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The Sabbath

The fourth commandment teaches us to observe the seventh day Sabbath. God both created the Sabbath and commanded its observance for all time.

The fourth commandment teaches us to observe the seventh day, commonly called Saturday, of each week as the Sabbath. God set the Sabbath apart in the beginning as a memorial of creation, and it was observed by Jesus and the apostles. The seventh-day Sabbath is the only weekly Sabbath known to the Bible, being the day that was set apart before paradise was lost (Genesis 2:2,3), and which will be observed in Paradise restored (Isaiah 66:22,23). Sabbath rest mirrors both Creation and redemption, and will be celebrated until God’s people rest forever with Him.

The Sabbath is to be kept from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset by ceasing from secular work, engaging in corporate worship, cultivating the godly life, and doing good for others.

The Sabbath is more than a day of physical and mental rest. It has a redemptive significance, distinctly connected to the New Covenant and is a vital part of the plan of salvation and of the everlasting gospel. The Sabbath rest is eternally significant as a covenant between God and believers – a sign to show us that God has sanctified those who have entered into His rest.

On the seventh day of Creation, God rested when His creative work was perfect and finished. Adam and Eve, on the other hand, spent their whole first day resting on God’s Sabbath. Christ also finished His redemptive work on the cross on the sixth day and rested in the tomb on the seventh day. The Sabbath points to a finished creation, a finished redemption and a finished restoration.

At Creation God sanctified, or set aside and made holy, the Sabbath rest to remind man that even though he had dominion over the world, he was still to be God-dependent. In man’s rebellion, he turned from God-dependence to self-dependence, breaching the Sabbath rest covenant. Christ came to this world to restore the rest we lost by the fall. Like creation, salvation begins by resting in the perfect, finished work of Christ – not by doing something.

Sabbath, rest and seventh day are permanently and unalterably linked together by God for all creation for all time. God both created the seventh day Sabbath and commanded its observance for all time. Isaiah prophesied that in the new heaven and new earth all will worship the Lord from one Sabbath to another.

The gospel in the Old Testament was revealed by feast days, mainly seven, called Sabbaths because they pointed forward to the restoration of the Sabbath rest than would take place – fulfilled in Jesus Christ – at the cross and in His heavenly ministry. As part of the Ten Commandments, the fourth commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy sets forth God’s moral law for all people for all time. It is just as valid and applicable today as are the other nine commandments.

The Sabbath day belongs to God, but was made for all mankind – not only the Jews. The terms Jewish Sabbath and Christian Sabbath, as applied to the weekly rest day, are names of human invention, un-Scriptural in fact, and false in meaning. God instituted the Sabbath day long before Israel ever existed. This is supported by the account of Creation and by God giving a double portion of manna to the Israelites on the sixth day – before he gave them the Decalogue.

The Sabbath is not an institution but a specific day, so ordained for all time. It is not something apart from the day, which can be shifted about and perhaps placed on another day – it is the day itself. The Bible never speaks of a Sabbath institution that was blessed and made holy for the benefit of humanity – apart from a day. The day that God blessed is the seventh-day Sabbath.

Keeping the Sabbath doesn’t save us, but is an outward sign, a confession of faith that we are resting in God’s work. In the Old Covenant man had to keep the law to be saved; in the New Covenant God fulfilled the law in Christ in order for man to be saved. All who receive the gospel by faith once again enter into God’s saving rest – of which the Sabbath is a sign. Anyone who is keeping the Sabbath in order to be saved is perverting the very nature of Sabbath rest. If the Sabbath were a requirement for being saved, it would not be entering into rest, it would not point to a finished and perfect work, but would make the Sabbath into a means of salvation by works.

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, participated in the creation of the world and hence is the Author, Maker and Protector of the Sabbath. Jesus observed the Sabbath – He only broke the human traditions surrounding it. Jesus’ acts celebrated the true intentions of the Sabbath – redemption, joy and service. Jesus faithfully observed the Sabbath, attending the synagogue and teaching with authority. He risked His life to free the Sabbath from the wicked traditions that surrounded it. At no time did Jesus undermine the moral law of the Ten Commandments. Jesus distinguished between the moral law and the traditions – revering and keeping the Sabbath and declaring that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. That Jesus envisioned the continuance of Sabbath observance is clear by His prophetic statement, “Pray that your flight may not be…on a Sabbath”.

For some thirty years after Christ’s death we have an inspired history of the Apostolic church, in which we learn of the exceeding bitterness and hatred of the Jews against the disciples, taking every possible occasion to persecute and destroy them. But in not a single instance is there the slightest hint that they ever found them breaking the Sabbath. This negative argument affords the strongest proof that the disciples continued to observe that day as they always had before.

