The "What day is the Sabbath " issue. 
Saturday or Sunday? 

See also  sabbath    sabbathwhichday  and  sabbathfredcoulter     and  Sunday Law
and   fourthcommandement    and  sundayisitthesabbath

see also  and 
for a very thorough treatise on the sabbath.

Another good series of sabbath articles can be found at 


Sunday is NOT the biblical Sabbath day.
Did the Apostles keep Sunday?
Offering Strange Fire Before The Lord

The Seal of God in the Old and New Covenants
The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.

The Battle of Armageddon
What Does The Word VATICAN Mean?

Many people have to agree that the Bible clearly states that the 7th day of the week is the true weekly Sabbath day, established in the beginning in Genesis and reinforced as the fourth commandment on the stone tablets containing the ten commandments given to Moses at Mt Sinai; but many question whether or not Saturday is that 7th day. 

A reader asks: "As you suggested, I re-read some of the writings you list, and not one of them prove that the roman day "saturday" has always been the "seventh day". They merely state that the "seventh day" is the sabbath, on which I agree. But how does the "seventh day" relate to the roman calendars?"
There is no question that the calendar has been changed, and it would seem to me that this introduces doubt in many peoples' minds that the seven day cycle has been interrupted, but . . .here goes:
Would God command His people to keep the seventh day Sabbath without telling them which day was the seventh?  No, calendar changes have not altered the weekly cycle; and God is not asking the impossible from His people today.
No one today questions which day of the week was the Sabbath in Christ's time.  We still celebrate the day of His crucifixion and call it Good Friday. Luke said, "That day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on." Luke 23:54.  The Sabbath was Saturday. Luke stated that the women who had prepared "spices and ointments" for our Lord's burial "rested the sabbath day according to the commandment."  Luke 23:56.  From Sinai to Calvary no days had been lost; no confusion had developed as to which day was the Sabbath "according to the commandment."
Further, Luke tells us that Jesus was resurrected "upon the first day of the week."  Luke 24:1.  Easter Sunday is always on the first day of the week because no one questions the fact that Jesus arose on the day after the seventh day, which is the Sabbath "according to the commandment."
Therefore, in Christ's day, Saturday was the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments, and Sunday was the first day of the week.
The question is: What has happened to the weekly cycle since Christ's day?  Did something happen to alter the weekly cycle when the western world changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian?  The following is a letter form the Royal Greenwich Observatory:
Royal Greenwich Observatory,
Herstmonceux, Sussex
Hailsham, Sussex
23rd December, 1964
Ref. 1901
Mr. W. W. Stringfellow,
Pastor, Homestead Seventh-day Adventist Church,
1117 North East First Terrace,
Homestead, Florida, U.S.A.
Dear Sir,
In reply to your letter of 15th October, I have to advise you that there is no reason to doubt the statement regarding the unbroken sequence of the week as far as reliable records go.
Secondly, it is certain that the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 and equally its introduction into the British Dominions in 1752, in no way affected the cycle of the week.  Certainly specific provision was made in the 1751 Act that although September 2 was immediately followed by September 14, these two dates were successive days of the week, namely, Wednesday and Thursday.
Thirdly, there is no reason to doubt that present day Saturdays are an exact number of weeks after the Saturday between the first Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Yours faithfully,
Harold W. Richards,
for Astronomer Royal

Other references
go to  here  for Sam Bacchiocchi's explanation of Sunday Sabbath

go to   here   for Fred Coulter's take on this issue. Fred's site is and contains  accurate biblical information on many issues. 

go to  here   for more on Saturday being the Sabbath and why

go to  the Two Covenants for an explanation of what went out with the 
cross and what didn't.

go to here  for a virtual tour of a mile long "Sabbath Trail" which contains 31 markers telling the history of the Sabbath.  This is really cool!

See Mark Finley's lesson from his 26 lesson series "Discoveries in Prophecy"
#12 The Greatest Religious Cover-Up in History

Does a day make a difference? It DOES. For a much more extensive treatise on why we should retain Saturday as the true Sabbath and our day of rest and worship; read the book  "Christianity Unmasked" by Dan Israel. The Sabbath  was established in the bible as a Saturday  - the seventh day of the week - begins on Friday evening at dusk and extends to Saturday evening at dusk. 

