The vast majority of professing Christianity believes Sunday is the day for Christian worship. But the Seventh- Day Adventists, Seventh-Day Baptists, Church of God (7th day), and the Intercontinental Church of God, plus many other groups insist that the Sabbath is our “Saturday,” and that Christians should abstain from working from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset. Is there any Bible Proof for Sunday observance?
I grew up in a Sabbath-keeping home. I grew to dread the “Sabbath day.” Obviously, my father was an outcast. All around me, my schoolmates and neighbors went to church on Sunday. Every exciting, interesting event at school was geared to a Sunday-observing world.
I could not participate in many school activities for the simple reason that most important football and basketball games were played on Friday night. Our Sabbath began, my father said, at sunset Friday. That meant sports events, parties, practices, dances – a host of school and social events were taking place on the Sabbath. I was forbidden to attend or participate.
My father, Herbert W. Armstrong, was a preacher. He spoke each Saturday to a group of about fifty or so in a small, clapboard church outside the city limits of Eugene, Oregon, which featured outdoor his and her facilities, a wood-burning stove near the small alcove, and hard, hand-made wooden benches.
On the right-hand wall beside the small stage with its little railing and pulpit hung a large scroll of the Ten Commandments. Each Sabbath, the entire congregation recited, in unison, the commandments.
Hearing them fifty-two times each year, it was easy to learn them by heart.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” we intoned; “Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it,” we all repeated in unison. If I mumbled a little, or simply remained silent, those words beat against my ears, and were indelibly stamped in my mind.
The Sabbath and School
In the 1930s, the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet made it a criminal act to recite the Bible, or to pray, in school. Students were not then expelled, nor teachers or principals fired from their jobs for allowing the free exercise of religion in public schools.
Even further than that, about once each month, a volunteer Sunday-school teacher from one of the prominent Sunday-keeping churches would take an hour’s class, teaching us from the Bible. I remember a contest she initiated.
She drew up a large chart, placing each pupil’s name to the left, marking off about ten squares to the right. She then assigned various Bible verses, or short chapters, which we were required to memorize. As we were able to stand up before the class and recite our memorized verses successfully, we saw her paste a brightly-colored paper star in one of the squares.
It was of course the little girls who seemed to have more stars opposite their names, rapidly building toward the finish line. This caused a feeling of competition. How could I let those little girls receive more stars than I did?
I remember telling my mother of my elation one day. The Sunday-school teacher had inadvertently assigned me to memorize the Ten Commandments!
She asked if I was supposed to recite them all, and I said yes. Then, she cautioned me: “If you recite all of the fourth one, you’ll probably see stars!”
Somehow, she seemed to know that the Sunday-school teacher would not take it kindly if this little black-headed boy should stand before the class and chirp: “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it, thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
If memory serves, she did not hit me up alongside the head when I recited the entire passage but she did caution me: “Teddy, it is not necessary to recite the whole thing. Just ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,’ is enough.”
Gradually, as I grew up, I learned that other people thought we were very strange to be “keeping Saturday for Sunday.” To them, “remember the Sabbath day” merely meant “one day in seven,” or even “Sunday.” None of them seemed to know, for some mysterious reason, that the Sabbath fell on the day the pagans named after Saturn, “Saturday.”
Then, in the late 1930s or early 1940s, my father began to become convinced he should be observing the annual “Sabbaths” of God, as well! In the early years of the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles, only my own family paid it any attention. Eventually, his patient teaching and preaching convinced the Eugene congregation they should be observing the holy days. Finally, they began traveling up the McKenzie River to an old resort called “Belknap Springs,” remaining there for the entire eight days of the feast.
How embarrassing it was, as a young boy, to go down to the vice principal’s office with a small piece of paper in my hand upon which my mother had written: “Please excuse from school on Thursday our son, Teddy Armstrong, for it is a holy day of our church.”
“What kind of a strange church is it which believes Thursday is holy?” she would ask.
I didn’t know how to explain. I was hugely embarrassed, and ashamed. I hated being put in such a position. I longed to be like my schoolmates – anonymous, one of the group.
