The Lord, having opened my eyes and revealed to me the truth about
the Sabbath, has humbled me; He has set me in awe that all these
years I should not have known what is perfectly obvious to me now.
But I am so very thankful.
not the debate decisively ended as to which day is
Ever since the year I came to believe, periodically would come a
prodding, a prick of the conscience concerning the Sabbath. Somehow
I was conscious that there was something lacking on this matter,
something contradictory. But I went on, satisfying myself that
Romans 14:1-6, Galatians 4:8-10 and Colossians 2:16-22 were sufficient
justification for keeping Sunday or any other day besides the Sabbath
as the day of rest.
Then about one to two years ago, my 6 or 7 year
old son and I were reading the Bible in Exodus when he asked me
what the Sabbath was and if we kept it. I tried to explain to him
that we keep Sunday. "Why don't we keep the Sabbath?" he asked me.
I tried to answer with the usual explanations but came away from
the conversation asking myself, "Why should it be so hard to give
an answer on one of God's commandments to a child? Shouldn't it be
simple enough?" I believe that conversation was the final straw.
Finally a Messianic Jew spoke of the Sabbath and the time was ripe for
me to believe and obey.
Jesus said, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall
IN NO WAY pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
He also said, "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" (Matthew 5:18, 19).
I ask the reader, "Does not the Lord say it all right here? If we
did not delve into any more Scripture, and if we believed and trusted
the Lord Jesus Christ implicitly and explicitly, and sought to
obey Him, is not the debate decisively ended as to which day is
the Sabbath and whether we should keep it or not?"
In the very beginning, God established the seventh day as the day
of rest in which He Himself rested. Nowhere but nowhere in the
Scriptures is there the slightest suggestion that He changed His
mind. Nor could He change the law, seeing that He doesn't change,
and the law is a reflection or expression of His nature.
Up to that general time, Christians
kept the Sabbath.
But one of His creatures comes along, namely the Roman Emperor Constantine,
in 321 A.D. (this is a matter of record), and decrees that the
first, not the last day of the week be kept holy, and that it be
observed in honor not of the Creator Who rested on the Sabbath
from all that He had created, including man, declaring that day
holy by law, but in honor of the pagan Sun god (as in "Sunday"),
a god which man created in his own imagination.
Up to that general
time, Christians kept the Sabbath (the seventh day, which day alone
IS the Sabbath). In the words of Peter to his earthly (but not ultimate
Heavenly) superiors, we all who name that blessed Name of our Saviour,
the Lord Jesus Christ, ought to declare to all those who presume
to contradict God's Word to us, "Whether it be right in the sight
of God to hearken to you more than unto God, judge for yourselves."
And with those words, Peter refused to obey men who resisted God,
and continued steadfastly to obey God (Acts 4:19).
I marvel that evangelical preachers everywhere go about boasting,
"We believe in the Bible, the Word of God as the final authority;
if it isn't in the Bible, we don't preach it." They also ardently
declare that talk is cheap, that one must "walk the walk as well
as talk the talk." Yet on many doctrines they believe, preach and
practise, they utterly contradict themselves, and when confronted
to prove their beliefs and preachings from the Scriptures, they
can give nothing more than feeble interpretations and reasonings,
using excuse after excuse such as, "That was then, this is now (That
was the old dispensation)" and "God didn't mean that" (giving their
own interpretations of Scripture to suit their doctrines, as if
He didn't say what He meant and mean what He said). The doctrine
of Sunday being the holy day of the week is one of these cases.
They also speak vehemently against the Catholic Church and take
pride in how they are not like the Catholics or Anglicans in doctrine
and practice, yet they preach and practise Sunday as the "Sabbath,"
having inherited that custom from none other than the Catholic Church.
(Constantine wed church and state which resulted in the "Holy Roman
Many prominent preachers and leaders of many nominal Christian denominations
acknowledge that the Bible does not at all substantiate Sunday
as the Sabbath, and that in fact it clearly declares the seventh
day (Saturday) as the Sabbath, without contradiction, yet they
go on observing Sunday. Why? At least two reasons:
1) Lack of knowledge and vision:
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...seeing you have
forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children" (Hosea
4:6), and, "Where there is
no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he" (Proverbs
you keep holy the Sabbath day."
