Saturday (Sabbath) or First day?
The Historical Record!
The record of history, from the Resurrection of Christ, Christians have always worshipped on the first day of the week (Sunday) and never on the Sabbath (7th day). Sunday is not a Christian Sabbath or a day of rest, or a holy day to be kept. It is the day God requires all Christians to gather together to worship and eat the Lord's Supper (communion, break bread) Acts 20:7. Christians do not keep the ten commandment law of Moses. This is not to say that Christians are free to steal, murder and commit adultery, just because the 10 commandments have been abolished. No! Christians are under a new law, a better Law, the law of Christ, (Gal 6:2) a better covenant (Heb 8:6-7).
The 10 commandment law including the requirement to keep the Sabbath day were abolished at the cross along with all the rest of the law of Moses. God gave a covenant at Mt. Sinai through Moses to the Jews. It is called the first/old covenant/testament. The ten commandments are the foremost visible representation of this first/old covenant was replaced by a new covenant called, among other things "the law of Christ". 100% of the old covenant was abolished. No part of the Old Covenant remains in force. No one prior to Moses (Abraham or Adam) ever heard of the Sabbath law much less kept it. The very first time that anyone was commanded to keep the Sabbath was in Exodus 16. The word "Sabbath" is not even found in the book of Genesis. Gen 2:2-3 was written by Moses to tell Jews at Sinai the meaning behind WHY they were to keep the Sabbath, NOT WHEN the Sabbath was instituted.
The first historical record of methodical Sabbath Keeping by Christians who stopped worshipping on the first day of the week, was two active Anabaptist leaders, Andreas Fisher and Oswald Glait, became the pioneer and promoters of the Sabbath in 1527 AD. Both were former priests who had sacrificed the priesthood to become first Lutherans, and then Anabaptists. Glait and Fischer, who had been taught the false doctrine of the Catholic and Lutheran churches, that Sunday is the Sabbath, were astonished to read in the Bible that the Sabbath was indeed the 7th day! When they began to teach this, theologians were sent to persuade them to abandon what they called the "Jewish Sabbath." Both of them suffered a martyr death, largely due to their Sabbatarian views. Sabbatarians owe a debt of gratitude to these Sabbath pioneers whose work later influenced the origin of the Seventh-day Baptist church. The latter (Joseph Bates) has been instrumental in helping the early Adventists and other Christians to rediscover the Sabbath. Historically, it was in 1844 the first Seventh-day Adventists (known then as Millerites) started keeping the Sabbath, introduced to them by a Seventh-day Baptist named Joseph Bates, who convinced their Methodist minister that the Bible teaches us to keep the Sabbath. But Seventh-day Adventists are convinced that God chose Ellen White and the modern Seventh-day Adventist movement as the medium through which to reveal and confirm this "truth" through direct inspiration and revelation. Although Adventists believe that a tiny unknown remnant has always kept the Sabbath day, (like the Seventh-day Baptist preacher mentioned above) only in the 19th century did God, through the Seventh-day Adventist church, restore in any measurable way, by direct revelation, the truth that the day Christians worship was Saturday.
See the extensive historical quotes below.
While Sabbatarians will quote 20th century authors who guess about what happened 1900 years earlier, we quote Christians whose writings are 1900 years old!
(Date of the writing given first)
ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA: Sunday, first day of the week; in Christianity, the Lord's Day, the weekly memorial of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead. The practice of Christians gathering together for worship on Sunday dates back to apostolic times, but details of the actual development of the custom are not clear. Before the end of the 1st Century AD, the author of Revelation gave the first day its name of the "Lord's Day" (Rev. 1:10). Saint Justin Martyr (c. 100-c. 165), philosopher and defender of the Christian faith, in his writings described the Christians gathered together for worship on the Lord's Day: the gospels or the Old Testament was read, the presiding minister preached a sermon, and the group prayed together and celebrated the Lord's Supper. The emperor Constantine (d. 337), a convert to Christianity, introduced the first civil legislation concerning Sunday in 321, when he decreed that all work should cease on Sunday, except that farmers could work if necessary. This law, aimed at providing time for worship, was followed later in the same century and in subsequent centuries by further restrictions on Sunday activities. (15th edition, vol. 11, pg. 392)
ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA: From the apostolic era to the present it has been customary for Christians to assemble for communal Sunday services... Civil laws requiring the observance of Sunday date back at least to Emperor Constantine the Great, who designated Sunday as a legal day of rest and worship in 321. This law, however was not specifically Christian, since Sunday was the day of the sun-god for pagans as well as the Lord's day for Christians. While Constantine thus managed to please the two major religious groups in the Roman empire, numerous later law regulating behavior on Sunday have been avowedly Christian. (Sunday, 1988, pg. 21)
COLLIER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA: The New Testament contains clear evidence that from a very early period the first day of the week was observed by Christians as a day of assembly for "the breaking of bread" and perhaps for the collection of freewill offerings. (Acts xx:7 and 1 Corinth xvi:2). Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century describes how "on the day called Sunday" all town and country Christians assembled for instructions in holy writings, for prayer distribution of bread and wine, and the collection of alms. Tertullian declared that the Christians "made Sunday a day of joy, but for other reasons that to adore the sun which was not part of their religion. (Sunday, , 1985, pg. 632-633)
HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: The celebration of the Lord's Day in memory of the resurrection of Christ dates undoubtedly from the apostolic age. Nothing short of apostolic precedent can account for the universal religious observance in the churches of the second century. There is no dissenting voice. This custom is confirmed by the testimonies of the earliest post-apostolic writers, as Barnabas, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr. (Philip Schaff, , vol. 1, pg. 201-202)
HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: Hence, the first day was already in the apostolic age honorably designated as "the Lord's Day." ...it appears, therefore, from the New Testament itself, that Sunday was observed as a day of worship, and in special commemoration of the Resurrection, whereby the work of redemption was finished. The universal and uncontradicted Sunday observance in the second century can only be explained by the fact that it has its roots in apostolic practice. (Philip Schaff, , vol. 1, pg. 478-479)
NEW SCHAFF HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA: The earliest traces of the observance of the first day of the week in remembrance of Christ's resurrection is found in the Pauline period of the Apostolic Age... Sunday was first regulated by civil authority in 321, under Constantine, directing that the day be hallowed and observed appropriately. (Sunday, pg. 145)
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