My youthful years were punctuated with many embarrassing and shameful experiences. My family didn’t keep Christmas or Halloween, or Easter, but they did keep the Sabbath, and the feast days of the Bible, like the Days of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
In order to shed some of my embarrassment, I would go to a Sunday-keeping church on a rare occasion with one of my school friends. When a church-league basketball tournament was formed, I went with my friends to a “First Christian” church one Sunday each month to qualify to play on their basketball team.
I so wanted to be like everybody else. I didn’t want to be singled out as “different” because of my father’s religion.
After high school, I left home and joined the Navy. My primary goal was to get away from my father, who was autocratic. But behind this primary urge was the entire panorama of all his teachings; my resentment of the Sabbath, and other teachings.
In the Navy I could blend in. I wore the same uniform, slept in the same barracks, or, later, aboard the same ship. I ate the same food, including pork chops, about once each week, and had the same haircut. I was one with the others. I didn’t stand out.
For four years, I ignored the Sabbath, and the annual holy days. I had no idea when they fell during the year, except letters from home might inform me when the major festival of the year, the “Feast of Tabernacles,” occurred.
I hitchhiked to Oregon over a long weekend late in 1949 to visit old school friends in Eugene and Springfield. The feast was being observed up in Belknap Springs, even though my family had moved to Pasadena, California, in 1947. I went to Belknap in my Navy uniform, remaining only a couple of hours to say hello, and promptly went back to Eugene. I am sure my father was embarrassed by having his uniformed young son standing around with a cigarette in his mouth, with all those tattoos on his arms.
No one could have undergone a more complete rejection of the Sabbaths – both weekly and annual – than I did. I had dreaded it as a child. As a man, I rejected it entirely.
How could the whole world be out of step except my dad? Who gave him the right to be right? How could all those huge churches, with millions of members, be wrong? Didn’t the Roman Catholic Church, and the Methodist Church, and the Baptist Church, keep Sunday? Didn’t dozens of others, like the Nazarenes, and Church of Christ, and Assembly of God, and Pentecostal churches?
You couldn’t tell me those huge churches didn’t know what they were doing – that they didn’t have any authority for what they believed and practiced!
Then how did it happen that I was to become, from about age twenty-three to my present age, such a strong advocate for Sabbath observance?
I had heard my father recite almost endlessly his early experiences with religion. He had been brought up by a Quaker family. My mother’s family were Methodists. Both believed there was a God, but neither one of them had ever been Bible students; neither one had ever studied the essential doctrines of their family’s religions.
Then, my mother became grievously ill, with both blood poisoning and lockjaw. She went down to less than ninety pounds in weight and could not eat or drink. This was in the days long prior to intravenous feeding.
A friendly neighbor lady, a Mrs. Ora Runcorn, suggested to my mother that their minister, who happened to be a Sabbath-keeper, was a man of faith who believed God could heal the sick. She asked my mother if she and my father would want this minister to anoint my mother, and pray for her.
Both my father and mother believed God could heal, but they did not know if He would heal. The entire story was written by my mother to a non-religious school chum in a letter she sent in 1927, three years before I was born.
She was instantly, miraculously healed! Long prior, she had been told she could never have any additional children. Eight years and six months had passed since she gave birth to her second daughter. Then, following her miraculous healing, my brother, Richard David (killed in an automobile accident in 1958) was born in 1928, and I was born in 1930.
Because my mother had become very friendly with Mrs. Runcorn, and was obviously hugely thankful, humbly grateful, and spiritually elated over her healing, she wanted to know more about Mrs. Runcorn’s religion – about her minister.
One of the most obvious points was the fact that the Runcorns “kept Saturday for Sunday.”
My mother asked about it.
Mrs. Runcorn did not reason, or explain, or argue, or attempt to teach. Instead, she asked my mother to read several lengthy passages of Scripture. She pointed to one, and then to another, without any comment or explanation, and asked my mother to read them.
But let my father tell you about it, for, after all, I had not yet been born, and she told him all about it. He wrote, in his autobiography:
“Some little time prior to this, we had been visiting my parents in Salem. My wife had become acquainted with an elderly neighbor lady, Mrs. Ora Runcorn. Mrs. Runcorn was an avid student of the Bible… One day Mrs. Runcorn gave her a Bible study. She asked my wife to turn to a certain passage and read it. Then a second, then a third, and so on for about an hour. Mrs. Runcorn made no comment – gave no explanation or argument – just asked my wife to read aloud a series of biblical passages.
