Commandment Q&A: Here are some commonly asked questions about the Commandments of God. While many opinions abound on the topic, there is only one right answer, and that is found in the Word of God!
Intro Point: 1
People confuse “Commandment keeping” and “Sabbath keeping” with trying to earn salvation.
We are saved by grace and faith, so we keep it. We do not keep it to try to be saved. Also, just Jesus destroyed all the preconceived ideas about the Sabbath, and the entire burden placed upon man and the Sabbath. Those who speak against the Sabbath still try to use these invalid arguments to persuade those away from the original meaning of the Sabbath. They also, in many various manners, try to mix and mingle the ceremonial laws and Sabbath, with the 4th Commandment Sabbath handed to us at Creation. Even before there was sin or breaking of the covenant with God. We can’t earn salvation! We have received salvation through our “Faith” in Jesus and His sacrifice. Now that we are saved, what is required of our conduct before a Holy and Righteous God? Easy. It is obedience! God Spells “LOVE” with “O.B.E.Y”
“For this is loving God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:3 WEB)
Intro Point: 2
Often when learning about the Sabbath, people immediately get distracted with the implications of keeping the Sabbath. For example: “Will I be able to work on Sabbath?” “Will I have to stop doing my favorite activities?” Etc. It’s just a trick of the Devil. We need to focus first on the Biblical mandate for the Sabbath. Making it clear in our hearts and minds what God’s will is concerning the Sabbath. Then once this is established, deal with the real world applications for the Sabbath. To try to accomplish both is a demonic trick to overwhelm the minds of those that God is reaching out to. Question #1: Is this God’s will? Then, answer Question #2: How do I apply it to my life?
Q) When Jesus said: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17) Didn’t He just say that because they were still under the old covenant at the time?
A) No. As you see in The Book of Revelations, Jesus repeats the same thing again. “Blessed are those who do his commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14)
Q) Doesn’t 1 Timothy 1:5 tell us that we no longer have to keep the 10 Commandment law? “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”(1 Timothy 1:5)
A) No, this is not what it is saying. When it says it is “the end of the commandment,” it’s saying it is the goal or result, not that the Commandments have ended. This is clearly expressed in this verse: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” (1 John 5:2)
Q) Are Christians supposed to keep just the Ten Commandments and nothing else?
A) No, while the Ten Commandments are the basis for the entire law and will of God, we are called to keep all His words and commandments. So, yes, the Ten are fundamental. Yet, there is more to keep. Example: Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another.” (John 13:34) So, here we find that there are actually more than 10, there are at least 11. Yet, as we have already learned, if we keep the 10 we will love God and Man.
Q) When Jesus says, “If you love me keep my commandments” John 14:21, doesn’t this mean to love your neighbor as yourself and God with all your heart, as found in Mark 12? “Jesus answered, “The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
A) Yes, it does. Absolutely! These two commandments are what the Ten Commandments hang on. If you love God, you will keep the first four. And if you love your neighbor, you will keep the last six. The Bible backs this point up in James 2:8-11 “If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, thou shalt love you neighbor as yourself, you do well, But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, do not kill. Now if you kill, you have become a transgressor of the Law.” Please also remember that those who have the right to the Tree of Life are those who keep the Commandments of God. “Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14 WEB)See also: Revelation 14:12
Sabbath Commandment Q&A
Colossians 2:16 – Galatians 4:8 – 10 Romans 14:3-6
One of the greatest hang ups for most western Christians is a failure to understand eastern culture. Gentiles have a harder time picking up on the cultural references spread out throughout the New Testament. This becomes most evident when it comes to understanding the two different laws in the Old Testament. Often, when we read the word “Law”, we assume they are one and the same. If we can relate it to Civil and Federal Law, we might better understand the difference.
Q) Doesn’t Colossians 2:16 mean that I should be able to keep whatever Sabbath I want, or none at all? “Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths,” (Colossians 2:16)
A) Well, we should really start at Colossians 2:14-22.
