Most of Christendom believes that Jesus was crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the week. But if that is true, as most of us have been taught, there are some serious problems with the words of Jesus, Himself, in His prophecies regarding His betrayal, death and resurrection.
If you examine the original Greek in the Greek/English Interlinear translation of the Bible, available from any Christian book store, you will find that the morning the women came to Jesus' tomb and found it empty was "Sabbaton," in the Greek, or Saturday the Seventh-Day Sabbath, in English --- NOT Sunday, the first day of the week, even though that is the incorrect way it has been translated.
There are a number of Christians who are aware of this information. In fact, they theorize that since Jesus was resurrected on "Sabbaton," the Seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday), in order to accommodate Jesus' prediction that He would be in the "heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights," then Jesus must have been crucified on Wednesday and rose from the grave on Sabbath afternoon (Saturday).
But an "afternoon" resurrection is not Biblical. The original Greek and the English translation state that the women came to the tomb early in the morning, "before dawn" and the tomb was empty. (John 20:1)
Even though it is clear from the original Greek that Jesus was resurrected on Saturday Sabbath, I do NOT subscribe to the theory of a Wednesday crucifixion and a Saturday afternoon resurrection. The reasons will become apparent as we proceed.
We will now analyze the Biblical prophecies surrounding Jesus' betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection, including the words of Jesus Himself, in order to fully understand the sequence of the events surrounding His resurrection including
1) why the Seventh-day (Saturday), and NOT the first day of the week,Sunday, was the actual day of His resurrection,
2) why this has been mistakenly, or possibly purposely, mistranslated by Bible scholars,
3) why one does NOT have to be a Greek scholar to understand this. All one needs to be able to do is be able to (a) see, and (b) be able to read!! and,
4) why this information is critically important for EVERY Christian to know at this time in earth's history.
"But is this information necessary for my salvation?" you may ask. The answer is "Absolutely!" The reasons will become clear as we proceed.
PROBLEM 1: "Three days AND three nights"
In Matthew 12:38-40 the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign. But He said to them:
"An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Most of Christendom believes that Jesus was crucified on Friday afternoon, placed in the tomb before sundown Friday night, rested in the tomb on the Sabbath (Saturday) and was resurrected on Sunday morning before dawn.
But Jesus was very emphatic about giving one sign and one sign only, the sign of Jonah. And Jesus Himself said that "as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Notice, Jesus does NOT say, "three days and nights." He specifically says "three days AND three nights." And he says it TWICE!
Part of Friday, all day Saturday and part of Sunday could give us 3 DAYS, using Jewish inclusive reckoning (any part of a day can be counted as a "day"). BUT --- WHERE DO WE GET THREE NIGHTS? There are ONLY TWO: Friday night and Saturday night!
Some say that Jesus was just using an idiomatic expression, so He really didn't mean 3 days and 3 nights. But Jesus was giving a prophecy concerning His resurrection, so it must be specific! If it is not reliable and specific, then none of the other prophecies in the Bible can be considered reliable and specific either.
The veracity of Jesus, Himself, is at stake here!
An inquiring mind searching for the truth must admit that there IS a potential problem with the generally held belief about the times of the crucifixion and resurrection.
PROBLEM 2: "Holy One will not see corruption"
Psalm 16:10 and Acts 2:24-32 say "neither wilt thou allow thine Holy One to see corruption" which most Christians believe is a prophecy predicting that Jesus' body, when in the grave, would not decay. Every one who deals with dead bodies knows very well that a body starts to decay within a very short time, certainly within a few hours. That's why bodies are immediately refrigerated in hospitals while awaiting pick-up by the funeral home.
If Jesus' body was in the grave from Friday evening until Sunday morning, His body would most certainly have been decaying. Some say, "Well, He was God, so that's why His body didn't decay." Yes, Jesus is God, but Jesus went into the grave in a human body, subject to all the problems of humanity. That's why he could get tired and need to rest and also why He could DIE. He did not get His "glorified" body until he was resurrected. That's when He could "appear" in the upper room without coming through an open door.
Others say that God could supernaturally keep Jesus' body from decaying, and this is also true. But this would not have been consistent with God's desire to allow Jesus to be subject to all the forces that humankind must endure on this earth.
We must assume that Psalms 16:10 is a prophecy that tells us something IMPORTANT about Jesus' resurrection. This is confirmed as this passage from Psalms is quoted in Acts 2:24-32 as a prophecy about Jesus.
PROBLEM 3: "heart of the earth vs. grave"
Jesus said he would be in the "heart of the earth" three days and three nights. He did NOT use the word tomb or grave. The word "grave" was in Jesus' vocabulary as He used that word two different times:
In Luke 11:44 He said:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are as graves which are not seen, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them."
In John 5:28 He said:
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice."
In both instances the Greek word "mnemeion" is translated as "grave." See #3419 in Strong's Concordance of the Bible where the meaning of mnemeion is: grave, sepulchre or tomb.
Jesus did NOT use this word in describing where He would be for the three days and three nights. He said He would be in the "HEART OF THE EARTH." The Greek word "heart" (#2588 in Strong's Concordance) is kardia, similar to the English word for heart: cardia or cardiac. It means heart, center or middle. In the phrase "heart of the earth," "earth" #1093 in Strong's Concordance is the Greek word "ge" which means "soil" OR can also "include the occupants of the earth."
If Jesus wanted to tell us that He would be in the grave for three days and three nights, why didn't he use the word "grave?" It certainly was in His vocabulary because He used it at two other times, when that's what He wanted to say. But HERE, concerning His betrayal, death and resurrection, He chooses NOT to use the word "grave" (the Greek word "mnemeion"), and instead uses the phrase "heart of the earth."
We must assume he had a reason for using the different wording. Could this be the key to unlock the meaning of this prophecy?
PROBLEM 4: Sign of Jonah
Why did Jesus give the "sign of Jonah"? What was unique about Jonah's experience that symbolized what Christ would go through? After all, Jesus COULD have just said "The Son of man will be in the grave three days and three nights" and left it at that. He didn't have to link His future experience to Jonah's previous experience. Why did He do it?
Well, Jonah WAS in the belly of the whale three days and three nights according to the account in the Bible (Jonah 1:17) and according to Jesus' own quote (Matt. 12:38-40).
BUT --- when Jonah was in the belly of the whale --- WAS HE DEAD???
NO, HE WASN'T!! (Now don't jump to conclusions! I'm NOT going to suggest that Jesus didn't really die on the cross. I believe He did. But I'm trying to make a DIFFERENT point here. So please keep reading!)
Jonah was CONFINED --- unable to escape --- but was NOT DEAD!
So since we KNOW that Jonah wasn't dead for those three days and nights, could that be a clue as to what Jesus is trying to tell us when He SPECIFICALLY gave us that "ONE SIGN!"
Could He have been trying to tell us that for the three days and three nights He would not necessarily be in the ground (soil), but surrounded by the inhabitants of the earth -- unable to escape meaning that He would be betrayed, His fate would be sealed, but it would be three days and three nights until He was actually crucified.
PROBLEM 5: The counting of days in the Bible regarding Jesus' resurrection always starts with Jesus' betrayal!
