Did The Catholic Church Change The Sabbath?

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

Often when I study with friends of different religious persuasions, the claim is made that Christians are supposed to keep the Sabbath Day as a day of worship.

Many of my friends have held to beliefs such as this, and some have even been taught that worshiping on Sunday is the “mark of the beast!”  

Right along with this, it is claimed that the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and that the early Christians met together and worshiped on the Sabbath before then.  

What is the truth of the matter?  

When did the early Christians worship-on Saturday or Sunday? 

In the Bible, we find the answers.  

The Meeting At Troas

In the Book of Acts, we find the following information: 

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.

Notice several things with me about this passage.  

We are told about the fact that the disciples had come together. The words which Luke uses show that this was a common gathering. The Greek of the passage implies this was the case (the phrase “when we were gathered together” is in the perfect tense, suggesting this was their common practice that would be continuing).  

We also see that these Christians had come together for religious reasons.  

Three clues demonstrate this fact.  

The first is that this meeting was primarily about “breaking bread.” While this phrase sometimes had reference to a common meal, throughout Luke and Acts (as well as most of the rest of the New Testament), it usually denoted the Lord’s Supper:

Luke 22:19-And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Luke 24:30-Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 

Luke 24:35-And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

1 Corinthians 10:16-The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

It is also important to realize that the earliest translations of the New Testament from Greek into other languages show that this passage was undoubtedly understood to be a reference to the Lord’s Supper.  

For example, the Syriac translation renders this as “to break the Eucharist,” which was an ancient designation for the Communion. The Arabic renders this as “to distribute the body of Christ,” which, again, is a phrase used specifically to designate the Supper.  

Third, that this is a religious meeting is made clear by the fact that Paul preached to them. Preaching and expounding upon the Word of God was common practice in places of worship (Nehemiah 8:3; 9:3; 1 Timothy 2:12-14, especially verse eight, the phrase “everywhere” being a common Jewish expression that had the idea of “in every religious assembly”).  

The time of this assembly is also important to consider. We are told that it is upon the “first day of the week.”  

The Greek phrase used here is en de miāi tōn sabbatōn.  

The phrase has reference to that day which follows the Jewish Sabbath (or the seventh day of the week). Notice how this is made very clear in several passages of Scripture:

Matthew 28:1-Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

Mark 16:1-2-1  Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2  Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Luke 23:56-24:1-Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

Thus, the phrase en de miāi tōn sabbatōn is the day which we refer to as Sunday (the first day of the week, the day immediately following Saturday, or the Sabbath).  

Some people wonder whether Luke is recording based on Roman time or Jewish time.  

The Jews often reckoned a day as going from 6:00 pm to 6:00 pm (from sunset to sunset-see Genesis 1:5 for example), while the Romans reckoned days from midnight to midnight however.  

There is evidence in the New Testament that the Apostles used both Jewish and Roman reckoning of time, based on context. 

For example, John clearly uses the Roman method of time when he writes: 

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, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

John identifies this day as the first day of the week, and includes the evening as being part of that “same” day, showing the Roman calendar.

Luke also refers several times to the Roman reckoning of time throughout the Book of Acts (cf. Acts 3:1; 4:3–5; 10:3, 23; 23:12, 31–32).  

Yet Luke also uses the Jewish calendar throughout the Book of Acts (e.g., references to Pentecost, the Sabbath, Passover, etc).  

The important thing to remember is that whether Luke is using the Jewish or the Roman calendar, the Christians were meeting on the first day of the week.  

Years ago, a preacher told me that this meeting was taking place on Saturday evening. He believed that the Jewish reckoning of time was being used in this passage, and a particular translation of the Bible he read had rendered this translation in similar fashion.  

I pointed out to him, “Friend, let’s say that this religious meeting was what we would call Saturday night. To the Jewish believers, it would have still been considered Sunday morning (since the new day was beginning at sunset).”  

