The Disciples Kept the Sabbath
84 Times in the book of
There are many scriptures that verify the Sabbath day being the 7th
day of the week. All throughout the 'New testament', the first day of the week is called "The
first day of the week" and the 7th day of the week
is called "The Sabbath". This fact alone should prove when the
Sabbath truly is.
However, let us examine the pattern of the disciples
after Yahushua's resurrection in the book of acts to determine what day
that they attended Sabbath Services and what day they expected others to
observe. We will keep a count of how many times the Sabbath is observed.
We see one example in Acts 17:1...
Acts 17:1 (NKJV) Now when they had passed through
Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a
synagogue of the Jews. Acts 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in
to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Acts 17:3 explaining and demonstrating that the Messiah had to suffer and
rise again from the dead, and [saying], "This Yahushua whom I preach
to you is the Messiah." Acts 17:4 And some of them were persuaded;
and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading
women, joined Paul and Silas.
Here we see that Paul went to a Sabbath service where there were
both Jews and Greeks. The scripture also mentions that this was a regular
custom of Paul. Was this also the custom of Yahushua the Messiah?
Luke 4:16 (NKJV) So 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 to read.
So here we can see that 22 years after Yahushua's death and resurrection
the disciples were attending Sabbath services. In no place do we see Paul
or any other disciple teaching them that they should come back the next
day for a 'first day of the week' service. But they went to three Sabbath
services where there were both Jews and Greeks present. So then the doctrine
that says the Jews have their day (the 7th day) and the Gentiles have their
day (the 1st day) is foreign to scripture.
Some would argue that Paul was
at the synagogue only because that is where he would find people to witness
to...not to observe the Sabbath. But the scripture does not say that. This
is an assumption that those who refuse the simplicity of the scriptures
want to make, not one that the scriptures support. Again, the Seventh Day
is called "The Sabbath day" in this passage.
So lets see where we are at now..
Seventh day - 3 First day - 0
Another example is found in Acts 13...
Acts 13:13 (NKJV) Now when Paul and his party
set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing
from them, returned to Jerusalem. 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 13:15 And after the reading of the Law
and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Men
[and] brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say
So here is another example where Paul and the other disciples came
to the Synagogue in Perga to attend the Sabbath Service.
Seventh day - 4 First day - 0
A little later in the chapter, after Paul shares Yahushua with them
we see that the Gentiles were quite interested.
Acts 13:42 (NKJV) So when the Jews went out of
the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to
them the next Sabbath.
Now here is a perfect situation for Paul to tell these Gentiles
"Hey just come back tomorrow, we keep the Sabbath on the first day
now!" But we don't see this written anywhere in scripture.
Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation had broken
up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas,
who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of Yahweh
Acts 13:44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear
the word of Yahweh.
So here is the fifth time that the disciples attended a Sabbath service
on the day that Yahweh sanctified at creation. Again, the seventh day is
called "the Sabbath" in this passage.
Seventh day - 5 First day - 0
Here is another example in Acts 16...
Acts 16:11 (NKJV) Therefore, sailing from Troas,
we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next [day] came to Neapolis,
Acts 16:12 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that
part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some
days. Acts 16:13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the
riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke
to the women who met [there].
It was the custom of the Jews of that day for the rabbi to shut down
the synagogue if there were not at least 10 men that would show up for
the Sabbath meeting. This could very well be why there were women meeting
by the riverside for prayer. Nevertheless, we see that the disciples sought
a place to meet for the Sabbath and they did. Again, the seventh day is
called "the Sabbath Day" in this passage.
Seventh day - 6 First day - 0
Acts 18:1 (NKJV) After these things Paul departed
from Athens and went to Corinth. Acts 18:2 And he found a certain Jew named
Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife
Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome);
and he came to them. Acts 18:3 So, because he was of the same trade, he
stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. Acts
18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both
Jews and Greeks.
So we see that he worked on the other days as a tentmaker...but on
the Sabbath He was not. And here again we see that both Jews and Greeks
are in the synagogue and on the Sabbath. Paul also is among them attending
the Sabbath services. The interesting thing about this verse is that instead
of the scripture saying that they attended only one or three sabbath services,
it says that he was there every Sabbath persuading both Jews and
Greeks. Again, the seventh day is called "the Sabbath" in this
passage so we know that we can at least count one. Let's do that..
Seventh day - 7 First day - 0
Now if Paul was in Corinth and was reasoning in the synagogue every
Sabbath, if we could find out how long he stayed in Corinth then we would
know how many Sabbaths he actually attended. Let's look furthur..
Acts 18:5 (NKJV) When Silas and Timothy had come
from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the
Jews [that] Yahushua [is] the Messiah. 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed,
he shook [his] garments and said to them, "Your blood [be] upon your
[own] heads; I [am] clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain [man] named
Justus, [one] who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.
8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Master
with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed
and were baptized. 9 Now the Master spoke to Paul in the night by a vision,
"Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 "for
I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many
people in this city." 11 And he continued [there] a year and six months,
teaching the word of God among them.
