The Sabbath that the Church of God Keeps – Part IAugust 24, 2021
For sincere Christians who want to live a faithful life, looking forward to the kingdom of heaven, there is an important command of God. It is the seventh-day Sabbath. Nowadays, many people say, “We believe in God and follow the teachings of the Bible.” However, they commit fallacies without hesitation, turning away from the righteous teachings of the Bible, not even knowing what day the Sabbath is.
God is holy. He loves us; He spares no pains or sacrifice to save us. God’s command is the fruit of His great love for us, isn’t it? To reject the decrees of God and to disobey God’s laws is a clear example of denying God. Satan always tries to deceive our souls and to lead us into the way against God. He insists on doctrines against the Bible, and shows off man’s heredity, secular power and tradition, instead of the words of God. For this reason, sincere Christians who follow the word of God are sometimes treated as an abnormal group. The same thing is happening with the World Mission Society Church of God, keeping the Sabbath according to God’s words. Those who love God also love His commands (John 14:15). Now is a dark age; the world turns away from hearing the truth. However, we firmly believe that the brilliant light of truth will surely drive out the darkness, as God does not turn off the lamp for the tribe of David.
Among many truths which expose the real identity of Satan, first let’s study about the Sabbath: its origin, blessings given by keeping it, and curses caused by turning away from it.
Let’s enjoy happiness to become one with God by observing this precious truth taught by God.
1. The Origin of the Sabbath
Sabbath is a day of rest. God created all things in six days, and on the seventh day He rested from all His creation work. And God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy as a memorial of the authority of the Creator (Genesis 2:1-3).
Thus, the Sabbath originated with the Creation, in which God’s precious promise is hidden— the eternal rest God has prepared for those who are to be saved; they will enter it when God’s will has been completely accomplished on earth.
In order to enter the eternal rest which we hope for, we must keep the Sabbath holy as a symbol of the everlasting rest (Exodus 20:8).
2. The Biblical Sabbath Is Saturday, Not Sunday
The seventh day on which God rested from all His creation work is Saturday. Today, many churches worship on Sunday, mistakenly recognizing it as the Sabbath. Through the Biblical and historical evidence, we can see that the Sabbath is Saturday, not Sunday. In order to confirm this fact, we first need to know that Jesus was resurrected on Sunday—which has already been proved by historical evidence.
1) Evidence from the Bible
Mark, the author of the Gospel, clearly testifies that the Sabbath is Saturday.
Mark 16:9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene . . .
And in Today’s English Version, it is written: “After Jesus rose from death early on Sunday, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene . . . ” (Mark 16:9, TEV)
As we can see from the above verse, “the first day of the week” and “Sunday” are the same day. Since the first day of the week is Sunday, the seventh day is Saturday. Therefore, we can clearly see that the Biblical Sabbath [the seventh day] is Saturday, not Sunday.
Luke, the writer of the Gospel, also clearly indicates that Jesus’ resurrection occurred on “the first day of the week [Sunday].”
Luke 24:1-8 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb . . . “He is not here; he has risen!”
In Today’s English Version, “the first day of the week” is described as Sunday: “Very early on Sunday morning . . .” (Luke 24:1, TEV).
Judging from this, it is clearly proven that the Biblical Sabbath is Saturday, not Sunday.
2) Evidence from Christian history
There are so many Sunday-keeping churches throughout the world. Among them, the Catholic Church has already acknowledged that the Sabbath of the Bible is Saturday, not Sunday. Some Protestant books also show that Sunday was decreed as a day of worship and a legal holiday by the Roman emperor Constantine in 321 A.D. Let’s confirm this fact through the following historical evidence, so that we can discern the truth and follow it.
“Not to mention other examples, is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”1
“But perhaps the most significant evidence of this policy is to be found in the decree of 321 regulating Sunday observance. That ordinance puts the Lord’s Day on the same level of observance as the pagan festivals and marks it by the cessation of work. It is noteworthy, however, that the day is described by no Christian appellation but simply as dies venerabilis solis, and no pagan could well object to that.”2
Thus, the Protestant churches, which branched out from the Catholic Church, know well the historical fact that Sunday worship did not originate from the Bible. Nevertheless, they insist that the origin of Sunday observance is Biblical. A Catholic book entitled “The Faith of Millions” indicates that Sunday is a law of the Catholic Church alone.
“But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn’t it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible and not from the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, of course, it is inconsistent; but this change was made about fifteen centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They [Protestants] have continued the custom, even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text in the Bible. That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away―like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair.”3
3) Evidence from common expressions
There are many other evidence sources supporting that the Sabbath must be observed on Saturday as God’s command. Through common expressions used in daily life, too, we can easily find out what day the seventh day is.
First, let’s think of the word “weekend,” which means the “end of the week”—the seventh day. It refers to Saturday, not Sunday. Even in our daily life, we acknowledge that the seventh day is Saturday. And when we look up the word “Sunday” in the dictionary, it is defined as the first day of the week, and “Saturday” as the seventh day of the week.
Some say that “truth is near you, not far from you.” In our daily life, we can easily discover that the seventh-day Sabbath is Saturday. However, most people have been mistakenly calling Sunday “the Sabbath” and observing it. Now, we should repent of our wrongdoings and follow the word of God. By doing this, we must live a born-again life in accordance with the truth. The only church that keeps the Sabbath on Saturday, according to the teachings of God, is the World Mission Society Church of God. If you keep the Sabbath you can receive blessings from God Almighty.
1. James Cardinal Gibbons, “The Faith of Our Fathers,” pp. 72-73
2. J. W. C. Wand, “A History of the Early Church to A.D.500,” p. 132
3. Rev. John A.O’Brien, “The Faith of Millions,” pp. 400-401