Which Day is the Bible Sabbath?
23 Jan'19 5
WHICH DAY IS THE BIBLE SABBATH?You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.
In this edition, we continue with our series on The Sabbath Question. The topic for this study is: Which day is the Bible Sabbath? Beloved, from our previous studies, we have established from Scripture that the Seventh - day Sabbath which is enshrined in God's Ten Commandments Law, is still relevant and binding upon God's people even today (
With this fact established, one question that I believe many of you following this series will also want to find an answer to is this: Which day is the Bible Sabbath? The Bible gives an explicit answer to this question. In the book of Exodus, we read the following from the very finger of God: "But THE SEVENTH DAY is the sabbath of the Lord thy God..." (
As you can see friends, the Bible establishes the Seventh day as the Sabbath. The origin of the Sabbath dates back to the creation of our world. From Genesis 1, we learn about how God created our world in six literal days. The Lord then rested on the Seventh day, blessing the day and setting it apart for holy use (see
Beloved, it is important to note that God did not give any name or label for the days of the week. He only referred to them as the first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day, sixth day and the seventh day; according to the order of things He created, and how He rested (see
From our study so far, the Bible has made it clear that the Seventh day is the Sabbath (see
1) Which day is the Seventh day? Is it Saturday, Sunday or some other day?
2) Can we be certain which day is the Seventh day today when all seven days in the week are labelled with diverse names in the various languages of the world?
Friends, there are so many things that have been incorporated into our world system today to confuse people in regard to the correct reckoning of days in the weekly cycle. For instance, both Saturday and Sunday are regarded as weekends in most parts of the world today. Our modern calendars seem to have bought into this system of two different weekends. Some calendars today begin reckoning the sequence of days in the week with Sunday as the first day and Saturday as the Seventh day. Others begin with Monday as the first day and end with Sunday as the Seventh day?
But beloved, the fact of the matter is that, of the seven days in a week, there is only one Seventh day or weekend, if you wish. What this means is that one of the weekends which is followed by some calendars today is not correct. Now, to ascertain which day is the true Seventh day, we need to move beyond the calendar; for we cannot base our reckoning of days on something that has proven to be less authoritative as the calendar.
Friends, one authoritative source where we can discover which day is the actual Seventh day of the week is through approved scholarly dictionaries. When we open various approved scholarly dictionaries, the overriding evidence is that the Seventh day is Saturday. Let's consider what some dictionaries / encyclopaedias of merit say about Saturday:
i) Saturday - "The day of the week after Friday and before Sunday" - Cambridge Learners Dictionary
ii) Saturday - "The seventh day of the week, following Friday" - Dictionary.com
iii) Saturday - "seventh day of the week" - Encyclopaedia Britannica
iv) Saturday - "the day of the week following Friday and preceding Sunday. Saturday is the seventh and therefore last day of the week..." - Wikipedia
Beloved, even though the dictionaries and encyclopaedias are clear that the seventh day is Saturday, we cannot base all our argument on that. As Bible students, we need to go beyond the dictionaries and find out whether God's Authoritative Word has got some information that will help us to clarify the issue of which day is the seventh day, and hence the Sabbath of the Lord.
As we go through the passages of Scripture, two events that give us wonderful insights into our topic today is the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. From Luke's account of these two events, we read the following:
23:51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
23:52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
23:53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
23:54 AND THAT DAY WAS THE PREPARATION, AND THE SABBATH DREW ON.
23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; AND RESTED THE SABBATH DAY ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT.
24:1 NOW UPON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
24:5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
24:6 HE IS NOT HERE, BUT IS RISEN: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,"
At this point, I want us to do some logical reasoning. According to Luke, the Sabbath (Holy Saturday) followed the preparation day (Good Friday). Hence, the seventh day Sabbath cannot be any other day but our Saturday. Moreover, if Christ resurrected on the FIRST DAY of the week (review
Friends, despite these irrefutable proofs that the Seventh-day Sabbath is our Saturday, and must be thus honoured, other Christians will still want to justify their keeping of Sunday by making use of various New Testament passages. At this point, I want us to examine some various New Testament texts that are usually utilised by such folks:
1) The first day of the week is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament. Six of these eight references of the first day give account of the glorious resurrection of Christ (see
2) Many in Christendom today refer to the disciples meeting in
Beloved, there is no hint in this text that suggests a change of God's holy day from the seventh day to the first day. The Bible rather makes it clear that the disciples had gathered together to break bread. As the disciples ate, Paul preached unto them (see
16:2 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 when I come.
16:3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem."
It is important to note that the gathering of contributions for the poor saints at Jerusalem was normal practice. In the book of Romans for instance, we come across the account of certain brethren who sent a similar contribution to relieve the poor saints at Jerusalem through the apostle Paul. We read this account from
15:26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem."
Friends, from the scriptural and other scholarly passages we have reviewed in this study, it is clear that the Seventh day, the Sabbath of the Creator God is our Saturday. With this truth now established in our minds, the million dollar question that now begs for an answer is this: If the Bible does not teach that God's holy Sabbath day has been changed from the Seventh day to the first day, then why is it that the majority of Christians in our world today worship on Sunday; the first day of the week; instead of Saturday, the true Sabbath? The answer to this question will form the content of our next study. Don't miss it.
Exhortation: Beloved, it is very important that we know which day is the actual Bible Sabbath. For in several portions of Scripture, the Lord has claimed the Sabbath as His own special day and filled the day with blessings that come upon those who hallow it. From
58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
Friends, as the apostle John celebrated the Sabbath on the prison island of Patmos, the Lord revealed Himself unto him. For he wrote: "10 I was in the Spirit on the LORD'S DAY, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" (
In our next study, we will consider the topic: If the seventh day is the true Sabbath of the Lord, why does the majority worship on the first day today? The Bible study references for this study are
Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.
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