The Sabbath, Pt. 2

Scripture: Genesis 2:1-3, Mark 2:27-28, John 20:19
The Bible teaches that the Sabbath is God's holy day. But how can we know which day of the week is the Sabbath? This is part 2 in a series on the Bible Sabbath. This broadcast looks at some Bible verses that seem to indicate Sunday is a holy day.
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Announcer: It's time now for bible talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry, as they now open the bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned, because the next fifteen minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hi friend, and welcome to Bible Talk. We're so glad you joined us today. I'm John Bradshaw, with me is Gary Gibbs, and on Bible Talk we talk about the bible and what the bible says to us today. Gary, last time, we talked about the Sabbath day and discovered the bible says, "The Sabbath day is the seventh day." Or, in other words, it's the Saturday, the seventh day of the week.

Gary Gibbs: The Bible is very clear on that John and the problem today in Christianity is: We've forgotten the to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

John: God specifically asked us to remember that right there in the commandment itself.

Gary: In the fourth commandment, in Exodus 20:8 it says, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy."

John: Now a little bit of review, how do we know that Sabbath day is actually the seventh day, Saturday, from the bible?

Gary: We can go back to the book of Luke when Jesus hung on the cross and he was buried and resurrected. Jesus was crucified on Friday. He was resurrected on what we call Easter Sunday and the Bible says in Luke 23, about verse 54-56, that the Sabbath falls between Friday the preparation day, on which Jesus was crucified, and Sunday, the day on which he was crucified. Sabbath falls between Friday and Sunday, that's Saturday.

John: You mean Sunday the day he was resurrected I hope.

Gary: Yes, that's what I meant, thank you for helping me with that.

John: Yeah, OK. Now sure, perhaps this is just something for the Jews though. You've heard that many times, Sabbath, old covenant, Old Testament, Jewish. How do we know from the bible that this is something designed for more people than just the nation of Israel?

Gary: First off, the Sabbath was given to Adam and Eve in the very beginning in Genesis 2:1-3. That was thousands of years before the Jewish nation even existed. Than you come down to Mark 2:27-28. Jesus says the Sabbath was made for man or mankind, was it is in the original language.

John: Now surely if the Sabbath is some other day today other than what God said in the beginning. In other words, if there's been a change, the bible's going to say so. I'm going to challenge you here because there are some people who believe that God changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Now we know because we've looked at this on Bible Talk, Jesus kept the seventh day Sabbath. After he died, the apostles also kept the Seventh day Sabbath. You read that through the book of Acts. You shared that with us last time. There are some verses in the bible that talk about the first day of the week and I grant you there are not many in the New Testament at all that mention the first day of the week whatsoever, but some do, and I'm going to see whether or not these verses give any credence to keeping Sunday as the new Bible holy day.

I want you to look at John 20:19 because I've heard people say this verse is evidence they were meeting together, it was the first day of the week, they had to be worshiping, Jesus met with them, first day, here's a change to the Sabbath.

Gary: Yeah, they're presupposing that since Jesus met with them on Sunday then that necessarily means he was establishing Sunday as the holy day. But if you look at the text John, and I hope our listeners will take the time to look at this as well, you'll discover that they were not meeting there to worship. In fact is says in John 20:19, "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week..."

John: That's Sunday right?

Gary: That's Sunday.

John: So they were meeting on Sunday?

Gary: That's right. "...when the doors were shut..." they were in the upper room and they had shut and locked the doors. Bible says, "they were assembled there for fear of the Jews." Now why were they afraid of the Jews?

John: Well Christ had just died on the cross, they were his closest friends, they probably figured that they were next.

Gary: They would be next because the Jews were looking to wipe out the Christian movement.

John: Jesus came and visited them there though, doesn't that give us license to think this becomes a holy day or sacred day or something like that?

Gary: Well the Bible says Jesus visited with them for several weeks before he ascended to go to heaven. So, he visited and talked to them every single day. Does that mean ever day now is the holy day?

John: I think something to be kept in mind now too is that in spite of Christ visiting them that day. The apostle Paul, well, his example after that was to keep the Sabbath.

Gary: He kept it every week and we read about that in the book of Acts. When Jesus visited them there that first Sunday, Mark 16:14 tells us that he rebuked them because of their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who had seen him after he had risen. You know, some people say, "See he was visiting them there because they were worshiping him as the risen Lord." They were not gathered together in a spirit of worship at all. In fact, they were gathered in fear and unbelief and Jesus had to rebuke them and correct them.

John: Well, they didn't even know at that time, they didn't believe that he had been risen from the dead.

Gary: That's the point and so it was not a worship service whatsoever as some people would lead us to believe.

John: OK, I got another one to challenge you with. I was driving once upon a time, and listening to a Christian radio station, and they had a little give away contest. They said, "Which chapter of the bible talks about an offering being taken up in church on Sunday. The winner of the little prize called up and said, "Why 1 Corinthians 16 talks about them taking an offering in church on Sunday. The beginning of that chapter, look at that with me, because a lot of people will say, "There it is right there, offering in church, Sunday, got to be the new Sabbath."

Gary: And John, I've been to churches where you'll see in the tithe and offering envelope that will actually have this verse. But that's not really what its saying. Why don't you read that verse for us.

John: Well 1 Corinthians 16:1 says, "Now, concerning for the collection for the saints. As I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye..." and here he says it Gary, "Upon the first day of the week..." now that's Sunday, the calendar will tell us that... "let every one of you lay by him in store as God has prospered him. That there be no gatherings when I come."

