What happened to the Fourth Commandment, which states that God’s people should keep the seventh day holy? How did that major change take place? Which day should Christians keep holy? And WHO changed the Sabbath to Sunday?
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
The original Christian followers of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, believed in keeping the Fourth Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day.” Jesus Himself observed the seventh-day Sabbath in Nazareth where He grew up. As an adult, He preached in the synagogues on the Sabbath, as it tells us in Luke 4:16.
In the first century AD, after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the Apostle Paul preached on the Sabbath to Gentile congregations.
Now, two thousand years later, most professing Christians keep the first day of the week, Sunday, as the Lord’s Day. What happened to the Fourth Commandment, which states that God’s people should keep the seventh day holy? How did that major change take place? Which day should Christians keep holy? And WHO changed the Sabbath to Sunday?
Your Bible and history give the answer! Don’t go away!
Warm greetings to all our friends around the world!
Most professing Christians observe Sunday as a day of worship. And yet the Ten Commandments include instructions to observe the seventh day, Saturday. Perhaps you grew up as a young child learning the Ten Commandments. The Fourth Commandment gives us this very plain instruction: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God...” (Exodus 20:8–10) Yet most professing Christians observe Sunday, even though first-century Christians observed the same seventh-day Sabbath that Jesus observed!
So, WHO changed the Sabbath to Sunday? On today’s program, we’ll answer that question. And we’ll be offering you an inspiring free booklet that gives you the biblical answers you need. It’s titled: WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH? Just call the number on your screen, or order it online at TOMORROWSWORLD.ORG. Just ask for the Christian Sabbath booklet.
Various religions set aside holidays or holy days. Muslims gather to worship on Friday. Jews around the world have worshipped for thousands of years on the Sabbath, the day that begins at sunset every Friday evening, and continues through to sunset on Saturday. Professing Christians meet for Sunday church services, proclaiming theirs is the true day for worship.
My friends, which day should Christians keep holy? The first day of the week? Or the seventh? Throughout world history, various civilizations have recorded their days in weeks of four days or ten days. Yet the seven-day week is ancient. Records going back to ancient Babylon show observance of a seven-day cycle. The Jewish people have preserved a calendar with a seven-day week. History faithfully documents that the day we now call Saturday is the seventh day of the week, and Sunday is the first day of the week. Even when Pope Gregory XIII revised the calendar in 1582, he did not change the seven-day cycle. The seventh-day Sabbath today is the same seventh day observed by Jesus and the first-century Christian Church.
If you have your Bible, turn to Acts 13:42. In the first century AD, the Apostle Paul preached on the Sabbath in the Antioch synagogue. Notice that his audience included BOTH Jews and Gentiles. After the Jews left, the Gentiles made a request. Now, this was YEARS after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Surely, if the Christians were to keep Sunday, these Gentiles would have met with Paul the very next day, Sunday. But did they? Acts 13:42, “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them….”
WHEN? The next day, Sunday? No! Verse 42: “…the Gentiles [not the Jews] begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.” Read that again in your own Bible. “…the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.” NOT SUNDAY!
Sure enough, Acts 13:44: “On the NEXT SABBATH almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.” Paul met with Gentiles, not on Sunday, but on the Sabbath. New Testament Christians observed the seventh-day Sabbath.
But doesn’t the New Testament mention the first day of the week several times? It does. But is there any example of WORSHIPPING on the first day of the week? No! Dr. Roderick Meredith comments on the topic of “Sunday in the New Testament” in the free booklet we’re offering today, WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH?: “The word ‘Sunday’ does not even appear in literal Bible translations. We do find the phrase ‘first day of the week’ in the New Testament, but this occurs just eight times. Five of those references (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1–2; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1) describe Mary Magdalene and others coming to the tomb AFTER Christ’s resurrection. As we prove elsewhere in this booklet, Jesus was resurrected Saturday evening—NOT Sunday morning. So those references have nothing to do with observing the day of Christ’s resurrection!” (pp. 4–5). Dr. Meredith explains the other three references of the “first day,” and demonstrates that none involved a regular worship service. Be sure to request your free copy of the Christian Sabbath booklet that covers much more information than we have time for on this program.