“‘Why!’ exclaimed Mrs. Armstrong in amazement, ‘Do all these Scriptures say that I’ve been keeping the wrong day as the Sabbath all my life?’
“‘Well, do they?’ asked Mrs. Runcorn. ‘Don’t ask me whether you have been wrong – you shouldn’t believe what any person tells you, but only what God tells you through the Bible. What does He tell you, there? What do you see there with your own eyes?’
“‘Why, it’s as plain as anything could be!’ exclaimed Mrs. Armstrong. ‘Why, this is a wonderful discovery. I must rush back to tell my husband the good news. I know he’ll be overjoyed!’
“A minute or so later, Mrs. Armstrong came running into my parents’ home, with the ‘good news.’
“My jaw dropped!
“This was the worst news I had ever heard! My wife gone into religious fanaticism!
“‘Have you gone CRAZY?’ I asked, incredulously.
“‘Of course not! I was never more sure of anything in my life,’ responded my wife with enthusiasm.
“Indeed, I wondered if she really had lost her mind! Deciding to ‘keep Saturday for Sunday?’ Why, that seemed like rank FANATICISM! And my wife had always had such a sound mind! There was nothing shallow about her. She had always had a well-balanced mind, with depth.
“But now, suddenly – THIS! It seemed incredible – preposterous!
“‘Loma,’ I said sternly, ‘this is simply too ridiculous to believe! I am certainly not going to tolerate any such religious fanaticism in our family! You’ll have to give that up right here and now!’”
The last thing in the world my father wanted to hear was that the Sabbath should be kept! As he explained, he thought my mom had taken up with religious fanaticism. He wrote: “I even threatened divorce, if my wife refused to give up this fanaticism…”
Many years later, when I had come home after four years in the Navy, including operating offshore Korea during the Korean War aboard an aircraft carrier, I began to face some of the same questions.
At first, I had no intention whatsoever of having anything to do with my father’s religion. I was still smoking. My life’s desire was to become a singer, perhaps entertaining in night clubs. I had told my Navy shipmates I hoped to break into the movies.
I began looking into religious literature, wondering if they could substantiate their doctrines. I picked up tracts and booklets at supermarkets, published by various religious organizations.
I remember a tract I read by a Protestant radio preacher about “law and grace.” He quoted a scripture to support his theory that there was no “law-keeping” involved in the Christian life. Unfortunately for him I decided to look up the scripture he quoted.
He had written how the Bible said: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
This certainly seemed to say we could not be saved by any works we might perform, such as keeping the Sabbath or holy days!
But wait a minute! What was this? In the entire context of this statement, Paul had written, in the very next verse: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10)
The entire thrust of his little pamphlet was that we were to avoid such things as Sabbath-keeping, or feeling that we are under any obligation to obey any laws. It was all love, and grace, and faith. Just believe, and profess Christ, and presto! You are saved!
It took me a very long time to come to understand the difference between being saved as a gift of God through faith, while at the same time being obligated to quit sinning, since sin is the breaking of God’s Ten Commandments (I John 3:4).
It took me a long time to understand that when we repent of having broken God’s laws (Acts 2:38), God’s loving forgiveness, which is His “grace,” or undeserved pardon for having broken His laws, does not give us permission to continue breaking them.
Then, I knew none of this. I did know, however, that either this radio preacher suffered from one of the most severe cases of “tunnel vision” you have ever heard of, not even seeing the next verse which knocked his theory into a cocked hat, or else he was deliberately dishonest, not thinking most of his readers would ever check up on what he wrote.
My earliest reading into the doctrines of other churches did not begin to compare with the in-depth research I would accomplish in the months and years later.
I heard a big-name American evangelist insist that “Christianity is not a way of life,” but I had seen, in several places on only two pages of the book of Acts, that it was.
