December 1997, Vol. 9:4
THIRTY-ONE REASONS for keeping the Sabbath,
as presented by the Seventh Day Adventist Church -
REFUTED . . . Despatch's Editor ~ W.B. Howard

PART 1...Continued next Issue (Vol. 10:1)

1. God gave the Sabbath to man at Creation. Gen.2:2,3.
(But God did not repeat the Sabbath commandment to the Christian Church. It was a sign of the Mosaic Covenant. Exodus 31:12-17).

2. The Sabbath was given before the Fall, hence before man needed a Redeemer. Consequently, any remedial system instituted towards buying back what was lost could not affect that holy day.
(The Sabbath is totally fulfilled in Christ Jesus. He is our rest, the Christian rest is from self-works, and to rest in Christ’s righteousness. Hebrews 4:4-10).

3. It was observed by the Israelites thirty three days before Sinai was reached. Ex.16:30.
(Still Old Testament, has nothing to do with the Church Age).

4. Confirmed on Mount Sinai when Ten Commandments were spoken by God. Ex.20:8-11. Endorsed still by all leading Protestant denominations.
(The Church is not under the Ten Commandments, these were given to Israel.
The Church is under the Law of Christ. Ex.19:23-25; 20:1-2. Gal.3:23-25; II John; Galatians 5:1-4; Gal.6:2; Rom.2:15; I Cor.9:21; Gal. 5:18; Rom.7:4).

5. “The Sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27. Therefore it is not simply a national institution.
(This was spoken by the Lord when the Pharisees were denouncing Him for NOT keeping the Sabbath strictly! He merely said that religious observance was not for formality’s sake, but as a rest for man himself. There is no comment at all about national or non-national matters).

6. It is sign between God and His people, that they may know Him. Eze.20:20,12.
Such knowledge is still needed.
(The Christian knows God through his relationship with Christ Jesus, who is his very life. We are the Temple of the Holy Spirit of God. I Corinthians 6:19-20; John 14:6,7).

7. There is but one Sabbath law in all God’s word. It has never been repealed. See Amos 3:7.
(This verse has nothing to do with the Sabbath. The keeping of the Sabbath has never been included in the Church doctrines of the New Testament. On the contrary, we are NOT to be forced into keeping sabbath days, it is part of the old dispensation of Law. Colossians 2:16.17. Sabbaths are a mere shadow, but Christ is the body).

8. Christ observed the Sabbath, Mark 1:21. We are to learn of Him. Matt.11:29.
(Christ Jesus was a Jew, He kept the Sabbath as a Jew. We are the Church of Jesus Christ, there is NO Sabbath day commandment for the Church. We do not follow Christ’s way of going to the Jewish Synagogue, or learning from the Rabbis, so why should we keep the Jewish Sabbath?)

9. He called Himself Lord of the Sabbath. Mark 2:28.
(Jesus Christ was Lord of the Sabbath, which He said when He was actually breaking the Sabbath in the eyes of the Jewish leaders! He has the right to institute a new rest, in other words. As shown in Hebrews 4:1-10. The rest is perpetual in the New Testament. The Sabbath is a mere shadow of the Christian rest which is ceasing from all self-righteousness that Christ might live through us. I Cor. 1:30,31; Romans 6:11; Galatians 2:20,21).

10. It was Christ’s custom to preach on that day. His steps led to the house of God on the Sabbath. If we “follow His steps” (I Peter 2:21), our feet will be guided in the same direction.
(Jesus Christ had no intention that His Church should be Jewish! The Church had not been formed when Christ preached in the Synagogue. It was formed in Acts 1-2. We do not follow everything Jesus Christ did, for instance we do not have to die on the Cross, (Jesus did not fulfill the Law till he died to the Law) go to Jewish religious meetings or meet on the Sabbath, just because Jesus did so).

11. It was also Paul’s manner or custom, to keep the Sabbath, and to preach on that day. Acts 17:2; 24:14; 28:17.
(Paul preached to the Jews in order to reach them for Christ, This was his “manner” not keeping the Sabbath, see Acts 17:3. Acts 24:14 is not about the Sabbath, note the word “heresy” . Paul believed all things in the law, but knew that a new dispensation had begun, the Church Age, Galatians 2:11-19. Acts 28:17 is not about the Sabbath, Paul merely says he lives a Godly life, and has not done anything against the Jewish religion or leaders. Paul was the one who wrote that we should NOT let any man judge us about sabbath days, in Colossians 2:16,17).