Verse 14 is referring to 2 Chronicles 33:8. So therefore, he is not talking about the Ten Commandments, but the Ceremonial Law, and to the believing Jews. Hence verse 22: “touch not, taste not, handle not,” is referring to Leviticus 5:2, which is the “touch not” part. Deuteronomy 14:8 is the “taste not” part. These are parts of the old law and covenant. See Deuteronomy 31:24-26 for more on this. Most do not realize that there were two laws: the Royal Law with the Commandments and the Ceremonial Law with the Mosaic Law for Sacrifices.
Now, concerning the reference to “holy days”, “Sabbaths”, and “new moons”- In verse 16, the holy days and Sabbaths (plural, not singular) days are a reference to the Ceremonial Law of old also. By which they had special regulations to uphold on certain days, months, and years. Which they also called “Sabbaths”, like in Leviticus 23:24-37 + 25:8. And for the “new moon” reference, see Ezekiel 46:3. So, he is clearly talking to new converts from the Old Covenant, Jews. Not new converts, who were mostly called Gentiles. Because, remember, they did not practice those customs as did the Jews. Nor did they partake in their religion. Ephesians 2:11-13
And he wasn’t saying these were right or wrong, just not to let anyone judge you (verse 16). For the Bible says: “Don’t speak against one another, brothers. He who speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.” (James 4:11)
So, in a nutshell, he was saying that if you believe in Jesus, and confess Him as Lord and Savior, don’t let anyone condemn you back into the old yoke of bondage, Galatians 5:1-10. But, into the yoke of love in Christ Jesus, Matthew 11:28-30. In the context of this discussion, there is actually no reference to the 4th Commandment Sabbath of the Lord, just references to the Ceremonial Law. The conclusion of this matter is a correct understanding of the two Laws and the cultural relevance of the discussion he was having. In context, Paul is not saying that you can or cannot keep the 4th Commandment Sabbath.
Q) Doesn’t Galatians 4:8-10 mean that we should not observe the Sabbath day? “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” (Galatians 4:8-10)
A) No. Again, just like in our Colossians 2:16 question above, this is talking about returning back to the ceremonial Mosaic Law for salvation. Interestingly enough, Paul explains this in Colossians: Let’s read: “If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances, “Don’t handle, nor taste, nor touch” (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men? Which things indeed appear like wisdom in self-imposed worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but aren’t of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.” (Colossians 2:20-23) Again, this has nothing to do with the 10 Commandments, but applies to the Levitical guidelines in the Law of Moses. He says again “days”, not “The Sabbath.” Yet, most who would speak against the 4th Commandment Sabbath of God want to imply this meaning to this verse, but it’s just not true.
Q) Doesn’t Romans 14:3-6 tell us that we can choose what day we want to esteem, or no day at all? “Don’t let him who eats despise him who doesn’t eat. Don’t let him who doesn’t eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you who judge another’s servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand. One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn’t eat, to the Lord he doesn’t eat, and gives God thanks.” (Romans 14:3-6)
A) Knowing what you know from the discussion above, and understanding that there is a difference between the Ceremonial Law of Moses and the 10 Commandment Law of God, we can attack this one a little different. The obvious point to make is that the 4th Commandment Sabbath is never mentioned. Just an observance of days. The book of Romans was written to the Romans, and chapter 14 is explaining to them not to judge the Jews if they still don’t eat pork, or if they still keep some feast days, especially if they don’t line up with the pagan holidays. Example: In 1 Corinthians we find Paul telling believers in Jesus the following; “Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place. Therefore let’s keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8) He is not telling them not to keep Passover; he is telling them how to do it. It’s not wrong to keep these feasts, yet to imply that you must do so to be saved is wrong. Paul makes this very clear. But to those who wish to celebrate these feast days, they have the liberty to do so. He expresses this liberty in the following verse. “All things are lawful for me, “but not all things are profitable. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things build up.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) To round this out, let’s clarify that The Sabbath remains for the Christian. The book of Hebrews tells us the following: “There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9)Therefore the conclusion is this: Don’t judge each other over food and feast days, yet the Sabbath remains for the people of God.
