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The Sabbath in the New Testament - Commanded or Condemned?
Good News Magazine
August 1983
Volume: VOL. XXX, NO. 7
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The Sabbath in the New Testament - Commanded or Condemned?
Leroy Neff   
Church of God

Born: November 20, 1923
Died: January 28, 2014
Member Since: 1951
Ambassador College: 1959
Ordained: June 7, 1958
Office: ACE - Evangelist

Must we keep one specific day, or may we "let our conscience be our guide"? This article dares to show what the Scriptures really say.

   Last month in an article entitled "What Was the Apostolic Sabbath?" we examined all the scriptures where the Sabbath was mentioned after Christ was resurrected. We found that there were 10 such texts in the book of Acts and in the epistles.
   Then we checked all the places that mentioned the "first day of the week." When we read them carefully, we found no hint of any change from Sabbath to Sunday.
   There was no text that indicated Sunday was a day of rest and religious worship for the apostles and converts, whether Jew or gentile.
   We found that the Sabbath of the apostles was what we commonly call Saturday, the seventh day of the week, the same day as commanded in the Old Testament.
   But some may still believe that there is no New Testament command to keep the Sabbath. Some may also believe that the Sabbath is condemned in the New Testament. Obviously, the Sabbath was an Old Testament institution, but some believe it is not a New Testament institution.
   Part of the problem is the belief that since we are a New Testament Church, the Old Testament has been done away with. Others who profess to believe in both the Old and the New Testaments use only those parts of the Old of which they "approve," or that they believe the New Testament supports. So that there is no doubt, we will address our questions to the New Testament alone!

Three New Testament proofs

   To begin, let us investigate the common belief that there is no command or clear statement showing that we should keep the Sabbath. We are now going to see three separate proofs that this is not true.
   The first is based on a text in Hebrews.
   In chapters 3 and 4 we find a discussion of the rest that is promised to God's people. Because of unbelief and hardness of heart, ancient Israel never did enter into the promised rest (Heb.3:11).
   We are warned not to make the mistakes they made, lest we, too, fail to receive that rest (Heb. 4:1). That rest, by implication, is immortality as spirit beings in God's Kingdom. The Sabbath day is a physical type of that rest (verse 4).
   Verse 8 is improperly translated in some versions and should read "Joshua," not "Jesus." Actually, the two names are the same; they are just from different languages. The reference obviously applies to Joshua, the son of Nun, not Jesus of Nazareth.
   In these two chapters the word rest usually is translated from the Greek word katapausis (Heb. 3:11, 18, 4:1, 3, 5, 10-11). The Greek word is defined as "a resting, rest."
   But in Hebrews 4:9 a totally different and unrelated word is used: sabbatismos. This word literally means "a keeping sabbath" or "a sabbath rest."
   The Authorized or King James Version reads, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." The marginal reading in the Cambridge and other Bibles is "keeping of a sabbath," rather than "rest."
   Now read the text that way: "There remaineth therefore a keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God."
   A word-for-word transliteration from the Greek text to English is, "Therefore remains a keeping of a Sabbath for the people of God." The Lamsa translation reads, "It is therefore the duty of the people of God to keep the Sabbath."
   Note that this Sabbath remains! It was not done away. It was not nailed to the cross. It was not abrogated. It still remains — it still exists!
   The next verse reinforces this point: "For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His" (Heb. 4:10, Revised Authorized Version).
   After we are baptized and receive God's Holy Spirit, but before we enter into the final rest of God, we enter into a preliminary rest or foretaste of the final rest. This is possible since we have been forgiven of past sins and are no longer under the bondage that sin brings, and we are at peace with God.
   If we have entered into that rest, having been forgiven of sin and received God's Holy Spirit, then we, too, will follow God's example and cease from our work or labor as God did.
   This obviously is not talking about retiring or no longer working, as God still works (John 5:17). It refers to resting on the Sabbath just as God did (Gen. 2:2-3, Heb. 4:4).

Why should we follow Christ and Paul?

