WHAT HAPPENED TO GOD'S SEVENTH DAY SABBATH?
A Scriptural Analysis of the
Sabbath Day Dispute
by Scott M. Kilpatrick
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven". Mt. 5:17-20.
By education and profession, I am an attorney in Washington state, U.S.A., and have been practicing law since 1983. I have spent my career learning how to argue the laws of man. I now advocate the observance of a forgotten or ignored commandment of God - "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy". Ex. 20:8. (1) "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen". Mt. 28:19-20.
Those familiar with God's Word will know that Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, the seventh day, has been the sabbath observed by the Jews since at least their deliverance from Egypt, and continues to this day. Shabbat, the Sabbath, is one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar, and is observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening. (2) It has been perpetually observed by the Jews and is based upon God's Word within the Old Testament, including the Fourth Commandment to man. Why then, do catholics observe a Sunday sabbath, the first day, and why do almost all protestant denominations observe no sabbath, but worship on Sunday? Stated another way, what happened to God's seventh day sabbath? The catholics say they changed it, or most recently, that the Bible created a new first and eighth day sabbath. The protestants say the resurrection of Jesus changed the requirement of sabbath observance. Some say that only God can change the sabbath requirement, and He never did. Who is right?
After an exhaustive review of scripture, this author concludes that the non-observance of God's holy seventh day sabbath by catholic and practically all protestant churches is based upon the tradition of man and not the written Word of God. Not only is sabbath observance mandated bythe Fourth Commandment, but man promised God we would observe and keep His sabbath asa perpetual covenant, a sign forever that God is our God. This everlasting sabbath covenant binds both the Jews and all believers in Jesus Christ. The following prophesy in Isaiah foretells the wrath of God resulting from man's breaking of this everlasting sabbath covenant:
"The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left". Isa. 24:5-6.
In the 1998 Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, pope John Paul II made an ill-fated attempt to justify the catholic replacement of God's seventh day (Saturday) sabbath with the catholic Sunday sabbath, or "Lord's Day". The pope renders a number of troubling statements including stating that Sunday worship both satisfies and replaces God's seventh day sabbath which christians are required to keep by reason of the Fourth Commandment; saying that God made Sunday holy; and encouraging catholics to strive for civil legislation that recognizes their catholic duty to keep Sunday holy. It is this disobedience and rejection of God's gift of His holy seventh day sabbath to man that could justify the punishment of God as prophesied by Isaiah.
Man is warned to turn away from tradition and once again keep God's seventh day sabbath. All reasons asserted to justify breaking both the sabbath commandment and the everlasting sabbath covenant are unable to withstand close scriptural scrutiny, and after analysis each excuse is repudiated. Pray that Jesus might open your understanding, that you "might understand the scriptures". Lk. 24:45. For you that are leaders of the churches, God has entrusted to you the solemn responsibility to guide and protect His flocks. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock". Acts 20:28-29. I implore you to study all scripture addressing God's sabbath day of rest. Pray to our Father for His direction on this issue. This paper attempts to set forth for your reference scripture relevant to God's sabbath to aid you in reaching your own conclusions about the sabbath.
Be forewarned. Teaching obedience to God's Fourth Commandment is a very unpopular message. Expect great resistance, except from the Lord. God's Word commands that you reject a tradition of man which has endured for nearly 1,700 years. God's Word commands that you must observe and keep His holy sabbath day. "And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him". Lk. 12:4-5. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved". Mt. 10:22. "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me". Luke 10:16.
All His shepards are to instruct His people about the sabbath so they will know and recognize the apostate churches and false believers. You are to share this sabbath issue with your people so that every person can reach their own decision. Most do not know there exists a disputeregarding whether or not christians should observe God's seventh day sabbath. Many otherwise faithful people naively (and dangerously) assume that their congregational leaders are correctly instructing them in the obedience to God's Word. This sabbath issue is critically important at this time, and know that God's purpose is in this sabbath message during these last days. (3) Whatever His purpose, know that this paper is written for His glory. Amen.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. TABLE OF CONTENTS
III. SYNOPSIS - THE HISTORY OF GOD AND MAN (Pre-Decalogue)
IV. GOD'S HOLY SEVENTH DAY SABBATH
A. GOD'S SABBATH DAY IS FRIDAY
SUNDOWN TO SATURDAY SUNDOWN.
B. GOD'S SABBATH DAY CELEBRATES CREATION.
C. JESUS CHRIST IS THE WORD OF GOD.
D. GOD'S HOLY SABBATH DAY REVEALED TO MAN.
1. Manna - God's First Sabbath Instructions To Man.
2. The Ten Commandments.
E. THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT.
1. The Holiness of God's Seventh Day Sabbath.
2. The Death Penalty for Breaking the Sabbath.
V. THE EVERLASTING SABBATH COVENANT.
A. THE SABBATH COVENANT AS STATED BY GOD.
B. A CONTRACT BETWEEN GOD AND MAN.
C. THE TERMS OF THE SABBATH COVENANT.
VI. SABBATH POSITIONS OF CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS.
A. THE CATHOLIC SABBATH DOCTRINE.
1. Catholic Doctrine on Authority.
2. Catholics Recognize God's Fourth Commandment As Binding.
3. Catholics Replace God's Seventh Day Sabbath With Sunday.
4. Catholics Require No Work On Sunday.
5. Catholic Observance of Sunday As A Sign To God.
B. THE PROTESTANT SABBATH DOCTRINE.
1. The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
2. The Protestant Sabbath Position Is Contrary To Sola Scriptura.
VII. THE CHRISTIAN DUTY TO KEEP GOD'S SABBATH.
A. GOD'S SEVENTH DAY SABBATH IS NOT "JUST FOR THE JEWS".
B.THE SABBATH IS A SIGN TO GOD THAT HE IS OUR GOD.
C. THE SABBATH IS NOT "TOO CEREMONIAL OR LEGALISTIC".
D. THE SABBATH IS FAR MORE THAN "JUST A DAY OF REST".
E. FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST REQUIRES KEEPING THE SABBATH.
1. The Love of God Is That We Keep His Commandments.
2. The Will of God Is That We Keep His Seventh Day Sabbath.
3. Christ Did Not Eliminate The Duty To Keep God's Sabbath.
a. The Sabbath Covenant Requires Uninterrupted Sabbath Keeping Forever.
i. The everlasting sabbath covenant.
ii. God can not lie.
iii. Sola Scriptura requires perpetual sabbath keeping.
a. Tribulation Period.
b. Millennial Reign of Christ.
c. Kingdom Age.
b. Jesus Teaches Us Not To Break
Any of God's Commandments.
i. Beware the traditions of men.
ii. God's Fifth Commandment.
iii. The Sunday "Lord's Day" is a tradition of man.
a. "Sun Day" was the pagan day to worship thesun god.
b. The pope says the "Lord's Day" is a tradition.
c. The Council of Trent called Observance of Sunday a Tradition.
d.Jesus Did Not Teach Us To Break the Sabbath.
e. The Apostles Did Not Teach Us To Break the Sabbath.
f. The Resurrection of Christ Did Not Eliminate Man's Duty to Keep the Sabbath.
