Why keep the Sabbath day? What is the object of the Sabbath? Who made it? When was it made, and for whom? Which day is the true Sabbath? Many keep the first day of the week, or Sunday. What Bible authority have they for this? Some keep the seventh day, or Saturday. What Scripture have they for that? Here are the facts about both days, as plainly stated in the Word of God:
1. After working the first six days of the week in creating this earth, the great God rested on the seventh day. (Genesis 2:1-3.)
2. This stamped that day as Gods rest day, or Sabbath day, as Sabbath day means rest day. To illustrate: When a person is born on a certain day, that day thus becomes his birthday. So when God rested upon the seventh day, that day became His rest, or Sabbath day.
3. Therefore the seventh day must always be Gods Sabbath day. Can you change your birthday from the day on which you were born to one on which you were not born? No. Neither can you change Gods rest day to a day on which He did not rest. Hence the seventh day is still Gods Sabbath day.
4. The Creator blessed the seventh day. (Genesis 2:3.)
5. He sanctified the seventh day. (Exodus 20:11.)
6. He made it the Sabbath day in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:1-3.)
7. It was made before the fall: hence it is not a type; for types were not introduced till after the fall.
8. Jesus says it was made for man (Mark 2:27), that is, for the race, as the word man is here unlimited; hence, for the Gentile as well as for the Jew.
9. It is a memorial of creation. (Exodus 20:11; 31:17.) Every time we rest upon the seventh day, as God did at creation, we commemorate that grand event.
10. It was given to Adam, the head of the human race. (Mark 2:27; Genesis 2:1-3.)
11. Hence through him, as our representative, to all nations. (Acts 17:26.)
12. It is not a Jewish institution, for it was made 2,300 years before ever there was a Jew.
13. The Bible never calls it the Jewish Sabbath, but always the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. Men should be cautious how they stigmatize Gods holy rest day.
14. Evident reference is made to the Sabbath and the seven-day week all through the patriarchal age. (Genesis 2:1-3; 8:10,12; 29:27,28, etc.)
15. It was a part of Gods law before Sinai. (Exodus 16:4, 27-29.)
16. Then God placed it in the heart of His moral law. (Exodus 20:1-17.) Why did He place it there if it was not like the other nine precepts, which all admit to be immutable?
17. The seventh-day Sabbath was commanded by the voice of the living God. (Deuteronomy 4:12,13)
18. Then He wrote the commandment with His own finger. (Exodus 31:18.)
19. He engraved it in the enduring stone, indicating its imperishable nature. (Deuteronomy 5:22.)
20. It was sacredly preserved in the ark in the Holy of Holies. (Deuteronomy 10:1-5.)
21. God forbade work upon the Sabbath, even in the most hurrying times. (Exodus 34:21.)
22. God destroyed the Israelites in the wilderness because they profaned the Sabbath. (Ezekiel 20:12,13.)
23. It is the sign of the true God, by which we are to know Him from false gods. (Ezekiel 20:20.)
24. God promised that Jerusalem should stand forever if the Jews would keep the Sabbath. (Jeremiah 17:24, 25.)
25. He sent them into the Babylonish captivity for breaking it. (Nehemiah 13:18.)
26. He destroyed Jerusalem for its violation. (Jeremiah 17:27.)
27. God has pronounced a special blessing on all the Gentiles who will keep it. (Isaiah 56:6,7.)
28. This is in the prophecy which refers wholly to the Christian dispensation. (See Isaiah 56.)
29. God has promised to bless all who keep the Sabbath. (Isaiah 56:2.)
30. The Lord required us to call it honourable, (Isaiah 58:13.) Beware, ye who take delight in calling it the old Jewish Sabbath, a yoke of bondage, etc.
31. After the holy Sabbath has been trodden down many generation, it is to be restored in the last days. (Isaiah 58:12,13.)
32. All the holy prophets kept the seventh day.
33. When the Son of God came, He kept the seventh day all His life. (Luke 4:16; John 15:10.) Thus He followed His Fathers example at creation. Shall we not be safe in following the example of both the Father and the Son?
34. The seventh day is the Lords day. (See Revelation 1:10; Mark 2:28; Isaiah 58:13; Exodus 20:10.)
35. Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28), that is, to love and protect it, as the husband is the lord of the wife, to love and cherish her (1Peter 3:6).
36. He vindicated the Sabbath as a merciful institution designed for mans good. (Mark 2:23-28.)
37. Instead of abolishing the Sabbath, He carefully taught how it should be observed. (Matthew 12:1-13.)
38. He taught His disciples that they should do nothing upon the Sabbath day but what was lawful. (Matthew 12:12.)
39. He instructed His apostles that the Sabbath should be prayerfully regarded forty years after His resurrection. (Matthew 24:20.)
40. The pious women who had been with Jesus carefully kept the seventh day after His death. (Luke 23:56.)
41. Thirty years after Christís resurrection, the Holy Spirit expressly calls it the Sabbath day. (Acts 13:14.)
42. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, called it the Sabbath day in A.D. 45. (Acts 13:27.) Did not Paul know? Or shall we believe modern teachers, who affirm that it ceased to be the Sabbath at the resurrection of Christ?