Ken Johnson provides some excellent historical background regarding this and it’s use in Messianic Jewish assemblies today: 

“God gave Moses the ritual for the keeping of the Sabbath. This consisted of two parts : the general Sabbath ritual which was performed at the beginning of the Sabbath , Friday night, and the Havdala ritual which was performed at the end of the Sabbath , or Saturday night…At the end of every Sabbath and festival there is a ritual called the Havdalah . It closes out the holy time and prepares to return the worshipers to the world of the mundane. A Havdalah candle is a special candle made up of three separate candles braided together. It is called the torch [a] , or lapidot in Hebrew . It symbolizes the Messiah as the light of th e world and also picture s the trinity . In the Havdala h service those present f orm a circle . The priest circles the congregants, carrying the torch close enough to each person’s hand for them to feel the heat. In some messianic congre ga tions , Habakkuk 3:4 is read as each person raises his hands in the cohanim blessing (shown on the next page). His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, a nd there His power was hidden. Habakkuk 3:4 NKJV This blessing teaches that the Messiah ’s power to save us comes from the crucifixion , as graphically displayed by the light passing though each person’s fingers. T oday, t his reminds us of the w ounds in Messiah’s hands from the crucifixion. Following the passing of the torch, the Hamadvil prayer is lifted up. Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite , Elijah the Giladite , m ay he arrive quickly in our time with the Messiah , son of David . May He who separates betw een the sacred and the everyday forgive our sins; may He multiply our offspring and our money like the sand, and like the stars at night. A good week! Hamadvil…A t this point the Sabbath has officially ended and each individual lights their own candle. This is the setting for Acts 20 where the believers have gathered together for a Havdalah.” (Ken Johnson, Th.D., Ancient Messianic Festivals And The And The Prophecies They Reveal, 20, 26-28 (Kindle Edition)) 

In other words, even if these Christians were assembling on what WE would call Saturday night, to them it was Sunday, the first day of the week (the Sabbath having passed at sundown)!

Putting all of these facts together, what do we see from Acts 20:7?

First, the disciples were assembling together on Sunday (which was the first day of the week, the day after the Sabbath).  

Second, this assembling together on Sunday was a common practice.  

Third, the Christians gathered together on Sunday especially for religious reasons (i.e., worship and edification).  

Fourth-and this is a very important point to consider-these assemblies were taking place with full Apostolic authority. Paul sanctioned these assemblies, and thus sets an example for Christians of all ages to gather together for worship and edification on Sunday.  

What About In The Second Century?

The writings of the second century Christians are very clear that the church gathered together and worshiped on Sunday, and did not assemble for worship on the Sabbath (although Christians could hold the Sabbath in private devotion if they so wished).  

“. . . no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day. (Ignatius (c. 105, E), 1.62) 

“Is there any other matter, my [Jewish] friends, in which we Christians are blamed, than this: that we do not live after the Law . . . and do not observe Sabbaths, as you do?” (Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.199.)

“There was no need of circumcision before Abraham. Nor was there need of the observance of Sabbaths, or of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses. Accordingly, there is no more need of them now.” (Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.206.)

“If some, through weak-mindedness, wish to observe the laws given by Moses, . . . yet choose to live with the Christians and the faithful, as I said before, not inducing the Gentiles either to be circumcised like themselves, or to keep the Sabbath, or to observe any other such ceremonies, then I hold that we should join ourselves with such persons.” (Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.218). 

“Let the one who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, . . . prove to us that in times past righteous men kept the Sabbath, or practiced circumcision, and were thereby made “friends of God.” God created Adam uncircumcised and non-observant of the Sabbath. . . . Also, God freed from the deluge Noah, who was uncircumcised and did not observe the Sabbath. Enoch, too, He transported from this world, even though that most righteous man was uncircumcised and did not observe the Sabbath. . . . Melchizedek also, “the priest of the most high God,” although uncircumcised and not observing the Sabbath, was chosen to the priesthood of God.” (Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.153)

“Just as the abolition of fleshly circumcision and of the old Law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary.” (Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.155.)

There are also numerous references to the Lord’s Day in the writings of the early Christians (cf. Revelation 1:10). This day was Sunday, the first day of the week.  

“But every Lord’s Day, gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, so that your sacrifice may be pure.” (Didache (c. 80–140, E), 7.381.)

“No longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day.” (Ignatius (c. 105, E), 1.62) 

“And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read. . . . But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God . . . made the world. And Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead on that same day.” (Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.186.)

