Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I [am] the LORD that sanctify them. Ezekiel 20,12
As it appears from the text here, all those who keep God’s day of rest are sanctified by God. The Sabbath is also presented as an outward, visible sign that we have made a covenant with God, we no longer need to be circumcised in the flesh, but we are circumcised in the heart the day we have received Jesus Christ as our Saviour and been baptized in the name of the Fader, the Son and the Holy Spirit. To show the world that we belong to Christ, we keep the seventh day of the week holy, as the Lord Himself does.
In several books in the Bible we find that the Sabbath is God’s sign of the covenant he made with mankind. Should we then pretend not to know that the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, is the sign of God, or should we follow the Bible and relate to what it says? Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that [ye] may know that I [am] the LORD that doth sanctify you, (Exodus 31,13). This is repeated several times in the Bible. The Sabbath is God’s sign of the covenant he has made, and if we keep it, we will be sanctified to the Lord. The conclusion of this covenant is found in Exodus 31,13-17, and has a relatively serious character: Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that [ye] may know that I [am] the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it [is] holy unto you: everyone that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth [any] work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh [is] the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth [any] work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, [for] a perpetual covenant. It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
God himself says that this is an eternal covenant. Furthermore, God calls the Sabbath his sign, or seal, and then it is reasonable to believe that it is this sign or seal that God’s people will be marked with in the end times. We can see what it says about the seal in Revelation: … … : Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.. Revelation 7,3… till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads … it says here. And just as with Israel in Egypt, God’s people in the end times will be spared the last seven plagues that will fall upon the earth.
Many believe that the Sabbath is not valid for us Christians.
Let us look at Colossians 2,16: Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.
If we read Bible Commentaries we will find that this text is linked to the Ceremony Law. The Ceremony Law and all that was associated with it, pointed to Jesus and his sacrificial death. All the sacrifices, all the holidays, and the food and drink offerings were images that found fulfilment in Jesus’ life, ministry, and death. They were prophetic symbols; shadows that lost their value when reality took their place.
Some commentaries would say that Colossians 2,16 speaks of the weekly Sabbath. But there is nothing typological about the weekly Sabbath. The sabbath points back to creation and exalts God as the origin of everything, justifying God’s authority. If we go to the Greek text for Colossians 2,16, it does not say Sabbath in the singular, but Sabbaths in the plural. There are a number of such Sabbaths, and they were associated with the great feasts, and Colossians 2,16 is therefore associated with the ceremonial Sabbaths that you find discussed in Leviticus chapter 23. I must add that there are many translations that has chosen to translate to the Sabbath in the singular, but translations such as the KJV and the Spanish RV translate to the Sabbaths into the plural.
First, the weekly Sabbath is mentioned: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, [Concerning] the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim [to be] holy convocations, [even] these [are] my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day (note singular) [is] the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no work [therein]: it [is] the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings, (Leviticus 23,2-3).
In the verses below, the annual feasts are mentioned (in the plural). There were seven of them. Each of these feasts pointed to different aspects of Jesus’ work of salvation. They were types or shadows of what were to come, and lost their significance when Jesus came. These feasts are the Passover (verse 4); the feast of unleavened bread (verses (5-8); the feast of firstfruits (verses (9-14); Pentecost (verses 15-22); the feast of trumpets (verses 23-25); the day of atonement (verses 26-32); (verses 33-44), the feast of tabernacles (verses 33-34)
Passover was celebrated Abib 14 (March/April)
The feast of unleavened bread was celebrated on Abib 15-21 (March/April)
The feast of firstfruit (barley harvest) was celebrated Abib 16 (March/April) and (wheat harvest) Sivan 6 (May/June)
Pentecost was celebrated Sivan 6, 50 days after the barley harvest Abib 16 (May/June)
The feast of trumpets was celebrated on Tishri 1 (September/October)
The day of atonement was celebrated on Tishri 10 (September/October)
The feast of tabernacle was celebrated Tishri 15-22 (September/October)
We must also pay attention to what is written in Ezekiel 45,17: And it shall be the prince’s part [to give] burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths (note the majority), in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
The weekly Sabbath stands there as an eternal reminder over God as the Creator. We have our roots with him. The Sabbath is a sign of belonging and goes from the creation and right into the creation of a new earth. Isaiah 66,22-23 says: 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. Here God says in a very clear way that in the eternity everyone will worship God the Creator on the seventh day of the week – the Sabbath.
