Isaiah 58:13 – “The Sabbath is a delight, the holy day of Yahweh; respect the Sabbath as a joyful day of worship.”
It has been contended that the early Christians abandoned Yahweh’s Sabbath and worshiped only on Sunday. Up until the third, perhaps even as late as the fourth century after Yeshua’s death, resurrection, and ascension, the Sabbath continued to be celebrated on the seventh day, which we now call Saturday. Only after that point does Yahweh’s commanded day of worship and rest, THE Sabbath, become abandoned and replaced by worship on the first day, which we now call Sunday.
The Apostolic Constitutions is a compilation of material written between 250 and 350AD. According the Apostolic Constitutions, the people were to “assemble themselves together every day, morning and evening, singing Psalms and praying in the Lord’s house: in the morning saying the sixty-second Psalm, and in the evening the hundred and fortieth, but principally on the Sabbath day. And on the day of our Lord’s resurrection, which is the Lord’s day, meet more diligently. . . .” [Emphasis mine]
The Apostolic Constitutions further states quite clearly that one is not to fast on the Sabbath, except at Pesach / Passover in memory of the Lord’s death and burial – anyone who does fast will be guilty of sin. One ought to rejoice on the Sabbath, not mourn. Another section, regarding on what day servants are to work reads: “Let the servants work five days, but on the Sabbath, and on the Lord’s day, let them have leisure to go to church, for the doctrine of piety. We have said that the Sabbath is on account of the creation, but the Lord’s day on account of the resurrection.”
It is quite plain that The Apostolic Constitutions set forth the following:
• The Sabbath is the seventh day, established by Yahweh, and is still to be observed by Christians.
• The Sabbath is for all who belong to Yeshua, and was not abolished by either Yeshua or early Christians.
• Christians who fast on the Sabbath, with only one exception, dishonor it and must be punished.
• All, including servants, are to rest on the Sabbath and have the ability to go to church.
The Apostolic Constitutions is not our only witness that both Sabbath and Lord’s Day were celebrated:
• Socrates, in his Ecclesiastical History, Book 7, Chapter 9 states: “Almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries (Communion) on the Sabbath of every week.”
• Timotheus, the Bishop of Alexandria from AD381 to AD385, tells his parishioners to abstain from sexual relations on both the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day.
• Epiphanius of Cyprus, in his Exposition of the Faith. also agrees to the special place of both the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day.
It is quite plain that other non-scriptural witnesses agree with the Apostolic Constitutions that both the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day were celebrated as late as the end of the third century after Yeshua’s death, resurrection, and ascension.
The scriptures are replete with evidence Yeshua always taught and worshipped on the Sabbath:
• Luke 4:16 – “As his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”
• Luke 4:31 – “ And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.”
• Luke 13:10 – “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.”
After Yeshua’s crucifixion the women who had prepared spices and ointments rested first:
• Luke 23:56 – “On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.”
The scriptures also give evidence that the Sabbath was the principle day upon which the early church celebrated. Numerous translations use the words, “on the first day of the week”, when mis-translating the Greek words mia Sabbaton [μία G3391 σάββατον G4521]. Mia (μία) is not the Greek word for first! That word is prōtos [πρῶτος G4413] or prōton [πρῶτον G4412]. Mia means: one. A better translation of Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 is below:
• Acts 20:7 – “And on one Sabbath when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”
• 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 – “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. On one Sabbath let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
It is quite plain that the Bible clearly states that the Sabbath was celebrated after Yeshua’s death, resurrection, and ascension by both the apostles and Paul, and that this day is the primary day of celebration is confirmed by the later non-scriptural witnesses.
The Satanic Change
Yahweh institutes the Sabbath as a weekly sign that he and his bride belong to each other and enjoy each other’s presence (Exodus 20:1-17, Exodus 31:16-17).
Clearly the Sabbath was celebrated on the seventh day by the early church peoples. Clearly it was a day of joy and worship set aside for Yahweh and his bride to enjoy together. Why, then, do we fail to honor it today?
As early as the second century anti-Semitic sentiments were arising. Justin, in his Apology, admonished Christians to assemble only on the Day of the Sun – in other words, on Sunday. Tertullian in several of his works argues for worship on “Die Solis” and against “Jewish Sabbath solemnities” but admits that Christians continued to keep the Sabbath.
By the time the Apostolic Constitutions was written, apostasy was becoming rampant. It was even suggested that worshiping on Sunday, the Day of the Sun, Die Solis, far excelled the commandment to keep the Sabbath! Pseudo-Barnabas claimed that because we are too wicked to keep the Sabbath now, we must keep Sunday instead. Apparently the death and resurrection of Yeshua was not sufficient. What hogwash. I guess Pseudo-Barnabas never read the Book of Hebrews, nor any of the Gospels, either.
In the beginning of the fourth century, Pope Sylvester ordered fasting on the Sabbath, thus turning a day of what scripture calls a feast day into a fast day. Pope Innocent then made it a binding law about 100 years later. Yet another 1,000 years later, and the Roman Catholic theologians at the Council of Trent plainly state that “the ceremonial observance of Sunday had replaced the Sabbath.” [Emphasis mine]
Once again, we see man’s traditions and the Satanic agenda to destroy all the works of Yeshua superceding Yahweh’s commands.
Isaiah 58:13-14 – “The Sabbath is a delight, the holy day of Yahweh; respect the Sabbath as a joyful day of worship. If you keep from doing as you please on my holy day, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will take delight in Yahweh, and Yahweh will honor you and will give you great prosperity . . .” [Emphasis mine]
Both documents and individuals confirm that the Sabbath, the seventh day, Saturday, was held in great honor and respect during the first three centuries after Yeshua’s death, resurrection, and ascension, and was the principal day of worship. Celebrating on the Lord’s Day, the first day, Sunday, was also acceptable, but the Lord’s Day was NOT the Sabbath.
Christians are still admonished to gather together on every Sabbath – on Yahweh’s Holy Day. Sabbath is still to be a day of rejoicing, not a day of fasting. The Sabbath Day is still to be celebrated forever, by all human beings. We fail to do so because we have placed the traditions of man and the Satanic agenda above the commandments of Yahweh.
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew Prophets. The day is coming when Yahweh will show his strength on the mountains of Israel. What is prophesied will come to pass, what is foretold will be made known. Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.