2) Manpleasing or fear of man:
"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him;
but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they
should be put out of the synagogue (church, congregation): for they
loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12: 42,
Jesus has not committed Himself to those who know one thing but
do another: "Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the
feast day, many believed in His Name, when they saw the miracles
which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because
He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man:
for He knew what was in man" (John 2:23-25).
Let this be known to
all, that though you preach fiery sermons from the pulpits, and
though you testify to great crowds, and though you give your body
to be burned for what you call the gospel's sake, the Lord Whom
you preach has not committed Himself to you because you do not love
Him. Why can I say you don't love Him? Because He said, "If you
love Me, keep My commandments" and, "he that has My commandments
and keeps them, he it is that loves Me." One of those commandments
is, "Remember that you keep holy the Sabbath day."
If I had to "play it safe" with God, forced to make a choice
as to whether to keep Sunday or Saturday as the day of rest, there
is not a doubt in my mind which day I would keep...the Sabbath.
I have no doubt that many others who practise Sunday-keeping would
do the same. If I had to choose which day the Bible declares to
be the rest day of God, how could I (or anyone else for that matter)
possibly argue, with any understanding at all, against the Sabbath
and for Sunday?
"But," you say, "it isn't a matter of playing it safe.
We ARE saved, by God's grace. It isn't up to us to keep the law to save
ourselves. We've been redeemed from the law. You have fallen into
the trap of legalism, living by the law, keeping Saturday as the
And I say, "Wow!" Again I say, "Wow!" So let me get this
straight: God says, "Remember that you keep holy the Sabbath (seventh)
day." I keep God's day, obeying, honouring God, and I am a legalist.
Constantine comes along, contradicting God, his Creator, some four
millennia later and says (with threatenings by decree), "Remember
that you keep holy the first day of the week in honor of my pagan Sun
god." You keep Constantine's Sunday and you are living in the grace
of God! Again, with breath utterly taken away, I force myself yet
I think that grace and iniquity (lawlessness) are confused by many,
almost as though they are apparent twins.
When you and
your church follow man-made precepts, you are the legalist.
I say to those who hear or read these words: If you are one
of those people I address as believing, declaring and practicing
Sunday-keeping, please let me tell you that if anyone is the legalist,
YOU, and not I, are the legalist. You live by a law made by man.
The Pharisees made many laws, many of which contradicted the law
of God, imposing them upon as many as they could. That was legalism.
You would say so yourself. So when you and\or your church follow
this man-made precept, making God's law "of none effect" (Matthew
15:6), I say that YOU are the legalist. On the other hand, if I
obey God, then I, in His sight, am not a legalist but simply obedient,
howbeit by grace, not merely worshipping in vain with my lips,
not merely hearing the Word, but doing it.
How is it that you MUST go to church on Sundays, dress up in your
"Sunday best," refrain from working or doing unnecessary chores
on Sunday according to your beliefs, and see yourself and your household
as in grace while if I rest on the Sabbath, setting aside the day
He asked for, I am "under the law"?
I have a wonderful secret to tell you (though you may deny it, but
it is true nevertheless): When you keep Sunday and do all those
things, you aren't in grace in that matter at all and you certainly
don't feel in grace. You know it; admit it. I know...I've been there.
But why couldn't I and why don't you feel in grace? I'll tell you
why. Because grace comes from God and God alone, and He cannot bestow
grace upon iniquity (lawlessness - the breaking or the not keeping
of the law of God). He cannot bless man's substitutions, and especially
not man's traditions nor customs which directly contradict Him
and His will or laws.
And of course you may retort that it isn't a matter of feelings
but of faith. Faith? What faith? Faith in God and His Word or faith
in man and his decrees? What good is your faith in Constantine or
in the Catholic Church, or in any church for that matter, if what
they teach or require of you is contrary to God? From God's standpoint,
that is not faith but UNBELIEF, and not only unbelief in some cases,
but outright iniquity. I say, "in some cases" because many follow
the Sunday-keeping teaching because they don't know any better.