1) Pope John Paul II's comments regarding the Lord's Day.
2) Scripture does not say that Christ rose on Sunday.
3) Jesus' post-resurrection appearances did Not change the sabbath commandment.
4) Scripture does not identify the "Lord's Day" as Sunday.
5) Christ's resurrection cannot disannul the sabbath covenant.
6) Jesus would have told us if His resurrection changed man's duty to keep the sabbath.
VIII. DIES DOMINI.
IX. WHY NOW?
APPENDIX A SYNOPSIS - THE HISTORY OF GOD AND MAN (pre-decalogue)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. THE CREATION.
B. THE FALL OF MAN.
C. THE NOAHIC COVENANT.
D. THE TOWER OF BABEL.
E. THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT.
1. Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
2. The Obedience of Abraham.
3. Abrahamic Covenant Confirmed to Isaac, Son of Abraham.
4. Abrahamic Covenant Confirmed to Jacob, Son of Isaac, Son of Abraham.
5. Joseph, Son of Jacob, Is Delivered to Egypt.
6. Joseph Made Governor of Egypt.
7. Deliverance of Abraham's Seed to Egypt.
8. Oppression of the Children of Israel.
9. God's Deliverance of Children of Israel from Egypt.
a. God Remembers His Covenant.
b. God Instructs Moses.
c. The Passover.
d. The Great Exodus.
e. God's First Call for Obedience.
F. DELIVERY OF THE STONE TABLES.
APPENDIX BSCRIPTURAL REVIEW OF DIES DOMINI
SYNOPSIS - THE HISTORY OF GOD AND MAN
God's seventh day sabbath was made holy by God upon His creation. The Fourth Commandment, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy", specifically references God's creation. God's seventh day sabbath is the only day to have been made holy by God, and Hesanctified the day to commemorate His rest from completion of creation. The day is not only important to God, but is of extreme importance in the relationship of God the creator to man the creation. For this reason, the reader may find it helpful to review some of the significant historical events between God and man as recorded in the Old Testament.
Appendix A is a brief outline of some of the events in God's relationship with man from creation to the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, together with the scriptures telling of God's delivery of the stone tables to Moses. If you have previously read the entire Old Testament, then the outline provided as Appendix A may help refresh your memory. If you have not read the entire Old Testament, you need to do so. Both the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, and understanding the New Testament is nearly impossible without knowing of the events precipitating God's sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ for the atonement of sins for all of man. The Old Testament provides the working knowledge necessary to understand not only the complete Word of God, but the importance of God's seventh day sabbath in His relationship with man.
GOD'S HOLY SEVENTH DAY SABBATH
A. GOD'S SABBATH DAY IS FRIDAY SUNDOWN TO SATURDAY SUNDOWN.
us first define God's sabbath day. The seventh day is God's holy
sabbath day. Ex. 16:23; Ex. 20:8-11. The seventh day begins at
sundown on Friday, and ends at sundown on Saturday. God's days
run from sundown to sundown because that is the way He created
them. "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he
called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first
day". Gen. 1:5. "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". Gen. 2:3. Many are suffering
great fights of affliction. No time in history has been as trying
as now, for the people of God striving to enter
in. The race is fully on and only the elect will stand. You may say those are strong words. Yet the fight is for those that will
endure unto the very end and not be weary in well doing. Though the trials are deep, the rewards are great. They far exceed
anything that could be attained in this life. The world is in love with itself and all of its pleasure. It will perish in its own
corruption. The ship is sinking fast and the end of time is on a collision course with the inhabiters of the earth! Pray The Lord of
The Harvest that He might send forth laborers into the harvest fields, for it is ripe and ready to be harvested.
Many are being tried to the point of despair as we wait with patience this race that is set before us. Beloved, be strong and of a
good courage, for The Lord, Himself, sees even the very eyes of the sparrow, even as His eyes are on the sparrow. He is
watching and knows the minutest thing that we are going through. To the elect He says, "Be patient, watch, and wait, for the
end of time is vast approaching." Many will scoff at these words. Yet The Lord has chosen a time and a day for things to be no
more. Surely it will happen and overtake many with an overthrow. But, He sees our slightest needs and hears our most
desperate of cries. Why? Because He loves us and desires not that we perish. He wants to be Our Heavenly Father and enjoy
fellowship with us for throughout all eternity. Yet He desires for a closer walk with His people--to commune with them both in
the day and in the eve.
Our Saviour is calling us to spend more precious time with Him, and thereby, rest in Him. He promises to meet all our needs
and preserve us unto the day of His coming. Remember, when He appears, all will know that He is The Lord God. Until that
time, many will scoff at Him, revile Him, and say all manner of evil against Him--and, His people--even as they did in the days
that He walked the earth. Nothing has changed. Men's hearts are still far from Him, and evil to the very core of their being. We
cannot escape the corruptions of this lust unless we have Jesus Christ firmly placed within the core of our own hearts--suffering
with Him--as we seek His blessed face.
Call upon Him now, while He may be found. Surely, the dark time will come when no one will be able to work. Men will be
lovers of themselves and seek to enter in through vanity and deceit. Yet the ends of the world will still come upon the wicked,
just the same.
We are in a time now, where you might call it, the calm before the storm. Friend of God, lukewarmness will settle in on you, if
you allow it to. God is constantly reminding us through His still small voice to be in prayer--watching and waiting. Yet many will
not hear this. As we await His coming, the elect are being tried above measure. If anyone comes to you, casually sitting back,
feet propped, hands on the remote, enjoying life to its fullest, be wary of him. All that are being called into the Kingdom of God
are going through much tribulation. This will only continue until we finally make it home, safe in The Hands of The Master. Jesus
did not say we will attain the Kingdom of God while walking down easy street. Rather, He said, it would be a straight and
narrow way. Those that are on easy street will become offended at this and write me off completely. That is okay, for the ends
of time are upon us, just the same. Brethren, make your callings and elections sure!
I am here to tell you, that we are blessed when we are in much distress. To our flesh, it is revolting. But, to our spirit, it is the
breath of life! Didn't Jesus say, "..............Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it
die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24)? So it is with us. We must be broken, so that we can stand. Charlatans that
tell you all you have to do is plant a seed offering and God will miraculously answer all your problems and troubles are liars and
the Truth is not in them. They are lying to you and taking advantage of you, and you are too blind to even see it--if you have
been overtaken by the demonic weight they throw around. God will take care of His people and indeed bless us when we give.
Yet He will not be merchandised! That's Satan's territory! The Devil is not strolling in with a pitchfork in his hand and a long,
red, drooping tail. No! He is coming in just as The Word of God said he would--as, "................ an angel of light (II Cor.
11:14)! Be not deceived. All that calls itself holy is not!