12. The Saviour rested on the Sabbath after finishing His work of creation. He also rested on the Sabbath in Joseph’s new tomb, after finishing on the earth His work of redemption.
(The Saviour, Jesus Christ, did not rise on the Sabbath, He arose on the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, this is highly significant. He was hanging on the Cross on the Sabbath, and died. This shows that the Sabbath is DEAD, but new life and resur-rection belong to the first day of the week. The Law was finished when Christ Jesus cried,
[as the Perfect Sacrifice], “it is finished.” No more sacrifices needed, no more Law dispensation, no more Sabbath. The Ten Commandments are all repeated for the Church somewhere in the instructions for the Church Age in Paul’s epistles, all excepting the Sabbath which is NOT there).

13. The disciples rested on the Sabbath while Christ was lying in the grave, and after His life’s blood had sealed the new covenant. Luke 23:56; Gal.3:15; Heb.9:16,17. Observe, this was “according to the (fourth commandment),” after all types and shadows had ceased at the cross.
(Note again that Christ was DEAD on the Sabbath! The disciples rested on the Sabbath because they were Jews, but this changed when the Church was formed. A fuller study of this at the end).

14. The evangelists, who wrote after the crucifixion, spoke familiarly of the Sabbath as an existing institution. Matt.28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 23:54-56.
(ALL of these examples are before the Church Age had begun, they were Jews, we are not. When the followers of Jesus Christ became the early Christian Church, they met on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day).


The Jews in the New Testament writings had rather perverted the Sabbath with bondage to impossible rules and regulations. Our Lord rescued it from their perversions, and brought them back to its true nature and intent (Matt. 12:10-13; Mark 2:27; Luke 13:10-17).

The change of the day. At creation the seventh day of the week was set apart and consecrated as the Sabbath rest. The first day of the week is now observed as the day of rest and worship. Even in this Church Age, rest and spiritual worship, physical and spiritual renewal, reImages a sacred institution for the believer, the change of the day makes no difference here. The change of day was given by Christ’s authority, Who alone had the right to do so (Mark 2:23-28). As Creator, Christ was the original Lord of the Sabbath (John 1:3; Heb. 1:10). It was originally a memorial of creation.

Christ has accomplished a work which is even greater than creation, this was the work of redemption of a fallen creation! It is obvious that such a work would need a memorial to the greater, and costly, Redemption work of the Lord. This is what the Lord’s Day is, a memorial to Redemption, not now to creation, as the Sabbath was on the seventh day.

Easton’s Bible dictionary tells us, “We know for a fact that the first day of the week has been observed from apostolic times, and the necessary conclusion is, that it was observed by the apostles and their immediate disciples. This, we may be sure, they never would have done without the permission or the authority of their Lord.” “After his resurrection, which took place on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), we never find Christ meeting with his disciples on the seventh day. But he specially honoured the first day by manifesting himself to them on four separate occasions (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:34, 18-33; John 20:19-23). Again, on the next first day of the week, Jesus appeared to his disciples (John 20:26).

Some have calculated that Christ’s ascension took place on the first day of the week. And there can be no doubt that the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was on that day (Acts 2:1). Thus Christ appears as instituting a new day to be observed by his people as the Sabbath, a day to be henceforth known amongst them as the “Lord’s day.” The observance of this “Lord’s day” as the Sabbath was the general custom of the primitive churches, and must have had apostolic sanction (comp. Acts 20:3-7; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2) and authority, and so the sanction and authority of Jesus Christ.” (Easton’s Dictionary).

* 15-21 next issue of Despatch, Vol. 10:1 March, 1998,
*22-31 Despatch Vol.10:2, June, 1998...[pp.10-12 of the pdf file] no space this issue. ... Editor

Return to Despatch Vol.9:4 December, 1997.

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Editor of Despatch W. B. Howard

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