Question: Did the apostles or Paul honour Sunday worship?
Answer: Unfortunately the photos that accompany this reply has yet to be uploaded. You can search the internet for Egyptian gods. Note the sun disc around their head attire and other places. There is no instruction given or precedent set by either Jesus, His apostles or any early bible Christian to celebrate the first day of the week to Jesus or God. You will read confirmation of this by many other denomination heads and bible scholars. However, let us take an independent look again.
The reason generally given is to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on the first day of the week, today’s Sunday. The only commandment Jesus gave for a remembrance of Him is found in Luke 22:19, the breaking of bread at the last supper. It is not for us to create reasons; especially false ones. He also said ‘if thou will enter into life, keep the commandments’ (Matt 19:17).From Genesis 2:3 the Old Testament refers to keeping the Seventh day and commandments hundreds of times and God killed those who did not, such as the man collecting sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:35) and provided for those who did (Exodus 16:5). From Matthew 5:19 to Revelation 22:14 the New Testament does the same. The Old Testament narrates God’s commands to His people, how they dealt with the challenge and the results. New Testament followers are to learn from the Old’s blue print and not make the same mistakes. Nothing significantly changed. The character of God is such that He is very specific, total truth and righteousness. He operates on everlasting principles. Lev 27:10 He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy. He will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of His lips. (Psa 89:4) nor accepts an unholy substitute of His day. He and no one else can make a day or period of time holy. An authority that changes its word cannot be trusted and is not respected. No different to a parent setting boundaries to a child and does not stick to them. Esther 8:8 …for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse. Dan 6:12 … The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Mar 6:24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
Matthew 24:20 ‘but pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day’. Jesus advises his followers to pray to His Father to arrange circumstances for the early church that Sabbath observance would be made easier for them at the time of Jerusalem’s capture; an event which took place some 40 years after the crucifixion (in A.D. 70). Ask yourself this question – if the Sabbath commandment was scheduled for cancellation at the cross, then why did Jesus give His disciples this instruction about keeping the Sabbath? The answer is obvious – the Sabbath commandment was not scheduled for cancellation at the cross, it was to continue. The Saviour knew this, and that is why He advised his followers to pray to God to arrange a weekday flight from Jerusalem. They would not be exposed to the temptation of breaking the Sabbath commandment in their haste to get away from the besieged city.
If something is changed, the old form no longer exists. It has been replaced by a new form. Thus the old has been destroyed. Jesus clearly says he has not come to destroy the old. Has heaven and earth passed away yet? Or will it pass away after the day of judgement as in 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” Jesus talked about many things being fulfilled. Destruction of the temple, persecution of His followers, etc. When these happened, it did not change anything only that they happened. The Old Testament predicted the coming of a Messiah, i.e. Jesus. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me: not that law will be changed. Nowhere is it predicted God’s laws and commandments will change, only that some may think to change them (Daniel 7:25). Thus “fulfil” does not mean to change or cancel. Fulfilling a task does not mean changing it. If I have a blueprint to build a house and fulfil the task, all it means is that I have completed building the house according to plan; but, if it got damaged, I go back to the blueprint and fix it (repair it) accordingly. We were told verbally, in writing and by Jesus’ example. There is no more ways to tell us. If we choose to disobey, admit it. Some other scripture uses of fulfil (see also Interpreting the Bible, Choice of Commentary”) John 19:28 after this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Joh 19:36 for these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, a bone of him shall not be broken. Jesus being the Passover lamb Exo 12:46 in one house shall it be eaten; thou shall not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. Luk 4:18 – 21 and he began to say unto them, this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. See also Rom 8:4.
