The Lord's Day Bible Study Page Two





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The New Testament writers speak of the Sabbath, it is true, but they carefully discriminate between the Sabbath and the first day of the week, making it plain that the Sabbath of the New Testament is the day before the first day. (See Mark 16: 1, 2; Luke 23:54, 56; 24:1.) They give no sacred title to the first day. They do give such a title to the seventh day. They do not say Christ rested on the first day, which would have been essential to its becoming a Sabbath. They say nothing about any blessing being placed by Him upon the first day. They do not tell us Christ ever said anything about the first day, either as a holy day or otherwise. He did not even mention it. They give no precept or command regarding its observance. There is nothing in these passages declaring that the first day was to be looked upon by the followers of Christ as anything more than the ordinary work day that it is called, just "the first day of the week."

Instead of its being true that Jesus blessed and hallowed the first day, the fact is that He never once mentioned it. He did not even take its name upon His lips, so far as we have record.

It is plain, therefore, after careful examination of the New Testament, that it contains no evidence of a change of the Sabbath, no divine authority for such a change, and no support for Sunday observance.

A careful examination of the Bible; of history, both civil and ecclesiastical; of theological writings, commentaries, church manuals, catechisms, and the candid admissions of Sunday observers themselves, compel us to conclude that there is no authority in the Holy Scriptures for the observance of Sunday, no authority given to man to make a change from the seventh to the first day, and no divine sanction given the change now that man has made it; but that this substitution of a false sabbath for the true Sabbath of the Lord was entirely the work of an anti-christian movement which adopted a purely pagan observance and wickedly brought it into the Christian church; and that this observance has no binding obligation upon Christian believers. The observance of this false sabbath should be instantly discarded as a matter of practice, and the true Sabbath of God restored to its rightful place, both in the hearts of His people and in the practice of His church.

The only Sabbath the Bible commands to be observed is the seventh day of the week. (Exodus 20: 8-11.) The seventh day is God's day. (Isaiah 58: 13, 14; Matthew 12: 8; Mark 2: 28; Luke 6: 5.) It is the only day He ever claimed as His own, the only day He ever blessed (Genesis2: 2, 3), the only day He ever commanded to be observed.

The New Testament does not change in the smallest degree the obligation to observe the seventh day. Our Lord observed it during the entire period of His earthly life, setting His followers an example. (1 Peter 2: 21.) The disciples observed the seventh day uniformly during the period of their lives while establishing the first Christian churches.

There is no occasion on record in the New Testament where any human being endeavored to keep the first day as a Sabbath. The first day is mentioned in the New Testament, as we have seen, but is never once given a sacred title or name, never once called the Sabbath, or Lord's day, never once commanded to be kept, never once referred to as a day to be honoured or observed. It is mentioned merely as one of the ordinary working days of the week.

In giving His disciples instruction concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place in AD 70, about forty years after the crucifixion of Christ, our Lord said : "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Matthew 24: 20. Far from abolishing the Sabbath, the Lord goes to the extent of commanding His disciples to pray that they may be able to keep it forty years after His resurrection, even in the troublous times of the downfall of the Jewish nation.

Indeed, the Bible makes it plain that no change has ever been made in the original Sabbath commandment, and none has ever been contemplated by the Lord. The blessing placed upon the seventh day was not of a temporary, but of eternal duration. The commandment covering the observance of the Sabbath is to continue for ever. This is made plain in. Psalms 111: 7, 8. Indeed, God designed that His people should not only keep the Sabbath until Christ should come the first time, but until the very end of time. Yes, even throughout eternity His people will keep the Sabbath, for we are told:-

"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make; shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 66: 22, 23.

Inasmuch, therefore, as the Sabbath is to be kept by those who are saved in the kingdom of God, and who will live on the new earth, would it not be well for all who desire a home in that land to begin its observance now?


(copied from a tract "GOOD NEWS SERIES" No. 13 Signs Publishing Co Australia)

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