Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

Is The Seventh Day The Sabbath—Yes or No?

Part 1, Does It Matter To God?

Sabbath Sunset

Article Preview: When is the Christian Sabbath? Which day is the seventh? What day are we supposed to go to “church” or have a Sabbath assembly? Does it matter to Elohim (God) which day we keep? With all the billions of professing Christians in the world studying theology, the answers to these questions should be obvious! With the entirety of Christendom professing to believe the Bible, it should be absolutely impossible for Christianity to overlook Elohim’s appointed day of worship. After all, what could be more basic than to worship the one true Elohim on the correct day? The correct day to worship Elohim is obviously Sunday—or is it? Can billions of people be wrong? Have sincere people been duped into going to “church” on the wrong day? Is it even remotely possible that virtually all of Christendom has been deceived? To even contemplate such a scenario seems absurd—but is it true? Has Christianity, as a whole, fallen victim to one of the most successful hoaxes in history? Who is right—the majority or the minority? Read on to discover the astonishing truth!


Bereans wanted! You may ask who is a Berean? Scripture defines who they are in Acts:

Acts 17:10-12 Then the brethren [in Thessalonica] immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, because the non persuaded and jealous Thessalonians had formed a mob and sought to harm Paul. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

Bereans are defined as fair-minded people who are willing to search the scriptures to find out what the true message of Christ is and believe it and live by it, even if it is contrary to what their minister or mainstream Christianity teaches. Therefore the brethren in Thessalonica would be in attitude like Bereans. Likewise, anyone hostile to the truth would be in attitude like a typical Thessalonian. The topic addressed in this article is the controversial Seventh Day Sabbath; other subjects are mentioned as they relate to the Sabbath. Moreover, many in mainstream Christianity use various scriptures to justify Sunday keeping. Many of these scriptures have nothing to do with Sabbath worship. Therefore it is also necessary to explain the true meaning of various scriptures that have been spun to justify worship on the first day of the week.

The Berean will accept the clear and simple truth of the Bible. The Thessalonian will have multiple “yea but” arguments and will “slickly” spin (lie about) scripture to support their erroneous doctrine. Whether they are ignorant of the truth, or far worse deliberately trying to deceive others, their position is wrong. This article is going to provide both sides of the argument. Each point of debate will be either labeled as “The Spin” or “The Truth”. The goal of this article is to help those who want to be objective in their study to find out what the Bible actually teaches about the Sabbath—thus giving the reader the opportunity to follow Christ more perfectly. To those who adhere to a Thessalonian philosophy, there are not enough gigabytes of storage space in the world, even if every byte was dedicated to the truth about of the Sabbath, to remove their blinders and allow them to see their error and forsake their core belief. For the purposes of this article a core belief is a doctrine that has such an emotional strangle hold on a believer that in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the believer clings to the theology with such tenacity that it can be likened to a pit bull chomping on a bone! Please read this article being fair minded and objective. Just so you know up front, the writer of this article observes the seventh day Sabbath.

Before we go on, it would behoove the reader to be reminded of Peter’s warning:

2 Peter 3:14-16 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation–as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

Let’s read the Bible for what it says and not read into the Bible what we want it to say! Let’s not twist the scriptures to our own destruction!

(Author’s note: None of the “yea but” arguments are of my own invention. These are all “time honored” traditional arguments used to support Sunday observance. I did my best to accurately quote or paraphrase actual Sunday keeper’s positions).

The Spin: (Yea but No. 1)

“All of the Ten Commandments were reinstated in the New Testament with only one exception—the one dealing with the Sabbath Day being kept holy.”

Hebrews 4:4-10 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in theses words: ‘And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.’ And again in the passage above he says, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ It still remains that some will enter that rest and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience, therefore God again set a certain day, calling it today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God: for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did form his.