The first day meetings do not indicate a transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday. In the one case, the first day of the week is mentioned to describe a private fund-raising plan. The other was an extraordinary gathering of the Troas believers with Paul. Sunday observance did not arise from a weekly Lord’s Supper celebrating the resurrection, nor is there any evidence from this period indicating the place, time and causes of the origins of Sunday keeping. Christians continued to observe the seventh-day Sabbath during the New Testament period.

In man’s rebellion of self-dependence, he introduced his own rest day – Sunday, a substitute for which there is no Scriptural authority and which cannot point to a finished work, either of creation or redemption. The apostasy of an unauthorized, unwarranted and presumptuous change in the Sabbath to Sunday – foretold in Scripture – was introduced at Rome about the middle of the second century. As “the man of sin”, the papacy has “thought to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25) and has misled almost all Christendom in regard to the fourth commandment.

Three factors contributed to the change from Sabbath to Sunday observance: the first, anti-Judaism, which appears to have caused a widespread devaluation and repudiation of the Sabbath; the second, the development of Sun-cults with the consequent enhancement and inherent parallel symbolism of the day of the Sun over that of Saturn; and third, the role that the Church of Rome played in causing the abandonment of the Sabbath and the adoption of Sunday.

See also: Genesis 1:26-31; 2:1-3; 3:19; Exodus 16:4,5,20-30; 20:8-11; 31:13-17; Leviticus 23:32; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Isaiah 56:1-8; 58:13,14; Isaiah 66:22,23; Ezekiel 20:12; Daniel 7:24,25; Matthew 5:17-20; 11:28; 12:9-14; 22:37-39; 24:20; Mark 2:27,28; 6:1,2; 7:1-13; Luke 4:16,31; 6:5; John 1:3; 15:10; Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 16:13; 18:4,11; Acts 20:7-12; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 16:1-3; Galatians 5:13,14; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8; 2 Timothy 4:3,4; Hebrews 1:1,2; 4:4-10; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 5:1-3; 2 John 6; Revelation 1:10; 14:12
Why keep the Seventh-day Sabbath?