That proved a catalyst which stimulated a thirst for additional knowledge. If vaunted authorities, who represented a major excuse of mine against my father’s teachings (surely all these huge churches can’t be wrong?) were proved wrong from the Bible, then I was no longer pitting my father against other churchmen, but pitting other churchmen and my father against the Bible.
Later research astounded me. Let me give you an astonishing example.
Is there any greater “authority” for Sunday observance than the pope and the Roman Catholic Church? For, after all, the only authority by which Protestants justify Sunday observance is old mother Rome.
Here is what the highly respected Catholic Encyclopedia says about Sunday, and Sunday observance.
“SUNDAY, (day of the sun), as the name of the first day of the week, is derived from Egyptian astrology…Sunday was the first day of the week according to the Jewish method of reckoning [note: the Jews never called it “Sunday”], but for Christians it began to take the place of the Jewish Sabbath in apostolic times as the day set apart for the public and solemn worship of God. The practice of meeting together on the first day of the week for the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is indicated in Acts xx, 7; I Cor., xvi, 2; in Apoc. 1, 10, it is called the Lord’s Day” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIV, p. 335).
What is the “Eucharistic Sacrifice”? It is the “sacrament of the Lord’s Supper,” or “Communion.”
But Jesus Christ did not command the disciples to observe the ceremony of foot-washing, wine and bread every week (see our free booklet Easter or Passover). He made it a memorial occasion (Luke 22:19). Like all other memorials, such as birthdays, or Memorial Day, it was to be celebrated once each year, on the same day as the original event.
Notwithstanding these plain indications of Scripture, and the practice of Christ himself, the Roman Catholic Church began celebrating the “Eucharistic Sacrifice” each Sunday.
Now, note well that this vaunted authority says that you and I, when we turn to the three scriptures referred to, will find Christians gathered “for the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.”
Read up to the passage referred to in Acts, commencing with verse 6: “And we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days, where we abode seven days.”
Luke, who was the journalist, naturally included in his diary the fact that they had sailed just after the Days of Unleavened Bread. Why? For the simple reason that this annual holy day period immediately following the Passover, or Lord’s Supper, was still being observed. Paul had written to the Corinthian Church: “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost” (I Corinthians 16:8). He had said, as Luke wrote a little later than this account of his trip to Troas: “I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem” (Acts 18:21).
Repeatedly in Paul’s writings, and in those of Luke, who chronicled the deeds of the early apostolic church, careful note is taken of the occurrence of God’s Sabbath days and the annual Sabbaths, or holy days, for, during all these many decades following the resurrection of Christ all these annual Sabbaths and the weekly Sabbaths were being observed by the apostolic church!
Now, continuing in 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.” But the days began at sunset. Since this was now “on the first day of the week…until midnight” the meeting took place on our “Saturday night.” The following dawn would have been the daylight part of our “Sunday.” But to continue:
“And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down from sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, ‘Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.’ When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so departed” (Acts 20:7-11).
Notice that the expression “breaking bread” merely means eating a meal. It does not connote a religious ceremony, or a “Eucharistic Sacrifice!” “Breaking bread” could include eating an entire meal, including meat!
Notice carefully again that this meeting took place sometime after sundown on our “Saturday night.” It was on the “first day of the week,” but the meeting continued through the night, until morning, which would be our Sunday morning.
On that day, the first day of the week, daylight part, what did Paul do?
“And we went before to ship [writes Luke], and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed [decided], minding himself to go afoot” (Acts 20:13).
Assos was around a narrow peninsula from Troas. By ship, it required hours of sailing, and the prevailing winds would have required much tacking back and forth. Knowing this, Paul decided to remain with those Christian people as long as he could, speaking to them right on through the night (which is hard work!), and then walking nineteen miles during the daylight hours of that “Sunday.”
Talk about work!
This was no “Eucharistic Sacrifice,” as the vaunted Catholic Encyclopedia would have you believe. It was a meeting which took place from about Saturday sundown until nearly dawn the next morning. Since the Bible always begins the days at sundown, the beginning of the “first day of the week” commenced at sunset Saturday.
Paul then worked all night. Then he walked an incredible nineteen miles from Troas to Assos, to meet Luke and the others aboard ship.