“These verses mention only a “Sabbath rest” but not the observing of the Sabbath as Israel was commanded to do in the Old Testament. This Sabbath rest cannot be equated with observing the Sabbath. A Christian finds his rest in Jesus, see (Matthew 11:28). Only the 4th commandment, that is ceremonial law rather than moral law, was not reinstated in the New Testament, the covenant we are under today.”

The Truth: (No.1)

The text from the above unnamed version is quite correct. Few are this honest.

Here is how it is worded in the NKJV:

Hebrews 4:4-10 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ 6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today,’ after such a long time, as it has been said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.’ 8 for if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Here are the definitions of this “rest” from the Online Bible Dictionary: Strong’s 4520

1) a keeping Sabbath
2) the blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the age to come by the true worshipers of God and true Christians.

These few verses cover a wide variety of subjects. Verse 4 presents an interesting point. It mentions that God rested on the seventh day. This is a very recognizable Sabbath clue. More on this will be addressed later. Verses 5-7 are quoted from Psalms 95 where David wrote about the Israelites of old who rebelled against God. That generation was not allowed to enter into His rest, which was in type the Promised Land. Verse 8 states that even in the Promised Land Israel did not have God’s rest. They should have entered into His rest but they could not due to their constant rebellion against their covenant. Their penalty for breaking the Laws were continuous homeland security threats with their enemies. Yet this verse does point to another day when Israel and the rest of the world will at long last have rest. Verse 9 is extremely interesting and in and of itself supports the Sabbath day. “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” This word translated as “rest” in most English versions is rendered from the Greek word Sabbatismos. You do not have to be a Greek scholar to figure out what that word means. It closely resembles our English word for Sabbath and in fact that is what it means. Verse 10 also foretells of a future time when Israel actually can enter into His Rest and cease from their works just as God did his on the seventh day. This however, has not literally happened yet. This will happen when Christ comes as “King of kings and Lord of lords” and actively rules the earth. We are to keep the Sabbath on a weekly basis and look forward to the day when in the near future we can all truly experience the peace and harmony of the Sabbath Rest.

“Only the 4th commandment, which is ceremonial rather than moral, was not reinstated in the New Testament, the covenant we are under today.”

That is an interesting belief. It certainly is not factual! Let’s see nine of the commandments are good except that pesky fourth rule. It doesn’t belong in the New Testament. Let’s rip that one out of the middle of the commandments! Christ had a three-year ministry. Three years would have been plenty of time to let His followers know that the Sabbath was soon to be changed and would no longer be celebrated on the seventh day. He could have plainly said: “We are going to change the rules and pick a new day. After I am resurrected from the dead, the Sabbath will be celebrated on Sunday.” Yet no verse can be found in scripture that remotely describes the above scenario.

Can an example be found in the New Testament that shows that Christ’s followers kept the seventh day Sabbath even after his death?

Luke 23:53-56 (Luke 24:1–7) This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 then he took it down wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. 55 and the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. 1. Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 “Saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

There is a lot of information in these verses that we will cover later, but for now, the fact that specifically answers the current objection is that Christ’s followers observed the Seventh Day Sabbath after Christ died, according to the commandment. This is the paramount point of interest! I guess Christ forgot to mention that he was switching the Sabbath to Sunday during His three year ministry! Yeah!

Can another example be found where the apostles kept the Sabbath—years after the crucifixion?

Acts 18:1-4 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tent makers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

The apostle James also had some edifying thoughts about the commandments:

James 2:8-11 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

One cannot pick and choose the commandments one wants to keep. One cannot rip the fourth commandment out of the Bible.

The Spin (Tea but No.2):

“It is not necessary for us to keep the Sabbath commandment today. It is part of the Old Covenant just like the rest of the Commandments, which were specifically directed toward ancient Israel. The church, which is now under the New Covenant, is now free from the oppressive restrictions of the Old Covenant Law, in which the Sabbath was a fundamental part. Moreover, the only reason Jesus Christ observed the seventh day Sabbath was that He was under the harsh rules of the Old Covenant. Upon His death and resurrection the Old Covenant became obsolete we now have the freedom of His grace.”

