This is a grave misunderstanding of Holy Writ. It is from this perspective of salvation that most of the conflict and confusion in Christendom, including that of the true Sabbath, arises. The apostles and members of the early church (the Way) had no such conflict or confusion about the Sabbath or about Christ and His mission. They understood clearly who He was and what His mission was about, i.e. God in the flesh, stooping to save all mankind, before and after His earthly sojourn. Jesus repeatedly pointed to the Old Testament Scriptures to help His followers and His enemies understand who He was and what His mission entailed. Here are two classic examples: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39). “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).
But how could Jesus save all humanity when He only appeared on earth some 2,000 years ago? Simply, because He is fully God and fully man. The learned apostle Paul calls it a great mystery. (1 Timothy 3:16) The prophet Micah prophesied that He is from everlasting to everlasting: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). Jesus Himself declared: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). The apostle John teaches us:“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14). Matthew declares that He is God with us and that He shall save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21-23).
All of Scripture must be viewed within this context or erroneous conclusions will be drawn. Hence, one’s understanding of who truly is Jesus is at the foundation of the Sabbath/Sunday controversy.
Essentially, this debate centers around whether the Seventh-day Sabbath is only for Jews and Sunday for Christians. The fact of the matter is that the Bible does not in any way support either of these views. Yes, the Bible is clear in that it states that the Sabbath, as part of the Ten Commandments, was given to the Jews. However, nowhere does Scripture say that the Sabbath or any other of the Ten Commandments were exclusively for the Jews. Quite the contrary, the Bible repeatedly states that God’s commandments, including the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments, are for all mankind.
Jesus declared: “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).
Jesus was born of Jewish ancestry, but He is the Savior of all mankind. Likewise the Ten Commandment Law, which includes the Sabbath commandment, was deposited to the Jewish nation from God through the hands of Moses; but is for all humanity. The ancient Jewish sanctuary with its services and sacrifices is an object lesson in the God’s plan of redemption for all humanity. At the center of it was Jesus Christ. The priest, the sacrifices, the seven branch candlestick, the shewbread, the door, the mercy seat, and all the accompanying ceremonies were figures and types of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. They thus prefigured God’s plan of salvation by which all men are saved, before and after the cross. It is the only way of salvation for all humanity.
The Jewish nation had the high and holy privilege of not only being the recipients of God’s Plan of Redemption, though in type; but they had the sacred responsibility to share it with the rest of the world. The prophet Isaiah declares: “ And He (God) said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Is 49:6).
With specific reference to the Sabbath, its blessings and obligation rests upon all men. Isaiah further declared: “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant” ( Isaiah 56:2,6). The apostle Paul confirmed: “What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:1-2). Please take note of Paul’s definition of the real Jew in Romans 2:28-29.
The Creator’s Plan of Redemption, which provides for the keeping of His commandments, through His grace, was not for the Jews only. It is for all humanity. It was not exclusive to the Jews any more than the resurrection of Jesus Christ is exclusive to Christians. Likewise, God’s law, His Ten Commandments, is no more exclusive to the Jews than Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is exclusive to Christians. God’s law, which includes His Sabbath commandment and His plan of Redemption is for all mankind. They were both given before there was ever a Jew or a Christian. The Sabbath was established at creation (Genesis 2:2-3). The Plan of Redemption was prepared before the foundations of the earth. (Revelation 13:8).
With regards to Sunday sacredness, one can search the Bible form Genesis to Revelation, but would not find such a concept. It is rooted in pagan practices of antiquity. It is all about worshiping the created, the sun, and has absolutely nothing to do with worshiping the Creator, the Lord of the Sabbath. God calls this practice an abomination. (Ezekiel 8:15-16). This abominable concept has been passed on to the Christendom by the Roman Catholic Papacy. This institution claims that their tradition of Sunday sacredness, derived from antiquity’s pagan practices, is above the Bible. It asserts that it has the power to change the Biblical command of God’s Seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday. Further, it boastfully proclaims that anyone who honors Sunday is not following the God of creation; but rather doing her bidding. She boasts: “Protestants accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day of public worship after the Catholic Church made the change…But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that in observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman of the church, the pope…” (Our Sunday Visitor, February 5th,1950)
Jesus Christ, who is our example, (John 14:6) (1 Peter 2:21) kept all of His Father’s commandments, including the Seventh-day Sabbath. (John 15:10) (Matthew 5:17-19) (Luke 4:16). All of His Sabbath experiences recorded in the Gospels showed that He kept the seventh-day Sabbath holy. He warned that after His death and resurrection that the Sabbath should be kept holy. (Matthew 24:20). Even in death, He rested in the tomb on the Sabbath. His disciples regarded the Sabbath with such high esteem that they would not as much as anoint His body for burial on the Sabbath. The Scriptures state that they kept the Sabbath according to the commandment and came to his empty tomb on the first day of the week. (Luke 23:56-24-1). No record of them keeping Sunday sacred is even vaguely alluded to.
Attempting to make Sunday holy in respect of Jesus’ resurrection is based on man’s tradition and not the word of God. Only a Holy God can make a day holy. The day He has made holy is the 7th day Sabbath, today called Saturday. Nowhere in God’s word does He vaguely suggest or explicitly command that His people keep a day in honor of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a cunning tradition of men used to usurp the commandment of God to honor Him by keeping holy His blessed Sabbath day.
All Sunday sacredness arguments put forth by Christians are quite like the fig leaf garments that Adam and Eve concocted and wore after they sinned. They are worthless. God Has assured us through the prophet Isaiah that in the earth made new we will keep His seventh-day Sabbath. Anyone planning on being there would be well advised to begin practicing it now. (Isaiah 66:22-23). God declares that those who will be blessed and would have a right to eternal life will keep all of His commandments. (Revelation 22:14).
The question is: Whom will you choose? My prayer is that you resolve, like the apostle Peter: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).