   The second main proof is based on I Corinthians 11:1: "Imitate me," wrote Paul, "just as I also imitate Christ."
   This is the same principle we saw last month in I Peter 2:21, I John 2:6 and John 13:15. Jesus Christ set us a perfect example of obedience to God. He did not sin (Heb. 4:15). Sin is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4). Jesus Christ did not live a perfect life in our stead so that we can live any way we want. Instead, these scriptures show we are to follow His example.
   The true Christian will, then, also follow those who follow Christ. Christ kept the Sabbath (Luke 4:16) and so did Paul (Acts 17:2).
   It should now be obvious that we ought to keep the Sabbath, too. If we don't we are not following the example of Paul or Christ or the early Christians as recorded in the New Testament.

Are the Ten Commandments done away?

   The third main proof relates to God's commandments.
   God literally spoke the Ten Commandments to ancient Israel (Ex. 20:1) and later wrote them with His own finger on two tables of stone (Ex. 31:18). These Ten Commandments are commonly referred to throughout the Bible as "the commandments."
   Christ kept these very same Ten Commandments (John 15:10). That includes the Sabbath command, which is the Fourth Commandment (Ex. 20:8- 11).
   From I Corinthians 10, especially verses 4 and 9, it is obvious that the God of the Old Testament was the same one who became, through human birth, the Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Many other scriptures, such as John 1:1-18, also make this clear.
   Jesus Christ, the Word (John 1:1-2,14), had received the Ten Commandments from the Father and then spoke them to Israel at Mt. Sinai. We should expect, then, that the One who spoke the Ten Commandments to Israel (Ex. 20:1) would later, as Jesus Christ, keep these same commandments!
   If we ever expect to receive eternal life, we will need to keep the commandments, which include the one about the Sabbath: "So He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments'" (Matt. 19:17).
   If we really know Jesus Christ, we, too, will keep His commandments, including the one about the Sabbath: "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:3-4).
   These commandments are not some new commandments of "love," but the same commandments of love to God and love to neighbor that were given in the beginning (verse 7). Compare Mark 12:29-31 with Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18.
   If we want to express the real Christian love of the Bible instead of a false, pseudoreligious love, John says that we will keep God's commandments. That includes Sabbath observance. John says that these commandments are not grievous or burdensome, contrary to what many claim (I John 5:3).
   John also said that the remnant, or those in the last Church era of this age, would keep the commandments, which include the Fourth: "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring [the Church], who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:17). The end-time true saints of God will still keep the commandments, which includes keeping the Sabbath holy: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:12).
   Those in Judea are to pray that they will not need to flee for safety on the Sabbath during the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:20). The Sabbath command will still be in effect!
   From all these scriptures, it should be crystal clear that the commandments, including the proper day of rest and worship, are commanded in the New Testament, just as they were commanded in the Old Testament.
   Some may still believe, though, that this proof is nullified by texts that condemn the Sabbath.
   There are three texts that some people believe do just that. We now need to examine them, in context, to see if they really say what some believe they say.

What are days, months, times and years?

   The first commonly misunderstood text is Galatians 4:10, AV: "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years."
   Is Paul here condemning the Galatians for observing the Sabbath? Almost everyone thinks so, but we had better make sure what Paul was writing about.
   If Paul had in mind the Sabbath and Holy Days commanded in the law, which months were commanded? Which limes were commanded? The fact is that God's law commands no months or limes to be observed!
   But the law does have something to say about times. Notice Deuteronomy 18:9-12, AV. This passage condemns the practices of the heathen nations that Israel was to drive out: "There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer" (verses 10-11).
   One thing prohibited here is observing times. Rather than commanding such a practice, the law condemned such a practice.
   If Galatians 4:10 is condemning days, times, months and years, then they must not have been any periods of time given in the law.
   In Galatians 4:12 Paul says that instead of doing what they were doing about these periods of time, they should "become as I am." We have already seen that he kept the Sabbath.
   Some apparently believe Paul was a hypocrite. He lived one way and condemned others for following his example. The problem here is not with Paul or with the Scriptures, though, but in the false ideas of people.
   In order to understand what Paul is referring to in this scripture, we need to understand an important point. Who were the Galatians, and what was the problem?
   The Galatians were children of God by faith in Christ (Gal. 3:26), and therefore children of Abraham by faith, rather than birth (verse 29). Previously they had not known God (Gal. 4:8). The Galatians had been idolaters. In other words, they had been gentile by birth and pagan by religion. They had not known God, but had now come to know God through God's ministers and God's Church.
   But what was the question? "But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?" (verse 9).
   The Galatians had turned back to their pagan, idolatrous ways by observing days, months, times and years. They were not turning to the days commanded in the law, because they had not known the law; rather, they were turning again to the religious days and times of the pagan religions from which they had come.
   When they came into the true Church of God, they learned for the first time about the Sabbath and Holy Days that the New Testament Church observed, but now they had turned from them, back to their old pagan religious days.
   When you understand that they were gentiles, formerly practicing the ways of the heathen, and that they had returned to those same ways, you realize that this text has nothing whatever to do with any days commanded in the Old Testament law.
   Actually, what was happening in the Galatian church continued from time to time until the church that was seen by the world had completely turned to these same days, months, times and years and renamed them with Christian-sounding names. These pagan observances finally were incorporated into the religion, while the days God commanded were rejected.