Did you read anything there about Christians meeting for the purpose of conducting the “Eucharistic Sacrifice”? No there is no “Eucharistic Sacrifice” mentioned here.
Did the Catholic writer who submitted the article on “Sunday” for the Catholic Encyclopedia not know any of this? Or…but let’s not judge. He can answer to Christ for what was in his mind at the time.
But, surely, we shall find Christians meeting on the first day of the week, Sunday, to celebrate the “Eucharistic Sacrifice” in the second scripture listed in the Catholic Encyclopedia, shall we not? Let’s see.
“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye” (I Corinthians 16:1). Read Acts 11:27-30. Agabus had prophesied of a terrible drought to strike Palestine. The church rallied, gathering stored nuts, dates, grains, and dried meats and fruit to send relief to people who might otherwise have starved.
Paul, eager to help, wanted the Corinthian church to generously devote a full day of work each week prior to his arrival in famine relief. Here is how he stated it: “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 [harvesting, collecting, gleaning] when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters [to me], them will I send to bring your liberality [your generous gifts of foodstuffs] unto Jerusalem” (I Corinthians 16:1-3).
What do you do when you “lay by yourself in store”? Why, you store up, or you save something. You place it close to hand, like in a storage shed, or your garage, or in your home.
Did you read one single word about a “Eucharistic Sacrifice” here? No? But the vaunted Catholic Encyclopedia said you would find Christians conducting a religious ceremony on Sunday! It said this was a meeting by Christians to celebrate the “Eucharistic Sacrifice.”
Then why did the Catholic writer lie? Or did he simply quote some other earlier writer who lied? Or did he, the earlier, just assume some even earlier writer was correct? Did not the learned doctor of theology who put this amazing assertion in the Catholic Encyclopedia even look up the scripture to which he referred, and read it, like you can do, in his own Bible?
Here, Paul urges the Corinthian church to WORK in their fields and orchards; to work at curing meat, drying fruit, harvesting grain; to work in the sweat of their brow ON SUNDAY, so they would be able to send a generous amount of famine relief to hungry brethren in Palestine!
But surely, then, we shall find at least ONE correct reference out of the three scriptures the Catholic Encyclopedia quoted which shows Christians keeping the “Eucharistic Sacrifice” on Sunday, shall we not? Let’s see.
John, the apostle, was given many visions by Jesus Christ to reveal to God’s people what would come to pass down into the time near the end of man’s civilization on earth.
The word apocalypse merely means “revelation.” It does not mean “holocaust,” or “catastrophe,” or mind-boggling destruction and war. But because many of the prophecies of the book of Revelation do speak of catastrophes and war, journalists have mistakenly changed the usage of the word reveal (apocalypse) to read “disaster.”
The very first vision John saw was that of a Being who spoke with a voice like a powerful trumpet blast. John wrote: “I was in the spirit [as in a spiritual trance – seeing a vision] on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and, what thou seest [in the visions to follow], write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches” (Revelation 1:10, 11).
Do you read of any meeting of Christians here? No.
Do you read of a “Eucharistic Sacrifice”? No. Instead, you read of how John was transported in spiritual vision into the “Day of the Lord,” or the “Lord’s Day.”
What “Day” is this? Notice, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by work, nor by letter as from us, as that the Day of Christ [Christ is the Lord, so this is the Day of the Lord or the “Lord’s Day”] is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the future time of GOD’S INTERVENTION IN HUMAN AFFAIRS – the Day of the Lord!] shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed” (II Thessalonians 2:1-3).
This is the same expression as that of Revelation 1:10, and refers to the time of God’s intervention in Human affairs. For such an allegedly “vaunted authority” as the Catholic Encyclopedia to assert that the statement of John shows he was involved in a “meeting of Christians to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice” is utterly ludicrous.
Again and again, both Catholic and Protestant theologians list the above scriptures in a ridiculously weak, deceptive method to “prove” from the Bible that they have authority for Sunday observance. You have seen, from the pages of your own Bible, that none of the scriptures referred to by the Catholic Encyclopedia have anything whatsoever to do with Christians meeting for the “Eucharistic Sacrifice.”
