Part One: Who Made the Lord's Day?

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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. 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. Genesis 2:1-3

Did Christ have anything to do with the creation and the making of the Sabbath? Yes. Who is the creator? Christ. So, who gave the first example of seventh day rest? Christ. Therefore, who gave the first example of Sabbath keeping? Christ. So, Jesus Christ is the Creator and Lord of the seventh-day Sabbath.

When people call Sunday the "Lord's day," they are confused. The Lord's special blessed and sanctified day is
not Sunday. The Lord's day, Christ's special day for mankind, our Creator's blessed and sanctified day, is the seventh day (the day we call Saturday). This special creation of our Lord, the seventh day Sabbath, has existed before the giving of the Ten Commandment to Moses. How do we know this?

1. After creating the world in six days, Christ rested on the seventh day. He then says He made it blessed and holy. That makes it unlike all the other days of the week. And therefore is it most certainly is His special day.
2. Isa 58:13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and
the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words" (NIV). So it is stated in the Bible that the seventh-day Sabbath is the Lord's day.
3. Matt 12:8 "For the
Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" (NIV). Jesus himself confirms the Sabbath is the Lord's day.
4. Mark 2:27 "And he said unto them,
The sabbath was made for man." The seventh day is Jesus' special day a gift for mankind.
5. The Sabbath existed before the Ten Commandments were spoken at Sinai? See
Ex 16:4, 22-23, 29.

Exod 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. (NKJ) The NIV has for "law," "instructions." Is the Hebrew word "instructions" and not "law?" Note: Exod 24:12 The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law
(torah) and commands (mitzvah) I have written for their instruction (yarah)." (NIV) Therefore, God's legal instructions existed before Sinai, else God could not have tested Israel to see if they would walk in His law or not.

Exod 16:22 And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD has said: 'Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.'" (NKJ)

Who claimed authority to change God's law and therefore changed Sabbath for Sunday? The Roman Church.

What has been done away with by Christ?
1. The list of our sins was nailed to the cross. Our sins are done away with.
2. The wall of separation between Jew and Gentile was torn down as the laws of circumcision and temple sacrifice were set aside. Now all men who come to God through Christ are part of Israel. Note:

Eph 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- (NIV)

Eph 2:12 . . . at that time [before Christ, when circumcision was the rite of entry into Israel] you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one [now all come to God through Christ, and the sign of this covenant is a recognition of His death, His blood, by baptism and the Lord's supper], and has broken down the middle wall of separation [which we saw were the old ritual restrictions of temple worship and those laws which excluded the uncircumcised]. (NKJ)

Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (KJV)

Rom 9:6 It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. (NIV)

Eph 3:6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

3. Now, Dan 9:27 He will confirm a[?] covenant [How is the covenant with God entered into? ANS: Circumcision] with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering . . . . (NIV) Heb 10:1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-- not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. (NIV)

The shadows are made by the ceremonial laws of sacrifice were shadows of the realities in true sacrifice, the true Lamb of God, namely, Jesus Christ.

4. Matt 27:51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. (NIV)

The Jew's worship in the temple was rejected by God from that moment on. They could not expect Him to honor their sacrifices as a sign of their hope in forgiveness through the promised Lamb of God. They must now turn to the One whom their sacrifices pointed or they would be lost. Thus the their temple was spiritually done away with. But, nowhere does the NT indicated that the law of God was done away.


Part Two: Objections to the Lord's Day

Now We Turn to the Objections That Are Raised by the Defenders of the Sunday Worship Tradition.

Objection #1 Col 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. How can Sabbath keepers tell others to keep the Sabbath?

ANS: This passage tells us that we are not to judge, we are not to condemn others for their keeping of these things, but can we correct them? Why yes, of course we can, in a spirit of kindness and love, point out when others are worshiping on the wrong day. With grace and mercy we can tell people that they are worshiping according to self-imposed human commands and teachings. We can kindly point out that we ought to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth ( 2 Tim 2:25).