Men will be lovers of themselves, seducing and deceiving many. Contrary to the way most in the church are now thinking;
self-confidence, self-esteem, arrogance, haughtiness, pride, self-exultation, being boisterous, loud, obnoxious, rich, etc., are
not fruits of the Spirit. And certainly being the center of everyone's attention is not a sign of being a man of God; unless, of
course, you want to refer to Biblical examples of those that drew everyone's attention. When all eyes were upon them, one was
being stoned and gnashed upon, one was being beaten with rods, one was being beheaded, and One was being shamefully
crucified with a plat of thorns upon His head for the whole world to see. Unless these that are filling up stadiums, auditoriums,
and arenas to an overflowing with their "anointed" preaching are willing to drink from the same cup that these just mentioned
were willing to drink from, they should probably get off the stage and vacate their positions of authority immediately.
The most gentle, kindest, loving Man that ever walked the face of the earth was nailed to a tree. In the end, all forsook Him.
Yet, hundreds of thousands are running here and there, to and fro, to hear the latest word from the latest celebrity. They
ignorantly absorb every wind of doctrine that can be spouted at them. Daily people are dying and going to Hell. Daily, Christian
brethren in foreign lands are being severely persecuted for their faith. Yet that matters very little as long as the revival is churning
on. As long as this many danced, this many shouted, and this many were dubbed the chosen generation to take back the world
for Christ, everything is fine. Are they taking it back for The True Jesus of The Bible? No! He will personally do that Himself
when He comes back the second time in flaming fire taking vengeance on all them that know not God!
What does matter is how many fell on their face in genuine repentance, realizing their desperate need to be saved. How many
were truly born-again? How many came to the knowledge of The Truth? How many were filled with The Precious Holy Ghost!
A genuine, sovereign move of God is filled with tears, sorrows, joys, praises--not a bunch of hoopla, fanfare, and hollering.
There is a time for shouting and joyous laughter. Yet it must be balanced in a True spirit of holiness. The Spirit of God does not
move in a bunch of loud, obnoxious revelry, that appeals to the sounds of the world and the lusts of the flesh. You take some of
this stuff that is being promoted as "christian" today and put it on any secular radio station and neither the secular world nor the
church world can tell the difference.
Wake up, people of God! The church is in a desperate state of affairs! The end of all things is upon us! You may call that
gloom and doom. But, for the True child of God, there is NO SUCH THING! People that spout gloom and doom simply do
so because they, themselves, like Demas, have forsaken the Way of the Cross, and are enjoying their love for this present
world. If you cannot look up and lift up your head, knowing that your redemption is drawing nigh, then something is wrong.
When Jesus returns, it will be for a solemn assembly. It will not be for the church that, "...........sayest, I am rich, and
increased with goods, and have need of nothing..............." (Revelation 3:17). This lukewarm church will be spewed out of
the mouth of God. Tears and sorrows will make it into the Kingdom of God. But a proud look and a haughty spirit will be
rejected (Proverbs 16:18). My friend, Larry Taylor, reported of a vision he had in his March/April, 2000, HYSSOP
Chronicles newsletter. In the vision, referred to as "Strong Delusion," Larry saw a burning fire at the bottom of a cliff. Coal cars
were coming towards him, towards the end of the cliff. These cars were filled with people. Larry writes, "As the cars came close
to me I could see the faces of the people in the cars. They were not at all afraid! They seemed comfortable with the situation and were talking to
each other. I saw grandmas, grandpas, fathers, mothers, (no children) but I did see young persons I guess we could call sons and daughters in
the cars. As I say, no one was concerned at all where they were going. I wanted to warn them but they could not hear me! I then saw the cars
slow down at the cliff's edge one by one, they dumped the people inside them down into the burning Hell below. The people in the cars seemed
to have no idea of what was happening to them until the car dumped them out into the void to tumble down into the fiery burning Hell. As the
car did dump them out, they seemed to come to themselves and yelled, screamed, clawed in the air and in vain tried to stop their drop into the
Hell below; but to no avail, as they continued their descent into the burning Hell! I had seen the faces of some of these people and knew that
some were good people. Loved their family. Went to church. Prayed. But they were in the cars and were dumped into Hell anyway!"
Recently, I was in my car listening to a Christian radio program. They were reading a letter from a man that was terribly
distraught over the fact that he had committed adultery. He asked them to pray for his situation. It seemed to me that he had
completely hit rock bottom. Yet, though he had committed this grievous act, and was in torment because of it, there was an air
of godly sorrow unto repentance in his words. I felt that he was truly sorry for what he had done. That is what God is looking
for. No, He is not looking for acts of adultery. But He is looking for an acknowledgment of our sins and a godly sorrow unto
repentance. This man should thank God for the miserable state that he was in. It's when you are racing towards the cliff, with
the burning Hell below, and there is no sign of any concern or remorse, that you are in the most grave of danger.
To those of you that have sinned and have found your way lost before God: the sin you committed is the same sin Jesus died
for. Remember the two men who went up to the temple to pray? "................the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners,
unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican
standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be
merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18: 10-13). What did Jesus say? "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified
rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be
exalted" (vs. 14). If you are desperately struggling and miserable for what you have done, thank God that you are indeed
miserable, and trust Him to mend you back together. Remember what Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery,
"..............Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more (John 8:11).
Rest in Him and trust in Him. It is those that think they have no sin, that do, and those that acknowledge their sin, that will have
it forgiven. It is those that think they are in need of nothing that will perish, and those that know that they are in the most
desperate of need that will be shown mercy. The greatest of all gifts is repentance, "And Jesus said, For judgment I am
come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (John 9:39). If
you think you have no sin, you are deceiving yourself. If you are, "rich, and increased with goods........and think that you are
in, ".............need of nothing.............., you are actually, "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and
blind................(Revelation 3: 17).
No matter what you are battling: depression, fightings, fears, doubts, loneliness, sorrows, pains, hurts, burdens, a besetting sin,
whatever the battle may be--trust in The Lord Jesus Christ and rest in His mercy. He will see you through. He has already paid
the price for it all at Calvary. He is truly that Friend that sticketh closer than any brother. He is The Great I Am and He has
promised to be with us, even unto the very ends of the world! Rest in Him.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
Praises To His Most Holy Name! The biblical definition of the seventh day is also important for anyone that decides to observe God's seventh day sabbath. Any day and time other than Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown is not God's seventh day sabbath.
B. GOD'S SABBATH DAY CELEBRATES CREATION.
God's holy sabbath day came into existence long before the Ten Commandments. (5) When God finished creation, He rested on the seventh day. Wherefore, the seventh day has been God's sabbath day of rest from the beginning.
" And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  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.  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". Gen. 1:31; 2:1-3.
While it is true that remembrance and observance of the sabbath day is stated as one of the Ten Commandments, the sabbath day is far more. God set aside the seventh day as HIS day ofrest immediately after and as a part of His creation as stated above in the Book of Genesis. The Fourth Commandment states this seventh day sanctification upon creation as God's reason for creating His seventh day sabbath and commanding its observance by man. The Fourth Commandment states:
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it". Ex. 20:8-11.
This seventh day sabbath rest has been with God and His son Jesus Christ from the beginning. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". Gen. 1:1. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them". Gen. 1:26-27 (emphasis added). "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you". Ex. 3:14. "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am". Jn. 8:58.