But wasn’t the Sabbath part of the Old Covenant?
One of the greatest deceptions of all is the Sunday-observer’s attempt to do away with God’s Sabbath day by claiming it was an integral part of the “Old Covenant,” then showing the Old Covenant is “done away.”
Briefly, however, remember some vitally important points:
(1) The God of the Covenant with Israel is the member of the Godhead who became Jesus Christ of the New Covenant. Notice: “In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos, or “Spokesman”], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [the Logos was Theos]. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him [He is the Creator, not only of all material things, but of the Sabbath day (Genesis 2:2, 3)]; and without Him, was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men…He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name… the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, (and we beheld His glory [the disciples, referring to Christ], the glory of the only Begotten of the Father,), full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-14).
Read every verse, slowly and carefully, of John’s first chapter. Then, turn to and read Hebrews, the first chapter. Compare the two. There is not the remotest shadow of a doubt that these passages refer to the Member of the Divine Sovereign Family, called Elohim, and Theos, who came among humankind as “Jesus Christ” of Nazareth.
There are many other references, but how many times does God have to speak to us before we will believe? The Jesus Christ of your New Testament, the Jesus Christ who proposes to write His laws in our hearts and minds, is the SAME Member of the Divine Family who wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger, who created Adam, who spoke to the patriarchs, who dealt with Noah, who called Abraham, who spoke to Moses, who parted the Red Sea, who gave His laws at Sinai – the same Person who proposed the covenant with Israel!
(2) God’s laws were in full force and effect long prior to Sinai! Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, said your Savior, will be in God’s coming Kingdom. But they all lived long prior to the existence of the “House of Israel,” meaning the nations which came from Jacob’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
(3)The New Covenant concerns the same, identical laws with which the Old Covenant was concerned, but instead of presenting the letter of the law, and promising only physical blessings, the New Covenant presents the spirit of the law, promising spiritual blessings.
The New Covenant does not release us from the obligation to OBEY GOD! Smarmy, sticky, spiritual-sounding rhetoric to the contrary, the New Covenant makes God’s laws infinitely more binding. Any false teacher who tells you the New Covenant means you “keep the Sabbath in your heart,” meaning you don’t have to observe God’s seventh-day Sabbath, is lying.
Imagine a book, which contains God’s laws. Imagine, placed beside it in another bound cover, a document called The Covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two parties about something.
God, as a young Suitor, proposed to Israel. He said, in effect: “If you will obey my laws, if you will be faithful to me; if you will have no other God’s before me, then I will make you my own. I will bless you. I will provide for you, love you, protect and preserve you. I will give you healthy, happy babies, and healthy minds and bodies. I will give you peace in your land, and protection from your enemies. I will give you rain in due season, abundant crops, and good weather. You will become the greatest nation on earth.”
Read both Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, together with Exodus 20-24. After hearing God’s proposal, which contained the Ten Commandments, but was not exclusively confined to the Ten Commandments, the people agreed. This agreement was the “covenant.” It was an agreement ABOUT the law, but was not the law.
“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Eternal, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice [it was a UNANIMOUS agreement], and said, All the words which the Eternal hath said will we do” (Exodus 24:3).
Here is the covenant God proposed. The people agreed.
Now, notice: “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second” (Hebrews 8:7). So there was a FAULT with the first, or the “old” Covenant! What was this fault? Was it the law? Was it the covenant itself?
“For finding fault with THEM, He saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Eternal, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made [notice that the same Person of the Godhead is doing the speaking!] with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the Land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Eternal. For this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, saith the Eternal, I will put my laws [THE SAME LAWS – GOD’S TEN COMMANDMENTS] into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:7-10).
The fault was with the people who broke God’s laws. It was not with the law, or the covenant, which was an agreement between God and the people about the law!
Who was this?
It was, according to your Bible, the SAME Member of the Godhead who did the creating! God’s Word says: “For I am the Eternal, I CHANGE NOT; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6).
Does God “change everything” from time to time? Did people “get saved” even prior to the Old Covenant by some different method? After all, Christ said: “Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of God!” Did other peole then “get saved” under the terms and conditions of the Old Covenant? Your Bible prophesies David will become king over all Israel in the Millennium (Jeremiah 23:5). Does God “save” all these people under the OLD COVENANT, and then “save” everybody else by a DIFERENT standard?
