Archive for the 'The Sabbath' Category

No Sabbath-worship for Christians

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Image result for Christian worship clip art public domain

(image courtesy hdwalls.xyz )

By Spencer D Gear

Is it ever possible to get through to Christians that there is no need to keep the Saturday Sabbath? Or, to put it another way, are all of the Bible-believing Christians who go to worship on Sunday contravening the Scriptures? I’ve had discussions online and in person with people who are Seventh-Day Adventists who push and push for Sabbath worship. See this example of one of my encounters: Sunday or Saturday worship for Christians?

I was engaged in another such discussion online with a Sabbath-keeping Christian. These are some of his statements:

In commending Jim Parker’s post (See Appendix), I wrote:[1] Acts 20:7 states, ‘On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight’ (NIV). A response was, ‘You should know that some new Bible versions translate Acts 20:7, “On the SATURDAY NIGHT, the disciples came together…”’[2]

My reply was:[3]

One of the foremost N T Greek grammarians of the 20th century was the Dr A T Robertson. He focusses on the issues in Acts 20:7. This is from A. T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament (1930. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, pp 338-340, available at: StudyLight.org),

Acts 20:7 [Greek characters deleted & transliterated]

Upon the first day of the week (en de miai twn sabbatwn). The cardinal – miai used here for the ordinal protei (Mark 16:9) like the Hebrew ehadh as in Mark 16:2; Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1; John 20:1 and in harmony with the Koiné’š idiom (Robertson, Grammar, p. 671). Either the singular (Mark 16:9) — sabbatou or the plural — sabbatwn as here was used for the week (sabbath to sabbath). For the first time here we have services mentioned on the first day of the week though in 1 Corinthians 16:2 it is implied by the collections stored on that day. In Revelation 1:10 the Lord‘s day seems to be the day of the week on which Jesus rose from the grave. Worship on the first day of the week instead of the seventh naturally arose in Gentile churches, though John 20:26 seems to mean that from the very start the disciples began to meet on the first (or eighth) day. But liberty was allowed as Paul makes plain in Romans 14:5.

When we were gathered together (sunegmenown hemown). Genitive absolute, perfect passive participle of — sunagw to gather together, a formal meeting of the disciples. See this verb used for gatherings of disciples in Acts 4:31; Acts 11:26; Acts 14:27; Acts 15:6, Acts 15:30; Acts 19:7, Acts 19:8; 1 Corinthians 5:4. In Hebrews 10:25 the substantive  — episunagwgen is used for the regular gatherings which some were already neglecting. It is impossible for a church to flourish without regular meetings even if they have to meet in the catacombs as became necessary in Rome. In Russia today the Soviets are trying to break up conventicles of Baptists. They probably met on our Saturday evening, the beginning of the first day at sunset. So these Christians began the day (Sunday) with worship. But, since this is a Gentile community, it is quite possible that Luke means our Sunday evening as the time when this meeting occurs, and the language in John 20:19 “it being evening on that day the first day of the week” naturally means the evening following the day, not the evening preceding the day.

To break bread (klasai arton). First aorist active infinitive of purpose of klaw The language naturally bears the same meaning as in Acts 2:42, the Eucharist or the Lord‘s Supper which usually followed the Agape. See note on 1 Corinthians 10:16. The time came, when the Agape was no longer observed, perhaps because of the abuses noted in 1 Corinthians 11:20. Rackham argues that the absence of the article with bread here and its presence (ton arton) in Acts 20:11 shows that the Agape is referred to in Acts 20:7 and the Eucharist in Acts 20:11, but not necessarily so because ton arton may merely refer to arton in Acts 20:7. At any rate it should be noted that Paul, who conducted this service, was not a member of the church in Troas, but only a visitor.

Discoursed (dielegeto). Imperfect middle because he kept on at length.

Intending (mellow). Being about to, on the point of.

On the morrow (tei epaurion). Locative case with hemerai understood after the adverb epaurion If Paul spoke on our Saturday evening, he made the journey on the first day of the week (our Sunday) after sunrise. If he spoke on our Sunday evening, then he left on our Monday morning.

Prolonged his speech (Pareteinen ton logon). Imperfect active (same form as aorist) of parateinw old verb to stretch beside or lengthwise, to prolong. Vivid picture of Paul‘s long sermon which went on and on till midnight (mechri mesonuktiou). Paul‘s purpose to leave early next morning seemed to justify the long discourse. Preachers usually have some excuse for the long sermon which is not always clear to the exhausted audience.

Therefore, Dr Robertson, based on his understanding of the Greek grammar, disagrees with the view you espoused here.

 A.T. Robertson

Dr A T Robertson (image courtesy ccel.org)

 

What kind of reply could I expect to this? This was the beginning of his reply (you can check out the rest by following the endnote):

Thanks for joining us. “The man who speaks first seems right until another answers him”, so I’d like to answer Mr. Robertson.