C. JESUS CHRIST IS THE WORD OF GOD.
As we move into the discussion regarding God's holy seventh day sabbath, it is important to understand that not only was Jesus present with God at creation, but Jesus is the Word of God as well. Jesus had command of scriptures from a young age. See Lk. 2:47, ("And all that heard him [at age 12] were astonished at his understanding and answers"). Jesus knew the scriptures because He is, was, and always will be the Word of God. The word of God includes everything written in the both the Old and New Testaments.
"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 any thing made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  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". Jn. 1:1-14.
Thus, Jesus Christ, the Word of God and the Son of God, was with God and was God at thetime of creation. God with Jesus Christ created all that there is. And upon their completion ofcreation, God made the seventh day to be His holy sabbath day of rest. Why? Because God Himself rested on the seventh day from all that He had made.
What does scripture tell us about the Word of God:
"The Lord gave the word: great was the company those that published it". Ps. 68:11.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works". 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these are one.  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one". 1 Jn. 5:7-8.
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name was The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS". Rev. 19:11-16 (emphasis added).
Jesus Christ is the Word. He gave it to us. He wrote it. He inspired it. Jesus is the Word.
If you know the Word, you know Jesus. If you know Jesus, you know the Word and you know Him who sent the Word. You know that you know Jesus when He speaks to your heart through His Word. The Word is the light of man. Those that do not know Jesus, do not know the Word and the Light, and are in darkness. "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Tim. 3:7.
Why is it important that we understand that Jesus Christ is the Word of God? Because Jesus is both the Old and the New Testament. All scripture is Jesus. That includes all the scriptures we will review about the sabbath. Jesus was there when God made His seventh day, and Jesus wrote about it. When Jesus teaches us about His Father's sabbath day, He teaches us about His Father. Only Jesus and God knew how to hide the truth about the sabbath from those in darkness, and now He reveals His scripture to us in order to prove the man of deceit and deception. If you are in the light, you will be given understanding of the scriptures. You will see that Jesus is telling His believers to keep His Father's sabbath day.
D. GOD'S HOLY SABBATH DAY REVEALED TO MAN.
1. Manna - God's First Sabbath Day Instructions to Man.
In scripture, the first time we read of God instructing man regarding His holy sabbath day, was in the second month after the children of Israel departed from Egypt. Ex. 16:1, 5, 23. This is prior to God's communication of the ten commandments (which did not occur until the third month). See Ex. 19:1.
" Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.  And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily". Ex. 16:4-5. " And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.  And he said to them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.  And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.  And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.  Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none". Ex. 16:22-26.
Some disobeyed God's instructions regarding His holy sabbath day:
"And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.  And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?  See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.  So the people rested on the seventh day". Ex. 16:27-30.
God provided manna to the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness until He allowed entry into the promised land of Canaan. See Ex. 16:35.
2. The Ten Commandments.
God again speaks of His holy sabbath day as a part the Ten Commandments given to Moses and the children of Israel. The Ten Commandments were given by God the month following His sabbath instructions regarding preparing and gathering manna. (6) Three days before communicating the Ten Commandments, God offered a covenant to the children of Israel, and they accepted:
"Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.  And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.  And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD". Ex. 19:5-8.
The Ten Commandments were only a part of the words given by God. God spoke the Ten Commandments, the everlasting sabbath covenant, His judgments and His ordinances regarding worship.
The communication by God to the children of Israel is one of the most significant events in the history of man. Recall, that when God first directed Moses to deliver His people from Pharaoh, Moses said, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?  And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a tokenunto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain". Ex. 3:11-12.
And now, that is precisely what Moses is doing. God's preparation instructions to Moses are remarkable:
" And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,  And be ready against the third day; for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.  And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be put to death:  There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.  And Moses went down from the mount unto the people; and they washed their clothes.  And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives". Ex. 19:9-15.
After these preparations, God then came down upon mount Sinai in the sight of all the people to speak the words of His Ten Commandments, covenant, judgments and ordinances:
" And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.  And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.  And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.  And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.  And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.  And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the peoplebreak through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.  So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them". Ex. 19:16-25.
God's delivery was intentionally designed to put the fear of death into people. Why? So that we would not sin. And why would God care whether or not we sin? "For the wages of sin is death...". Rom. 6:23. God well knows of our sinful and disobedient nature and wants to impress upon us the importance of what He was and is telling us. The impact of the events on the children of Israel must have been profound:
" And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, andstood far off.  And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.  And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.  And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven". Ex. 20:18-22 (emphasis added).
It is important to God that man obey Him. He is God. And He is our Lord. Remember, if we are not like little children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. What do little children do? Hopefully, obey their parents. Perhaps if more people knew that God is a God to fear, they might be less inclined to live their lives for sin and iniquity. God wanted the children of Israel to fear Him, and He wants us to fear Him, so we will not sin.
"O, that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" Dt. 5:29 (emphasis added).
Then God decreed His Ten Commandments to man, "And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage". Ex. 20:1-2.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me". Ex. 20:3.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth below, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments". Ex. 20:4-6.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain". Ex. 20:7.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant,nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it". Ex. 20:8-11.
"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee". Ex. 20:12.
"Thou shalt not kill". Ex. 20:13.
"Thou shalt not commit adultery". Ex. 20:14.
"Thou shalt not steal". Ex. 20:15.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour". Ex. 20:16.
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's". Ex. 20:17.
E. THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT.
Take another look at God's Fourth Commandment:
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it". Ex. 20:8-11.
1. The Holiness of God's Seventh Day Sabbath.
The Book of Genesis tells us that God blessed the seventh day upon resting in it from all His work at creation,
"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.  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". Gen. 2:2-3 (emphasis added).
Bless means "to consecrate or sanctify by a religious rite", "make or pronounce holy", "to extol as holy; glorify". Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, 1994, p. 158 (hereinafter cited as "Webster's"). God Himself sanctified the seventh day. Sanctify means "to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate", "to entitle to reverence or respect". Webster's at 1265. Understand, that the seventh day has been set apart by God as His holy day since He finished creation.
The fact that the seventh day is holy to God Himself was confirmed by the Word of God before He gave the Ten Commandments to man:
"And he [Moses] said to them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning".Ex. 16:23.
Creation took God six days, He rested on the seventh day, and He made that day holy. Holy means "specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority, consecrated", "entitled to worship or profound religious reverence because of divine character or origin, orconnection with God or divinity". Webster's at 678. God made the seventh day holy, and that connects the seventh day to God. There is no other day that has been made holy by God. The seventh day is special to God, the day is of His creation, and God wants us to recognize the holiness of His seventh day.
What else does the Word of God tell us is holy? We know that God Himself is holy; Ps. 22:3; Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8. We know that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is holy. Lk. 1:35. We know that Jesus was holy as a child. Acts 4:27, 30. God's name is holy. Ps. 111:9; Lk. 1:49. The Holy Ghost or Spirit of God is holy by the very name. And the feasts of God are holy:
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.  Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings". Lev. 23:1-3.