There is a price to pay in
today's society for setting aside Saturday (the
I marvel that
evangelicals and others pretty much exclude Seventh Day Adventists from
evangelical circles, from their activities
such as "crusades," as for example when Billy Graham may come to
town to preach, and from general socializing. I marvel because
while these evangelicals claim to preach the Bible but deny the
law of God which the apostle Paul has declared believers are to
establish and not deny, they ostracize the Seventh Day Adventists
primarily because these acknowledge the immutability of the law
of God concerning the fourth commandment.
On the other hand, I recognize
that Seventh Day Adventists are as likely to shun communion or fellowship
with all those who keep Sunday as the day of rest, especially if
those Adventists believe that keeping Sunday is the "mark of the
beast," which I do not believe but do grant that it is part of the
And the very Scripture evangelicals themselves use in their defence
of Sunday-keeping, they specifically and categorically disallow
for the Adventists, i.e., "Who are you that judges another man's
servant...One man esteems one day above another: another esteems
every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
He that regards the day regards it unto the Lord; and he that regards
not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it" (Ro. 14:4-6). If
they don't BY WORD deny the Adventists these verses AS THEY interpret
them, they do so by their actions and attitudes and are thus guilty
I say, "as they interpret them" because they interpret them
erroneously. These verses say nothing of the weekly Sabbath. I'm so
thankful to know that now. There is also no doubt in my mind that
if evangelicals were granted benefit of doubt in their misguided
interpretation of those verses, the Adventists would come out comparatively
(or should I say, contrastingly) shining, because while I hear evangelicals
hemming and hawing their absurd rationalizations about Sunday,
without conviction, many or most of the Adventists are indeed "fully
persuaded in their own minds" about the Sabbath.
And no wonder!
They need to be! There is a price to pay in today's commercially-minded
and pleasure-loving society for adhering to and setting aside Saturday
(the Sabbath). And those who honor the Sabbath must as well contend
for the faith with a mainstream religious community which blindly
follows the precepts of men. Surely, it is quite understandable
that a Sabbath-keeper "be fully persuaded in his own mind" on this
How could I have been so blind? All these years I have failed to
observe the seventh day, the Sabbath, even though I thought I knew
the Scriptures fairly well and more importantly, walked with the
Lord, which I did. It does indeed humble me to realize how in the
dark I have been on this matter. Granted, I did not advocate Sunday
as THE Sabbath; however, I kept it for convenience and am thus
ashamed that convenience took precedence over obedience to and
faith in God.
kept me from embracing the truth of the Sabbath.
If it seems I'm condemning Sunday-keepers, I ask that the reader
or listener see it as condemning not Sunday-keepERS but Sunday-keepING.
Nevertheless let the chips fall where they may if necessary. If
there are those who keep Sunday, knowing better, they truly condemn
themselves and need nobody else to do so.
Though there are other passages of Scripture which could be discussed,
I will limit myself to the three already mentioned which are most
commonly misinterpreted and used to argue against the observance
of the weekly Sabbath. These misinterpretations certainly kept
me from embracing the truth of the weekly Sabbath for some time.
1) Romans 14:1-6, particularly verse 5 which says: "One man esteems
one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every
man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
It is often assumed that in this passage starting with verse one,
laws of God are being discussed, but this is not so. Firstly, you
will find that the Scriptures do not get into laws concerning vegetarianism.
For the first four verses, Paul talks about vegetarianism. In this
context, the next two verses that follow also pertain to issues
outside of the Biblical commandments. The debate is about days that
people kept, but there is no reason to assume that Sabbath days were
Why would Paul encourage one to freely esteem any day
of the week above the one God has esteemed above others and commanded
to keep holy? Paul has often spoken in favour of the commandments
of God, encouraging believers to keep them, as for example when
he said to the Romans earlier on, "Do we then make void the law
through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law" (Ro. 3:31).
Remembering to keep holy the weekly Sabbath is one of those laws,
every bit as binding to this day as the other nine.
2) Galatians 4:8-11, particularly verses 9 and 10 which say, "But
now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God,
how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto
you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months,
and times, and years."
I think that for now it is sufficient for me to point out that Paul
is speaking not of the law of God which he refers to with reverence,
as for example when he says in Romans 7:12: "Wherefore the law
is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good," but to
"WEAK AND BEGGARLY ELEMENTS." It is clear that Paul would not have
called the law of God, of which Jesus said not one jot or tittle
would pass before heaven and earth passed, "weak and beggarly elements."