For the first time here we have services mentioned on the first day of the week…”

There are no “services” mentioned here, but one post-Sabbath “get together” (the subjective implication is that this was some official, precedent-setting event) which took place as the Sabbath sun set and the beginning of the first day of the week began – what we would refer to as “Saturday evening”. Mr. R is attempting to use what he knows is an evening meeting as Biblical justification for the practice of Sunday morning church observance.

…though in 1 Corinthians 16:2 KJV it (church observance on the first day of the week) is implied by the collections stored on that day.”

All honest scholars know that 1 Corinthians 16:2 KJV means “in storage at home” and not the ever popular but false teaching of “in storage in a collection plate at church on Sunday morning”.[4]

Note what he does:

1. He relegates Dr A T Robertson to Mr Robertson. Dr Robertson was an eminent Greek NT scholar of the 20th century who wrote a 1454 page grammar of the Greek NT, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (1914. New York: Hodder & Stoughton; Internet Archive, University of Toronto).

2. He is a KJV only man.

3. He is pro-Sabbath-keeping, so listening to Dr Robertson’s exegesis was not on his agenda. It was a waste of time even raising it.

From Saturday to Sunday worship

Image result for clipart Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy public domain

I responded to this person’s promotion of the Sabbath:[5]

Christian historian, the late Martin Hengel, wrote of ‘the transfer of the celebration of divine worship from the sabbath to the Lord’s day, which is already demonstrable in Paul, is a partial analogy’ (2000:119). Hengel particularly referred to 1 Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7ff; Rev. 1:10 to support this claim (Hengel 2000:281, n. 481).

These verses do not state in any way that indicates that these early Christians were meeting and worshipping on the wrong day of the week. Not a word of pro-Saturday Sabbath worship is mentioned:

  • 1 Cor. 16:2: ‘On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come’ (ESV).
  • Acts 20:7: ‘On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight’ (ESV).
  • Rev. 1:10: ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet’ (ESV).

Christians are not to observe days and even Sabbath days according to the following Scriptures: Romans 14:5ff, Galatians 4:9-11; 5:1-15 and Col. 2:16-17. These Scriptures indicate that the promotion of Sabbath-keeping is contrary to these biblical injunctions.

Therefore, exaltation of Saturday Sabbath worship is not in accord with NT Christianity.

Here is some historical information about Lord’s Day, Sunday, worship:

See the article, ‘Is the Sabbath required for Christians?

In the early second century vague references to observing the “Lord’s Day”–Sunday–began to appear. Then the voices for Sunday worship grew more strident. Ignatius of Asia Minor and Barnabas of Alexandria both condemned Sabbath-keeping. Although considered Gnostic heresy, Marcion’s anti-Sabbath views were widely promulgated throughout the churches. By 150, Justin Martyr clearly indicated that the day of the sun was the day of rest for Christians. Sunday worship had become a widely accepted practice among these people who professed to follow Christ (“What did the early church Believe and Preach after Jesus’ death?” Available from: http://www.biblestud…istianity1.html).

‘There is a series of articles by Bob Deffinbaugh that refutes the promotion of the Sabbath for Christians and supports the view that New Covenant believers meet for worship on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day. See:

  1. The Great Sabbath Controversy“;
  2. The Lord of the Sabbath“;
  3. The Meaning of the Sabbath“;
  4. The Sabbath Controversy in the Gospels“;
  5. Super-Sabbath: Israel’s Land and its Lord“;
  6. The Sabbath in Apostolic Preaching and Practice“.

Keep the Ten Commandments #

The predicted reply came, ‘To the contrary, we are to observe the Ten Commandments which are written on the hearts of New Covenant Christians, and if not, then which of the Ten are we at liberty to freely break?’[6]

My rejoinder was:

Where does it say that in the NT? Where are we told to ‘remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy’ in the NT?

A requirement to keep the Sabbath of Exodus 20:8 for NT believers would conflict with Colossians 2:16-17, ‘Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come but the substance belongs to Christ’ (ESV).[7]

He could not let it lie there, so he was back again:

Thus saith the Lord Jesus, “pray that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day”.  He fully expected His people to continue observing the Sabbath when the Romans came in 66 A.D. else He would have never told them to pray such a prayer. Before you answer, “But that was because the gates to Jerusalem would have been locked”, do not ignore the previous verses where we find Jesus commanding the whole of Judea, not just those in Jerusalem, to pray about not having to flee on the Sabbath, and there were no gates around Judea.

Along with the Sabbath commandment, every other one of the Ten Commandments is repeated in the N.T.  It is a historical fact that the change from Sabbath to Sunday was made my man and happened over a period of centuries, and is not found anywhere in Scripture. If you have a verse which you believe does command such a change, I’d be happy to study it.