Q) Doesn’t this prove that the Sabbath is for the Jews only? “Therefore 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 forever; for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.’” He gave to Moses, when he finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets, written with God’s finger.” (Exodus 31:16-18)
A) No, it is a perpetual covenant for God and Israel, not the Jews! We find in the New Testament in the book of Romans that true Israel is not those born of the flesh, but of the spirit. Since we are grafted into Israel, this perpetual covenant has no end. (See Romans 11:11-24) Let’s read the following verses proving that all Christians are spiritual Israel. Since we are spiritual Israel, then God’s covenants are with all believers of Jesus. Therefore the Sabbath covenant is still active and binding today. “But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel. Neither, because they are Abraham’s offspring, are they all children. But, “your offspring will be accounted as from Isaac.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as heirs.” (Romans 9:6-8)
Has Time Been Lost For The Sabbath?
This is not mine. I found it in a file that I had. I don’t know who to credit it to, but it is some good stuff.
Q) Hasn’t the exact Sabbath Day been lost over time?
A) Though the calendar is constantly being updated to compensate for the 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 47.8 seconds in the year, yet, the week of seven days has never been altered. Time can be traced to the very second by the position of then stars! Mr. Macasun wrote to the Pentagon in Washington D.C., the Department of Astronomy. He received a courteous letter. The letter informed Him that from the positions of the stars, every moment of time has been kept track of since before 500 B.C.
Dr. J.B. Dimblebly, premier chronologist to the British Chronological and Astronomical Association, after years of careful calculations asserts: “If men refused to observe weeks, and the line of time was forgotten the day of the week could be recovered by observing when the transits of the planets, or eclipses of the Sun and Moon, occurred. These great sentinels of the sky keep seven days with scientific accuracy, thundering out the seven day inscribed on the inspired page.” -All Past Time, P.10
It’s interesting to note how Dr. G.E. Hale, noted astronomer for whom the great “Palomar telescope” has been named, expressed the same truth in five forceful words: “No time has been lost.”
More importantly, it is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: Jesus kept the Sabbath! Some worry that the date of the real 7th day Sabbath has been lost over time since creation. Yet, Jesus clearly endorses the Sabbath and the day it was celebrated. If the people were in error and somehow mistaken about the correct 7-day week cycle, He could and would have corrected this error. His failure to have attested to any such error would have caused Him to sin, in the failing to keep the commandments. As we know, Jesus was perfect and sinless. Therefore, Jesus is our time marker for correct Sabbath keeping.
Orthodox Jews, the Catholic Church, Protestants, historians, and astronomers all agree with each other that there is no evidence that time has ever been lost. The same Sabbath that Christ, and after Christs’ death the Apostles worshipped on as found in the Bible (Luke 4:16,31; Acts 13:14-16,42,44), is the same 7th Day Sabbath instituted by God at the creation of the earth!
1st Day Of The Week Verse:
Many well meaning pastors and teachers mislead their congregations when they try to imply anything done on the first day of the week was proof that the Sabbath was changed. Yet, with a closer look, this is simply not true.
Q) Doesn’t the Bible say that Sunday is the new Sabbath for Christians, and that we should keep it to commemorate the resurrection of Christ?
A) No! The Bible does not say that. You cannot find one verse that directly points to a change of the Sabbath by Jesus or His disciples. This idea is based upon assumption. This assumption has no direct Biblical proof, therefore should not be believed. Especially since the Bible 100% points to the 7th Day Sabbath of God as the day we are to keep as “the Sabbath to the Lord.” It is in Romans 6:3-10 where we find how to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord. We are called to take part of the same experience through Baptism.
Q) In Revelation 1:10, isn’t John celebrating a new “Sunday” Sabbath?