The Truth (No.2):

Here are a few questions to consider before reading the following verses: Who are the participants of the “New Covenant”? Is the New Covenant in effect right now and is the Old Covenant long dead? Were the Ten Commandments created specifically for the Sinai Covenant or do they predate the Exodus?

Hebrews 8:7-13 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, (which means not here yet) says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah 9 ‘not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I DISREGARDED THEM, says the LORD. 10 ‘For this is the covenant that I WILL make with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL after those days, says the LORD: I will put MY LAWS in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 ‘For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

There is a lot of information in these passages, which very few people really comprehend. In verse 8 where it says “finding fault with them”, this is not a reference to the Old Covenant but a reference to stiff-necked Israel. Verse 9 makes this clear when it states that Israel “did not continue in my Covenant.” The Old Covenant became irrelevant when the Lord “disregarded them” due to their rebellion. Consequently, the marriage was over. By the time that Christ was born, Israel was not a sovereign state; the Romans controlled it. Additional proof of this fact is found in James 1:1 “To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad greetings.” Moreover, the Levitical priesthood was not even in control of the temple. The priestly order ordained by God, which began during the time of Moses and continued through the lineage of Aaron, was not an organized priesthood during Christ’s life. At that time, the leading Jews were divided into different religious/political parties. The two groups that the Bible mentions are the Pharisees and the Sadducees. It was not necessary for the members of these two groups to be Levites, yet they held prominent “religious” positions. They sat in the Sanhedrin. They were high priests. (Remember, previously only descendants of Aaron could be Priests.) Moreover, the Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat. It is important to realize that the Old Covenant was on the verge of death by the time Jesus the Christ was born. Israel had long been experiencing the curses for their rebellion against their Covenant. One can read about the blessings and curses in the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. If the Old Covenant had not been broken there would have been an Israelite king ruling in Jerusalem, in complete control, not answering to any Romans. Yet Christ still kept the Sabbath and the other nine Commandments, and taught others to do so. “I have kept my Father’s commandments” (John 15:10). This means that even though the Ten Commandments were associated with the Old Covenant, they are independent of it, being timeless laws with everlasting merit!

Additionally, supporting evidence for the Ten Commandments can be found in the book of Genesis. Remember the events recorded in this book happened centuries before the Old Covenant was ever ratified. The fourth commandment,—the Sabbath–is the first and the easiest to find:

Genesis 2: 1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work, which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Incidentally “rested”, in the creation context used above, is the Hebrew word “Shabath”. It does not imply that God was exhausted from six days of heavy labor; rather, it means that He ceased from labor, as we are to do each Sabbath! The translators missed a great opportunity to simply indicate that after six days of labor, God kept the “Shabath”.

The command “You will not murder” is alluded to in Genesis chapter 4. Cain murdered Able. This murder took place at a time when there were no kingdoms and no kings to make laws, yet murder was against the Law. Cain was punished for this murder. He was sentenced by God to be a vagabond. If the Ten Commandments did not exist, Cain would not have sinned when he murdered his brother, and he would not have experienced any consequences for his action.

One of the primary Biblical definitions of sin is:

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. NKJV

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. KJV

This was, and will always be, the criteria God will use to judge mankind. The Ten Commandments can be summarized by two laws. The first one is to love God with all your heart. The second one is love your neighbor. During the time of Noah the Lord looked upon mankind and He did not like what He saw:

Genesis 6:5-8 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, and the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man who I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Mankind did not have love for their neighbors. Humanity was not obeying the last six commandments. Therefore God drowned them. If mankind loved their neighbors the great deluge would have never happened!