Can't we decide for ourselves?

   The second text that is commonly misunderstood is Romans 14:5: "One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind."
   What could this text mean? Does it mean that each person can decide for himself which day to observe, or whether to observe any day? Does this mean that you can "let your conscience be your guide"? Does it mean that you can esteem all days alike and thereby void any day of worship?
   Some believe that this scripture means you can select any day of the week unless it is Saturday, and that if you observe Saturday you will be under a curse!
   There are two main points we should understand.
   First, this text says nothing about what God esteems, only what man esteems. Christ said, "What is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 16:15).
   What does God esteem regarding the Sabbath? He set it apart on the last day of re-creation week (Gen. 2), commanded it forever (Ex. 20:8-10, 31:17) and sent Israel and Judah into captivity because they did not keep the commandments or hallow His Sabbaths. God has high esteem for His Sabbath. The problem is that some people do not so highly esteem it! What is really important is not what man esteems, but what God esteems.
   Paul is not saying here that we can decide for ourselves what is holy. Only God can decide what is holy. He has already decreed that the Sabbath is holy and that it will be holy forever. He is concerned as to whether we keep holy what He has made holy.
   The second point to notice is the context. What is the subject of Romans 14? Notice verse 2: "For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables."
   Some people in the Church believed it was all right to eat vegetables and meat; others who were weak in faith (verse I) thought that Christians should only eat vegetables. As a result, these people were judging each other (verse 4).
   Paul explains in verse 17 that "the kingdom of God is not food and drink." The main point is stated in verse 21: "It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak."
   The subject of this chapter from start to finish has to do with what people eat. But what does this have to do with verse 5, which relates to esteeming "one day above another"?
   In Rome some people had the pagan idea that on certain days certain foods should or should not be eaten. This practice from Rome has come down even to our day, when some believe that you should not eat meat on Friday, or that one should abstain from feasting during 40 days of Lent.
   In this whole chapter Paul was just showing that we should not offend others, particularly weak members who have not yet learned the truth about the proper Christian diet, and that we should not judge them. This passage has nothing to do with the Sabbath. It does not give us license to decide for ourselves what is holy or not holy.

Who is to judge?

   The third commonly misunderstood text we should note is Colossians 2:16-17. Since that text was covered in detail in last month's article, let me briefly summarize.
   Paul here instructed the gentile Colossians, who had been observing the Sabbath and Holy Days, not to let religious ascetics criticize or judge them in respect to that part of the Sabbath command relating to what they ate or drank.
   Rather, they should let the Church judge in such matters. We have been reading in this article, in part, how the Church would judge such matters.

When was Christ resurrected?