Well, many will say, I keep Sunday and all days are the same!
Firstly, not all days are the same. They simply cannot be, because God has blessed and sanctified the seventh day, and only this day. God’s day of rest, Saturday, therefore, clearly stands out from the other six days which have neither been blessed nor sanctified.
Secondly, God has not promised in the Bible to sanctify us especially on another day than the Sabbath. Sanctification is to create in us a clean heart, without sinful inclinations and help to live the way God wants us to live.
Thirdly, Adam could not choose which tree he could not eat from. So why this particular tree? It must be the same which tree he chose not to eat from? Certainly not, it was only this tree and no other tree that was forbidden to touch. Disobedience to God’s command led to the closing of the gates of Paradise.
Those who believe that the Sabbath is a Jewish ordinance, as the Catholic Church and many Protestant churches believe, forget that there was no Jew in the Garden of Eden when the Sabbath was instituted. Judah, the grandson of Abraham who gave birth to the Jews, was born more than 2100 years after the creation.
When Israel was enslaved in Egypt, they were not allowed to keep the Sabbath holy, so it was forgotten by many. But as soon as they had crossed the Red Sea, and before the ten commandments of God were given to them on the two tablets of stone at Sinai, the Lord commanded them to keep the Sabbath again. He could not wait until he had this important day engraved on the stone tablets before reminding them of its validity: Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. (Exodus 16,4). He let manna fall on all the days of the week, but not on the Sabbath. If someone tried to hide the bread from heaven from one day to the next and thus show that they did not trust that God would give them every day what they needed for a living, the manna rotted at night and became inedible. But since no manna fell on the Sabbath, on Friday (the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath, Mark 15,42), they were to gather manna for two days. It did not rot at night but was fresh and tasty every Sabbath (Exodus 16,24). In other words, the law containing the Sabbath commandment was both known and applicable even before Israel came to Sinai and got the law on two stone tablets.
Why is Sunday celebrated as Sabbath by most Christians today?
Who changed God’s law, and how did God’s law change?
There are many who claim that God himself changed the Sabbath, or that Jesus did this and some stubbornly claim that it was the first Christians, i.e. the apostles who changed the Sabbath and thereby God’s law. Let us first go to the Bible and see what God´s word says about this.
About God the Father it says:
The works of his hands [are] verity and judgment; all his commandments [are] sure. Psalm 111,7
The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19,8
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Psalm 89,35
For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances and have not kept [them]. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Malachi 3,6-7
About God the Father it says that everything He does is truth and justice, that His law is perfect. God the Father will not break His covenant, and what He has said He will not change, because the Father does not change.
About Jesus it says:
I and [my] Father are one. John 10,30
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John 14,21
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Luke 16,17
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. Luke 21,33
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5,17-18
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. Hebrew 13,8
Jesus himself says that He and the Father are one. This means that the attributes given to God the Father above here also apply to Jesus, and the attributes given to Jesus here also apply to the Father. This means that the law is unchangeable as God the Father and Jesus are unchangeable.
The first Christians say:
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid yea, we establish the law. Romans 3,31
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3,4
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5,2-3
If Jesus had changed the Sabbath at His resurrection on Easter Sunday, it is strange that this is not written in the Bible. Instead, all the authors of the New Testament emphasize the importance of the commandments and the law.
Paul says in Romans 3,31 that we do not void the law by faith but establish the law. John says that he who transgress the law is a sinner. transgressions are sin, he says, in 1 John 3,4. He also says that our love for God is manifested in our keeping his commandments, all his commandments, 1 John 5,2,3. Jacob says about him who keeps the whole law, but offend in one of the commandments, has been guilty of breaking them all, James 2,10. So we offend one of the commandments, we offend all of them. If we do not keep the Sabbath, we are sinners, as transgression is sin.
A small summary so far is that God’s law has not been changed neither by God, nor by Jesus, nor the first Christians. However, it is beyond doubt that God’s law has changed. Who then has changed the law of God? Let us look at some of what has happened in the church over time.
Emperor Constantine’s Sunday Law March 3, 321.
At the beginning of the fourth century, Emperor Constantine issued a law making Sunday a public holiday in the Roman Empire (more on this a little further down). This happened only a few years after Christianity was made the state religion in line with the other religions. The Gentiles had reverence for the day of the sun, and the Christians respected it. Due to many internal conflicts, the emperor chose to create unity between the various religions to end parts of the conflicts. A genius move from the devil.