Gary: So you're saying that says, they're collecting the offerings from God's people as they're sitting in a church service on Sunday, the first day of the week?

John: Well, first verse says collection and it talks about church. And second verse talks about first day of the week.

Gary: Let me help you out John. The way you interpret the bible is let the Bible interpret itself. Notice what it says, it says, "It is a collection for the saints." Not a collection of the saints. That's pretty important. In fact, if you would have kept reading there, in verse two it says, "When I come, whomsoever you shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem." So this collection was for the saints living in Jerusalem.

John: So they were laying by money on the first day of the week. Explain that process then if this wasn't going on in church.

Gary: John, that is exactly how other translations translate this verse. From the "Weymouth Translation" we read, "Let each one of you put on one side and store up at home." The "New International Version" says "Save it up." The NASP, "New American Standard Bible" says, "Put aside and save." And so as the Weymouth translation says, they were storing up this at home.

John: This wasn't something going on in Church at all then?

Gary: Not at all. And translators of the text recognize that.

John: Well, what was the purpose of the offering for then if this wasn't a collection in church?

Gary: Well, notice that it has to do with people in Jerusalem and the saints specifically in Jerusalem. If you go over to the Book of Acts, Chapter 11, you'll discover what was happening at that point in time. Reading there in Acts 11:27, it says, "In these days, prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch." So prophets of God from the Christian church were traveling around, and they were sharing the message God had given them. Here they came from Jerusalem and went to the city of Antioch. Then one of them named Agabus stood up and showed up by the spirit that there was to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. And if you go over to Romans 15:26-28, we read there that this contribution was for "the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." So they were actually collecting and taking this offering down to Jerusalem for the saints who were experiencing a famine.

John: So it had nothing to do then at all with an offering in church?

Gary: No, it didn't. And let me ask you a question. If you were in a famine-stricken area of the world, what would you want people to bring you?

John: Oh yeah, I'd want money.

Gary: Would you want money or food? If I gave you a choice between money and food, what would you want?

John: Well, if I was hungry enough, I guess I'd want food.

Gary: I would want the food, because you would find that in a famine-stricken area, it would be hard to come by food.

John: Sure.

Gary: So if you continue reading there in Romans 15, the text actually indicates that the offering was food. Now, it could have included money. But I believe especially, it had a focus on food. Let me read there for you at Romans 15. It says that this contribution was for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. "When, therefore, I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come to you by Spain." So Paul said, "When I have taken this offering of yours and taken it down to Jerusalem, and sealed to them or have given them this fruit." Now, if you look that word "fruit" up in the original language, it's "carpos." And it can mean "fruit that is plucked." So they were probably taking... John, to be quite frank... not only money, but they were also taking food down, because these people were in a famine-stricken area.

John: So 1 Corinthian 16 doesn't show as the Sabbath has been changed. Another passage, this is going to challenge you Acts, Chapter 20. And you have a situation there. This is the story where Eutychus fell out of church, Paul preached all night. It says it was the first day of the week and he was preaching sounds like church on Sunday.

Gary: Now, John, you're right. Eutychus fell out of church, but he also fell out of the window because he fell asleep. That's how he fell out of church.

John: Right, right.

Gary: So it shows you it's dangerous to fall asleep in church.

John: It might show... preaches too that it's dangerous to preach too long because he fell asleep because Paul went along preaching.

Gary: It's on the first day of the week that Paul was sharing with the believers there. He was getting ready to leave that town. He would never see these people again. Reading there in Acts 20, verse 7, it says, now, on the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul was ready to depart the next day. He spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." Now, if you study this text, you'll see that this was the dark part of the first day of the week. It says that they had lights. Of course, Eutychus tires and he falls asleep. It's the dark part of the first day of the week.

John: Now, wouldn't that just be Sunday night?

Gary: No, the Bible says and this is the way that Jews also kept time, "The evening and the morning represents the day." You see that in Genesis 1, verse 5. In fact, the "New International Bible" translates Acts 27, "On Saturday night, Paul met with them." So it was the dark part, the evening was Saturday night. That's when the first day of the week starts according to the Bible and according to Jewish reckoning.

John: OK. So if it was Sunday night, that would be the dark part of the second day of the week because sunset Sunday night means a new day had come. So Paul is not preaching Sunday at all. He's preaching to these people on Saturday night.

Gary: Saturday night. That's correct. And then the next day, Sunday morning, if you continue reading there in Acts 20, he actually goes on a long journey. He takes off. So they weren't keeping Sundays a worship day at all. In fact, it says there that they were breaking bread. Well, if you read in the "Bible, " in that Book of Acts, they broke bread daily. So that didn't indicate that it was a worship service. Even though they were worshiping God, it wasn't a Sunday morning worship service.

John: Paul knew that he wasn't going to see these friends of his probably again. He had one last chance to preach the word of God to them. He had that opportunity Saturday night. He preached to them, and the next day, treated it like any other very common day. Very clear then that as you look at the "New Testament, " there are no texts that indicate that Sunday has become a new worship day or holy day in the eyes of God. This is a fascinating subject. We'll cover more on this next time. We're so glad you joined us today. Thank you and God bless you. I'm John Bradshaw. Join me and Gary Gibbs next time on "Bible Talk."


John: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free informative bible study guide simply call, write or email and ask for BT107. Don't be fooled. The toll free number is 866 bible says, that's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at: Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California, 95678 or email us at : Bibletalk has been produced in association with amazing facts in the studios of Lifetalk radio.

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