The Lord's Day Bible Study Page One





 In the New Testament Which day did Christ and His Disciples keep?


As in all other Christian duties the Founder of Christianity, the Lord Jesus Christ, set an example in Sabbath-keeping. He faithfully observed the Sabbath. "And 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 for to read." "And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee; and taught them on the Sabbath days." Luke 4 :16, 31.

The Sabbath that He observed, and regarding which He established an example, was not Sunday, Sunday is the first day of the week. Our Lord kept the seventh-day.

His disciples, following His example, kept the same day. They knew nothing of Sunday or its observance. Not one of them kept Sunday. When His followers had laid His body in the tomb on the Friday afternoon of His death,. "they returned, and prepared spices and ointments : and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." Luke 23 : 56. .

There is no instance in all the New Testament of any person keeping Sunday. The early Christians kept the seventh day.( Luke 23:56; Acts 13: 14, 42, 44; 16: 12,13; 17: I-4; 18:1-4, 11; Revelation 1:10; Hebrews 4: 4, 9,10, margin. )

Indeed, Sunday is not mentioned from beginning to end of the New Testament. It. has no place in the Sacred Scriptures, except as one of "the six working days." Ezekiel 46 : 1.

In His teaching and in His example Christ made no alteration in the seventh-day Sabbath, or in the obligation of men to observe it. He emphatically declared that "the Sabbath was made for man." Mark 2: 27.

In their teaching and in their example the first disciples of Christ, the writers of the New Testament Scriptures, made no alteration in the seventh-day Sabbath, or in the obligation to observe it.

It is a fact pregnant with deep significance that in the whole New Testament the first day of the week is mentioned but eight times, and that in no single instance is there any command to keep it: no record of its being appointed as a sabbath, no account of any blessing being placed upon it, no statement that it was ever made holy, no intimation of any sacredness attaching to it, no promise of blessing for observing it, no threat of punishment for its nonobservance, no record that it was ever once called the Sabbath or given any sacred name or title, no record that the apostles ever kept it or commanded anyone else to keep it, no record that any Christian, or anyone else, ever kept it or should keep it.

The change which has taken place in Sabbath observance since New Testament times, the substitution of the first day of the week in place of the seventh day, is wholly without Scriptural sanction, and altogether without divine authority. Christian believers who would follow the Bible, follow Jesus and His apostles and the early church, should instantly discard this anti-scriptural practice and keep the only true Sabbath.

Jesus Christ did not change the Sabbath. As Creator He brought it into existence. (John 1: 1-3, 10, 14; Colossians. 1:13-17.) He designed it to be a memorial to His power in the work of both creation and redemption. When He came into the world to carry out the eternal purpose of human salvation, He did not set aside the memorial that He Himself had established to commemorate His finished work of creation and redemption. Hence "the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day." Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6: 5.

Neither the disciples of Christ nor the early Christian churches ever heard of the divine change in Sabbath observance. Hence the observance of any other day than the seventh as the Sabbath is unknown in the New Testament.

The New Testament mentions the first day of the week eight times. The passages in the New Testament which mention the first day are Matthew 28: 1; Mark 16:1, 2, 9; Luke 23:56; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19; Acts 20:7, 8; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 In these texts those who observe the first day must find their warrant for such observance.

These texts speak of "the first day of the week." They unite in declaring that the resurrection of our Lord took place on that day. Sunday observers claim that the occurrence of this event on that day brought about a change of the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first.

In speaking of Christ's resurrection, Mark says: "When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun:" Mark 16:1, 2. This clearly shows that "the Sabbath was past" when the first day of the week came. Thus the New Testament makes it plain that the Sabbath of the Bible is the day before the first day of the week.

John, speaking of the day on which Christ rose from the dead, makes this statement: "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples "were assembled for fear of the Jews" came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." John 20:19. In this case the Lord's disciples were not gathered together to hold a religious service, but they "were assembled for fear of the Jews" It was not a public gathering, but "the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled." The disciples could not have been gathered there to honour the first day of the week because Christ rose on it, for Mark explicitly says that they were eating the evening meals, and were so hardened in their disbelief of the reports that He had risen, that Jesus had to upbraid them for it. (Mark 16: 14.) And Luke not only says that the disciples were eating their supper when Jesus appeared to them on this occasion, but he adds that because they did not believe that it was Jesus risen from the dead, He showed them His hands and His feet, and even ate broiled fish with a honeycomb to prove that it was He. (Luke 24 : 33-43.)

(Continued on page two)