A) In this verse, John called it the Lord’s Day. So, let’s use the Bible to interpret the Bible. Exodus 16:23: “Holy Sabbath unto God.” Exodus 20:10: “The Sabbath of the Lord.” Isaiah 58:13: “My Holy day.” Luke 23:56: “The Sabbath day according to the Commandment.” Hebrews 4:4: “The Seventh day.” Mark 2:28: “The son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath,” Revelation 1:10: “The Lord’s Day.” So far, we can’t find any Bible-based reference that the Lord’s Day means “Sunday”. Yet, we can find what our Lord Jesus claims to himself as His day- the Sabbath. “For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” (Matthew 12:8) Therefore, the only day declared in scripture by God and Jesus, is the Sabbath!
Q) When they say “the Lord’s Supper” in 1 Corinthians 11:20, don’t they mean a Sunday service?
A) It is like the verse in the book of Revelation that says “the Lord’s Day.” If you look it up in the Bible and find the definitions to the words “Lord’s Day” in the Greek, it will help to understand the verse. The word for “Lord’s” in the Greek is only used twice in the whole Bible. Once in Rev. 1:10, and now in 1 Cor. 11:20. The word in Greek means “2960” (Koo-ree-ak-os’) “Belonging to the Lord (Jehovah or Jesus).” So yes, the Lord’s Supper is the Lord’s. Yes, the Lord’s Day is the Lord’s. But, they are not the same. No connection is made between the two, besides the supreme ownership of the Lord for both institutions. They are also never mentioned as “Sunday” or a change of the Sabbath.
Q) Doesn’t 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 prove that Sunday is the new Christian day of worship? “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (1 Corinthians 16:2 KJV)
A) The KJV of the Bible was translated in 1611. At that time, most of the Christian world were Sunday keepers and the truth of the real Sabbath was greatly diminished. So, naturally the understanding of this text was misunderstood for the popular belief of that day. That being said, the Bible verse as the KJV has it translated is still not referring to a “Sunday Church” offering. We need to take a closer look. The word translated for “Week” is actually “σάββατον: sabbaton”, which is Sabbath. You can find this in Strong’s Concordance under G4521.
Let’s read 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, in a couple of different Bible Translations.
(1 Corinthians 16:2 ISV) International Standard Version “After the Sabbath ends, each of you should set aside and save something from your surplus in proportion to what you have, so that no collections will have to be made when I arrive.”
(1 Corinthians 16:2 MKJV) Modern King James Version “On the first of the sabbaths let each of you put by himself, storing up whatever he is prospered, so that there may be no collections when I come.”
(1 Corinthians 16:2 LITV) Literal Translation of the Holy Bible “On one of the sabbaths, let each of you put by himself, storing up whatever he is prospered, that there not be collections then when I come.”
(1 Corinthians 16:2 JUB) Jubilee Bible “Each first Sabbath let each one of you set aside in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no collections when I come.”
(1 Corinthians 16:2 TS2009) The Scriptures 2009 “Every day one of the week (a) let each one of you set aside, storing up whatever he is prospered, so that there are no collections when I come.” Footnote: (a) Gk. One of the Sabbath (singular).
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges says the following:
1 Corinthians 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week] Some Greek copies read the word translated ‘week’ in the plural. Hence Tyndale renders, in some saboth daye, and Calvin, more literally, on one of the sabbaths. Wiclif connects these words with the preceding verse. So also do ghe on oo dai of the woke. …. that they were accustomed to meet together for worship on the Lord’s Day, we cannot infer it from this passage.”
The Pulpit Commentary says the following:
1 Corinthians 16:2“Upon the first day of the week. This verse can hardly be said to imply any religious observance of the Sunday, … The Greek phrase implies that the laying up was done at home, but when the money was accumulated, it was doubtless brought to the assembly and handed over to the presbyters.”
A Popular Commentary on the New Testament says the following:
1 Corinthians 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store, as he may prosper (Gr, ‘whatever he may succeed in’), that no collections be made when I come. Note here (1) that it is not a weekly offering at their meetings for public worship, but that each one at his own home should lay by his own weekly contribution, to be handed in only at the last as one entire gift. The weekly offering at the church meetings was a subsequent modification of this, which soon became universal.”