What else do we know to be holy? The nation of Israel is holy. Ex. 19:6. The location of God's presence is "holy ground", Ex. 3:5, as was the place where the captain of the host of the Lord was present. Jos.5:15. Heaven is holy. Ps. 20:6. The law and the commandment is holy. Rom. 7:12. We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. Rom. 12:1. The temple of God is holy, which includes man. 1 Cor. 3:17. The new Jerusalem will be holy. Rev. 21:1. Holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. Rev. 20:5. The LORD is both righteous and holy in all His works. Ps. 45:17. And the scriptures are holy. Rom. 1:2.
This holiness of God's seventh day is again confirmed in His Fourth Commandment:
" Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.... For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it". Ex. 20:8,11 (emphasis added).
God says in His Fourth Commandment, "remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy". That means the sabbath day was holy before He gave the commandment. What else does the Fourth Commandment tell us? "Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it". "Blessed" is defined above. God blessed and "hallowed" the sabbath day. Hallow means, "to make holy; sanctify; consecrate", "to honor as holy; consider sacred; venerate". Hallowed means, "regarded as holy; venerated; sacred". Webster's at 639.
What else is "hallowed"? Jesus tells us,
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth". Lk. 11:2.
See also, Mt. 6:9, ("After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,Hallowed be thy name"). God told the children of Israel to "hallow" His sabbaths,
"I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;  And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God". Ezek. 20:19-20.
Conclusion? Separate and apart from God's Fourth Commandment, the seventh day is God's holy day of sabbath rest. It has been from the beginning. And by making the day holy, God connects the seventh day to Himself and His creation. The seventh day was, is and always shall be holy unto God. God did not just call the seventh day holy, He made it holy. The seventh day will always be holy to God. There is nothing that man can do, no interpretation he can make, and no theology or religion he can create, that will ever change the reality that the seventh day is the holy sabbath unto the LORD. And the Fourth Commandment tells us to "[r]emember the sabbath day, to keep it holy". Ex. 20:8.
2. The Death Penalty For Breaking the Sabbath.
Death was the penalty for defiling or doing any work on the sabbath. Ex. 31:14, 15. God's penalty did allow lenience for sin arising from ignorance. But there was no distinction in the penalties for sins as between the children of Israel and strangers, i.e., the gentiles among them.
" Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.  But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his inequity shall be upon him". Num. 15:29-31.
Wherefore, the death penalty for breaking the sabbath did not just apply to the children of Israel. And there were no degrees of work set as a threshold before imposing this death sentence. Gathering wood resulted in the punishment of death:
" And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.  And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.  And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.  And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.  And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses". Num. 15:32-36.
The Scripture does not say whether the stick gatherer was an Israelite, or a stranger to the land (i.e., gentile). But it made no difference, intentional disobedience of the sabbath commandmentby any man resulted in death.
THE EVERLASTING SABBATH COVENANT
A. THE SABBATH COVENANT AS STATED BY GOD.
Separate and apart from the Fourth Commandment, the children of Israel entered into the following sabbath covenant with God:
" And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak thou also unto the children of Israel saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.  Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.  Wherefore 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 for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed". Ex. 31:12-17 (emphasis added).
B. A CONTRACT BETWEEN GOD AND MAN.
The passage above calls the keeping of the sabbath by the children of Israel a "covenant". If you are versed in the laws of man, you will know that a covenant is a contract. And a contract is, in simplest terms, an enforceable promise. By legal definition, a covenant is,
"An agreement, convention, or promise of two or more parties, by deed in writing, signed, and delivered, by which either of the parties pledges himself to the other that something is either done, or shall be done, or shall not be done, or stipulates for the truth of certain facts. At common law, such agreements were required to be under seal....In its broadest usage, [covenant] means any contract". Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed., West Publishing Co., 1979, p. 327 (hereinafter cited as "Black's Law Dictionary").
More precisely, the promise made by the children of Israel to keep the sabbath is an "absolute covenant". An "absolute covenant" is "one which is not qualified or limited by any condition". Black's Law Dictionary at 327. Wherefore, the children of Israel have promised God the absolute covenant to "keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations", no matter what. Ex. 31:16. An absolute covenant has no conditions and no loopholes. You just promise to do something "no matter what".
To understand the significance of this absolute sabbath covenant, think of it as a binding promise between God and the children of Israel. God presented the children of Israel an offer, and they accepted.
" Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shall speak unto the children of Israel.  And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.  And all the people answered together, andsaid, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD". Ex. 19:5-8.
Under the laws of man, this absolute sabbath covenant has all the necessary elements to be a contract under seal: a sufficient writing, a seal and a delivery. See Black's Law Dictionary at 295. The sufficient writing is the two tables of stone referencing the sabbath covenant by the Fourth Commandment written thereon. The contract seal is the handwriting of God. And there was a delivery of the stone tables from God to man, not just once, but twice:
The First Delivery.
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them". Ex. 24:12.
The sabbath covenant is the last decree by God before giving Moses the first set of tables:
" Wherefore 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 for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.  And he gave unto Moses when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, table of stone, written with the finger of God". Ex. 31:16-18.
The Second Delivery.
"And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, not drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments". Ex. 34:28.
"And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me". Duet. 10:5.
Appendix A sets forth a more complete review of scripture regarding the two deliveries of the stone tables, including the wrath of God because of the golden calf worship and rebellion of the Israelites.
In conclusion, the sabbath covenant is a contract, an absolute binding promise, made by the children of Israel to God, no matter what. Let us now turn to the specific terms of this sabbath covenant.
C. THE TERMS OF THE SABBATH COVENANT.
Review again the sabbath covenant,
" And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak thou also unto the children of Israel saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I amthe LORD that doth sanctify you.  Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.  Wherefore 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 for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed". Ex. 31:12-17.
First this contract is a "perpetual" covenant, that by its express terms, will last "for ever". Stated another way, the obligation of the children of Israel is to "keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations". Ex. 31:16.
Look closely at what God is saying. The keeping and observing of the sabbath is "throughout their generations", to be a "perpetual" covenant. Perpetual means, "continuing or enduring forever", "lasting an indefinitely long time", "continuing or continued without intermission or interruption". Webster's at 1074. And the sabbath is to be a sign "forever" between God and the children of Israel. Forever means, "eternally; without ever ending", "continually; incessantly". Webster's at 556.
To summarize the terms, the children of Israel promised God that they would keep and observe the sabbath throughout their generations, as a "perpetual" (without interruption) "covenant" (a binding promise made by man to God) to be a sign for ever (eternally and without ever ending). Ex. 31:16-17.
This paper will address the application of this sabbath covenant after the resurrection of Christ.However, at this point understand that by definition, the keeping of the sabbath can not be "perpetual" if it were to be interrupted by anything, i.e., the period between Christ's resurrection and His return.
SABBATH POSITIONS OF CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS
A. THE CATHOLIC SABBATH DOCTRINE.
The catholics freely admit they changed observance of the sabbath from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day. A fascinating series of articles both articulating the catholic position and criticizing the protestant position on the sabbath, were printed over 100 years ago in the Catholic Mirror, a catholic publication from Baltimore Maryland. These editorials argued that either the Protestants should accept the authority of the catholic church to change the day of sabbath observance, or the Protestants should observe the sabbath on Saturday as required by a clear reading of scripture.