“In fulfillment of the commandment according to the Gospel, a person keeps the Lord’s Day—when he abandons an evil disposition and assumes the disposition of the spiritual man, glorifying the Lord’s resurrection in himself.” (Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.545)

“Christ rose on the third day, which fell on the first day of the weeks of harvest, on which the Law prescribed that the priest should offer up the sheaf.” (Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.581)

“We devote Sunday to rejoicing for a far different reason than sun worship. Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.31)

“Others . . . suppose that the sun is the god of the Christians . . . because we make Sunday a day of festivity.” (Terrullian (c. 197, W), 3.123.)

From these second century quotations, several things stand out.  

First, Christians gathered together on the first day of the week for worship. This was the custom in the churches, and this custom was easily traced back directly to the Apostles of Jesus.  

Second, the reasons for assembling on the first day of the week were understood mainly to be the fact that God started creating on the first day (Genesis 1:1), and because Jesus arose from the dead on that day.  

There are, of course, other reasons to worship on the first day of the week.  

It was on the first day of the week that the Holy Spirit was first given to God’s people (Acts 2:38). 

Sunday was the day when the church started (Acts 2:41-47-Leviticus 23:15-16 shows that Pentecost always fell on the first day of the week).  

The importance of Sunday was prophesied through the Old Testament (Psalm 118:24).

Further, the Lord continued meeting with His Apostles especially on the first day of the week after His Resurrection (John 20:26); 

It was on the first day of the week that the Lord’s message of salvation to all mankind first went forth (Acts 2:37-39).  

Third, the Christians referred to the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day.  

Fourth, the Christians understood that the Sabbath day was not a required holy day under the Christian Age, having been abolished along with the rest of the Old Testament when Jesus died on the cross.

Fifth, Christians could hold the Sabbath as a personal day of devotion if their conscience so demanded, but could not bind Sabbath keeping on other disciples (as Paul taught in Romans 14).  

Finally, please observe that all of this took place long before the formation of the Roman Catholic Church!!  

The theory that the pope changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday is simply not true.

From the writings of the Apostles and the early Christians, it is clear that the church assembled together on Sunday and believed that the Sabbath had been abolished when Jesus died on the cross.  

Wait…The Sabbath Was Abolished? 

In the Old Testament there are several references to the fact that God designed the Old Testament to be temporary.

Listen to the words of the Prophet Jeremiah: 

Jeremiah 31:31-34-31  “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—. 32  not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34  No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

This entire passage is quoted in Hebrews 8 by Paul. He points out that the Old Testament (including the Ten Commandments-Hebrews 9:1-5) has been removed and made obsolete. It has been replaced with the New Testament of Christ.  

Indeed, He takes away the first that He may establish the Second (Hebrews 10:9-10).

In the Old Testament, there are also specific prophecies which describe how God would one day remove the Sabbath from His people.  

Hosea 2:11-I will also cause all her mirth to cease, Her feast days, Her New Moons, Her Sabbaths—All her appointed feasts.

God makes it clear in this passage that one day, He would cause all of the holy days of Israel (including the Sabbath) to come to an end. The text specifies that this would be when the people were married in faithfulness to the Lord (Hosea 2:16), which was a prophecy of the marriage of Christ to the church (Ephesians 5:22-33), which He established with His own blood when He died on the cross (Acts 20:28). This marriage takes place when we are baptized into Him (1 Peter 3:20-21).  

There is another powerful prophecy of the end of the Sabbath.  

In the eighth chapter of the Book of Amos, the Prophet is shown a vision of the end of Israel as God’s chosen people (Amos 8:2-3).

Included in the things which would be taken away are the Sabbaths and other holy days (Amos 8:5-8).  

When would this occur?

Amos 8:9-“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;

This was fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross: 

Matthew 27:45-Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.

On the day Jesus died, the nation of Israel was rejected as being God’s covenant people (Matthew 21:43-44; Romans 11:19-22). At the same time, the Old Testament was taken away (Ephesians 2:15).  

The Sabbath-along with the rest of the Old Covenant-was removed.  

The Statement Of Paul Regarding The End Of The Jewish Sabbath

When Paul wrote to the Colossians, there were many dangerous teachers going around and telling Christians that they had to keep the Old Testament Law to be saved. 

