“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them.’ Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams: for YHVH your God proveth you, to know whether ye love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after YHVH your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” Deuteronomy 13:1-4
A problem I see in Protestant Christianity here in the West is that we are taught to regard the New Testament higher than the Old Testament. We are taught who God is and what he expects of us as his children through the lens of the New Testament and the doctrines of man.
Unfortunately, in doing so we hear that the commandments of God have either changed or been put away in part, despite the fact that Matthew 5:17-18 records Jesus (Yeshua) as saying,
“Think not that I came to destroy/weaken the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy/weaken, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.”
Since the teaching in Western Christianity/Catholicism is that the law of the Old Testament has been put away or does not apply to the believer in Jesus (Yeshua), we do not recognize that the warning of Deuteronomy 13:1-4 applies to the Christian believer. We don’t make the connection that the very prophets warned about, who are saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them.’ are the priests/preachers in Catholicism & Protestant Christianity that promote Sunday Sabbath, Christmas & Easter.
What does Scripture say about the Sabbath day?
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is a sabbath unto YHVH thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days YHVH made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore YHVH blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” – Exodus 20:8-11
“And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.” – Genesis 2:2-3
“And YHVH spake unto Moses, saying, speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily ye shall keep my sabbaths: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am YHVH who sanctifieth you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that profaneth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to YHVH: whosoever doeth any work on the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” – Exodus 31:12-17
“Six days shall work be done: but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work: it is a sabbath unto YHVH in all your dwellings.” – Leviticus 23:3
“Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as YHVH thy God commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is a sabbath unto YHVH thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and YHVH thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore YHVH thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” Deuteronomy 5:12-15
In every instance here the Sabbath is referred to as the “seventh day”. It is not once referred to as the “first day”, “eighth day” or even the “Lord’s day”. Scripture indicates the children of Israel are to “observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant”. Nowhere in Scripture does it indicate this “perpetual covenant” will change or cease to exist.
What does Christianity say about the Sabbath day?
According to the Roman Catholic Church, which is the “mother” of Protestant Christianity in the West, the Sabbath day changed from the seventh day of the week to the “Lord’s Day”, which according to that institution is the first day of the week. Scripture doesn’t teach this; it is a doctrine of man.
According to the Vatican, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in Part 3: Life in Christ, Section 2: The Ten Commandments, it lists the commandment referenced in Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12 under “A Traditional Catechetical Formula” as “3. Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.” as opposed to the Sabbath day.
The Catechism recognizes the Sabbath Day from Scripture in “Part 3: Life in Christ; Section 2: The Ten Commandments; Chapter 1; Article 3: The Third Commandment” under Roman Numeral I. Then it mentions “The Lord’s Day” under Roman Numeral 2 citing: Psalm 118:24,
“This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
However, this Psalm gives no indication as to which day is the day that the LORD has made or the fact that it pertains to only one day of the week, but it is used nonetheless to set the stage for the Lord’s Day.
Then under the heading “The day of the Resurrection: the new creation”, it states:
“2174 Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week.”104 Because it is the “first day,” the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the “eighth day” following the sabbath,105 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:
‘We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.’106″
The first two footnotes (104 & 105) are referencing Apostolic Writings (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1). This last statement(106) is citing St. Justin, I Apol. 67:PG 6,429 and 432.
Hmm, it says, “we all gather on the day of the sun…”
According to Wikipedia,
“Sol Invictus (“Invincible Sun”) was the official sun god of the later Roman empire. In 274 Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 AD and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.”
“One day of the week was named after Sol, the sun. In honor of the Sun god, many merchants elected to pay their workers weekly upon this day. However, the Roman observance was quite different from that of the Jewish observance of Saturday or the Christian Sabbath. The first Sunday closing law was enacted by Constantine in 321 AD, and refers to the “day of the sun”. It forms the basis of subsequent Christian legislation in this area.”
1.^ See S.E.Hijmans, “The sun that did not rise in the east”, Babesch 71 (1996) p.115–150
2.^ See Gaston Halsberghe, “The cult of Sol Invictus”, Leiden: Brill, 1972
3.^ As Hijmans states (p.115): “Scholars have consistently postulated a clear distinction between the Republican Sol Indiges and the Imperial Sol Invictus.” and p.116 “We should keep in mind, however, that most scholars agree that this cult[Sol Indiges] was never important, and that it had disappeared altogether by the beginning of the second century AD”
4.^ Halsberghe, “The cult of Sol Invictus”, p.155: “Up to the conversion of Constantine the Great, the cult of Deus Sol Invictus received the full support of the emperors. The many coins showing the sun god that these emperors struck provide official evidence of this.” and p.169 “the custom of representing Deus Sol Invictus on coins came to an end in AD 323.”
5.^ Halsberghe, “The cult of Sol Invictus”, p.170 n.3: “CIL VI, 1778, dates from AD 387,”
6.^ Halsberghe, p.170, n.4: “Augustine, Sermones, XII; also in Ennaratio in Psalmum XXV; Ennaratio II, 3.”
38.^ On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. (Given the 7th day of March, Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time [A.D. 321].) — Source: Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3 (5th ed.; New York: Scribner, 1902), p. 380, note 1.
Let me go back to the Catechism. The very next statement under the following heading, “Sunday – fulfillment of the sabbath”, says:
“2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107
‘Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.108′”
The first footnote (107) references an Apostolic Writing, 1 Corinthians 10:11, which says,
“Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.”
Unfortunately, this letter to the Corinthians is being used to justify a doctrine of doing away with the Sabbath day and embracing a new, Lord’s Day in its stead despite the fact there is absolutely nothing in this letter indicating the Sabbath day has been replaced.
The second footnote (108) references St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9,1:SCh 10,88.
Deuteronomy 13:1-4 says,
“If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he give thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams: for YHVH your God proveth you, to know whether ye love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after YHVH your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”
Scripture clearly teaches the commandment of YHVH is to remember the Sabbath day and keep it set apart/holy. Exodus 20:8-11, Exodus 31:12-17, Leviticus 23:3, and Deuteronomy 5:12-15 all identify the Sabbath day as the “seventh day”. The Roman Catholic Church, along with her daughter, Protestant Christianity, recognizes this as true, BUT…
Christianity teaches, “Jesus rose from the dead ‘on the first day of the week.’” Jesus’ resurrection is indeed a sign or wonder that has come to pass.
Furthermore, a commonly-held doctrine of Christianity states, “Because it is the ‘first day,’ the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the ‘eighth day’ following the sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday — We all gather on the day of the sun…” and “Sunday…for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath.”
This teaching not only dictates disobedience to the commandments of God, even though obedience to him is how we demonstrate our whole-hearted love for him, but it also puts forth another god, which we have not known, and his set-apart/holy day to serve him.
History informs us that “The day of the sun” or “Sunday” is named for Sol Invictus, the Roman sun god, and Roman Emperor Constantine in an edict in 321 AD says, “On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed…”
Many religious leaders within Christianity with its doctrine of man, have clearly led the people of God after other gods, to serve them instead of the one true God. Scripture teaches us that we are not to hearken unto their words, for YHVH our God is proving/testing us, to know whether we love YHVH our God with our whole heart and soul.
“Walk after YHVH your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice…serve him, and cleave unto him!”
Time is short, folks.