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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Is the Sabbath day Saturday, or has it changed to Sunday?

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My question is about the Sabbath day. Is the Sabbath day Saturday, or has it changed to Sunday?


Steve Answers:

The Sabbath is still the Sabbath. It hasn’t changed to Sunday. Some people either think it was changed to Sunday, or they think Sunday has always been Sabbath—I’m speaking of the majority of Christians. People in other world religions, such as Hindus, Buddhists, and secularists, don’t even think of Sabbath being on either Sabbath or Sunday. It’s a question that some Christians debate.

The Sabbath has its origin in Creation. In Genesis 2:1-3  you’ll find: “So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day, having finished his task, God rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation” (NLT).1

God started the Sabbath. And the text above indicates that God did three things on the first Sabbath on planet earth:

• He rested—He stopped what He was doing, because Sabbath was different from the other days.

• He blessed it—He poured Sabbath full of joy. It’s a day to celebrate!

• He declared it holy—He set Sabbath apart from the other days for spending focused time with Him.

The book of Exodus explains that God had to retrain His people about the Sabbath. In Exodus 16 the story of God providing manna for His people every day but Sabbath repeats the same three things for God’s people:

• They rested—Sabbath was the only day they didn’t collect manna, because this day was different from other days.

• They were blessed—instead of working on Sabbath, they were celebrating on Sabbath.

• They declared Sabbath holy—they knew God had set apart Sabbath from the other days, because God didn’t provide any manna for them on Sabbath, and the extra manna they had collected the day before didn’t rot. God took care of their basic needs so they could spend focused time with Him.

Even when God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments, He didn’t introduce the Sabbath as something new. Instead, God told His people to “remember” the Sabbath and to keep it holy—to set themselves apart for focused time with Him. I’m amazed that so many of His people have forgotten!
In Ezekiel 20:12, 20 God said: “I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I, the Lord, had set them apart to be holy, making them my special people.” “Keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord your God” (NLT).

When Jesus lived on earth, He regularly observed the Sabbath. Luke 4:16 says: “When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath” (NLT).

To the Pharisees, Jesus even claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath: “The Sabbath day was made to help people; they were not made to be ruled by the Sabbath day. So then, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27, 28, NCV).2

The “change” from observing the seventh day as the Sabbath to observing the first day as the Sabbath occurred after the Bible was written. So if you’re looking for information about the change, you’ll need to consult history books rather than the Bible. One I’d recommend is Samuele Bacchiocchi’s book From Sabbath to Sunday: A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity. You can get it at www.biblical
perspectives.com.

However, the Bible did make a prediction that there would be an attempt to make this change from observing the seventh day as the Sabbath to observing the first day as the Sabbath. One of Daniel’s visions includes an explanation about a “little horn” that grew bigger, and it had human eyes and a mouth that made bragging statements (see Daniel 7:8). The explanation given is that this little horn will speak against the Most High God, he will hurt God’s holy people, and he will try to change times and laws that have already been set (see Daniel 7:25).

The fulfillment of this prediction happened after John had finished writing the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. But in John’s final book, you can also find an indication that the Sabbath from Creation will receive renewed emphasis at the end of time.

See if you can pick out that information from this passage in Revelation 14:6, 7: “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water’” (NIV).3

In this passage I notice the following five key points:

1. The message comes from heaven.

2. The message is the eternal gospel.

3. The message is for everyone on earth.

4. The message is: It’s time to make God number one.

5. Our response is to worship the Creator.

Sabbath, from the seventh day of Creation, is the most obvious way to worship the Creator. I think that John was given a message that has special significance for us to share with others at this time in earth’s history.

When I hear Sundaykeepers say they worship on Sunday because that’s the day Christ was resurrected, I wonder why Christ never told us to worship on that day, and why none of the New Testament writers told us to do so. I think the resurrection is a cause for celebration. That’s why I celebrate it every year, not every week. It’s called Easter.

Nowhere in the Bible do I find any indication that God changed Sabbath/Saturday to another day. Just because humans made a change doesn’t mean God made a change. The call in Revelation is for all people to worship the Creator—a reminder of creation week when the Sabbath began. It includes submitting to the Creator by acknowledging that we are His creation. The Creator calls the shots, not the created beings.

Many Christians think Sunday is the Sabbath (if they even think about it). But Sabbath is still the Sabbath. Check the calendar or check the Bible or check history. God created the Sabbath, and He hasn’t changed it.

1Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

2Scriptures credited to NCV are quoted from The Holy Bible, New Century Version, copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Word Publishing, Dallas, Texas 75039. Used by permission.

3Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.



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