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Shabbat or Sunday Worship?

Question: Why Worship on Sunday rather than Shabbat?

Answer: Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath

Mark 2:23-28 KJV

23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Recently, I met a wonderful Christian man that worships as a 7th day Adventist with services on Saturday instead of Sunday. He was brutally antagonistic, claiming that if I did not observe Sabbath, I was not a Christian, but a liar and unbeliever. He offered me $1000 if I could show him Biblically how I could worship on Sunday and remain right with God.

I remember a teaching by pastor Scott Lovett, an anointed man of God who pastors Ministry Planting and Establishment | Real Church | United States (realchurchministries.com). While we love pastor Scott, we no longer attend his church, as we are totally focused upon the clear call of God upon our lives through AOMMinistries.( https://www.chrisaomministries.com/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/)

Let me preface everything I am about to say with this: In response to the question: If God changed the day of worship from Saturday Shabbat to Sunday Resurrection Day, why is there no clear Bible references to establish this fact?

My answer is this: You are correct in interpreting that the overwhelming weight of Scriptural evidence supports observance of the Sabbath, in the Old Testament, there are five Scriptural supports that show Christians celebrate Sunday service instead of Shabbat.

If you are a Messianic Jew, or 7 Day Adventist that celebrates Sabbath, I commend you, and write this article with the prayer that we can walk in love towards one another, respecting one another’s position without pride, rancor, or legalistic judgementalism. In this spirit, let me continue my Bible commentary, citing several more verses. My introductory Bible search on the word Sabbath, yields 157 Scriptural references, with the most famous coming directly from the ten commandments themselves:

Exodus 20:8

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Like many a preacher has quoted, the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.

 

Since the Sabbath is a clear command under the law of Moses, let us look at what the New Testament says about this important topic.

Let us look at the life of Jesus:

Luke 13: 10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?

17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

Again Jesus addresses the spirit of Shabbat

addressed here in Luke

14 And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.

And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.

And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;

And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

And they could not answer him again to these things.

Again, we see Jesus Himself messing with religious leaders legalist interpretation of Sabbath. Lets read:

John 5:And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?

13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

We read John 7:

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

The fact that Jesus messed with the Sabbath law so many times throughout the gospel accounts makes me think He deliberately draws our attention to this important topic for a reason. Religious rules, without relationship with the One who gave the rule, produce death.

The apostle Paul says it this way:

2 Cor 2:

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Let me cite the Amplified version of this text:

AMP

v6 He has qualified us [making us sufficient] as ministers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not of the letter [of a written code] but of the Spirit; for the letter [of the Law] kills [by revealing sin and demanding obedience], but the Spirit gives life.

 

I remind the reader of the first Scripture I cited from Mark 2:

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Let us think about this for a minute. We all agree that God created the universe in six days and rested upon the seventh.  Obviously, God Is Almighty, and does not require a rest, but we mortals surely do need rest, so in His infinite wisdom, He created and instituted a day every week where we are commanded to rest. We also recognize that God is Holy and God is love. In light of his character, He wants a relationship with us, not an impersonal legalist set of rules by which we might attempt to know Him. The purpose of Shabbat is that we might worship, pray, and study and fellowship with our Creator, that He deliberately desires this one-on-one relationship with each and every one of us, created in His image.

This seems an appropriate time to introduce: A Jewish principal I heard introduced by a Jewish rabbi:

Pikuach nefesh someone else.[1] However, there are certain exceptions; some rules and commandments may not be broken under any circumstances and thus may require an act of self-sacrifice.’…

‘The Talmud discusses a number of cases as examples in which biblically mandated laws can be disregarded for the sake of saving a human life. (B.Yoma 84b) All of these examples relate to Sabbath prohibitions: rescuing a child from the sea, breaking apart a wall that has collapsed on a child, breaking down a door about to close on an infant, and extinguishing a fire to save a life. The phrase “pikuach nefesh” appears to derive from that context.[4] (Hebrew: פיקוח נפש), which means “saving a soul” or “saving a life,” is the principle in Halakha (Jewish law) that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious rule of Judaism. In the event that a person is in critical danger, most mitzvot, including the Ten Commandments of the Torah, become inapplicable if they would hinder the ability to save oneself or

I heard an anti Semitic teacher once state: ‘The modern nation of Israel is just as lost as any sinner in need of a savior, the modern practice of Judaism is not Biblical, they have no temple, no sacrifice, and no understanding of what God requires. Clearly the person making this statement forgets that Jesus, is Jewish, and that the thousands of years of Jewish scholarship into understanding the Scripture is the foundation upon which Christianity rests.