As long as one or more of Jesus’ disciples were still alive, there was no difficulty for the church in keeping the sabbath holy. But after John’s death, as the last of the disciples, apostasy accelerated, something that both Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2,3, John in 1 John 2,18 and Peter in 2 Peter 2,1 warn against. Eventually, the Roman Church began to issue laws that forced church attendance. At the synod in Elvira in the years 305-306, the church leaders decided that if a person was absent from Mass three Sundays in a row, he should be excommunicated from the church for a period.
Ever since the first part of the fourth century, large church meetings have been held where church leaders from all over the world participated. In every meeting, council or synod, Sunday was exalted more and more on behalf of the Sabbath of God, and in this way the pagan feast day was gradually lifted up as a divine arrangement. The biblical Sabbath was seen as a special Jewish system that did not apply to Christians. He who represents the apostasy had begun to fulfil the prophecy in Daniel 7,25: And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws … …
In the fourth commandment, God reveals himself as the creator of heaven and earth, and this sets Him apart from all false gods. As a reminder of creation, the seventh day was sanctified as a day of rest for men. It should always remind them of the living God who is the source of all life, and that he is the one they should honour and worship. Satan does everything in his power to make people renounce their allegiance to God and to disobey his law. Therefore, he especially attacks the commandment that says that God is the creator. In addition to the Catholic Church claiming that Sunday is the Lord’s day of rest, Protestants claim that Sunday is the day of rest for Christians because Christ rose on that day. However, there is no evidence for this in Scripture to claim. Neither Christ nor the apostles give such honour to the day. The celebration of Sunday as a Christian arrangement that comes from the mystery of iniquity that was already active when Paul was alive. Where and when did the Lord adopt this offspring from the papacy? How will one defend a change that is not rooted in the Bible?
For many, it is a new and unfamiliar thought that the sabbath is Saturday. The vast majority of Christians today observe Sunday as the Lord’s Sabbath because they do not know that this is wrong. No one should or must change their mind about this because I or others say so. But I encourage everyone to study this carefully. Do not dismiss this just because your pastor or your priest says that I am wrong. You have to go to the source and study this on your own without the glasses of prejudice. What the Catholic Church itself says about this should also be investigated. Then I think many will be amazed.
In the first centuries, all Christians kept the biblical Sabbath holy. They wanted to honour God, and knowing that his law was unchangeable, they kept a watchful eye on all the commandments of God. But Satan worked with great cunning through his henchmen. To make people to be more interested in the Sunday, it was made a feast day to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Services were held on this day. Nevertheless, it was only considered as a day off. The Sabbath was still kept holy.
In the days before Christ came to this world, Satan paved the way for what he set out to do, by causing the Jews to burden the Sabbath with all kinds of strict regulations so that it became a burden. Based on the false notion he had surrounded the Sabbath with, he now made people despise it as a Jewish system. While Christians in general continued to celebrate Sunday as a day of joy, he, Satan, made them make the Sabbath a day of fasting, a sad and gloomy day, thus creating aversion to the real Sabbath day.
Pope John Paul II acknowledges in his pastoral letter Dies Domini, (May 1998), that the Sabbath is God’s original day of rest, but he still says that the Christians, called to proclaim the freedom gained through the blood of Christ, felt they had authority to transfer the meaning of the Sabbath to the day of resurrection. John Paul II also speaks of the spiritual and pastoral riches of Sunday, which have been given to us by tradition.
The following quotes are taken from the websites of the Catholic Church (marked with *):
The first day of the week
* In accordance with the Jewish tradition, the day was from sunset to sunset (from Saturday evening to Sunday evening), and the earliest Christian celebration of Sunday apparently took place when Sunday began, that is, Saturday evening.
* The very first Christians were Jews. And for a time they kept the Sabbath on Saturday – the seventh and last day of the week. (It is only in modern, secular calendars that Sunday is considered the last day of the week.)
The Catholic Church is fully aware that the Sabbath is the last and seventh day of the week. There is also more uncertainty within the Catholic Church when Christians began to celebrate Sunday, which is evident in what they write: apparently took place.
