A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church
by Bob Pickle
Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and Others
Discern Fact from Fiction
Sunday vs. the Lord's Day, and the Scapegoat
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#187, #188, #189, & #190: "Christ's followers met
on the Lord's Day resurrection day, for
their worship and breaking of bread, not on the Jewish Sabbath."—Mark
#185: The Lord's Day is the resurrection
day. Since the video apparently is trying to uplift the Bible as the authority
it may be assumed that Mr. Martin is using the Bible as his authority for this statement. Yet
the Bible does not teach what he just said. The first
time that an authentic, extant document equates the Lord's Day with the day of the
resurrection is the last half of the second century (Samuele
Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, p. 17). That's fifty years or more
after the apostle John's death, and over a century after the death
of our Lord.
What does the Bible say?
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day;
and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD,
honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own
pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: (Is. 58:13)
So the Sabbath is the LORD's Day, but is that the Lord Jesus, or God the Father.
Throughout these last chapters of Isaiah, sometimes it is
clearly Jesus Himself that is speaking:
The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that
there was no man, and wondered that there was no
intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained
him. (Is. 59:15, 16)
Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the
winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the
people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my
fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my
garments, and I will stain all my raiment. . . . And I looked, and there
was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore
mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. (Is. 63:3-5)
Now compare this with the following description of Jesus in the book of Revelation:
"And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:
and his name is called The Word of God. . . . and he treadeth the
winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev. 19:13-15).
So the "LORD" in Isaiah 59:15 must be Jesus. Then would not the "LORD" in Isaiah
58:13, just sixteen verses previous, also be Jesus?
Therefore, the Sabbath must be the Lord Jesus' special day, according to His own words.
And really, there is no biblical basis for calling any
other day but the seventh-day Sabbath the Lord's Day.
So was this the day of the resurrection? Not at all. Christ rose on the first day of the
week, not the seventh (Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1, 13, 20,
21). Even today we identify the day of the crucifixion with Good Friday and the day of the
resurrection with Easter Sunday. The Lord's Day
Sabbath was the day between the two (Luke 23:54-56).
The documentation package describes "Point 89 & 89a" in the
index in this way: "Christ's followers met on the 'Lord's day' (Sunday—resurrection day)
according to the Bible for their fellowship and communion. (On the Jewish Sabbath Christ
preached in the synagogue.)"
Turning to "Point 89" and "Point 89a," one finds a two-page tract by MacGregor
Ministries. Amidst its many assertions, this tract makes
no attempt to prove from the Scriptures that the first day of the week rather than the seventh
day is the Lord's Day.
#186: Christ's followers met regularly on the resurrection day for their
worship. In all the New Testament, out of a grand
total of eight references to the first day of the week, we have only one explicit mention of
the disciples meeting on the first day of the week for
worship. How can anyone then assume that this means they met regularly for worship on that
Let's consider the eight references. Five of them merely mention the fact that Jesus
rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Mat. 28:1;
Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). In the sixth reference, on the [p. 124] day of the resurrection,
the disciples were "assembled for fear
of the Jews,"
not for worship (John 20:19). We have but two references left to go.
In the seventh reference Paul wrote, "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" (1 Cor. 16:2). Nothing about worship services
here. It tells each of the believers at Corinth to "lay by
him" the offering he felt he could give when Paul next came through town. Everyone must
have had some place in his house where he could
"lay by him" the offering he wanted to set aside. If he had put his offering into the offering
plate at church, it would no longer be "by him."
Thus, instead of being evidence in favor of regular Sunday church services, this text is
evidence against such a practice. The believer was
to determine on Sunday what he could give from his profits from the previous week. Why
not calculate it on the Sabbath? Because he was resting
on that day and was at church.
Now for the eighth and final reference:
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,
Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow;
and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber,
where they were gathered together. (Acts 20:7, 8)
This is the only New Testament reference to a meeting for worship on the first day of
the week. Yet notice that it was the night of the first
day of the week. Since the biblical days begin at sunset, as Mr. Martin emphatically told us
under #164, this would have to be Saturday night
rather than Sunday night. Thus Paul met with the disciples on the first day of the week,
Saturday night, and he was ready to depart on the
morrow, Sunday morning. In other words, he resumed his journey on Sunday morning
instead of going to church (see Acts 20:13, 14).
It is therefore utterly impossible to make a biblical case for the early church keeping
Sunday as a regular day of worship.
#187: They did not meet for worship on the Sabbath.
The book of Acts tells us differently.
