Pickle Publishing "Lord's Day; Jewish Sabbath" Research Papers

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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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#185, #186, #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 Martin.

#185: The Lord's Day is the resurrection day. Since the video apparently is trying to uplift the Bible as the authority for Christians, 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 day?

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 the week.

#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 well.

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 Christians?

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," "man," 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 definite article.

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.

A Response to the Video

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The above page was found at http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/response-to-video-185.htm on October 19, 2017.

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