The Sabbath, Pt. 3

Scripture: Acts 20:7, Revelation 1:10, Matthew 12:8
This is the third in a series on the Sabbath day in Scripture. We've looked at some Bible verses that seem to indicate worship on Sunday. These verses are discussed including the Bible verse that refers to the "Lord's 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 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hello friends and welcome again to Bible Talk. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Gary Gibbs. At Bible Talk we talk about the Bible and what the Bible says to us today. Gary, the last couple of studies we've had together on Bible Talk, we've been talking about the seventh day Sabbath which according to the Bible, the calendar and just about everything else we can find is Saturday. We've discovered that God really wants us to keep it today.

Gary Gibbs: He really does John and in fact that's way the fourth commandment begins with the word remember. He tells us to remember to keep it holy.

John: Most Christians though are going to say well we keep another day holy, and let's be honest, and now Sunday's the day universally regarded, at least by many or most as being the day that's set aside for the Lord. I would expect and I think it's fair to expect that if the Sabbath's been changed to another day, the Bible ought to say so. There's a verse in John 20 that says, "Jesus close friends were together on the first day of the week."

Gary: But John it doesn't say they were there worshiping together. In fact, it says that they were gathered there for fear that they were going to be the next victims of the Jews.

John: What about I Corinthians 16 here, "Offering being taken up." Some say this is an offering in church.

Gary: It really isn't. It never says that this is an offering in church. In fact is says they were to "lay this offering by themselves and store." If you read it in newer translations, like the layman translations, is "lay up and store at home."

John: You shared with us there was a famine in Jerusalem. Here was an offering, a collection being taken, as people put money aside that would eventually go down there and help those afflicted saints.

Gary: Acts 11 says that there was this famine. Then you look at Romans 15. It says that "Paul was going to carry this fruit down to Jerusalem." That word fruit actually can mean literally plucked fruit. So they were taking food as a relief down to Jerusalem for those saints who were experiencing a famine.

John: But what about the verse in Acts 20 which says, "Paul was preaching." This is where Eutychus fell down from the third loft, he was asleep, and he died when he hit the ground. They broke bread now. So here could possibly be a communion service. It was the first day of the week. Now a lot of people are going to say they were preaching in church on Sunday. Here is where we get license to go on and keep Sunday today.

Gary: Well John, they actually broke bread daily. You read that in Acts 2:46. Just because there was preaching taking place and they were breaking bread, doesn't make that day a holy day. I've had communion service, I've gone to churches on Wednesday, in fact, and I've been to church every day of the week. But that doesn't mean it was a holy day. Yeah, Paul was preaching on the first day of the week is very clear there in Acts 20:7. But it was the dark part of the first day of the week.

John: There were lights on, right?

Gary: There were lights on they said. That's why Eutychus was so tired and he fell out of the window. But the dark part of the first day of the week, according to the Bible and according to Jewish reckoning, would be our Saturday night. The day began at sunset the previous day.

John: And so the day ended at sunset. Saturday night when the sun sets it becomes dark. It's now technically speaking its Sunday.

Gary: Its Sunday the first day of the week according to scripture.

John: All right there's a verse we haven't talked about on Bible Talk in relation to this subject. A lot of people say that Sunday today is the Lord's Day. Revelation Chapter one Verse 10, John says he was in the spirit on the Lord's Day. You must have heard that. A lot of people say Sunday, they may even say its not the Sabbath, but it's the Lord's Day.

Gary: John I was preaching in a city in the Midwest one time and I was teaching about the Sabbath Day. This pastor who was attending my meetings, he came to my house and he said, "Brother Gary, you know I have seen that the Sabbath is Saturday and there's no doubt about that. It's very clear in the Bible. It's very clear in history. Saturday's the Sabbath. But since Jesus died and resurrected, I keep the Lord's Day Sunday holy." I said, "Friend tell me where in the Bible do you find that we are to keep the Lord's Day holy?" And guess what text he took me to?

John: Well maybe that's the verse in Revelation. That's the only one I know of that talks about the Lord's Day in that term.

Gary: Revelation 1:10. "I was in the spirit on the Lord's Day," John writes, "and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet." And as the pastor read that, I said, "Friend do you see in that text where it says that's Sunday?" And he paused and it was like a new thought dawned on him. He'd never thought about this before. He looked at it and said, "No it doesn't say Sunday." But he said, "I'm sure it's Sunday." I said, "Well show me the text where the Bible says the Lord's Day is Sunday." He frantically began shifting through his Bible, changing pages and finally he said, "I know it's there I just can't find it right now."

I said, "Well let me show you a couple texts then where the Bible says the Lord's Day is a Sabbath Day."

John: Well let's see those texts now then.

Gary: Well I took him to five texts. I don't think it's necessary to turn to all of them right now. We went to Matthew 12:8. There we read Jesus' words Jesus speaking here. He says, "The Son of Man is a Lord even on the Sabbath day." Jesus is Lord of which day?

John: It said the Sabbath.

Gary: That's right. So he says my day is the Sabbath Day. Then you go to Mark 2:28, same thing again. "He is Lord of the Sabbath." Luke 6:5. "He is Lord of the Sabbath." And you go to Isaiah 58 and as well to the commandment itself in Exodus 20. "The Lord's Day is the Sabbath Day. The seventh day Sabbath."

John: Well could it be possible that we're missing the point here? Could it be possible that what God really wants is for us to worship Him everyday and treat everyday like the Sabbath and keep everyday holy to the Lord?

