Previously: scriptural authority for sunday, 1 corinthians 16:2
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,” Rev 1:10
This is the first and only time the phrase, “the Lord’s Day,” is used in the Scripture. Doing a search for the occurrence of the word “day” and “Lord” in Scripture, brings up hundreds of references, the most common usage being the Lord’s appointed days, His feast days, in which He made an appointment to meet with man. These days are described in Lev 23 in detail, and are: the weekly Sabbath, first and foremost, then the seven annual observances of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles.
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isa 58:13-14 NKJV
The meaning cannot be, if you turn from keeping the Sabbath … then you shall delight yourself in the LORD, even though the English translation seems to indicate that. There are a few places in the English translations where an anti- Torah bias has entered in to the translation. How do we know? The context of the rest of the verse demands a meaning in which the Sabbath is kept, not turned from! The JPS English translation from the Hebrew gives the correct sense of the verse, which some modern translations have picked up, as the context is so clear:
“If thou turn away thy foot because of the sabbath, from pursuing thy business on My holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, and the holy of the LORD honourable; and shalt honour it, not doing thy wonted ways, nor pursuing thy business, nor speaking thereof; Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD, and I will make thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isa 58:13-14 JPS Hebrew Bible in English
A more clear way of saying the same thing, is (as an English teacher for 15 years, if I was correcting a student paper):
“If, because of the Sabbath, you turn away your foot from pursuing your business …”
Now to which of these days of the Lord is John referring? We do not know! He does not give us any additional information … without which, no one has any way of determining.
All the apologetics for the Sunday day of worship I have read, cite this verse, as evidence that the Lord’s Day was Sunday, the day the believers recognized as the anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection. It is common knowledge that the early believers met if possible and rejoiced on Sundays as the weekly anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection from the dead. In fact, Pliny’s letter that we cited previously, might very well refer to Sunday as the fixed day in which the believers met before dawn – before their day of labor began!
However, how does that argument constitute scriptural proof that the seventh day Sabbath was to now be discarded? Is not this is the same issue on which Jesus reproved the Pharisees, that for the sake of the tradition of men, they discarded the commandments of God?
Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” Mat 15:1-9
The Roman church has marshaled the strongest Scriptural evidence possible to weight its authority for discarding the seventh day assembly … and Rev 1:10, 1 Cor 16:2, and Acts 20:7, is the sum total!
However, what does the Roman church itself say?
“Prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says, No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And ho! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church.” –Priest Thomas Enright, CSSR, President of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Mo., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, and printed in the Hartford Kansas Weekly Call, February 22, 1884, and the American Sentinel, a New York Roman Catholic journal in June 1893, page 173.
For further reading: The Lord’s Day by Daniel Botkin
Continued: shabbat in the ancient hebrew pictographs
Return to revelation index of studies
Christine’s book The Revelation of Jesus Christ Revealed, based on these studies, is now available at Revelation Revealed Online. You may also be interested in reading the Book Extras and joining in on the Discussion.
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