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  • Writer's pictureSusan

Sabbath - Saturday or Sunday?

Updated: Mar 30

What is the difference between Saturday and Sunday. Why should it matter what day we worship on? You can worship on any day, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or any other day. We can and should worship God every day of the week. However, the Sabbath is significant and which day you worship on, can be a sign of which god you follow. Jesus says He is the Lord of the Sabbath. Who is the Lord of Sun Day?


Sabbath - Sign of Creator

The Sabbath is a sign of the Creator of Heaven and Earth who alone, has the power to sanctify us. He is the God who gives us freedom and desires a relationship with us above everything else. He is all powerful, but would never use His power to coerce or force us to follow Him. He allows freedom and woos us with His love. In six days, the God of Heaven and Earth demonstrated incredible power to breath the universe into existence. Once man was created, God ceased from demonstrating His power to commune with man and begin a relationship based on love and trust. When Lucifer made his allegations against God, he never brought God's power into question. He questioned God's character of love. God wanted His creation to have spiritual strength in their community with Him; to really know Him. He would eventually prove the lengths of His other-centered love on the cross. He had all power, but He wouldn't use His power to save Himself, which would have made the allegations true and condemned humanity. The Sabbath is God's oath that we can trust Him to take care of us and that He has our best interest at heart; that He will give us rest in Him. We do not have to rely on our work to be saved, but God's free gift of grace, won at the cross on our behalf. He is our creator, savior and redeemer and gives us the overarching memorial of the Sabbath, from creation to redemption. It is a sign that we put our hope and faith in Him and no other; that we desire a relationship with the God who created Heaven and Earth and that we trust Him as our savior and that He will redeem us.


Sunday - Mark of Catholic Church's Ecclesiastical Authority

Sunday, the venerable day of the sun (Invictus Solis - Roman Sun God) is a mark of the Catholic church's ecclesiastical authority. The Nicene Creed further demonstrates that the church has four marks that support such authority, that it is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. Under this creed, the church has the power to change God's laws and use her authority and power to enforce such laws as demonstrated in the persecution of Sabbath keepers for over a millennium. Further outlined in the creed is the claim that all protestant churches are not recognized as separate, but are part of the body of the catholic or universal church and will be brought back into the church through the ecumenical movement. The church also has the power to sanctify through a combination of works such as baptism, the sacraments, a life of service and God's grace. They claim Sunday is a memorial of Jesus' resurrection, but they celebrate mass, a ceremony whereby they sacrifice Jesus weekly. Hebrews 10 says that Jesus' sacrifice was sufficient once, for all. All we need to do is believe and ask for forgiveness. By grace, we receive the free gift of redemption. No penance, indulgence or mass necessary, just a relationship with the redeemer.


"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." Exodus 20:8-11

Some Comparisons

So what are the differences between the two days? Below are some comparisons between Sabbath and Sunday. This chart notes the role played by the Roman Government under Constantine and the Catholic church's claims of authority to change the law of God. It is not a criticism, but a review of the history of the change as acknowledged by the Catholic church.

Sabbath

Sunday

​Sabba Oath - Promise or oath from God that He will give us rest. This is a promise that salvation is by grace not works and we can trust Him to fulfil this promise.

Sunday - Day of the sun. Pagan holy day, honoring Sol Invictus, the unconquered sun, or morning star, legislated as a day of worship in 321 AD.

7th day of the week

1st day of the week

​Sabba means to swear or make an oath, bind oneself through seven things.

Shibah or Sheba means seven, the words are part of the same root.

​Day of the Sun

Sign of God. "hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God." (Ezekiel 20:20)

​Mark of Catholic church's ecclesiastical authority.

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church Section 2 Article 3 (1994) “The (Catholic) Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her Founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday."

Overarching Memorial from Creation to Redemption. God is our Creator, Savior and Redeemer.

Venerable day of the Sun, set aside for worship of Sol Invictus (Roman Sun God). Sol Dei.

God used His mighty power to create the Heavens and Earth, Animals and People for six days. That evening and throughout the next day, he rested with His creation to build a relationship with Adam and Eve. The Sabbath is all about the relationship God wants to have with us.

In 321 A.D, the Roman Emperor Constantine decreed that Christians should no longer keep the Sabbath and keep Sunday instead calling it the “Venerable Day of the Sun”.

The Sabbath signifies that God's law is part of our design. Following God's seven steps, develops friendship between us and God. This is a natural consequence of the Sabba Oath. We are sanctified through our relationship with a relational God. It does not have to be policed or enforced, the consequences are self evident. Following God's way is our choice and we have the freedom to accept or reject His friendship. He never uses force or coercion.

Sunday is an arbitrary day chosen by man. It has no redemptive quality and was not declared holy by God. There is no oath connected with it. We are warned that in the future there will come a time when Christians will not be able to worship God as their conscience dictates. Religio-political laws will be enacted in an effort to stave off God's judgement. Fear and coercion will be used to police and enforce man made consequences. When you see these methods being used, you can be sure that this is "the abomination that brings desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place" (Matthew 24:15).

Sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday

Sunday

Sundown always changes, we must be watchful and prepared - The anticipation of the Sabbath is a foreshadowing of Jesus' second coming (redemption). We must be watchful and prepared.

Many Christians believe in the extra Biblical doctrine of an immortal soul that goes to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory after death. This contradicts the Biblical teaching that the dead know nothing, and are awaiting the return of Christ to be resurrected and taken to Heaven.

​Remember is included in the command because we have forgotten the Sabbath.

