James Cardinal Gibbons, in the book The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89 wrote: “But 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, a day which we never sanctify.”
Stephen Keenan, in the work entitled A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174 wrote: “Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” John Laux
[I find it interesting and self-incriminating that the Catholic Church – out of whom Protestantism was birthed – refers to itself in the feminine (Revelation 17:3-18, Revelation 18:1-10).]
History reveals that it was decades after the death of the apostles that a politico-religious system repudiated the Sabbath of Scripture and substituted the observance of the first day of the week. All Roman Catholic sources freely acknowledge that there is no Biblical authority for the observance of Sunday, that it was the Roman Church that changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week.
The blasphemous word of Rome says:
“The Pope has the power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ.” “The Pope has the authority and often exercised it, to dispense with the command of Christ.” – Decretal, de Tranlatic Episcop. Cap. (The Pope can modify divine law.) Ferraris’ Ecclesiastical Dictionary.
The Scriptures prophesied that this would happen. (Daniel 7:25, Daniel 11:36)
Did Jesus Change The Sabbath?
Would it surprise you to know that as late as the writing of the Book of Revelation (around the year 95 A.D.), the New Testament Church (both Jewish and Gentile congregations) were observing the seventh day Sabbath? We know that Jesus Christ was a Sabbath keeper based upon the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Yet some believe He minimized the Sabbath commandment because he healed people on the Sabbath. Others believe Christ changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is also the belief that Christ willfully broke the fourth commandment to let the Jews know that the Sabbath command was now abolished.
So the first question we need to address is “What did Jesus believe about the seventh day Sabbath?”
If we want to understand Jesus’ teaching on the Sabbath question, we need to examine His actions. One of Christ’s earliest sermons confirms that He kept the Sabbath. Notice what Jesus’ CUSTOM was as stated in Luke 4:14-16:
“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out throughout all the surrounding region. And he taught in their synagogues being glorified by all. So he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. AND AS HIS CUSTOM WAS, He went into the synagogue on the SABBATH DAY, and stood up to read.
What was the first action Jesus took publicly after his temptation by Satan and his 40-day fast? He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day “AS HIS CUSTOM WAS…” Keeping the Sabbath Holy. Going to the synagogue on that day was the habit (CUSTOM) of Christ. All his life He kept the Sabbath day on the seventh day of the week (our Saturday). He never once kept the weekly Sabbath on Sunday—not once! It was on the Sabbath day that He said Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled as He began His public ministry. (Luke 4:17-19)
If changing the Sabbath to Sunday was on Jesus’ agenda, He would have certainly prepared the disciples for such a change. Such a drastic alteration of one of the Ten Commandments would have taken a lot of explaining on the part of Jesus. Isn’t it reasonable to conclude that if Christ changed the Sabbath from Saturday– the seventh day of the week, to Sunday–the first day of the week, that He would have had many discussions with his disciples concerning such a major change?
But the Bible is totally silent on this matter. Why? It may surprise you to know that this change simply never took place. Had Christ made the announcement that the Sabbath was now to be kept on Sunday, the Jewish community would have viciously attacked him; and we would have an ample number of scriptures to turn to that would show us this change took place under Christ’s direction. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John would have recorded the disciples’ reactions to this alteration to the law of God. The silence of the scriptures on this matter is overwhelming—Christ did not change the Sabbath day to Sunday.
The Second question we need to address is, “Did Christ Ever Abolish The 4th Commandment?
Many sincere churchgoers believe Christ actually nailed the Sabbath command to the cross, thus abolishing the need to observe the Sabbath. But the Bible speaks to the contrary: Jesus Himself clearly stated that He did not come to abolish the Sabbath or any of the other Ten Commandments. Christ actually came to MAGNIFY and bring out the spiritual meaning of the commandments of God, which of course would also include the Sabbath commandment. Jesus’ own words were: “Do not think that I have I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law…”— this account is found in Matthew 5:17-18.
The Greek word translated fulfill (pleroo) means to fill to the full, such as filling up a glass to the very top with water. It means to make totally complete. Christ came to show the full meaning of the law so we would not strive to live by the letter of the law for the letter killeth, but strive to live by the spirit of the law which giveth life.
There are those who seek to twist this scripture by saying that since Christ came, there is no longer a need to live by the law of God because Jesus fulfilled the law for us. But this cannot be the explanation of this passage because the rest of Matthew 5 gives us example after example of how we are to live by the spirit of the law. For example, a man must not only refrain from committing physical adultery he must also control his mind so as not to look upon a women with lust in his heart (verse 27-28). Christ came to magnify the eternal law of God and make it honorable, not to minimize it. Jesus gave us the true intent of God’s Holy Law – to govern the way we both think and act.
Sabbath keeping is where a lot of otherwise genuine Christians have failed or rather have been deceived.
As Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus demonstrated to his disciples that it is always lawful to do good works on the Sabbath. However, he kept the Sabbath holy. What is theologically mistaken as God doing away with the Sabbath is actually Christ clarifying what He intended the Sabbath to be about. “Man was not made to serve the Sabbath but the Sabbath was made to serve man.” Jesus corrected and redefined the Pharisees’ views on Sabbath keeping and expanded them beyond the narrow confines of Dos and Don’ts that Moses law had outlined. Jesus demonstrated the True Spirit of the Sabbath by obeying the Fourth Commandment and keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and doing good works for the benefit of others as opposed to self-serving, gainful employment. Note that after the crucifixion, Jesus was careful not to disturb His own grave until after the Sabbath Day had passed for the Bible says that he arose on the first day of the week. (Mark 16:9) Also note that the first day of the week begins after sundown on Saturday since God’s days begin at sundown (Genesis 1:5).
Jesus says in Mark 3:4, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.” (Ref. Luke 6:9)
John 7:23 shows Jesus pointing out to the religious leaders that they circumcise a man on the Sabbath Day- making him less than a whole man and they do this in order to keep Moses’ Law whereby a Jewish male child is to be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth regardless of the day of the week. But He (Jesus) makes a man whole on the Sabbath Day and observes the True Spirit of Keeping God’s Law.
Jesus says, “If a man on the Sabbath Day receive circumcision, that the Law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath Day?”
Jesus demonstrated to His disciples and to us how to keep and obey all of God’s Eternal commandments, in including the SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH, with the help of the Holy Spirit. God neither Christ himself sought to change what is unchangeable.
Only this perverse and corrupt generation seeks to change God’s Eternal Times and Laws. (Daniel 7:25-26)
Reference Scriptures regarding the practice of Christ and His Apostles on the Sabbath Day:
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