The word “Sabbaton” that is translated as “week”, is actually Sabbath, as used in all the other times they worshipped on the Sabbath in the book of Acts.
What we find is a Jewish expression, written in Greek, and translated into English. To say something has been lost in translation is an understatement. In short the “ISV” has the correct practical application of the expression. 1 Corinthians 16:2 ISV: “After the Sabbath ends, each of you should set aside and save something from your surplus in proportion to what you have, so that no collections will have to be made when I arrive.” Yes, this would mean the collection was taken on the evening after the Sabbath ended, which is Sunday, as the day begins at sunset. This in no way implies a new day of worship. All it is saying is that after the Sabbath ends, gather together your offerings. I would say even in this dictate from Paul that he was still honoring the Sabbath, by not asking them to do anything that could wait until after Sabbath.
Q) Doesn’t Acts 20:7-12 prove that Sunday is the new Christian day of worship? “On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight. There were many lights in the upper room where we were gathered together.” (Acts 20:7-8 WEB)
A) Lets read Acts 20:7, in a couple of different Bible translations.
(Acts 20:7 GNB) Good News Bible “On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day.”
(Acts 20:7 MKJV) Modern King James Version “And on the first of the sabbaths, the disciples having been assembled to break bread, being about to depart on the morrow, Paul reasoned to them. And he continued his speech until midnight.”
(Acts 20:7 LITV) Literal Translation of the Holy Bible “And on the first of the sabbaths, the disciples having been assembled to break bread, being about to depart on the morrow, Paul reasoned to them. And he continued his speech until midnight.”
(Acts 20:7 ABP) Apostolic Bible Polyglot “And on day one of the Sabbaths, having been gathered the disciples to break bread, Paul reasoned with them, being about to exit the next day; and he extended the word until midnight.”
(Acts 20:7 JUB) Jubilee Bible “And the first of the sabbaths, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart the next day, and continued his word until midnight.”
(Acts 20:7 TS2009) The Scriptures 2009 “And on day one of the week,(a) the taught ones having gathered together to break bread, Sha’ul, intending to depart the next day, was reasoning with them and was extending the word till midnight.” Footnote: (a) Gk. Sabbaths.”
It seems peculiar to me that Luke, being a Gentile, would use a cultural phrase: “en de miāi tōn sabbatōn” or “Upon the first of the Sabbath”, as he did in Acts 20:7. As this still points to the emphasis on the Sabbath as the guide for the week. The Gentile mind and Christians from the modern west would fail to understand that in the Jewish and Biblical custom, the day begins at sunset. Let’s read, “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5 KJV) We clearly see through the expression used in the following account taken from Act 2: “There were many lights in the upper room where we were gathered together.” (Acts 20:8) It was getting dark and many lights were burning. The meeting started on Sabbath or right after and went until midnight that evening, which would have been Sunday according to the Biblical standard of days. So, as we would say in our common understanding, they got together Saturday night! Many are led to believe out of ignorance that this meeting was Sunday-day. If that was so, then it would have biblically ended on Monday, as we read that it wasn’t over until the next morning. “When he had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even until break of day, he departed.” (Acts 20:11) So, for those who wish to say that this proves a new day of worship, they are left with a dilemma. Either the meeting started on Sabbath near sunset and ended that evening, which would be Saturday night (Biblical Sunday), or it started Sunday night near sunset and ended Monday, wrapping up on Monday morning. Neither offers a satisfactory implication of a new day of worship. Unless they want to say that Christians should worship at dusk but that would not make any sense. The New English Bible puts it like this: “On the Saturday night in our assembly…” To say this verse implies a new day of worship is filled with many pitfalls. I would ask why the following verses are overlooked, when they so readily explain that they still kept the Sabbath:
“And according to Paul’s custom, he went in to them and reasoned with them out of the Scriptures on three sabbaths, opening and setting forth that Christ must have suffered, and to have risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus whom I preach to you is Christ.” (Acts 17:2-3)
“And he reasoned in the synagogue on every sabbath, persuading both Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 18:4)
“But they, passing on from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia. They went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down.” (Acts 13:14)
Many try to say that the Apostles only went to the synagogue to speak to the Jews, and that they didn’t really keep the Sabbath. This is proven false in these next verses:
“So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. The next Sabbath, almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed.” (Acts 13:42-45)
As we see here, it was the Gentiles that were gathered together on the Sabbath. Paul could have reproved them and explained that Sunday was the new day, yet he doesn’t, he meets on the Sabbath. Why, when this is clearly shown, do people not believe the Sabbath truth?