"The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. We say by virtue of her divine mission, because He who called Himself the "Lord of the Sabbath," endowed her with His own power to teach, "he that heareth you, heareth Me;" commanded all who believe in Him to hear her, underpenalty of being placed with "heathen and publican;" and promised to be with her to the end of the world. She holds her charter as teacher from Him a charter as infallible as perpetual".
Catholic Mirror, Sept. 23, 1893, as reprinted in Mary Online, Issue Date, March 1998, http:// www.immaculateheart.com/maryonline/html/apologetics.html, p. 12 of 15. (The "E-zine" Mary Online is a sub-directory of The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of God, A Catholic Christian Resource, http://www.immaculateheart.com).
Until recently, the catholic church made no attempt to justify its sabbath day change on scripture, relying instead on its belief that the catholic church is granted the power from God, and its view that tradition is equal to scripture. In a 1998 Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, the pope attempts to justify the change of the sabbath day on scripture, and this paper will later the pope's letter in detail. However, let us first examine what the position of the Catholic Church is in regards to sabbath observance.
1. Catholic Doctrine on Authority.
The reader needs to understand catholic beliefs regarding the authority of their pope and bishops. As discussed later, it is this "authority" doctrine that is one of the primary divisions between catholics and protestants. "Among the many doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants, none are more fundamental than those of authority and justification". (7) Catholics believe that the pope, as successor to Peter, together with his bishops, are the only ones entrusted to interpret the Word of God. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 100 (emphasis added), http://christusrex.org./www1/CDHN/profess3.html (p. 6 of 6) (hereinafter cited "Catechism No. ___"). This power is said to come from Christ and is infallible in matters offaith and morals. Catechism No. 891, http://christusrex.org./www1/CDHN/church4.html (pp. 3-4 of 11). According to the pope's introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church dated October 11, 1992, this infallibility is extended by definition to the Catechism., http://christusrex.org./www1/CDHN/apostol.html (p. 3 of 5) ("3. The Doctrinal Value of the text").
Catholic doctrine is founded upon both scripture plus tradition. Catechism Nos. 80, 82, http://christusrex.org./www1/CDHN/profess3.html (pp. 3-4 of 6) Scripture is believed to be the "speech of God," and Tradition to be the "Word of God". Catechism No. 81. Id. "As a result the [catholic] Church ... does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence." Catechism No. 82. Id.
Consider the following infallible statements:
"846 ... Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: ... Hence they could not be saved, who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse to enter it or to remain in it". Catechism No. 846. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church3.html (p. 7 of 10).
"841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day". Catechism No. 841. Id. at p. 6 of 10.
A review of the catholic catechisms finds no less than 14 doctrinal statements supporting the catholic belief that man is still bound to keep all Ten Commandments. Catechism Nos. 2052 - 2063, 2067 - 2081, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/decalog.html, pp. 1-4 of 6, and Catechism No. 2083, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/comm1.html (p. 1 of 8). The same review finds no less than 37 doctrinal statements requiring observance of the catholic Sunday sabbath in obedience to God's sabbath commandment. Catechism Nos. 345-349, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/visible1.html (p. 2 of 4); Catechism No. 574, 582, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed5.html (pp. 1, 3 of 4); Catechism 641, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed7.html (p. 4 of 7); Catechism Nos. 1166 - 1167, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/paschal3.html (pp. 1-2 of 9); Catechisms 2168 - 2177, 2180 - 2181, 2184 -2195, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/comm2.html (pp. 3 - 7 of 11); Catechism No. 2586, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/pray1.html (pp. 6 of 7); With the exceptions of the day and the penalty for disobedience, (8) there appears to be no discernable difference between God's seventh day sabbath and the catholic Sunday sabbath.
2. Catholics Recognize God's Fourth Commandment As Binding.
"The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them;...the Second Vatican Council confirms: 'The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord...the teaching of all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.'" Catechism No. 2068, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/decalog.html;. "The Decalogue [ten commandments] is a path of life: If you love the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply."Catechism No. 2057. Id. "The Lord prescribed love towards God and taught justice towards neighbor, so that man would be neither unjust, nor unworthy of God. Thus, through the Decalogue, God prepared man to become his friend and to live in harmony with his neighbor....The words of the Decalogue remain likewise for us Christians. Far from being abolished, they have received amplification and development from the fact of the coming of the Lord in the flesh". Catechism No. 2063, Id.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work....The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath". Article 3 - The Third Commandment, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/comm2.html. "'Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy' (Duet 5:12). 'The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord' (Ex 31:15)". Catechism No. 2189, Id. "God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant....The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel". Catechism No. 2171, Id. "The sabbath is at the heart of Israel's law. To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation". Catechism No. 348, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/visible1.html (p. 2 of 4); "The commandments then make explicit the response of love that man is called to give to his God". Catechism No. 2083, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/comm1.html (p. 1 of 8).
3. Catholics Replace God's Seventh Day Sabbath With Sunday.
"Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of thesabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God." Catechism No. 2175, http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/comm2.html;"The Church celebrates the day of Christ's Resurrection on the 'eighth day,' Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord's Day". Catechism No. 2191, Id. "The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. 'Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church.'" Catechism No. 2177; Id. See also No. 2192, Id.
4. Catholics Require No Work On Sunday.
"On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body." Catechism No. 2185, Id. "Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day". Catechism No. 2187, Id. "In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days as legal holidays". Catechism No. 2188, Id.
5. Catholic Observance of Sunday As A Sign To God.
"The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship 'as a sign of his universal beneficence to all'...Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the OldCovenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people." Catechism No. 2176, Id..
B. THE PROTESTANT SABBATH DOCTRINE.
Let us now look to how the protestants view the sabbath. To generalize, mainstream protestant (9) denominations either have no position on the sabbath but worship on Sunday, explain the change of sabbath observance to be from Saturday to Sunday as a celebration of Christ's resurrection, or dismiss the observance of a "sabbath" altogether. This paper will discuss all known reasons advanced by protestants to justify their non-observance of the seventh day sabbath. Before we do that, let us review the primary doctrinal difference between catholics and protestants.
1. The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
As stated above, catholic doctrine looks equally to scripture and tradition for authority. Protestants, on the other hand, look solely to scripture, or "sola Scriptura". It is this principal of basing doctrine on scripture alone that is reportedly one of the primary divisions between the catholic and protestant denominations. In the article, "What Think Ye of Rome? Part Three: The Catholic-Protestant Debate on Biblical Authority", the following explanation of the protestant reformation doctrine of sola Scriptura is offered,
"By sola Scriptura Protestants mean that Scripture alone is the primary and absolute source of all doctrine and practice (faith and morals). Sola Scriptura implies several things. First, the Bible is a direct revelation from God. As such, it has divine authority. For what the Bible says, God says.