The word "Sabbath" is a Hebrews word meaning rest. Other sabbaths were not the Sabbaths of the Lord, because He never had rested on these days. But at the close of creation week He did rest on the seventh day from all his work. This makes it the Sabbath--literally, "rest of the Lord". Thus we do see a vast difference. The weekly Sabbath is a perpetual reminder that we did not create ourselves, and we cannot redeem ourselves. It is a picture of grace.

The Papacy changed the bible Sabbath from  Saturday, the last day of the week as Yahweh commanded, to a Sunday , the first day of the week back in the dark ages (300'sAD) when few people could read; and even fewer owned bibles.   The church says this is the mark of authority that they can exalt tradition above scripture.  When Protestants worship on Sunday they're wrongfully accepting the authority of the Catholic Church for that change.  This is against God's will and teachings.  The Sabbath is still on a Saturday! Not on Sunday. This is an important issue.  You see, the Sabbath/Sunday issue is more than merely a day of worship issue.   The issue is the commandments of Yahweh versus the man-made doctines of church and state which will use threats and force on others to ensure compliance with these man's doctrines; as the church did in the inquisition which laid millions to rest in slaughter in medieval times and which prophesy says will occur again.  The issue is one of loyalty, obedience, and allegiance to Yahweh. And if you don't obey Yahweh, just who are you obedient to?   That's right; the dragon himself.


By David Sullivan

God created this world in six literal days. He is the Author of everything good. He made man and woman in His own image. The onset of sin has brought much chaos into our originally orderly world. Yet we can still see evidences of God's love and order. We believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit together fashioned each of us in a unique and intentional way. We are simply put together much to wonderfully to believe otherwise. We believe that this makes much more sense than evolutionary theory, which claims that we are the products of chance circumstances, and have monkeys as our ancestors (even though there still is no evidence that interspeciation has occurred). God is indeed the Author of true science.

It was the sixth day of Creation, and the first day of life for Adam and Eve. Everything was brand new. As they walked together in the beautiful Garden of Eden, they could smell the sweet fragrance of newly-formed flowers that basked in the warmth of the sun. The trees lifted their branches heavenward in adoration, and tiny birds fluttered here and there, raising a song of gladness to the sky.

All of nature with praise and thankful celebration. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit had finished creating the heavens and the earth. All was well.

"And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made" (Genesis 2:3-4).

Why did God bless the seventh day? Why did He rest on the seventh day? Was He tired? I don't think so. The Sabbath was to be a perpetual memorial of Creation. In fact, if the Sabbath had always been observed, there would never have arisen an evolutionary theory, which claims that we originated from chance circumstances in the form of tiny organisms, and then through millions of years developed into what we are today. How unlikely! How absurd! And yet it is taught in our schools as a fact.

Australian scientist Michael Denton, in his Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, expresses the pervasiveness of evolutionary thought, as well as its meaninglessness:

"The entire scientific ethos and philosophy of modern western man is based to a large extent upon the central claim of Darwinian theory that humanity was not born by the creative intentions of a deity but by a completely mindless trial and error selection of random molecular patterns" (Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, Publishers, Inc.., 1986, p. 358).

Life is not intentional. It is mindless; it is random. This is not only the conclusion of Darwinism. It is also its foundation. While Denton repeatedly dismisses Creation as the great myth of the ages, he also has grown increasingly critical of the theory which he espouses:

"One might have expected that a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than metaphysics, something more than a myth. Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century" (Ibid. p. 358).

It is not only evolutionists who are questioning their theory. Phillip E. Johnson, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and former law clerk for Chief Justice Earl Warren, has taken a few swipes at evolution himself. Here he confronts Darwin's idea of "descent with modification," which tried to account for the development of species by saying that all animals had common ancestors which were linked to their descendants by long chains of transitional intermediates:

"If common ancestors and chains of linking intermediates once existed, fossil studies should be able, at least in some cases, to identify them. If it is possible for a single ancestral species to change by natural processes into such different forms as a shark, a frog, a snake, a penguin, and a monkey, then laboratory science should be able to discover the mechanism of change. If laboratory science cannot find the common ancestors and transitional links, then Darwinism fails as an empirical theory" (Darwin on Trial, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991, p. 66).

Ariel Roth is a zoologist and director of the Geoscience Research Institute at Loma Linda. His research has funded, at times, by the National Institute of Health, the Atomic Energy Commission, and other entities. In a recent interview, Roth was asked why he believed in a relatively young earth (under 10,000 years old). Here is what he said:

"If this earth is 3.5 million years old, then at present rates of sedimentation, all the oceans would have filled up with sediments 19 times over. At current rates of erosion the continents would have eroded several hundreds of times!" (Richard H. Utt, "The Working Model Doesn't Work," Liberty, March/April, 1993, p. 14).

