Sabbath Day Worship

Sabbath or Sunday Worship Part 1 Series

Religion: Sabbath or Sunday Worship – Part 1

During the creation,  God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because it was the day that He rested from all the work that God had done.—Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV)

God said: “It is a sign forever between the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed”— Exodus 31:17 (ESV)

When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, one of the commandments was to “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”—(Exodus 20:8-11, 23:12).

The Abrahamic religion is a group of monotheistic religions that endorses the worship of one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, it mostly centered on Abraham, to whom God established His covenant that he (Abraham) would be the “Father of Many Nations,” Abraham’s obedience made him known as the Father of Faith. God said to Abraham, as recorded in Genesis 12:2-3—”I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing…” and in Genesis 22:18—”And through your offspring, all nations of the earth will be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.”

Three major and minor religions gave birth to the Abrahamic religion,  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; the minor religions are the Baháʼí Faith, the Druze Faith, and Samaritanism, to name a few, and became the outlet where God’s word is and will be heard. Besides the people of Israel, God’s will is that all the world’s people will be blessed. Abraham can be described as the father of the Jewish and Arabic people, through Isaac and Jacob is for the Jews, and Ismael for the Arabs and all the families of faith —the community of the entire world will be grafted as heroes of faith through Abraham’s seed.

Men and women of faith who lived in the past would be “a great cloud of witnesses. The great cloud refers to multitudes of believers that have gone before us, bearing witness and living a life of faith as we now have. The heroes of faith from the book of Hebrews should be an encouragement and inspiration to submit with a deeper trust in God, who keeps all his promises.

For those who belong to the Abrahamic religion, the seventh day of the week is Saturday (Sabbath), aside from rest and worship. The seventh day is to be kept as a day of holy rest as God rested and refreshed from creation. Disobedience to observe the Sabbath or the seventh day is considered breaking with the covenant made by God to the Israelites. The command is for the nation of Israel in recognition of God’s work for the deliverance of His people (Israelites) from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15).

Friday is the seventh day of the week, holy to Muslims as ordained by God and recorded in the Quran. Therefore, Friday evening (6 p.m.) is already considered Saturday as the beginning of the new day. On the other hand, it ends after dark on Sunday evening (6 pm), considered the seventh day or Sabbath for the Jewish people, and Sundays were claimed by Christians as the Christian Sabbath and called the day of the Lord or resurrected Sunday.

Anybody, either Jew, Gentile, or Muslim, who has kept either  Sunday or Sabbath (Saturday) set no one apart from each other. They could choose to rest on Saturdays or Sundays as their seventh day in honor of the Almighty God, and this should not be an issue since the command is directed to the Israelites. As long as we worship the one true God, He knows how much we love HIM. The significance of the seventh day is a devotion to the Almighty Father, the one true God Whose existence is being recognized. 

Did Jesus and the apostles change the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday? Not at all. It was not taught and recorded in the New Testament. Did Paul or St. Paul change it? Paul brought the good news to the Gentiles after it was rejected many times by the Jews—Acts 13:28. The Gentiles became Abraham’s seed by faith due to this rejection and became heirs of the promises to Abraham and his seed (Galatians 3-4). Paul preached the gospel of the Kingdom to the Jews but was repeatedly rejected, and Paul eventually turned to the teaching to the Gentiles, where he was accepted.

Paul learned Mosaic Law and the Old Testament from Gamaliel, a well-respected teacher, a Rabbi, and the Jewish law teacher of Paul. With his knowledge of the Old Testament, Paul made many changes and introduced a new theology different from the teachings of Jesus. The Bible clearly shows how Jesus observed the Sabbath, and the apostles continued to observe after his death. Is it a violation of the Almighty’s Will to observe Sunday as the rest day? When did Sunday worship start? Does God hear us when we honor Him on Sundays? This series will discuss how Sabbath (Saturday) became Sunday worship.

God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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