   There is one other major reason that many people give as to why they observe Sunday instead of the Sabbath.
   They believe that Christ rose from the grave on Sunday and that Sunday observance honors that great event.
   This basic premise of a Sunday resurrection is commonly believed, but is completely erroneous. The Scriptures nowhere say that keeping Sunday honors the resurrection of Christ. And, more surprising, the Bible nowhere says that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Sunday!
   This commonly believed and cherished tradition did not come from the Bible! This belief resulted from people having preconceived ideas that they inject into the Scriptures, instead of reading carefully what the Bible says.
The Sabbath is a sign to both God and His people. A sign identifies. In this case the sign identifies God to His people. The sign also identifies God's people to Him.
   Notice these points: When the three women came to Christ's tomb early on Sunday morning, they were told, "He is risen" (Matt. 28:6, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:6). They were not told "He is rising" or "He just rose a few minutes ago" or "He will rise in a few minutes," but that He was already risen. The time of Christ's rising is not stated.
   In fact, John reports, regarding an earlier visit to the tomb, that Christ was already gone from the tomb "while it was still dark" (John 20:1).
   If Christ was already resurrected and it was yet dark, before sunrise on Sunday morning, when was He resurrected? The answer is found in Luke's statement in Luke 24:7, quoting Christ: "Saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'"
   For a full explanation of that statement, with startling proof from your Bible, read our free booklet The Resurrection Was Not On Sunday. Anyone who observes Sunday because he thinks that was the day Christ rose has the wrong day!

What does all this have to do with today?

   Now that we have seen from the Bible that the Sabbath is commanded in both Old and New Testaments, and that Sunday was never observed by the early Christians, we need to understand the importance of this knowledge at this end time.
   While Moses was on Mt. Sinai talking with God for 40 days and nights at the giving of the Ten Commandments, an important event took place. After the covenant had been made (Ex. 19-20), God made a new, separate and distinct additional covenant with His people. This covenant, described in Exodus 31:12-17, was a Sabbath covenant.
   This Sabbath covenant was to last "throughout your generations" (verse 13), which meant as long as they and their descendants were still having children. It was perpetual (verse 16). It was to last forever (verse 17).
   This covenant is commonly believed to have lasted only about 1,400 years, until the cross!
   But even today, Israel is still begetting children. "Perpetual" has not ceased, and "forever" has not ended!"

An important sign

   The main point in this passage is that the Sabbath is a sign to both God and His people: "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you'" (verse 13).
   A sign identifies. In this case the sign identifies God to His people. It was God who gave the sign to His people. This sign also identifies God's people to Him.
   In Ezekiel 20:12, 20 the Sabbath is again called a sign to God's people.
   In Deuteronomy 6:8, the Ten Commandments are also referred to as a sign upon the hand and between the eyes (forehead). At that time they were literally written down and fastened on the hand and forehead to remind the Israelites to obey. Now the Holy Spirit serves this function, reminding us of God's commandments and leading us to truth.
   Why the hand and the forehead? Because the forehead is the seat of intellect, will or knowledge, while the hand carries out the action of whatever the will directs. In other words, the mind relates to knowledge, and the hand relates to what one does with that knowledge.
   You may be able to keep the Ten Commandments without other people noticing, except for one command — the Sabbath People may not notice that you do not steal or lie or worship other gods, but sooner or later they will notice that you keep the Sabbath.
   It is a sign that identifies that you are different from most other people. People probably will not recognize that it is a sign between you and the Creator God, but they will recognize the sign that you are not the same as most other people.

Here is a counterfeit "sign"

   Satan often tries to counterfeit what God commands or does. God has dos and don'ts. Satan has his, too. They appear right to the world, but deceive the whole world (Rev. 12:9). Sometimes Satan's counterfeit is just a little distorted — almost the same, but still different.
   Look at the satanic counterfeits in regard to the Sabbath. Satan has deceived one religion into having its "sabbath" on Friday, and another religion into having it on Sunday! Just as close as possible without being the same.
The time is coming again when Sabbath observance will bring severe persecution and, for some, death, unless one is in a place of refuge provided by God. The mark of the beast will be enforced.
   Those who have a counterfeit do not know the true Creator God. They have another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel (II Cor. 11:4). They have another god, the god of this present evil world (II Cor. 4:4). They do not have the correct sign in their forehead or hand — they have a counterfeit sign. Actually it is not a sign, but a mark that brands instead of identifying.