A year and six months! Finally the ruler of the synagogue was converted
to Yahushua and Paul was there a year and six months! So the scripture says
that Paul was there every Sabbath and that he was there for a year and
six months. If we counted this by our present calendar that would give
us 52 Sabbaths in a year plus 26 Sabbaths in the following six months which
gives us a total of 78 Sabbaths! Now lets add this to our present total:
Seventh Day - 84
First day - 0
So we can see that the disciples observed the Sabbath and attended
a Sabbath service 84 times in the book of acts alone! Again, the seventh
day is called "the Sabbath" in this passage.
Now how many times do we see them meeting together on the first day?
Some would cite one example in Acts 20. Let's examine the text...
Acts 20:6 (NKJV) But we sailed away from Philippi
after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas,
where we stayed seven days. Acts 20:7 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.
Here we see an example of the disciples gathering together on the
first day of the week. There is no mention of a Sabbath being observed
in this verse. Nowhere is this day called "The Sabbath". In fact,
we know that Paul was ready to depart the next day. According to verse
7, Paul spoke to them a message because for this very reason.
Now some would say that coming together to 'break bread' constitutes a meeting that includes the observance of partaking in Yahushua's body.
But this is not true...consider this verse:
Acts 2:44 (NKJV) Now all who believed were together,
and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods,
and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So 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, 47 praising
Yahweh and having favor with all the people. And Yahweh added to the assembly
daily those who were being saved.
According to this scripture, breaking bread was not an uncommon thing
to do on a daily basis. It was one of the customs in those days to eat
their 'daily bread'. Even in Yahushua's prayer He said "Give us this
day our daily bread".
So we cannot confirm that this scripture in Acts 20 is a Sabbath
day observance. In fact, nowhere does it say that the first day of the week is
the Sabbath. But the 7th day of the week is always called "the
Sabbath" in the 'new testament.' Unless you don't believe in the New
Testament, you would have to conclude that this was not a Sabbath meeting. So
what was it really? Many may not realize that in scripture, a new day begins at
sundown. This would mean that at sundown on 'Saturday', the first day of the
week begins. This was most probably an 'after Sabbath' fellowship meal where
Paul continued to speak until midnight because he wanted to get as much teaching
in as possible before he departed the next day.
Nevertheless some will hang onto this one verse so that they don't have
to forsake tradition and keep the true Sabbath. But you can search the scriptures
from Genesis to Revelations and you will not find a single verse that says
His Sabbath was changed to a different day. There is not a single verse
that tells us that the Ten Commandments are not to be kept. And there is
not a single verse that prophesied either of these two events occurring!
In fact, the scriptures declare the seventh day to be the Sabbath in the
Law, in the words of the prophets, in the writings about Yahushua and in
the acts of the apostles as well as in the scriptures that speak of Yahweh's
kingdom. Therefore that final tally will remain at:
Seventh Day - 84
| First day - 0
There is also evidence that the early disciples kept the Sabbath
on the true day:
"The primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath
of the Jews;.therefore the Christians for a long time together, did keep
their conventions on the Sabbath, in which some portion of the Law were
read: and this continued till the time of the Laodicean council."
The Whole Works of Jeremey Taylor, Vol. IX, p416 (R. Heber's Edition,
"The ancient Christians were very careful
in the observation of Saturday, or the seventh day..It is plain that all
the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the
Sabbath as a festival...Athanasius likewise tells us that they held religious
assemblies on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with Judaism,
but to worship [Yahushua], the [Master] of the Sabbath, Epiphanius says
the same." Antiquities of the Christian Church, Vol. II, Book XX,
chap. 3, Sec. 1, 66.1137, 1138
"Ambrose, the celebrated bishop of Milan,
said that when he was in Milan he observed Saturday, but when in Rome observed
Sunday. This gave rise to the proverb 'When you are in Rome, do as Rome
does,' " Heylyn, The History of the Sabbath, 1613
Constantine later enforced keeping a Sabbath on the first day of
the week, which he calls "the venerable day of the
sun." Venerable means 'commanding respect'.
The text of Constantine's Sunday Law of 321 A.D. is:
"One the venerable day of the Sun let the
magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be
closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely
and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another
day is not suitable for gain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting
the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost."
This doesn't even really sound like Yahweh's Sabbath which forbids any kind
of work at all on His day!
Later, those who observed the Sabbath were persecuted and killed
by the Catholic church. When the Jesuit St. Francis Xavier arrived in India he immediately
requested to the pope to set up the Inquisition there.
"The Jewish wickedness" of which Xavier
complained was evidently the Sabbath-keeping among those native Christians
as we shall see in our next quotation. When one of these Sabbath-keeping
Christians was taken by the Inquisition he was accused of having *Judaized*;
which means having conformed to the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law; such
as not eating pork, hare, fish without scales, of having attended the solemnization
of the Sabbath." Account of the Inquisition at Goa, Dellon, p.56.
"Of an hundred persons condemned to be burnt
as Jews, there are scarcely four who profess that faith at their death;
the rest exclaiming and protesting to their last gasp that they are Christians,
and have been so during their whole lives." Ibid p.64
Today, some of the leading Baptists even have admitted that the Sunday Sabbath
isn't in the scriptures:
"There was and is a commandment to keep holy
the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not on Sunday...It will be said,
however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred
from the seventh to the first day of the week....where can the record of
such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament. Of course, I quite
well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a
religious day, as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources.
But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened
with the name of a sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy,
and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!" Dr. Edward
Hiscox, author of The Baptist Manual
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