Abraham worshiped the true God. He did not bow down to any pagan gods and he did not make graven images. He did not use God’s name in vain and he worshiped on the Sabbath day! He was a man of unique character. There was nobody else like him on the earth. This is why God sought him out and made an ever-lasting covenant with him. God put Abraham through the ultimate test of loyalty—a test that only those who zealously observed the first four commandments might have passed. God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham was about to obey this command. When the Lord saw Abraham’s resolve to obey Him, even to the point of sacrificing his son, God stopped him at the last second and He said:

Genesis 22:12-18 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, in the mount of ‘the LORD it shall be seen’. [Jehovahjireh: that is, The Lord will see, or, provide.] 15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

This is an eternal covenant. A special agreement God made with Abraham because he was so faithful in his worship of the Lord. There are promises mentioned here that are yet to be fulfilled. “All the nations of the earth will be blessed because you obeyed my voice.” This promise will be abundantly fulfilled in the future—during the New Covenant Era. If one looks at the book of Genesis objectively, one can see examples of the Ten Commandments either being observed—with blessings, or broken – with consequences.

Now since it can be established that the Ten Commandments, in particular the Sabbath, existed long before the Sinai Covenant, let’s go back to the book of Hebrews where Paul said:

Hebrews 8:13 ... a new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now what is BECOMING obsolete and growing old is READY TO VANISH away.

At Christ’s birth, and after His death, the Old Covenant was ready to vanish away. Actually the Old Covenant is still in that state—“ready to vanish away”. The Old Covenant will not completely “die” until the end time symbolic meanings of the Holy Days are fulfilled. Only then will the New Covenant be implemented.

Verse 10 is very interesting. God is going to implement another covenant. Who is He implementing it for? Is it for the Church? NO! He will make the Covenant with the House of Israel! The New Covenant is prophetic. It is not in effect at this time. How could it be? Eleven of the twelve tribes, as a whole, do not even know their own national identities. The remaining tribe that does know its heritage calls their nation by an overly ambitious name. They are Judah—only one of the twelve gates of Heaven that is New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:12) Yet they presumptuously claim the name of all the tribes—Israel.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Verse 11 gives additional proof that the New Covenant is not here yet:

3s 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

If the New Covenant were in effect today, essays like this one would be totally unnecessary. Observing the Sabbath correctly is fundamental to knowing the Lord, which is what this paper is about. The Law is going to be downloaded into Israel’s collective brain when the New Covenant is in effect. Only then can the Lord on a permanent basis say: “I will be their God and they will be My people.” That is the better promise!

The New Covenant will be better than the old one. Not because of better laws–those will be the same. It will be superior due to better promises. Having the law written in their heart is the beginning of the better promises. As Paul said:

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

[It is common knowledge that the apostles, for a good while, believed that they were living in the last days of this age. That would reconcile the “bird in hand” approach of verse 6 above with what they thought was to be a “near future” event that was to make the dead patriarchs “perfect” {immortal beings} as well as they being changed without having to die. Note the connection between the “promises” of a better covenant being associated with Judgment Day and the New Jerusalem that is mentioned “a few minutes later” in the same letter:

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the [better] promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth .... 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us .... 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

All of Jeremiah 31, where the above quote came from, “defines” the New Covenant—including the “city”.

Jeremiah 31:38 Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that the city shall be built for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.

End comment—Lon]

When the New Covenant Age occurs, Israel will at long last be able to rest. Christ will actively be King of Kings and Lord of Lords:

Revelation 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

For those of you who are not descendants of Abraham, don’t feel left out. There is opportunity is for you too!

Galatians 3:26-29 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ the Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

For more information concerning the implementation of Israel’s New Covenant Age, the following articles are suggested: The Time After Jacob’s Trouble and Who is the Yeshua’s (Jesus’) Bride?

The Spin (Yea but No.3):

Matthew 28:1 is mistranslated. “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.”

It should read as follows: “In the end of the Sabbaths as it began to dawn towards the first of the Sabbaths, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the Sepulcher.”