Verse 8 also clarifies this by stating, "Howbeit then, when you
knew not God, you did service to them [these elements] which by
nature are no gods."
weekly Sabbath was declared in the very beginning.
3) Colossians 2:16-17: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat,
or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or in the new moon, or of the
Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of
The Sabbath days Paul refers to here are the Feasts of the Lord which
are called Sabbaths. These Feasts were a shadow of what Christ would
come and fulfill, and which He did. They were instituted under Moses
when the children of Israel came out of Egypt. The weekly Sabbath, however,
was declared in the very beginning, when God created all things and rested
on the seventh day from His works.
Jesus Christ fulfilled the meanings of the Feasts, which were shadows,
but the Fourth Commandment was a Law, and not merely a shadow, not only
for Jews, but for all men. Again, of the Law Jesus said that not one
jot or tittle would pass, that heaven and earth would pass first. Seeing
that heaven and earth are still here and the other nine Commandments
are still in force and valid, we don’t have the option of discarding
the Fourth Commandment - keep holy the Sabbath day.
Let’s take a closer look at the context here. Verses 20-22 are
“Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the
world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances:
Touch not; taste not; handle not - which all are to perish with the using
- after the commandments and doctrines of men?”
Paul speaks of ordinances after the commandments and doctrines of men,
and the Fourth Commandment isn’t one of them, for it is a commandment
of God. I would argue that keeping Sunday is one of the ordinances Paul
would condemn, because it is an ordinance of man, not of God.
It is also true that men can take God’s commandments and make
them into their own ordinances. That’s what the Seventh Day Adventists
have done with the Sabbath, which they only keep in appearance, not in
spirit. They are no different from the Pharisees, who did the same in
their day. Regarding the Sabbath, didn’t they say to the Lord, “Touch
“Now it came about that on the Sabbath he was going through the
fields of grain, and his disciples took the heads of the grain for food,
crushing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why
do you do what it is not right to do on the Sabbath?’” (Luke
And what did the Lord reply?
“The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath also” (Luke 6:5 LITV).
In this letter to the Colossians, Paul is talking about believers not
making themselves subject to physical observances like circumcision – “according
to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians
2:8). Circumcision of the heart by Christ was never effected by the physical
ordinance. The same goes for the prescribed sacrifices, which never put
away sin with finality. Even the Sabbath, an eternal Commandment, never
brought men into rest by carnal observance.
“Because by the works of the Law, no flesh will be justified in
his sight. For through the Law comes the knowledge of sin” (Romans
While these things were given by God, isn’t it a doctrine of men
to do them for righteousness’ sake? Wasn’t it the “Judaizers” who
compelled Gentiles to get circumcised?
“But some of those from the sect of the Pharisees, having believed,
rose up, saying, It was necessary to circumcise them and to command them
to keep the Law of Moses” (Acts 15:5 MKJV).
So we know the Law is good, but we need spiritual understanding to separate
what is eternal from what was temporary, and to fulfill all of God’s
Commandments by faith in Christ.
Having said what I've said about the Sabbath, and having said that
I have been in the dark about observing the literal weekly day,
I perceive that though I have walked with God all these years, and
He has taught me many things, yet has He in His wisdom kept me
from this truth by His ways past finding out, and has in these
last days granted me the wonderful and precious gift of the Sabbath
within, and hence the benefit of the weekly Sabbath without as
I consider the keeping of the weekly Sabbath a gift and privilege
more than a law. I also perceive it to be a crown, signifying that
which the Lord has given to me within, that rest which the Hebrews
writer describes or refers to in chapters 3 and 4. Indeed, the Sabbath
is a cessation from works, from religious effort to be
Christian or good or holy or righteous or of value to God, to others
and to ourselves in our own power. What an impossible task! What a relief
to be delivered! How good it is to walk in the grace of God!
The rest we labor to gain is
in this life.
I see that so very many who observe the weekly Sabbath, teachers
and leaders included, as sincere, earnest and knowledgeable as
they may be, have not entered into their rest held in store for
those believers who patiently press in. These may assume they received
that rest when they first received Christ. But this cannot be so.