Second, the Bible is sufficient: it is all that is necessary for faith and practice. For Protestants "the Bible alone" means "the Bible only" is the final authority for our faith.
Third, the Scriptures not only have sufficiency but they also possess final authority. They are the final court of appeal on all doctrinal and moral matters. However good they may be in giving guidance, all the fathers, Popes, and Councils are fallible. Only the Bible is infallible.
Fourth, the Bible is perspicuous (clear). The perspicuity of Scripture does not mean that everything in the Bible is perfectly clear, but rather the essential teachings are. Popularly put, in the Bible the main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things. This does not mean -- as Catholics often assume -- that Protestants obtain no help from the fathers and early Councils. Indeed, Protestants accept the great theological and Christological pronouncements of the first four ecumenical Councils. What is more, most Protestants have high regard for the teachings of the early fathers, though obviously they do not believe they are infallible. So this is not to say there is no usefulness to Christian tradition, but only that it is of secondary importance.
Fifth, Scripture interprets Scripture. This is known as the analogy of faith principle. When we have difficulty in understanding an unclear text of Scripture, we turn to other biblical texts. For the Bible is the best interpreter of the Bible. In the Scriptures, clear texts should be used to interpret the unclear one". CRJ at pp. 2-3 of 15 (See endnote 7, forcitation).
2. Protestant Sabbath Position Is Contrary To Sola Scriptura.
The Christian Research Journal article referenced above defends the protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura against the catholic doctrine of apostolic tradition being both authoritative and infallible. Within the context of that discussion, the Catholic-Protestant debate article advances the following argument:
"What the Catholic must prove, and cannot, is that the God who deemed it so important for the faith and morals of the faithful to inspire the inscripturation of 27 books of apostolic teaching would have left out some important revelation in these books. Indeed, it is not plausible that He would have allowed succeeding generations to struggle and even fight over precisely where this alleged extrabiblical revelation is to be found. So, however authoritative the apostles were by their office, only their inscripturated words are inspired and infallible (2 Tim. 3:16-17; cf. John 10:35).
There is not a shred of evidence that any of the revelation God gave them to express was not inscripturated by them in the only books the inspired books of the New Testament that they left for the church". CRJ at p. 7 of 15 (See endnote 7, for citation).
"[A]s J. I. Packer noted, 'the real deep divisions have been caused not by those who maintained sola Scriptura, but by those, Roman Catholic and Protestant alike, who reject it.' Further, 'when adherents of sola Scriptura have split fromeach other the cause has been sin rather than Protestant biblicism....'[citing J. I. Packer, "Sola Scriptura: Crucial to Evangelicalism," in The Foundations of Biblical Authority, ed. James Boice (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978), 103]". CRJ at p. 10 of 15 (See endnote 7, for citation).
"In conclusion, the question of authority is crucial to the differences between Catholics and Protestants. One of these is whether the Bible alone has infallible authority. We have examined carefully the best Catholic arguments in favor of an additional authority to Scripture, infallible tradition, and found them all wanting. Further, we have advanced many reasons for accepting the Bible alone as the sufficient authority for all matters of faith and morals. This is supported by Scripture and sound reason". CRJ at p. 13 of 15 (See endnote 7, for citation).
Protestants clearly take their doctrine of sola Scriptura very seriously, at least when being critical of the catholic faith. The protestants are adamant to state that it is wrong to look beyond scripture to determine issues of faith and morals. However, when it comes to the issue of the seventh day sabbath, the protestants ignore their own doctrine of sola Scriptura, the very doctrine that caused the reformation movement 470 years ago.
The following are selected excerpts from several articles written over one hundred years ago in the Catholic Mirror (10), a Baltimore, Maryland catholic publication. The analysis of the inconsistency between sola Scriptura and the protestants' non-observance of the seventh day sabbath is as applicable today as it was in 1893.
"Comformably to our promise in our last issue, we proceed to unmask one of the most flagrant errors and most unpardonable inconsistencies of the Sola Scriptura rule of faith...." Catholic Mirror, Sept. 9, 1893, http://www.immaculateheart.com at p. 4 of 15.
"In the Old Testament, reference is made one hundred and twenty-six times to the Sabbath, and all these texts conspire harmoniously in voicing the will of God commanding the seventh day to be kept, because God Himself first kept it, making it obligatory on all as 'a perpetual covenant.'... We deem it necessary to be perfectly clear on this point, for reasons that will appear more fully hereafter. The Bible the Old Testament confirmed by the living tradition of a weekly practice for 3383 years by the chosen people of God [the Jews], teaches then, with absolute certainty, that God had, Himself, named the day to be "kept holy to Him",-- that the day was Saturday, and that any violation of that command was punishable by death...." Id. at p. 5 of 15.
"... The Bible being the only teacher recognized by the Biblical Christian, the Old Testament failing to point out a change of day, and yet another day than Saturday being kept 'holy' by the Biblical world, it is surely incumbent on the reformed Christian to point out in the pages of the New Testament the new divine decree repealing that of Saturday and substituting that of Sunday, kept by the Biblicals since the dawn of the Reformation. Examining the New Testament from cover to cover, critically, we find the Sabbath (Saturday) referred to sixty-one times. We find, too, that the Saviour invariably selected the Sabbath (Saturday) to teach in the synagogues and work miracles. The four Gospels refer to theSabbath (Saturday) fifty-one times.
In one instance the Redeemer refers to Himself as "the Lord of the Sabbath," as mentioned by Matthew and Luke, ... but during the whole record of His life, whilst invariably keeping and utilizing the day (Saturday), He never once hinted at a desire to change it. His apostles and personal friends afford to us a striking instance of their scrupulous observance of it after His death, and, whilst His body was yet in tomb, Luke (23:56) informs us: 'And they returned and prepared spices and ointments, and rested on the sabbath day according to the commandment.' 'but on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came, bringing the spices they had prepared.' The 'spices' and 'ointments' had been prepared Good Friday evening, because 'the Sabbath drew near.' Verse 54. This action on the part of the personal friends of the Saviour, proves beyond contradiction that after His death they kept 'holy' the Saturday, and regarded the Sunday as any other day of the week. Can anything, therefore, be more conclusive than the apostles and the holy women never knew any Sabbath but Saturday, up to the day of Christ's death?
We now approach the investigation of this interesting question for the next thirty years,as narrated by the evangelist, St. Luke, in his Acts of the Apostles. Surely some vestige of the canceling act can be discovered in the practice of the Apostles during that protracted period.
But, alas! we are once more doomed to disappointment. Nine ... times do we find the Sabbath referred to in the Acts, but it is the Saturday (the old Sabbath). Should our readers desire the proof, we refer them to chapter and verse in each instance. Acts 13:14, 27, 42, 44. Once more, Acts 15:21; again, Acts 16:13; 17:2; 18:4.. "And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and Greeks." thus the Sabbath (Saturday) from Genesis to Revelation!!! Thus, it is impossible to find in the New Testament the slightest inference by the Saviour or his Apostles with the original Sabbath, but on the contrary, an entire acquiescence in the original arrangement; nay a plenary endorsement by Him, while living; and an unvaried, active participation in the keeping of that day and not other by the apostles, for thirty years after His death, as the Acts of the Apostles has abundantly testified to us.