BTW, Colossians is speaking in the context of the ceremonial law of offerings and sacrifices (meat offerings, drink offerings, moon observances, Jewish “sabbath” feast days which are called such in Leviticus 23, etc.)  Colossians is speaking of the “law that was against us” and Deuteronomy 31:26 KJV says that law was the Law of Moses which contained ceremonies and sacrifices.  Paul would never teach that the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments no longer existed any more than he would say that “thou shalt not kill” no longer existed.[8]

I replied:[9]

That is not an answer to what I asked at #306, ‘Where are we told to “remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy” in the NT?’

In Col 2:16, the three terms, festival, new moon, and sabbath often occur together in the OT (see the LXX of Hos 2:13; Ezek 45:17; 1 Chron 23:31; 2 Chron 2:3; 31:3). To keep these ‘holy days’ was evidence for OT Israelites that they obeyed God’s law. What was happening at Colossae was the keeping of these holy days for ‘the elemental spirits of the world’ (Col 2:8).

Therefore, Paul’s instruction was: ‘Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath’ (Col 2:16). To require that Christians keep the Sabbath is to do what Paul instructed not to do – to pass judgment on the need to keep the Sabbath for NT believers.

I will not fall for the judgment line that NT Christians should keep the OT Sabbath. That is a passing of judgment that does not meet with the Lord’s approval.

The response was predictable:

In answer to #306, the Fourth commandment is not explicitly repeated verbatim in the N. T., but I find it curious that you demand of me an explicit text which repeats the Fourth commandment verbatim to support the Sabbath in the N. T. while you exempt yourself from such austerity, seeing that you know full well that there is absolutely no commandment or directive in the N. T. authorizing a change from the seventh day to the first day – this change that you claim has taken place is based not on anything explicit, but solely on what you think is implied by John 20:19, Acts 20:7, and 1 Corinthians 16:2.

OK, you still haven’t explained to me why Jesus told His followers who would decades later have to flee from Judea (around which there were no gates) to pray that their flight would not have to take place on the Sabbath day if He did not expect that His followers would still be observing the Sabbath.

Also, why do you force Paul to refer to the weekly Sabbath in Colossians 2:14-17 KJV when the preponderance of evidence suggests he was referring to the yearly sabbath Feast Days of the Law of Moses?  According to Paul’s own words:

  • Paul says what was blotted out was “against us” which Deuteronomy 31:26 KJV tells us was the ceremonial Law of Moses, not God’s Law written by His finger.
  • Paul says this handwriting of Moses was nailed “to His Cross” – you can nail paper books all day long but you can’t nail stone to anything.
  • The ceremonial Law of Moses dealt with “meats, drinks, new moons, holy days and “sabbath days” (yearly “Feast Days” according to Leviticus 23), while God’s Law written by His finger in stone dealt with no such ceremonial laws.
  • Though the yearly ceremonial Feast Day “sabbaths” of the Law of Moses were indeed a shadow of Christ’s mission, the weekly Sabbath of creation was not shadow of anything – it was created as a memorial to Creation when all was light.

By insisting that Paul refers to the weekly Sabbath in Colossians 2:16 KJV, you are forcing an interpretation to support your position that the weekly Sabbath has been done away with, when the preponderance of evidence suggest that Paul is not speaking of the weekly Sabbath at all, but of the yearly ceremonial sabbath Feast Days, which were nailed to the Cross.  At best, we should agree that it is unclear if Paul meant to teach that the weekly Sabbath was part of what he said was nailed to the Cross and allow other Scriptures to decide the issue.  Such as the fact that Jesus expected His followers everywhere to be keeping the Sabbath decades into the future because He commanded them to pray that they would not have to flee from Judea on that day.  What say you?[10]

The New Covenant makes the Old Covenant obsolete

(image courtesy covenantsovereign)

This was my final reply to this resistant KJV Sabbath-keeping legalist.[11]

The apostle Paul made it clear that the Old Covenant was superseded by the New Covenant: ‘For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit’ (Rom 8:3-4 ESV).

Hebrews 8 is clear that God promised for the houses of Israel and Judah that a new covenant was coming (Heb 8:8-12 cited from Jer 31:31-34). What did that mean for the Old Covenant? ‘In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away’ (Heb 8:13).

The obvious conclusion was that the requirements of the OT Law which were now abolished meant that the OT sabbath was also abolished because it was ‘obsolete’ and was to ‘vanish away). Therefore, there is no need for the NT to say, ‘Thou shalt not worship on the Sabbath’ because that law from Sinai had been made obsolete because of the cross of Christ. Golgotha and Christ’s shed blood made sure a new covenant without OT legal requirements came into effect. Since the OT law is obsolete, to enforce OT Sabbath-keeping is to legalistically force on people what the New Covenant abolished.

What do we find in the NT? People like the apostle John could say, ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day’ (Rev 1:10). There are significant reasons why early Christians worshipped on the first day of the week and not the Saturday Sabbath, the most important being that the first day of the week was the one on which Jesus rose from the dead.