The New Testament Scriptures and history demonstrate that original Christianity, the Christianity that Jesus Himself established in the first century, observed the seventh-day Sabbath. The Catholic Encyclopedia, on the topic of “Sunday,” agrees. Listen: “Tertullian (202 [AD]) is the first writer who expressly mentions the Sunday rest: ‘We, however (just as tradition has taught us), on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection ought to guard not only against kneeling, but every posture and office of solicitude, deferring even our businesses lest we give any place to the devil.’” (Volume XIV, p. 335). Tertullian did not write this until 202 AD, more than 170 years AFTER the beginning of the New Testament church!
Was Tertullian correct in supposing that Christ was resurrected on Sunday? We’ll answer that question in the next part of the program. But first, I’d like to offer you this exciting, well-documented, free booklet, WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH? This inspiring booklet references the eight places in the New Testament that use the expression “first day of the week.” Were they Sunday worship services? Were they memorials of Jesus’ death? This free booklet will answer those questions, and more. Here are some of the subheads: “Christ and His Disciples—Sabbath-Breakers?” “Was Jesus Resurrected on Sunday?” “Practice of the Original Apostles.” This inspiring free booklet will also give you many biblical references and quotes we haven’t had time to include in this program. Did you know that both Roman Catholic and Protestant authorities ADMIT that the Bible itself does not support a Sunday observance? You need to read those authoritative and historic quotes. You need this free booklet for your personal benefit and Bible study. Just click the link in the description below or call the number on your screen for the booklet “Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?”
We’ve seen that the Apostle Paul taught Gentiles on the seventh-day Sabbath. We also saw from history that Sunday worship was not affirmed until the third century AD, when the Catholic theologian Tertullian called Sunday the “day of the Lord’s Resurrection.” But, is Sunday the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, as Tertullian said? No! Listen! When Mary Magdalene came to Jesus’ tomb on Sunday morning, she found it empty. Let’s read that in John 20:1–2, “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
She came while it was still dark! The sun had not yet risen. It was still dark and Jesus was NOT THERE Sunday morning! He was buried at sunset Wednesday evening and rose exactly three days and three nights later, just as He said. You can read that in Matthew 12:40. There are not three days and three nights from a traditional “Good Friday” to an Easter Sunday morning! So, the common reason for Sunday worship is based on human tradition, not on the Scriptures. Jesus emphasized the sign of His Messiahship. Matthew 12:39–40, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 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.”
You can read more about the three days and three nights in our inspiring free booklet, WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH?
The first century Christian Church worshipped on the seventh-day Sabbath, the day we now call Saturday. But when Roman emperor Constantine, a former pagan sun-worshipper, enforced his own version of Christianity on the Empire, he MANDATED Sunday worship! He gave the following edict in 321 AD, “On the venerable day of the SUN let all magistrates and people … REST” (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article “Sunday Legislation,” Volume XI, p. 147).
Just a couple years later, the Roman church also passed a startling decree in the Council of Laodicea. They declared: “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing [or keeping the seventh-day Sabbath], they shall be shut out from Christ.” (A History of the Councils of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 316). In other words, Christian Sabbath-keepers were declared to be heretics.
But on what authority did the Roman Church make this change? The noted Catholic theologian, James Cardinal Gibbons, wrote this bold statement: “But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. [Listen to this!] The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”
What Gibbons and other Catholic authorities state, is that, it is the authority of the Catholic Church that changed observance in the Christian world from Saturday to Sunday, NOT the New Testament scriptures! And that occurred in the Council of Laodicea in the middle of the fourth century!
