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Saturday is the Real Sabbath


The word Sabbath means rest. To do unnecessary work or severe work on the Sabbath is certainly to desecrate it. The purpose of the resting is to edify the mind with spiritual things and to make time for others. Christian hypocrites say that we may cease Sabbath-keeping for we have to move with the times. They know that there is not much work that has to be done on a Sunday. It can be left for another day. There is a lot of value in the Sabbath and for Christians to break it and bless its being broken shows that they would permit infanticide to keep up with the times which frequently translates as, ďLet us to what everybody else does whether it is right or wrong.Ē

Seventh-Day Adventism and Armstrongism or the Worldwide Church of God teach that God wants Christians to continue having the Sabbath on a Saturday as the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, the book which God wrote, decrees. The Jews observe the Sabbath on a Saturday. Christians, of course, claim that Jesus moved the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Some Christians believe that there is no Sabbath at all for Christians but that the Lordís Day is just for public worship and its observance completely optional.
The Old Testament says that the seventh-Day Sabbath was a sign forever (Exodus 31) because it was the seventh day, the day when God rested after making the world (v17).
Christians say that it was a sign forever though it has been switched to Sunday. The problem is that it cannot be the sign the scriptures intend it to be if it is held on any other day than a Saturday. Think about it.
It was a sign for Israel that they were sacred (v13) because they had to imitate God by resting on that day.
The New Testament calls the Church the New Israel so it is still to be kept sacred by the Church. The Bible says it is not a picture of Israel which would not entitle it to be called new but a real Israel (Ephesians 2:11,12). The only way the Church could be legally Israel is if it were spiritually Israel and that would mean it would be subject to the Law. It would be free from the burden of the Law but not free from the duty of obedience. In other words, God helps his people now to keep the Law and if they break it Jesus bears the penalty of the Law so that now it is not a burden but a joy.
The New Testament insists on keeping the commandments of God which are at the very least the Ten Commandments (James 2:10-11) which is strange if fourth, keep the Sabbath day, was dropped. It goes on as if nothing was dropped and of course nothing was. If God had intended to abolish the Sabbath or change it Ė the fourth commandment does not just mean keep the Sabbath but it means to keep the seventh day as Sabbath Ė he would have either put something else in its place perhaps, pray together once a week or keep a Sabbath day every week. There was no provision for anybody who chose a day other than Saturday.
Hebrews 10:8 says that an Old Testament prophecy that God would put the commands of the Law in the minds and hearts of his people refers to the Christian Church so it proves the Sabbath was still in force for it was one of the things that the Old Testament prophet meant by commandments. The Sabbath law along with the other nine was spoken by God on Mount Sinai to the people which shows how solemn the ten commandments were and how they cannot be changed and how they are to be preserved even if the Law disappears which cannot happen (page 27, Which Day is the Christian Sabbath?). He did not reveal the others in such a strong way.
It may be objected that only Israel is told to keep the Sabbath meaning that the Hebrews alone were obliged to observe it. If Israel only got the commandment it does not prove that the Sabbath is for the children of Israel alone.
Remember, the non-Hebrew slaves they had had to honour the Sabbath because it is forbidden to tolerate anyone who did not live the way of the Lord (Leviticus 17; Deuteronomy 13). Non-Hebrews were allowed to enter Mosesí true Church under certain conditions (Deuteronomy 23).
God in Isaiah 56 says that in the future eunuchs and Gentiles who keep the Sabbath and offer animal sacrifices will please him by doing so. He did not say a new Sabbath or anything so it is the seventh-day Sabbath that he means. He said ďthe SabbathĒ not ďa SabbathĒ. Remember, that is the least complicated interpretation so it is the one that is meant. This is still future for the Jews excluded non-Jews and eunuchs. Christians might try to say that he only meant that they will do it and their conduct pleases him if it is sincere but he is not saying what they will do is objectively right. But God said all this would take place after he makes saints of his people by saving them in which time he promised that his truth would be accepted (Isaiah 55).

