Forgotten Day - Part 3

Scripture: 1 John 3:4
A common question raised in regard to keeping the seventh day, Saturday, as a day of worship according to the fourth commandment, is this, "How can we be sure that the seventh day today was the seventh day of Bible times? Has time ever been lost?" This talk examines this question and what others have said from other denominations.
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Sometime after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan, workers were sifting through the rubble and found a wrist watch whose hands were permanently fused into its face, forever recording the exact instant of the explosion, the moment time stopped.

But time really didn't stop except for one tragic city and thousands of poor victims. Time never stops. lt is perhaps the world's only remaining constant; relentlessly marching on, 60 minutes to the hour, 24 hours to the day, etc. Time can be wasted, but never lost.

This fact is important to remember as we continue our discussion of the Sabbath of the Bible. We have established from Scriptures that Saturday the seventh day, not Sunday, is the Bible Sabbath and that God wants us to keep it. Today we will examine what the churches themselves say about the Sabbath. But first we want to consider a very common question, "How can we be sure that the seventh day today was the seventh day of Bible times; has time ever been lost?"

Some persons who have not made a thorough study of the matter have thought that calendar changes have caused time to be lost, thus making it difficult to identify the true seventh day. The calendar changes have not affected the order of the days of the week. Saturday has always been followed by Sunday, Sunday has always been followed by Monday, and so on. The astronomer Hinckley says, "By calculating the eclipses, it can be proven that no time has been lost, and that the creation days were seven divided into twenty-four hours." Professor Totten of Yale University tells us, "In spite of all our dickerings with the calendar, it is patent that the human race never lost the septenary sequence of week days, and that the Sabbath of these latter times comes down to us from Adam, through the ages, without a single lapse. No day is missing, no cycle calls for less, all call for the same, and all unite in a concert of testimony not to be shaken by men or the devil. " Quoted by Sidney Collet in All About the Bible, p. 287.

We can trace the Sabbath from creation. The weekly Sabbath goes back to a time before man sinned. It could not possibly be a type or shadow of the gospel, because the need for the gospel had not yet arisen when the Sabbath was made. Paul speaks of other sabbath days which were a shadow of things to come. He said we shouldn't judge men in respect to those sabbath days or holy days which were shadows of things to come. You see, the Jews had seven annual sabbaths that came just once a year like Easter, the 4th of July, etc. They were added after sin. And they were done away with at the cross. The Bible is clear about that. Like the offering of lambs, they were a part of the ceremonies that pointed forward to Christ. The cross of Jesus Christ is the one factor that definitely establishes the unchanging nature of God's law, which of course, includes the Sabbath. If God could have changed His Ten Commandments, Christ need not have died. Christ died on the cross to pay the price of our sin, which is breaking the Ten Commandments. 1 John 3:4. It was because God couldn't change those ten holy laws and still be a just God that Jesus had to die upon the cross.

Many Protestant ministers admit that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday without Divine command. First of all, we quote from a Lutheran leader, Pastor H. Bielenberg, June. 20, 1933: "There is no command in the Bible to keep Sunday as a day of rest. Why do we keep Sunday? The seventh day is not the first."

The Lutheran historian, Johann Mosheim says, "The church, we say, has ordained Sunday. We are bound to submit ourselves to her authority; how weak is this prop! Jesus has freed us from the ordinances of men. The church has no right to make laws. Sittenlehr, Vol. 5, p..486. It certainly has no right to make laws which conflict with the Bible.

Dr. Flowers, of the Church of England, says, "In the New Testament the observance of Sunday as a day of rest, or indeed, in any particular way, is not enforced by a single word or suggestion." Book of Sermons, p. 131.

A Methodist minister makes this admission, "There is not on record any divine command to the apostles to change the Sabbath, the day on which it was held by the Jews, to the first day of the week." Watson's Theological Institute, Vol. 2, p. 511. If we don't have God's command, we don't have any authority. And that is what is lacking in respect to Sunday.

A Methodist journal says, "If the New Testament silence on any subject proves that matter is unimportant, then the Christian emphasis on the observance of Sunday is really a mistake. Nowhere does the Bible tell us to observe Sunday. Nowhere does it say that Saturday Sabbath-keeping is wrong." Epworth Herald, Editorial, July 21, 1923.

Five hundred years ago the majority of people believed in salvation by works until Martin Luther came along. They called him a heretic for preaching justification by faith. This was just an indication that the church had been in darkness during the Dark Ages and God was calling out great men, men of the word, to rediscover the teachings of Jesus that had long been buried under tradition. The reformation continues; the time has come for the Bible Sabbath to be restored.

R. W. Dale of the Congregationalist Church says, "It is quite clear that however rigidly or devoutly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath." The Ten Commandments, P. 106, 107. The Bible says to keep the Sabbath. If keeping Sunday doesn't satisfy the Bible command, then we ought to be doing something about it.

Dr. Archibald Hodge of the Presbyterian Church says, "God instituted the Sabbath at the creation of man, setting apart the seventh day for that purpose and imposed its observance as a universal and perpetual moral obligation upon the race." Tract No.175, Presbyterian Board of Publications. "There is not the slightest evidence," says Dr. Donald Fraser of the Presbyterian Church, "That our Lord, or His apostles regarded or taught others to regard the first day of the week."

The Baptists say, "It is sometimes argued that Christ abrogated (annulled) the Mosaic law, and therefore there is no longer any obligation to keep the Sabbath; but He Himself declares that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Notice that He never says that He abrogated the Sabbath." Baptist Sunday School Quarterly, March 1929.

Some people say, "That is it! That is why I don't have to keep the Sabbath. Christ fulfilled the law." Dear friends, a crimina1 could take hold of the same kind of reasoning and say,"Well, that is it. That is why I can steal. Christ kept that commandment. I don't have to keep it." You see, that kind of reasoning isn't consistent. It doesn't add up. It isn't logical. It isn't Biblical.

Doctor E.T. Hiscox of the Baptist church says, "It will be said, however, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week. Earnestly desiring information on this subject... I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament, absolutely not." From a paper read before a New York Ministers' Conference, November 13. 1893. Dear Friends, if it isn't in the New Testament, then it isn't for us, as New Testament Christians. And the Bible is clear on this and evidently these different spokesmen, representing a number of different churches were also possessed of very definite convictions on this matter.

Chamber's Encyclopedia under the article, Sabbath, says, "By none of the church Fathers before the fourth century is it (Sunday) identified with the Sabbath, nor is the duty of observing it grounded by them, either on the fourth commandment, or on the precept of Christ or His apostles." Chamber's Encyclopedia says again, "Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the sabbatical observance of Sunday is known to have been ordained is the sabbatical edict of Constantine, A.D. 321." Article, Sunday. That is a long time after the last book of the New Testament was written; after God had once and for all settled what our duty as New Testament Christians was. Sunday came in far too late to be a part of the New Testament.

"The earliest recognition of the observance of Sunday," says The Encyclopedia Britannica, "is a constitution of Constantine in 321 A.D., enacting that all courts of justice, inhabitants of towns, and workshops were to be at rest on Sunday." Vol. XXIII, p. 654. They didn't call it the Lord's Day, but "the venerable day of the sun." The day on which the pagans from ancient times worshiped the sun.

The Bible has foretold an attempted change of the Sabbath from the seventh day of the week to the first day. On future broadcasts we are going to explain this prophecy more fully. Suffice it to say now that the Bible describes the power that would speak great words against the Most High: that would war against God's saints; that would think to change times and laws, and says that God's people would be given into the hands of this power for a time.

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