Law of God 

 

 

 

 

 

How much do I love you?

 

Let me count the ways...

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1.   I will have no other gods.

2.   I will not make or bow down to any image.

3.   I will not dishonor you and your name.

4.   I will remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

5.   I will honor my father and mother.

6.   I will not murder.

7.   I will not commit adultery.

8.   I will not steal.

9.   I will not lie.

10. I will not covet what belongs to my neighbor.

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Reasons for Sunday are not Biblical #5

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church uses the resurrection and Pentecost as reasons for Sunday observance

 

The Roman Catholic Church then goes on to say:

 

 

“Other Festivals Observed By The Jews

 

Besides the seventh day, the Jews observed other festivals and holydays, instituted by the divine law to awaken the recollection of the principal favours (conferred on them by the Almighty).”

 

“The Sabbath, Why Changed To Sunday

 

But the Church of God has thought it well to transfer the celebration and observance of the Sabbath to Sunday.

For, as on that day light first shone on the world, so by the Resurrection of our Redeemer on the same day, by whom was thrown open to us the gate to eternal life, we were called out of darkness into light; and hence the Apostles would have it called the Lord's day.

 

We also learn from the Sacred Scriptures that the first day of the week was held sacred because on that day the work of creation commenced, and on that day the Holy Ghost was given to the Apostles.”

 

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church contradicts itself again. Earlier we read that the apostles supposedly enacted Sunday, but now it (Catholic Church) separates itself from the apostles by saying “the Church of God has thought it well to transfer” and the “apostles would have it called the Lord’s day” – thereby indicating it is really speaking for itself, not the apostles. That is the simple truth; the Roman Catholic Church is only saying whatever it has to in order to ultimately achieve its goal of doing away with God’s 4th commandment to an unsuspecting people.

 

The Roman Catholic Church said: “But, the Church of God has thought it well….” Whenever the word “but” is used, something bad happens and it is true here. The Roman Catholic Church is telling us that regardless of what the Bible says, what the Roman Catholic Church says can override the Bible as more authoritative.

 

There is absolutely no Biblical commandment to change to Sunday. The reasons given for the change are entirely by human reasoning and not God’s. The Bible does not instruct us to observe the first day of the week, because it was the “day the work of creation commenced” or when Christ was resurrected; this is a blatant lie by the Roman Catholic Church.

 

 

 

Reason #5 – The Roman Catholic Church claims the Lord Jesus was risen on Sunday and cites this as a reason to change the Sabbath and institute Sunday. However, this is not true. The Bible indicates Jesus was raised on the Sabbath day – the 7th day, and not Sunday, the 1st day.

 

 

The Bible tells us the Lord Jesus Christ was already risen before dawn of the 1st day of the week and was not raised on Sunday, so the premise of making Sunday “the Lord’s Day” is wrong from the very beginning. The Lord Jesus was not in the tomb and the stone was already rolled away (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-3; John 20:1 – the apostle John states it was still dark so there is no day portion at all of the first day of the week, Sunday). The angels in the gospel accounts which spoke to the female disciples spoke in the past tense that Jesus had already rose.

 

Some say Mark 16:9 states Jesus rose on the first day of the week, but this contradicts the other gospel accounts (and even itself in Mark 16:1-6), which all indicate when the disciples got to the tomb very early while still dark and just starting to dawn, the Lord was already gone.

 

Also, it should be noted that one change in punctuation (there was no punctuation in Greek texts during the New Testament time) such as the location of a comma, makes the text read completely different and align with the other accounts:

 

As it appears in Bibles:

 

   Mark 16:

 9     Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,

      out of whom he had cast seven devils.   (AKJV)

 

Comment: You will notice that the way it reads in Bibles makes it sound like Jesus was resurrected

                early on Sunday which contradicts all other accounts that state He already rose while still dark.

 

With a change in the location of the first comma:

 

  Mark 16:

 9     Now when Jesus was risen, early the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,

      out of whom he had cast seven devils.  

 

Comment: Notice how the change of location of the first comma reads similar to and align with the

                other gospel passages – namely, that Jesus was already risen before the early part of Sunday.

 

 

The other very important thing we must know is that many manuscripts do not have the ending of Mark (Mark 16:9-20) and there are several versions of Mark 16:9-20. Many scholars believe it to be a spurious and late addition to the text.

 

 

 

The Sign must be fulfilled completely – it is only proof Jesus is Messiah

 

When asked for a sign by the Pharisees, the Lord Jesus gave the example of Jonah as the only sign for His resurrection as proof that He is the Son of God and the Messiah.  The sign of Jonah is:  as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the whale, the Lord Jesus would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.  Indeed, the Lord Jesus said this two times during His ministry:

 

Matthew 12:

38   Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."