Again, here we find Paul seeking solitude for a place to pray on the Sabbath.
“On the Sabbath day we went outside of the city by a riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down, and spoke to the women who had come together.” (Acts 16:13)
Q) Since they broke bread in Acts 20:7-12, does this not prove that there was a new day of worship?
A) Some people see the act of breaking of bread as a sign that this was a new day of worship being instituted. But this is easily resolved by one Bible verse: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and break bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all men,” Acts 2:46-47. Breaking bread was not just done at church services, it was done daily. They went from house to house doing so, praising God with friendship and communion with each other. It was and should be a daily event. As we clearly see, it was a common practice for fellow believers at the time. The answer is no, this does not prove that Sunday is a new day of worship because they broke bread.
Q) Doesn’t John 20:19 say there was a gathering on the first day for worship of Jesus Christ and His resurrection?
A) Let’s read John 20:19″Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, peace be unto you.”Now,let’s look at Luke 20:1 “The first day of the week, cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark.”Finally,Mark16: 1+2 “The Sabbath had past, and very early in the morning the first day of the week.” So yes, we see the disciples gathered on the first day of the week- Sunday. But this does not mean it was the new day of worship. The verses we just read are very important because of the following reasons:
After Mary found Jesus’ body missing from the tomb and showed the disciples in John 20:2, they thought that the Jews had removed His body. “For they knew not that he must rise again from the grave” John 20:9. So, they went back to their homes in verse 10. They hardly believed that He had rose from the grave at this point. They were discouraged, full of unbelief, and hardness of heart. See: Mark 16:14. Thinking that the Jews had removed His body from the grave, they were in hiding, not worshiping. The doors were shut and they were gathered for fear of the Jews. See: John 20:19. They were scared about being captured. So much so, that ever since they saw the tomb, they had stayed in their place with unbelief and hardness of heart for almost the whole day, until evening. Therefore it is correct to say that this was not a worship gathering. This was a hideout filled with fear and disbelief.
Finally, according to the Bible, the day begins at Sunset and ends at Sunset. So, it would be from sunset to sunset. Genesis 1:5 “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” This would tell us that since they were gathered on the first day in the evening (nightfall), it was very close to becoming the second day of the week. And Jesus spent the main part of the day in Heaven (John 20:17) before He showed himself to them. Therefore, this verse does not place any special importance on the first day of the week. Besides the obvious fact that Jesus rose from the grave victorious!
We read in John 20:26 “after eight days again his disciples were inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being locked, and stood in the middle, and said, “Peace be to you.” So, eight days later, they were gathering again. Eight days from Sunday would put this meeting on a Monday/ Tuesday, depending upon the time of day. This also does not indicate any special change to the Sabbath or day of formal worship. It was just yet another occasion they were together.