Paul continues, in Col 2:17 These are a shadow [prophetic] of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

As we consider this verse the first thing I would note is the phrase, "the reality . . . is found in Christ." This fact does not nullify the command to observe the seventh day. The One who is The Reality rested on the seventh day. Since that is the case, should we not follow the example of reality?

Next, remember, Paul is not telling us that the seventh-day Sabbath's prophetic message is done away with, only that we should not judge how others observe it or other religious festivals. This was an issue in the Antioch dispute. We read in Acts 15:1, "Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: ‘Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.'" (NIV) The Gentiles were being judged unfit for salvation based on the covenant with the children of Abraham.

Paul says in our passage "do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to . . . a Sabbath day" This could not mean that Christians are not to tell their fellow Christians what to eat or drink or that they should go to church on Sabbath, for this is exactly what we find the Paul and the other Christian leaders doing in the case of the Antioch believers. Conserder further Acts 15:

Acts 15:19 "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

James' concern is that they "should not make it difficult for the Gentiles." "What does he mean by the word difficult?" Other translations have "trouble." The original meaning of this word trouble or difficult is helpful to understand. It comes from three words.

para=with + en=in + ochleo=mob OR "with in [a] mob." The subject at hand is the question of the Gentiles duties to God. James is concerned that they not make the new believers feel that they were cast into a mob of new requirements and thus discourage them and drive them away.

So, the apostles came up with the short list of duties and a time for them to come to an understanding of the rest of the list. Remember, the anti-Sabbath pro human traditional Sunday advocate tells us not to uphold the Sabbath, not to observe the Sabbath, not promote the Sabbath based on Paul saying in Col 2:16, that we should not let anyone judge, "what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day"

Does this mean we should not tell others what to eat and not eat and what day to keep holy and not to keep holy according the laws of God? It cannot mean that; for as we continue reading Acts 15 we find the apostle Jame's saying,

Acts 15:20 Instead [instead of mobbing them with requirements and thus making their experience difficult (v.19)] we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols [thus telling them what not to eat], from sexual immorality [thus pointing them to the seventh commandment], from the meat of strangled animals [again they tell them what not to eat] and from blood [thus telling them what not to eat or perhaps what not to drink]. 21 For Moses [the inspired instructor who wrote the foundational books that give the history of God and man and (with other inspired prophets found in the Old Testament) tell us God's fundamental expectations for minkind] has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues [the Jewish place of worship and learning] on every Sabbath [thus telling the Gentile believers to go on Sabbath to the synagogue to learn the rest of their duty from the writtings of Moses. Thus telling them to go to church on the seveth-day Sabbath with the Jews!]." (NIV)

This statement is very important to any discussion about whether Gentile Christians are expected to observe the fourth commandment. It is the fact that there is an assumption that the Gentiles will go to the synagoge that makes this passage so important. There is obviously no thought --not the slightest indication-- that the observance of the senveth-day Sabbath has been replaced with first-day observance. This of all places would be the place in church history for the change to be introduced by persons who had a true claim to divine authority. The fact is that the substitution of first day observance in place of seventh-day Sabbath keeping took the place without divine authority and not out of love for Christ or out of special regard for the resurrection. Rather first-day observance began to replace the true Sabbath out of Gentile spite for the very race of people who gave the Gentile their Savior and who in Acts 15:20,21 sought to show compassion for the new Gentile Christians.

At the time of the Counsel of Nicea of AD 325 Emperor Constantine the Great made the following statement (found in Eusebius' Life of Constantine, Book 3 chapter 18) in the context of a debate over which system (Roman or Old Testamenal-Jewish) should be used to determine the time to observe a rememberance of the resurrection: --------- "... it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. ... Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd.

Theodoret's Ecclesiastical History 1.9 records The Epistle of the Emperor Constantine, . . . addressed to those Bishops who were not present: ------- "It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. ... Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. ... Therefore, this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord. ... no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews.

In 329, Constantine issued an edict providing for the death penalty for any non-Jew who accepted the Jewish faith, as well as for Jews who encouraged them. Constantine also forbade marriages between Jews and Christians and imposed the death penalty upon any Jew who transgressed this law.