From Saturday night …
* It seems that the Christians at first came together twice on Saturday. On Saturday morning, the Sabbath, they came together for a worship service of word and prayer, much like a synagogue worship service. Then, on Saturday night, when the first day of the week began, they came together again for a meal (cf., for example, 1 Corinthians 11,17-24). This meal commemorated Jesus’ last supper, with the blessing of vine and bread. Thus they celebrated Jesus’ presence among them, his sacrificial offering became present to them in this rite. The Acts of the Apostles gives us a good description of such an assembly in Troad – and also mentions that a youth fell asleep and fell down from the third loft (Acts 20,7-12). That they actually met in the evening on Saturday night and kept it going unusually long throughout the night is clear enough from this text. The following day was a working day, so we can probably assume that the evening meal did not usually go out as long as in Troad when Paul was visiting.
Here the Catholic Church has another weak argument if it can be called an argument at all. For here, too, the Catholic Church admits that it is the seventh day of the week, Saturday, which is the Sabbath and not Sunday, as they like to claim. Saturday morning, the Sabbath, they came together for a worship service of the word and prayer it says. That they may also have had a gathering in the evening is probably not unreasonable either. But that God himself has changed the time of the Sabbath for that reason is simply inconceivable from what the Bible itself tells us about this. In other words, there is no concrete evidence for this claim as the papacy claims that there apparently took place a change in relation to the Sabbath. It was not the Sabbath that was changed, but they changed which day of the week they held their services. This is exactly what happened, something that the Catholic Church also admits, and it gradually became a change of time for the service. The Catholic Church seems to believe that the first Christians turned Sunday, the first day of the week, into the Lord’s Sabbath. In reality, the Sabbath was still the seventh day of the week, Saturday, but for practical reasons the time for the service was postponed and gradually the time changed from holding service twice a day on the Sabbath to once on Sunday, which was also provoked by what we will see in the following points. However, this was not a common practice in all Christian churches, but was limited to two cities, Alexandria and Rome.
What the church historian Socrates Scholasticus (380-439) writes in his work Ecclesiastical History, which covers the history of the church from 305 to 439, is worth noting. He writes the following: Almost all the churches in the world celebrate the sacraments on the Sabbath every week, but the Christians in Alexandria and Rome have for some tradition stopped doing this. This was as late as the beginning of the 5th century, and 100 years after Constantine had made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Thus, there is written evidence that God’s Sabbath was still observed by Christians throughout the world, except for the two cities mentioned by Socrates. As we see, Socrates wrote about the facts he himself could witness while he was alive.
… until Sunday morning, mass duty and Sunday rest
* The celebration of the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist is that one abstained from unnecessary work. At the beginning of the second century, this Eucharistic ritual was postponed until the early hours of Sunday morning, before the sun rose.
It was because of a decree issued by the paranoid emperor Trajan that forbade suspicious meetings in the evening, at night or early morning that the Christians began to gather on Sunday morning. Another contributing factor to this change was that there were now more and more non-Jews among the Christians. They did not know the Jewish Sabbath and did not have the same relationship to the traditional Jewish Sabbath meal that this Christian evening meal was associated with. The time just before sunrise was best, as Sunday was still a working day, and not least that the Sabbath was still observed by the Christians. Eventually, a forced Sunday observance of Emperor Constantine was introduced.
* This service early Sunday morning was a combination of the two previous gatherings, Saturday morning and Saturday evening. Around the year 165, this Sunday ritual had taken on a form which an ordinary modern Catholic probably would recognize without further ado as a Sunday Mass. After this morning service, one went to work. It would still be a long time before Sunday rest was introduced.
Sunday as a day of rest.
* Do not put more emphasis on the worldly things than on the word of God; in the day of the Lord thou shalt make all things rest and hasten diligently unto thy church.
A weekly day of rest was also in the interest of civil society, and on March 3, 321, Emperor Constantine launched his Sunday Law, which states that on that day, that is, the Lord´s day, should be the day of the venerable sun. That he chose that day probably had more to do with his interest in sun worship and very little to do with Christianity. But the decree gave this Christian feast day the same privileges as the many pagan feast days which were spread throughout the year.
The original reason why the Christians gathered on Sunday had nothing to do with the Jewish Sabbath or the fourth commandment (as the Catholic Church calls the third commandment). At the Third Council of Orleans, in 538, it was rejected that one should see any connection between Jewish rules and Sabbath rest, and the Christian Sunday. Nevertheless, it became more and more common to reinterpret the fourth commandment to justify Sunday rest. At the council in Narbonne in 589, it was decided to punish those who worked on Sunday with whipping.