In the sixty plus years of the New Testament, reference is made numerous times to Jesus and his apostles keeping the Sabbath (Saturday). It is the nine uses of the words “first day” later termed “Lord’s day” by Rome, that has been put forward for a change to Sunday (by those ignorant of the historic documented change that took place hundreds of years after Christ’s death). Nine, which are misinterpreted, compared to the numerous that are clear. I will deal with these separately later; but briefly, the “Lord’s Day” or generally called “the day of the Lord” in the bible, does not refer to the first day of the week, any particularly numbered or named day. It refers to a time, the day of judgement as in 2 Peter 3:10, Zephaniah 1:7 and Amo 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
Revelation 1:10 speaks of "the Lord’s day". The phase is a typical term used for the Sunday day of worship observed by post Rome’s merger with early Christians because, they claim, that was the day of the Lord’s resurrection. The term could just as well be referring to the seventh Sabbath Day. However, the “Lord’s day” was a Roman term for the day the emperor (the lord) collected taxes (his pay day). In addition to the status and title of “lord”, some other claims of Caesar, the Roman emperor, are the son of the gods, the saviour of the world. This is one reason why they were so against the early Christians who claimed there was a real Lord, son of God and saviour of the world; Jesus. Polycarp, the bishop of the church in Smyrna (Rev 2:8), was martyred there in A.D. 156 for refusing to call Caesar “Lord”. The Christians there also suffered greatly for refusing to worship Caesar (see Appendixes for the successors to this claim). From here stemmed the age of the state church, which Constantine continued until the first pope was recognised to have authority over the Roman Catholic Church (A.D. 313-
Like other mergers between pagan Rome and persecuted Christians, this “Lord’s day” reference was imposed on Christians (post apostle period) as a reference to Jesus and pagan gods were made saints. According to how deep your research goes you may uncover that the same images of pagan god’s were substituted for those of saints. For example, in St Peter’s Church in Rome, the statute of St Peter with the apparent halo was that of Jupiter. The only difference was the apparent halo (sun disc) placed around their heads. We now see this same sun disc placed around the head of Jesus, Mary and other appointed saints and called a halo. The sun was thought to chase away darkness and evil. These images of sun disc are built into the Catholic’s worship system with the priest offering the sun shaped communion bread up to the air (sun) and, at least in the churches I once attended, the circular image appears around the chalice etc. The excuse of celebrating Jesus’ resurrection came later. Where in the bible does Jesus say to remember his resurrection? NOWHERE. Or his birth? NOWHERE. We are not to remember nor celebrate the day of his resurrection only the fact that He did. 1Corin 15:14 and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. He had to rise on one day or another. Would we be celebrating Tuesday or Wednesday if that was the day he rose? How was He to stop us celebrating a day, by not rising from the dead!
Another misconception is that when Paul is saying the gentiles did not need to keep the “law” saved by “grace”, he was referring to the one of circumcision not the commandments (See Circumcision section below).“Grace” is covered in a separate section below. Need for gentile circumcision was a bone of contention Paul had with the other apostles. 1John 3:4 says “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law”. Would Paul really be saying we are no longer under the law, there is no more sin, one can now come and take / steal your property? If one carefully reads the whole of Paul’s writings on this subject, he is trying to win the gentiles over and believe that putting a yolk on them that the Jews themselves found hard to keep would be detrimental to his efforts. Should we not follow God’s commandments because we find it hard, grievous or inconvenient? “He that saith, I know Him and keep not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). There are numerous scripture records of God’s and Jesus’ divine decree to keep and maintain the Sabbath as a perpetual sign as belonging to Him to the end. No such similar decree cancelling or appointing a new day.