  1. To do so is the fourth of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:8-11
  2. God made it holy. He did not make any other day of the week holy. Exodus 20:8-11
  3. The (seventh-day) Sabbath was instituted, by God, at Creation as a memorial (reminder) of His creation (including creation of us). The Sabbath was thus created for all mankind, not just the Jews.  Exodus 20:11
  4. We are promised a blessing if we honour it. Isaiah 58:13-14
  5. God established it as a perpetual, eternal covenant with us, not a temporary one to be done away with at the cross. Exodus 31:13-17
  6. We will be observing the Sabbath in the new heavens and the new earth. Isaiah 66:22-23
  7. It is a sign that we know God. Ezekiel 20:12
  8. On the seventh day of creation, God rested when His creative work was perfect and finished. Adam and Eve, on the other hand, spent their first whole day resting on God’s Sabbath. Christ also finished His redemptive work on the cross on the sixth day and rested in the tomb on the seventh day. The Sabbath points to a finished creation, a finished redemption and a finished restoration. Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 2:1-3
  9. God instituted the Sabbath long before Israel ever existed. The Sabbath was made for all mankind, not just the Jews. Apart from the account of Creation, that is supported by the account of God giving a double portion of manna to the Israelites on the sixth day – before He gave them the Decalogue. Exodus 16:4-5, 20-30
  10. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, participated in the creation of the world and hence is Author, Maker and Protector of the Sabbath. John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:1-2; Ephesians 3:9
  11. Jesus observed the Sabbath. He only broke the human traditions surrounding it. Jesus’ acts celebrated the true intentions of the Sabbath – redemption, joy and service. Jesus faithfully observed the Sabbath, attending the synagogue and teaching with authority. He risked His life to free the Sabbath from the wicked traditions that surrounded it. Luke 4:16,31; Mark 6:1-2; Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 2:27-28; Mark 7:1-13; Luke 6:5
  12. At no time did Jesus undermine the moral law of the Ten Commandments. Jesus distinguished between the moral law and the traditions – revering and keeping the Sabbath and declaring that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Matthew 5:17-20; Matthew 22:37-39; 1 John 5:1-3; John 15:10
  13. That Jesus envisioned the continuance of Sabbath observance after His death is clear by His prophetic statement, “Pray that your flight may not be…on the Sabbath.” Matthew 24:20
  14. We should walk as Christ walked, keeping the Sabbath as He did. 1 John 2:6
  15. The Apostles and the Christians of that era kept the Sabbath. Acts 20:7-12; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; Acts 17:2; 18:4
  16. While the Bible never condoned a change of Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day, it did prophecy that man and the beast power would intend to do such an act of apostasy. Daniel 7:24-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8
  17. The “Lord’s Day” referred to in Revelation 1:10 is not Sunday, but Sabbath. Matthew 12:8
  18. Contemporary history and documents from the Roman Catholic Church plainly evidence that there is no Bible-sanctioned change of Sabbath from the seventh-day to the first.
  19. Further to #18, history plainly evidences that the attempt to change the Sabbath to Sunday was an ungodly move to embrace Sun-cult worship into Christianity.
  20. Further to #18, documents from the Roman Catholic Church itself plainly evidence its blasphemous attempt to establish Sunday worship in place of the Sabbath.
  21. Protestants, claiming to follow the Bible only and not the Roman Catholic Church from which they broke away, are unwittingly still following the Roman Catholic teachings (as indeed the Roman Catholic Church points out.)
  22. The Bible nowhere suggests the keeping of Sunday as a memorial of Christ’s resurrection. It does however institute the ordinances of Baptism and Communion to memorialize His death, burial and resurrection.
  23. Further to the above, to keep the Sabbath is to obey God, while to keep Sunday is to obey men. The Bible admonishes us to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29
  24. At the end of time will come a conflict between two methods of salvation symbolized by two days. Salvation by human efforts – or works – will be signified by Sunday, which points to man resting from his work. Salvation by faith alone will be signified by the seventh-day Sabbath, which points to man resting in God’s work. At that time – with reference to “The Mark of the Beast” – Sabbath keeping will become a test of faith and allegiance. For those who enter into God’s rest, the Sabbath will become the Seal of God. Timothy 4:3-4; Revelation 13 and 14
  25. Further to #24, the remnant church of the end-time is characterized by keeping the commandments of God – including the Fourth. Revelation 14:12
  26. Those who teach as doctrines the commandments of men (i.e. Sunday worship), worship in vain. Matthew 15:6-9
  27. God is a jealous God and gives repeated admonitions that we are not to worship Him as the heathens worship their Gods. (This would not only include Sabbath/Sunday, but many other aspects, from yeast in communion bread to the worship of saints and idols.) 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 3 John 11
  28. Further to the aforementioned, continued Sunday worship in lieu of Sabbath  – when one is aware of the differences – is very simply the adulterous alienation of affection in following Satan rather than Christ.
  29. The Bible says that we are “Saved by grace through faith”. The most accurate translation of “faith” here is not just “belief”, but “allegiance” or “loyalty”, connoting an attitude of obedience and willingness to be true to God’s leading and instruction. To not endeavour to keep the Sabbath is to not have a requisite attitude of allegiance to God. (Bearing in mind that we are not saved by keeping the Sabbath or any other commandment. But our actions and efforts, successful or not, evidence to God our attitudes – whether we are allegiant to Him or not in our hearts.
  30. Further to the aforementioned, keeping God’s Law, including the Sabbath, will provide us with manifold blessings. Psalm 119
  31. Christ warns that if we’re not now doing what He commands, we won’t be ready for troublesome times ahead. (The story of the man who built his house on the rock.) Luke 6:46-48
  32. There are many dire warnings about “those who practice lawlessness” being cast into the furnace of fire. Allegiance and endeavouring to keep the Laws are important. They evidence our relationship to Christ and God. Matthew 13:37-42
  33. Neither the Law in general, nor the Fourth Commandment in particular, was ever done away with or set aside. Matthew 22:37-40; Luke 16:17
  34. It evidences that, unlike some of the rulers of Christ’s time, we love the praise of God more than the praise of men (and therefore are not concerned about “being put out of our synagogues”). John 12:42-43
  35. If we stumble in one point of the Law, we are guilty of all. James 2:10
  36. Our obedience, including that of Sabbath observance, is directly linked to our receiving blessings that we ask Him for. 1 John 3:22
  37. If we keep His commandments, including the Fourth, we abide in Christ. (What better place to be?) 1 John 3:24
  38. Not being allegiant to God, including Sabbath observance, puts us at risk of “falling from grace”. Galatians 5:4; Galatians 4:9; Galatians 3:1-3; Galatians 1:6-7; Matthew 25:1-13; Matthew 10:16-18,22; Matthew 13:18-23; Hebrews 6:1-12; Hebrews 3:5-15; 1 Peter 5:8-10; 2 Peter 2:1-21; Revelation 7:13-14
  39. One day in the future, near the end of time, Satan will set himself up as Christ in the temple in Jerusalem. At least three false teachings in modern-day Christendom will support his counterfeit: the Charismatic Movement with its signs and wonders; the Ecumenical Movement with its blend of the occult and truth; and Sunday worship (which pays homage not to Christ but to Satan). 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4,9-12; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:19-22; Matthew 24:3-14; Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 13:23-27; Colossians 2:4,6-8; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Peter 2:15, 18-22; 2 Peter 3:14, 17-18