As we see, there are a number of external circumstances that lead the Christians to begin to keep Sunday holy. It was everything from excommunication and whipping to the fact that it was of social interest. In addition to this, Emperor Constantine decreed that the day of the Lord should fall on the day of the venerable sun and made Sunday observance a law.
A couple of thought-provoking statements from the Catholic Church.
* Nowhere in the New Testament is it clearly stated that Christ changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday. Nevertheless, all Protestants keep Sunday, except Seventh-day Adventists. The Catholic Church, which goes all the way back to the apostles, made the change because it was necessary to emphasize the fact that the Old Testament was abolished. Furthermore, because our divine Saviour chose Sunday as the day of resurrection and as the time of the sending of the Holy Ghost to the church as its principle of life. When Protestants hold Sunday, they follow tradition. From the American Catholic Congregational Magazine Our Sunday Visitor June 11, 1950.
The representative of the Catholic Church says in his article that it was necessary to emphasize the fact that the Old Testament was abolished. However, we have Jesus’ words that this is not the case.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil … … Jesus said. What the whole fallen Church (Catholic and Protestant) is doing here is choosing to disregard what Jesus says and means, in order to defend such a choice of words that is expressed in what Our Sunday Visitor writes on June 11, 1950.
* Ever since the days of the apostles, the Church, by the authority of Christ, has decreed that instead of the Sabbath, Christians should celebrate Sunday as the day of the Lord. From page 136 in Our Faith, Catholic Catechism published by the Oslo Catholic Diocese in 1961.
This is a truth with certain modifications. The apostles and the church in the time of the apostles kept the Lord’s day, the Sabbath, high. The observance of Sunday is something that was constructed over time by the forces that oppose God. When Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, none of the books of the New Testament had yet been written. Jesus constantly refers to the law and the prophets, that is, to the Old Testament, as he has done here: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5,17-18 Why would Jesus spend so much time talking about the law and the prophets if, as Our Sunday Visitor says, it has been abolished? Our Sunday Visitor truly says that it was necessary to emphasize the fact that the Old Testament was abolished.
For my part, I cannot see anything that indicates that the law and the prophets, or the Old Testament, are abolished in what Jesus says here, but it is quite clear what Jesus does here, He sharpens the law’s requirements for our behaviour. In other words, the Old Testament is still valid despite what forces within the Catholic Church would think about the matter. The paradox is that the Catholic Church still has the Old Testament in its Bible, and they use both diligent and frequently texts from the Old Testament. Why do they do it if it has been abolished?
The same church also claims that they had authority from Jesus Christ to decide that the Sabbath should be celebrated on Sunday as the day of the Lord. From what we can read in the Bible, there are two major errors here. First, Jesus never gave authority to any man to change the Sabbath because it is an eternal covenant between God and man and is enshrined in the fourth commandment. Second, the term Lord’s day is used in two different ways in the Bible.
The terms the day of the Lord and similar expressions appear 23 times in the Bible, and we find them here: The day of the Lord Isaiah 13,6; 13,9; Ezekiel 13,5; 30,3; Joel 1,15; 2,1; 2,11; 3,19; Amos 5,18 (2 times); 5,20; Obadiah 1,15; Zephaniah 1,7; 1,14; Zechariah 14,1; 1 Thessalonians 5,2; 2 Peter 3,10, The great and dreadful day of the Lord Joel 3,4; Malachi 4,5; In the day of the Lord´s sacrifice Zephaniah 1,8; That great and notable day of the Lord Acts 2,20; On the Lord´s day Revelation 1,10. A total of 22 times in 21 verses. The Lord´s Holy Day Isaiah 58,13 (NIV 1984). 1 time in 1 verse, a total of 23 times in 22 verses.
Once the expression is used about the Sabbath, and it is in Isaiah 58,13: If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words:
Once there is no explanation other than that it is the day of the Lord, and it is in Revelation 1,10: I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
Then it remains 21 times, and each and every one of these 21 times the term is used in connection with the end times in the expanded sense, and the return of Jesus.
At the very end of this sequence, I will include a couple of quotes from Sundays History, by Bishop A. Grimelund, published by The Norwegian Lutheran Foundation’s Publishers.
