How Sabbath Is Represented Throughout History
Beyond the recorded history of the Bible, the perception of the Sabbath morphed over time. Though nothing in Scripture gives any indication for changing which day to keep the Sabbath, the timing and traditions for Sabbath-keeping, or whats considered the day of worship, has differed between various denominations of Christianity.
This chart gives an overview of the Sabbath from the beginning of the Bible to the present day:
|The Council of Laodicea condemned the 7th day Sabbath 4|
|400s AD||Early Celtic Church and St. Patrick of Ireland kept the 7th day Sabbath|
|12th Century AD||Waldensians kept the 7th day Sabbath in France and Italy|
|1845||Joseph Bates, a protestant minister who eventually became one of the founders of the Adventist Church, rediscovered the 7th day Sabbath in his studies|
|1863||The Seventh-day Adventist Church was formally established|
Gods original seventh-day Sabbath persevered through history, despite many attempts to water down its holiness or sanctity, or to change the very day it is meant to be observed.
And as time grows closer to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, its foretold by the prophet Daniel that the Sabbath will continue to come under subtle attack by those who oppose God .
But why this focus on the day of worship?
But rather than be fearful about such things, God asks us instead to trust Him. The covenant upholds the Sabbath as a reminder that God is the One who sanctifies us. We can claim this promise that God will lead us if we follow.
Society Cant Collectively Sabbath If Its On The Same Day
One of the blindspots that we have in considering making Sabbath unilaterally the same day is how can society function if its the same day?
For the modernist, the Sabbath can involve a large range of life-giving activities. Yet how can they, say, avoid cooking if restaurants are closed because everyone is practicing Sabbath on the same day?
There is a collective pragmatism to being able to choose the day of rest because we give our society flexibility in continuing to run such that people that need the Sabbath on certain days can still have access to services that allow them to Sabbath well.
I think in making Sabbath less about what day we practice it, and more about just choose a day, society can continue to run seamlessly knowing that we have created the margins so that anyone within that society can Sabbath as they see fit.
To me, this is a much more inclusive and pragmatic approach to Sabbath that choosing to keep Sabbath on the same day.
Make Sabbath flexible so that the entire Society can take a Sabbath whenever they want to.
Jesus Points Beyond A Sabbath Day
Matthew tells these stories about Sabbath controversies immediately after quoting Jesus words about rest:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
All this talk of rest right before a passage that deals with Sabbath? This is no mistake. What is Matthew trying to communicate here?
It seems that Gods people had become weary and burdened by the heavy weight of observing the Sabbath, and Jesus hoped to redefine the meaning of Sabbath for them. The people were in need of rest, both in ceasing from hard work and being present together with God . Jesus ushered in the promise and reality of both.
Jesus reminded the people of Gods actual intent for the Sabbath: unity with God, creation, and each other that was first found in Eden on page one of the Bible. Jesus taught that the Sabbath was about mercy and was purposeful. It was supposed to point to him, the one promised through all of Israels prophets, the one who would restore the rhythm of creation. When followers of Jesus observe the Sabbath, we live as if this restoration has already taken place. We take a break from the broken rhythms of hustle and hardship to set aside a time of submission to his rule and enjoyment of his presence and to extend these things to the world around us. When we observe the Sabbath well, we become little resting places of Gods presence.
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Sabbaths Are Celebrated In The New Testament
John, the last of the 12 apostles to die, wrote five books of the Bibleone gospel, three epistles , and the prophetic book of Revelation. He died about A.D. 100, approximately 70 years after the resurrection of Jesus.
Nowhere in all of his writings does he speak of a change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. In fact, John himself kept the Sabbath. He wrote: I was in the Spirit on the Lords Day . According to Jesus, the Lords Day is the Sabbath: The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath .
A search of the scriptural evidence reveals that the apostles made no attempt to change Gods day of rest from the seventh day to the first day of the week . The New Testament mentions the first day of the week only eight times. In none of these instances is the first day of the week spoken of as a holy day, nor is it even hinted that we should observe it as a day of worship.
What Is The Sabbath And What Does It Mean For Us Today
What the Sabbath truly is?
Sometimes we just need a day off. A 24-hour period in which we dont have to think about work or other worries and stressors of life.