“This verse marks the historic transition from the Old Testament Sabbaths to the New Testament Sabbaths. In Matthew 28:1 the word for Sabbath and the word for week are translated from the identical Greek word Sabbaton. The word Sabbaton means Sabbath and the plural form of this word should actually be used in this instance. It is unfortunate that the translators made this error. We can understand it but we cannot condone this mistake. It seems awkward to say: “in the end of the Sabbaths (plural), as it began to dawn toward the first of the Sabbaths (plural).” However when we understand that it is speaking of the cessation of the Old Testament Sabbaths and the dawning of the New Testament Sabbaths it makes perfect sense. The scholars erred when they translated the word Sabbaton in its plural form as a week in one instance and singularly as a Sabbath in another instance in the same sentence. This is confirmed by the Greek Scholars there is absolutely nothing in the Greek scriptures, which would promote the translating of these two plural Greek words differently in this passage.”

The Truth (No 3):

This argument vividly illustrates how desperate some people are to justify a papal edict. First let’s address the issue of whether or not the plural form of Sabbaton (Sabbaths) is correct. Should the singular form (Sabbath) be used? Let’s look at the context of these verses three days after our Messiah was crucified; Mary Magdalene and the other Mary observed the Sabbath. Hours after sunset, when the Sabbath was over and while it was still dark, just before sunrise Sunday morning, the two Marys went to visit Christ’s grave. The context shows whether or not the word is singular or plural. One can only observe one weekly Sabbath at a time. Therefore the scholars translated Sabbaton correctly in its singular form in this instance. Sabbaton can correctly be translated in a plural form; with out changing the spelling, but that usage depends on the context. In Matthew 28:1 Sabbaton is also translated as “day of the week.” Did the Greek scholars error in this translation? To answer this question one has to study how the word is used and study the definitions.

Online Bible Hebrew Lexicon
of Hebrew origin (shabbath 7676); the Sabbath (i.e. Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself); by extension, a se’nnight, i.e. the interval between two Sabbaths; likewise the plural in all the above applications: –Sabbath (day), week.
21 sabbaton sab’-bat-on
AV-sabbath day 37, Sabbath 22, week 9; 68
1) the seventh day of each week which was a sacred festival on which the Israelites were required to abstain from all work
1a) the institution of the Sabbath, the law for keeping holy every seventh day of the week
1b) a single Sabbath, Sabbath day
2) seven days, a week

How about the word Se’nnight what does it mean? It is defined as a week. The following definition gives some historical context of the word, which adds further clarity to its meaning.

“Among Germanic peoples it was once normal to record the passage of time by the number of nights rather than days. Sennight is an abbreviation of the fuller phrase seven nights, hence a week. So Sir Thomas Malory wrote in Le Mort d’ Arthur (1485): They sojourned there a sennight, and were well eased of their wounds and at the last departed”. It has been written in various ways down the centuries, for example as sen’night and sevenight. The same process let to fortnight from fourteen nights. It’s a quirk of the language that fortnight from fourteen nights has survived as standard British English (though not American) while sennight is now defunct. It did last into the twentieth century in some areas as a dialect term, though eventually driven out by competition with the shorter week” (World Wide Words, Michael Quinion 1996-2004).

The Apostle Paul measured time in the same manner. “I fast twice a week (Sabbaton); I give tithes of all that I possess” (Luke 18:12). Here Paul used the word Sabbaton, and it certainly was neither a reference to the weekly seventh day Sabbath or Sunday. He was using the word Sabbaton with its se’night meaning, interval of nights and days between two Sabbaths – a week, to show the number of times he fasted.

This same meaning for the word Sabbaton is also used in Matthew 28:1. When the translators rendered the word Sabbaton as “day of the week”, they were applying its se’nnight usage. Therefore, the translators correctly rendered Matthew 28:1! “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.”

It is really astonishingly sad that none of Christ’s followers believed Him when He said:

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Christ’s enemies remembered these words and were so fearful that His disciples might steal the body and claim that He was resurrected that they barricaded the tomb and posted guards.

Matthew 27:62-66 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’64 “Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

In Mark’s parallel account to Matthew 28:1, additional information is found:

Mark 16:1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?