Christians ignore the Jewish Law claiming that Jesus did away with it.
Christians argue that Jesus did not rescind the laws about right and wrong in the Torah but the laws that dealt with liturgy such as the Seventh-Day Sabbath. They argue that the law of the Sabbath would be written in the hearts of those who were never taught by God if it were a moral law if religion is true for a day is needed to spend with God and devote to him. (In other words, they would figure out from reason and the influence of the Spirit that a day of rest and prayer was needed). But all recognise the need for a day of rest and freedom to think about oneself so this argument is wrong. The need for a Sabbath day is moral law. The Sabbath was not a mere ceremonial law that could be changed but a moral one, which was therefore immutable. And the fact that pagans may not have felt they should rest and worship on Saturdays does not affect our argument for the point is that a Sabbath is needed not what day it should be on.
The book Not Under Law which argues that the Old Testament is meant to be relevant today (page 4,6,16) and that the view that it is a thing of the past is heretical. The book states that Mark 10:19 shows that Jesus believed that the moral side of the Law, the Torah, was still in force but that the ceremonial side of it was not. It states that according to John 4:21-24 when he told the Samaritan woman that the value of Jerusalem as the centre of worship would soon come to an end shows that the ceremonial side had been done away. It concludes that though the Law was not divided up into two, moral and ceremonial, there was a distinction between moral and ceremonial (page 7).
The book on page 16 admits that the liturgy laws like the diet ones were tied up with morality. It was immoral to break the liturgy or ceremony laws. The error in the books conclusion is that a difference, between moral and ceremonial, is made into a distinction. It is like stealing and adultery being condemned by the moral law. They are different things but they do not imply that there are two moral laws. They both reflect the moral law,
ďWhat God commands is rightĒ.
Jesus said that eating unclean food by itself doesnít make you morally unclean. It was moral uncleanness he was talking about. The Jews misinterpreted the Torah and held that to eat pigs was necessarily the same as having a selfish hard heart. As a Jewish minister or Rabbi, he made all foods clean meaning he was abolishing the Jewish tradition. He never dissented from the rule of the Torah that eating such food is unclean in the sense of dirty. He only rejected the idea that such food is morally dirty. He would have agreed that somebody eating pig would become morally unclean not because of the pig but because of the disobedience to conscience.
Jesus never said that Jerusalem would cease to be the centre of worship but that people would stop being so dependent on it. They would stop reserving their worship for Jerusalem. To focus on God just when you are at the Temple would be blasphemous so you need to worship God everywhere you are for you need to adore him in spirit and in truth before you can even go into the Temple to worship. You need to have your spirit opened up to worship at the Temple and that can only be done by worshipping him everywhere you are Ė in spirit and in truth in other words. It would be ridiculous to construe Jesusí meaning as that you must worship anywhere but the Temple and the holy Samaritan Mountain! The Law never desired the sanctuary in Jerusalem to be the only place of worship though it alone was the legitimate place of sacrifice in Jewish practice. It was possible for branches of the Temple to be set up in other places. They would have been like extensions of the Temple. This makes sense for say the Temple grounds were spread to Syria or even Moscow you could still see Jerusalem as the centre of worship but you would not need to go physically to Jerusalem to participate. Jesus never made any distinction between the ceremonial and moral law and neither did any New Testament writer. The Law did require a sanctuary or Temple but wasnít fussy about where it was. The Jews used a movable temple or tabernacle in the desert.
Clearly the moral and ceremonial sides of the law though different were inseparable.
John 5:18 says that Jesus broke the Sabbath by healing a paralytic. John meant that Jesus broke the Sabbath tradition that such things do not be done. Jesus indicated elsewhere that healing was not breaking the law of God about the Sabbath but only the overly strict rest required by man-made tradition. This Colossians verse does not prove that Jesus abolished the Sabbath. John said that Jesus was sinless which he could not be if he literally broke Godís Sabbath law.
ďIn Matthew 12, Jesus let the apostles pick up food on the Sabbath though it was forbidden by the Law. The Law didnít even allow you to light a fire on the Sabbath day. This proves that the Sabbath was changed.Ē

The Law did not forbid what the apostles did. And though it is true that the Law says that you are not to burn things on the Sabbath day it only means that you shall not kindle the fire for the Jewish tradition was to keep the fire alive from the day before. A fire burning is not work for us and if the logs are near the fire there is very little work to do. If the Law had gone that far it would have instructed that nobody was allowed to speak or get out of bed on the Sabbath.
The apostles did not break the Law concerning the Sabbath for they were on their way to worship and were only picking the grain as they went along (page 83, What Day is the Christian Sabbath? Worldwide Church of God). If that was wrong then it was wrong to reach across the table for the salt or anything on the Sabbath. Jesus was telling his critics that they were going too far and making the Law stricter than it really was. The Law opposed the gathering of sticks on the Sabbath for it could wait another day or should have been done on Friday. Lighting fires was forbidden for that was hard work. But you have to eat. You can wrap up in a blanket if you cannot light a fire.
Jesus told the Jews that when his apostles were hungry he let them pick some food as they walked through fields on the Sabbath day and said that the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath and that he was Lord of the Sabbath. He did not mean that as Lord he could change the rules for the Sabbath for he kept the Sabbath himself and never questioned it. He meant that he was the one who was honoured by the Sabbath. He certainly did not mean he could do away with the Sabbath for he claimed to be love and he was after saying it was out of love for man that there was a Sabbath at all. His denial that the Sabbath was just a symbol of the ceremonial law that could be done away is seen when he says the Sabbath was created for utilitarian reasons which takes away the only basis the Christians have for abolishing the Sabbath: that it was a picture that Jesus did away with when he fulfilled the picture. Also how could Jesus say he was Lord of the Sabbath in the sense that he could alter the way the Sabbath was observed when the issue at hand was not disobedience to the Sabbath but disobedience to manmade Jewish rules about the Sabbath?