The beast's mark enforced

   This mark has great significance for our day. This mark will soon make it possible for those who have it to buy and sell, while those who do not have it (but who have the sign of God) will not be able to buy or sell:
   "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:16-17, AV).
   This mysterious mark has aroused much speculation. Since it has to do with buying and selling, many ideas have arisen.
   When I was young, some were claiming that it was the NRA (National Recovery Act) of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Many people have not even heard of that today. Others have thought it is a social security number or a computer number or some kind of credit card.
   How foolish! Such speculation comes as a result of people not recognizing who the beast is. They also have not known who has in the past and will yet again in the future control the beast.
   The beast in this passage is a nation or government with a strong ruler or dictator. It has had several resurrections already. The next and final one will consist of 10 nations joined together. In the past, it has been known as the Holy Roman Empire.
   For more information, please read our free booklet Who Is The BEAST?
   This beast has been ruled over by a world church that does not observe the Sabbath, but that has enforced another day of worship.
   The 29th Canon of the Council of Laodicea (364-365) says: "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's Day, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found Judaizing, let them be anathema from Christ." Those who disobeyed this canon law were persecuted or put to death.
   The time is coming again when Sabbath observance will bring severe persecution and, for some, death, unless one is in a place of refuge provided by God at that time (Rev. 12:14). For a short time the mark of the beast will be enforced. But those who have that mark will then, very soon, receive of God's plagues (Rev. 14:9-10).
   We must obey the commandments and have the Sabbath sign instead of the mark of the beast, or we will not inherit the Kingdom of God — we will not receive immortality as typified by the tree of life:
   "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Rev. 22:14).
   You have seen the proof from God's Word. Now, what will you do about it?

Why Do Most Observe Sunday? by the Good News staff

   Not because they can prove that they should from the Bible!
   "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."
   What is the source of that quote? A publication of the Worldwide Church of God? No, it came from Catholic James Cardinal Gibbons in The Faith of Our Fathers (J 917 ed.).
   A Catholic study course states: "If we followed the Bible only, we would keep holy the Saturday... Well, did Christ change the day?... We have no record that He did... The Church... transferred the obligation from Saturday to Sunday" (Father Smith Instructs Jackson).
   The Catholic church makes no secret that it is responsible for replacing Sabbath keeping with Sunday observance.
   And the Protestants? At the time of the Reformation they protested against many teachings of the Catholic church. But few protested against Sunday observance. One of those who did was named Carlstadt. So striking were his writings on the subject that Martin Luther admitted in his book Against the Celestial Prophets: "Indeed, if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath — that is to say, Saturday — must be kept holy."
   But Luther did not want to go to that extent in rocking the ecclesiastical boat of his time. His reasoning, as found in his Larger Catechism, was that "to avoid the unnecessary disturbance which an innovation would occasion, it [the day of worship] should continue to be Sunday" (Shaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article "Sunday").
   Martin Luther did not take issue with Sunday observance. The Protestant reformers as a whole accepted the Catholic position on Sunday. This is the real reason Protestants observe Sunday today!

When was Sunday substituted?

   It did not happen all at once. It was gradual. "For some time it [Sunday] was observed conjointly with the Sabbath, verbal and ritual relics of such observance still remaining in our liturgical books and customs. But as Jewish habits [an admission that the early true Church kept some of the same customs as the Jews] became disused [On whose authority? God's? No, man's!] by the gentile [pagan-influenced] churches, this practice [Sabbath keeping] was generally, though slowly, discontinued " (Blunt's Dictionary of Doctrinal and Historical Theology, article "Sunday").
   Even while the original apostles were alive it was necessary to warn of "certain men... crept in unnoticed" (Jude 4) who were trying to introduce pagan ideas into the Church. Worshiping on the day of the sun was but one of those ideas. Multitudes in the world were being deceived by an expanding counterfeit "Christianity" based on the ancient Babylonian mystery religion.
   In the early years of the Church many fraudulent epistles were circulated, masquerading as apostolic letters. Notice how a letter written to gentiles shortly after the turn of the century and attributed to one Ignatius reveals that they, gentiles, were keeping the Sabbath:
   "Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner ... But let everyone of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body [a deliberate attempt to water down God's Sabbath law]... And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day [Sunday] as a festival... the queen and chief of all the days of the week."
   Both days were being kept, but observance of Sunday was being emphasized by Ignatius. Not all early Catholics, however, favored Sunday observance. Around 230, Catholic Origen wrote to fellow Catholics of the gentile churches in Egypt:
   "But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that of which the apostle speaks, 'There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism' [Hebrews 4:9], that is, the observance of the Sabbath by the people of God? [Notice how this man understood his native Greek tongue!] Leaving the Jewish observances of the Sabbath, let us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. On the Sabbath day all worldly labors ought to be abstained from. If, therefore, you cease from all secular works, and execute nothing worldly, but give yourselves up to spiritual exercises, repairing to church, attending to sacred reading and instruction... this is the observance of the Christian Sabbath" (Origen's Opera, Book 2, p. 358).