They had totally forgotten that Christ said He was going to be resurrected in three days. The two Marys went to the tomb early Sunday morning intending to anoint Christ’s body. Their timing was specific—they were not allowed to enter the tomb until three days have passed—the guards would have seen to that. The seventy-two hour limit expired on the seventh day Sabbath at sunset the previous evening. Early Sunday morning was the soonest practical time they could go to the tomb to anoint Christ. They were wondering how they were going to open the tomb. There was no one there to help them. There is not even an indication in scripture that the guards were present by the time that the two Marys arrived. There was no reason for them to be there because the three-day limit had expired. There should have been a large crowd of followers, surrounding the tomb, anxiously waiting to greet Christ at the very second of His triumphant resurrection. When Christ was resurrected by His Father at sunset on the Sabbath, the only people around to “greet” Him were his enemies–specifically the guards.

Matthew 28:1–5 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow. 4 and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

The book of Mark specifies that the two women did not witness the removing of the stone, showing that there was a time lag between the two events that the word “but” in Matthew 28:5 does not clearly depict:

Mark 16:1-6 Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away–for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here, see the place where they laid Him.

Jesus was already risen hours before the two Marys came to the tomb, at the crack of dawn! These scriptures prove that Christ was resurrected way before Sunday morning. He was resurrected late during the Sabbath, possibly even on the last second. These scriptures cannot be used to justify changing the seventh day Sabbath to Sunday.

The Spin (Yea but No.4):

“The Sabbath command was a weekly memorial for the Jews who were delivered from slavery in Egypt. Likewise, the Passover was an annual memorial festival for the Jews to celebrate their freedom from their captors, the Egyptians.”

Deuteronomy 5:15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

Therefore we do not have to observe it today because it is an ancient Old Testament ritual designed for the Jewish people.

The Truth (No.4):

Yes, one of the reasons God had Israel observe the Sabbath was to remind them that He delivered them from their Egyptian captivity. Now for the rest of the story:

Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.

Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. What God ordained example did the Lord use to give the Sabbath its validity? When God revamped the Earth in Genesis chapter 1, He rested on the seventh day! That is what gives the Sabbath its timeless supremacy. The concept of a seventh day rest existed long before the Sinai covenant ever existed!

Exodus 31:16-18 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 ‘It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ 18 And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

The Spin (Yea but No.5)

“Christians are permitted to make up their own minds about a special day.”

Romans 14:5-6 One-person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

If the Sabbath commandment was still in effect in the New Testament, as it was in the Old Testament, instructions like this one could never be allowed! We are now free to worship on Sunday.

The Truth (No. 5):

Actually, Romans 14:5-6 is not even addressing the Sabbath/Sunday controversy. In chapter 14 Paul does not mention Sabbath observance or picking the day of your choice, as it appears that some Sunday keepers try to twist these verses into meaning. They should remember Peter’s warning mentioned in the beginning of this essay.

These verses are referring to disagreements among the “ekklesia” regarding which days to fast. (Ekklesia literally means “any gathering or throng of men, even a mob.”). In a religious context it is customarily called a church. To some people it did not matter which day they fasted on. Others thought they should fast only on specific days. Basically, Paul was settling the dispute. To paraphrase Paul, in easy to understand words, he told them to continue to worship God and that it was a personal decision as to which day to fast.

The Spin (Yea but No.6):

(Authors note: I could not possibly begin to paraphrase my Thessalonian friend’s argument and keep his hostile tone intact. So I will quote the source. The article is entitled: “Colossians 2:14-16 says the 10 commandments are abolished!” The website is here. The author’s name was not mentioned. Under no circumstances consider this reference my endorsement of this site!

Colossians 2:14-16 so clearly states that the weekly Sabbath was nailed to cross, and abolished, that Sabbatarians are at a loss to know what to do with it!”