What an amazing admission! And yet Gibbons is not alone. Order our free booklet, WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH? and you will read similar admissions from Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and other religious leaders, all admitting that the Bible nowhere authorizes Sunday as a new Sabbath day.
But does this even matter? Can’t we just worship on any day? My friends, Jesus gave a very strong warning about traditions conflicting with the commandments of God. Turn to MARK the SEVENTH CHAPTER: “‘...in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…. All too well you REJECT THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, that you may keep YOUR TRADITION.” (Mark 7:7–9)
That’s a warning I hope all of US will heed. Jesus said He is Lord of the Sabbath. He observed the Sabbath regularly and He did NOT break the law as some theologians say. As He said in John 15:10, “...I have kept My Father’s commandments...” My friends, should you follow the example of Jesus Christ and the instructions of your Bible? Or should you oppose them and follow the traditions of men?
You need to prove it for yourself, from your OWN BIBLE, which day is the Christian Sabbath. To help you in your study, I’d like to again offer you this exciting, well documented, free booklet: WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH? This booklet gives you the historical and biblical evidence you need to answer the question. You need this free booklet for your personal benefit and Bible study. So, click the link in the description to read it on our website or call the number on the screen and order your own free copy.
On today’s program, we’ve seen that the early New Testament Church observed the seventh-day Sabbath. But WHEN was the seventh-day Sabbath established? Was it established at the time of Moses on Mt. Sinai? No! It was established much earlier, at the foundation of this world. Turn in your Bible to Mark the second chapter. Notice what the Founder of Christianity said in Mark 2:27. Jesus said, “...The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Yes, the Sabbath was made for man, for ALL humanity, for every human being on earth. Again, WHEN was it made? We find the answer in 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.” Yes, God established the seventh-day Sabbath at the foundation of this world, long before the time of Moses. As Jesus said, “… The Sabbath was made for man….” Yes, for all human beings around the world. Jesus did not say, “The Sabbath was made for the JEWISH people.”
Now let’s go back to MARK the second chapter. Jesus made an amazing claim. Did He say He was Lord over Sunday—that Sunday was the Lord’s day? MARK 2:27–28, “… The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” If Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, what day is the Lord’s day? Sunday? NO! The Sabbath is the Lord’s Day—Jesus Himself said so! And, as it tells us in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is still, right now, Lord of the Sabbath! The Scriptures admonish us to follow His example, and that of the Apostles. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). The Apostle PETER also exhorted us to follow the example of Christ. 1 Peter 2:21, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps….” My friends, Jesus and the apostles kept the seventh-day Sabbath, and God expects us to follow their example!
Is there even more New Testament evidence regarding Sabbath observance? Turn in your Bible to HEBREWS the fourth chapter. In this chapter, the Sabbath is pictured as a type of the millennial rest, as well as a memorial of God’s rest at creation. HEBREWS 4:9, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” The original Greek word for the word “rest” in verse 9 is “sabbatismos” which means “a Sabbath-keeping.” Both the Revised Version and the New International Version translate verse 9 as “a Sabbath rest.” Yes, there remains a SABBATH rest for the people of God, even to this day!
Notice this important statement in VERSE 10 of HEBREWS 4. “For he [the individual Christian] who has entered His rest [that’s God’s rest] has himself also ceased from his works [notice] AS GOD DID FROM HIS.” The context of Hebrews the fourth chapter is both symbolic and literal rest. The Greek word “katapausis” is also translated “rest” in this section. But notice what God says of those who have NOW entered into God’s REST, that is—those who are converted, those who will now follow Christ.
If we, as converted Christians, are to cease from our works just as God did from His, we simply need to ask one question: HOW did God cease from His works? VERSE 4 (of HEBREWS 4) gives us the answer: “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….’”
The bottom line question is: WHO or WHAT is your authority? Is it the Bible? Or some church and religion APART FROM the Bible?
