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What does the book of Acts reveal about the Sabbath Day?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by atrhick, May 31, 2008.

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  1. What does the book of Acts reveal about the Sabbath Day?

    The book of Acts repeatedly records that the followers of Christ, after Calvary, worshiped publicly on Sabbath even in Gentile lands (see Acts 13:5, 14, 42; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4; 19:8, etc. - at the end of this article), while it mentions the first day of the week only once.
    “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight” (Acts 20:7). Many believe that because this verse talks about “breaking bread,” it is referring to a worship service and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper on the new Christian Sabbath, Sunday, the Lord’s Day.
    Is this true?

    First, of the fifteen times that the phrase to break bread appears in the New Testament (in various verbal conjugations), refers to the Lord’s Supper only twice. The majority of references deal merely with eating. Acts 2:46, for example, talks about the followers of Christ “continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (emphasis supplied). Breaking bread” here doesn’t mean the Lord’s Supper; it simply means eating meals.

    Also, Acts 20 suggests that Paul is breaking bread alone:
    "When he had come up, had broken bread and eaten . . . he departed” (verse 11). The verbs are singular, so Paul is obviously not participating in a communion service, and nothing in the whole section ever mentions wine.
    But the text does indicate a Sunday worship service in the early Christian church, doesn’t it?
    If Luke used the Jewish (sundown to sundown) reckoning of days, this evening assembly on the first day of the week would actually have been on Saturday night (Paul talked “even till daybreak” [verse 111). The New English Bible even translates the) phrase as “Saturday night” (verse 7).

    Even if Paul used Roman (midnight to midnight) reckoning, so that this meeting took place on Sunday night, it hardly sounds like a weekly worship service. The context suggests that this was a special all-night meeting because Paul was to depart in the morning. As historian Augustus Neander wrote, “the impending departure of the apostle, may have united the little Church in a brotherly parting-meal, on the occasion of which the apostle delivered his last address, although there was no particular celebration of a Sunday in the case.”

    And finally, nothing in this verse even hints that the first day has either replaced or superseded Sabbath.
    In all the rest of the New Testament, the first day of the week appears only once, when Paul wrote to the Corinthians about a relief offering for poor church members in Jerusalem and Judea. “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Does this verse prove Sunday sacredness?
    As with every other New Testament reference to the first day, this verse says nothing about the first day being sacred or holy. It isn’t talking about a public worship service in which offerings are brought. It isn’t even talking about worship. Rather, Paul admonishes each believer to “lay something aside, storing [it] up,” probably in their own homes.

    As F. W. Grosheide comments: “Paul trusts the Corinthians: he does not ask them to hand in their collection on a weekly basis, they are allowed to keep the collected money and thus little by [little a significant amount will be saved up.” Much speculation has gone into why Paul specified the first day of the week as the time for figuring and setting aside one’s offering. Some have suggested that the first day of the week was pay day, or perhaps they were to reckon this offering as the secular week began before the demands of secular life could absorb the week’s earnings.” Whatever the reason, the verse says nothing about Sunday being a sacred day of worship.
    But what about Revelation 1:10, where John wrote, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”’? Doesn’t that prove Sunday worship in the early church
    How could it? No New Testament reference to the first day ever gives Sunday a sacred character or ever calls it the Lord’s day.
    Just because Sunday has been called the Lord’s Day for years doesn’t make it the Lord’s Day, any more than the fact that people believed for centuries that the earth was the center of the universe makes it so.
    We shouldn’t read back into this phrase the meaning of Sunday. Instead, we should use the Bible to read into the phrase its biblical meaning, and nothing in Scripture ever calls the first day of the week the Lord’s Day.
    Another point—John’s Gospel is usually dated later than Revelation. Why would John in his Gospel call Sunday merely the first day of the week,” if, in an earlier book, Revelation, he had already referred to it as the Lord’s Day?
    Scripture actually points to the seventh-day Sabbath as “the Lord’s Day.” In the Ten Commandments the seventh day is called “ ‘the Sabbath of the Lord your God’” (Exodus 20:10, emphasis supplied). In Isaiah, the Lord calls it” ‘My holy day’” Isaiah 58:13). In three Gospels, Jesus calls Himself “ ‘Lord even of the Sabbath’ “(see Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5). Jesus is, therefore, the Lord of the Sabbath day. It is His, the Lord Jesus’, day.
    Or simply, the Lord’s Day.
    Now let the following scriptures that clearly and undisputedly reveal the habit, practice and lifestyle of Paul and the early church concerning what day they had church;
    Acts 13:14
    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 13:37
    For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
    Acts 13:42
    And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
    Acts 13:44
    And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
    Acts 14:1
    And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
    Acts 15:21
    For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
    Acts 16:13
    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 17:2
    And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
    Acts 17:17
    Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
    Acts 18:4
    And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
    Acts 19:18
    And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
  2. So, on the other side of the coin, why should we be so dogmatic on a day anyway? The Bible says that Jesus is our Sabbath. Besides, if we bind ourselves to the Sabbath of the Old Testament, then that means we would still be under the Law. And the Law means death.