39   But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

40   For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.    (NKJV)

 

Matthew 16:

1     Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.

2     He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red';

3     and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.

4    A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.    (NKJV)

 

 

This was the only sign the Lord Jesus gave as irrefutable evidence that He was indeed the Son of God and Messiah – He must satisfy the 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth or He would otherwise be found disqualified and proven to not be who He claimed to be.  

 

Most Christians believe in a Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection and try to reason the sign of Jonah away by saying Jesus was just using a Hebrew idiom and therefore parts of 3 days and 3 nights are fine and will satisfy this prophecy.  However, this is not true, because using both days and nights in the description means that a literal meaning is to be applied and not a loose figurative one.  Evidence of this can be seen in the first book of the Bible, Genesis when God expressly tells us He created all things in 6 days and included night and day (evenings and mornings) in His definition of a day; God created in 6 literal 24-hour days.

 

The Bible truth shows us that it was still dark and the Lord Jesus was already resurrected which means that absolutely no day portion of the first day of the week – Sunday, can be used in their calculation of 3 days and 3 nights.

 

 

So when we use the math of what 3 days and 3 nights are together with the following facts:

 

 

1.   The Lord Jesus was already gone from the tomb before dawn of the 1st day of the week;

 

 

2.   His words about the sign of Jonah and being in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights;

 

 

3.   Lazarus was in his tomb for 4 days and began to stink (John 11:17 39). This sets the example that to not undergo decay (a critical qualification for who is the Messiah), the Lord Jesus must be raised before 4 days (Acts 2:22-32), and also prove that He was absolutely dead (note: in antiquity, many peoples, including the Jews, believed that after 3 days the person is “irreversibly” dead). This is also why the Pharisee’s wanted to post a guard to keep His body in the tomb for the 3 days in Matthew 27:62-66. They knew Jesus said “after three days I will rise”. So if the Lord Jesus can be kept in the tomb for more than 3 days and “stay there”, He would be “irreversibly” dead and be declared a liar and false Messiah and not the Son of God. However, being raised exactly 3 days and 3 nights satisfies all these points and is why the tomb was opened by the angel just before dawn on the 1st day – after the 3 days and 3 nights; the Lord proved He was indeed dead, but still rose and was missing, and is the Messiah and Son of God.

 

 

4. The Bible again defines itself.  The Lord Jesus refers to a day as 12 hours (and therefore a night is 12 hours) in John 11:9 – the same chapter He raises Lazarus:

 

John 11:

          9    Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.

10    "But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."   (NASB)

 

 

5. The Lord Jesus was slain as our Passover the same time when all Passover lambs are slain (late afternoon/twilight shortly before sunset – Exodus 12:6; Leviticus 23:5; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8) which was 3pm (the ninth hour counting from 6am – Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37);

 

 

6.  The soon coming Sabbath/sunset which made them rush to put the Lord Jesus into the tomb was a high Sabbath (annual holy day; Leviticus 23:6) and not the weekly Sabbath.  John 19:14 & 31 clearly tells us it is the annual Sabbath of the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread approaching which immediately follows the Passover sacrifice (the “preparation day” before the Sabbath is referring to the Passover day immediately before the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and not the day before the weekly Sabbath).

 

 

7. Mark 16:1-2 and Luke 23:56 shows there were 2 Sabbaths that week of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread; the first is the annual holy day (1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) and the second is the weekly Sabbath. Note that the Sabbath which passed in Mark 16:1 is not the weekly Sabbath, but the high day of the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  These two Sabbaths were separated by a day, because the disciples bought and prepared the spices to anoint the Lord Jesus after the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  And they then rested for another Sabbath which was a Sabbath “according to the commandment” (Luke 23:56) and this second Sabbath is the weekly Sabbath of the 4th Commandment.

 

 

 

We find that simple math and the facts above tell us He could not have been crucified and died on a Friday at 3pm and be risen on a Sunday morning, which is the tradition most Christians believe. Such a time table is just not 3 days and 3 nights as the Lord Jesus said.

 

 

For example, if the Lord Jesus was crucified on a Friday, this is how the days and nights add up.

 

In English terms:

 

He was in the tomb a small part of Friday day, all of Friday night, all of Saturday day, and all of Saturday night. Let us even also say He was raised on Sunday morning though He was already gone. Even being liberal with the time and allowing a part of a day or night to qualify as a whole day or night, this would only total at most 3 days & 2 nights.

 

In Hebrew terms with a day starting at sunset:

 

He was in the tomb a small part of the day portion of day #6, the night portion of day #7 (Sabbath), the day portion of day #7 (Sabbath), the night portion of day #1. Let us again say He was raised on Sunday morning, the day portion of day #1, though He was already gone. Again, even being liberal with the amount of time and allowing for parts of a day or night to mean a full day or night, this would only add up to 3 days and 2 nights.