What do you think? Do you have eyes to see, and ears to hear? Can you believe your own Bible, or will you believe, instead, what lying, deceitful, hypocritical false teachers tell you? Are you truly capable of thinking for yourself?
God says He is consistent. He says He never changes!
Notice further: “Jesus Christ THE SAME, yesterday [during the time of the Old Covenant], TODAY [right now!] and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8).
So the SAME One who gave His law at Sinai is the One who will, under the terms of the New Covenant, write His laws in our hearts and minds.
Does this sound like it “does away” with the Sabbath, or any other of God’s laws?
Study Christ’s famous “beatitudes,” and the entire Sermon on the Mount. Christ showed that, under the letter of the law, it was a sin to commit adultery, or murder. But He showed that, under the New Covenant, it is a sin to even think about such acts! Which is the MORE BINDING?
Christ lifted the Ten Commandments of God to a higher, SPIRITUAL plane, showing how they apply to every kind of human thought and deed.
The Sabbath as a Perpetual Sign
One of the scriptures Mrs. Ora Runcorn asked my mother to read, several years before I was born, began in Exodus 31:12.
“And the Eternal spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths [they were GOD’S Sabbaths, not the “Sabbaths of the Jews”] ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Eternal that doth sanctify you.”
Are there still generations of Israel on this earth? To be sure. God’s ordination of the Sabbath as an identifying sign between Himself and His people was to continue down through time – through generation after generation, in perpetuity.
Before I was born, my mother read these same words. She then read many other scriptures about the Sabbath day, both in the Old and New Testaments. By reading those scriptures, with no explanations from her neighbor, my mother could plainly see the Sabbath had never changed; that man had no authority to change what God had made holy.
She was to learn that God does not change. Jesus Christ of the New Covenant is the same person of the Divine Godhead, Elohim, who was speaking to Moses! He is the SAME today as He was then (Hebrews 13:8).
Continuing: “Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death [God imposed the death penalty, capital punishment, upon anyone who would refuse to keep His Sabbaths]: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul [Hebrew: nephesh, or “person”] shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Eternal: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Eternal [remember John 1:1?] made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:12-17).
The great Eternal Creator, who has never changed, has not abandoned His requirement for His people to acknowledge Him as Creator, by observing His holy Sabbath days.
As you saw from the Catholic Encyclopedia, there is no authority whatever in the Bible for keeping Sunday as a day of worship. The bible upholds the Sabbath day from Genesis to Revelation. It is the day kept by the patriarchs. It is the day kept by the judges. It is the day kept by righteous kings of Israel and Judah. It is the day Christ kept, setting us an example that we should follow in His steps. It is the day of which He is Lord (Mark 2:26, 27). It is still incumbent upon Christians today (Hebrews 4:1-11). It is the Fourth Commandment, and has never been changed by the God who says “I CHANGE NOT,” or the Christ who is “the SAME, yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
The protesting daughters which came out of the great fallen woman (Isaiah 47:1-11, with Revelation 2:23 and Revelation 17:5) have cheerfully followed their mother church in adopting Sunday worship as a counterfeit of God’s Sabbath day.
Consequently, instead of wearing the identifying sign of the Sabbath day – that they are the people of God, called of God, obedient to God, following in the example of Christ – they wear the symbols of the great Babylonish mystery religion!
God Will Not Compromise With His Laws
Jesus cried: “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). He said: “Think NOT that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle [a period, or a comma – punctuation marks] shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).
He did not say “Think not I am come to destroy, but to destroy!” The word fulfill means to do or “perform,” Christ kept the laws of God and set us an example that we should follow in His steps. Not only has not the Fourth Commandment never passed from the law of God, but not a single dotting of an i or crossing of a t, or a single punctuation mark been changed, or deleted!
He said: “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, more than thirty long years after the resurrection of Christ wrote: “Wherefore the LAW IS HOLY, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12). He said: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal [physical, fleshly], sold under sin” (Romans 7:14). At the conclusion of this moving chapter, he wrote: “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22).