Some cite Acts 2:1, the Day of Pentecost as evidence of a Sunday gathering. This annual feast day did not fall on a Sunday as most Christian observers calculate. Neither does it always fall on the same day of the week. Like any annual date and the other annual feast days, the day of the week on which it falls varies. Christians and the bible translators wrongly took the Sabbath mentioned in Lev 23:15 to mean the only Sabbath of which they knew, the weekly one. Counting 50 days from that would always end on a Sunday. A similar mistake is made for the Sabbath period after the day of Jesus' death. Hence it is wrongly calculated to be 3pm Easter Friday to early Sunday morning which does not give 3 days and nights according to Matthew 12:40. Nowhere in Acts 2 does it state it fell on the first day of the week. Whenever something of the New Testament happened on the first day of the week it states it. For Pentecost see Ex 23:14, Deut 16:9-12. Initially called the Feast of Harvest or First Fruits, later called the Feast of Weeks and in the N.T. Pentecost. The apostles were celebrating an old feasts knowing that all Jewish men and feast keepers would be coming to Jerusalem for the annual pilgrimage. Note Luke 24:49 and Acts 8:27-
Regarding the nine times when the bible refers to the first day of the week, the reasons are as follows Gen 1:3-
The following five verses quote the “first day of the week” (Sunday after Christ’s crucifixion) and refer to the same event (Matt 28:1, Mark 16:1-
John 20:19 ‘then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst and saith unto them “Peace be unto you”’. This meeting took place on the Sunday evening after the resurrection. The meeting was not to celebrate Jesus rising as some did not believe (Mark 16:11-
Acts 20:7 ‘and upon the first day of the week, the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight’. This text is also put forward as ‘proof’ of Sunday sacredness; but examination of the whole chapter shows:
a) The meeting was held on the evening of the 1st day (probably because all were at the weekly seventh day Sabbath worship) and continued till midnight or later. According to which sunset one calculates the 1st day started, the meeting either began Saturday evening (the end of the biblical seventh day) till early Sunday morning or Sunday evening till Monday morning. (see Gen 1 and John 20:19). The breaking of bread took place after midnight (verse 11). Paul and friends, after bidding farewell walked from Traos to Assos (verse 13), a distance of about 18 miles. So either Paul was walking 18 miles through rough terrain on the Sunday, which is no way for Paul a life long Sabbath keeper to do, or the breaking of bread took place on the Monday. It should be clear that this was simply a farewell meal after a meeting the day before Paul’s departure. The term breaking bread was the common way of saying having a meal. See Ruth 1:6 “giving them bread” meaning God gave them food and prosperity. Job 22:7, Prov 9:17, Isaiah 33:16, 55:10, Matt 6:11 “our daily bread” = meal, Matt 15:26 “to take children bread” = food. 2Thes 3:8 “neither did we eat any man’s bread” = take his food. Acts 2:46 shows they broke bread everyday as they ate everyday. Nothing special. Even today we use the word BREAD to mean MONEY (ability to feed ourselves). We say, got to work to make some bread, got bring home the bread or dough.
Acts 17:2 Paul went in unto them and three Sabbaths reasoned (taught) with them out of the scriptures. Acts 13:42 “and when the Jews had gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath”. This was 30 or so years after Jesus’ death. If there was a Sunday observance, why would the Gentiles not request teaching the next or any other Sunday? Why specifically the next Sabbath? Because, clearly all Christians and those wishing to follow Jesus kept the Sabbath. God changes not, his commandments change not. The criteria of salvation must be same for all humans. No distinction for race or when born, before or after Jesus. Otherwise God would be accused of being unfair. One who did not make it into heaven because they were born before Jesus’, or on a piece of land making them Jew or Gentile, would say “I could have done that. If you had made it as easy for me born in B.C. as those born in A.D. or into that family rather than this Jewish one, I would be in heaven. It is therefore your fault God why I am in hell”. Unless the criterion is the same, no matter how minute the difference, one would pick on it to accuse God.
