QUESTION: Which days should we keep as the Christian Sabbath days?
ANSWER: The Bible clearly teaches that God's day of rest
(Sabbath) is the Seventh Day (that is, the 8th,
15th, 22nd, and 29th day of each month based on moon phases. See
for proof) NOT the first day or Sunday. Genesis
"By the seventh day
God completed His work which He had done, and He rested
on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,
because in it He rested from all His work which God had created
So the Sabbath law was established
by God in creation and God Himself set the example for us to rest
on that day (the seventh day, not any other day). Since this Sabbath
law was made before the Old Covenant, it does not rise or fall
with the Old Covenant. Actually the Bible records that Abraham
"obeyed God and kept His charge, His commandments, His status
and His laws" (Genesis 16:5).
This Sabbath law was later
used by God to test the Israelites whether they were truly obedient
to Him. This was again before Mount Sinai.
"Then the LORD said
to Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and
the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day,
that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction'"
Further, we see that this
Sabbath law was so important to God that He made a separate covenant
with Israel. God commanded Moses:
"Speak to the sons
of Israel, saying, You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for
this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations,
that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. Therefore
you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you"
This Sabbath law is eternal,
not only to the Israelites, but also to the Church, and eventually
all the people on earth. Psalm 119:89 says: "Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven". Isaiah 40:8 proclaims:"The
grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands
forever". LORD Jesus speaks strongly and clearly on this
"Do not think that
I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not
come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to
you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter
or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished"
How did Jesus fulfill the
Law? He first of all kept all the laws of God (including the Sabbath
law, thus He did not sin, because "sin is lawlessness",
1 John 3:4). And then He paid the death penalty for sinners so
that they can be justified before God and receive the new strength
through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to continue keeping
the laws of God.
1 John 2:3-6 tell us plainly:
"By this we know
that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
The one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' and does not keep
His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but
whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been
perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one
who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same
manner as He walked".
The question each of us
needs to ask ourself is: Do I really love God? If so, How can
I walk in the same manner as Christ walked?
What most of us fail to
realize is this: that when Christ comes back to reign the earth
in His Millennium Kingdom, He is going to re-establish the Sabbath
Law and demand everyone to worship Him on the Sabbath days. God
speaks through Isaiah concerning these days:
"And it shall be
from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath,
All mankind will come to bow down before Me," says the
LORD" (Isaiah 66:23).
Those who don't obey this
law will face terrible punishment:
"Then they will go
forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed
against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will
not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind."
As you have seen, the Scripture
is very clear on this issue: the Sabbath law is so
dear to God and He wants us to keep it holy on His chosen day.
You can't show me a single
verse in the Scripture that says God blessed the first day of
the week and made it holy. The passages many Bible teachers used
to support Sunday observance (i.e. 1 Cor. 16:2 and Acts 20:7)
should not lead you to a conclusion that Paul started the weekly
Sunday observance, if you carefully study these passages in their
context and take them at their face value (that is the most natural,
normal and customary sense). On the contrary, the book of Acts
records in many occasions Paul faithfully kept the Sabbaths during
his ministries (i.e. Acts 13:14-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4).
The reason why the law of
Sabbath was not emphasized in the New Testament, even not mentioned
in the Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15) was because it never became
a problem in the earliest stage of church development. When the
Jews believed in Jesus as their Christ, they became believing
Jews and continued to keep the Sabbaths and all the holy days
of the Lord. When the gentiles were converted, they naturally
followed the Jewish traditions and became a part of the body of
Christ. The switch from Sabbath to Sunday observance, as many
historical records have revealed, was not until late 2nd and early
3rd century. It was caused mainly by fear of persecutions (upon
the Jews by Romain emperor) and political reasons (rather than
biblical reasons) and was later enforced by Roman Catholic Church
through civil law. A good reference book is by Dr. Samuel Bacchiocchi
Sabbath to Sunday: A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday
Observance in Early Christianity". I highly recommend
you read this book to gain further understanding of the root of
May God grant you understanding
and a heart of obedience to His holy law.
Scripture quotations taken from the
New American Standard Bible.
Further questions or comments on this
answer may be sent to Stephen at here.
Weekly Sabbath Days Are Determined by the Moon (PDF document)
Daily Moon Phases Website Module