Olli Dürr Refuted evidence for erroneous Sunday observance

Refuted evidence for erroneous Sunday observance

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Sunday, which is sanctified by the vast majority of Christian churches, must be justified somehow. Otherwise, the erroneous teaching of an abolished Sabbath on the seventh day of the week would raise unpleasant questions. Some explanations appear regularly, but they can all be refuted relatively easily based on Scripture.

Attempted justification of Sunday observance

For reasons of legitimacy, the church’s designation of Sunday, i.e. the first day of the week, as a holy day for worship must not appear to be a tradition introduced by the Roman Catholic Church. Efforts are made to justify Sunday observance with all sorts of supposed evidence. The Bible and some of the text passages it contains on different contexts certainly serve this purpose.

Confused arrows

Misleading attempts to justify Sunday sanctification

However, a supposed demonstration of the correctness of Sunday observance can only be achieved if the context is excluded or other connections are ignored. There are some popular attempts at justifying Sunday observance. The following examples appear again and again in the publications of the Roman Catholic and also the former Protestant churches.

Claim: Jesus went into Sabbath rest on Sunday

Hebrews 4:9-10:
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his

These premises consist of four claims:
a) that the remnant or Sabbathism that remains is something other than the old Sabbath.
b) that the person who “has ceased from his own works, as God hath done from his works” is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Both of these claims can be confirmed.

c) that Christ entered into his rest on the day of his resurrection.
d) that the Sabbath of God’s people will be enjoyed in this life.

Refutation

These last two claims can easily be debunked. The conclusion is that the first day of every week, that is, the day of the week on which Christ was resurrected, should be the Sabbath day of God’s people. All it requires is proof that the last two claims are false.

1. Christ did not “enter his rest” on the day of his resurrection for the following reasons:
a) because the Holy Scripture does not say so.
b) because this earth is not the place of his rest. Until the last day that Jesus Christ spent here, he was “a pilgrim and a stranger on earth” and did not know “where to lay his head.” But his resurrection took place on earth, and he remained on earth “forty days” afterward.
c) because the Scriptures clearly teach that the Mediator “entered his rest” when he “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3
Who was the radiance of his glory, and the expression of his person, and upheld all things by the word of his power, when he himself cleansed our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
and Psalms 132:8
“Arise, O LORD, into your rest, you and the ark of your strength.

This was the prayer of David and the congregation of Israel as they brought the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-edom to the place “where Jacob had placed it.” When Solomon and the elders of Israel brought up the Ark of the Covenant from the City of David and placed it in the Holy of Holies, in the “temple built with hands,” they prayed in the same way: “Now arise, O Lord God, into it!” Resting place, your hour and the ark of your strength. (2 Chronicles 6:41).

Now the Ark of the Covenant was a type of Christ, while “heaven itself” is the true “holy of holies.” When the Ark of the Covenant then entered its rest when it was placed in the Holy of Holies, Jesus Christ, the antitypical Ark of the Covenant, entered His rest when He sat down at the right hand of God in the Antitypical Holy of Holies.

d) Because the great purpose of the apostle in this epistle was to convince the Church, and especially the Hebrews, that Christ, having “cleansed by himself our sins,” as they all admitted that he had done, “turned himself to right.” “The Majesty on High” as our ever-living intercessor.

e) Because there is not a single reference to the resurrection of Christ in this letter, except in the final dedication; but it is rich in references to his ascension and intercession.

Claim: Jesus became the cornerstone with his resurrection

Psalms 118:22,24
The stone that the builders rejected has become the tombstone of the corner. This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad.

Acts 4:10-11
Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man will stand here fully before you. This is the stone that was brought to nought by your builders, which has become the cornerstone.

The premise is that “the day the Lord has made” is the day of Christ’s resurrection. From this it is concluded that the first day of the week is the Sabbath.

Refutation

a) If this premise were true, then the conclusion would not fit. The Prophet does not say, “We will rejoice and rejoice on the same day of every week;” but we will rejoice and rejoice in it, that is, on that day, whatever it may be.

Now Christ rose again, not on the first day of every week, but on one day; and we may well rejoice in it one day and rejoice in it without associating a Sabbath with it. No doubt the person who makes this claim is happy about the day of his crucifixion, even though it is not celebrated on any specific day of the week.

b) It is an obvious error when this language of the psalmist is referred to the resurrection of Christ, for the following reasons:
First. For “the day which the Lord hath made” is the same in which Christ entered through the gates of righteousness. Verses 19,20: “Open for me the gates of righteousness. I will go in and praise the LORD. This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.” Although Christ actually came up from “the gates of death” on the day of his resurrection, he did not officially “enter” through the “gates of righteousness” until the day he ascended from the Mount of Olives, which was not the same first day of the week.

