Is it Saturday or Sunday?
For centuries, a great majority of Christians have been keeping the first day of the week, Sunday, as the Sabbath of the Lord, and few have stopped to question, or investigate its origin and authority; but in recent years, and especially today, many people are having their attention called to an investigation of the day to be observed by Divine command, and many people now, all over the world, are observing the seventh day, Saturday, as the original God-given day of rest.
Seventh day Sabbath keepers have been rapidly on the increase during the last generation or two; there have always been Sabbath observers, since God rested from the six days of creation. Sabbatarians are now conducting evangelistic campaigns in many parts of the world, and special attention is being called to the proper day for Sabbath observance.
The Sabbath question has been brought to the attention of all Christians. A study of the subject brings to light the origin of Sunday, the first day of the week, Sabbath, and Saturday, the seventh day of the week, Sabbath of Jehovah.
A Man Made Day and God's Holy Day
One day is of human origin, the other of Divine origin. We are brought face to face with the question, "will we obey man or God?" Arguments do not always settle questions, but the plain "thus saith the Lord" should guide us, -- and what does the word of God say upon the subject? And how came about the difference of opinion?
God has spoken upon this subject, and "holy men of God have spoken as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." We will turn from the false teachings of today, and "philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men," and go to the word of the living God which abideth forever; He changeth not, neither does His word; it is here that all disputed questions must be settled, -- at the bar of God.
Who Made the Sabbath?
God made all things. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made," "without Him was not anything made that was made."
"In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, 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. This day was observed by Adam and all the patriarchs, and ancient Israel; it was before the law given on Mount Sinai, when God spake "The Ten Commandments" from the holy mount, -- and they were then written by His own finger upon two tables of stone for preservation.
In the fourth commandment of this holy law it is written, -- "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." -- Ex.20:8,11. Moses was asked by God to remind the children of Israel of the Sabbath, -- "and the Lord spake unto Moses saying, speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, verily my Sabbath ye shall keep." -- Ex.31:12,13.
The True Sabbath of Divine Origin
It is plain that the Sabbath was made by God at the creation of the world, and was being kept by God's people afterwards. God did not need rest, for "The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not neither is weary." -- Isa.40:28. Christ and the Apostle Paul did not rest on the Sabbath day because they were tired, but because of the existence of a Divine institution which required rest, cessation from labor, on that day, -- an example for man to follow.
Rest must come after labor, so the Sabbath rest is the last day of the week, the day that God rested, blessed and sanctified. These can never be removed and will last to all eternity. God calls it "My holy day," "the Lord's day," "the Sabbath of the Lord thy God," -- a fixed institution that could not be changed.
The New Testament Teaches Rest on the Sabbath Day
When Christ was crucified, it was written, "that day was the preparation day," in which to get things ready for the Sabbath; "and the Sabbath drew on. And the Women ... also followed after and beheld the sepulcher, and how the body was laid. And they retired and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them." -- Luke 23:52-56, 24:7.
"The preparation day," -- "the Sabbath according to the commandment," -- and "the first day of the week," Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, are mentioned. It is plain that the seventh day or Sabbath is just before the first day of the week, or Sunday.
Was the Sabbath Made for the Jews?
It is often said that the Sabbath was made for the Jews, -- but this cannot be as the Sabbath was made at creation, two thousand years before a Jew ever existed. Christ says that, "The Sabbath was made for man" (Mark 2:27), mankind, the human race.
"All his commandments are sure; they stand fast forever," -- Psalms 111:7,8. Christ observed the Sabbath day, -- for, "As his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read," -- Luke 4:16. Also the Apostle Paul preached to the people on the Sabbath "as his manner was." -- Acts 13:42,44; 16:11-13; 17:l-3.
Christ in giving instruction to his disciples concerning the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army, which took place forty years after the crucifixion of Christ, said, "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." -- Matt.24:20. This shows that the Sabbath was not abolished at the cross as some claim, -- but they were to pray that they might be able to keep it forty years after the crucifixion on the cross.
Previous Chapter I N D E X Next Chapter