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but
the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.
In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son,
nor your daughter, nor your manservant,
nor your maidservant, nor your cattle,
nor your stranger who is within your gates.
For in six days the Lord made the heavens
and the earth, the sea and all that is in them,
 rested the seventh day.
Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” 

Exodus 20:8-11

Does it “really matter” which day you worship on?

Let’s look at what the Bible says.

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4

“Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” Matthew 28:19-20

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:17-19

“This people honours Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Mark 7:6-7

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.”  John 14:21

“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth…Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”  1 John 1:6; 2-3-6

 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”  1 John 5:2-3

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15

“If you turn your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honourable, and shall honour Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  Isaiah 58:13-14

“Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”  Exodus 31:13-17

“For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me, says the Lord, so shall your descendents and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord.”  Isaiah 66:22-23

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”  John 14:21,23-24

“But why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49
Sabbath Quotations

The vast majority of Christian churches today teach the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, as a time for rest and worship. Yet it is generally known and freely admitted that the early Christians observed the seventh day as the Sabbath.

How did this change come about? History reveals that it was decades after the death of the apostles that a politico-religious system repudiated the Sabbath of Scripture and substituted the observance of the first day of the week.

The following quotations, first from Roman Catholic sources, freely acknowledge that there is no Biblical authority for the observance of Sunday, and that it was the Roman Church that changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week.

Also listed below are quotations from Protestants. Undoubtedly all of these noted clergymen, scholars, and writers kept Sunday, but they all frankly admit that there is no Biblical authority for a first-day Sabbath.


James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89.

“But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”

Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174.

“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?

“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”

John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies (1936), vol. 1, P. 51.

“Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days.”

Daniel Ferres, ed., Manual of Christian Doctrine (1916), p.67.

“Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?

“Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of, and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.’

James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921), in a signed letter.

“Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day —Saturday — for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes. Did Christ change the day’? I answer NO!
“Faithfully yours, J. Card. Gibbons”

The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893.

“The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.”

Catholic Virginian Oct. 3, 1947, p. 9, art. “To Tell You the Truth.”

“For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the[Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.”

Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957), p. 50.

“Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
“Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.

“Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
“Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About (1927),p. 136.

“Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday …. Now the Church … instituted, by God’s authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. “We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday.”

Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society (1975),Chicago, Illinois.

“Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

“1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

“2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible.”

T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb. 18,1884.

“I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.”


Protestant theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations have been quite candid in admitting that there is no Biblical authority for observing Sunday as a sabbath.


Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, vol. 1, pp.334, 336.

“And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day …. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it.”

Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments, pp. 52, 63, 65.

“There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday …. into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters…. The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday.”

Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday.

We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church.”


Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers’ conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner, Nov.16, 1893.

“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week …. Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.

“To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question . . . never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.

“Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history . . . . But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!”

William Owen Carver, The Lord’s Day in Our Day, p. 49.

“There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance.”


Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton &Mains), p. 127-129.

” . . . it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath — . . ‘The Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday …. There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.”

Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p. 258.

” . . . the Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath.”

Disciples of Christ

Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164.

“‘But,’ say some, ‘it was changed from the seventh to the first day.’ Where? when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives’ fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage who changes times and laws ex officio –
I think his name is Doctor Antichrist.’

First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19.

“The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.”


The Sunday Problem, a study book of the United Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36.

“We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both.”

Augsburg Confession of Faith art. 28; written by Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Henry Jacobs, ed. (1 91 1), p. 63.

“They [Roman Catholics] refer to the Sabbath Day, a shaving been changed into the Lord’s Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!”

Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church Henry John Rose, tr. (1843), p. 186.

“The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday.”

John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp. 15, 16.

“But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel …. These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect.”


Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p.26.

“Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day.”

John Wesley, The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., John Emory, ed. (New York: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25,vol. 1, p. 221.

“But, the moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of his coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken …. Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.”

Dwight L. Moody

D. L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting (Fleming H. Revell Co.: New York), pp. 47, 48.

The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember,’ showing that the Sabbath already existed when God Wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?”


T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp.474, 475.

“The Sabbath is a part of the decalogue — the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution . . . . Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand . . . . The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.”

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