile converts and the entirety of the early church?
I would like you to read a booklet that was written forty-five years ago. The author discovered early in the twentieth century the truth of the Sabbath. This discovery completely changed the course of his life. He built an international organization that taught millions of people the vital truths that had been lost or ignored for centuries. it would behoove you to read this booklet to learn about the need to keep the Sabbath Day. Click on the link to download "Which Day Is The Christian Sabbath" by Herbert W. Armstrong. Look for other valuable Sabbth information resources in the left sidebar.
No, there is more. In addition to making the weekly Sabbath, God created seven Sabbaths that occur annually. Like the weekly Sabbath, these annual Sabbaths have been ignored by the majority of Christians for two thousand years. The purpose of these annual Sabbaths is partly prophetic. They form an outline of the plan of God. Because they have not been kept, their prophetic meaning was lost until the twentieth century.
Click the link below to discover their meaning.
The Meaning of the Annual Sabbaths In God's Plan
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