Christians ALWAYS begin counting the "three days and three nights" at the time of the crucifixion. But Jesus STARTS HIS COUNTING of the "three days AND three nights" with HIS BETRAYAL!
See Matt. 17:22,23
Jesus said unto them, "The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill Him, and the third day He shall be raised again."
See Matt. 20:18,19
"Behold we go up to Jerusalem: and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death. And shall deliver Him to the Nations to mock and scourge and to crucify Him; and the third day He shall rise again."
Here it is: betrayed, delivered, mocked, scourged ---- then crucified. This whole sequence of events STARTED with His BETRAYAL!
See Matt. 26:2
"Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
See Luke 24:13-24
After Jesus had been resurrected, He was walking (incognito) with two of His disciples on the Road to Emmaus, the disciples were explaining to this "stranger" what had taken place in Jerusalem in regard to Jesus. They said:
"Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. But we were hoping that it had been He which would have redeemed Israel: and beside this, today is the third day since these things were done." (vs. 19-21)
Conclusion: In EVERY instance, the series of events begins NOT with Jesus' crucifixion, but with His BETRAYAL!!
So, let's look at when Jesus was FIRST betrayed! Most people look to the evening of the Last Supper (The Passover) presumably, Thursday night, as the time when Judas first betrayed Jesus. But it actually happened earlier ---
In Matt. 26:1-16 there is the account of Jesus attending a meal at the house of Simon the leper in Bethany (vs. 6). A woman poured a costly fragrant oil on His head as an anointing "for His burial." His disciples were indignant about the "waste" and said the oil should have been sold and the proceeds "given to the poor." But Jesus commended what the woman had done and kindly rebuked the disciples for their lack of understanding about His coming death.
Verse 14 says "THEN, one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot went unto the chief priests and said unto them, "What will you give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver." --- Here is the initial betrayal!
Now let's consider just WHEN that dinner was. In verse 2 of the same chapter (Matt. 26) it gives us the answer. Jesus said, "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."
So it was TWO DAYS until the Passover. When was the Passover? Well, Jesus ate the Passover meal on the night BEFORE His crucifixion. See Matt. 26:17-21
"Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, `Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?' And He said, `Go into the city to such a man, and say to Him, The Master saith, My time is at hand: I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.
"And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve to eat."
Judas completed the betrayal of Jesus after the Thursday night Passover meal. (John 13:21-30)
As you read on, you will see that Jesus was crucified the following day.
So if the Last Supper (Passover) was on Thursday night, then the dinner at Simon the Leper's house was on Tuesday night -- two full 24-hour days before!
Problem 6: So on WHAT DAY was Jesus resurrected?
Let's look at the ORIGINAL Greek: It says that Jesus was resurrected on "mia Sabbaton" Sabbaton is the Greek word for Sabbath. Sabbath is the word for the Seventh day of the week Saturday in the English language and in 100 other languages (Sabado in Spanish, Shabat in Hebrew, Sabbaton in Greek, etc).
The Greek word sabbaton (#4521 in Strong's Concordance) is used in the New Testament 68 times. FIFTY-NINE times it is translated SABBATH, but NINE times the very same word is ARBITRARILY translated "first day of the week."
Why would the translators make that arbitrary change?
Of these nine times, 6 times are in reference to the resurrection of Jesus, 2 refer to (purportedly religious) meetings that were held and 1 refers to an incident of fasting.
Isn't it curious that the translators of the King James Version of the Bible would arbitrarily and dramatically change the translation of a word 9 times, when it is systematically and repeatedly translated "Sabbath" 59 times? What is their reason?
If one wishes to say "first day" in Greek, there are specific words to do so.
The word for "FIRST" in Greek is PROTOS (#4413 in Strong's Concordance).
The word for "DAY" in Greek is HEMERA (#2250 in Strong's Concordance).
So if one wishes to say "First Day" in Greek, the words are "Protos Hemera!" --- NOT mia Sabbaton which means "on the Sabbath," "one Sabbath" or "one of the Sabbaths."
There is NO specific Greek word listed in Strong's Concordance for the English word "WEEK." However, some Greek scholars say that the word "week" in Greek is designated by the term "sevens" or hebdomads in Greek. Yet in these instances the word "Sabbaton" is arbitrarily translated `WEEK" instead of its proper translation - "SABBATH."
In the book Answers to Objections, by Francis D. Nichol, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington D.C.) the subject of grammatical gender is discussed. "Grammatical gender" means that in Greek the gender of the noun and the gender of the adjective must be the same. For instance, in Spanish the word for little boy is niño and the word for little girl is niña. The adjective modifying niña is "la" as in "la niña" (a feminine adjective modifies a feminine noun). The adjective "el" modifies niño as in "el niño" (a masculine adjective modifies a masculine noun).
The Greek word "mia" or "mian" (meaning "one" NOT "first") is in the feminine gender and the Greek word for Sabbath, "Sabbaton" is neuter gender. According to Greek scholars, an immutable law requires adjective modifiers to agree with their nouns in gender. Therefore, according to these "experts" the phrase "mia Sabbaton" cannot be translated "one of the Sabbaths" because the genders for the two words don't match.
They then propose that the translation of the word Sabbaton must be changed from "Sabbath" to "week" and the word "day" must be added (as it is implied). Since the Greek word for "day" is hemera and this noun is feminine gender, then they say everything works out fine. So "mia Sabbaton" is then translated "first day of the week."
But hold on a minute!! That's taking a lot of "linguistic license," it seems to me.
What these "experts" have done is added a full word that isn't there at all ("day") and totally changed the translation of Sabbaton (Sabbath) to the word "week."
However, if one is going to imply the word "day" in the first "day" of the week, why not imply it after Sabbath as in "Sabbathday" which makes a lot more sense (and in fact is done in Strong's Concordance MANY times). Then the genders work out perfectly. "Mia" is feminine and "Sabbathday" is feminine because "day" is implied.
Therefore "mia Sabbaton" means "one Sabbathday" or "one of the Sabbathdays."
If the "experts" can "imply" the word "day" in "first `day' of the week," then we certainly can imply the word "day" in "Sabbathday" with much greater certainty.
*If you object to this reasoning, then please tell us why it is acceptable to add the word "day" in the first instance, but not acceptable in the second instance.
This quote from the Concordant Commentary page 136, clearly explains the issue.
"The resurrection did not occur on Sunday, or "the first day of the week," but on the first one of the seven sabbaths which led from Firstfruits to Pentecost. The notable phrase "one of the sabbaths" is always found in the interval between Passover and Pentecost, never at any other time of the year. It may refer to any sabbath of the seven. It is usually used of the resurrection day (Mt. 28:1, Mk. 16:1-2, Jn. 20:1-19), which would be during the days of unleavened bread, but also of a sabbath after this (Ac. 20:6,7), any time up to Pentecost (1 Co. 16:2,8).