John Chrysostom, Bishop of Antioch, directed several of his sermons against the Jews and against those Christians who were friendly to them. He said, for example, "Shall I tell you of their plundering, their covetousness, their abandonment of the poor, their thefts, their cheating in trade? The whole day long will not be enough to give you an account of these things" (Homily I, VII, 1). "I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you," Chysostom warned, "if any one of you should go to attend the Feast of the Blowing of the Trumpets, or participate in the fasts, or the observance of the Sabbath, or observe an important or unimportant rite of the Jews, and I will be innocent of your blood." ("Adversus Judæos," I)

So, it is not out of love for Christ or His Word (scripture), and it is not on the basis of God's authority that the Western church sought to replace the Sabbath with Sunday observance. It was because the church of Rome and the Emperor wanted Christians to have "no single point in common with" Jewish religious practices. It was becaue Rome and the Emperor found the Jews to be "detestable" and because they looked upon the Jew as their "adversaries" that changes were sought. Unforgiveness and bitterness, not holiness, is the root cause of the change. The politics of state uniting with the politics of the church, not scripture, was the authority that validated the decision to replace the seventh-day Sabbath of God for the first-day observance of the Western Church. Instead of looking upon the Jewish people as a mission field the Western church looked upon them with contempt.

James and the Apostles who met in Jerusalem sought to unite (Acts 15) Jewish and Gentile believers. But Satan eventually won the battle and made what God through His Son joined into one (Eph 2:11-14) into two. The Devil reintroduce the racist enmity that Christ sought to forever destroy by His life, death, and resurrection. Most Christians today have no idea that Sunday observance is a memorial to a lack of the loving spirit of Christ, to union of church and state which perpetuated racism. But that is the sad truth of history.

Now we consider the following:
Col 2:18, Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. 20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (NIV)

Sunday keeping not Sabbath keeping is "based on human commands and teachings." Sunday worship is a human tradition that has "an appearance of wisdom" but is really a "self-imposed worship." Sabbath observance was imposed by God from the foundation of the world.

Are the commands to eat and drink certain things requirements only meant for the family of Abraham? No, for God said to Noah, our common great grandfather, Gen 9:4 "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it." (NIV)

Objection #2 How do we know what day the 7th day is. How do we know that the weekly cycle hasn't been interrupted?
ANS: The Sabbath cycle of seven days has been preserved by the Jews. They keep the same seventh day that Jesus kept almost 2,000 years ago. Furthermore, all Christians keep the celebration of the resurrection on Sunday. As is clear from the Bible, Sunday was the first day of the week in Jesus' time – the day after the Sabbath. Thus the cycle is also preserved in the Christian observance of Easter Sunday.

Objection #3 The Sabbath law is not "moral" just because it was numbered with the other nine commandments.
Anybody can clearly understand and see that the Sabbath law is a ceremonial law.

ANS: What is the difference between ceremonial and moral law? What is a ceremonial law? If the Sabbath law is ceremonial or has a ceremonial aspect to it that is ceremonial, is it less important than purely moral laws? Is ceremonial law less enduring than the rest of the Ten Commandments?

1. Is the Passover law ceremonial law, yes?
Luke 22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed . . . .
13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God." NIV)

2. Isa 66:22 "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD. (NIV)
Is ceremonial law less enduring? No. Passover and new moon ceremonial law will continue in heaven according to these texts.

Let us say that it is true that the Sabbath commandment is not a moral law. We should answer, that it is nevertheless a HIGHER form of law. It is a spiritual law. Moral laws govern human relationships and are distinguished from spiritual or religious laws–those laws that govern our relationship with God. If we reject or ignore, or purposely break ceremonial laws that govern our relationship with God are we sinning?

