Sabbath Observance Through The Centuries - The First Century A.D.
INSTITUTION OF THE SABBATH
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:1-3 )
"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." (Luke 4:16)
"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:16,17)
"But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day." (Matthew 24, 20).
NOTE: Jesus asked his disciples to pray that in the flight from the doomed city of Jerusalem they would not have to flee on the Sabbath day. This flight took place in 70 A.D. 40 years after the Jesus' crucifixion and we see here that Jesus fully expected His church to be observing His true seventh day Sabbath that He Himself proclaimed to be the Lord of.
"And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." (Luke 23:56.) Did these women make a mistake and keep the wrong sabbath or was it that Christ NEVER EVER hinted that there would be a change forthcoming???
"And Paul, as his manner was went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures" (Acts 17:2) Did Christ fail to inform Paul on the road to Damascus that there's now a new sabbath? Or rather does the silence of Christ speak volumes against the papal sabbath???
PAUL AND THE GENTILES
"And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath came almost the whole city together to hear the Word of God." Acts 13:42, 44.
Here we find Gentiles in a Gentile city gathering on the Sabbath. It was not a synagogue meeting in verse 44, for it says almost the whole city came together, verse 42 says they asked to hear the message the "next Sabbath."
And get this: The Bible does not say it is the "old Jewish Sabbath that was passed away," but the Spirit of God, writing the Book of Acts some 30 years after the crucifixion, calls it "the next Sabbath."
"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day." Rev.1:10 (Matthew 12:6; Mark 2:28, Isa.58:13, Ex.20:10, Clearly show the Sabbath to be the Lord's day).
The term "Lord's day" in reference to Sunday came later. The Biblical meaning for Lord's day is the day that God calls "My holy day" and the day that Jesus said He is Lord of.
"There is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the Barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come!" M'Clatchie, "Notes and Queries on China and Japan" (edited by Dennys), Vol 4, Nos 7, 8, p.100.
Declares the seventh day to be a festival, not of this or of that city, but of the universe. M'Clatchie, "Notes and Queries," Vol. 4, 99
So we have incontrovertible proof that the observance of Sunday was NOT practiced by the apostolic church of the first century. Although the poison of apostasy had already begun, it did not reach the ascendancy until the passage of a few more centuries.
The next installment will show the historical record of the early Christians observing the true seventh day Sabbath in the second century A.D.