"Scholars are divided as to the reason for the rendering "first day of the week." It was usual to say that "one" is sometimes used for first, and that "sabbaths" sometimes means week, but the latest attempts to justify the accepted rendering is that "one of the sabbaths" is equivalent to "the first day after the sabbath." As the day after the sabbath was commonly called the "morrow of the sabbath" (Lev. 23:15), this seems far-fetched. Even if we take "one" to mean first in this case, the sense is not changed for the first of a series of sabbaths, as we read in Mark (16:9).
"But in no case was sabbaths ever used for `week'". That is always represented by hebdomad , or seven. The only exception would be when a number of sabbaths measure the same space of time as so many hebdomads. As the expression "first day of the week" can be so readily expressed in Greek there are grave grounds for refusing to use these words as the equivalent of `one of the sabbaths'".
Now let's look at some specific examples of arbitrary mis-translation of the words "of the sabbath."
Luke 4:16 says:
"And He came to Nazareth where He was brought up and He went in as was His custom on the day of the Sabbaths in the synagogue and stood up to read."
This is very clearly referring to the Seventh-day Sabbath. I know of no one who will argue with that.
PLEASE NOTE that the VERY SAME PHRASE that is used in this text for "the Sabbath" is the phrase used in three texts referring to the resurrection which are translated (inaccurately, I propose) as "first day of the week" in the King James and virtually ALL other versions of the Bible.
Luke 24:1 says:
"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared..."
"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre."
"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews"
Now let's look at the word "week", again a mis-translation (I assert) of the phrase "the sabbath."
"I fast twice in the week.."
PLEASE NOTE: THE VERY SAME PHRASE that is arbitrarily (and incorrectly, (I assert) translated "week" in Luke 18:12, is translated "Sabbath" in ALL of the following texts!
States, in reference to Jesus' burial, "As the Sabbath was passing (or incorrectly, I propose) "When the Sabbath was past) Mary Magdalene, and Mary..."
The Pharisees are asking that the bodies not remain on the cross on the Sabbath "for great was the day of the sabbath..."
The Pharisees complain that Jesus is healing on the "Sabbath."
Responding to the Pharisees angry complaints that He healed a woman on the Sabbath, Jesus asks "Isn't it right to free this daughter of Abraham from her bonds on this day of the Sabbath?"
Jesus asks the Pharisees, "Which of you, if your ox or ass fell into a pit would not at once pull him out on the day of the Sabbath?"
ALL OF THESE last 5 texts CLEARLY are referring to the Seventh-day Sabbath and are translated correctly as "Sabbath." Yet the VERY SAME PHRASE is arbitrarily translated "week" in Luke 18:12. (See previous page)
Some may say, "Well, it's impossible to fast "twice" in one day." First of all, why don't we translate the Bible accurately and let the Bible interpret itself, rather than manipulating the words to fit our often inaccurate modern-day ideas.
In addition, who made the ruling that "fasting" must be a full 24 hours? Why can't "fasting" refer to skipping an individual meal or two?
And finally, why would anyone use this one text to "prove" that (since we can't understand fasting any other way) we MUST assume that the word "Sabbath" can arbitrarily also be translated "week"?
The next point to examine is the use of the plural versus the singular.
Some "experts" say that "Sabbata" (the plural of Sabbaton, translated Sabbaths) can be translated either "Sabbaths" or "week". If so, then my question is, what are the linguistic rules? Which translation is accurate and under what circumstances? There seem to be no rules!
It appears that the translation really depends on the predetermined theology of the translator. For instance, nearly all the Bible translators appear to agree that the plural "Sabbaths= Sabbata" can also mean "week." It is translated "week" in Matt:28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1, John 20:19, Acts 20:7, and 1 Cor. 16:2 in reference to the resurrection:
But this presents a BIG problem, because the very same plural Greek word is arbitrarily translated Sabbaths and NOT first day of the week in numerous texts, including:
Jesus Teaching in the synagogue on "the Sabbaths" Mark 1:21 Luke 4:31 Mark 3:2 Jesus healing the man with the withered hand on "the Sabbaths"
Mark 3:4 "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbaths?"
Luke 6:9 Matt: 12:5 "Or have you not read the Law that on the Sabbaths the priests profane the Sabbath and are guiltless?"
Luke 6:2 "Why do you do that which is not lawful on the Sabbaths?"
Luke 4:16 "And He came to Nazareth where He was brought up and He went in as was His custom on the day of the Sabbaths in the synagogue and stood up to read."
Mark 2:23-25 "disciples eating grain on the Sabbaths."
Matt. 12:10 "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbaths?"
Matt. 12:11 "If a sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbaths, is it lawful to pull it out?"
Matt. 12:13 "It is lawful to do well on the Sabbaths?" Then He healed the man with the withered hand.
In all of these cases the plural of the Greek word is Sabbaton translated properly as the word "Sabbath." Why didn't these translators translate all these "plural" Sabbaths as "first day of the week?"
Obviously they couldn't, because when the verses are read in context it is clear that there would have been NO controversy with the Pharisees if Jesus had been healing on the "first day of the week," or if the disciples were picking grain on the "first day of the week."
So why do these same "experts" decide to translate the plural form of Sabbaton as "week" ONLY when the word appears in relation to the resurrection or the two times the meeting were held on "the Sabbaths?"
I can see NO OTHER REASON that this has been done except as it fulfills the preconceived theological beliefs of the translators.
They have decided that the resurrection of Jesus was on the first day of the week because TRADITION supports it. So they have used drastic linguistic gymnastics to translate it that way. But the Bible clearly states that the resurrection was on Sabbath, NOT the first day of the week.
Problem 7: The Preponderance of the Evidence
Bible scholars generally agree that if you have 40 texts that say one thing doctrinally, and three texts that appear not to agree with the 40, it is prudent to examine those three carefully to see if the original interpretation is faulty. It is not acceptable to throw out the 40 opposing texts and accept doctrine based on the three texts only. We must look to the preponderance of the evidence.
By the same reasoning, if "Sabbaton" is translated Sabbath, or Sabbaths, 59 out of 68 times and is arbitrarily translated first day of the week ONLY nine times, it seems prudent to thoroughly examine WHY this has occurred in these nine instances.
Many scholars reply that the resurrection MUST have been on the "first day of the week" to uphold the truthfulness of Jesus' prediction of "three days and three nights" (i.e. Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection).
But when we put it all together we see that Jesus was NOT DEAD during those three days and three nights. His doom had been set (He had been betrayed Tuesday night) so He was "surrounded by the inhabitants of the earth," unable to escape, but NOT DEAD! Just as Jonah wasn't dead for the three days and three nights he was in the belly of the whale.
So we have:
Tuesday night (first betrayal) and starting point for 3 days and 3 nights.
Total: 3 nights
Total: 3 Days
There are the 3 days and 3 nights! Jesus was crucified and died at 3:00 P.M. ("the 9th hour") on Friday, the Preparation day for the Seventh-day Sabbath. He was placed in the tomb before sundown Friday evening and He was resurrected on Friday evening RIGHT AFTER sundown at the very beginning of the Seventh-day Sabbath!! (Days, or twenty-four hour time periods, are measured from evening to evening. See Genesis Chapter 1.)
The women came to the tomb Sabbath morning before dawn (Mark 16:9, Luke 24:1, John 20:1) and the tomb was EMPTY! Jesus had already risen!
