Jumat, 13 Februari 2009

Sunday Holiness

SUNDAY HOLINESS

The first day of the week has been, since ancient times, a day in which pagans, witches, shamans, and other occult and spiritualistic peoples worshipped the sun, hence the name--Sun-day. It was not a day to worship the God of heaven, but to worship the god of this earth--Lucifer or Satan or the devil. Sunday worship can be traced all the way back to ancient Babylon and Nimrod.
As the first day of the week is almost universally observed by Christians today instead of the seventh day Sabbath of creation which the Creator required that we must remember to keep holy (see Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-11), the question needs to be asked: "Why was there a change, and on what and whose authority was the Sabbath of the fourth commandment changed from Saturday to Sunday?"
The Roman Catholic Church claims to have this authority! They state: "Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change (from Saturday to Sunday) was her act. It could not have been otherwise, as none in those days would have dreamed of doing anything in matters spiritual and religious without her, and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." Letter from H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons.

Catholic church members recognize the authority of the Pope and their church as being greater than the authority of God, and thereby feel perfectly satisfied in observing the command of Rome in keeping holy the first day of the week.
But Protestant church members generally deny the authority of the church of Rome, and yet continue to worship on Sunday--a day for which the Catholic church alone claims authority to make holy. Thus Sunday-keeping Protestants are ignorantly paying homage to the authority of the Pope of Catholicism--and not to the God of heaven, and Rome clearly understands this!
"Protestants...accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change...In observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope." Our Sunday Visitor, February 5, 1950.

"It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church." Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, N.J. "News" of March 18, 1903.

"It was the Catholic Church which...transferred this rest (Saturday as the Sabbath) to the Sunday....Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Church." Monsignor Louis Segur, "Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today," p 213.

Most Protestants are honestly trying to serve and worship God to the best of their knowledge and ability. Yet when confronted with the truth regarding Sunday worship being only a commandment of Rome and not of God, many attempt to justify the change from Saturday to Sunday upon Biblical reasons. But not a single text clearly states that God has changed His Sabbath to the first day of the week! How then, can they dare to exalt the first day of the week above the Sabbath of the Lord, and yet claim to be serving and worshipping God?
There are several reasons urged for the observance of the first day of the week, instead of the Sabbath of the Bible, which we will here examine.

First Reason:

"Redemption is greater than creation; therefore, we ought to keep the day of Christ's resurrection instead of the ancient Sabbath of the Lord."

Where has God said this? It is no where to be found in God's word. What right then, has any man to make such an assertion and then to base the change of the Sabbath upon it? God never required men to keep any day as a memorial of redemption. But He did command us to keep holy the seventh day Sabbath as a memorial of creation thereby recognizing God as our Creator.
If however, it were a duty to observe one day of the week for this reason, most certainly the crucifixion day presents the strongest claims. It is not said that we have redemption through Christ's resurrection, but it is said that we have redemption through the shedding of His blood (see Revelation 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12,15). The wonder of the act of Jehovah in giving His beloved and only begotten Son to die for a race of rebels was a spectacle of redeeming love on which the universe might gaze in wonder throughout all eternity. Who could wonder that the sun was veiled in darkness and that all nature trembled at the sight! Friday, the crucifixion day, therefore, has far greater claims than the day of the resurrection; but God has not enjoined the observance of either.
If we would commemorate redemption, there is no necessity of robbing the Lord's rest day of its holiness in order to do it. For God has provided us with memorials for this event (see 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Second Reason:

"The disciples met on the day of our Lord's resurrection to commemorate that event, and the Saviour sanctioned this meeting by uniting with them (See John 20:19)."

Even were this true, it would not prove that the Sabbath of the Lord has been changed. For several days the disciples did not believe that their Lord had been raised from the dead, but were assembled for the purpose of eating a common meal and to seclude themselves from the Jews (see Mark 16:12-14; John 20:19). So the disciples were not commemorating the resurrection of the Saviour, and it is equally evident that they had not the slightest idea of a change of the Sabbath. They kept the Sabbath, according to the commandment, and resumed their labor on the first day of the week (see Luke 23:55-56, 24:1).

Third Reason:

"`After eight days,' Jesus met with His disciples again (see John 20:26). This must have been the first day of the week, which is thereby proved to be the Christian Sabbath."

Who can be certain that "after eight days" means just a week? A literal construction of the language would lead one to conclude that this was upon the ninth day "after eight days" were passed.
But even if "after eight days" means only a literal week, how does this prove that Sunday has become the "Christian Sabbath" when there is not a particle of evidence that either Christ or His apostles ever rested on that day? There is no such term as Christian Sabbath found in the Bible. The only weekly Sabbath named in the Bible is called the Sabbath of the Lord--the seventh day.
It should not be very remarkable that Christ should find His disciples together, inasmuch as they had one common abode (see Acts 1:13).