Colossians 2:16-17 seems to forbid judging anybody who keeps the Sabbath and some say this is referring to those who use the Sunday Sabbath or who retain Saturday as the Sabbath. It is remarkable how Christianity gives no respect to those who wish to use Saturday. The verse seems inconclusive for sabbaths appears to refer to specifically Jewish feastday Sabbaths not the Saturday Sabbath.
Christians object to the Bible teaching that we have to keep the seventh day holy. ďRomans 14:5-8 says that the Christian should not esteem one day more than another implying that the Sabbath laws are abolished.Ē We donít know what is meant by esteem here. It is likely means that every day should be treasured and dedicated to good works not just the Sabbath. This teaching is compatible with having a Sabbath day. The working days are for worshipping God by working and the Sabbath for worshipping God a different way and doing the more passive kinds of good works like helping others to rest and resting yourself so that you will be able to serve others better.
If Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday that does not prove that he wanted it to be the new Sabbath. The Saturday Sabbath can be a memorial of the resurrection even if it is not the day he rose. Nobody can argue that Jesus needed a memorial day that badly that he had to change the day for the Sabbath. Moreover, it is not days that commemorate but what people do on those days. 
Did the apostles keep the Sabbath after Jesus left? Even if they didnít that doesnít prove they were right. The apostles had a very difficult job to do and they claimed to be without error only in giving official revelations from God. They could only leave the essentials of the faith.
In Acts 1:12 we read that the apostles travelled for one day on a Sabbath after Jesus ascended into Heaven. The Law forbade this because it was walking too far. Exodus 16:9 said a man must stay near home on the Sabbath day. But the Law made allowances for emergencies. The apostles had to do a lot of travelling that day for their lives were at risk and they needed to keep their whereabouts under wraps. Also, priests were allowed to work and offer sacrifice on the Sabbath day and the apostles would have seen themselves as exceptions to the law because it was more important to go out and see Jesus ascend and worship with him than to sit in a house. And also the law in Exodus 16:9 really only means avoid as much travelling as possible. How do you know the apostles didnít keep it even then?
Christians say that the New Testament says that Sunday is the Sabbath for the collection was taken that day and so it must have been a public collection (page 118, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties) for why just privately collect on a Sunday when you can do it any day? Only 1 Corinthians 16:2 mentions the collection but it does not say it can only be taken during divine service. It could have been a private collection made from house to house the day after the Sabbath for it was regarded as sinful to collect on the Saturday Sabbath. And Corinthians never says that this collection arrangement on that particular day was universal. To work out that Sunday is the Sabbath from it is just getting carried away. The collection was prepared the day before the Sabbath, Friday, for people only know what they can give at the end of the working week and it was not collected until the day after the Sabbath by the collectors out of deference for the Sabbath rest.
It could be argued that the collection was against the rule of avoiding needless work on the Sabbath so that this was not the Sabbath.
There is no reason to think that the breaking of the bread was the Eucharist so how dare the Christians say that the breaking of bread on the first day means that it is the Sabbath. And if it were the Eucharist, it makes no difference. It must have been a love feast in which bread was shared. Jesus broke bread this way a few times the post-resurrection times (implying by the way, that the Eucharist was not a sacrament when it could be replaced by merely sharing bread).
Some say that the Bible only intended the people who lived in the Holy Land to keep the Sabbath because elsewhere Saturday falls at different times. God would not care about Saturday falling on different times at different places as long as it was kept as the Sabbath. Having a day for him mattered and he was not going to do without it over the fact that the world goes around. Saturday in Russia is Saturday even if Saturday starts and ends earlier or later than somewhere else. Anyway, how do you know that the Hebrews could not have had the Sabbath on at the same time wherever they were?
The Hebrews were not allowed to light the fire on the Sabbath day which is taken to imply that the Sabbath was for the land of Israel only when it is too cold to do without a fire in other places. But there were ways around that problem.
Here is a faulty argument for the first day Sabbath.
ďPaul was one week at Troas (Acts 20:5-12). At the end of this wait of a week he joined a big Sunday service. This was a Sabbath service for then he would not have needed to wait a week but merely until Saturday night. Nobody can say that the first day there is really Saturday.Ē
This appalling argument comes from Archerís book (page 118). It is not disclosed why Paul stayed a week or why the service was on Sunday or why Paul didnít wait until the day before. You cannot build arguments on silence.
The Jews believed that Saturday started on our Friday night. But the service could have been held late on Saturday night. In Jewish reckoning of time the service therefore took place on Sunday the first day of the week. But for the people of Troas they were worshipping on the Saturday for they didnít believe Sunday started until midnight. We could simply have a different way of reckoning time. Acts is using the Jewish method. So these people may have worshipped on the Saturday Sabbath day after all.
Verse 7 merely says that they met on the first day to break bread that is all. We read in the book of Acts that the early believers kept all things in common and were virtually a convent. They probably just broke bread before going to work to remember the rising of the Lord because it was convenient and they virtually lived together anyway. You cannot infer a Sunday Sabbath from that. The Jews broke bread at special feasts so you donít even know if this bread breaking was a Eucharist. They said, ďBlessed are you O Lord our God king of the universe who brings forth bread from the earthĒ, and then they broke the bread and shared it.
There is no evidence in the Bible that God does not want Christians to keep the Saturday Sabbath. But there is more evidence that there is no evidence.