He died and was buried before sundown - and was resurrected right after sundown. That's why His body did "not see corruption!"
NOW LET'S PUT IT ALL TOGETHER!
1) The "three days and three nights" are literal 24-hour time periods and
2) they begin on Tuesday night, the first betrayal by Judas (2 days before the Passover) and end on Friday night.
Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night = 3 nights.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday = 3 days.
3) Jesus was NOT dead during that time (heart of the earth), just as Jonah was not dead during his 3 days and 3 nights in the whale's belly. Jesus was in the "heart of the earth" (surrounded by the inhabitants of the earth, unable to escape), because His doom was set!
4) He died at 3:00 P.M. Friday afternoon, was placed in the tomb BEFORE sundown, but was resurrected immediately AFTER sundown at the very beginning of the 7th day Sabbath (Friday evening). (By the way, God didn't need the angels to roll away the stone for His resurrection, but humans needed that to happen so they could look in and see that Jesus was gone.)
Additional confirming evidence.
a) Isaac (a type of Christ) was to be sacrificed by Abraham on Mt. Moriah. It took 3 days to get there (Genesis 22:4,8) During that time, Isaac was alive but (as far as Abraham knew) Isaac's doom was set!
b) The Passover lamb was to be taken and held ALIVE, but unable to escape, for 3-4 days before it was sacrificed, from the 10th to the 14th day. (Exodus 12:3) Like Jesus, the authentic Passover lamb, it was alive but it's doom was set!
When the Passover lamb was sacrificed and prepared for the Passover meal, it was to be eaten and NONE was to be left until morning. Jesus, the Passover Lamb, was also NOT left in the tomb until morning. Exodus 12:10
5) Jesus died at 3:00 P.M. Friday afternoon and He was placed in the tomb right before sundown Friday night. And He was resurrected right AFTER sundown at the beginning of the Seventh day Sabbath (Sabbath was, and is, from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night), so His body "did NOT see corruption!"
6) His resurrection occurred on SABBATON the Seventh day Sabbath - as would be expected because the Seventh day Sabbath is God's DAY throughout the ENTIRE Bible in both the Old and New Testament.
7) The Seventh day Sabbath was declared holy by God at the end of Creation week (see Genesis 2:1-4) and has been God's holy day ever since.
Also, Jesus was resurrected at the beginning of the Seventh-day Sabbath, which symbolically looks forward to the millennial "Sabbath Rest."
When Jesus returns at His Second Coming, it will begin the 1,000 year millennial rest, so He will come again at the beginning of the Millennial Rest just as He was resurrected at the beginning of the Seventh-day Sabbath rest.
In the entire Bible, both Old and New Testament, God's number is 7, and His day is the Sabbath. He instituted the Seventh-day Sabbath at Creation (Gen. 2:1-4). He, Himself, made it Holy! This was a Sabbath for ALL mankind, not for the Jews only. When the Sabbath was created by God, there was not a Jew on the earth for another 1,600 years, until Abraham's descendants. Adam and Eve were NOT Jewish, yet they kept the Seventh-day Sabbath as God ordained.
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, after the exodus from Egypt, God reminded them to keep the Sabbath that He had already initiated at Creation. He said "REMEMBER the Sabbath day to keep it Holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all they work: But the Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work" (Exodus 20:8-10) He included this Seventh-day Sabbath day commandment in the 10 commandments, the only portion of the Bible that God wrote Himself with His own finger in STONE!
When Jesus came to earth, He worshiped on the Seventh day Sabbath. And after His resurrection He met with His disciples and other followers many times and NEVER ONCE did He even hint that he had changed His Holy Day. In fact, the Bible says Jesus is "the same yesterday, today and forever." God says "I NEVER change."
After Jesus' resurrection, His followers, including Paul, continued to keep the Sabbath. Acts 13:42-44 and Acts 16:13
There is NO Biblical evidence whatsoever for the establishment of Sunday, the first day of the week, as the Sabbath. And now we see that even Jesus' resurrection was on the Seventh-day Sabbath.
SO WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
Thousands of years ago, the controversy between Cain and Abel was NOT over which God to worship they both worshipped the same God but it was over HOW to worship that God. Abel worshipped as God had ordained, but Cain chose to do it HIS OWN WAY man's way!
The problem is still the same today. How - and when - are we to worship God? Are we to follow God's instructions or man's?
There is a great movement by Christians in America to return to God. That's a wonderful concept that I agree with. But how is that to be accomplished? By changing the hearts of individuals by introducing them to Jesus or by passing laws to force them to worship in a certain way or on a certain day? God certainly does not use force to compel us to obey Him. That is the method of Satan.
Yet the Pope has called for CIVIL LEGISLATION to make Sunday a day of worship and this is being endorsed by the "Lord's Day" Alliance, a group of prominent Protestant leaders in the U.S. with the goal of bringing America "back to God" and particularly endorsing Sunday as a day of worship. They even refer to Sunday as "the Sabbath," a designation that has NO Biblical basis. Even calendars are beginning to reflect Monday as the first day of the week and Sunday as the seventh day, a dramatic and erroneous change in the weekly cycle from what God designated. However, these are the Adversary's devices to confuse the people. Only earnest study will yield the truth.
One group of people has honored the Seventh-Day Sabbath for thousands of years - - - the Jews! They still keep Saturday, the Seventh day, as the Sabbath, and correctly so. In fact, we can see that the Seventh day Sabbath has been kept by numerous nations throughout time because it is reflected in the name they give to the seventh day, the day Americans call Saturday. In over 105 languages it is seen that all of the words for Saturday either contain the root word for Sabbath or are synonymous with Sabbath. Following are a number of examples: Sabado or Sábado (Portuguese, Galician, Spanish, and Tagalog); Shapat (Armenian); Sábadu (Asturian); Al Sabit (Arabic); Sabtu (Malaysian and Indonesian); Subota or Subbota (Croatian, Serbian, Russian, and Ukrainian); Sobota (Czech, Polish, Slovak, and Slovenian); Sa'bato (Greek); Shabat (Hebrew); Szombat (Hungarian); Shanivar (Hindu); and Shabes (Yiddish). This continuation of the root word for Sabbath reflected in so many languages as the seventh day of the week, what we call Saturday, confirms that the Seventh day was honored as the Sabbath day of worship in many countries of the world for centuries.
The "Lord's Day" Alliance also supports the premise that the United States is a Christian nation and therefore there should be NO separation of church and state. Yet the First Amendment to our United States Bill of Rights, ratified Dec. 15, 1791 states the following
"Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment
of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
If Congress passes a law mandating Sunday as the day all businesses must close to allow everyone to be off work, what happens to the people who believe in a different day of worship, such as the Jews, the Seventh-day Adventists and others who keep the Biblical Seventh-day Sabbath, or what happens to the Muslims who revere Friday?
Businesses would strongly resist a Sabbath keeper's request to refrain from work on Saturday because the employee already will have Sunday off, by law! Even if he were allowed Saturday off, the person would NOT have the option of making up the time off by working on Sunday. So he would either lose another day's wages every week, or might even lose his job --- or he may become unemployable because no one will hire him.