When asked what other evidences he considered stronger for Creation, Roth summarized:

"There's the problem of accounting for the beginnings of life without intelligent design and effort--which creationists identify with God. Also, there are serious gaps in the fossil record, and missing strata in the earth's crust, that have proved most difficult for the evolutionary model" (Ibid.).

The seventh-day Sabbath points us to a Creator-God, who does everything intentionally and with style. We are amazing, we humans. And not one of us is a clone! (At least not yet). All of these systems running smoothly and constantly inside without any effort on our part. Don't tell me it all just "happened." The Sabbath reminds us that there is a God in heaven who is to be worshipped because He created all things.

It should not surprise us that God chose something in the realm of time to regularly focus our attention and adoration. Time is the one thing that we can do absolutely nothing about. We all stand helpless in the face of time. That is the point.

God knew that time was a realm beyond our control, so He chose to commune with us during a piece of time--called the Sabbath--to draw our minds into a deeper acknowledgment of His lordship. The Sabbath was instituted as an eternal reminder that we did not create ourselves, and we cannot save ourselves. It is a picture of grace.

For six days God worked. Adam and Eve's first full day was the Sabbath. They had nothing to offer God except their praise and thanksgiving. They joyfully celebrated the gift of life, and openly communed with their Father. For six days God worked; and then He rested. And we would do well to do likewise.

The Sabbath is a breath of fresh air in today's atmosphere of pressure, deadlines, self-centeredness, and intense competition. For six days we manipulate, exert our influence, scheme, and somehow try to make the most of our time. But on the seventh day, God exerts His influence on us. We allow ourselves to be enamored with Him; to be caught up in His love, His fellowship, His truth, and His joy.

Now for a summary of what the Bible says about the Sabbath:


Revelation 14:6, 7 God's final message to mankind is a call to worship the Creator.

Revelation 4:11 The basis of all worship is the fact that God created us.

Colossians 1:12-17; Ephesians 3:9 Jesus Christ was the active agent in creation. Therefore Revelation's final call to worship the Creator is a call to give honor to Jesus.

Exodus 20:8-11 We worship Him as Creator by keeping His Sabbath. The Sabbath is the Fourth Commandment of God's moral law. God told us to "remember" the Sabbath, because He knew His people would forget. But Mt. Sinai is not the first time the Bible mentions the Sabbath:

Genesis 2:1-3 The Sabbath was set apart at Creation. God "rested on the seventh day", "blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it." Only God can make something holy. If you or I would declare Tuesday or Sunday or Thursday holy, our declaration would not really change anything about these days, for God has already made His day holy--the seventh. And what God has sanctified, let no man un sanctify.

Mark 2:27, 28 The Sabbath was given to the human race 2300 years before the existence of the Jews, as a memorial for all mankind. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for "man", not merely for the Jews. We all need Sabbath rest. We need God.

Ezekiel 20:12, 20 The Sabbath was established for all mankind as a "sign" between God and His people.

Luke 4:16 Jesus was a faithful Sabbath keeper. It was His "custom" to keep the Sabbath holy. This is not surprising, since He was with the Father when they both sanctified the Sabbath at the end of creation week (see also Mark 6:2).

1 Peter 2:21 We should always "follow His steps", in attitude and in behavior. Since Jesus kept the Sabbath, so should we.

Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus said He didn't come to "destroy the law", "but to fulfill." Jesus showed, in His daily life and teachings, what He meant by "fulfilling" the law: He kept it, honored it, magnified it, and showed the spiritual nature of the law (see Matthew chapters 5-7). He warned us not to teach people to break even one of His commandments (Matthew 5:19). Jesus had plenty of opportunities to change His Sabbath. He could have very easily. But He never mentions anything about changing the Sabbath to Sunday, the first day of the week. Not one word. If you are serious about God and the Bible, my friend, this fact should be important to you, because we are talking about true worship versus false worship of our Holy God. If you can find me just one verse in the Bible saying that the seventh-day Sabbath has been changed to Sunday, I'll give you $5,000 (that's a lot on my budget!).