We are continuing our examination of the claims that the Jewish Saturday Sabbath is abolished by God.
Christians argue that Sunday is the Lordís Day Ė it is called that in the Bible Ė so itís the new Sabbath. Where in Revelation 1:10 is it written that Sunday is the Lordís Day? And yet this text is supposed to be an authority for the Sunday Sabbath. Early tradition outside the Bible said that the Lordís Day was Sunday. The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas, for example. But these books differed from Christís religion. The Didache denied the last supper and Barnabas gave outlandish and imagined interpretations of scriptural symbolism that was not even there. We cannot rely on them.
If the Lordís Day is really Sunday then that does not mean that Sunday was the Sabbath. The Lordís Day could be an optional day for remembering the resurrection of Jesus in public worship. There is no value in the objection that the Lordís Day could not be kept as a day of rest for that presupposes it was intended to be a day of rest. It may not have been. The working week started on Sunday in those days for Jews. Besides, the Christians could have killed two birds with the one stone. What is Saturday evening to us is Sunday to Jews. So a Christian could honour the Lordís day on Saturday evening. This would also be honouring the Sabbath for the Christians might have believed the Sabbath didnít end until midnight Saturday. Why would they use two different ways of reckoning time? The answer is that it could have been a type of liturgical calendar. For Catholics, Saturday ends at midnight and yet they worship on Saturday evening for according to Jewish tradition that is Sunday. The Jewish Sabbath begins on sundown Friday and finishes on sundown Saturday for that was how they measured their days. So the Christians could have kept the Lordís Day on Saturday night.
It would seem that the Lordís Day is not the Lordís Day unless it is not wholly devoted to prayer but there is no evidence that this was the understanding of the New Testament Church at all. Roman Catholics consider the fifteenth of August to be the day for remembering the assumption of Mary and that does not entail thinking only of the assumption all day.
And nowhere does the New Testament say that it was a Christianís duty to worship in public on the Lordís Day. It could just have been a day in which there was no resting or compulsory Church attendance but which was called the Lordís Day in commemoration of the resurrection.
Acts 15 shows us that the Gentiles went to Jewish Christian synagogues on the Jewish Sabbath without the apostles complaining. The apostles attempted to settle a dispute about the burden of the Law on non-Jews and insisted upon a few rules in which the Sabbath was unmentioned. Does this mean that the Sabbath is done away? The apostles were dealing with a difficult situation as best they could and mightnít have been able to enforce any more rules. Also a Sunday Sabbath would be as bad a burden as a Saturday one. Perhaps they took it for granted that the Sabbath would remain and that Sabbath was the Saturday one. The Saturday Sabbath was not abrogated and was obligatory to Gentiles too. It could be said that since the Sabbath was a day of rest and worship that it was not a burden. The apostles were dealing with burden laws and so this would mean the Sabbath wasnít being excluded when they decreed what rules Gentiles must keep.
In Acts 15, one of the four rules was to keep away from blood and another was to avoid sex outside marriage.
The sex outside marriage being mentioned is interesting. Catholics say we are bound to keep the moral side of the Law of Moses for that hasnít been abolished but we can ignore the ceremonial side, rites and Sabbaths etc, for it has been abolished. If this distinction was made by the apostles then why do they have the ban on fornication in?  The Church says banning fornication is about banning what is evil not what is just ceremonial. But the fact that the apostles included it shows that they made no difference between the moral and ceremonial law at all.
Did banning them having sex outside marriage mean they could kill and steal if they wanted? No.
Singling out fornication may mean that sexual sin is the worst sin for it is the only possibly objectively wrong thing that was condemned. But the singling out of things like eating blood etc when something more important could have been chosen shows that the apostles were doing what they could in a crisis situation.
We have a case in Acts 15, where the apostles for expediency and because they could do no better, had to pick four rules out of the Law to bind Gentiles to. What they did shows us that they believed the ceremonial law of not eating blood and the moral law of fornication being bad were equal in value and that the ceremonies were not done away. By implication, the Sabbath was in force for the Gentiles though it wasnít time to get them to keep it or because it was not a burden they were keeping it anyway.
Some Christians say it is an error to believe that the Sabbath has been moved from Saturday to Sunday for what is observed on Sunday is just for our own good and we donít have to do it though we are commanded to met together when we can (page 7, Sunday or Sabbath). But this eliminates one of the ten commandments! Jesus certainly said we have to keep the commandments. He never mentioned the Sabbath one true but there were others he never mentioned too and he certainly did not want them abolished.
The Sabbath could not picture Christ in any obvious way. Those who say it did and therefore that it is needed no more and abolished since Christ has come and we donít need pictures any more are talking nonsense (page 11, Sunday or Sabbath).
Some argue as follows. The Sabbath was obligatory on pain of death and a day of physical rest. It typified salvation by works. The Lordís Day commanded in the New Testament is so different that it is clear that the Sabbath must have been abolished (page 12, Sunday or Sabbath). This reasoning is deceptive because we know little about the Lordís Day. Nowhere is it said that we didnít have to rest as much as we can on that day.  