Ominously, in 1990 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (in Employment Division vs. Smith) "The free exercise of religion is a luxury that a well-ordered society cannot afford."
Whatever happened to our first Amendment rights?
In May of 1998, the Pope issued an Apostolic Letter Dies Domini (available at www.CIN.net) calling for civil legislation to force all businesses to close on Sunday. The Pope's letter states: "Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy" (§67).
This clearly is civil legislation that, in essence, forces Sunday as a day of worship for all Christians. What happens to Christians (and possibly non-Christians) who don't believe that Sunday is God's ordained day of worship, that instead the Seventh-day Sabbath is God's day of worship and always has been since creation? In addition, both Catholics and Protestants have stated publicly that there is NO Biblical evidence to support keeping Sunday as the Sabbath. What will happen to these resisters?
Pope John Paul II also added an enforcement document, Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio AD TUENDAM FIDEM," by which certain norms are inserted into the code of Canon law, and which also establishes related canonical sanctions.
What does that mean in plain English? It means when something is made "canon" it is regarded as sacred, (an authoritatively established rule) and there are penalties (sanctions), some very severe, dictated by the church for not obeying these rules.
In this enforcement document, one finds the following:
"Canon 1371 The following are to be punished with a just penalty:
"A person who, when warned by the Apostolic See, does not retract;
"A person who in any other way does not obey the lawful command or prohibition of the Apostolic See or a Superior and, after being warned, persists in disobedience.
"Canon 598: Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition. . . all Christian faithful are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines. (NOTE: Apparently they feel they have jurisdiction over ALL Christians.)
"Canon 1436 - § 1. Whoever denies a truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or who calls into doubt, or who totally repudiates the Christian faith, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished as a heretic."
(NOTE: In the past "punishment as a heretic" has meant death! for both Catholics and non-Catholics.)
In his apostolic letter, Dies Domini, the Pope states nearly 30 times that Sunday is the chosen day of worship because "Jesus was resurrected on Sunday." However, the documentation in this study shows that the Bible clearly reveals that Jesus was resurrected on Sabbath, --- Saturday --- the 7th day of the week, not Sunday!
In addition, it should be noted that this is an official change from the past in the stance of the Catholic Church on this issue. The Catholic Church has always acknowledged that the Seventh-day Sabbath is the day of worship ordained by God, the day God made Holy, and nowhere in the Bible is there any directive by God to keep Sunday holy. However, the Pope claims that the Catholic Church has the power and authority to CHANGE the day God has chosen for worship of Him, from the Seventh day Sabbath, Saturday, as declared by God in His fourth Commandment, (See Ex. 20) to the first day, Sunday.
By definition, the Pope is claiming to be equal with, or even above, God.
Quotations from Catholic Leaders and Catholic Publications
"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles. From the beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first." - The Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August 1900.
"Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the (Roman Catholic) Church, has no good reasons for its Sunday theory, and ought logically to keep Saturday as the Sabbath." - John Gilmary Shea, American Catholic Quarterly Review, January, 1883.
"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", March 18, 1903.
"Protestants accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change. But the Protestants' mind does not seem to realize that in observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope." - S.D. Mosna, Storia della Domenica, 1969, pages 366-367
"We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty." - Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894.
"The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under veil of flesh." -The Catholic National, July, 1895.
"If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church." - Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter, February 10, 1920.
"We define that the Holy Apostolic See (the Vatican) and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world. - A Decree of the Council of Trent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabiel Cossart, The Most Holy Councils, Vol. 13, col. 1167.
"It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest (from the Bible Sabbath) to the Sunday. Thus the observance of Sunday by Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church." - Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, page 213.
"We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."- Peter Geiermann, CSSR, A Doctrinal Catechism, 1957 edition, page 50.
"We Catholics, then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy instead of Saturday as we have for every other article of our creed, namely, the authority of the Church whereas you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for Sunday sacredness in the Bible. - The Brotherhood of St. Paul, The Clifton Tracts, Vol. 4, tract 4, page 15.
"The 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. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant." - The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, page 4.
Here are some quotations from
Protestant leaders and Protestant publications.
Baptist: "There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week." - Dr. E. T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual
Congregationalist: "It is quite clear that however rapidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath was founded on specific, divine command. We can plead no such command for the observance of Sunday. There is not a single line in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the sanctity of Sunday."- Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments, pages 106-107
Baptist: "The Scriptures nowhere call the first day of the week the SabbathThere is no Scriptural authority for doing so, nor of course, any Scriptural obligation."- The Watchman
Presbyterian: "There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday" - Canon Eyton, in The Ten Commandments
Anglican: "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."- Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, pages 334,336
Baptist: "To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years discussion with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false (Jewish traditional) glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during the 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 as a religious day, as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and christened with the name of the sun-God, then adopted and sanctified by the Papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism." - Dr. E.T. Hiscox, report of his sermon at the Baptist Minister's Convention, in New York Examiner, November 16, 1893.
So the TRADITION of keeping Sunday holy in honor of Christ's resurrection has NO BIBLICAL VALIDITY whatsoever!
Jesus was resurrected on the Seventh day Sabbath. He said "I am Lord of the Sabbath." Mark 2:28
"The Seventh Day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Exodus 20:8-10
The Seventh Day Sabbath (Saturday) is the Lord's Day!
What ever happened to the right to worship as one chooses?
History has confirmed that every time civil power and religious power are combined in one government, the result is ALWAYS persecution of those who don't agree with the majority. Look at the Dark Ages!
God is NOT a God of force! Forced worship of any designated type, or on any designated day, is of Satan! Anytime anyone is forced to worship on a particular day, or in any particular way, not of his own choosing, this is against ALL the principles of Christ.
Jesus said "I, if I be lifted up, will DRAW ALL to me." John 12:32. Jesus "draws" us to Him with His love. He does NOT push or force!
There is a power that is inseparable from the truth of the gospel of Christ -- that is the power of God. The gospel is the manifestation of that power, for the gospel "is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." The power of God remains with any group or organization of people of Christ as long as they maintain in sincerity the principle of that gospel. They will have no need of any other power to make their influence felt for good.
But just as soon as any person or association professing the gospel loses the spirit of the gospel, the power is gone also. When the church or association loses the power of God and of godliness, then they greedily grasp for the power of the State to legislate laws to enforce the church's discipline and dogmas upon those whom they have lost the power either to convince or to persuade.
When the church turns away from the power of God and cloaks herself with the power of the State, she does not declare open warfare against God, but instead pretends, and possibly believes, that she is still doing God's work on earth. She wars against God covertly, maintaining the deception by continuing to use the names of all the institutions of true Christianity. In other words, she becomes a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Force is the LAST resort of EVERY false religion!
What About the "Lord's Day"?
Doesn't the "Lord's Day" mean Sunday?
The ONLY time the words "the Lord's Day" are used in the Bible is in Rev. 1:10 where John says "I came to be in the Spirit in (not "on") the Lord's day." John was in the Spirit (in vision) IN (original Greek) the Lord's Day. The King James Version has changed it to "on" the Lord's day.