His almighty power and eternal sonship were most gloriously proclaimed on the day of his resurrection; but it was not until the day of his ascension that his mediatorial righteousness was officially recognized by the Father; while in the presence of the universe it was visibly revealed that the door of heaven was open to all true believers. There is not the day of Christ’s resurrection, but the day of his ascension.

Secondly. For “the day which the Lord hath made” is the same in which the stone which the builders rejected became “the cornerstone of the corner.” Christ did not become “the head of the corner” until he “sat down.” at the right hand of God.” Now it is claimed that Jesus did this and reference is made to Acts 4:10,11, quoted above, as proof. He was the builder when he was crucified, and so he became the head of the corner when God raised him from the dead.

However, the apostle does not say that this happened on the same day that he rose from the dead; and all this we have done, from what he says it must necessarily be concluded that he has become head since his resurrection, which is joyfully admitted. But whether it was the same day, or two, ten, or forty days later, the apostle does not say.

The apostle clearly teaches that these things happened when he sat down at the right hand of God, as appears from the following texts, Ephesians 1:20-22:
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Claim: Apostles worshiped on Sunday

John 20:19,26
“The the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them; then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.” (see also Luke 24:26)

These two statements are often used as evidence that the first day of the week was treated as a separate day. It is said that the disciples were gathering for a church service when Christ appeared to them. From this one concludes that the first day of the week is to be holy, or Sunday is the Sabbath.

Refutation

Now this premise appears to be a mere assumption for which there is not a shred of evidence in the text or context. None of the apostles say that they met for worship; As far as we know, they didn’t hold church services when they met. In relation to the first of these occasions we are told that they were “gathered for fear of the Jews“; and as to the second, we are merely told that they “were inside,” which probably means that they were at home; for Luke tells us that on the day of the Ascension the eleven “dwelt” in an upper room. Acts 1:13.

Here, too, the conclusion that Sunday is sanctified is not compelling; for the matter may be explained thus: On the Day of Resurrection the eleven, having secured a common lodging, gathered together “for fear of the Jews”; and Christ appeared to them before the end of the same day, that they, who were to be witnesses of the resurrection, might have before their eyes that he resided “according to the Scripture.”

On the other occasion, “after eight days,” he met them “as they sat at dinner” (Mark 16:14), because Thomas, who had not seen him since his resurrection, was present at the second meeting. These reasons are certainly enough to explain his appearance on these occasions.

But why ask for reasons at all? Didn’t He have the right to meet His disciples any day of the week without telling us why? Can anyone say why he appeared to the brothers while they were fishing? Christ did many things for which the only reason we can give is that it seemed good to him.

Claim: Pentecost meeting is on Sunday

Acts 2:1
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

The claims are,
a) that Pentecost fell on the first day of the week this year.
b) that for this reason the disciples were “united in one place.”
From this it is derived that the first day of the week is the Sabbath.

Refutation

It doesn’t matter whether Pentecost fell on the first day of the week that year or not; the disciples did not meet to keep the Sabbath, but to celebrate Pentecost. They would have been “with one accord in one place” in the same way if it had been the fourth day of the week, for it was the day of Pentecost. Therefore, the derivation from a holy Sunday (Sunday Sabbath) is not only unnecessary, but completely inadmissible.

Claim: Apostles held Lord’s Supper on Sunday

Acts 20:7
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came togehter to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

This verse claims that in this case the disciples gathered to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and hear the Word. From this it is concluded that the first day of the week is the Sabbath.

refutation

The claim that “breaking bread” is evidence of the Lord’s Supper and that this is also in connection with the first day of the week, i.e. Sunday, is based on sandy ground.

a) There is no evidence that they met to hear the Word. The purpose of the meeting was to “break bread; and Paul’s preaching seemed to have happened by chance and not by arrangement.”
b) It is not certain that “breaking bread” automatically means participation in the Lord’s Supper. The Greek word translated “break” is used very often in the New Testament in reference to ordinary meals. An example is found in Luke 24:35
And they told what had happened on the way, and how he had learned of it when he broke bread.