Matthew 24:20 Jesus predicted that the Sabbath would be kept in 70 A.D. at the destruction of Jerusalem--over 35 years after His death! If our Lord believed that His resurrection would change the Sabbath to Sunday, He would not have said this.

Acts 13:42-44 Paul kept the Sabbath himself, and met to worship God with the whole city, Jews and Gentiles alike.

Acts 16:13 In Philippi, Paul met privately with a group of believers in a country setting, since there was no established church.

Acts 17:2; 18:4, 11 It was Paul's "manner" or custom to reason with the Jews in the synagogue on Sabbath. In fact, Scripture records that brother Paul kept a total of 84 Sabbaths in the book of Acts! And it wasn't just to reach the Jews. He actually believed it was the right thing to do! If anyone would have reason to say the Sabbath is Jewish and therefore Christians ought to keep Sunday holy, it would be Paul. But he makes no such statement. Paul said that through faith "we establish the law" (Romans 3:31).

Acts 20:27 Paul told the Ephesians that he had not hesitated to proclaim to them the "whole will of God" (NIV). Surely Paul upheld, along with the truth of Jesus Christ, the truth about the Sabbath, which is established by 140 verses in the Bible, and the law of God, which is established by 200 verses! We know that Paul believed in the law of God, because he urged Christians to obey it (Romans 3:31; 6:15).

Revelation 1:10 The Lord still has a special day at the end of the first century. Revelation 1:10 does not clearly reveal which day is the Lord's day, but Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:27, 28, and Luke 6:5 do.

Matthew 12:8 The Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath. If the Son of Man (Jesus) is Lord of the Sabbath, the Sabbath must be the Lord's day. We must allow the Bible to interpret itself--it will, if we let it. We need not speculate about things God has made clear. He's made the Sabbath clear, my friend.

Luke 23:54-56; 24:1 This passage lists three days in succession: The day Christ died--the preparation day--Friday; the day Jesus rested in the tomb--Sabbath--Saturday; the day Jesus resurrected--the first day--Sunday. The Sabbath is clearly Saturday, the seventh day of the week. In many languages, the seventh day still sounds like "Sabbath"--e.g. "Sabado." (Spanish for Saturday).

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus is "the same yesterday, today and forever." His law does not change because He never changes (Malachi 3:6)

Isaiah 66:22, 23 In the new heavens and new earth we shall keep Sabbath each week.

James 4:17 If we know what is right and do not do it, it becomes "sin" to us. God does not hold us accountable for what we do not know about His Sabbath. But when we see what He says about the Sabbath in His Word, and still do not obey Him, we are willfully sinning against our God.

John 14:15 Love always leads to obedience. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments."

1 John 5:2, 3 To love God is to "keep His commandments." God the Father and God the Son have the same commandments.

Micah 6:8 The Bible says the child of God ought to "do justly." In Isaiah 56:1-6, God describes the keeping of His Sabbath as doing "justice." He tells us that "blessed is the man . . . that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it."

Revelation 14:12 This chapter describes only two groups of people alive just before Jesus returns: those who worship the beast and receive his mark (verse 9), and those who worship God (verse 7) and keep His commandments (verse 12). God's commandments, or moral law, found in Exodus 20, includes the Sabbath commandment, which itself draws us back to true worship of our God, who has created us and redeemed us. My friend, worship God! Do not settle for anything less than God's best for your life! Obey His voice in Scripture today. It's the only safe course to take. Do not be deceived by false doctrine.

Summary: God instituted the seventh-day Sabbath at Creation, placed it in the middle of His law on Mt. Sinai, and told us to "remember" it. All the prophets kept it, Jesus Himself kept it, Paul kept it, God's people in the last days keep it, and we will keep the Sabbath in heaven. Not one word in the Bible tells us that the Sabbath (Saturday) has been changed to Sunday.

Has Time Been Lost? Since the time of Christ there has been only one major change in the calendar. This was the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1582. The Julian calendar had allowed too many leap years. As a result, the calendar was out of kilter with the solar system. In order to rectify it, ten days were dropped from the calendar in October of 1582. Thursday the 4th was followed by Friday the 15th. Even though ten days were dropped from the calendar, the weekly cycle was not changed at all. The order of the days of the week remained the same. Our seventh day is the same as Christ's.

Other Evidences: In 140 languages in use today the word for Saturday has as its root meaning "Sabbath." For example, the Latin Sabbatum, the Greek Sabbaton, the Russian Subbota, the Italian Sabbato, the Spanish Sabado. In other words, in over 140 languages of earth today the word currently used for Saturday basically means "Sabbath."