"In Spirit, John is transported into the future day of Jehovah of which the prophets have often spoken. The Hebrew phrase `the day of the Lord' is changed to `the Lord's day' in order to shift the emphasis from the character of the day to the time, which is the important point in this passage." (Concordant Commentary, pg. 384)
The entire book of Revelation is John's vision on what would be happening at the end of time, in "the day of the Lord." Peter speaks about this "day of the Lord" in
2 Peter 3:10,
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." Paul refers to the "day of the Lord" as the "end of the world" or the end of this era or age.
1 Cor 5:5 "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord."
1 Cor 1:8 "Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
2 Cor 1:14 "As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus."
Phil 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Phil 1:10 "That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ."
Phil 2:16 "Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain."
These texts all confirm that "the day of the Lord" is looking forward to the time when Jesus returns. It is NOT referring to a specific day of the week, and certainly there is NOTHING to link it to the specific day of "Sunday."
There is no text in the Bible saying that Sunday is "The Lord's Day" nor that Sunday is in any way a day of worship. God ordained the Seventh day Sabbath as His Holy Day and He says "I never change!" Malachi 3:6
Sunday is the first day of the week and a day that for thousands of years has been set aside to worship the pagan sun god! Therefore, it is named Sunday!
In addition, Jesus has designated which specific day is His:
Jesus, Himself, said "the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath!" Luke 6:5 The Seventh day, the day that He set aside at creation and the day that He kept when He was on earth.
So the Seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday, IS "The Lord's Day."
But wasn't the Seventh-day Sabbath done away with at the Cross?
Wasn't that the Old Covenant? Aren't we now under the New Covenant - Grace - rather than the Law?
Remember, God wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger - in stone! This was one of ONLY two times we are told that He wrote anything for us, Himself. He obviously wanted us to understand its importance. It was written in stone because it was to be everlasting. It was the ONLY thing placed INSIDE the ark. The Ordinances, or Mosaic laws, were placed in the SIDE of the ark along with Aaron's rod that budded.
There is NOWHERE in the Bible that Jesus, either before or after his death and resurrection, tells us He changed His day of worship. In Col 2:13, Paul tells us that God "blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was AGAINST US, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross."
Certainly, the Ten Commandments are NOT against us nor contrary to us. If the Ten Commandments were blotted out and nailed to the Cross, that would mean it's acceptable to lie, steal, murder, commit adultery, worship idols and profane God's name. The ordinances were the Mosaic laws, the system of feasts and animal sacrifices. THESE were done away with at the Cross, NOT the Ten Commandments.
It's interesting to note that when Christians talk of the Law, the Ten Commandments, being nailed to the Cross, the ONLY commandment that is abandoned is the Fourth Commandment, the Seventh-day Sabbath Commandment. All the others are kept intact.
The New Covenant, God says, is NOT doing away with the Law, but putting the LAW, the Ten Commandments, in our minds and in our hearts. Heb 8:10 says "For this is the NEW COVENANT that I will make with the house of Israel saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." God wants us to keep the commandments, by His grace and power, because we agree that is the right way to live, NOT just because God has told us to.
The New Covenant is the SAME law, but instead of being written on stone as the Old Covenant was, it is now written in our minds and on our hearts. So we DO right, because it IS right - because we want to do right, not because we have to!
The Meaning of the Sabbath
Who may resist this information and why?
The Seventh-day Sabbath is a symbol of Creation, Redemption, and Liberation from sin.
The Sabbath is a Memorial of Creation
At creation, God brought order out of chaos, and memorialized His creation of the world by making the Seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) holy. Marriage (Adam and Eve) and the Seventh-day Sabbath were the two institutions initiated at creation. (Genesis: chapters 1 & 2) They were intended for ALL humanity for ALL time!
In the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) God reminds us (He says "Remember" the Sabbath day) that we should worship Him because He is our Creator. "The Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God, 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 made it holy." The Seventh-day Sabbath is a memorial of God's creation of us, the world and everything in it. Remember that the writing of the Ten Commandments is one of only two times that God actually wrote a message, Himself, with His own finger in stone. What more could He have done to show us the importance and permanence of the Ten Commandments? (The other time God wrote, was the warning on the wall of impending disaster to Belshazzar of Babylon. Dan. 5:25,26)
The Sabbath is a Symbol of Freedom from the Bondage of Sin
In the Deuteronomy version of the Ten Commandments, God links the fourth commandment, worshipping God on the Seventh-day Sabbath, to deliverance from Egyptian bondage. (Deut 5:12-15) Egypt is a Biblical symbol for sin, bondage and degradation (See Rev 11:8) "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Exodus 13:3 & 14, Exodus 20:2.
The relationship between the Exodus deliverance from Egypt (symbolizing sin) and Sabbath freedom is directly established in Deuteronomy 5:15 "You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out thence with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath Day."
In the instructions given to ancient Israel, every seventh year was the Sabbatical year when the ground was to rest, to remain unplanted to allow the soil to regenerate its nutritional value for subsequent planting and growing of food. After seven Sabbaticals, or 49 years, the Jubilee year arrived when all slaves were to be set free and all land was to return to its original owner.
So the Seventh-day Sabbath symbolizes rest, regeneration and redemption, and freedom from the bondage of sin.
The Sabbath Looks Forward to the Millennial Rest
The weekly Sabbaths symbolize and look forward to redemption and the millennial "Sabbath rest," the thousand years of peace when Jesus will have redeemed His people.
The Messianic mission of Jesus was to bring physical healing, spiritual enlightenment, rest, freedom from suffering and deliverance from sin.
Liberty, redemption, and rest were the hallmarks of Jesus' ministry. They were also the essence of the Sabbath. Jesus and the Seventh-day Sabbath are inextricably linked. Jesus brought spiritual and physical restoration. That's why He healed many people on the Sabbath. He often first said "Your sins be forgiven," and then He healed them --- in that order!
The Sabbath was memorialized at Creation. It is a sign of 1) redemption from sin, and 2) both physical and spiritual restoration in the 1000 year millennial rest that begins when Jesus returns.
The Sabbath is Not Just for the Jews
The Sabbath was made holy by God at Creation nearly 2000 years before Abraham, who was the father of the Israelites. So the Seventh-day Sabbath is NOT Jewish. It was given at Creation to Adam and Eve and therefore, to ALL mankind.
Jesus said "The Sabbath was made for mankind (humanity), and not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27 KJV The word man or mankind in the Greek used here is anthropos it means human beings or humanity.
Jesus' resurrection and victory over death, providing salvation and eternal life for sinners, is the crowning act of His ministry and the ultimate fulfillment of the meaning of the Sabbath. Jesus and the Seventh-day Sabbath are linked together throughout the entire scriptures. That is why He chose to arise from the dead on His Seventh-day Sabbath!
Sunday keepers say they worship on Sunday to honor the resurrection of Jesus. But this information, showing that Jesus was resurrected on the Seventh-day Sabbath, eliminates ANY reason for keeping Sunday as a day of worship.
The fourth commandment as written by God Himself, says the Seventh-day Sabbath is the holy day for worship, and Jesus said, "If you love Me ---- KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS." (John 14:15)
Not only does the Bible, in the original Greek, plainly reveal that Jesus was resurrected on the Seventh-day Sabbath, but it is the ONLY day that makes any Biblical sense for His resurrection day.