Gary: Well you know that's what a lot of people will say. But I want to bring you back. If we don't keep Sunday because it is the Sabbath and a lot of Christians admit Sabbath is Saturday and we're not keeping Sunday because it's the Lord's Day. So we have to establish that. Sunday's not the Lord's Day, Saturday is. Then that people will say is well I just keep everyday holy? I honor God everyday. I'm glad they feel that way. I like to honor God everyday, too.

John: Amen.

Gary: I read my Bible everyday. I pray everyday. I worship God everyday, if not in church, on my own and in my family. But that doesn't mean I'm keeping the Sabbath everyday. The commandment, in fact, precludes that you can't. The commandment in Exodus 20:8-11 tells us "six days shalt thou labor." If you're going to keep the Fourth Commandment, it means you also have to work six days. You can't sit around in a monastery somewhere, just worshiping God and never working seven days a week. That's not keeping the Fourth Commandment either.

John: Now, I know that in the Book of the Ezekiel, I think in maybe chapter 46 or somewhere near that, God talks about the six working days. So God expects us to keep the Sabbath, and he really only says, I expect you to keep one day holy.

Gary: And it's the day he said, remember, "The seventh day as the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Because it's a memorial of creation it goes back to when he created the planet. And so every Sabbath, John, that we rest, what we're doing is we're saying, "God is my creator, I am his child. He is also my redeemer." John, Jesus rested in the grave on Sabbath. He died on Friday, he could have resurrected the next day. But he kept the Sabbath even in the grave. And then he came up on Sunday to begin his work of salvation for us.

John: Well, I know somebody who's saying, "I'd love to keep Saturday holy, but I work." "I'd love to get to Church on Sunday perhaps, but I work. But I do get Wednesday off, and so that's my Sabbath. That's the day I keep, and I rest and I keep that for the Lord." Is it possible then, biblically speaking, to do that?

Gary: No, it's not, because the Bible says, remember, the "Seventh-Day Sabbath" to keep it holy. We come up with all these rationalizations. But every time you turn around, the commandment is still there.

John: Well, tell me then why it's so important then that we recognize this? It's the seventh day at Saturday, we should do this. Why, what's the big deal?

Gary: Well, number one, the Sabbath has always been God's special sign between him and his people. It's been the thing that distinguishes his people from all the other religious groups of the world. You could take nine of the Ten Commandments and you could attribute their authorship to any God that has been proclaimed throughout time. Any God could say, "Don't have the other Gods before me. Don't take my name in vain." Any God could say, "Honor your father and your mother."

But when it comes to the Fourth Commandment, the Fourth Commandment can only be claimed by one God, and that's the Almighty God of the Bible. Because that commandment says, "In six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day."

John: So it becomes a mark, and a reminder and a memorial of what God as the creator and then as the re-creator has done and can do in our lives.

Gary: Let me read you a text out of Ezekiel Chapter 20 it says exactly this, verse 12 of Ezekiel 20. "Moreover, also I gave them my Sabbaths," so God is talking about his people. He gave them his Sabbaths, "To be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctifies them." So God is saying, my Sabbath is a sign between me and my people that I am the true God, and that they are truly my people.

John: Well, how would the Sabbath reveal and show that?

Gary: Well, it says that when we keep the Seventh Day Sabbath and people say why do you do that, we say, "We do that because God commanded as a memorial of his creative power." He is only the creator God, he is the only one that claims to have created the whole earth. All the other religious gods, false religions out there, they never claim creating the world.

John: Now, Gary, maybe someone's thinking, "This Gary Gibbs, Sabbath is so important to him. He thinks that's what's going to save him." Now, are you saved because you keep the Sabbath?

Gary: No, we're not, and I'm sure somebody is thinking that. Because whenever you talk about the Ten Commandments and specifically the Sabbath, people immediately assume that you're talking about salvation by works.

John: Oh yeah, have you ever heard it say that this person is a legalist, and that person wants to obey God, so their religion is legalism. Why is it not legalism and how can you say that this is so important, but it doesn't save you?

Gary: John, when I became a Christian, I decided I was going to follow Christ. And I was going to get my doctrines and my beliefs, the practice for my life, out of the Bible. And so as a Christian, that's what I want to do. I don't want to follow man, I don't want to follow man-made rules I want to follow what the word of God says. And so as a Christian, as a follower of Christ, it's not legalism to follow him. And Luke 4:16 says, "Jesus' custom was to keep the Sabbath." John 14:15, Jesus said, "If you love me keep my commandments."

John: So it makes obedience an expression of your love for Jesus.

Gary: That's exactly the reason I follow him. He did it, he commands it, and I am a Christian because he died and saved me on Calvary's Cross. And I find the truth in text, 1 John 5:3. His commandments are not burdensome or grievous. I don't find it a burden to keep the Sabbath. Bible says God gave the Sabbath as a blessing to mankind. And I find resting on the day that God commanded, to be an extreme blessing in my life.

John: OK, it's got to be a blessing, doesn't it? God gives you a day off a week. That's OK, isn't it? Long weekends that come by with the annual holidays, we love them. And God gives us an annual holiday every week. I know that's an oxymoron, but it's a weekly holiday he gives to us, as a blessing and as a gift from God to man.

Gary: And as we meet with God on that day, he blesses us with tremendous spiritual blessings.

John: Friend, next time we study on Bible Talk, we are going to look at how the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day to the first day of the week. How did we get to the place where so many very sincere Christians are observing another day as the Sabbath day? Thanks for being with us. Join me, John Bradshaw, and Gary Gibbs next time on Bible Talk.


Announcer: 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 BT 107. Don't be fooled. The toll-free number is 866BIBLESAYS. That's 866 242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678, or email us at

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