— The Lord’s resurrection day is probably a day of remembrance that can never be forgotten or passed by in his church; but from this, one might think, it does not follow, however, that one should give up and abandon the Sabbath prescribed by God himself and at creation clearly previously pictured Sabbath, or move this day to another day of the week, though this is such a day of remembrance. This requires an equally explicit command from God, thereby repealing the previous precept, but where is such a command? It is true, such a commandment does not exist. Page 18.
— If we now gather what history teaches about the rise and development of Sunday, the sum will be this: It is not the apostles, not the first Christians, nor the early church councils that have imprinted the name and stamp of the Sabbath on Sunday. Page 37
— … that there is a doctrine which has arisen in the papacy’s church that Sunday observance is obligatory… Page 47 – 48.
* Once before the year 100, they began to call Sunday the day of the Lord after the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Already in Revelation 1,10 we find the expression. By giving the day this title, the Christian defined the Lord Jesus as the victor over all other lords, not least over the Roman emperors who invoked divinity. The name also brought to mind the Lord’s Supper. The Day of the Lord has remained the official title of the Church on this day.
This is another of the Catholic Church’s arguments for defending Sunday celebrations, and here we see that the Catholic Church attaches the expression Lord’s day to the Lord’s Supper, which indeed was instituted on Thursday, and consequently then the day of the Lord should have been added to Thursday. Elsewhere, the Catholic Church attaches the day of the Lord to the Day of Resurrection, which is Sunday, and therefore they claim that the Sabbath has been changed from Saturday to Sunday. They link it to Revelation 1,10 and claim that this is the first time in Christian literature that the day of the Lord is used on Sunday. The text of Revelation 1,10 is like this: I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
Question: How is it possible to read from this text that the day of the Lord is Sunday?
I hope you notice that the Catholic Church has once again risen above the word of God and decided that Sunday should be the Sabbath day and that Sunday should be called the day of the Lord, which is the biblical name for the coming tribulation and impending doomsday and the Sabbath. For as the Catholic Church says, the Lord’s Day has remained the church´s official title of on this day.
But there is no scripture at all that supports the claim that God or Jesus changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. However, it says that the Sabbath will be an eternal sign of the covenant between God and man, Exodus 31,13.17 and Ezekiel 20,12.20.
Does it matter which day is celebrated, or … …?
How irrelevant is the day that is kept holy? Let us turn the matter upside down and see what the majority of Christians do today. They maintain and support a Sunday observance, just see for yourself how most Christians how hard they cling to the Sunday. Is it indifferent to them? Hardly. If it does not matter to the Sunday keepers which day they keep holy, why do they not keep the Saturday holy, which is and will be God’s Holy Sabbath day, as their Sabbath day? When I raise this question as to why they do not keep the Sabbath holy as the Lord’s Sabbath, then many answer that this is irrelevant. Yes, the answer to this question is that it is irrelevant as long as one only keeps Sunday as Sabbath day. Then suddenly it does not matter which day you keep holy, as long as it is not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday that you keep holy. Understand it he who can; it does not matter which day you keep as Sabbath day, say the Sunday keepers as long as you keep Sunday as Sabbath day. But can we not then ask the various churches, whether, on the basis of their statements that the day celebrated is indifferent, they can begin to keep Tuesdays holy? What do you think you get in response?
Let us once again look at some of what is written about this in the Bible, for time and time again the Lord’s anger over the Israelites is ignited because they break the Sabbath commandment, as here in Exodus 16,28: And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? The reason for this question is precisely because they violate God’s Sabbath commandment. Here follows the whole sequence: And he said unto them, This [is that] which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow [is] the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake [that] which ye will bake [today], and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that today; for today [is] a sabbath unto the LORD: today ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, [which is] the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, [that] there went out [some] of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 16,23-30)
In the historical records of the acts of the apostles we find no less than 8 places where it is clear that Paul and the apostles kept the seventh day of the week holy. Now many will want it to be not Saturday anyway because the apostles and the first Christians had already begun to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. If we read the text carefully in the verses in question, we quickly find out that Paul spoke to both Jews and Gentiles who visited the Jewish synagogues where they were, such as this: And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. (Acts 18,4) Here it is clear that Paul convinced both Jews and Greeks. Then the argument that they had begun to keep Sunday holy falls away. The Jews who lived outside of Judea were certainly Sabbath-keepers by tradition. In other words, these Jews whom Paul visited are what we today call Orthodox, and probably kept the law to the letter, including keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, or the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday. Why should Paul be inconsistent in his faith and waver back and forth between Saturday and Sunday observances? No, it does not fit into the pattern that Paul and the other early Christians have left behind. The early Christians consistently kept the Sabbath as God’s holy Sabbath.