Colossians 2:14-16 Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or new moon or a Sabbath day— thing which are a mere shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

“If the Col.2:16 refers to the weekly Sabbath, then Sabbatarians are 100% refuted. Here in lies the battleground. But as you will see, Sabbath keepers have little more than a few lame argument that are easily falsified. Only the blind and deceived can miss this simple truth in Col 2:16.”

(Author’s note: Besides this quote, they have a cartoon icon of a Sabbatarian boxer getting knocked out with a boxing glove “POW”. Pretty Christian attitude isn’t it! Good way to love your neighbor! Ha.)

The Truth (No. 6):

First of all let’s see just what exactly was nailed to the cross!

Colossians 2:4-23 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Carefully study verses 4 through 14. What exactly does it say? First: there is a warning not to be deceived. Second: Paul rejoiced over those who loyally followed Christ and urged them to continue. Third: He warned them not to be cheated or deceived by philosophy and traditions of men: the basic principles of the world, which would be any teaching that is not of Christ. Fourth: Christ is in charge. Fifth: Here is where we find out what is nailed to the cross. The short answer is Circumcision! This was a major controversy in Paul’s day. In fact none of the other Apostles had this point figured out with the exception of Barnabas and even he wavered! Paul had a rare meeting with the rest of Apostles in Jerusalem where he corrected Peter and the rest of the Apostles. There was a belief that adult “gentiles” men had to be physically circumcised in order to keep the law. The detailed account of this event is recorded in the book of Galatians, as well as Acts chapter 15.

Paul also briefly mentioned it here:

Colossians 2:14 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

The hand written requirement, which was around since Abraham, that is contrary to us and was nailed to the cross is physical circumcision. Being a man, I can honestly say that I would find it very “contrary to me” to be required to be cut in that area of my body as an adult. Study the verses objectively, there is no way one can read the context of this chapter and honestly conclude that the Sabbath was nailed to the cross! It simply is not the topic!

Now on to the next point:

Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

There is simply no context in this passage to make the determination that simply because it says “Sabbaths” that one can conclude, “Don’t judge me because I keep Sunday!” Actually, this is not even a reference to the weekly Sabbath. It is a reference to God’s annual Holy Days. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Holy Days; here is the list in sequential order: Passover (this is not a day but a holy event), Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), Day of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), and The Great Day. They are mentioned through out the Bible. They are conveniently listed in Leviticus chapter 23. I can all ready hear the “yea buts.” Okay, I will address their objection. “The verse says festival and it also says Sabbaths. The Holy Days are covered by the word festival, which means when the verse says Sabbaths it is referencing weekly Sunday observance so don’t judge me. This is an erroneous conclusion. Very few people understand the truth I am about to explain. This whole verse is a reference to the Holy Days being a shadow of what is to come with the following exception. The food and drink is regarding eating food that is sacrificed to pagan gods.

Let’s go to school: The course is called “Holy days and Calendar 101.”

There are two types of Holy times. One type is called Feast Days the others are simply called Holy Days. There can be both Holy Days and Feast days in one observance. For example, the Feast of Tabernacles is seven days long. The first day is both a Sabbath and a Feast day—the other six days are Holy Days but are not Sabbaths. The Day of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are Holy Days but are not Feast days. Actually, on the Day of Atonement, one does not eat any food. It is impossible to feast when one is fasting.

Deuteronomy 16:16 three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

If there are seven Holy Days, then why was Israel instructed to only bring an offering three times a year? What about the other days? Gifts were to be brought only on Feast Days. Gifts were not required to be given on the remaining Holy Days. Therefore in Colossians 2:14-16, where it mentions festivals, those are strictly the Holy Days, which are the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Great Day. The verse that mentions Sabbaths is a reference to the Feast days, which are Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. For more information about this topic read “three times a year!”.

Now for Part 2

Part 2 Chapters Articles

Intro Disclaimer

Gary Martin

Some scriptures are from the “New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.” “Bible text from the New King James Version® is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.”

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Minor update January 15, 2012