Watch out for the wrong arguments for the Seventh-Day Sabbath.
Acts 13 where non-Jews beg Paul to return to preach the next Jewish Sabbath does not prove the Saturday Sabbath was still in force for their reason is not stated. We donít know why Paul agreed to wait a week to evangelise. It could be that Paul had to wait until he got them all together.
Paul preaching on every Sabbath (Acts 18) proves nothing for it was the day to talk to Jews when they were all gathered together. Acts 18 says Paul worked during the week and went to church on the Sabbath. It does not say he worked every day including Sunday so it is no proof against the Sunday Sabbath.
Jesus keeping the Sabbath or the feasts is not evidence of their validity for Christians today because even God would not object to a person keeping them if they wanted to as long as they did not feel obligated or make them something harmful or heretical.
It is said that the seventh-day Sabbath was not a day for worship but of rest and that since the New Testament has a day for worship, that that day cannot be the Sabbath. But the Law says that its Sabbath is sacred to God which only makes sense if it is a day for him and to spend in quietness thinking of him and praying.
Exodus 20:10 has God saying in the ten commandments that even foreigners among the people of Israel who didnít believe were not allowed to work on the Sabbath. This shows that the Sabbath commandment was thought to be for all nations not just Judaism. They could have let their slaves and foreigners work as long as it didnít affect the Israelite wish to relax on the Sabbath. It made sense to leave the foreigners to deal with the emergencies on the Sabbath. It didnít happen which shows that Jesus was wrong to challenge the Jews of his day for saying it was right to forget about emergencies on the Sabbath day. God really was as strict as the Jews said. God forbade good works on the Sabbath so today the Church letting some people work on the Sabbath shows that the Church is disobedient to God. God after all refused to do any good works on the Sabbath day during the creation and Exodus says Saturday must be kept as a strict Sabbath of rest because God rested that day. He didnít even need to rest but he rested that day to mark it out as the Sabbath. No power on earth could possibly change the Sabbath day to Sunday for the Sabbath is about the creation not the resurrection. God went to too much trouble to mark out Saturday as the Sabbath day for it to be any other way. It seems unimportant to us but to him it was extremely important.
The religions which observe the Saturday Sabbath are right to say that the Bible did not authorise the Christian Church to switch the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. By the way, the doctrine that Sunday observance is the Mark of the Beast reposes on the prophetic delusions of Ellen G. White who formed Seventh-Day Adventism and not on the Bible though she claimed that it alone was the word of God.

The Jewish Sabbath is still in force. Christians should be resting and worshipping on a Saturday.

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