The early church confirmed that the Christians met on the Lord’s Day and not the Saturday Sabbath.

  • The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, early 2nd cent), ‘But every Lord’s day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure’ (ch 14:1).
  • The Epistle of Barnabas (ca. AD 130), ‘He says to them, Your new moons and your Sabbath I cannot endure [Isaiah 1:13]. You perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead. And when He had manifested Himself, He ascended into the heavens’ (ch 15).
  • Tertullian (b. ca. AD 160), ‘It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary….. Whence it is manifest that the force of such precepts was temporary, and respected the necessity of present circumstances; and that it was not with a view to its observance in perpetuity that God formerly gave them such a law’ (An Answer to the Jews, ch 4). Who was Tertullian addressing about the abolition of the old law and its temporary Sabbath? Jews!

In your response to me, you seem to be missing a fundamental: The Old Covenant has been superseded by the New Covenant. This means that the OT law has been abolished, made obsolete, vanished away and has been replaced by the New Covenant in Christ. When did these New Covenant Christians meet for worship? The first day of the week, the Lord’s Day.

But there’s a another fundamental that we must not forget: All of life is worship to the glory of God! (John 4:21-23)

Appendix A

Image result for New Covenant clipart public domain(image courtesy Polyvore)

 

Jim Parker[12] provided this excellent rebuttal of the statement: “We keep the Sabbath in the same way Jesus and the apostles did”.

Do you do all of these?

EX 16:29 Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Don’t travel on the Sabbath. A Sabbath’s journey was limited to approximately one mile.

EX 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

1. Don’t you or anyone in your household do any work on the Sabbath.

2. It also includes animals which have been replaced by cars, trucks, tractors, buses, airplanes, trains, etc., So don’t work and don’t use any sort of motorized vehicle on the Sabbath. (Which means you don’t drive to whatever meeting you might attend on Saturday.)

EX 31:14 ” `Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. 15 For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16 The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17 It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.’ ”

1. The seventh day is for rest; do not work on the Sabbath.

2. Israelites are to observe the Sabbath. (not gentiles, Israelites)

3. The Sabbath is a sign between God and Israel. (Again: Israel; not gentiles)

4. God abstained from work and rested on the 7th day and Israel is to do the same.

EX 35:1 states that Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do: 2 For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. 3 Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”

1. The command concerning keeping the Sabbath Holy came from the LORD not from Moses.

2. Rest on the Sabbath and do no work.

3. Do not light a fire in your dwelling on the Sabbath. (Furnace, oven, light bulb)

LEV 23:3 ” `There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD.

DT 5:12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do.

Don’t use any utility (electricity, gas, internet, telephone, etc.) or public service (roads, police, radio, TV, bus, etc.) that requires anyone to work on the Sabbath in order to provide the service.

<<You keep Sunday today as an obedient and slavish devotion to a tradition that had its roots in Mithra>>

ROLF!!!!!!   That’s beyond ridiculous. Where do you get that baloney?  Find another deli!

We celebrate the Lord’s resurrection on the first day of the week (Mar 16:9) just like the church (not the Jews) always did.

Justin Martyr : The First Apology of Justin  C.100-162 AD

But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples,…

The Teaching of the Apostles. (1st Century)

The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation: because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the place of the dead and on the first day of the week He arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week He ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week He will appear at last with the angels of heaven.

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians C. 50-117 AD, Bishop of Antioch

Chapter IX.—Let Us Live with Christ.

If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day[1]

…And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week]. Looking forward to this, the prophet declared, “To the end, for the eighth day,” on which our life both sprang up again, and the victory over death was obtained in Christ, …

At the dawning of the Lord’s day He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The day of the preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord’s Day contains the resurrection.

It has absolutely nothing, zero, zip, nada, to do with Mithras.

<<If Paul taught that the laws of God (the Ten Commandments) had been abrogated, or that the Sabbath in particular was no longer to be observed, how could he claim the above without the Jews coming down on him like the proverbial ton of bricks?>>

Hello-ooo!!!  Paul WAS A JEW. Most Christians are not.

In that passage, Paul was talking to JEWS.

But in Acts 15 he specifically argued, and the JEWISH APOSTLES agreed, that the gentiles were not required to keep the law and be circumcised.

Some other writings

Some of my other writings on this topic include:

Works consulted

Hengel, M 2000. transl J Bowden. The four Gospels and the one Gospel of Jesus Christ: An investigation of the collection and origin of the canonical Gospels,. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International.

Robertson, A T 1934. A grammar of the Greek New Testament in the light of historical research. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press.

Notes


[1] Christianity Board, ‘Sabbath-keeping’, OzSpen#299, available at: http://www.christianityboard.com/topic/20839-sabbath-keeping/page-10 (Accessed 27 April 2015).