43. Luke, the inspired Christian historian, writing as late as A.D. 62, calls it the Sabbath day. (Acts 13:44)
44. The Gentile converts called it the Sabbath. (Acts 13:42.)
45. In the great Christian council, A.D. 49, in the presence of the apostles and thousands of disciples, James calls it the Sabbath day. (Acts 15:21.)
46. It was customary to hold prayer meetings upon that day. (Acts 16:13.)
47. Paul read the Scriptures in public meetings on that day. (Acts 17:2,3.)
48. It was his custom to preach upon that day. (Acts 17:2,3.)
49. The Book of Acts alone gives a record of his holding eighty-four meetings upon that day. (See Acts 13:14,44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4,11.)
50. There was never any dispute between the Christians and the Jews about the Sabbath day. This is proof that the Christians still observed the same day that the Jews did.
51. In all their accusations against Paul, they never charged him with disregarding the Sabbath day. Why did they not, if he did not keep it?
52. But Paul himself expressly declared that he had kept the law. Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended anything at all. Acts 25:8. How could this be true if he had not kept the Sabbath?
53. The Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament fifty-nine times, and always with respect, bearing the same title it had in the Old Testament, the Sabbath day.
54. Not a word is said anywhere in the New Testament about the Sabbaths being abolished, done away, changed, or anything of the kind.
55. God has never given permission to any man to work upon it.
56. No Christian of the New Testament, either before of after the resurrection, ever did ordinary work upon the seventh day. Find one case of that kind, and we will yield the question. Why should modern Christians do differently from Bible Christians?
57. There is no record that God has ever removed His blessing or sanctification from the seventh day.
58. As the Sabbath was kept in Eden before the fall, so it will be observed eternally in the new earth after the restitution. (Isaiah 66:22,23.)
59. The seventh-day Sabbath was an important part of the law of God, as it came from His own mouth, and was written by His own finger upon stone at Sinai. (see Exodus 20.) When Jesus began His work, He expressly declared that He had not come to destroy the law. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. Matthew 5:17.
60. Jesus severely condemned the Pharisees as hypocrites for pretending to love God, while at the same time they made void one of the Ten Commandments by their tradition. (See Mark 7:7-9) The keeping of Sunday is only a tradition of men.
1. The very first thing recorded in the Bible is work done on Sunday, the first day of the week. (Genesis 1:1-5.) This was done by the Creator Himself. If God made the earth on Sunday, can it be wicked for us to work on Sunday?
2. God commands men to work upon the first day of the week. (Exodus 20:8-11.) Is it wrong to obey God?
3. None of the patriarchs ever kept it.
4. None of the holy prophets ever kept it.
5. By the express command of God, His holy people used the first day of the week as a common working day for 4,000 years, at least.
6. God Himself calls it a working day. (Ezekiel 46:1.)
7. God did not rest upon it.
8. He never blessed it.
9. Christ did not rest upon it.
10. Jesus was a carpenter (Mark 6:3), and worked at His trade until He was thirty years old. He kept the Sabbath and worked six day in the week, as all admit. Hence He did many a hard days work on Sunday.
11. The apostles worked upon it during the same time.
12. The apostles never rested upon it.
13. Christ never blessed it.
14. It has never been blessed by any divine authority.
15. It has never been sanctified.
16. No law was ever given to enforce the keeping of it, hence it is no transgression to work upon it. Where no law is, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15. (See also 1 John 3:4.)
17. The New Testament nowhere forbids work to be done on it.
18. No penalty is provided for its violation.
19. No blessing is promised for its observance.
20. No regulation is given as to how it ought to be observed. Would this be so if the Lord wished us to keep it?
21. It is never called the Christian Sabbath.
22. It is never called the Sabbath day at all.
23. It is never called the Lords day.
24. It is never called even a rest day.
25. No sacred title whatever is applied to it. Then why should we call it holy?
26. It is simply called first day of the week.
27. Jesus never mentioned it in any way, never took its name upon His lips, so far as the record shows.
28. The word Sunday never occurs in the Bible at all.
29. Neither God, Christ, nor inspired men ever said one word in favor of Sunday as a holy day.
30. The first day of the week is mentioned only eight times in all the New Testament. (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2.)
31. Six of these texts refer to the same first day of the week.
32. Paul directed the saints to look over their secular affairs on that day. (1 Corinthians 16:2.)
33. In all the new Testament we have a record of only one religious meeting held upon that day, and even this was a night meeting. (Acts 20:5-12.)
34. There is not an intimation that they ever held a meeting upon it before or after that.
35. It was not their custom to meet on that day.
36. There was no requirement to break bread on that day.
37. We have an account of only one instance in which it was done. (Acts 20:7.)
38. That was done in the night after midnight. (Verses 7-11.) Jesus celebrated it on Thursday evening (Luke 22), and the disciples sometimes did it every day (Acts 2:42-46).
39. The Bible nowhere says that the first day of the week commemorates the resurrection of Christ. This is a tradition of men, which contradicts the law of God. (Matthew 15:1-9.) Baptism commemorates the burial and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-5.)
40. Finally, the New Testament is totally silent with regard to any change of the Sabbath day or any sacredness for the first day.
Here are one hundred plain Bible facts upon this question, showing conclusively that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord in both the Old and New Testament.*
Reprinted from a tract published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association about the year 1885.