Hence the conclusion is inevitable; viz., that of those who follow the Bible as their guide, the Israelites and Seventh-day Adventists have exclusive weight of evidence on their side, whilst the Biblical Protestant has not a word in self-defense for his substitution of Sunday for Saturday...." Id. at p. 6 of 15.
[From the Catholic Mirror of Sept. 23, 1893]
"...God's written word enjoins His worship to be observed on Saturday, absolutely, repeatedly, and most emphatically, with a most positive threat of death to him who disobeys. All the Biblical sects occupy the same self-stultifying position which no explanation can modify, much less justify.
How truly do the words of the Holy Spirit apply to this deplorable situation! "Iniquitas mentita est sibi" Iniquity hath lied to itself." Proposing to follow the Bible only as teacher, yet before the world, the sole teacher is ignominiouslythrust aside, and the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church "the mother of abomination," when it suits their purpose so to designate her adopted, despite the most terrible threats pronounced by God Himself against those who disobey the command, "Remember to keep holy the Sabbath".
... The Protestant world at its birth found the Christian Sabbath too strongly entrenched to run counter to its existence; it was therefore placed under the necessity of acquiescing in the arrangement, thus implying the [Catholic] Church's right to change the day, for over three hundred [now 400] years. The Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day, the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church as spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world.
Let us now, however, take a glance at our second proposition, with the Bible alone asthe teacher and guide in faith and morals. This teacher most emphatically forbids any change in the day for paramount reasons. The command calls for a "perpetual covenant." The day commanded to be kept by the teacher has never once been kept, thereby developing an apostasy from an assumedly fixed principle, as self-contradictory, self-stultifying, and consequently as suicidal as it is within the power of language to express.
Nor are the limits of demoralization yet reached. Far from it. Their pretense for leaving the bosom of the Catholic Church for apostasy from the truth as taught in the written word. They adopted the written word as their sole teacher, which they had no sooner done than they abandoned it promptly, as these articles have abundantly proved; and by a perversity as willful as erroneous, they accept the teaching of the Catholic Church in direct opposition to the plain, unvaried, and constant teaching of their sole teacher in the most essential doctrine of their religion, thereby emphasizing the situation in what may be aptly designated 'a mockery, a delusion, and a snare.'" Id. at pp. 12-13 of 15.
Mary Online, the "E-zine" that featured the above reprints from the Catholic Mirror, added the following editor's note about the sola Scriptura doctrine,
"It was upon this very point that the Reformation was condemned by the Council of Trent. The Reformers had constantly charged, as here stated, that the Catholic Church had 'apostatized from the truth as contained in the written word....This was the main issue in the Council of Trent, which was called especially to consider the questions that had been raised and forced upon the attention of Europe by the Reformers. The very first question concerning faith that was considered by the council was the question involved in this issue. There was a strong party even of the Catholics within the council who were in favor of abandoning tradition and adopting the Scriptures only, as the standard of authority....Finally, after a long and intensive mental strain, the Archbishop of Reggio came into the council with substantially the following argument to the party who held for Scripture alone:
'The Protestants claim to stand upon the written word only. They profess to hold the Scripture alone as the standard of faith. They justify their revolt by the plea that the Church has apostatized from the written word and follows tradition. Nowthe Protestants claim, that they stand upon the written word only, is not true. Their profession of holding the Scripture alone as the standard of faith, is false. PROOF: The written word explicitly enjoins the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. They do not observe the seventh day, but reject it. If they do truly hold the scripture alone as their standard, they would be observing the seventh day as is enjoined in the written word, but they have adopted and do practice the observance of Sunday, for which they have only the tradition of the Church. Consequently the claim of 'Scripture alone as the standard,' fails; and the doctrine of 'Scripture and tradition' as essential, is fully established, the Protestants themselves being the judges'.
[Archbishop Reggio made his speech at the last opening session of Trent, on the 18th day of January, 1562. J.H. Holtzman, Canon and Tradition, published in Ludwigsburg,Germany, in 1859, page 263.]
There was no getting around this, for the Protestants' own statement of faith the Augsburg Confession, 1530 had clearly admitted that 'the observation of the Lord's day' had been appointed by 'the Church' only.
The argument was hailed in the council as of Inspiration only; the party for 'Scripture alone,' surrendered; and the council at once unanimously condemned Protestantism and the whole Reformation as only an unwarranted revolt from the communion and authority of the Catholic Church;..." Id. at p. 13 of 15. Mary Online, March 1998, "Rome's Challenge," (http://www.immaculateheart.com/maryonline/html/apologetics.html) (emphasis original).
It appears then, at least to the Council of Trent in 1562, that the protestants failed to abide by their own argument that scriptures should be the only standard of authority. Has the doctrine of sola Scriptura been revised over the centuries? Let us revisit the elements of sola Scriptura set forth in the 1994 Christian Research Journal article.
First, the Bible is a direct revelation from God and has divine authority. For what the Bible says, God says.
Response:God and the Bible say to observe and keep the seventh day sabbath.
Second, the Bible is sufficient: it is all that is necessary for faith and practice. For protestants "the Bible alone" means "the Bible only" is the final authority for the protestant faith.
Response:The Bible says to observe and keep the seventh day sabbath.
Third, the scriptures have sufficiency and possess final authority. However good they may be in giving guidance, all the fathers, Popes, and Councils are fallible. Only the Bible is infallible.
Response:It would appear that the protestants are also fallible. See above responses.
Fourth, the Bible is perspicuous (clear). In the Bible the main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things.
Response:The Bible is very clear. Keep and observe the seventh day sabbath.
Fifth, scripture interprets scripture. For the Bible is the best interpreter of the Bible.
Response:All clear scripture in the Bible says keep and observe the seventh day sabbath. There is no scripture in the Bible that says to either ignore the commandment and everlasting covenant, or to celebrate the sabbath on any day other than the seventh day (Saturday).
Based on an analysis under their own modern day sola Scriptura doctrine, the protestants arewithout justification for breaking both the Fourth Commandment and the everlasting sabbath covenant. We will review all scriptures asserted by protestants in their attempt to justify the breaking the seventh day sabbath. And a close analysis will reveal absolutely no scripture supporting their position on the sabbath.
For centuries, protestants have criticized the catholic doctrine of treating scripture and tradition equally. Perhaps they should have first reviewed these words of our Lord Jesus Christ:
" Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye" Lk. 6:42.
Where is the scripture that justifies the breaking of the Fourth Commandment and the everlasting sabbath covenant? No where. It does not exist. Neither the catholics nor the protestants are innocents in this. The catholics took the first bite of this apple, but the protestants blindly followed and ate from it, just as Adam did. If the protestants would honestly apply their own sola Scriptura doctrine to the sabbath scriptures, they would observe and keep the seventh day sabbath as God has commanded. In support of this statement, we now turn to all arguments advanced by the protestants supporting their position that christians do not need to observe God's holy seventh day sabbath.
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