Q) Wasn’t the Sabbath changed to Sunday at Pentecost? “Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:1-2)
A) Often you will find many Sunday keepers try to imply that since Pentecost (Feast of First Fruit/Feast of Weeks) happened on a Sunday, that this somehow is proof that the Sabbath has been done away with. That Sunday is the new day of worship. This is just not so. While the Pharisees kept the Law of Moses to determine when this feast was to be kept and the Sadducees abandoned the Law of Moses always kept Pentecost on Sunday. This again has nothing to do with the 4th Commandment Sabbath of God. The Pharisees were ultra religious and the Sadducees were ultra political, but neither group were considered righteous by Jesus. (See Matthew 5:20 + Matthew 16:5-12) It is not clearly stated that Pentecost took place on the first day of the week in Acts 2. We can assume that Jesus did die in 33 A.D.,, and we can assume that Jesus died on a Friday; we can also assume Pentecost landed on Sunday. Yet, what do all these assumptions provide us? Nothing but a best guess that has nothing to do with the Sabbath! As I have shown in my historical quotes section on the Sabbath, the Sabbath was still kept after Jesus rose from the dead. I do find it funny that Sunday keepers point to Pentecost, not realizing that it was a High “Sabbath” for Israel. Even if their supposition was correct, they fail to realize they are using on Old Testament “High Sabbath” day to create out of thin air, a new day of worship for Christians. (See: Leviticus 23:15-22) When in retrospect would not be a new day at all, would it? It would be a continuation of a system that had long sense been nailed to the cross. It is also humorous for them to state that we are not to keep Sabbath anymore, then in the same breath say we are to keep Sunday. Again not realizing that by replacing one commandment with another is the very opposite of “not being under a law!” In turn, fulfilling exactly what Jesus warns us about; “For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men—…said to them, “Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. (Mark 7:8-9 WEB)
I would like to point out something else. I think it would be fitting that Pentecost was on Sunday, seeing as that it was the beginning of the outreach of the church. (See: Acts 2) It was a new beginning, just as God started creating the Earth and universe on a Sunday. (See: Genesis 1) Again, we see a new beginning at the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday. (See: Mark 16:9) I also believe that the New Heavens and the New Earth will be created on what would be after a millennium Sabbath in Heaven. Hence, the recreation of all things will be on a Sunday of sorts! (See: Revelations 21).
These things are just true and beautiful. Yet, it is foolhardy to assume that just because something happened on a certain day, it somehow gives that day overriding importance to God’s clearly spoken law. To the contrary, what we have discovered is an unabridged reverence and solemnity of the Sabbath even so far as to wait until the first day of the week to do anything new or otherwise. As we see, even Jesus rested His mortal frame in the grave on Sabbath. God waited until after Sabbath to do a new work of pouring out Holy Spirit power on Pentecost. Paul told the believers to wait until after Sabbath to take up offerings, and Paul also waited until after Sabbath to travel. What we are left with is a preponderance of evidence for the Sabbath being as it has always been, immutable and permanently binding upon the life of the believer.
Q) Does it matter what day I go to Church?
A) Most may not realize that God doesn’t care when you go to Church. You can go any day you like and as often as you want. Somehow, over time, this discussion has taken on a life of its own from “what day is God’s Sabbath?” to becoming; “when do Christians go to Church?” God’s Sabbath is Saturday, and you can go to church whatever day you want. It is that simple. While there are Biblical guidelines for Sabbath keeping, there are no limits placed on the believer on how often they can gather to worship God! Oftentimes, the churches were in people’s homes! (See: Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15, Philemon 1:2) So, the actual act of “going to church” was often just going over to a friend’s house. We find that we meet the Church mandate in the following verse, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the middle of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Therefore the day the church meets, and how often it meets, has little to do with God’s Sabbath. I do suggest that meeting on Sabbath holds many benefits, yet if it becomes a burden of time and effort to do so, I do not recommend it. The Bible tells us “Let’s consider how to provoke one another to love and good works, not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) This is true, but it does not mean you have to meet on a certain day. Just don’t stop meeting together. In the Jewish custom, they would go to the local synagogue and read on Sabbath. Yet, they were also restrained by distance called “a Sabbath day’s Journey.” If the synagogue was beyond this limit of travel, they would not go. Meeting should not be an issue. Unfortunately in the West, it is often taken as a burden to make time to meet at Church. It is treated like a pit stop for the week, but one that only comes around once every seven days! This is not God’s way. We are to meet as often as we need and desire to do so. Yet God’s Sabbath is set in stone, and every week the Sabbath is to be celebrated. So, could Pentecost have happened on Sunday? Yes! Does it matter at all to the Sabbath of God created at the foundation of the earth? Absolutely Not!