[2] Ibid., Phoneman777#300.

[3] Ibid., OzSpen#301.

[4] Ibid., Phoneman777#302.

[5] Ibid., OzSpen#304.

[6] Ibid., Phoneman777#305.

[7] Ibid., OzSpen#306.

[8] Ibid., Phoneman777#307.

[9] Ibid., OzSpen#308.

[10] Ibid., Phoneman777#310.

[11] Ibid., OzSpen#311.

[12] Ibid., Jim Parker #298.

 

Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 23 October 2016.

Sunday or Saturday worship for Christians?

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

(courtesy Google public domain)

By Spencer D Gear

I asked a Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) on a Christian Forum: ‘According to SDA doctrine, will I, a person who worships on the first day of the week, be annihilated in the lake of fire?[1]

Why would I ask this? I had a very good reason. It was because of this SDA teaching:

The beast described in Revelation 13:1-10 is the church-state union that dominated the Christian world for many centuries and was described by Paul as the “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:2-4) and by Daniel as the “little horn” (Dan. 7:8, 20-25; 8:9-12, KJV). The image of the beast represents that form of apostate religion that will be developed when churches, having lost the true spirit of the Reformation, shall unite with the state to enforce their teachings on others. In uniting church and state they will have become a perfect image to the beast—the apostate church that persecuted for 1260 years. Hence the name image of the beast.

The third angel’s message proclaims the most solemn and fearful warning in the Bible. It reveals that those who submit to human authority in earth’s final crisis will worship the beast and his image rather than God. During this final conflict two distinct classes will develop. One class will advocate a gospel of human devisings and will worship the beast and his image, bringing upon themselves the most grievous judgments. The other class, in marked contrast, will live by the true gospel and “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:9, 12). The final issue involves true and false worship, the true and the false gospel. When this issue is clearly brought before the world, those who reject God’s memorial of creatorship—the Bible Sabbath—choosing to worship and honor Sunday in the full knowledge that it is not God’s appointed day of worship, will receive the “mark of the beast.” This mark is a mark of rebellion; the beast claims its change of the day of worship shows its authority even over God’s law (Ministerial Association General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 1988:167).

His response was consistent with this teaching on ‘The remnant and its mission’:

NO. No one has the ‘mark of the beast’ yet.  When the time comes for it to become law, then the mark will be seen. and then, yes, Heb. 6;23 comes into effect.  When people are given a choice between wordhipping (sic) God on His Holy sabbath day and the ‘venerable day of the sun’, God then can see who is on His side and who is not. Read your Bible. How many days did God set aside for Holy Purposes?  One.  Just who said that people should only worship on sun day?  As Peter said, “it is better to worship God than man.”

Acts 5:29.  For more thought, just what day did Jesus worship God on? On what day did HE go to church?[2]

My response was:[3]

This is another example of how the SDAs invent theology. This is what is wrong about your theology of the Sabbath:

1. Lord’s Day Sunday and not Sabbath

Christian historian, the late Martin Hengel, wrote of “the transfer of the celebration of divine worship from the sabbath to the Lord’s day, which is already demonstrable in Paul, is a partial analogy” (2000:119). Hengel particularly referred to 1 Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7ff; Rev. 1:10 to support this claim (Hengel 2000:281, n. 481).

These verses do not state in any way that indicate that these early Christians were meeting and worshipping on the wrong day of the week. Not a word of your SDA theology is mentioned:

1 Cor. 16:2: ‘On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come’ (ESV).

Acts 20:7: ‘On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight’ (ESV).

Rev. 1:10: ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet’ (ESV).

Christians are not to observe days and even sabbath days according to the following Scriptures: Romans 14:5ff, Galatians 4:9-11; 5:1-15 and Col. 2:16-17. These Scriptures indicate that your song and dance about Sabbath-keeping is contrary to these biblical injunctions.

Therefore, the SDA church is promoting error in its exaltation of Saturday Sabbath worship.

Here is some historical information about Lord’s Day, Sunday, worship:

In the early second century vague references to observing the “Lord’s Day”–Sunday–began to appear. Then the voices for Sunday worship grew more strident. Ignatius of Asia Minor and Barnabas of Alexandria both condemned Sabbath-keeping. Although considered Gnostic heresy, Marcion’s anti-Sabbath views were widely promulgated throughout the churches. By 150, Justin Martyr clearly indicated that the day of the sun was the day of rest for Christians. Sunday worship had become a widely accepted practice among these people who professed to follow Christ (“What did the early church Believe and Preach after Jesus’ death?” Available from: http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/early-christianity1.html).

See the article,Is the Sabbath required for Christians?

