I have a question regarding something a friend in the Seventh Day Adventist Church said.  Regarding the Sabbath day, you mentioned in a Q & A at this site: "Paul attended Synagogue on the Sabbath at times to preach Jesus, but all the evidence points to the undeniable fact that the church in the first and second century celebrated the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday. They called in the eighth day. Evidence for these services is found in Revelation chapter one where John describes what he was doing on "The Lord’s Day." I have read many times over the Revelation chapter one and it says nothing about Sunday being the Lords day and only mentions "The Lords Day" once and has no connection with Sunday or the 8th day. I understand some of church history and know it was the Catholic Church that changed the Saturday Sabbath to a Sunday Sabbath. I know Seventh Day Adventists do talk a lot about Saturday however there is no biblical evidence of any change at all to Sunday. I hope I am wrong because almost all of Christianity is worshipping on a Sunday when there is no biblical evidence to do so, particularly when the 7th day of the week ( Saturday) was one of the commandments of God written in stone with the finger of God. I know that the moral laws are important, which really are what the 10 commandments comprise. Just wondering. I like to get everyone’s point of view and find your website quite facinating.

There are some answers and Biblical references that you gave that I have some questions about. You refered to: Matthew 5:17-20 that He (Jesus) fulfilled all the requirements of the Law, so that we are free of the need for that Law. I have have read the Bible and keep reading it, however in the Bible, the chapter reference you gave says: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill it." For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle 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, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." I understand peoples understanding of Jesus fulfilling the law, so all is done and past etc, however it also says till heaven and earth pass away one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth have not yet passed. Whether or not we are still under the law, I am just interested in how or where the conclusion has come about of us being free of the need for that Law, particularly as Jesus also says in that passage: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" – it seems Jesus is telling us that we are not to break the commandments but to keep them and to teach others so. 


We know from innumerable sources that in the first and second century church, "The Lord’s Day" was always, without exception, a reference to the resurrection and to Sunday worship. If you want to discount this evidence, that is your choice, of course, but this is what the evidence says. So, we know as a fact that when John said he was in the Spirit on "The Lord’s Day" it certainly has to mean he is talking about Sunday. The reason he does not say, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day; in other words on Sunday," is that this would have been not necessary. It would be like one of us saying "Yesterday, I went to school; in other words the place where you get taught." All of those who read the letter knew it meant he was in the Spirit on Sunday. The reason they called it the Lord’s Day is that it was the day Jesus resurrected. It was also the day that the church met.

You say that the Catholic Church changed the Saturday Sabbath to Sunday Sabbath. The problem with this claim is that there is literally no evidence to support this. Perhaps you can give me some evidence from the writings of early Christians which supports this claim. I know that you will not be able to do so because I have read most of the writings of the very early church fathers. Both those within and those without the church agreed that the church met "on the first day of the week." In the first three centuries or so the "Catholic Church" was the Church. There was no separate Roman Catholic or Byzantine Catholic or Coptic Catholic Church. We cannot find a definable Roman Catholic Church before about the sixth century or so. From the very beginning the church met on Sundays. I challenge you to find a single reference, either in the New Testament or in the early church writings to support the idea that the church either met on Saturday or that they considered Saturday a Christian Sabbath.

You say that there is no biblical evidence for meeting on Sunday. That is incorrect. What there is no evidence for is Christian meetings on Saturday. In Acts 20:7 we have evidence of Paul meeting with the church in Troas on "the first day of the week," in other words on Sunday. We know that Paul was in the habit of visiting the Synagogues on Saturday, but that he met with the brothers and sisters on Sunday. It is my opinion that it is not a salvation issue as to whether we meet as a body of Christ on Saturday or Sunday. One can argue that there is no direct command in the New Testament to make Sunday be the day when the Lord’s Supper is shared. All I can say is that this is obviously when the apostles instructed the church to meet, and it is when the church met from the very beginning.

If a particular church teaches that Saturday is the day of worship, I do not feel that this is a salvation issue. About the Law of Moses, you are right to quote from Jesus to say that not a jot or tiddle will pass from that law. Jesus fulfilled the law. What does this mean? Well, we need to look at the New Testament to find out what it means. We can go to Galatians if we like. Paul said "We know that no one is justified by the works of the Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law.  The Old Covenant was not bad, but it is no longer in effect.  He goes on to accuse those who demanded others to obey the Law of Moses (specifically with regard to circumcision, but also Sabbaths, New Moons and other ceremonial observances) of having denied the faith. He puts this in the strongest possible terms.  "I have died to the law." "If righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing." (Gal 2:21). He asks disciples of Jesus, "Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?" (Gal 3:2). We are not saved by obeying the Mosaic law. We are not required to obey the Mosaic law. Of course, many things in the Law of Moses are still required. We are still not to worship idols or covet our neighbor’s wife, or bear false witness and so forth. These are things which were confirmed by Jesus and by his apostles as required for Christians. It is not that the Law of Moses was bad. "It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come." (Gal 3:19) In other words, the Law of Moses was in effect until the Seed (Jesus) came. This is not hard to understand.

The Law is not contrary to God promises (Gal 3:21), but it is not able to give life. Colossians continues with this theme, telling us that the need to obey law for salvation was "nailed to the cross." (Coll 2:14). Paul tells us here that the obligation of the Law of Moses was "canceled" or "erased," depending on your translation. He is quite specific in Colossians 2:16-17 that no one should be judged with regard to particular foods, Sabbaths and New Moon feasts. Unfortunately, certain Christian groups do not accept this teaching, telling us that we are responsible for observing Sabbaths, abstaining from certain foods and the like. This is false teaching. If people are taught that we must obey the Sabbath, then we also must circumcise our male children, go to a Jewish priest for skin diseases, make burnt, grain, fellowship, guilt and sin offerings, observe the Day of Atonement and Passover and do many other things which no Christian, as far as I know, teaches. The Hebrew writer tells us that as Christians, we have a Sabbath rest. This rest will be with God in heaven (Heb 4:8-11 and see the context).

I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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