Astronomy: The leading astronomers in the world testify to the fact that the weekly cycle has never changed. Centers like the Royal Naval Observatory in the U.S. and The Royal Greenwich Observatory in England affirm the fact of a constant cycle.

The history of the Jews, who have consistently kept the Sabbath from the Exodus event, and still keep the Sabbath on Saturday today, indicates clearly which is the seventh day. During the Exodus event God by a double miracle of the manna clearly revealed which was the seventh day. On every day a certain portion of the manna would fall. There was always enough for everyone every day, but not enough to be kept for the next day. However, on Friday a double portion of manna fell and people had enough for two days, whereas on Saturday, no manna fell. For forty years God performed this double miracle every week, to thoroughly establish which day was the seventh. The Jews have kept that same seventh day until this present time (see Exodus 16).

Note on Colossians 2:16, 17 This passage is one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible. One principle of Bible interpretation is that you do not allow what may be somewhat unclear to keep you from doing what you already under-stand. The Bible is plain on the Sabbath. It was given at Creation (Genesis 2:1-3). Jesus observed it (Luke 4:16). Paul observed it (Acts 13:42-44), and it will be observed in heaven (Isaiah 66:22, 23).

The Bible mentions two kinds of sabbaths: the seventh-day Sabbath and the yearly sabbaths. The seventh-day Sabbath, instituted at Creation and part of the Ten Commandment law, is a weekly reminder of the loving, all-powerful Creator. The yearly sabbath relates specifically to the history of Israel. Colossians 2:16, 17 specifically states "Let no man judge you regarding sabbath days [Greek, sabbatone--"of sabbaths"] which are a shadow of things to come." The seventh-day Sabbath is a memorial of Creation--not a shadow of something to come. Hebrews 10:1 connects the law of shadows with animal sacrifice. Ezekiel 45:17 uses the exact same expressions in the exact same order as Colossians 2:16, 17, and connects it all with the ceremonial systems of feasts and sacrifices (meat offerings, drink offerings, feasts, new moons, and sabbaths to make reconciliation for the house of Israel).

Leviticus 23:3 discusses the seventh-day Sabbath. Leviticus 23:5-32 discusses the ceremonial sabbaths (passover, verse 5; unleavened bread, verse 6; wave sheaf, verse 10; first fruits, verse 17; trumpets, vs. 24; Day of Atonement, verses 27-32; tabernacles, verses 34-36). Both the feast of trumpets (verse 24) and the Day of Atonement (verse 32) are specifically called sabbaths. These annual sabbaths were intimately connected to events foreshadowing Christ's death and His Second Coming. They were designed by God to be shadows or pointers to the coming Messiah. Leviticus 23:37 uses the language of Colossians 2:16, 17 to describe these ceremonial sabbaths. Leviticus 23:38 distinguishes the ceremonial sabbaths from the seventh-day Sabbaths by using the expression "Besides the sabbaths of the Lord."

Since Christ has come, the shadowy sabbaths of the ceremonial law have found their fulfillment in Him. The seventh-day Sabbath continues to lead us back to the Creator God who made us. God's people will keep it as a distinguishing sign of their relationship to Him (Revelation 14:12; Ezekiel 20: 12, 20). Please read the additional information on Colossians 2:16, 17 in the pages that follow.

Note on Romans 14:5 Sometimes it's helpful to carefully notice what a Bible text does not say as well as what it does say. Verses 5 and 6 say nothing about either worship or the Sabbath. They simply talk about regarding a day. To say this particular day is the Sabbath is an unwarranted assumption. Romans 14:1 sets the tone for the entire passage, indicating that the discussion focuses on "doubtful disputations" or disputes on doubtful matters.

Is the seventh-day Sabbath, set apart by God at Creation (Genesis 2:1-3), and placed within the heart of the moral law (Exodus 20:8-11) a doubtful matter? Certainly not! The key to our passage is found in verse 6 which states, "He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks." The issue revolved around fast days, not Sabbath days. Some Jewish Christians believed there was particular merit in fasting on certain days. They judged others by their own standards. The Pharisees fasted at least twice a week and boasted about it (Luke 18:12). In Romans 14, Paul is pointing out that to fast or not to fast on a certain day is a matter of individual conscience, not a matter of God's command.