‘There is a series of articles on the www by Bob Deffinbaugh that refutes the promotion of the Sabbath for Christians and supports the view that New Covenant believers meet for worship on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day. See:

  1. The Great Sabbath Controversy“;
  2. The Lord of the Sabbath“;
  3. The Meaning of the Sabbath“;
  4. The Sabbath Controversy in the Gospels“;
  5. Super-Sabbath: Israel’s Land and its Lord“;
  6. The Sabbath in Apostolic Preaching and Practice.

2. Predictable response

The SDA Harold’s reply was unsurprising:

>>1 Cor. 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”>>

What day of the work week do you have the most money to spare? Mine is usually the first day. That is what Paul is telling them. Notice that there is no mention of worship, church, God or anything else religious.

>>Acts 20:7: “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.”>>

Put that in context and what you have is a going away party for Paul. Again, no mention of worship,, church, God or anything else religious. Back in Acts two, the Apostles were mentioned as breaking bread DAILY.  We do, too. We usually eat two meals a day in our house.  That is what ‘breaking bread’ means. To eat.

>>Rev. 1:10: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet”>>

What day was that?  Let’s look at who wrote it.  John was Jesus ‘beloved’ apostle. So, what day would that apostle be in the Spirit?  What does the Bible call the ‘Lord’s day’? In mine, it is ALWAYS the Sabbath of the forth commandment.  Who is “Lord of the Sabbath”?  Jesus Christ. What was the Sabbath made for?  Man.  Who has the authority to change ANY of God’s holy ten commandments?

When you can honestly read and answer those points, you will probably have to agree that the Seventh Day Sabbath is STILL the seventh day Sabbath of the forth commandment.  No where in my Bible is there any mention of change to another day. Up until the third century AD, most Christians were still keeping The Lord’s’ day, the Sabbath. It wasn’t until Rome took control of all chuches (sic) that the change began.  Do a little history of the church and see for yourself.[4]

3. Refutation of substance

That is the kind of denial that Harold, the adamant, unchangeable, SDA gets into: ‘No where in my Bible is there any mention of change to another day’. My response was pointed: This is a lie. I provided him with 3 Scriptures (see above and below) that demonstrate that the first century church met, not on the Saturday Sabbath, but on the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, Sunday. Why? That was the day of the Lord’s resurrection and the apostles taught and affirmed that the Christian church would celebrate this by meeting for worship, Lord’s supper, and teaching on the first day of the week.

This was my comeback:[5]

Your attempts to rationalise against 1 Cor 16:2; Acts 20:7 and Rev 1:10 do not work.

Your points against Sunday (first day of the week; Lord’s Day) worship by the church of the first and continuing centuries have been refuted over and over.

D M Canright (1840-1919;courtesy Ellen White Exposed) See also D M Canright (Wikipedia)

One to the best refutations of your SDA anti-Sunday worship view is by a Christian minister who was associated with the SDAs for a number of year. I’m writing of Rev D M Canright (1916), The complete testimony of the early fathers: Proving the universal observance of Sunday in the first centuries (online).

Rev Canright begins on p. 5 with ’80 facts about Sunday keeping’. They annihilate Harold’s SDA views with biblical exegesis and historical evidence from the early church.

No matter how the SDA tried to defend his position, Canright’s facts refuted his view. And what is the basis for his refutation of the SDA views? The Scriptures! These 64 pages by Canright (1916) send the SDA Sabbatarian theology packing – on the authority of Scripture as practised by the first century church and the early church fathers.

Canright was an SDA for many years and he demonstrated that Lord’s Day, first day of the week, worship by the church did not begin with the pagans or the Roman Catholic Church, but with the apostles. See also his book, D M Canright (1915), The Lord’s Day from neither Catholics nor pagans.

The origin of worship on the Lord’s Day, first day of the week, Sunday, can be accounted for on one ground and one ground alone – the apostles made the change to honour Christ’s physical, miraculous resurrection from the dead. We are no longer under the Old Covenant and its sabbatical teaching about worship. We are under the New Covenant, thanks to Christ’s passion-resurrection.

For Harold the SDA and the SDA denomination to want to remain under the Old Covenant’s form of Sabbatarian worship is to fly in the face of the New Testament evidence. The demonstration is that the church of the first century, thanks to the teaching of the NT by the apostles, met on the first day of the week to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

4. An SDA retort to an evangelical Protestant

How do you think Harold, the SDA promoter would respond to the above information? Here it is, word-for-word:

>>Your points against Sunday (first day of the week; Lord’s Day) worship by the church of the first and continuing centuries have been refuted over and over. >>[6]

In what Bible?  Your futile attempts to show that anyone worshipped on sun day in the Bible falls far short of convincing anyone.  You have three examples of somone (sic) meeting on the sun day. You try to twist them into days of worship. It just ins’t (sic) there.  You are attempting to cover up for the RCC who claims, loudly, that THEY changed the day from the 7th to the 1st. So, who are you going to obey?