Seven is God's number!
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath --- the Seventh-day Sabbath.
The Seventh-day Sabbath IS the Lord's Day!
There is NO Biblical evidence that Sunday was designated as a day of worship as a memorial to Christ's resurrection. However, God DID designate a memorial to the Resurrection of Jesus, but it was not a change in the day of worship, from Sabbath to Sunday. It was the rite of BAPTISM. (Romans 6:4) "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
I) The Pope and the Catholic Church will likely resist this information for the following reasons. In the Pope's Apostolic Letter, Dies Dominis, (www.cin.org) published in May, 1998, it is repeatedly stated that civil law must be passed to "allow " (force?) everyone to worship on Sunday because "That is the day of Jesus' resurrection," they claim. This declaration is stated repeatedly in the Pope's Letter.
For hundreds of years, the Catholic church has claimed that as "God's church on earth," (although there is no Biblical foundation for this presumption) they have the power to arbitrarily pick any worship day they choose, even to the point of "abolishing" God's chosen hallowed day, the Seventh-day Sabbath. In other words, the Pope claims to have authority equal with God. The Catholic Church declares that tradition is equal to Scripture in the development and enforcement of theological doctrines.
This concept is precisely what Jesus strongly refuted when he was on earth.
Jesus said: "You have made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." Matt: 15:6
"For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men." Mark 7:8
"Full well, ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:9
II) The Protestants, whose name originated from a "protest" against the non-Biblical edicts of the Catholic church and their reliance on tradition, have accepted Sunday as the day of worship, the day that the Catholic church has arbitrarily "established" based on tradition!
The Catholic Church has taunted the Protestants for their acceptance of this day. They state,
"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", March 8, 1903.
"If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church." Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal in a letter, February 10, 1920.
"The 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. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant." The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, pg. 4.
In addition, over the past decade there has been a strong ecumenical movement by the Protestants to join again with the Catholic Church, (see Evangelicals and Catholics together. www.leaderu.com/ect)
III) The Seventh-day Adventists, who should be delighted that Jesus was resurrected on the Seventh-day Sabbath, the day they have always held as the Biblical day of worship and a day made even more grand by the resurrection of Jesus, may resist this information as well.
What could possibly hamper their acceptance of this good news?
One of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, Ellen G. White, wrote extensively about Jesus' life, other Biblical truths and Christian deportment. Many believe she was an inspired writer. And I agree.
She stated in her books that Jesus was resurrected on "the first day of the week." However, she wrote in the mid-1800's and early 1900's without the assistance of all the Bible study helps we have now. All of the English translations of the Bible she had access to have mis-translated the day of Jesus' resurrection.
Seventh-day Adventists have been accused of accepting Ellen White's word above the Bible and therefore of being a "cult." A cult is defined theologically as a group that accepts the words of man above the Bible. It is interesting to note that this definition would classify the Catholic Church as a cult, as they hold tradition equal to, or above the Bible, the Word of God and the Pope declares that he has the authority to change the sanctity of the Seventh-day Sabbath, ordained by God, to Sunday.
Seventh-day Adventists adamantly deny that they accept Ellen White's writings above the Bible. They have repeatedly stated that she is a "lesser light," pointing to the "greater light" of the Bible.
She, herself, stated many times that she was NOT infallible, that only God is infallible.
The following are her words:
"In regard to infallibility, I never claimed it; God alone is infallible. His word is true, and in Him is no variableness, or shadow of turning." Selected Messages, Book One, pp. 416 and 37.
"Our position and faith is in the Bible. And never do we want any soul to bring in the Testimonies (Ellen White's writings) ahead of the Bible." Evangelism, p. 256
We must study the truth for ourselves. No man should be relied upon to think for us. No matter who he is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a criterion for us." Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 106 and 110.
Even with these quotations as well as others by Ellen White, admitting that she was not infallible, Seventh-day Adventists often end up interpreting the Bible through Ellen White's writings rather than the other way around.
The Seventh-day Adventists, both as a corporate structure and as individual believers, are frightened to entertain the premise that Ellen White could have been in error on any issue. "If she was wrong on this issue," they surmise, "then how can we believe anything she wrote?" And they worry about the entire doctrinal precepts of the denomination slowly unraveling.
But if Seventh-day Adventists truly believe in "the Bible, and the Bible only" then they will be able to study and evaluate this information with an open mind.
If they find it difficult or impossible to accept Ellen White's statements that she was "not infallible" and accept her prediction that there would be "new light," then they have to re-evaluate their premise that they accept "the Bible and the Bible only" as the standard for truth.
Here is a synopsis of the Sabbath:
a) At Creation, God blessed the Seventh-day Sabbath and made it holy.
b) He said the Sabbath was made for mankind!
c) When God gave the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, He said "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. . . The Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.
d) When Jesus came to earth, He kept the Seventh-day Sabbath holy. It was His custom!
e) Jesus was resurrected on the Seventh-day Sabbath, bringing salvation to the world. This was the high point not only of Jesus' life, but the high point of the entire history of this world! It happened on the Seventh-day Sabbath.
f) After Jesus was resurrected, His followers continued to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath.
g) Jesus said, "I am Lord of the Sabbath."
h) And finally, after giving mankind the Ten Commandments, including the fourth commandment, to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath holy, Jesus said "If you LOVE Me, keep my commandments!"
Why wouldn't we want to? After all, He loved us so much He was willing to DIE for us!
Other questions on the Sabbath Resurrection
1) Aren't there other texts related to the betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection?
Answer: Yes, and they also start with His betrayal or "suffering", which was emotional as well as physical.
"From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
"For He taught His disciples and said unto them, The Son of man is being delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him and after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day.
Mark 10: 33,34
"Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He shall rise again."
"Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain and be raised the third day."
Luke 24: 5-8
"And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they (the angels) said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, 'The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' "
Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, " Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.
"Destroy This Temple"
Matt 27:62 - 64
"Now the next day, that followed the day of preparation, (This was the Sabbath. The Sabbath begins Friday evening after sundown), the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, "After three days I will rise again."
Comment: Jesus DID rise after the 3 days that started with His betrayal.
2) How about the "Temple" texts?
Here are some scriptures that equate the beginning of the three days with destroying the temple of His body:
PLEASE NOTE: In the following verse, John 2:19-22, the word "destroy" actually means "raze." It is the Greek word luo and means "to loosen or melt." It does NOT necessarily mean to kill or to deprive of life, even though Jesus did eventually die. Clearly, this passage is in agreement with all the other passages that Jesus spoke when He began the three days with His betrayal and the beginning of His sufferings prior to His crucifixion.
John 2:19-22 "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But He spake of the temple of His body. When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."
The other four texts regarding the "temple" in relation to the body of Jesus ( Matt 26:61, Matt 27:40, Mark 14:58, and Mark 15:29) are ALL spoken by the enemies of Jesus, those who were bearing false witness against Him, so CANNOT in any way be used as an argument for truth.
3) When was the Passover?
