Commandment to keep the Sabbath

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (NIV) (Exodus 20:8-11; 31:13-16).  This post is about the commandment to keep the Sabbath.

Read all these verses to be clearly reminded what God told us Himself.   “On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed” (Codex Justinianus lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3, p. 380, note 1). [This was done because he wanted to introduce Christianity to the pagans, who worshipped the Sun.]  “Constantine seems to have made this change himself and not through the papacy, since the papacy had not really come in to being at that time. The papacy grew gradually out of the office of Bishop and for many years this was centered in Rome. In any case, it should be noted that in doing this, Constantine is not changing the Sabbath; he is merely making Sunday the official day of rest for the Roman Empire”.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church then says: “The Church celebrates the day of Christ’s Resurrection on the ‘eighth day,’ Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord’s Day” (CCC 2191).  Catholics do not worship on the Sabbath, which according to the [Old Testament] Jewish law is the last day of the week (Saturday), when God rested from all the work he had done in creation (Gen. 2:2-3). Catholics worship on the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week (Sunday, the eighth day); the day when God said “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3); the day when Christ rose from the dead; the day when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles (Day of Pentecost).  The Catholic Church did not move the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Instead the Sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday, which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ” (CCC 2190). Sunday is the day Catholics are bound to keep, not Saturday.”

It is well taught that the early church adopted Sunday, replacing Saturday Sabbath, as their day of worship based on: Acts 20:7 speaks of this, “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread.  Paul spoke to the people …” and 1 Corinthians 16:2, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made” [tithing].

However, it’s important to understand what’s been lost in translation and interpretation, most noteworthy, what has been “adopted” or “replaced” from God’s Instruction.  Pastors teach what they’ve been taught in Seminary and that is, that these passages indicate that Christians were to keep Sunday (the first day of the week) as the Sabbath, continuing what Constantine started, as well as, that Christ rose on the first day of the week.  It wasn’t until hundreds of years later that the death of Christ became the focal point of Christian worship services.  God made no mention of tithing on the Sabbath, but somewhere along the way, Pastors translate 1 Cor. 16:2 as a sabbath passage vs. a reminder for people to set aside money to tithe.

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9-13, NIV), with vs 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

Was Constantine and the Catholic church disobedient to God’s Word regarding the Commandment of the Sabbath?  It may be revolutionary to consider that.  It’s a personal decision once the history is made clear to us, as I have tried to do today.  It’s important to think about if you are following something that was added to or subtracted from God’s Commandment regarding the Sabbath.  Knowing the sequence of history, is Sabbath for you Sunday or Saturday?  Choose with discernment so that you are confident you are being obedient.


Leave a Reply