The Bible teaches that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. In today’s calendar, that would fall on Saturday, as we know that the resurrection of Jesus Christ took place on the first day of the week (Easter Sunday). God rested on the seventh day when He first created the world. So, He blessed and sanctified it (Genesis 2:2-3). And He commanded the Sabbath rest in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). And in obedience to His command, the Son of God kept it day during His earthly life (Luke 4:16). And His disciples kept it after He ascended to heaven (Revelation 1:10). The Lord ordained that the redeemed will be also observing the Sabbath in Heaven (Isaiah 66:23).
Some people teach that the seventh day was a Jewish Sabbath, though the fact is it was instituted at the creation of this world over 2000 years before the existence of Jews. The Bible says, “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” (Genesis 2:2-3). God sanctified the seventh day to be a blessing to all people (Jews and gentiles – Isaiah 56:6-7).
The fourth commandment states that the seventh day is Lord’s day of rest: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, 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 thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:10; Exodus 31:13).
The seventh day is a sign between God and His people. “Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them” (Ezekiel 20:12; 20; Exodus 31:12). God calls the Sabbath, “my holy day” (Isaiah 58:13). And He declared that the saved will be keeping the Sabbath in the New Earth (Isaiah 66:22-23).
Jesus Christ regularly kept the seventh day Sabbath (Luke 4:16), taught much about it (Matthew 12:12; 24:20), and affirmed that He is “Lord even of the Sabbath day” (Matthew 12:8). Further, He declared that He didn’t come to abolish the law or the commandments (Matthew 5:17,18). Christ expected His followers to be still keeping the seventh day of rest in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed. For He said, “pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath” (Matthew 24:20).
The seventh day was observed by the believers after the crucifixion of Jesus. When His body was placed in the tomb on the sixth day, the women did not anoint His body but “rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment” (Luke 23:56). And the Sabbath was kept in the book of Acts by both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 13:42-44; 16:3).
The sabbaths that were abolished at the Cross were the yearly feast sabbath holidays of the Mosaic law (Leviticus 23) which were also called sabbaths (Colossians 2:14-17; Ephesians 2:15; Romans 14:5). These were in addition to or “beside the (weekly) Sabbath of the Lord” (Leviticus 23:38). In the books of Mathew Mark, Luke and John, Christ never mentioned “the first day of the week” (Sunday). It was a regular working day (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; etc.).
The New testament refers to Sunday (the first day of the week) only eight times in the following references: Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2. Yet, it is completely silent, in those verses (or any others), about Sunday being sanctified in honor of our Lord’s resurrection or that the Lord changed the observance of His day from Saturday to Sunday.
End Time Prophecy
The prophecies of Revelation 12–14 make it clear that the seventh day will be the point especially controverted in the days before the second coming of Christ. God’s remnant will be characterized by their keeping all the commandments of God (Revelation 12:17; 14:12), without exception.
The false religious powers will honor a man-made day of rest and demand loyalty to it. There is general agreement among Christians that the other nine commandments are of universal obligation, but early in the Christian Era the Papacy set aside the seventh-day commandment and substituted it with the observance of the first day of the week as the day of worship (Daniel 7:25). (see Constantine instituted the observance of Sunday in 321 A.D)
The crisis will come when symbolic Babylon (Papacy) prevails upon the state to enforce Sunday observance by civil laws (Blue laws) and seeks to punish all the disobedient (Revelation 13:12–17). People will be asked to decide between God’s day of rest and the substitute sabbath, or first day of the week. The keeping of the God’s day will thus again become a distinctive test and constitute a sign (called a seal, Revelation 7) of true worshipers.
Today, there are over 500 Sabbath keeping Churches of all different denominations. The Seventh Day Adventists play a leading role in sharing the truth about God’s forgotten day with the world.
“If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a DELIGHT, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shall honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shall you delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it” (Isaiah 58:13-14).
In His service,