As we’ve seen, some religious leaders, including Roman Catholic and Protestant, claim tradition or church administration, APART FROM THE BIBLE, as their reason for keeping Sunday, rather than the Sabbath. For example, listen to this statement from Anglican Isaac Williams, DD [doctor of divinity], in his Plain Sermons on the Catechism, “[W]here are we told in Scripture that we are to keep the first day at all? [Listen to this admission!] We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day…. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, NOT because the BIBLE, but because the CHURCH, has enjoined it.”
My friends, these are surprising admissions. You can read more in our free, informative booklet, WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH? Here on pages 36 and 37 are shocking admissions, by Protestant and Catholic Church leaders, that the Bible teaches seventh-day Sabbath observance. They admit that the change to Sunday was based on supposed Church authority, not on BIBLICAL authority. This booklet will give you the historical and biblical truth that will explain why most professing Christians keep Sunday, when God’s Fourth Commandment tells us to keep the SEVENTH day of the week. You need this free booklet for your personal benefit and Bible study. So, click the link in this description to read it for yourself on our website or call the number on the screen and order your own free copy of “Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?”
On today’s program, we’ve seen that the original Christian Church observed the seventh-day Sabbath, following the example of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. It was Emperor Constantine in AD 321 who proclaimed the day of the sun as THE day of worship for the Roman Empire. The fourth century AD Catholic Council of Laodicea affirmed Sunday worship and declared Christian Sabbath-keepers heretics. Even to this day, Christian Sabbath-keepers are persecuted in many countries around the world.
So, who changed the Sabbath to Sunday? The real answer is: “No one!” God Almighty established the Sabbath at the foundation of the world for ALL human beings through Jesus Christ. As it tells us in Ephesians 3:9, God “...created all things through Jesus Christ….” And Christ, to this day, is Lord of the Sabbath, as it tells us in Mark 2:28. Remember, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” That’s in Hebrews 13:8. Yes, even today, New Testament Christians follow the example of Christ and the Apostles in observing the seventh-day Sabbath.
If you are a longtime student of Tomorrow’s World, and you would like to worship with other Christian Sabbath-keepers, we invite you to counsel with one of our representatives. Just call the number on your screen, or you can contact us through our Website at TOMORROWSWORLD.ORG.
My friends, we are living in the time of the end prophesied in your Bible. We look forward to the coming Kingdom of God, ruled by the Prince of peace—the Messiah, Jesus Christ. As King of kings and Lord of lords He will teach, govern, guide, and serve all nations. So, one last question: When Christ establishes His world-ruling kingdom on earth, ON what day will all nations worship?
Notice God’s proclamation in Isaiah 66:22–23, “‘For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘So shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD.”
If you are alive at that time, will you obey your Lord and Savior and worship Him on the Sabbath along with all peoples on earth? Do you even now worship the Savior as Lord of the Sabbath? Give these questions some thought, and prayerfully decide to worship God in spirit and in truth as it tells us in John 4:24. We look forward to the day when all peoples and all nations around the world will worship Christ the King. The Messiah will establish world peace, world government, true education, and the biblical way of truth, love, and life. All nations will observe the weekly Sabbath and the biblical Holy Days! What a wonderful, peaceful, and prosperous world it will be!
You need to study more deeply into this subject for yourself. Be sure to request our free booklet, WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH? This free booklet will give you many biblical references and quotes we haven’t had time to include in this program.
Also, be sure to click the subscribe button and notification bell so you don’t miss another Tomorrow’s World video. In this world of growing chaos and confusion, you need the solid guidance that comes from your Bible. Gerald Weston, Wallace Smith, and I, along with guest presenter Rod McNair, will continue to share with you the teachings of Jesus Christ, the good news of the coming Kingdom of God, and the exciting end-time prophecies and their meaning. See you next time!
Here is an absolutely VITAL subject that is far more important than most people even begin to realize! It has everything to do with whether or not you really "know" the true God—the Creator. In fact, it directly affects your inheriting everlasting life in His soon-coming Kingdom.