Why was Jesus keeping a different Passover from the one the leaders of the Jews were keeping?
Answer: Jesus obviously kept the Passover on Thursday evening (the Last Supper), yet He was crucified on Friday, the day that the Pharisees and others were planning to keep the Passover.
Matt 26: 17-20
"Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, 'Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?' And He said, 'Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, 'The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.' And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. Now when the evening was come, He sat down with the twelve."
But the others were keeping the Passover on following day, the day AFTER Jesus kept the Passover!
"When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and He saith unto the Jews, 'Behold your King!' "
Clearly there is a discrepancy here. First, Jesus could not EAT the Passover meal at the same time He was being sacrificed as the Passover lamb (at His crucifixion). Apparently, there were two groups of individuals, each keeping a different day as the Passover. Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover meal on Thursday night whereas the leaders of the Jews, the ENEMIES of Jesus, were planning to eat it on Friday night.
But ONLY ONE day could be correct! Which group was keeping the Passover on the proper day? Jesus, who instituted the Passover -- or the leaders of the Jews, the ones who were planning to kill Jesus?
We can be certain that Jesus was keeping the correct day, as He was the one Who ordained it in the first place.
Then why were the Jews keeping a different day from Jesus? Historically, there are two possible answers:
a) There is some historical evidence that, (just as we do today), holidays (feast days) were moved for convenience. By moving the Passover to coincide with the Seventh-day Sabbath, the leaders would have to close their shops on only ONE day, not TWO days.
b) The feast days were ordered by God on specific days of the months, but the month was a lunar month and originated with a "new moon." It was not always easy to discern exactly when the "new moon" appeared and there is some historical evidence that committees were designated to collect evidence from citizen observers as to when the "new moon" actually first appeared. Because of the uncertainty regarding the beginning of the month, feast days were observed on two consecutive days to insure that the proper day was not missed.
Whatever the reason was, it is obvious that Jesus observed the Passover on the CORRECT day (Thursday evening) -- but was crucified on Friday afternoon at the same time the vast majority of the people and their religious leaders were expecting the Passover lamb to be sacrificed, thereby drawing attention to Jesus' role as THE Passover Lamb. Those of the people who had been praying and studying with an eye for discerning truth, would then recognize Jesus as the Messiah. But few did!
4) The Walk on the Road to Emmaus
If Jesus was resurrected on Sabbath (Friday evening), then His walk with the disciples on the road to Emmaus was on Sabbath. Emmaus is about 8 miles from Jerusalem. This would have been against the Jewish laws for Sabbath-keeping.
Answer: Jesus' entire ministry was spent teaching a DIFFERENT message from the one that the Pharisees were teaching. Jesus repeatedly rebuked the Pharisees for adding unnecessary burdens to Sabbath-keeping. He showed them the proper way to keep the Sabbath by doing acts of healing and other kindnesses to the people. So the disciples on the road to Emmaus were followers of Jesus, NOT followers of the traditions of the elders.
5) The Women at the Tomb
The Bible says that the women who were with Jesus at His crucifixion, went home to rest on the Sabbath. Yes, they did. They went home on Friday evening, which was now the Sabbath (it was after sundown), and stopped their routine work.
But they came to the tomb on Sabbath morning and the tomb was empty because Jesus had already risen. I know of no scripture that tells us that a body could not be prepared for burial with spices, etc., on the Sabbath. Even if there is, or if Jewish history tells us that it was against the Pharisaical laws, we apply the same argument as that noted above for the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The women were disciples of Jesus. They were NOT following the traditions of the Pharisees.
6) But you're not a Greek scholar! How can you even suggest that the translations are incorrect?
It is not necessary to be a Greek scholar to understand the points of this study. All one has to be able to do is to SEE and to READ. It is then obvious that the very same Greek words are translated differently in different places according to the preconceived beliefs of the translators. However, I do invite ANY and ALL Greek scholars to show me where I am wrong. I would be more than happy to listen. But it must be done Biblically. Please don't respond according to tradition.
7) Shouldn't information like this, assuming that it is true, come from our church leaders?
The Bible shows repeatedly that God virtually NEVER brought new information through any existing religious organizational structure. He rarely used anyone with worldly credentials. In the few instances that He did use someone prominent or educated, He first had to put the individual through a severely humbling experience before he could be useful to the Lord.
Look at Moses. He was second in line to Pharaoh in Egypt, but was not useful to God until he spent 40 years in the desert and was an old man of 80.
Look at Paul, a Pharisee and a highly educated religious leader, who was an enemy of the Lord until Jesus stopped Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul first became temporarily blind, then spent 3 years in the desert while the Lord taught Paul humility and dependence on Him. Then God could teach Paul what He wanted him to be and to do.
God chose the lowly shepherds in the field for the announcement of Jesus' birth, NOT the religious leaders in Jerusalem.
God picked David, a humble shepherd boy and the youngest of all Jesse's sons, to be the King of Israel.
When God picks individuals, He doesn't use worldly criteria. He picks the ones He chooses, frequently because they are the least of the least and the weakest of the weak. Then He gives them all the abilities necessary to do the job. So God is proving that NO ONE can do ANYTHING without Him, but ANYONE can do ANYTHING - WITH God's help!
8) Is this information necessary for my salvation?
Daniel, chapter 7, speaks of a beast that will "devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down and break it in pieces. And he shall speak great words against the Most High and think to change times and laws." Dan 7:24,25
Change times? Like trying to change God's holy day of worship from Saturday to Sunday?
And change Laws? Like changing God's Ten Commandments, specifically the 4th commandment, the Sabbath commandment?
It is generally understood that this beast of Dan 7 is the same beast spoken of in Rev 13 and 14, the beast that the whole world will follow after and receive his Mark, the dreaded Mark of the Beast (Rev 13:26,27), symbolic for an allegiance to a global combined civil and religious power.
Right before Jesus comes, there will be just two groups: In one group will be those who accept the mark of the beast, those who acquiesce to the global power and its plan of forced worship on a day appointed by man.
In the other group, a very small group, will be those who refuse to accept this Beast's authority in substituting a human-appointed day of worship, Sunday, in place of God's appointed day of worship, The Seventh-day Sabbath - Saturday. This group, referred to as the saints of the Most High God, will not be allowed to buy or sell and will be severely persecuted by the Beast, a symbol for this global government that has total power, both in civil and religious matters.
Note that those who accept the Mark of the Beast will have sided with Satan, and against God. They will bow down and worship the false christ. Those who refuse to accept the Mark will receive the Seal of God and will stand on the Lord's side.
Jesus said, "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matt 15:9
"We ought to obey God rather than man." Acts 5:20
So -- is this information necessary for our salvation? Most emphatically, it is!
But in addition, do we just want to know the bare minimum in order to get ourselves "saved"? How selfish and self-centered we are! We don't want to know anything MORE about God than we absolutely have to in order to be saved. How pitiful we are!
If you really love someone, don't you want to know everything about them?
John 17:3 says "To KNOW God --- is life eternal."
Eternal life is the result of knowing God - everything about Him that we have the opportunity of knowing.
May God Bless you as you study and ponder this information.
(Video and booklet available)
© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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