The "sabbath days" mentioned in this passage are festival sabbaths prescribed by the laws of Moses (Leviticus 23:32, 37-39), not the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment of the Decalogue. The following four points seem to indicate that this is the case:

1. The Colossian believers, being confused by a heresy that sought to impose on them various requirements of the Jewish ceremonial law, needed to distinguish between the moral and ceremonial aspects of the Torah, or law. The heresy very likely included some pagan and Gnostic elements, but the heart of it, as at Galatia, seems to have been legalistic, Jewish ceremonialism. Logically, then, Paul would have set forth the truth that to perform ceremonial rights as a means of salvation was not only futile, but an implicit denial of the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, the One who, by fulfilling the types, made them meaningless. And, to help the Colossians identify the parts of the Torah that no longer were binding, he mentioned several rituals and festivals described in the ceremonial law.

2. The religious activities listed in verse 16 are similar in order and content to those mentioned elsewhere in the Scriptures where the sacrifices and festivals of the ceremonial law are set forth. For example, in Ezekiel 45:17 God says: "It shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel." (See also 2 Chronicles 2:4; 8:13; Hosea 2:11.)

3. Both the larger context and the immediate context strongly suggest that Paul was referring primarily to the festivals and ordinances of the ceremonial law. Throughout Colossians 1 and the early part of chapter 2 Paul extols Christ as the Son of God, the Creator, the One who deserves worship and honor, the One who provides forgiveness and redemption, the One whom all should accept as Lord. He emphasizes one of his favorite themes--that to be "in Christ" is the summary and glory of religious experience. He sets forth Christ as the One who on the cross reconciled the world to God, the One who is head of the church. Paul is determined to make clear that only that faith which focuses on Christ is of value. Neither thrones, dominions, principalities, nor powers (chapters 1:16 and 2:15) are to be feared or venerated, for they are under the authority of Christ, having been created by Him. Thus, while the immediate context of verse 16 speaks of the complete forgiveness offered by Christ to believers (verses 13, 14), the larger context, the main theme of Paul's message, is the greatness of Christ and the importance of being "in Him," adhering to His teachings and recognizing that circumcision and ceremonial meats, drinks, holy days, new moons, and ceremonial sabbaths have no value for salvation.

The key word in the passage, the word that argues strongly that the "sabbath days" of verse 16 are ceremonial sabbaths, is "shadow" (skia as opposed to soma, body), a word used in a similar way in Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1. Paul says that the meat, drink, holy days, new moons, and sabbath days "are a shadow of things to come" (Col. 2:16, 17). A shadow has neither substance or ultimate value. It is dependent for its existence on something substantial (the soma casts the skia, shadow). It ends when it reaches the reality. Thus "shadow" describes well the various elements of the ceremonial law, including the annual sabbaths, for they pointed forward to Christ's life, ministry, and kingdom as the reality. Paul can hardly be referring to the seventh-day Sabbath of the Decalogue, for the seventh-day Sabbath is not a shadow of anything, it is the reality. Further, although to some extent the Sabbath points forward to the promised rest in Christ (see Hebrews 4), it does not obtain its primary significance from "things to come" but from an event in the past--the creation of the world in six days (Genesis 2:2, 3; Exodus. 20:8-11).

Just because the word sabbath appears in Colossians 2:16 does not necessarily mean that the weekly seventh-day Sabbath is being discussed. Context is decisive. The word frog, for example, has a wide variety of meanings. It may mean a small, leaping, tailless amphibian; it may mean a swollen, sore throat; it may mean the triangular horny pad in the middle of the sole of a horse's hoof; it may mean an ornamental loop used as a fastening for a button on a coat or dress; it may mean a device on one rail of a grain truck that can be switched to permit wheels to cross an intersecting rail. Clearly, to argue that because fifty-nine times the word means a four-legged creature it must mean the same in the statement "I have a frog in my throat" is nonsense. Meaning must always be decided by context.

This principle is so obvious that it hardly needs elaboration; yet because some seek to show from Colossians 2 that the seventh-day Sabbath was abolished at the cross, we wish to add two further illustrations. The Hebrew word torah, for example, has many meanings, all of which must be determined by context. Sometimes torah refers to the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible), sometimes to the Ten Commandments, sometimes to the entire expressed will of God, sometimes to the instruction given by a king, a teacher, a mother, a father, wise people, a wise wife, or a poet.