Rev 6:11 speaks of the righteous dead being at ‘rest’, Jesus said ‘I will give you rest’, In Palm 95:11 and Heb 3:11 God says the disobedient shall ‘not enter into my rest’. ‘rest’ is on the Sabbath day, (Saturday). To enter into His rest we must do like Him when he did not on a separate day (Sunday) as we shall be in our rest not His. Heb 4:3 “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the FOUNDATION of the world. He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.” This day was from creation, before any Jew or Gentile or given to Moses in set of Ten Commandments. Therefore is for all mankind. Heb 4:10-
Did the apostles keep the Sabbath? Some say Jesus only kept the Sabbath because he was a Jew and that His apostles changed to Sunday. This was an answer given to me by my former priest under the Catholic religion. I considered whether it is likely that these dedicated apostles, following Jesus around for three and a half years, attending the synagogue weekly on the Sabbath, would, the day after He dies or rise change an almost 200 weekly practice to observing Sunday. Especially when that was the day kept by sun worshippers and taught by God not to do (worship stars, planets etc). I decided it was illogical and uncharacteristic, especially since they had no commandment to do so. The bible, Acts 13:14, and 42 for example, supports my decision. (“the next Sabbath”). Why the next Sabbath? Why not the next day, Sunday, or any other weekly day? Then verse 44 reads “and the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” Same questions, why specifically on the Sabbath if they were not observing it? Clearly the Sabbath was a special day kept by the apostles and the whole city of those wanting to be God’s people.
There are other texts like Acts 16:13, 17:2 which reads “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” Why not three consecutive days, or other days? Acts 18:4 “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks”. Now we have not only the Jews; but non Jews, i.e. Greeks. Acts 13:44 and the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city to hear the word of God. V46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, it was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. Act 18:6 when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
The Book of Acts was written by Luke to Theophilus as a supplement to the Gospel of Luke. The Gospels relay “all that Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1). Luke’s gospel was written thirty years after Jesus’ death, yet there is no mention of Sunday observance for Christians. Now we know that Jesus came to the “house of Israel” to teach and correct improper scripture interpretation. This correction at times contradicted that of the religious leaders of the time. The “house” being God’s people, inclusive of strangers that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed” (Gen 17:12). Acts continues Jesus’ teaching through the apostles fulfilling His commandment to go and teach all nations (the whole world). Part of this teaching was their ability, through the holy spirit, to communicate (be heard) in different languages (tongues) by those travellers congregating from around the world in Jerusalem for the Feast of Harvest or First fruits called in New Testament Pentecost. They had already been taught the scriptures, given power to heal, forgive or bind sins. What was missing was the final ability, that of spreading the gospel through communication with person of other languages. Today we have the gospel translated into any language necessary. At the time of each of these feasts all males were to make a pilgrimage to the sanctuary, which was at this time the tabernacle and later became the temple after its construction. So you see the apostles kept the Old Testament festivals and Sabbaths after Jesus’ death. These hearers would then return to their country of residence and take the gospel with them to propagate to others of the area (i.e. see Acts 8:27-
So what have we so far? Jesus born a Jew, doing as they did, raised in adherence to the festivals, Sabbaths and scripture. Continuing in the same manner as adult and teaching mainly Jewish apostles, (who like Him followed the same festivals, Sabbaths, scriptures). Then after His death continue doing what He did, keeping the feasts to which they were accustom, spread these same teaching to other Jews and the world. Acts 18:21 “Bade them farewell, saying I must by all means keep this feasts that cometh in Jerusalem” see also Acts 21:24. How this was done is recorded in Acts and prophesied by Jesus in Acts 1:8 “… and ye shall be witnesses onto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth”. The bad news to almost all Christians is that the early teachings have been hijacked by the devil’s agents (false teachers state and law makers) so that what they are practicing 2000 years later is not what God wants of them and, unless they research, are unlikely to get on that straight road to the true God “which “many seek but few find”. Let us examine where it went wrong.
temples. It is of Heleos a human emperor apparently becoming a god and ascending to the father of gods in heaven, the sun god. A similar one exists for Alexandra the Great. Notice the suns rays around his head. This plaque is centuries before the birth of Jesus. St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, the mother church of the Roman Catholic has a similar picture of Jesus ascending to heaven in a chariot with a halo / sun disc around His head. Today the same sun rays, or the “halo” version is seen around the head and heart of portraits of Jesus, Mary and made up saints of the Catholic Church. Similarly, statutes of Mary holding the apparent baby Jesus and the statute of St. Peter are centuries old pagan gods transferred into Christianity by the Rome Catholic Church and attributed Christian names. With the following photos of their gods, notice the sun disc on each.