Was the eating of the forbidden fruit a ceremonial or moral law? It seems that it was neither. Yet it was sin to take it anyway. The real question is what does God expect from us with regard to Himself and our fellow man. The Sabbath was never explicitly set aside by God. Rationalizing or theologizing it away is as dangerous as the rationalizing and theologizing that the Devil did as he sought to change God's wisdom in prohibiting the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Objection #4 The Sabbath law applied only to the Israelites.
ANS:
A. What about the other nine?
B. This is based on the idea that the law of God was not given until after the Exodus. When was it given? The objectors and critics say,
C. Some Jews maintain that athe Sabbath was given to all mankind.

Objection #5 The Sabbath law was not given until after the exodus.
ANS: Ex 16 Shows law came before Sinai and before the Exodus:
Exod 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law (NIV instructions is torah = law, the decalogue), or no.(KJV)

Exod 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, [the one found in the 2nd Chapter of gen) therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

The law must have existed before the Exodus for God to test them on it–especially the Sabbath.

Objection #6 Jesus did not come to destroy the law (according to Mat. 5:17) but he did come to fulfill the law. When He fulfilled all things, when all had been finished (see verse 18) the old law became obsolete. Christians are not under the ten commandments.

ANS: When I fulfill my wedding vows do they become obsolete? If all the Ten Commandments are obsolete then why are Christian attorneys fighting court to keep them displayed in public places? Remember, the Sabbath commandment is really the only commandment those who defend the human tradition of Sunday keeping want to do away with. The Sunday traditionalist plays tricks with words. Christ's clear statement that He did not come to destroy the law seems to be acknowledged but then destroys his admission and the law by saying that Christ made the law obsolete. When it comes to the question of the Christians obligations to God, that which is obsolete is effectively destroyed as an obligation. If we are not obliged to obey a law that law is effectively destroyed. Illus: If the law that commands us to stop at stop signs is not enforced–upheld by the police and the courts as an obligation–it is a law that is destroyed.

Objection #7 Christians come together on the first day of the week (John 20:19,26; Acts 20:6,7; 1 Cor. 16:2).
ANS: These verses prove nothing about the continuity of the Sabbath. Look these up in several translations and you will see that none of these texts sets aside the Sabbath. We meet on Wednesday evenings and at other times during the week, this does not automatically set aside the Sabbath! Such logic as is applied in this objection would also set aside Sunday keeping.

Objection #8 God has replaced the Sabbath of the Old Covenant with a new Sabbath. Read Hebrews 4:1-11 and notice verse seven. The heavenly Sabbath (rest) after this life is the true Sabbath. The old Sabbath of the Jews was just a passing shadow (Col. 2:17) and does not apply for Christians.
ANS: See above on Col 2:17 concerning Sabbath being a shadow.

Where is this Hebrews Sabbath called a "heavenly Sabbath?" It is not referred to in Hebrews Chapter 4. In fact it says in Heb 4:9: There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God. (NIV)

What is the meaning of the word translated "Sabbath-rest?" Strong's tells us that it is under his number 4520: sabbatismos: from a derivative of 4521. 4521 is sabbaton (sab'-bat-on); of Hebrew origin . . . the Sabbath (i.e. Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself). . . . KJV renders 4521: sabbath, sabbath day, and week.

At least four other modern translations render it the same, or nearly the same way as the NIV, that is "sabbath-rest" They are the NAS, NAU, ASV, and the RSV. This is a good translation. For the word has been found in ancient contemporary literature meaning "Sabbath-keeping." The apostle of the first century tells the church that there remains a Sabbath keeping to the people of God. When Hebrews was written, it was inspired testimony from Jesus for all the church, not just the Jews (the term Hebrew(s) appears nowhere in the book of Hebrews). The only Sabbath that the people of the first century knew was the seventh-day Sabbath. There is no indication in the New Testament that they knew of any call to replace the Sabbath with Sunday. When they read Heb 4:9 they would most likely think of the rest of faith in accepting Christ as Savior, the Sabbath rest they currently practiced in the faith of Jesus according to the Ten Commandments (Acts 15:21) and of the Sabbath keeping in the New Earth (Isa 66:22-23)
Answering Objections to Christian Sabbath Observance