Likewise, the word day may mean a twenty-four-hour period; or it may mean only the light part of the twenty-four-hour period; or it may mean an extended but indefinite period of time (e.g., "The day in which we live is one of international tensions"). Clearly, even if the word day is used fifty-nine times to mean a twenty-four-hour period, this does not require that it mean twenty-four hours the sixtieth time it is used.

Several of the most respected Bible commentators have declared that Paul was referring to ceremonial sabbaths, not the seventh-day Sabbath, in Colossians 2:16. Adam Clarke, a Methodist, said: "There is no intimation here the the Sabbath was done away, or that its moral use was superseded, by the introduction of Christianity....Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, is a command of perpetual obligation, and can never be superseded but by the final termination of time" (The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2:524).

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown noted that the annual sabbaths "of the day of atonement and feast of tabernacles have come to an end with the Jewish services to which they belonged (Leviticus 23:32, 37-39)," but "the weekly sabbath rests on a more permanent foundation, having been instituted in Paradise to commemorate the completion of creation in six days" (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, p. 378).

Albert Barnes, a Presbyterian, observed: "There is no evidence from this passage that he [Paul] would teach that there was no obligation to observe any holy time, for there is not the slightest reason to believe that he meant to teach that one of the ten commandments had ceased to be binding on mankind....He had his eye on the great number of days which were observed by the Hebrews as festivals, as a part of their ceremonial and typical law, and not to the moral law, or the ten commandments. No part of the moral law--not one of the ten commandments--could be spoken of as 'a shadow of good things to come.' These commandments are, from the nature of moral law, of perpetual and universal application" (A Popular Commentary on the New Testament, 7:267).

4. If the apostle Paul had intended to announce to the Colossian believers that the seventh-day Sabbath was no longer of consequence, surely this news would have created quite a stir, not merely in Colossae but in other cities. As copies of Paul's letters were made, and these copies were taken to other churches and read, the shock of the believers in learning that Christ's death on the cross abolished the Sabbath would have been so great that the ensuing discussions would have been recorded, as were those regarding circumcision, idol worship, fornication, and other matters (see Acts 15).

But Paul's letter sent no shock waves through the community of believers. The people apparently understood that he was speaking of the rites and ceremonies connected with the Jewish faith. They understood him to mean that the cross abolished the ritual sacrifices, festivals, regulations involving meats and drinks, ceremonial sabbaths, special days governed by the new moon, and even the ceremonies that had been performed on the seventh-day Sabbath.

Inasmuch as some ritual observances commanded by the laws of Moses were held on the weekly Sabbath--for example, the daily burnt offering was doubled on that day--perhaps Paul used the word sabbath generically, intending to include these ceremonies along with those that specifically involved annual sabbaths, as part of the "shadow" that was done away in Christ. These ritual ceremonies, of course, did not make the seventh day a Sabbath; it was a Sabbath already, established at Creation and commanded by the moral law, and abolition of the ceremonial observances that fell on that day would abolish neither the Sabbath nor God's command to keep it holy.
 A List of sabbath keeping churches
You can see it is not limited to just seventh day adventists as many believe

Active Bible Church of God

Apostolic Church of God (Seventh Day)

Beit Hamashiah           

Beth Messiah Fellowship

Bridges for Peace (Australia)

Central Highlands Church of God

Christian Biblical Church of God

Christian Churches of God

Christian Educational Services

Christian Patriarchs Community (Little Promised Land)

Church of God, aic

Church of God, Endeavour Hills

Church of God, Faithful Flock

Church of God, Fellowship

Church of God, International

Church of God, Restored

Church of God (Seventh Day)

Church of God in Williamstown

Church of the Great God

Hope International

Horn of David (Berilee)

House of God

Independent Fellowship Group (N Ryde)

InterContinental Church of God

International Christian Embassy

Lifestream International Fellowship

Living Church of God

LLT Productions

Melbourne Church of God

Messianic Jewish Alliance

Messianic Jewish Ministries

People's New Covenant Fellowship

Philadelphia Church of God

Philadelphia Church of the Very Elect

Remnant Church of God

Restored Church of God

Rochedale Fellowship

Seventh-day Adventist Church

Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement

Seventh-day Baptist Church

Small Assembly of YAHWEH in Sydney

The Church of God

The Horn of David

The House of God

The Post-Herald

The Sabbath Movement

Three Angels Message

Triumph Prophetic Ministries

True Jesus Church

Twelve Tribes Christian Communities

United Church of God

Universal Church of God 


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