[1]

Here is the crux of my purpose in writing this article. If God requires that we come back under the Old Testament law and covenant, then we MUST observe Shabbat, and also eat Kosher, and fulfill every other commandment. Yet, if we believe

Matthew 5:17 (“Do not think that I have come to abolish Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”)

Luke 22:20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

Romans 5:9-10
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Romans 7:6

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

 

Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

As we read the preceding verses, we see that when Jesus shed His blood on the alter of the cross, God received His sacrifice for the sins of any person that would place our faith in Him, that He rose from the dead. His resurrection, split the Bible into Old and New Testaments, and the calendar from BC to AD. This is the good news, the gospel: https://www.chrisaomministries.com/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

The First Day

Before I begin citing Scripture as to how and why Christian worship changed from Shabbat to Sunday, I feel impressed to quote pastor Scott Lovett: “When Jesus came, He set us free from the laws of men that resulted in sin and death. Under the Old Covenant, the people looked forward to the end of the week, when they could have their celebration. In the New Covenant, the people begin their week with a day of celebration. The first day of the week became the day for the Christian Sabbath for several reasons. The first day of the week is the day Christ rose form the dead, Christ appeared to His disciples, the apostles gathered together, the Holy Spirit came, and the early church met together’.

Jesus rose from the dead on the FIRST Day! (Sunday)

The Resurrection

Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers did shake and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Mark 16: And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun

Again in v Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.

John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.

I feel impressed to bring up the topic of Biblical Hermeneutics’ here, that is the correct interpretation of Scripture. One of the standard rules used in Scripture interpretation is this:

SCRIPTURE INTERPRETS SCRIPTURE.

Many of you many have read the book I wrote on the Parable of the Sower, ( Chris author page

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0BF8G4SC2)  which appears in three of the four gospel accounts. Yet here we see that the fact that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day is given to us by Holy Spirit in all four gospel accounts. This in and of itself, tells me that God thought this fact to be of great consequence, so had it written in all gospel accounts.

 

The following arguments are taken directly from the Bible and pastor Scotts Bible study[2] This seems a good place to insert this quote by Justin Martyr[3]:

And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the

country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles

or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then,

when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and ex-

horts to the imitation of these good things, Then we all rise together

and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and

wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers

prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people as-

sent, saying, Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a partici-

pation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who

are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And those who are well to

do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is de-

posited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows,

and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and

those who are in bonds, and the strangers sojourning among us, and

in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on

which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day

on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter,

made the world, and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose

from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn

[Saturday]; and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the

Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them

those things, which we have submitted for your consideration.[4]

 

From Scott Lovett’s outline, we continue our study of why Christians worship on the First Day:

  1. Jesus appears to His disciples on the first day.

Matt 28:And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Luke 24; 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

And again in v: 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!

38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.

  1. The Apostles meet together on the First Day

John 20: 19 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, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples

glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

  1. The Holy Spirit came on the first day

Acts 2: 2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

  1. The Early Church continues to meet on Sunday:

Acts 20: And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

 

This study is important to me, because I take Scripture seriously and literally:

Romans 14:23

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Since faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God,

Romans 10:17

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

For my own conscience’s sake, I had to dig into this Bible study, to see for myself, if Sunday worship is indeed a Bible ordinance, or as some emphatically proclaim, merely a devilish distortion of the Word of God, and a moral compromise.

 

I have written this, not to cause division and discord in the kingdom of God, rather to bring Biblical understanding of why we worship as we do. For all my friends that are Jewish, Messianic Jews, or seven day Adventists, this is written, not to attempt to destroy your generations old traditions, but rather to bring light and life to those of us who choose to worship on a Sunday, instead of Shabbat.

 

While I honor Jews and the centuries of rabbinical thought, I am a born-again Christian, operating under Jesus law of faith and grace. May I every find mercy in the sight of God as I endeavor to fully serve Him.

 

I end with this passage of Scripture, given to us by Holy Spirit through the pen of the apostle Paul:

 

Colossians 2:Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting 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;

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

 

Jesus is the way the truth and the life, not any historic manmade tradition or religion.

[1] Pikuach nefesh – Wikipedia

[2] Body Builders – Christians under Construction, by Scott Lovett., Published 2006 by Fervent Fire Productions, Tulsa, Ok ISBN 978-0-579-04663-1 You can find the lesson online under the bodybuilders page at the bottom of www.realchurchministries.com. Blessings. Just make sure your version is your words. Also you can direct others to the teaching lesson.

[3] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Justin-Martyr

[4] https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1279&context=jats

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