PDF Version of Lesson 9 - Bible or Tradition
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In the previous lesson we discovered that the Sabbath is not only a Sign of True Worship, but a sign of God's authority over heaven and earth. The Bible calls us to worship “Him who made heaven and earth”, for He alone deserves our worship and allegiance. At creation, God established the Sabbath as a memorial of creation and a sign of His authority over all things. He has commanded us to keep the Sabbath holy as a sign of our allegiance and loyalty to Him.
The Sabbath (according to the Bible) is the seventh day of the week (Saturday). However, most Christians today consider Sunday to be Sabbath. In this lesson, we will seek to answer questions, such as ‘Why is it that most of Christendom keeps Sunday and not Saturday (the Seventh-day of the week) as the Sabbath?’ And ‘does it make any difference which day we keep?’
“Ye shall not __________________ unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye ___________________ ought from it, that ye may keep the ______________________ of the LORD your God which I command you.”
Matthew 5:17, 18:
“Think ___________ that I am come to _________________the ___________, or the prophets: I am not come to _______________, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one ___________ or one ____________shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Luke 23:55, 56
“And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and ______________________ the _______________ ____________ according to the ______________________.”
There are no indications in the Bible (Old or New Testament) that God abolished the Sabbath or changed it from one day to the next. (See also Matthew 24:20; Isaiah 66:22, 23; Acts 13:42, 44).
None of the New Testament Bible texts that mention the ‘first Day of the Week’ indicate that there was a command from God to keep the first day of the week as a Sabbath. The Bible clearly makes a distinction between the Sabbath and the first day of the week.
The Bible does speak of apostasy that would take place in the Church—a departure from the faith that would lead to a departure from right doctrines (see 2 Timothy 4:3, 4). The practice of ‘Sunday sacredness’ did not take place overnight. It began with the practice of honoring Sunday as the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and a subtle avoidance of the ‘Jewish Sabbath’. Though the Church (at first) did not out rightly abandon the seventh-day Sabbath, yet as time went by, the first day of the week began to take precedence as a day of worship. The first official move to establish Sunday as a day of worship was done in 325 A.D., when Constantine (the first Christian Roman Emperor) issued an edict that says, “On the ‘venerable Day of the Sun’ (Sunday) let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed.” Note this quotation from the Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine:
“Question - Which is the Sabbath day?
“Answer - Saturday is the Sabbath day.
“Question - Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
“Answer - We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” — Rev. Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50, 3rd edition, 1957
“Sunday, first day of the week. Its English name and its Ger-man name (Sonntag) are derived from the Latin dies solis, “sun's day,” the name of a pagan Roman holiday. In the New Testament (see Revelation 1:10) *some Christians refer to it as+ . . . . the Lord's Day (Dominica in the Latin version), from which the name of Sun-day is derived in Romance languages (French Dimanche; Italian Domenica; Spanish Domingo; Roman Duminica). In the early days of Christianity, Sunday began to replace the Sabbath and to be ob-served to honor the resurrection of Christ. Sunday was instituted as a day of rest, consecrated especially to the service of God, by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Since the 4th century, ecclesiastical and civil legislation has frequently regulated work on Sunday and service attendance. In the United States, laws limiting business activity and amusements on Sundays have become known as blue laws.” Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved (margin)
“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also _____________________ the __________________ of God by your __________________?
“But in ________________ they do _________________Me, teach-ing for doctrines the commandments of _______________.”
“For whosoever shall keep the ____________ ___________, and yet offend in ________ ______________, he is ______________ of all.”
“And the times of this _____________________ God _________________ at; but ___________ commandeth all men eve-ry where to __________________:”