I don’t know who pointed you to Canright, but he was ejected from the church shortly after he started his tirade.  No one in our church calls himself ‘reverand’ (sic).  No one.  The only articles in the Bible having anything to do with what day of the week we keep as Sabbath are the only ones we use.  Anyone can go outside that Bible and find all sorts of excuses to keep from obeying God. Lets start at the beginning:

Genesis 2:2,3  “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

Go through the rest of the Bible and find me one other day that God has blessed and set aside for Holy Purposes. Remember, stick to the Bible.
Next:

Exodus 20:8, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Ever wonder why that is the only commandment that begins with the word, “REMEMBER”?  Could it be that God knew that most of the ‘so called’ Christian world would forget it? Or at least try to forget?
Next:

Ezekiel 20:12, “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.”
I put that one in there just to show you WHOSE Sabbath we are talking about.  Do you KNOW who sanctifies YOU?

Finally:
Mark 7:27, “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

So, do you still insist that sun day is the Lord’s day?  Where is your Biblical proof???

There are hundreds more texts that show what day God has given us for His Sabbath.  These were enough to convince me.[7]

5. An evangelical Protestant rejects SDA false  doctrine

Here is my reply as a Protestant evangelical who upholds the authority of Scripture:[8]

<<In what Bible?  Your futile attempts to show that anyone worshipped on sun day in the Bible falls far short of convincing anyone.>>[9]

Not in the SDA eisegesis Bible! I read it in the real Bible, whether it be KJV, ESV or NIV. Sunday, first day of the week, Lord’s Day worship (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2; Rev 1:10) is a direct result of the teaching of the apostles in the NT and it is based on the fact that Jesus’ resurrection was on the first day of the week and NOT the last day of the week.

What is eisegesis? It’s a technical word from the theological discipline of hermeneutics (biblical interpretation). ‘Eisegesis is the substitution of the authority of the interpreter for the authority of the original writer’ (Mickelsen 1963:158). Simply put: Eisegesis is reading one’s own meaning into a text. So in the case of the SDAs and Harold they have read their own meaning into Revelation 13:1-10 when it is not there. See the article, ‘Exegesis or Eisegesis’. ‘Ex’ is from the Greek preposition, ‘ek’, which means ‘out of’ and ‘eis’ is the Greek preposition, ‘eis’, which means ‘into’. So exegesis is obtaining the meaning out of the text, based on the intent of the original author. To the contrary, eisegesis is the interpreter reading his/her own meaning into the text. Michael Houdmann provides this definition that eisegesis ‘is the interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The word eisegesis literally means “to lead into,” which means the interpreter injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants’ (Houdmann 2013).

This is what happens when the SDA church (with Harold, the SDA’s support) invents meaning in Scripture. Let’s take a read of SDA official doctrine in their official teaching (Chapter 12: The Remnant and its Mission):

The beast described in Revelation 13:1-10 is the church-state union that dominated the Christian world for many centuries and was described by Paul as the “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:2-4) and by Daniel as the “little horn” (Dan. 7:8, 20-25; 8:9-12, KJV). The image of the beast represents that form of apostate religion that will be developed when churches, having lost the true spirit of the Reformation, shall unite with the state to enforce their teachings on others. In uniting church and state they will have become a perfect image to the beast—the apostate church that persecuted for 1260 years. Hence the name image of the beast.

The third angel’s message proclaims the most solemn and fearful warning in the Bible. It reveals that those who submit to human authority in earth’s final crisis will worship the beast and his image rather than God. During this final conflict two distinct classes will develop. One class will advocate a gospel of human devisings and will worship the beast and his image, bringing upon themselves the most grievous judgments. The other class, in marked contrast, will live by the true gospel and “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:9, 12). The final issue involves true and false worship, the true and the false gospel. When this issue is clearly brought before the world, those who reject God’s memorial of creatorship—the Bible Sabbath—choosing to worship and honor Sunday in the full knowledge that it is not God’s appointed day of worship, will receive the “mark of the beast.” This mark is a mark of rebellion; the beast claims its change of the day of worship shows its authority even over God’s law (Ministerial Association General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 1988:167, emphasis added).

This is an invention by the SDAs, imposed on Revelation 13:1-10. There is NOT ONE SINGLE WORD in those 10 verses that mentions Sunday observers as false worshippers. This is an example of SDA eisegesis, which is an interpretation imposed on the text. It is an invention by the SDAs and Harold, the SDA, the audacity to ask me: ‘In what Bible?’ At least my Bible is the KJV, ESV, NIV or any other committee translation. It is not an SDA invented bible. Harold’s objection was: ‘I don’t know who pointed you to Canright, but he was ejected from the church shortly after he started his tirade.  No one in our church calls himself ‘reverand’ (sic).  No one’.