The carnal, physical mind is a lawless mind – a mind which reasons around God’s law, which is the TEN COMMANDMENTS, which includes the Fourth Commandment! Paul wrote: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: it is not subject TO THE LAW OF GOD, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
My father before me, when he was yet carnal, was antagonistic against God’s law! He hated the idea that the SABBATH day should be kept, and not Sunday! He threatened my mother, angrily! He shouted at her; he ranted and raved. He threatened to divorce her if she did not give up what he thought was “religious fanaticism.”
Finally, he had to prove he had been wrong from the pages of his own Bible, in an intensive, six-month study which took him to the same Catholic Encyclopedia quoted in the beginning of this article, and to all the other sources which attempt to justify the FALSE, counterfeit, identifying sign of the beast and his image.
When I was a teenager in school, I detested the idea of the Sabbath. It made me appear “different” from all the other children, and I deeply resented it. Who gave my father the “right to be right”? How could all these churches be wrong?
I, too, had to slowly study, and finally PROVE the Sabbath must be kept!
Paul wrote that the carnal mind is hostile to the laws of God. Mine certainly was. Is yours, today? Are you hostile to the truth you have read here? Does it make you angry? Do you squirm, mentally, and reason and argue, and think of alleged “proof texts” which seem to you to “DO AWAY” with God’s laws?
Then what are all these scriptures doing in the Bible?
John wrote: “And hereby we do know that we know Him [Christ], if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him [as millions of Sunday-professing people do], and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:3, 4).
He said: “Whosoever committeth sin [all have sinned!] transgresseth also the LAW [which includes the Fourth Commandment!]: for SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW” (I John 3:4).
Notice further: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (I John 3:22). There are those that would say “love” is all that is required. But what IS the love of God?
Let your bible answer: “For this IS the love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3).
At the very close of the Bible, God describes those who shall inherit eternal life as those who are commandment keeping Christians. “Blessed are they that DO HIS COMANDMENTS, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
James wrote that if we break one commandment we are guilty of breaking them all (James 2:10).
Sin is the breaking of God’s law. When we repent of sin (Acts 2:38), we become deeply remorseful, sorrowful, self-abhorrent, because we have broken God’s holy law. When the precious blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from SIN, when we are forgiven for having broken God’s law, God does not then say to us we are free to go out and continue breaking His law!
No, when we are forgiven for having broken the law, we are now expected to live within God’s Ten Commandments. Think for a moment. What is so bad about a law which says we should have only the one true God? What is so bad about not bowing down to leering stones or logs, and calling them God? What is so bad about refraining from using God’s name in vain, or honoring our parents who bore us, or refraining from stealing, or committing adultery, or murdering?
All of us wish, with all our hearts, that all of our neighbors and fellow citizens kept all these laws! It is only when the theologians come to the Fourth Commandment – the SABBATH – that they become angry! Not a single Catholic or Protestant will argue against the other nine!
But God says to break the Sabbath is the same as murder! It is sin (Romans 6:23), and carries the same penalty as breaking any other of the Ten Commandments.
Soon, the time when human church leaders can wheedle, and argue, and reason, and indulge in smarmy, sticky, lovey-dovey sentimentality to deceive people about the Sabbath will be over. For only a little while, now, will God continue to tolerate false teachers who convince people it is perfectly acceptable to break God’s Sabbath day by working on that day.
Soon, now, God says He will make “the earth empty, and make it waste, and turn it upside down, and scatter abroad the inhabitants thereof…the land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Eternal hath spoken this word…The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof: because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left” (Isaiah 24:6).
Will you, and your loved ones, be among those few who are spared? Remember Christ’s command: “WATCH ye therefore, and pray always, that ye might be accounted worthy to escape all these things [the Great Tribulation] that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
Are you presently breaking God’s Sabbath day?
Will you continue to commit this sin, in the full knowledge of the consequences? There are those all around you who are described as “a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Eternal: Which say to the seers [their ministers], See not: and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:9-10).
Sorry, I cannot do that, even if others can. I must continue to “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Eternal thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Eternal made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Eternal blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).