Further points speak against the thesis of Sunday sanctification by the apostles:

a) Unless we know otherwise, it is entirely appropriate to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and hear sermons every day of the week.
b) Perhaps this meeting took place at this particular time because the apostle and his party were “ready to leave the next day.” It was probably a farewell meeting, as many scholars think, and the text itself seems to indicate this.
c) Not a single word is said in the text about Sabbath observance. There is not the slightest indication, either in the text or in the context, that the disciples were in the habit of meeting on the first day of the week for any purpose.

It is often argued that Paul waited there for seven days until his sermon on the first day of the week.
But again there is no evidence that he did not preach in the other six days. Luke tells us in the same chapter, verses 2 and 3, that “he came to Greece and stayed there three months”; and he does not say that he preached once during this time. But only a small part of the apostle’s deeds are recorded anyway.

It is a remarkable fact that this passage is the only text in the New Testament that speaks of public religious exercises on the first day of the week. At the same time, this passage is also the only context in the Bible that directly proves that this day is not the Sabbath.

This also does not prove that Paul preached a sermon and the breaking of bread did not take place on the first day. The sermon was preached between evening and midnight, and the bread was broken between midnight and dawn, and then Paul set out. According to the Roman method of calculating time, the breaking of bread took place at least on the morning of the same day that Paul traveled from Troas to Assos and from there to Mitylene. According to the Jewish method, the sermon, the breaking of bread, and the journey from Troas to Mitylene all occurred within the same “first day of the week.”

That Luke should have followed the unnatural Roman method is so improbable that it can hardly be accepted. Now, if Paul unnecessarily traveled from Troas to Mitylene on the first day of the week, as it appears, that day was certainly not the Sabbath of the fourth commandment at the time.

Further evidence for a valid Sabbath (Saturday)

Bible Way

Bible shows the only right way

Just looking at the outline of God’s established, beatified and sanctified seventh day of the week raises the question of why the unchanging God might have even considered moving it to Sunday:

1. The Sabbath was instituted before the Fall
2. Adam represented all his descendants in the covenant of works
3. The Sabbath law is eternal and “binding on all people of all times”
4. The seventh day was the only weekly Sabbath for at least four thousand years.

The Sabbath law was established, beatified and sanctified by God in connection with the completed creation according to Genesis 2:2-3. God has once again enshrined this day in writing as the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11).

Jesus Christ and His Apostles honored the 7th day of the week (Info). Nowhere in Scripture is there any indication that the original Sabbath was abrogated or postponed. Jesus Christ and the apostles also nowhere give any indication that there has been or will be a change.

The Sabbath was introduced on the 7th day of creation. Anyone who claims that the Sabbath has been abolished or postponed to Sunday must be able to prove this using the Bible.

Arguments against changing the Sabbath

1. The commandment to keep the seventh day of the week holy is far more than “an iota or a tittle” of this law. It couldn’t be less, but it is much more. In fact, it is very certain that Adam considered it a very important part of the law; and so did Christ when he uttered these words, for he kept the Sabbath as piously as Adam ever did.

2. Heaven and earth have not yet passed away; but it is said that this law of the seventh day has passed away; Therefore, much more than “an iota or a tittle” must have disappeared from the law – which contradicts Christ’s claim.

3. When someone says that Christ fulfilled this law and therefore took it away, he makes it a ceremony, like the Passover. But Christ never fulfilled or took away any law except those whom he “nailed to the cross.” He never nailed to the cross a law that binds “all men in all times.” Therefore, if the law requiring the sanctification of the seventh day of the week was nailed to the cross of Christ, it must have been a ceremony peculiar to the Jews and to which the Gentiles were never bound. But was Adam a Jew? Was Enoch a Jew? Were Noah and his sons Jews? But all of them would keep the seventh day and no other.

4. God has never blessed and sanctified any day of the week except the seventh.
This goes against any claim that God blessed and sanctified the resurrection day of Jesus Christ.
Anyone who argues with this doctrine must be able to prove it based on Scripture. However, this cannot be done, but for the majority of the “believers” this claim is enough to justify the sanctification of Sunday.

It always remained the Saturday Sabbath

The Fourth Commandment, the Sabbath Commandment, is one of God’s 10 binding commandments. God did not determine Sunday, not Monday, nor any other day of the week, but solely and bindingly Saturday (7th day of the week) for all people (Info).

Roman Catholic Church confirms Sabbath change – Info
Roman church fought against Sabbath from an early age – Info
Ecumenism aims at Catholic Sunday sanctification – Info
The “Lord’s Day” on Sunday is an invention of Rome – Info

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:15

Bible verses from King James Version

Source of evidence:
“The True Sabbath”, J.W. Morton, 1872

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