Listen to Paul’s direct statement regarding this: 

Colossians 2:16-17 (CEV)-16  Don’t let anyone tell you what you must eat or drink. Don’t let them say that you must celebrate the New Moon festival, the Sabbath, or any other festival. 17  These things are only a shadow of what was to come. But Christ is real!

The reason why Christians are not required to keep the Sabbath is because Jesus took the Old Testament away when He died on the cross (Colossians 2:14).  

Some may object that the “Sabbaths” here are not talking about the weekly Sabbath (I.e., Saturday). In fact, it is a common argument that the “Sabbaths” in this passage are talking about some other kind of Sabbath.

One former Seventh-Day Adventist carefully examined this argument.  

In the following lengthy quotation, he shows that the Sabbath in this passage may only refer to the weekly Sabbath: 

“With other Jewish ordinances, the Sabbath was blotted out and nailed to the cross; therefore no man is to judge us about keeping “the Sabbath days.” The statement is positive and plain. When I kept the seventh day this text always perplexed me as it does my Advent brethren now, say what they will. Paul directly names “the Sabbath” or “the Sabbath days,” for there is no difference, as among the shadows which have passed away. It is said by some that “the Sabbath days,” plural number, is not the same as “the Sabbath,” singular number, hence is not the weekly Sabbath. This is a groundless objection, for both the singular and the plural numbers are used indifferently for the weekly Sabbath. Thus Greenfield’s Greek N. T. Lexicon says: “Sabbaton. The Sabbath, . . . both in the singular and plural.” Bagster’s Greek Lexicon says: “The Jewish Sabbath both in the singular and plural.” So plain is this fact that even Elder Smith, Adventist, is compelled to admit it though he tries to save his theory by excepting Col. 2, and Acts 17: 2, but without reason. He says: “When it [Sabbaton] is used in the plural form [excepting Acts 17: 2 and Col. 2: 16], it means just the same as if it had been written in the singular.” Greek Falsehood, page 8. Col. 2: 16, is no exception to the rule. In Acts 17: 2, the word three is what marks the plural. The Revised Version properly renders Col. 2: 16, in the singular, thus: “Let no man therefore judge you in respect of a Sabbath day,” singular number. Sawyer’s translation says: “In respect to a feast, or new moon, or Sabbath,” singular. The Bible Union says: “Of a feast day, or of a new moon, or of a Sabbath,” singular. A few quotations will show that both the singular and plural numbers are used for the weekly Sabbath. “My Sabbaths [plural] shall ye keep for it [singular] is a sign between me and you.” Ex. 31: 13. This is the weekly Sabbath. “Keep my Sabbaths.” Lev. 19: 3. “Beside the Sabbaths of the Lord.” Lev. 23: 38. Adventists argue that this is the weekly Sabbath. “Blessed is the man that. . . keepeth the Sabbath,” “the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths.” Isa. 56: 3,4. Either singular or plural, no difference. “I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign.” Ez. 20: 12. This is the weekly Sabbath, as Adventists well know. “On the Sabbath days [plural] the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath” [singular]. Matt. 12: 5. Here we have in the same verse both the plural and singular used for the weekly Sabbath. “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?” Matt. 12: 10. “Taught them on the Sabbath days.” Luke 4: 31. “Three Sabbath days reasoned with them.” Acts 17: 2. “Let no man therefore judge you. . . in respect of the Sabbath days.” Col. 2: 16. Who can read this list of texts and not be profoundly impressed that by “the Sabbath days” of Col. 2: 16 Paul means just what that language means in all the other cases? Of course he did, and no other reasonable application can be made of it. In the Greek, in which Paul wrote Col. 2: 16, he uses not only the same word which is always used for the weekly Sabbath, but exactly the same form of the word used in the fourth commandment itself! I will give the Greek word for “Sabbath days” in Col. 2: 16 and other texts where the same word and same form of the word, letter for letter, is used for the weekly Sabbath. Col. 2: 16. “Let no man judge you in respect to the Sabbath days,” Greek, σάββατον, genitive plural. Ex. 20: 8,10, fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day (Greek, σάββατον, genitive plural) to keep it holy.” “But the seventh day is the Sabbath [Greek, σάββατα Sabbate, accusative plural] of the Lord.” Here it will be seen that Paul uses the same Greek word, letter for letter, that is used in the decalogue. Hence he surely meant that very Sabbath day. Notice, further, that in each case in the fourth commandment where the word “Sabbath” occurs it is plural in the Greek. So if the use of the plural in Col. 2 shows any thing, it shows that the Sabbath of the decalogue is meant. Moreover, the Revised Version renders Ex. 20: 10, and Col. 2: 16, exactly alike. Thus: “The seventh day is a Sabbath unto the Lord.” “Let no man judge you in respect of ‘a Sabbath.’ ” Plainly, then, Col. 2: 16, refers to the Sabbath of Ex. 20: 8-11. Further, σάββατον, Sabbaton, genitive plural, the form of the word used in Col. 2: 16, is the one often used in other texts for the weekly Sabbath. Thus: Ex. 35: 3, “Kindle no fire. . . upon the Sabbath day,” σάββατον. Lev. 23: 38. “Besides the Sabbaths, σάββατον of the Lord.” Lev. 24: 8. “Every Sabbath σάββατον he shall set it in order.” Num. 15: 32. “Gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day, “σάββατον Numbers 28: 9. “On the Sabbath σάββατον day two lambs.” Deut. 5: 12. Fourth commandment again, “Keep the Sabbath σάββατον day.” Isa. 58: 13. “Turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, “σάββατον Matt. 28: 1. “In the end of the Sabbath, “σάββατον Luke 4: 16. “He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath σάββατον day.” Acts 13: 14. “Went into the synagogue on the Sabbath σάββατον day.” Col. 2: 16. “Let no man therefore judge you. . . in respect of the Sabbath σάββατον days.” Unless a man is blinded by a pet theory, he must see that Col. 2: 16 does surely mean the weekly Sabbath, as in all the other texts where the same word occurs. The only word ever used in the Bible, for the weekly Sabbath is the very one Paul did use, σάββατον, Sabbaton. So if he had meant to name that Sabbath, what else could he have said than just what he did say, the Sabbath days? Why, then, deny that he means just what he says when he could have said nothing else if he had meant the Sabbath? The word Sabbath occurs in the New Testament 60 times. Seventh-Day Adventists admit that in 59 out of these 60 cases it means the weekly Sabbath; but in the 60th case, where exactly the same word is used both in Greek and English, as we have seen, they say it must mean something else! Isn’t that remarkable? Hear them: “In the New Testament the Sabbath of the Lord is mentioned 59 times, and those local Sabbaths, which expired by limitation and ceased at the cross, are mentioned once.” Scripture References, p. 9. Strange that the Sabbath means the Sabbath 59 times and the 60th time it don’t! “Jewish feasts are often spoken of in the New Testament but, not one of them anywhere is called a Sabbath or credited with the nature of a Sabbath.” The Sabbath for Man, p. 544. “The feast days and new moons” of Col. 2: 16, include all the holy days of the Jews except the weekly Sabbath; hence there was nothing else left to which it could apply but that Sabbath. The entire list is given in Num. 28 and 29. But what settles it beyond a reasonable doubt that Col. 2: 16, does refer to the weekly Sabbaths is the fact that exactly the same list of holy days here given by Paul is given about a dozen times in the Old Testament, where we know it means the seventh day. Turn to Num. 28 and 29, and you have a detailed law as to just what offerings shall be made on each day of the whole year. The first were the daily offerings of “two lambs,” day by day, for a continual burnt offering. “The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at the even.” Verse 3 and 4. The second were the offerings on the sabbath. “And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot,” verse 9 and 10. None will deny that this was the weekly sabbath. Third, in the very next verse come the new moons. “And in the beginning of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the Lord,” verses 11-15. Fourth comes the annual feast days. “And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the Lord,” verse 16. Then follows a complete list of all the annual feast days, closing with these words, “These things shall ye do unto the Lord in your set feasts,” Num. 29: 39. Here we have the law for the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly offerings; or, those on each day, on the weekly sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the yearly feast days. Now read the following texts, and notice how this list of daily offerings, offerings on the sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the set feasts, as laid down in the law of Moses, is repeatedly referred to in almost exactly the words of Col. 2: 16. 1 Chron., 23: 30, 31: “To stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even; and to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them.” Here is a direct reference to the daily offerings, offerings on the weekly sabbaths, new moons and set feasts, just as ordered in Num. 28 and 29. Can any one doubt that “the sabbaths” here are the weekly sabbaths, the same as there? Certainly not. 2 Chron. 