The Sabbath was established by God after He made the world in six days. He was the first one to celebrate it and declared this seventh day a period of rest. A pause. A time for taking it all ineven before sin polluted the world and work became a burden.
Centuries later it was included in the Ten Commandments, so the children of Israel would remember where they came from, who their God was, and what a blessing it was they could partake in.
Today this blessing remains , just as God set it up after creating an entire world for us to live in and care for . The Sabbath can be a welcome break that renews us for each week while also allowing us to grow closer to Him.
But what does the Sabbath really mean? What does it symbolize, why is it a commandment, and how are we supposed to keep it in todays world that never seems to stop?
The Sabbath is both simple and complex. Its a wonderful gift that gives us time to recharge and reminds us of a loving, creative God.
Its also important enough to God that He made it a commandment, regarding it as a symbol of belief, love, and respect. Keeping or remembering the Sabbath is something He asks of us, while at the same time blessing us with it.
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Clues From Yahushas Burial
Luk 23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
Now to the one who only studies the Bible in English language, it would appear as if right after the preparation that evening, the Sabbath came. Many use this verse and this story to say this.
However, if we look at the Greek for DREW ON as used in the verse, we get a totally different and shocking meaning.
English: drew on In verses: 2
So DREW ON actually means to begin to grow light or to begin to dawn!
Now, if it was the preparation and the Sabbath began to light, it simply means that the time of the preparation that was described was in the dark and Sabbath begins after at daylight! Oh, the clues are all over, but if we seek we shall find!
And The Evening And The Morning Were The First Day
Now what is considered the biggest weapon is the well known: And the evening and the morning were the first day.
If we look at the Hebrew below, we see that the literal translation says :
And were the evening and the morning, day the first.
Note everything, including the comma and full stop .
Now let us put the previous verse with it. Remember there was all darkness and he created light to separate from the darkness. And he created a space between light and darkness . And he created all things in 7 DAYS, not 7 nights. His creation occurred in the DAY.
So And were evening means and evening came. The day is done, we are moving into night. Notice it then says: and the morning, day the first.
It is actually saying and evening came and the morning was the first day! The evening came to end the day. Evening is the end of a day, then comes night.
Image Source: Barnabas Nagy.
The fact that evening came means no more creation until the next DAY. He created heaven and earth in 7 DAYS.
YAHUAH created nothing in the night because
So day is day and night is night.
Now here is a resource I found on the web that corroborates this interpretation:
You may view the full article here.
Now to another quote that asks a powerful question:
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Who Changed The Sabbath
Does it really make any difference which day we observe as the Sabbath? As sincere people who want to know the truth, we must always ask ourselves: What matters to Jesus? What does Jesus want me to do?
After all, we want the assurance of following Bible truth and obeying Gods instruction when He says, This is the way, walk in it .
In coming to a decision about Gods day of worship, several important questions need to be answered: “Who changed the Sabbath from Saturday, the seventh day of the week, to Sunday, the first day of the week? Did the Bible authorize such a change? If so, did God, Christ, or perhaps the apostles make the change?”
Where Did Christians First Worship On Sunday Rather Than Saturday
Another important thing to ask is where is the first instance of Sunday worship recorded in the Bible?
What location is it?
Was it in some faraway location? Or some secondary place where some homespun sect might have started their own thing?
No. It was right in Jerusalem.
Right at the epicenter of the Jewish faith.
It wasnt at some remote locale that was out of contact with mainstream Judaism, but right where it could be seen and understood and contrasted with the historical Jewish faith.
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The Result Was That From That Time Forth Came They No More On The Sabbath This Passage Which Reveals Nehemiahs Zealousness For Protecting The Creators Holy Day Actually Supports The Day Beginning At Dawn
What time does the sabbath day start and end. Is the sixth hour of the day (jn. The dark part of the day came first, then the light part. When in doubt, a good shul klapper would bring shabbat in early.
Much later in history, the israelites, including the tribe of judah , knew which day was the sabbath and that it began ‘at even’ as the preparation day was ending and the seventh day was about to begin. These days, we no longer have shul klappers, but there are some cities in israel that play jewish music, or a blast a siren on the citywide emergency broadcast system, announcing both the beginning and the end of the 18 minutes. If the sabbath began at sunset, the sabbath had already started when it began to get dark and nehemiah ordered the gates closed.