Was not the Hebrews writer addressing believers when he spoke
saying, "Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering
into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" and,
"For we which have believed DO (not did) enter into rest" and, "There
REMAINS therefore a rest to the people of God?" This does not refer
to a state in the hereafter but here in this life and therefore
the writer urges us, saying, "Let us labour therefore to enter into
that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."
Consider that the ancient Hebrews were denied entry into that rest
in this life and in this world, and if so, the rest we labor to
gain is also in this life, in this world though not of it.
As well I perceive that to Adventists the keeping of the Sabbath
is an idol. They are doctrine and Sabbath-centered rather than
Christ-centered; they keep the sabbath by law, by doctrine, and
find their life, their identification and importance therein when
in fact, the Lord Jesus Christ is the end of the law; He is the
Sabbath, our rest; He is the Life; it is He Who is to be worshipped,
and He alone. Were not the Pharisees keepers of the Sabbath? Did
they not accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath? Did they not crucify
the Christ? Can it be said that those who worship the Sabbath, howbeit
unwittingly, hate the Lord?
Certainly such was the case with the
Pharisees. Somehow we picture them as these black-robed, bearded,
nasty, miserable men with gnashing teeth and dark countenances, hanging
around the temple all day. I think they were men, women and young
people in everyday life who could be the sweetest people one may
want to meet, many well-dressed and groomed, sociable, amiable,
apparently believing, loving and understanding, not unlike many "good, church-going folk today." Just
don't cross them, and don't tinker with their doctrines, that's all, as good
as those doctrines
may be in themselves (and many are not).
Some day the Lord will open eyes and ears and hearts; the blind
shall see, the deaf shall hear and the dull of heart shall have
Now I had rest
as never before, and God gave me the weekly Sabbath to enjoy.
Before my spiritual journey began in consciousness (our journey
begins long before we know), I was told by my nominal, mainline,
Christian church, family and friends that there was no more to be
had spiritually than what I had. They were wrong. Over twenty-seven
years ago, I was converted to God, experiencing the first of the
three solemn feasts of God...Passover. I rested within in such a
way I had never known.
Soon I was informed by some believers that there was more of God
to experience, that being what was referred to by some as "the
second blessing" or "the baptism with the Holy Spirit." By my new
circle of evangelical friends, I was told, "Not so; no such true
thing!" They were wrong. Nearly two years after conversion, I experienced,
by the baptism with, or receiving of the Holy Spirit, the second
solemn feast of God, that being Pentecost. Again I experienced
an inner rest I had never known, well above the former (although
the painful fires of purging had come with the Spirit as John and
Jesus promised would come - Matt 3:11 and Mark 9:49).
Almost immediately, I began to wonder if there was not yet ANOTHER
experience in the Lord that He willed for me (not that having experiences
was what it was all about, but going into a deeper relationship
with God). I began to hear from some that there WAS more, an entrance
into of yet a third dimension, referred to as "sanctification"
or "entering into rest" (Hebrews 3 and 4).
This time there did
not seem to be any who would declare that there was no more to be
had of/from God, although there were those who claimed to be preaching
the "full gospel," meaning conversion AND baptism with the Holy
Spirit, not realizing that they were only preaching 2/3 of the gospel,
and thus in effect, denying a third experience.
But God had ordained 3 feasts and the third one proved to be elusive
to, and almost phantom for me until the time of fulfilment, nearly
25 years later! In this third spiritual blessing of "entering into
rest," I experienced the fulfilment of the third and final feast,
the Feast of Tabernacles, within. Now I had rest as never before
and on the heels of this rest, God gave to me the weekly Sabbath
I am so thankful, so thankful to God for granting me the rest, that
Sabbath within, and now as a crown, without. The Lord of the Sabbath,
the Lord Jesus Christ be praised forever. He is faithful indeed.
If you would like to know more about the validity of the Sabbath from
several perspectives - historical, Biblical, and theological - you won't
want to miss:
We were challenged to read what some “Bible experts” have
to say about the Sabbath and their arguments for Sunday-keeping (as if
we have not heard). The complex and tortured reasonings of these scholars
provide a perfect backdrop for the simplicity and power of God’s
Word to illuminate the truth to those who come to Him as little children.
What rest we have in believing Him! The Sabbath indeed!