2: 4: “Behold, I build an house to the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shew bread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening [daily], on the sabbaths [weekly], and on the new moons, [monthly], and on the solemn feasts [yearly] of the Lord.” Precisely the same list again, and in the same order, hence the weekly sabbaths are the ones named. Besides, it would be absurd to suppose that Solomon would name all the other and minor holy days, but say nothing about the chiefest of all days, the weekly sabbaths. Every candid man would admit that “the sabbaths” here are the weekly sabbaths, and so they are in all the passages which follow. 2 Chron. 8: 13: “Even after a certain rate every day [daily again], offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths [weekly], and on the new moons [monthly], and on the solemn feasts [yearly], three times in the year.” Same list and order as before. 2 Chron. 31: 3: “The morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the Lord.” The same list again, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly offerings, just in the order they would naturally come, and just as given “in the law of the Lord.” Num. 28 and 29. But if the sabbaths are not the weekly sabbaths, then the Lord names the daily, monthly and yearly offerings, but skips the weekly offerings. Every thinking man knows that such an interpretation is false. But it is the only way the sabbaths can be saved from Paul’s list, Col. 2: 16, for that is the same as all these. As the object in these passages is to mention the service of God which must be performed on each of the holy days, it would be absurd to suppose that all the other sacred days in the whole year would be carefully mentioned time and again, while no reference whatever it made to the weekly sabbaths, the most important and the most numerous of all the sacred days. Neh. 10: 33: “For the shew bread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new, moons, for the set feasts.” Same list again, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Either the weekly sabbaths are meant here, or else reference to the worship of God on the Sabbath is always studiously avoided, while all the rest is carefully mentioned. The evidence is too plain to mistake which. Ezek. 45: 17: “Offerings in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths.” Here are named exactly the same days that Paul gives in Col. 2: 16, and in the same order, yearly, monthly, weekly. Hosea 2: 11: “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” Same list of holy days that we have had over and over, where we know that sabbath meant the seventh day. Col. 2: 16: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day, (Rev. Version), or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” Here, as before, are the yearly, monthly and weekly holy days just as laid down in the law where we know the weekly sabbaths are meant. It is evident that Paul had in his mind those lists of holy days so often given in the Old Testament, where the sabbath is included. The words “the sabbath days” would certainly embrace the weekly sabbaths unless they were especially named as excepted. But no such exception is made. Hence we must apply the term as it is used in the law, to the seventh day. Hosea 2: 11, is a plain prophecy that all these holy days should cease just as we know has happened in fact; and in Col. 2: 16, is proof that they were nailed to the cross.” (D.M. Canright, Seventh-Day Adventism Renounced, 3782-3883 (Kindle Edition) 

Conclusion

Friends, the Catholic Church did not change the Sabbath.  

The Sabbath day obligations (along with the rest of the Old Testament Law) were taken away by Christ and replaced with the New Testament.  

The Divine authority of the Apostles, along with the testimony of Christians hundreds of years before the rise of the Roman Catholic papacy, shows that the church met upon the first day of the week for worship and edification.  

The Sabbath (along with the rest of the Old Testament) was a shadow of what was to come to pass-and it has all been fully revealed and fulfilled in Christ.  

The God of Heaven loves us so very much that He gave His Son to die for us on the cross of Calvary (Matthew 20:28). The Law shows us our sin before God Romans 3:19-20), and because of this, we are justly condemned in His sight (2 Corinthians 3:2-17).  

But Jesus died for us, was buried, and arose from the dead three days later (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  

He invites all believers to repent of their sins and to be baptized into Him, that they may enjoy His forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).  

Why not obey Him today? 

If you are a child of God who has turned your back on the Lord, why not today repent and confess your sin to Him in prayer (Acts 8:22)? He promises forgiveness and restoration (1 John 1:8-2:2.)!  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.  

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