 

 

However, the Lord Jesus was very explicit and said a literal 3 days and 3 nights and remember, stated it twice during His ministry that it would be the only sign of how long He will be in the grave and then raised to life.  The belief in a Sunday resurrection therefore contradicts the Bible and would make the very words of the Lord Himself into a lie. 

 

Instead, we find the following to be true. He was raised before dawn on the 1st day of the week; the day before Sunday would be the 7th day, the weekly Sabbath – Saturday. It is on the weekly Sabbath when He was raised.

 

Knowing He died at 3pm (the 9th hour) and had to be put in the tomb before sunset (about 6pm), let us say He was in the tomb by 5:45pm for example. This time of 5:45pm on the weekly Sabbath would be the approximate time on the weekly Sabbath the Lord Jesus was raised. When we count back 3 days and 3 nights from this time, we find that the Lord Jesus was laid in the tomb on Wednesday at 5:45pm, just before the high day Sabbath of the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which immediately follows the Passover.  

 

He was crucified and died on Wednesday at 3pm on the Passover and put in the tomb just before sunset at 5:45pm as the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was about to start, and He was resurrected on the weekly Sabbath at 5:45pm, just before sunset, exactly 3 days and 3 nights later. Then the tomb was opened only after the full 3 days, just before dawn of the 1st day of the week, to prove beyond a doubt He overcame death and is the Son of God, our Messiah.  

 

 

 

The timeline of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus would be as follows:

 

Wednesday day (Passover):

The Lord Jesus dies of crucifixion at approximately 3pm as our Passover the same time thousands of lambs are slain for the Passover.

His body is hurriedly put into the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea shortly before sunset and the high Sabbath (1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) begins.

Our Passover dies on Passover.

 

Wednesday night (night #1 the Lord Jesus is in the tomb):

The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; it is a high Sabbath.

 

Thursday day (day #1 the Lord Jesus is in the tomb):

This is the day part of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which is a high Sabbath.

The disciples rest.

The Pharisees and chief priests request Pilate to post guards at the tomb for three days and they are.

 

Thursday night (night #2 the Lord Jesus is in the tomb):

No activity.

 

Friday day (day #2 the Lord Jesus is in the tomb):

After the high Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is over, some female disciples buy and prepare spices to anoint the Lord Jesus’ body (Mark 16:1-2). After buying and preparing these spices, they rested for the upcoming weekly Sabbath (“according to the commandment”) upon sunset (Luke 23:56).

 

Friday night (night #3 the Lord Jesus is in the tomb):

The weekly Sabbath begins.

No activity; the disciples rest according to the commandment (Luke 23:56).

 

Saturday day (day #3 the Lord Jesus is in the tomb):

This is the weekly Sabbath; the disciples rest according to the commandment (Luke 23:56).

The Lord Jesus is resurrected from the dead shortly before sunset – exactly 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth (which fulfills His own sign – the sign of Jonah and also to not undergo decay).

The Lord of the Sabbath is raised to life again on the Sabbath.

 

Saturday night:

Just before dawn, the guards of the tomb are scared off by an angel who rolls away the stone blocking the entrance of the tomb (Matthew 28:1-6, 11-15).

 

Sunday day:

The day after the Sabbath.

The female disciples arrive while it was still dark and starting to dawn, and discover the stone was already rolled away from the entrance of the tomb and the Lord Jesus is no longer in the tomb, but has already risen (Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-3; John 20:1). This further proves the sign of Jonah and that He is the true Messiah and Son of God – He was supposed to be in the tomb and sealed within it for more than 3 days to be declared “truly” dead, but even after 3 days and 3 nights, He still rose and was not in the tomb.

 

This day is the Feast of Firstfruits (wavesheaf offering of the first of the harvest; Leviticus 23:9-11). On the day after the weekly Sabbath, as both High Priest and offering, the Lord Jesus presents Himself on our behalf to His father as the very first of the harvest (John 20:17). He is the very first who has entered the true Promised Land (Leviticus 23:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

 

 

 

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus on the Sabbath aligns perfectly with the Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits.

 

It also makes sense, because the Lord Jesus said both He and His father work on the Sabbath (John 5:8-17) and the Lord Jesus always healed on the Sabbath. This time, however, it was the Lord Jesus Himself which needed to be healed and raised on the Sabbath, and it was done by His father (Acts 4:10; Romans 6:4; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:17-20).

 

Additionally and definitively, it is proof that the true Lord’s day is the Sabbath day, because He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5) – and just as our Passover died on Passover, the Lord of the Sabbath was raised on the Sabbath.

 

 

 

 

Please read the next article in the series -  'Reasons for Sunday not Biblical - Reason #6'

 

 

Please click here to go back to Reasons for Sunday not Biblical main page.

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