My response was that I am a researcher who is currently writing a PhD dissertation (dissertation-only in the British system), so I’m capable of discovering that Mr Canright was an SDA pastor and member for 28 years. He exposed the false teaching of the SDAs in regard to Sabbath worship and other SDA doctrines, by appealing to Scripture. I gave the SDA promoter links to his books where he gave the biblical evidence. Yes – BIBLICAL EVIDENCE. This evidence is from the Bible and not from SDA eisegesis.

And have a guess what? Canright became a Baptist pastor when he saw the false teaching of the SDAs and exposed them in his writings. D M Canright was an SDA pastor for 22 years before leaving the denomination. There are biographical details about him here: D M Canright.

How the SDA official doctrine imposes on the meaning of Revelation 13:1-10 to get the ‘mark of the beast’ for Sunday worshippers is an example of how the SDA denomination invents its own theology. In the teaching from official sources (see above), I have given an example of how it created doctrine outside of the Bible and then imposed it on Revelation 13:1-10.

Of course, Ellen White also invented a false view of the atonement with her ‘Investigative Judgement’ ideology, a view that is found nowhere in the Bible.[10]

But the SDA on a Christian Forum insists on living under the OT regime and without taking into account the passion-resurrection of Jesus. This is seen in his comments:

Mark 7:27  “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

So, do you still insist that sun day is the Lord’s day?  Where is your Biblical proof???
There are hundreds more texts that show what day God has given us for His Sabbath.  These were enough to convince me.

When will this SDA get it? Matthew 7:27-28 is PRE Jesus’ resurrection. It refers to the Old Covenant, which is where he wants to live as an SDA promoter. His denomination invents a meaning of Revelation 13:1-10 that is not in the text. He wants to live under the Old Covenant (Matt 7:27-28) when the passion-resurrection of Jesus created a New Covenant for NT believers.

Yet he has the audacity to ask me: ‘In what Bible?’

It is time that the SDA, Harold, got back to the Bible, instead of peddling his SDA eisegesis on a Christian Forum.

6. The SDA failure as Bible scholars

Seventh-Day Adventist Church logo.svg

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)

I do not find the SDAs to be good Bible scholars in certain areas where they have serious theological blind spots. These are some examples:

  1. Their promotion of the Sabbath. For a refutation, see,The Sabbath & Sunday‘;
  2. Their teaching on soul sleep. Here is my expose of their teaching: Soul Sleep: A Refutation;
  3. They also have other false teaching about what happens at death that I have addressed in my article: Refutation of Seventh-Day Adventist doctrine of what happens at death;
  4. Their view of the atonement is unorthodox in ‘The Investigative Judgment’. The atonement was incomplete at the cross. See, ‘Investigative judgment made simple‘, by Robert K Sanders. My response to this false doctrine is HERE; see alsoSeventh-day Adventism Teaches That Jesus’ Blood Defiles‘;
  5. Their error about the thief on the cross that I address in: Did the thief on the cross go to Paradise at death – with Jesus?
  6. Etc.

Works consulted

Canright, D M 1915. The Lord’s Day from neither Catholics nor pagans (online). New York: Fleming H Revell Company. Open Library, available at: https://openlibrary.org/books/OL22885651M/The_Lord%27s_day_from_neither_Catholics_nor_pagans (Accessed 15 December 2013).

Canright, D M 1916, The complete testimony of the early fathers: Proving the universal observance of Sunday in the first centuries (online). New York: Fleming H Revell Company. Available at: http://www.exadventist.com/Portals/0/Repository/Complete%20Testimony%20of%20the%20Early%20Fathers%20by%20DM%20Canright.pdf (Accessed 15 December 2013).

Hengel, M 2000. transl J Bowden. The four Gospels and the one Gospel of Jesus Christ: An investigation of the collection and origin of the canonical Gospels,. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International.

Houdmann, S M 2013. What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis (online)? GotQuestions?org, available at: http://www.gotquestions.org/exegesis-eisegesis.html (Accessed 16 December 2013).

Mickelsen, A B 1963. Interpreting the Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Ministerial Association General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 1988. Seventh-Day Adventists believe. At Issue (online). Hagerstown, Maryland :Review and Herald Publishing Association. Available at: http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/index.htm (Accessed 15 December 2013).

Notes:


[1] Christian Fellowship Forum, The Fellowship Hall, ‘Acknowledging of the truth!’, ozspen #141, 13 December 2013. Available at: http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=136&nav=messages&webtag=ws-fellowship&tid=122530 (Accessed 15 December 2013).

[2] Ibid., Harold #145.

[3] Ibid., ozspen #148.

[4] Ibid., Harold #156.

[5] Ibid., ozspen #162.

[6] This is a quote from my post at: ibid., ozspen #162.

[7] Ibid., Harold #170.

[8] Ibid., ozspen #172.

[9] I am citing Harold from ibid., Harold #170.

[10] See: ‘Seventh-day Adventism Teaches That Jesus’ Blood Defiles‘.

 

Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 14 April 2016..