Fourth Reason:

"The Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, which was the first day of the week. Therefore, the first day of the week should be observed instead of the Sabbath of the Lord (see Acts 2:1-2)."

Admitting that the day of Pentecost occurred upon the first day of the week, it remains to be proven that this day thereby became the Sabbath. It was the feast of Pentecost, and not the first day of the week, that God designed to honor.
The day of Pentecost is distinctly named, but the day of the week on which it occurred is passed by in silence. It was not the design of Heaven to honor the first day of the week, but to mark the antitype of the feast of Pentecost.
The slaying of the paschal lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month had met its antitype in the death of the Lamb of God on that day (see Exodus 12; John 19; 1 Corinthians 5:7). The offering of the firstfruits on the sixteenth day of the first month had met its antitype in the resurrection of our Lord on that day, the firstfruits of them that slept (see Leviticus 23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Acts 1:1-2). And the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost fulfilled the type of the feast of Pentecost. It was not the day in which these events occurred that was of importance, but that these ancient symbolic ceremonies and services were meeting their fulfillment in type.
God spoke nothing in this place respecting the day in which these events occurred, and thus no proof exists for a change in the time of God's Sabbath. "Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" Proverbs 30:6.

Fifth Reason:

"Paul once broke bread upon the first day of the week. Hence this day was observed as the Christian Sabbath (see Acts 20:7)."

At one period the Apostolic church at Jerusalem broke bread every day (see Acts 2:42-46). If a single instance of breaking bread at Troas upon the first day of the week constituted it the Sabbath, would not the continued practice of the Apostolic church at Jerusalem in breaking bread on other days be sufficient to make these days a Sabbath also?
Why try to grasp at a single instance in which an evening meeting was held on Sunday, and then try to vainly prove that the Sabbath has been changed, while overlooking the fact that this same apostle Paul preached every seventh day Sabbath, not only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles? (See Acts 13:14,42,44, 16:13, 17:2, 18:4.)

Sixth Reason:

"Paul commanded the church at Corinth to take up a public collection on the first day of the week; therefore, this must have been a day of public worship and consequently is the Christian Sabbath (see 1 Corinthians 16:2)."

Paul, however, does not say: "Place your alms in the church treasury on the first day of the week;" but says: "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store."
The apostle simply told each of the Corinthian brethren to lay up at home some portion of his weekly gains on the first day or the beginning of the week before they had a chance to spend it all up. In following Paul's advice, they would be putting God and His cause first in their financial affairs, instead of at the end of the week after all their money had been depleted.
The whole question turns upon the meaning of the expression, "by him." Two Latin versions, the Vulgate and that of Castellio render the phrase, "apud se,"--"with one's self, at home." A similar rendering is given in numerous other versions.
The text, therefore, does not prove that the Corinthian church was assembled for public worship on Sunday; but, on the contrary, it does prove that each must be at his own home where he could examine his worldly affairs and lay by himself in store at the beginning of each week as God had prospered him. If each one would do thus, when the apostle should come, their bounty would be ready and each would be able to present to him what they had gathered.

Seventh Reason:

"John was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, which is then declared to be the first day of the week (see Revelation 1:10)."

But we ask: On what basis can it be assumed that this proves the point it is alleged to prove? This text, it is true, furnishes direct proof that there is a day in the gospel dispensation which the Lord claims as His; but is there one text in the Bible which testifies that the first day of the week is the Lord's day? There is not a single one.
Yet, there is indeed a record that God claimed a certain day as His and reserved it to Himself as His Sabbath. "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" Genesis 2:3.
"For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works....There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" Hebrews 4:4, 9 (see also Exodus 16:23, 20:10; Isaiah 58:13; Mark 2:28).

Then the seventh day is the rest day which God reserved to Himself when He gave to man the other six, and this day He calls His holy day. This is the day which the New Testament declares the Son of man to be Lord of. There is but one day that the Bible designates as the Lord's day, and it is none other than the Sabbath of the fourth commandment--Saturday.
Any Christian who knowingly continues to worship on Sunday--the first day, while they know that the Bible Sabbath of the Lord is on Saturday--the seventh day, thereby shows that they serve, worship, and respect the authority of the Pope of Catholicism and not the Lord God of the Bible.

When all the reasoning, theories, and excuses for keeping Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath of the Bible are thoroughly examined, the following two Scriptures plainly declare what God's people are to do in this controversy:
"We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29.

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

May God help us with the grace, strength, and courage to keep His commandments and show our allegiance solely to His authority serving and worshiping only Him. May He help us not to give our allegiance to the authority of any man or church, nor to serve and worship any man or church in the place of God.