    I personally don't care, as I don't find my salvation to be affected based on esteeming one day over another.
  3. In regards to the Law let’s talk about that first... Also please remember my brothers and sisters that I am only shareing what I believe the Holy Spirit has revealed to me so please do not be offended:)

    Notice Moses told them to "Take this book of the law" it clearly stated that Moses wrote this book and asked them to "put it in the side of the ark of the covenant" so he instructed them to put it in the sideof the ark, and not inside of the ark of the covenant. If you will he asked them to put it in a pocket of the ark of the covenant. Remember God him self wrote the Ten Commandments on two tables of stone after which Moses broke. Then God instructed Moses to make two more tables so that he "God" can write the Ten Commandments again.

    When if comes to the New Covenant in Jar 31:33 it says
    This is also very important, the reason the Old Covenant was dissolved was because as God said "which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD" so the Old Covenant was no good because "They broke it”. And they broke it because they said they would do all that God said for them to do, read below.
    So the people broke the Covenant not God. Now lets move to the New Covenant.
    Notice Paul is using the same wording that Moses used in Deu 31:26
    So Jesus died taking away the "handwriting of ordinances that was against us...nailing it to his cross" remember again that the ordinances was given so that when the people sinned they would make a sacrifice and there sin was forgiven. So it is evident that Jesus is now our Sacrifice, hence we no longer have to give sacrifices, meat and drink offering. Listen to what Paul said about the ordinances
    I have hear it said before that a dead man can keep 8 of God's Ten Commandments, so then why will us being alive then only keep 9 of the Ten, dont get me wrong we don't keep the Commandemts to be save, but we keep them becouse we are saved. I have a lot more I would say but I will wait for any questions you may have.
  4. Why would one saved by grace through faith have to justify that salvation by going back under the law?????
    Faith and salvation are not, can not, be justfied by the law because no one except Jesus was able to keep the law in it's entirity.
    You speak of keeping the sabbath holy by worshipping on the seventh day (As unto the Law) but scripture tells us all have fallen short. Do you propose that you have never in any way transgressed" the Law of the Sabbath"???
    And there are nine others as well. . . You have never fallen short in any of them. . . You have never called another stupid??? , have never lusted??? Have never worked or allowed a member of your household to work on the Sabbath??? Never accidently stuck a pen in your pocket or aquired anything that didn't belong to you???? Never chose your will over that of the Father????? Never idolized a house, computer, car or other material thing. Nothing but the truth ever come from your lips????? never gossiped, slandered, or unrightously judged another?????
    Gal 3:10 Those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse. For the scripture says, "Whoever does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the Law is under God's curse!"

    Why do you not only put upon yourself the burden that you cannot truthfuly keep, but seek so diligently to place others under it as well?????

    How can one take pride in their keeping of the law when in truth they cannot and do not keep the law??????

    Luk 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    Luk 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    He who observes one day is no better off than he who observes another. If the Law could justify ones salvation it could bring about ones salvation. . . It can do neither.
    Sincerely His
  5. Thread Closed for Review

    As the result of a previous history regarding this topic, the staff has agreed to close this thread pending Moderator Review. While friendly discussions are fine, debating theology tends to lead to unfriendly exchanges and that will not be allowed. This thread has been reported to the staff by a viewer as being inappropriate and is therefore under review.

    We also caution members that this topic has been debated for many centuries without resolution or concensus. We doubt that a continuation of this discussion here at CFS will result in any additional revelations.

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