Council of Laodicea prohibited Sabbath keeping

   In 321 the Roman government issued an edict making Sunday a civil day of rest. The paganized, counterfeit "Christian" religion, which was becoming the empire's dominant religion, supported the edict.
   Sabbath keepers were forced to flee the confines of the western Roman Empire. Only in the east did Sabbath keepers remain. Eventually, however, Sabbath keeping was to be stamped out of the eastern Roman Empire as well.
   About 365 the Council of Laodicea was called to settle, among other matters, the Sabbath question! One of its most famous canons was the 29th: "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's Day, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found Judaizing, let them be anathema from Christ" (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. XIV, p. 148).
   The force of the Roman state had already been utilized in 325, after the Council of Nicaea, to confiscate the property and to destroy the lives of any who obeyed God's command to keep the Passover. So the heavy hand of the state fell upon any who would be faithful in resting on the Sabbath and worshiping God as commanded in the Bible.
   Why give such a command if there were no true Christians observing the Sabbath at that time?
   Although Sabbath keeping was absolutely prohibited by this council, yet the whole Greek world still continued to attend church services on the Sabbath and work the remainder of the day! Saturday then was observed much as Sunday is observed now!
   Public worship on t he Sabbath was far from expelled in the churches of the east even four centuries after Christ.
   Gregory, Bishop of Nyassa, a representative of the eastern churches, about 10 years after the Council at Laodicea, dared to tell the world: "With what eyes can you behold the Lord's day, when you despise the Sabbath? Do you not perceive that they are sisters, and that in slighting the one, you affront the other?"

Sunday finally made a rest day

   Observance of Sunday as a day of total rest was not strictly enforced for almost two centuries more. We even find Jerome, the translator of the Latin Vulgate Bible, working after the Sunday services several years following the enactments at Laodicea.
   But Augustine, around 400, declared: "The holy doctors of the church [not the Bible, but men] have decreed that all the glory of the Jewish Sabbath is transferred to it [Sunday]. Let us therefore keep the Lord's day as the ancients were commanded to do the Sabbath" (Sabbath Laws, p. 284).
   It was the Roman church that sanctioned the Roman Sunday as a rest day, and not merely a secular holiday. It was that church that transferred the law of the Sabbath to Sunday.
   Another 600 years passed before the last recorded semblance of public worship on the Sabbath was completely extirpated from the eastern churches.
   Meanwhile Pope Gregory of Rome, who reigned from 590 to 604, anathematized "those who taught that it was not lawful to do work on the day of the Sabbath" (History of the Popes, vol. II, p. 378).
   That stamped the Sabbath out of the churches of the British Isles and the Continent where, according to Webster's Rest Days, "The Celts kept Saturday as a day of rest, with special religious services on Sunday" (A. Bellesheim, History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1887-1890, i, 86).
   That's the record of history!

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Good News MagazineAugust 1983VOL. XXX, NO. 7
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Sabbath Services

Sabbath Services:

Hello, and welcome to our Sabbath and Holy Day service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Services are posted every Sabbath or Holy Day. Our service consists of 3 hymns, a Sermonette, a hymn, the Sermon and a final hymn.

Continue to the Sabbath Service page.

Bible Study Services

Bible Study:

Hello, and welcome to our Bible Study service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Bible Study services are posted each Wednesday. Our service consists of an opening hymn, a Bible Study and a final hymn.

Continue to the Bible Study Service page.