Someone recently asked me about when the bible says a day begins and ends. However, when i came into contact with the church of god they showed me from the bible that gods way of reckoning time was different. A man by the name of joseph bates introduced the idea that even unto even represented 6:00 pm friday to 6:00 pm saturday, which both james and ellen white accepted.
Sometime after the crucifixion, the sabbath was changed to sunday in honor of christs resurrection. In the area of the arctic the sun can set very early, very late, or even not at all. the new day begins after midnight so that 6 a.m.
Remembering To Keep The Sabbath Day Holy
Sunday And Roman Sun God Worship
The early Christian Church, which started in Jerusalem, prospered and spread to Asia Minor near Israel, to Macedonia and even to Rome. In this process, there was something inevitablethat was a conflict with the Roman religion.
The Roman imperial family abhorred the Jews who believed in Judaism. The Romans believed in many different gods, and from their polytheistic view of religion, it was hard to understand the Jews who believed in the one and only GodJehovah, and the Jews were reluctant to follow the Roman orders using their religion as an excuse.
To the Romans, Christianity seemed to be a sect of Judaism because it was also a monotheistic religion Christians believed in Jesus as the Savior, and kept the seventh day as the Sabbath just as the Jews did. So, the people of the Church in Rome were unable to avoid persecution from the Romans, and they made efforts to inform them of the difference between Christianity and Judaism. In this process, they came to accept Sunday, which the Romans observed, as the day of worship.
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The Sabbath Was Made At Creation
God made the Sabbath on the seventh day of the creation week, and it reminds us of our Creator: Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made .
We follow Gods example and command by remembering and resting on this seventh day each week.
Unless God told us, how would we know how He wants to be worshipped? How would mortal man know what is holy timeunless God revealed it? Thankfully He has revealed it, though so few today remember the seventh-day Sabbath.
Does Jesus Keep The Sabbath
In the New Testament, we see the clearest picture of Gods presence taking up space on earth and dwelling with Gods people in the person of Jesus. The Gospel tells us that Jesus had a lot to say about the Sabbath and the true rest that God intends for his people.
Lets take a look at an example from the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew sets up for his readers a series of connected stories where Jesus is confronted by Israels religious leaders and teachers. In one particular instance on the Sabbath day, the leaders object to Jesus friends picking corn as theyre walking through a field and to Jesus healing a mans shriveled hand . Was Jesus ignoring the command to keep the Sabbath found in the Hebrew Scriptures ?
Jesus responds with an argument that redefines the Sabbath, asserts his role as the promised Messiah, and points to his divinity . The Pharisees are understandably upset by this. But to Jesus, Sabbath observance pointed to something greater.
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Political And Religious Factors
By this time, the Christian Church had lost contact with its Jewish roots, and there was much hostility between Christians and Jews. Jewish Christians had been expelled from the synagogues as heretics ” rel=”nofollow”> John 9:22, , ). This hostility may have influenced Christians to abandon Sabbath observances. In about 363 A.D., a regional Church council in Asia Minor, the Council of Laodicea, declared that Christians must not rest on the Sabbath , but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day .
Some Common Questions Raised By Those Who Believe In The Eternal Torment Of The Wicked Answered
What about the expressions eternal and everlasting which are used to describe the fires of hell? there is absolutely no confusion or contradiction when we allow the Bible to supply its own definition of terms. Many make the error of applying modern definitions to those biblical words without reference to their ancient contextual usage. This violates one of the most fundamental rules of interpretation. The fact is that eternal fire does not mean a fire that will never go out. The same expression is used in Jude 7 concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. It is quite obvious that Sodom is not still burning today. The Dead Sea rolls over the place where those ancient cities once stood.
Perhaps the most easily misconstrued text about hell is Johns allusion to the smoke ascending for ever and ever. For those who are unfamiliar with other uses of this phrase in the Bible, it can be very confusing indeed. But a comparison of the verses in both Old and New Testaments reveal the words for ever are used 57 times in the Bible in reference to something that has already come to an end. In other words, for ever does not always mean without end. View Jonah 2:6, 1 Samuel 1:22 and Exodus 21:6 for a few examples of this.
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