The day of the sun, sol invictus (unconquered sun) or Sunday; what position it has held in antiquity and what it symbolizes in a religious context.
The sun god has been worshiped since time immemorial and sun worship may have originated in the ancient Indian religions. Under King Nebuchadnezzar, sun worship was a tradition, and the day of the sun was then as now the day we call Sunday. In Latin dies dominica or dominicum, in Italian Domenica, in Spanish and Portuguese domingo, and in French dimanche. This is because the sun is the most dominant celestial body we see from the earth, and therefore the day of the sun is linked to the first day of the week – Sunday.
The sun-god whom the Romans revered and worshiped has its roots in Babylon and accumulated in the various kingdoms as one was conquered by the next kingdom. This was Mithra, and it is this god they honour those who choose Sunday as the Sabbath.
The Mithraism was the most widespread religion within the Roman Empire in the time before Christianity became the state religion, and it is from this pagan religion that the Roman Catholic Church has adopted many of its doctrines and rituals. Mithra was a deity in Indian and Iranian (Babylonian) mythology. In the Vedic religion, an ancient Indian religion, Mithra is portrayed as a guardian of world order, truth and promises, and it was this Mithra who came to have a prominent role among Roman soldiers. Throughout the ancient Persian Empire, Mithraism also gained a strong foothold in Persian dualism. When the Babylonians took over the Mithra rituals and mythology from the Persians, they thoroughly redefined Mithraism. The Babylonian priests incorporated Ahura-Mazda into the god Baal, Anahita into the god Ishtar and Mithras into the god Shamash, their god of justice, victory and protection. King Hammurabi, 1792-1750 BC who was the sixth king of Babylon, received his law, Hammurabi’s law, from the sun god. The Babylonians were skilled astronomers, and as a result of the Babylonians’ solar observations and astronomical calculations, Mithra was worshiped by the Romans as Sol Invictus, or the invincible sun. The sun itself was considered to be the eye of Mithra. Eventually, Mithra was called the guide of the soul, and more and more emperors took mithra titles such as Pius, Felix and Invictus. Emperor Aurelian, 214-275, began worshiping Sol Invictus. It is interesting noting that 12 popes have taken the name Pius, and 5 popes have taken the name Felix!
It is also worth noting that Pope Benedict XVI, yes he is pope even though he abdicated in 2013, is very strongly committed to enforcing Sunday as a day of rest. He now travels around the world and propagandizes for Sunday as a day of rest. He says: We cannot live without Sunday, and keeping Sunday is a duty for Christians. He also says that Sunday has its origin from the dawn of the beginning of creation, and it is the church’s weekly creation feast. (From Italy’s most popular newspaper Corriere Della Sera).
Pope Benedict XVI also talks a lot about us having to go back to Europe’s Catholic roots, he actually says Christian roots but means Catholic, and he has pushed for a text in EU legislation that says that Sunday will be Europe’s day of rest. The European Parliament has discussed changes that they thought should be made in the Working Time Directive. Several MEPs who have worked on the matter agreed and recommended that the new text of the Working Time Directive should be as follows: The minimum weekly rest must include Sunday. Others thought that the text should be as follows: The minimum rest period should in principle include Sunday. These text suggestions were not good enough. On 2 February 2009, a new proposal was received from a working committee stating that the EU should protect Sunday as the week’s day of rest. The essential text is as follows: The European Parliament urges the Member States and the EU institutions to protect Sunday as a weekly day of rest, and to make future national and EU laws to protect workers’ health and justify work and family life.
We also know that the actual pope, Francis, ever since he was elected pope in 2013, has travelled around and promoted The Family Day, which of course is Sunday. He says about the family day that the whole world needs a whole day to spend with the family without having to go to work and adds that it is the pope who gives the world this day off.
Then we can look at what God says in the fourth commandment he gave the people at Sinai. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20,8-11
Then we can all ask ourselves: Is there any reason for a human power to give us a day of rest all the time it was done by God the Creator already at creation?