While there is only one explicit reference to the disciples meeting for worship on the
first day of the week, there are a number of explicit
references to their worshipping on the Sabbath. Take for example this one: "But when they
departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia,
and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down" (Acts 13:14).
No, they didn't just meet with Jews on the Sabbath, and Paul explicitly connected such
Sabbath worship services with the grace of God:
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these
words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now
when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed
Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded
them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city
together to hear the word of God. (Acts 13:42-44)
If Sunday was the regular day of worship, why didn't Paul say, "Come back
tomorrow. I will be preaching on Sunday"? Why did the Gentiles
have to wait until the following Sabbath to hear the Word of God preached? And if keeping
the Sabbath is so legalistic, why did Paul say that
the Sabbath keepers were "in the grace of God"?
Paul even worshipped upon the Sabbath when there was no Jewish synagogue in town:
"And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river
side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which
resorted thither" (Acts 16:13).
The only Bible writer who was a Gentile was Luke, who wrote the Gospel called by
his name and the book of Acts. He must have felt Sabbath
keeping was important, for notice how particular he was to tell us that both Jesus and Paul
habitually worshipped upon the Sabbath, something
no other Bible writer tells us:
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he
went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up
for to read. (Luke 4:16)
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with
them out of the scriptures. (Acts 17:2)
And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the
Greeks. (Acts 18:4)
So the statement that Christ's followers did not meet for worship on the Sabbath is
simply not true.
#188: They usually broke bread on the resurrection day.
There is no biblical basis for such a claim. True, they met to break bread
on Saturday night according to Acts 20:7, but the Bible says they broke bread "daily":
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking
of bread, and in prayers. . . . And they, continuing daily
with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat
with gladness and singleness of heart. (Acts 2:42-46) [p. 125]
That being so, they could just as well break bread
on Saturday morning, the seventh day of the week, as on Saturday night, the first day of
#189: Christ's followers did not break bread on the Sabbath.
As just noted above, the disciples broke bread daily. Since the
Sabbath is one of the days of the week, the disciples must have broken bread on that day as
So on which day did they usually break bread? Though it's easy to assume that the
answer is probably the biblical Lord's Day, the seventh
day of the week, it should be noted that the Bible is silent on that question.
#190: The Sabbath is Jewish. Even if this were true,
which it isn't, what would it prove? Our Savior is Jewish, and 64 of the 66 books
of the Bible are too. If we must reject the Sabbath for such a reason, how can we remain
If the Sabbath is Jewish, why did Jesus say, "The sabbath was made for man, and not
man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27)? He didn't say that
the Sabbath was made just for Jews. He said it was made for man.
Of Jesus it is said, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing
made that was made" (John 1:3). Since He's the one
who made the Sabbath for man, He ought to know what He's talking about.
Interestingly, the name Adam is also one of the Hebrew words for "man." Thus Jesus
in Mark 2:27 is referring to the making of both the
Sabbath and Adam in Genesis 2.
More than this, the Greek of Mark 2:27 says that the Sabbath was made for
"the man", not "the man" for the Sabbath. Why did Jesus
say "the man" instead of just "man"?
In the first eleven chapters of Genesis, the Hebrew word adam
occurs 52 times, always in the singular, and is translated "Adam,"
and "men." In 43 of these 52 times, adam occurs with the definite article
"the." In 7 of the remaining 9, from Genesis 4:25 to 5:5, adam is used
as a proper noun, and so the definite article is omitted. Only in 1:26 and 2:5 does the word
adam appear neither as a proper noun nor with the
First the Hebrew phrase "the man" means either Adam or both Adam and Eve. Then,
beginning with Genesis 6:1-7, the phrase begins to mean
not just Adam but his descendants as well, or in other words, all mankind. Therefore, when
Jesus said that He made the Sabbath for "the man,"
He meant that He made it for Adam and all his descendants, since that is precisely what
"the man" means. How then can anyone declare the
Sabbath to be merely "Jewish"?
Paul uses similar language when talking about the woman: "Neither was the man
created for the woman; but the woman for the man" (1 Cor.
11:9). If the Sabbath that was made for the man is really Jewish, then the woman that was
made for the man is really Jewish as well. Essentially,
that would mean that marriage is only for the Jew, not for the Gentile.
Adam took but two things out of the garden with him: the Sabbath and marriage. Both
are under attack today. Even though the Lord blesses
and sanctifies but one woman per man on wedding day, there are those who declare it
doesn't matter what woman you keep. And though Jesus
blessed and sanctified but one day for us, there are those who will say that you can keep any
day you want.
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