Does not the Bible indicate that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday when it
speaks of the Lordís Day in
Revelation 1:10? Do we not call Sunday the Lordís day today?
Yes, it is true that many people in Christendom today do call Sunday the
Lordís day! But is it accurate to link Christendomís expression, "The Lordí
day," with the biblical expression found in Revelation 1:10? Does Revelation
1:10 indicate that there was a change from Sabbath or Saturday worship to Sunday
worship? What do the Bible and history have to say about this?
Let us all remember that the Bible must at all times be the first and chief
determiner of truth. We test all spiritual and religious facts by the Bible and
not the other way round. Therefore, if we read in history that Christians called
Sunday the Lordís day, and if we find in the Bible the expression íthe Lordís
day,í we would be wrong to conclude that Sunday is the Lordís day according to
the Bible. In other words, we would be correct to say that history calls Sunday
the Lordís day; but we would be wrong to say that the biblical expression Ďthe
Lordís dayí means Sunday because we read that in religious history.
To settle this question, let us go to the Bible to see which day is the
Lordís day according to the biblical text. Among all the days of the week, the
Bible states that there is only one, the Sabbath or Saturday, that is called the
Lordí day. In fact, it is called ĎHis holy day.í Let us read from Isaiah, (Isa
58:13 KJV) 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:
Here God calls the Sabbath His holy day, and asks everyone to observe it as a
day dedicated to worship, and not for doing oneís own pleasure. Fifteen times in
the KJV we find God referring to the Sabbath, the Saturday, as "my Sabbaths."
And innumerable times we find God telling His people that the Sabbath is to be
kept holy. You may say, Well, that is the Old Testament. OK, what about the New
Testament then, does Jesus say much about the Sabbath? Jesus says in three of
the Gospels, that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. Here for example, (Mat
12:8 KJV) For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. It is clear
that the expression, Ďthe Lordís dayí as found in the Bible, refers not to
Sunday, but to the Sabbath or the Saturday. If Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath,
then it is His day. Here is another statement Jesus made regarding the Sabbath.
24:18 KJV) Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his
clothes. In speaking about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Romans,
Jesus counselled His followers to pray that the coming destruction would not be
during winter, nor on the Sabbath. This text shows that Jesus never intended
that the Sabbath be replaced in the years to come. Jesus also said that the
Sabbath was made for man, (Mark
2:27); this indicates that as long as man is around, the Sabbath will be
there for him. So as far as the Bible is concerned, friends, the Sabbath is
Saturday, it is His day which He made for mankind, and that He, Jesus, is the
Lord of that day, which is Saturday. What does history say about the origin of
the expression, Ďthe Lordís dayí?
The first clear reference to "the Lordís holy day," found in historical
writings, is that of Dionysius (AD 170), quoted by church historian Eusebius.
This is found in The Church History of Eusebius,(324 AD), b. 4, ch. 23, in
Nicene and Post Nicene fathers, 2d Series, vol. 1, p. 201. Eusebius states that
Dionysius wrote, "Today we have passed the Lordís holy day; in which we have
read your epistle." However, since up to that time there was no reference to
Sunday being the Lordís day, we cannot be justified in saying that this
reference refers to Sunday. The only day recognized as the Lordís day up to that
time was Saturday. The clearest reference to the Lordís day referring to Sunday
is found, according to history, in the writings of a fraudulent book that calls
itself, "The Gospel According to Peter," around AD 180. In this false epistle
the day of the Lordís resurrection is called Ďthe Lordís day.í See The
Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 9, pp. 8, 27, 29. From this time on, several church
writers apply the Lordís day to the resurrection day of the Lord.
We can safely say, dear friends, that the historical expression of "the
Lordís day," came much later than the biblical expression. And that while the
biblical expression referred to Saturday, the historical one, coming around AD
180, referred to the resurrection day, Sunday, of our Lord. One expression is
biblical, and refers to Saturday; the other is from religious history and
referred to Sunday.
We conclude, therefore, that the expression Ďthe Lordís day,í as found in
Revelation 1:10, refers to the Sabbath day, Saturday, and not to Sunday. Let us,
my dear friends, always allow the Bible to clarify every expression or fact we
read about, as far as possible. God bless.
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