Sabbath keeping Christians were persecuted for centuries by the Holy Roman Church until the memory of Sabbath was almost stamped out. After the Pope was arrested in 1798, the Bible was circulated more freely. As more people had access to education and the Bible, knowledge of God increased. By the mid 1840s there was a great awakening as Bible truths that had been obscured for so long, came to light. The Sabbath was one of those truths first grasped by the Seventh-day Baptists.

Sign of God that He is the Lord that sanctifies us - "Speak also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily 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 that does sanctify you." (Exodus 31:13) "Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them." (Ezekiel 20:12)

The Catholic church claims that there are four marks of the church in the Nicene Creed: they believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. The second mark that the church is holy, includes the statement, "Christ sanctifies the Church, and in turn, through Him and with Him, the Church is His agent of sanctification." (www.catholiceducation.org)

The law is sealed with the Sabbath commandment. A seal (or sign) contains the name of the lawgiver (LORD thy God), His jurisdiction (Heaven and Earth), and the date of incorporation (creation)

Sunday stands as a mark of the Catholic church's ecclesiastical authority. The Nicene creed expands on this helping us to understand that the church has four marks, 1. one, 2. holy (can carry out the work of sanctification and has the power to change the word and law of God), 3. catholic (does not recognize protestant churches as separate) and 4. apostolic.

​Memorial set in time. Can be kept and honored by anyone, anywhere. It's time itself. It shows the accessibility of God and that He values our time and relationship above all things.

Memorial of resurrection, determined by Man not God.

​When Jesus died on the cross, He cried out, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? The root saba is the basis for a word that is translated as forsaken. Saba means oath or to bind oneself through seven things. The sanctuary message leads us through seven steps whereby we bind ourselves to God resulting in our redemption. Sabachthani is not normally used for the word forsake. Jesus used it in response to the separation from God that we deserve. Jesus experienced that on the cross. He paid the price of what sin does to us, so He could fulfil His oath not to forsake us.


God's Law or Man's Law

“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.” Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism [FRS No. 7.], (3rd American ed., rev.: New York, Edward Dunigan & Bro., 1876), p. 174.


What's in a Name?

The seventh day of the week is still referred to as Sabbath in several languages around the world. Below is a list of variations where you can still see the root in the word.


Arabic: Sabet

Armenian: Shabat

Bosnian: Subota

Bulgarian: Sabota

Corsican: Sàbatu

Croatian: Subota

Czech: Sobota

Georgian: Sabati

Greek: Savvato

Hebrew: Shabbat

Indonesian: Sabtu

Italian: Sabato

Latin: Sabbatum

Maltese: is-Sibt

Polish: Sobota

Portuguese: Sábado

Romanian: Sambata

Russian: Subbota

Serbian: Subota

Slovak: Sobota

Slovene: Sobota

Somali: Sabti

Spanish: Sabado

Sudanese: Saptu

Ukranian: Subota


Common arguments against the Sabbath

I understand that pastors often try to brush this subject under the rug and say it is legalistic or works based to follow the Sabbath. But literally, the Sabbath stands for freedom in Christ. It is His promise of rest in Him. That is what the words Sabba Oath mean.


Some Christians claim that the moral laws containing the Sabbath were nailed to the cross and that we are no longer under the law, but under grace. However, the Bible states that the commandments contained in ordinances were nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). That means all of those sacrifices and feasts (the ordinances) that pointed forward, to the Savior, no longer served a purpose. They all pointed to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Once He was sacrificed, those laws were nailed to the cross, in Him. And that sacrifice was sufficient to save us all.


Your pastor may also point out that Colossians 2:16 lists Sabbaths as part of the ordinances, but these are not the same as the weekly Sabbath contained within the moral law. The Sabbaths in the ordinances were high holy days to be kept within the calendar of ordinances. The Sabbath day was given to mankind at creation and still stands as a promise of redemption. It is outlined in the moral law and, as such, still stands as a sign that we are sanctified by Christ alone. The moral law hangs on the framework of the law of love and will stand forever, written on our hearts and minds, throughout all eternity.


Tradition is also the strongest reason, people will claim. However, the Mark 7:6-13 says,

"Jesus answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain;

they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’ You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.” He went on to say, “You neatly set aside the command of God to maintain your own tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever you would have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift devoted to God), he is no longer permitted to do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by the tradition you have handed down. And you do so in many such matters.”


I have heard some pastors say that Sabbath keepers worship the day. No, no no! Sabbath keepers worship the Lord of the Sabba Oath! The Creator and Redeemer! The One who alone can sanctify us! And that's a sign I want to hold up high and share with the world!


So, whom will you serve?

Some people react very strongly when presented with this information. We might reason, 'if this is the truth, we should have known it already'. But it's important to note, that we haven't always had the Bible in a language we could understand throughout history. The Bible was chained to the walls in monasteries and written in a language not many could read for over a millennium. Only since 1798, has the Bible been more readily available in more languages and we have been educated enough to read it. Forty years after getting our hands on the Bible, there was a great awakening all over the Christian world, as God's word started to be understood. God's character of love began to emerge, the second coming of Jesus, righteousness by faith, the Sabbath, etc. Still, not everything is understood and tradition dies hard. But now, we are studying more; we are asking deeper questions and with the internet, we are able to compare "precept upon precept; line upon line" (Isaiah 28:10), viewing multiple translations simultaneously.


So whom will you serve? "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15), the Lord of the Sabba Oath!


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